Sunday, January 18, 2009

How I Spent The Weekend

Well, let's see - I bought groceries, including a nice cut of salmon which I had for dinner. And I did some laundry and I watched a whole lotta TV. And I shaved off all my chest hair. Oh, and I was in the hospital for a couple of days.

Yeah, I might as well blog about this, because it'll save the me the trouble of relating it as an anecdote when people ask about the marks on my face. What happened was, I went to bed Thursday night, and woke up at around 2:00 am to go the the bathroom. I don't want to go into too much detail here, but I was basically doing something Elvis became famous for (it KILLED him) and I simply passed out. It was like this - sound of the ocean rushing in my ears, closing my eyes for a second, wondering why one side of my face was so cold, and realizing it was because that was the side against the tiles.

So I got back up, sound of the ocean, closed eyes, and realizing I was slumped against the shower door. Then I finished my business and crawled back into bed with my girlfriend.

I was driving her back to her place the next morning and I mentioned all this and she said "Jesus! Why the hell didn't you tell me?" I don't know, I said, I thought I needed the sleep. "What if you had a concussion! What's wrong with you!" And this got me thinking - most normal people would not shrug off a thing like this and go to work, they would get an ambulance to the emergency room. Since I was already driving, I just kept on going until I found the nearest emergency room covered by my insurance. I got to park in the emergency patients space! That was exciting.

So I checked myself in and they stuck a bunch of electrodes to my very, very hairy chest, and monitored me in ICU for four hours. I flirted with a couple of nurses to pass the time. Eventually a doctor came in and told me there was probably nothing all that wrong with me (sudden drop in blood pressure, happens now and then though usually to older people) but just in case they wanted to keep me overnight for observation. So I waited another two hours until they transferred me to a room, which I shared with a personable dialysis patient.

At least in the upstairs room I had an adjustable bed and a nice TV. Every time an orderly told me to expect something (MRI for example, or lunch) it was always two hours later than they said, and it always seemed to happen just at the climax of the movie I was watching. Late in the day I was told they were going to let me out Saturday afternoon, after the stress test. That's the treadmill one that you see all the time on HOUSE.

I slept surprisingly well considering there was a bulky IV hookup in my right hand and a heart rate monitor in my gown pocket, and it was noisy and people would show up in the middle of the night to take my blood pressure. 

Saturday morning I have never been so grateful for cable. Even though I felt fine I was essentially bed-ridden. Sure I could get up and walk around but they like to know where you are. And if you're not in your room when they bring breakfast, it might not come for another two hours. I don't have cable at home and let me tell you, Saturday morning is a wasteland. I have to admit I have grown fond of THE SWEET LIFE OF ZACK AND CODY, because Ashley Tisdale has great comic timing, but the rest is all CGI puppet shows and golf. So access to news channels made me feel a LOT better.

Some time around three the nurse told me that my doctor had an emergency and he probably couldn't get to the stress test until Sunday morning. I was tired of TV, my neck was sore from the adjustable bed, my cell phone was running low and I was worried about my car, still parked in the emergency space. I begged the nurse to talk someone into releasing me. I could go home, fast the next morning and come in for my stress test. And my doctor did show up around 6:30 and said he agreed with me. I'm making an appointment tomorrow for the test.

After that it was a short wait for the nurse to show up with the forms, and to unhook me from the Matrix. How long was that anyway? About two hours. Everybody kept asking me, "is someone picking you up?" I drove here myself, I replied. They looked at my like I was nuts. Yes, I'm used to that.

So I drove home, and the first thing I did was pull off those adhesive electrode points that they stick onto you for the EKGs. When I was done I had these holes in the fuzzy coat of hair on my chest. And since I know I'm going to be hosting those things again soon, I figured I'd shave it all off. Besides now and then I wonder what it would look like.

Trust me, it doesn't look good. The hair did a lot to camouflage the complete lack of muscle. I'm looking forward to having it back. Or I guess I could work out once in a while. I think I lost a pound too, the result of a controlled hospital diet. I should try to get a copy of that menu because it must be nutritious but it's sure not laden with calories.

My friends all have different theories about why it happened. One thinks I'm drinking too much water, and I need more potassium. Another thinks I simply lost too much weight lately. My girlfriend thinks it was the combination of steak, red wine and sex that made me dehydrated. I can avoid at least one of those things as long as I get the other two.

Anyway, I'm fine now, so stop worrying.

9 comments:

Publius said...

Holy crap. I hope what ever it was it was only a temporary condition.

wamk said...

Glad to hear you are feeling better.

Just think if you had only had some sort of morse-code device near the throne, you could have gotten a message to a HAM radio operator in Nova Scotia, who could have relayed the message to a Chinese fishing boat, who could have contacted the Caligfornia Highway Patrol. Probably would have taken two hours.

You should leave the chest hair partially shaved, ala "The Forty Year Old Virgin". That's a good look!

Feel better!

Publius said...

... or at the very least, he could have beeped to Han Solo that the Princess is on the Death Star before he blacked out.

wamk said...

Exactly.

Warn the Rebels before the pills, peanut butter & banana sandwiches, and the Throne come together to destroy him.

Just think tho, if the episode had taken place NEXT weekend, his hospital stay and ER visit would have cost nothing under The One's health plan.

:)

Bummer for the timing, dude.

Danielk said...

Quite temporary, at least according to the myriad tests they performed. And to hell with morse code, I'm goin' with LifeAlert -"I've fallen, and I can't get up!"

Skot said...

Holy cow! Glad you're okay.

Yeah, I have to agree with the doc: probably just part of getting old.

Advice is as useless as it is free, but definately leave more reading material in the head, if ya know what I mean. Who knows: If Elvis had become absorbed by a Reader's Digest article he'd still be around.

Matthew said...

hey man! you be careful out there. it can get real rough, but dont let that bring you down. just remember, lots of sleep and lots of fluids.

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