Thursday, October 15, 2009

Survivor - Extreme Home Edition episode 4

When we last left our contestants the unsuspecting, hardworking, pure hearted heroine and the loyal, dedicated and steadfast Saint were readying for bed. The kindly old doctor, having been driven over the edge by a clerical error, was pushing his own special brand of health care and the cruel eeevillle Rock was last seen plotting world domination. A maniacal laughter was heard rising in the hills.

“It’s almost eleven at night what the heck is he thinking?” asked the Sainted one. “Well, I don’t know but I don’t want an ambulance coming out here. I think the old guy’s cracked” replied our hardworking and did I mention excruciatingly beautiful heroine.

So off we go into the night for a long drive of uncertainty. Sure there was a hospital near by closer to home but we were still city folk and I wasn’t ready to share a straw lined waiting room with the local livestock. We drove the extra thirty minutes into the city so we could be appropriately greeted by sickly florescent lights, scratched linoleum and cold surly indifferent doctors. In times of stress it is of the utmost importance to feel that extra care and comfort that can only be delivered by overworked underpaid nurses who didn’t have the grades to get into Corrections training at Maximum Security. I mean seriously, if you are going to be naked in a paper gown three sizes to small for your um… personals, and cheap uni-socks are your only claim to real clothing as some stranger sticks, probes and generally molests you, it really should be a professional.

Sure there were some worried moments on the drive over but this was ridiculous. There couldn’t be anything really wrong with me. I was hammering away on the rock, moving stone and hauling logs just a few short hours ago. How could anything be wrong? But there was worry. Your doctor doesn’t call you at home after ten thirty if there isn’t something “wrong.” I just couldn’t imagine what it might be. So we joked about it instead. We blamed it on computer error then, we worried. We blamed the doctor for hiring lousy assistants, then we laughed, then worried. Eventually we got to the hospital emergency room.

I walked up to the admitting desk and told the nurse why I was there. She said they knew and had been expecting me. I wondered, “Could this get any weirder?” Yes, yes it could. One nurse worked on taking my vitals as another worked on taking my information. I said I was confused and could they explain just what the heck was going on? I couldn’t decide if I should be worried, annoyed or amused. The admit nurse turned her computer screen so that I could see it and said “This is what your doctor saw when he got your report back this evening.” On the screen was a long list of well, doctory things I had never seen before. It was the complete work up on my blood from earlier in the day. She showed me columns and rows of items and numbers all highlighted in green. She scrolled down a bit and pointed to several rows in bright flashing red with the word “Critical” bolded in capital letters blinking like the nose on a cheap Frosty the Snowman display.

I smiled. “Well sure, I cold see why he was a little unnerved then. I suppose that kind of error will get your attention.” She didn’t smile back. “Well what does it mean?” “It means you have no blood.” She didn’t say to me, “It means you’re anemic.” No, she said you have no blood. “This test says you have only a third of the blood volume you should have. A person with this low blood volume doesn’t just walk in here on their own. They come in an ambulance. Nor do you show any signs of anemia which is why it most likely a mistake but we have to check it out.”

More nurses and another vitals check just in case. They even checked my eyes for the tell tale paleness but found them fresh and rosy instead. They took some more blood to test which seemed oddly counter productive considering the situation. And everyone was in agreement that there I seemed perfectly fine. We all had a good laugh at how silly this whole thing was and I went back to wait with the Saint who was pretending to be comfortable on an impossibly hard chair. I was tired a becoming just a bit annoyed at being inconvenienced for someone else’s error. Eventually someone wearing a white coat over pink and white sheep pants called my name. Finally this silliness was over and we could go home.
Uh, NO.

”I need you to follow me into the back here. Your husband can come also if you like.” OK. We are ushered into the triage room where a row of beds is sectioned off with plastic curtains on shower rods. The woman in the shower curtained stall next to me is intoxicated way past being funny and shouting about something which apparently happened in an alternate universe. I still have no idea why I am here but I have been instructed to dress up in a high quality paper gown. The uni-socks are lying next to it like tiny blue pelts. The intoxicated woman in shower stall 4 still shouting now begins to violently throw up. I miss the impossibly hard chairs.

Finally when I am all gussied up in my brand new outfit someone in a white coat who is not wearing pink and white sheep pants comes in to tell me how I will be spending the rest of my night. “The blood work has come back and the original test was accurate though your numbers are a bit lower now.” WHAT? “We are setting up a room for you now. The blood for the transfusion is on its way.” WHAT? Apparently I can’t hear anything he is saying because while his lips are moving there is no sound coming out. I just smile at him like he’s a little slow. He smiles back and I stare at him like I am a little slow.
He explained that while it didn’t seem to make sense and that I shouldn’t be in the apparent good condition that I was it was however true that I had no blood. Well mostly. He told me that my wrongly maligned doctor had probably saved my life because I would probably not have made it through the night. He said they would be down to take me to my room in a few minutes. I sat there on the edge of the shower curtained bed with the exact same expression the farm animals I expected to see in the straw lined waiting room back home. The woman next door continued to wretch.
It was a much longer process than I had ever imagined. In the movies they just wheel some desperate looking sap in on a gurney next to the pale dying patient. They hook up some tubes and poof, blood starts to flow and everyone is up for a cup of tea in a few minutes. Turns out it doesn’t work that way in real life. It was an all night affair on a slow drip with bags coming and going.

