Monday, November 8, 2010

My Exciting Hospital Adventure


Hello, all! I've had such an adventure in the hospital the past few days. It is lovely to be home today, enjoying the colors of fall as a storm passes over.

I had difficulties breathing late last week in an encore of the pneumonia I got the evening of my mother's funeral service in August. When all else fails and you're fighting to get air into your lungs, you become willing to do things you have never done before, such as wear pink lycra hot pants or go to a hospital. I've not ever been in a medical hospital. I never did hot pants either.

My ER doctor was a cute little lady named something like Dr. Platinum Blonde, only her real last name had to do with red hair and her first name was the pleasant spice commonly used in baking cinnamon rolls. I'm not kidding you. My ER nurse was a gorgeous girl named Courtney. I wanted to take her home and stare at her for days. I swear, they hire people for ER work who please the eyes while your body is in torture, because of it is good for your health.

So Dr. "Blonde" (insert something about redhead) says to me, I seem to have a case of congestive heart failure and acute pneumonia, with wild white cells and rampant inflammation. It's very interesting, she says, because I do not present as a usual case of congestive heart failure. I found this interesting as well.

They offered me a common anti-anxiety drug to help dispel the anxiety I exhibited upon hearing of my apparent impending death. I thanked them but no thank you, as I happen to be clean and sober, and we clean and sober types face congestive heart failure and large aggressive dogs with prayer and meditation.

So they popped me into the hospital and I didn't even have a chance to put on earrings or do my hair, let alone grab my laptop to record this special event. I'd been rather weepy and my eyes puffed up like marshmallows. The hospital gown did my zoftig shape no favors so I quickly went back to my sweats and they didn't fire me for it.

It was an exciting few days. They pulled me back from the brink of heart failure and stabilized the pneumonia. An x-ray tech came in my room with the bedside apparatus and said he was there to "do" my legs. "But I don't have legs," I said. He actually looked. The nurses and all were quite funny once I cracked a joke and turned down the pain meds. Paula the aide with menopause and an exotic accent ran around saying, "I am a HOT WOMAN today!"

I wrote what I thought might be my final poem, based on an emailed photograph of a distant family member that I received on Thursday last week. Here is what might have been my swan song:


To a Woman I Don't Know

My cousin the photographer
says you look like someone
we should know and he smirks
the knowing question: Who?
Your cheeks must mean something
after all -- I can't think
your bland smile is important
and anything could have happened
in those blue eyes.
When the Nazis had a party
they looked like you
with nothing to hide
except the unfathomable secrets
in their coffee every morning.


Well, nice not to have that be my swan song. I think I'll be sleeping and breathing exercises for a few more days, not to mention it is once again a deadline for my writing assignments. "Hello," I shall say in my new breathy voice, "I wonder if you might comment on the state of affairs at the food bank this Christmas. Hold on while I do a quick breathing exercise and then we shall have a proper interview, shall we?"


27 comments:

Rachel Fox said...

You've done well to get this far without a hospital!
x

Paul C said...

Glad the critical stage has passed. Hope you are on a steady road back to health.

e said...

Chris, this is both funny and heart-wrenching...I am glad you were spared heart failure and death...

No-one can ever say your life is boring. Be well and thanks for the swan song that isn't!

Brian Miller said...

wow chris you had quite the adventure...glad you are home and on the mend...

Kim A. said...

"Welcome Back" seems to lack a certain meaning but they are the only words I can come up with right now. My heart is saying a whole lot more but you'll just have to take my word on that. Please rest, indulge in all the things you love (and are gifted with). Breathe easy...

♥namaste♥

Indigo said...

I'm so glad you're doing better now. What a scare.

I'm familiar with the breathing exercises, only because I was diagnosed with Emphysema 2 years ago (20+ years of smoking will do that). Yeah, kind of sucky to be in my 40's with a lung disease. It doesn't slow me down though.

I'll be the first to tell you breathing isn't overrated. Hopefully the heart condition isn't a permanent fixture. You're in my thoughts and prayers on the smoke. (Hugs)Indigo

Helen said...

I am looking forward to years and years of your magic! Nice to know you are not singing that swan song.

