On New Year‘s Eve I found myself stuck on an er gurney for about 9 hours waiting on an icu bed. While it wasn’t much fun for me, it did give me insight into the many patients that came and went while I was waiting. It was these people that gave me insight into what Nurse K and ER Doc go through all the time.
I’ll start with the upper 20 something woman that came in at 3am with an ear ache. Really? An ear ache is what brings you to the er at 3am? On New Year’s Eve? Yes, the pain was so bad it woke her out of a sound sleep. How is an ear ache an emergency? Was it falling off? Bleeding? Was there brain matter leaking out of it? No? Then take some motrin, take some tylenol and go back to sleep, and see your doctor on Tuesday. It’s not like I’m trying to eavesdrop but it’s a curtain, not a wall people.
This brings me to my favorite guy of the night. I didn’t catch his birthdate so couldn’t tell you his age, but if I have to guess it’s close to mine. He was right after earache girl and he said that he was there because his wife told him he had not one, but 2 seizures the last one about an hour before he came in. It did leave me to wonder where his wife was that he had to drive himself in. After further questioning his seizure are now more like blackouts and the real reason he came in became quite clear to me. Seems for the first time in 4 years he was out of his oxycontin and xanax prescription and was hoping the doctor would write him enough to “get by” to see his family doctor. If I wasn’t a 7 out of 10 on the pain scale I would have laughed out loud. It was all I could do not to shout out “Let me know how that works out for you buddy.” He didn’t get his script, instead he got the er doc telling him he was going to have to make a report of his seizure to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and was probably going to lose his driving privileges until if could be medically documented that he was seizure free for six months and no, calling it a “black out” was not going to change that.
Before I could get any more, my icu bed was ready and I was just happy to be getting off that damn gurney. Happy New Year!
Christmas is right around the corner, followed by New Year’s. It’s this time that I find myself reflecting on this year and thinking of what I want to change for the next one. There have been so many changes this year, I’ve accomplished more than I thought I would and less than I planned.
I made my annual pilgrimage to Texas to spend time with my adult children, my granddaughter only to discover that I had more family there than I knew. I jumped out of an airplane with my daughter and tried sushi for the first time, as well as sake. I like the sake more than the sushi and like the skydiving way more than the sushi. I’m pretty sure that I shouldn’t have done both on the same day however.
I found my worth and value as a human being in Texas. Given that I seem to be a perpetual patient I didn’t think I had any anymore, but I found out otherwise. I learned that I still have something of value to offer beyond being sick, and I also learned that how I feel about myself relates to how I’m doing physically. For the first time while I was in Texas I didn’t have to go to the hospital.
I also made another trip, this one to New York. It was my second time there and I learned that I could still travel and have a good time with my family. I also met Kelsey Grammar and Betty White, that was a hoot. I also learned not to take my shoes off on the plane because there was no way I was going to get them back on. I also learned that if I leave my left overs in the hotel room while walking Times Square with Sarah, my husband was going to eat it all, including my cheese cake.
I don’t know how many times I was in ICU this year, I lost count. It feels like it might be less than last year and I’m hoping more than next year.
I lost my best friend this year and I miss her every day. I also found closure in helping another friend, no daughter find closure in a horrific part of her life and now she is able to put it behind her and move forward.
I’ve found some friends in the blogosphere and made old friends new again. I’ve also gotten my sister and her crazy girlfriend out of my house, and if that was the only thing I accomplished, believe me it would be enough.
What can I say about my husband? We’ve been together 17 years now and it seems that our love just grows deeper. He’s sweeter and kinder than ever and I love him. As my caretaker he has more patience than I give him credit for.