OK, there probably were no rumors. But I did feel close to death over the last few days, and for a while there I would have welcomed the Grim Reaper. On this last post on Saturday afternoon I had just been back from the ER after treatment for a fracture between the right floating rib and a lower vertebrae. I thought the worst of the ordeal was over then. W-R-O-N-G.
Just a couple of hours after that post, breathing became very difficult. Which was one of the signs the ER staff had warned me about. So, back to the local ER, back through a CAT scan machine, and by the time they had read the new data I was writhing in agony despite more than a milligram of Dilaudid. I remember the painful main events of being put on a cold, hard gurney locked in the back of an ambulance, then riding with the lights and sirens going full blast. I recall being wheeled in to another, larger ER and having my clothes cut off while a team worked on me. After that it gets hazy for a couple of days.
But one strange experience I wish could be forgotten: I was delirious with pain, sobbing like a little kid as an ER nurse was swabbing down my back with antiseptic for a chest tube procedure. I was begging her to give me more painkiller, knock me unconscious, induce a coma, or just kill me. It was that bad (I’m just astonished at how much pain the human body can produce, intelligent design my ass). And then a freaky thing happened then. She put her hand on my shoulder and said “Jesus HEAL this man.” And then crossed her self or whatever they do.
The reason that was horrifying was in part because it didn’t do a damn bit of good, no surprise there. But also because it hit me: there I was, surrounded by enough drugs to knock down a herd of charging elephants at the nexxus of all the medical technology a level 1 trauma center can offer, and the best immediate option that poor gal had on hand to shut me up was amateur faith healing. A cynical little smile managed to part my bone dry lips for a split second, before the grimacing took over again.
Later I found out the lung had almost totally collapsed and some other, savage complications were starting to crop up. It’s probably a good thing I decided to head in and get it checked out. Hopefully, the worst really is over now and things will get back to normal around here.