Helen said...

I am looking forward to years and years of your magic! Nice to know you are not singing that swan song.

Karen said...

How frightening, Chris,and how glad I am that you are apparently okay, sense of humor intact. The body has a way of betraying us, despite our kindness to it. I hope your kindness pays off! Be well.

Hope said...

Holy Moly. I am glad you are recuperating. This does not sound fun. The medical team sounds fun, though. HOT WOMAN....I'm going to remember that one. :)

Terra said...

Your sense of humor shines through in this post, even in a hospital setting. I am glad that you will be writing many more poems.

Magpie said...

Glad to hear you are on the mend. What a scary few days you've had. You are too funny though.

Dianne said...

Oh honey, kitten, dear one, I didn't know or I would have pulled some pajama bottoms out of the secret hospital closet no one knows about, brought you some bottled water instead of ice machine swill, and made you sleep until you were all better!
next time call me!
Di

Susan said...

so glad you are home and recovering. take care o' yourself girl!
Seriously, we need to find different hobbies - I tried the almost-dying-trick lately too, and it wasn't much fun.
Here's to a little bit of boring life for awhile.... =)

Myrna R. said...

So glad you're getting better. I commend you on the maintenance of such a healthy sense of humor. I hope the rest of you displays the same level of health soon.

Take care.

the walking man said...

The organ may fail at some time but I doubt your heart ever will.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Goodness! I'm so glad this was not your swan song, not that it isn't a lovely poem but geesz....

I love the last sentence-"when the Nazis had a party..."

Hospitals are scary places. They make me sick to my stomach. I've been in and out of them too much lately with both my folks over ninety. That would be an interesting essay....commentary on the state of the food bank this Christmas. You better do what Dr. Blonde told you, and no cheating. You have a lot of work to do.

C.M. Jackson said...

I am happy to hear that you are feeling better--rest and listen to the Dr. --sending you lots of positive thoughts and energy! be well!

The Bug said...

Well, as you already know, I'm so glad that you're back among us! And I love your poem - especially that last part about secrets in the coffee. It helps me understand why anyone would drink the vile stuff :) (I'm being flip, but I think that those are brilliant lines).

Marla said...

Even while dying, you are quite the funny girl. Seriously, I am so happy to hear you are home and on the mend. I've had pneumonia several times. So not fun. I have not had congestive heart failure although my dad did and he made my heart want to stop on a regular basis. Does that count?

TechnoBabe said...

So you had yourself a medical adventure and kept the hospital staff giggling while you practiced your stand up act laying down. So glad you are still around to write some posts for us and share in the humor. Hugs.

Titanium said...

So glad you came through this with your sense of humor intact... and your health on the mend.

Be well, Chris. Your writing never fails to inspire, to encourage, to light a spark of laughter.

Kat Mortensen said...

Well, I for one am glad you made it and I'm particularly glad that's not going to be your swan song! Maybe you should write one just in case (kind of like that packed suitcase that pregnant women have at the ready).
Do as you're told. Take your meds. Try to keep laughing. We love you.

Kat

crownring said...

There's that old line about leaving them laughing when you go. Glad you didn't go!

HUGS!

Andrew said...

I'm glad to hear you are OK.

Metta thoughts for you my friend.

RNSANE said...

Oh, my goodness, Chris, I, too, was in the hospital from Friday about 11PM ( after eight hours in the ER ) until noon today!!! I'd been sick since last Sun - so much so that I couldn't join my nursing buddies for a conference in Napa. I started with violent chills Sun night, then diarrhea nonstop till I saw my doc Wed - antibiotics started, without relief, by Friday, I'd lost so much weight, went again to the doc, about two miles from home, sans makeup and laptop and she sent me immediately to the ER. I guess the pure fresh blood I deposited in the office toilet alarmed her.

You'll have to check my blog today to see specifics. At any rate, I'm glad we are both doing better!

Syd said...

Dear Chris, I am glad that you are alive and not having a swan song poem. I missed a lot by not being here for a week. Bloggers are on the move every where. It is hard to stay abreast--no pun intended--with what is going on. Take care. So nice that you are on the mend and do have legs.

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