Friday, May 15, 2009
Asthma, Allergies & the Ambulance – Part III
"Looks like I won't be lacking for blog fodder any time soon."
- Me, "The A Word", April 30, 2009.
Part I -- Part II
7:05 PM - I'm told they're having trouble with my IV. It hasn't been properly positioned or something, so they need to "move the setting" with an explicit guarantee that they won't touch the needle.
7:06 PM - Turns out, I need a new IV…ergo, a new needle. I mistakenly glance over and damned if they're not twisting the needle in and out (and in) like a corkscrew. This comes with some new medicine that I'm told will "open me up", but make me feel "a little jittery". I officially passed "a little jittery" 30 minutes ago. On the plus side, I'm in the right place when my heart inevitably explodes.
7:10 PM - Mrs. Bootleg and the boy are led into my room. Jalen's awake, clinging to his disintegrated security blanket and looking wide-eyed at all the activity. I'm worried that the entire scene will emotionally ravage his psyche, but it's me who's fighting back tears. Stupid family. I guess I do love them. For now.
7:15 PM - The swarm of medical professionals has subsided, save for one lone male nurse. I'm lucid enough to realize that my dress shirt has been unbuttoned so that the pads for heart and lung monitors could be applied to my chest. My hope here is that I don't have to get undressed, as I'm wearing boxers similar to these at this very moment. Except with an image of Homer Simpson inside each heart. And, they're black. Shut up, they're
comfortable! They're a silk/rayon blend. They feel like I'm wearing no undies at all. SHUT UP!
7:30 PM - Not much to do now except wait for the meds to take effect. I still can't speak, but Mrs. Bootleg looks upon my almost-corpse and says exactly what I'm thinking: "This is going to make a hell of a blog post." Followed closely by: "Do you want me to take your picture." It's been 72 hours as I type this and I'm just now realizing…she brought her digital camera to the emergency room?
7:45 PM - Jalen has found new life. While Mrs. Bootleg texts real-time updates to everyone in her phone's address book, Jalen starts walking around the room…mesmerized by all of the machines. I know it's cliché, but at times like these one can really appreciate a child's curiosity, his innocence, his…GODDAMMIT, JALEN, DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING! DADDY NEEDS THAT TO LIVE! I can't say it, so I wildly shake my foot in my wife's direction.
7:50 PM - Something starts beeping. The nurse returns to check it out and informs me that there's an air bubble in my IV. "We gotta get that outta there!", the nurse says. I can feel myself drifting off and the thought crosses my mind that…zzzzzz.
7:52 PM - "Hi! Mr. Cameron. I'm sorry to wake you, but I need your signature authorizing us to provide you with medication." Ummm…the medication you've already been giving me for the past 45 minutes?
8:00 PM - Hey, I can talk! Kind of. The doctor comes in and asks me what the hell happened. She gets the recovering asthmatic's abbreviated version (sorry you guys have to suffer through the l-o-n-g version) and after my six-second exposition, she determines that I'm allergic to aspirin. I realize now that I took aspirin about a month prior to this and the exact same thing – well, about 1000x less blog-worthy – happened. It seems that only 1% of the general population is allergic to aspirin, but those with asthma are anywhere from 20-40% more likely to have a reaction similar to mine.
8:10 PM - One of Mrs. Bootleg's girlfriends has come to take Jalen home. "Can we play Wii?", he asks. Good to see his "emotionally ravaged psyche" has healed so nicely. Can't even see the scar.
8:30 PM - The doctor's back to check the readings one last time. She casually mentions some over-the-counter medications that are now banned from ever entering my body, again. Her list includes Thera-Flu, which might be the worst news to come out of this evening. No one - no one - drinks more of that hot lemony, snot-flavored, sleep-inducing nectar than me when I have a cold. Now, what'll I turn to? Ny-Quil? Never really worked on me. Only I could be allergic to the wonderful world of drugs.
9:30 PM - Discharged. I actually need to lean on my midget wife just to sit up and walk out of the room. One of the four EMTs who brought me in is still hanging around for some reason and wishes me well. Mrs. Bootleg offers to bring the car around, but I'm pretty sure I can make the 50-yard walk to the car.
9:32 PM - Nope.
Just wanted to express my sincere thanks to everyone who left a comment or dropped me a line/IM in the last week. It was much appreciated, kids.