I sent the Saint home and settled in. In the meantime the big pond would miss a day of work. The blasted Rock had won this one but this isn’t over yet. I shake my tiny bloodless fist at you Evil Rock and vow my vengeance. A break for refueling and it’s back ON! Just you wait and see what I can do with a full tank buddy. It was starting to get personal.

And this concludes today’s episode of Survivor Extreme Home Edition. Tune in next time when we find out just where did all those river rocks come from? How big is this beast anyway and why did one solution lead to an entirely separate emergency surgery? Will the handsome chiropractor make his heroic debut or will our heroine finally be crushed in a stony defeat? Until next time on Survivor Extreme Home Edition episode 5…


  1. LeSan,
    You have captivated me with your exciting ER visit. It sounds ghastly!!! Can't wait to find out more!

  2. Phew LeSan, I'm glad you made it to A&E, but I'm left wondering about where on earth all your blood has gone!!! It can't have snuck out for a quick snack while you weren't looking, so where is it hiding? :)
    PS. I'm WELL impressed with your pond!

  3. Well...this story gets deeper and deeper. Glad you got more blood in time. Strange, you still had all that energy. My sister-in-law had the same thing, but she could barely move.
    I'll be tuning in for the next installment. My bet is on the hard-headed heroine, against that big old rock.

  4. I'm glad your doctor wasn't crazy and did catch something so serious.

  5. Wow! What an incredible experience! How did you lose so much blood to warrant a transfusion? That is really, truly scary, but I certainly enjoyed your humorous writeup of your experience. I hope all goes well without any more troubles.

  6. Oh, I have been waiting for another installment. I can't wait to hear more....

  7. I love your writing style. I also am wondering what happened to your blood? I'll be back to read the next chapter.
    Your pond is beautiful. I enlarged it so I could see all the detail and planting. Is that Parrot's Feather on the left side? I've been trying to find it here.

  8. Well, did you find out where your blood had gone? Were you just not making any to replace what dies off regularly? Had your spleen decided to snatch up passing-by blood droplets and gobble it up? WOW!

    I am amazed at your bravery, allowing your sainted one to go home. I would probably demand that mine stay with me. But I am a skeerdy-cat.

  9. Yikes... what an ordeal and I was on the edge of my seat while reading aloud to a friend. We are concerned and cannot wait to the next installment. Your writing is very good... quite witty! I cannot imagine being able to do that so well under the circumstances. Hope you are feeling like breaking rocks with your overhaul. Your pond looks like it will be lovely and I love all the rocks and plantings. Take good care! Carol

  10. I second Carol's "Yikes," and await the next installment in an anxious frame of mind ;~D
    (what an ambitious undertaking. As for the ER, another "Yikes" would not be inappropriate!!) Alice

  11. Good grief! What a horrible experience and we haven't even heard the end of this tale yet. Dear LeSan I am so glad you are still here with your wonderful sense of humor.

    Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

  12. Rosey thank your for reading along. It was definitely an odd way to end the day. Well, it actually didn’t end it as much as it prolonged the day.

    Nutty Gnome Ok, I just like hearing that name in my head. Hehe. What had happened to my blood was also a question everyone else was pondering though it was less likely a quick snack and more like a super sized latte’.

    Patchwork you bring up a good point and the very one that made it all so weird. The Saint and I actually laughed and cracked jokes in the triage room because it just didn’t match up with anything. Even the docs were perplexed. Oh, and you nailed it when you said hard headed. Fits me to a Tee!

    Tara, I was also relieved that he hadn’t lost his mind. He was always such a nice man. LOL. I actually owe him my life and I am deeply grateful to him. Words to that statement are so thin.

    Miss Daisy, it was a little unexpected I will say that. Wouldn’t it be nice if I could say that was the end of my little gardening side tracks? LOL Thank you for reading along, I appreciate it very much.

    AZ Plantlady you are a dear. Thank you so very much for being eager to hear more. It is nice to have others to laugh with over this stuff.

    Catherine, I loved reading your first line. The compliment means a lot to me. This whole writing thing is new to me since starting the blog at the end of June. That is parrots feather by the way. I left a comment on your blog about where to find it out here.

    Janie, I couldn’t possible tell what happens next, now could I? LOL The Saint and I had a good laugh at your spleen comment. Too funny. We have some fantastic hospitals up here and I have used their services in the past for other life threatening events so I was cool with the hubs going home for some shut eye. He always sticks around when they think I’m really going to die though. He’s good that way.

    Carol, what a wonderful to comment that was to read from you. Thank you very much for that generous compliment. 

    Alice, I love that “anxious state of mind.” It is a very clever turn of phrase. I didn’t have the good sense at the time to respect just how ambitious I was being with my little project. I just wanted what I wanted I guess. Hehe -Poor husband.

    FlowerLady, the funny thing of it was that it wasn’t horrible because it was so out of the blue as far as we were concerned. I looked fine to everyone. I just felt a little out of shape. Seriously. Who knew? LOL

  13. Hi LeSan,
    I had to be gone a couple evenings this week, and our d-i-l and grandson came over last night, so I am behind in my blog reading.

    I hope you are feeling better. What did they say caused the problem?