Tuesday, September 12, 2006

And Now a Word From Paddy Chayefsky

Well. That was an interesting adventure. It all started on Tuesday night, August 29th. I was feeling rather poorly with a sickening anticipation of a possible ulcer attack. This didn’t surprise me, since I had been under some unusually heavy stress on the job, as of late. But my diet didn’t really hint at an ulcer attack. But there it was, getting stronger every minute. Finally it reached a ridiculously painful point whereby I phoned the wife at her job (she was working as a nurse supervisor from 3PM –11PM) and casually mentioned that I might need a ride to the emergency room (or the local morgue, whichever was closer). She hurried on home and away we went.

Upon arrival, we were told that it might be a few hours before we were seen. This was the point when my wife went into full RN mode and demanded to see the nurse supervisor of that hospital (not the one where she had been working – this was more of a “country club” type establishment). My wife not only works as the occasional nurse supervisor, but runs her own nurse staffing agency – so you don’t want to mess with her. She’s all business. Needless to say, we were seen immediately. Good thing. First of all, it wasn’t an ulcer attack – it was a cyst on my pancreas causing acute pancreatitis. The kind associated with high cholesterol that accounts for 80% of the fatalities associated with pancreatitis. They took three blood samples and couldn’t get a reading of my electrolytes because, somehow, I was dehydrated and according to them, my blood was turning to “sludge”. That precipitated IV’s of saline given pronto since I was NPO (nothing by mouth – but I negotiated for some ice chips). Next up was a shot of morphine for the pain. Which worked about as well as a half of a St. Josephs Aspirin for Children tablet. So out came the Dilaudid. This was injected straight into my vein at the junction where the IV was inserted. This was followed by a phenergan chaser for possible nausea. Now, if you’re not familiar with Dilaudid, then consider this – it’s pretty much synthetic heroin about eight times as powerful as morphine. They ended up giving this to me every four hours (on the dot) for a period of five days! Next up – “Is that really a gang of spiders and why haven’t I been invited to that party on the other side of the wall?”


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