Sunday, September 07, 2014

benning Had An Owie

I must thank so many of you! Many of you donated money, money that will allow me to pay rent until January. By then I expect to be working and earning again! Thank you! Many of you sent cards or letters! I read them once I was freed from the prison of the hospital ( yeah, I'll 'splain that!) and could understand what I was reading. ;)

A surprise, to learn that writing folks remember me! :O

I appreciated the kind, supportive words, trust me. And the prayers and positive thoughts most definitely helped! Thank You!

I suppose some of you wanna know just what the heck happened. *sigh*

Well, on that Wednesday morning I experienced some awful pain in my chest. I wasn't doing anything. In fact I was sitting on the end of my bed. But the pain came! All at once, both sides, it ebbed, and flowed. 90 minutes of it. All I could do was whine, moan a bit, pray for it to stop, and wander back and forth. This was pain I had never experienced before. And when it finally did end, and I knew it wasn't simply taking a break, I took a shower, and went to work.

Dedicated, right? Yeesh!

That evening, after work, I ate a little, and sat down to read. And the pain returned. For 90 minutes, again, I felt as if my chest was being scooped out. Breathing was never a problem, but I concentrated on what was happening, this time.

Pains radiated from the tops of my shoulders, with a little trickle to the elbows. Pain radiated from my shoulder-blades, too. But nothing going up and down my left arm. No shortness of breath, and no cold sweat until it was almost through. But this time I couldn't tell myself it was just some kind of muscle thing.

When the pains subsided I did the thing I guess I shoulda done that morning - I showered (sweaty, 'member?), got dressed in my cleanest work shorts and clean shirt, and drove to the hospital. Smart, huh? *eyes rolling*

Well, once I mentioned pains in my chest to the receptionist, I barely had time to put my name on the clip-boarded paper I'd been handed. Out of a door came a charge nurse - she was indeed charging! - and said, "You come in here. Now." And so I did!

Up on an exam bed I went. She stuck a Nitro pill in my mouth, under the tongue, told me it might give me a headache, and started putting electrodes on my chest.

*sigh* Blood pressure, pulse, blood samples, and hooking up some li'l machine connected to my chest hairs. A suddenly busy room at midnight. A doctor entered, looked at the strip of paper from the li'l machine, and said, "I'm not sure but I think you've had an incident."

Ahhh, an incident! Okay. Huh?

Well, they did their blood tests and found indicators that, yep, I'd had a heart attack or two. So I was stuck. My folks expected me for supper on Thursday - Olive Garden! :D - and I was not going to make it. So I had to call and cancel, which means that now *they* knew. I managed to get them to stay home until the next day, but you are *never* going to keep your Mom from coming to see you in the hospital. No way. The urge to go through whatever this was, on the "QT", was over before it had begun.

At this point things get a trifle jumbled. I know I was in a room, and I had a Russian-sounding nurse. I know one evening I got three phone calls - my brother, then Joni, then Bob - and my cell phone was running down. But somehow, after the drugs used in surgery, my memories were partially wiped. I can now recall the fun of going down to a frigid room for the heart catheterization procedure. That's come back to me. The nurse marking my right foot with an "X" to signify the correct leg to use, the huge X-Ray machine moving around above me - I was slightly sedated for that, thank goodness - the removal of the catheter, and the docs telling me that they couldn't even get through one blockage. I remember the shakes overtaking me - "The contrast will be very cold." - and me unable to stop violent shivering. I've never felt that cold! Oy!

But so much is gone, at least for now. What I do remember is my attempts to escape. After surgery. The complaints of the nurses that my right foot would not stay in the bed. I never revealed to them that I was trying to inch out of the bed, to get away. Whatever they had used on me in surgery had left me a huge dose of paranoia! As well as some sort of time dilation. Talk about a confusing time!

Up to now my memories of what I did before surgery are fragmented. I know I was on my feet for some things - an odd chest x-ray where I stood facing a marked board - where the tech slid in an x-ray thingie. Is it a cartridge? I dunno. I 'member following him into a small room and watching the x-ray come up on his 'pooter. I remember having a sonogram-type thing in my bed, seeing my heart beating, my lungs expanding, contracting. But the rest seems to be missing.

I have no memory of pre-op, or being rolled down to Surgery, nor of being sedated, recovery, anything! I woke to a world that I did not recognize, and in which my voice sounded like that of an old man. All was threatening and scary. The nurses asking me where I was, what my nam was, and so on, took on a smarmy, taunting quality. When the nurses had to slide me back up in the bed - I was escaping, 'member? - it always felt as though they were practically tossing me up to the head. They were rough, and short-tempered. They did everything fast, and I was being treated horridly. I didn't dare tell my Folks that, when they visited. After all they knew nothing! They chatted with the nurses and doctors as if nothing was amiss! I had to escape!

Which, of course, began by sliding ly right foot out from under the sheets, and off the bed. Which I know drove the nurses batty. LOL

I was moved to different rooms at least twice, but didn't understand why, except perhaps they were on to my escape plans. My hallucinations had me thinking I was in a small hotel in Atlantic City, an old, small motel in a beach town in Florida, on the road, followed by a villainous male nurse, and a bevy of police cars. I spoke to a dead man I never remember meeting, and met all sorts of wonderful people on the road. And this may have lent me some ideas for writing. But at the time I was a hunted man, in my mind, and could not understand why It was so.

Once I was aware enough to not sound weird they allowed me food. Or somethings whipped and soft that they claimed was food! :D And that took a doctor having me tested for swallowing prowess. Which involved that stinking time dilation thing again. Honestly, did the tech have to shove that spoon into my mouth? The applesauce was heaven. But did she then have to shove that piece of graham cracker into my mouth? I chewed slowly, as I was ordered to, and swallowed. Yep, no inhalation, but an honest-to-goodness swallow. So I was allowed food. Of sorts. food that was soft. *sigh* Well, I guess a steak would've been beyond me, at that point.

The last toorm I was ensconced in is where I would start to walk with a walker. Not easy, but I realized this meant I would be released! So I tried it, assisted and kept from falling by an Indian doctor. And me being me, and still under the effects of drugs, made a terribly humorous comment about how dark he was. Well ... he *was* very dark! And exceedingly pleasant. And he did *not* let me fall on my face in the hallway. So maybe he's heard drugged jokes before? But I got used to the walker, and now it would be up to the doctors.

The last two nights I was in that slammer my odd auditory and visual senses remained in force. I had no way of knowing that no children would be brought into the hospital by the charge nurse, and allowed to run around. But that's what I heard! My dreams again were filled with weirdness. And then it was that final day. I had breakfast, and then lunch. Then my Folks were there, with some new shorts for me - Mom threw out my tattered, soft, clean work shorts! *gasp!* - and some undies, socks, and a new T-shirt. I dressed as fast as I could (took maybe a half-an-hour), and then it was time to wait. But eventually the last nurse read me the rules for leaving, handed me a pile of papers on the Care and Feeding Of a Paroled Patient, and I walkered out of the room, into the elevator, and down to the lobby.

Even here, the remnants of insanity kept me from saying anything egregious. No way would I give them a reason to lock me back up! But once in the Folks' car, I could relax. We were heading to my Folks' home, and there I stay to recover. And here I am. And most of the drug effects seem to have passed away. But my memory remains jumbled. And I guess it always will.

So that's the bones of my tale, Friends. Again ... THANKS! I appreciate all of you. :D


Unknown said...

I was so worried. You will forever hold a special place in my heart, and I prayed long and hard for your recovery. Please take it easy because we are not done with you yet! :)

benning said...

Thanks, Marianne! :D

maruxa said...

He's writing, he's writing! I'm so happy! Welcome back, benning, to the land of the loving. mar

AntJoodie said...

So glad you are here back with us.

judysnwnotes said...

I've heard tales from others about the distorting, disorienting theft of surgery-related medications. But you are definitely on the mend, your mind sharp and witty as ever -- maybe even enhanced :)

Thanks for sharing this -- I especially love the escape attempts -- Oh, my but you were more than a handful!

Peace / judy AKA hawkseye

Janet said...

Hi Mr. B.,

So glad you're well on the road to recovery! And it's good to see that you're still the wonderful writer that you always were. Some things don't change. :)

Big hugs and love to you. xo Janet

Suesmuse said...

May your freedom ever be so! Welcome back!
Sending smiles ~
M Sue

Always On Watch said...

Update, please.

benning said...

Update? Well, I'm not as confused as I was, and the paranoia seems to be gone. Also the bizarre dreams, hallucinations, and so on. :D Feeling better, home in my intty-bitty apartment, and exercising, eating real food, and reading up a storm! :D And how are you? :D

Always On Watch said...

Glad to hear that you've improved.

As for me, the best that I can say is "I'm hanging in there."

benning said...

And "Hanging in there" is fine! So do it, AOW! :D *Hugs!*

camojack said...

Hey stranger! Long time no...anything, really. I was offered an early retirement with severance pay and a pension in 2015, which I gladly accepted but when I moved to Alaska I lost my Comcast account along with a lot of contact information, including yours. I sold the place in Alaska and am now in the process of moving into my new home in Morriston, FL. I found you on Facebook and sent a friend request to you there...give me a shout. I haven't bothered with my own blog for well over a decade now. I hope that you are doing well.