This is the first post in a series. I’ve found that my memories are starting to slip a little, and I want to make sure that I always have a record. Right now is probably the best time to do it, as I’ve noticed that as some memories are fading, others are sharper than they were a couple of months ago. Probably because I’ve had the time to organize my head, and recap to myself, make sure its in the right order. Not to say that it’s complete yet, there will be some pick-up posts I’m sure that will fit into the time-line, but be posted out of order. Whenever possible I will try to provide a link to either my Twitter feed, Face Book status, or a post on http://www.getwellgabe.com.
The last thing I remember, Natalie is sitting next to me at VVMC in Cottonwood. I’ve just been shown an x-ray of my chest (photo-copied for some reason), and there’s a fuzzy area that someone tells me is fluid, filling one lung. A doctor comes in and talks about a tube down my throat, a ventilator (for some reason, my memories of this conversation are duplicated 2-3 times, like deja-vu in a prism). I have oxygen already, but they must have put something else in it and i sort of doze off halfway through the doctor’s little speech. This is probably the last thing I saw:
|From Empty Lighter|
For some reason, whenever I’m just waiting some where, I take a picture of my foot.
6 days earlier, I had gotten really sick. A couple of days before Halloween we sent one of my employees home because she was REALLY sick, and we didn’t want to get what she had. I don’t really know if that’s where I got sick, but it’s worth noting.
Halloween night, 2009.
We went out and trick-or-treated. I think Dylan had a really good time, or at least he was happy that he got a bunch of candy 🙂 Either way, it was a good night.
This is my last ‘tweet’ before I got sick:
I ended up driving over to my mom’s house to help Raph out. He was moving out of his appt, and he put some things in our garage. When I came home, I drank one beer, watched some TV and was asleep by 11:30.
When I woke up Sunday morning, I felt hung over. Dehydrated, as if I’d been out all night partying. I would have just called in sick, but since it was a payroll weekend, I had to go in. People MUST be paid. I worked about 8 hours, got done as much as I possibly could, and went straight home and to bed. Had to work 1/2 day Monday to finalize everything, then went straight back to bed. Natalie was awesome, she went out and bought me some cold medicine and stuff. The Alkaseltzer made me feel a bit better, and I just stayed in bed for the next 2 days. By the 4th of November my fever wasn’t any better, in fact it kept going up no matter what we did. So I dragged myself out of bed that night and drove to the ER.
You know, I’d been to hospitals and the ER especially several times (2 just in the previous year), and for some reason I always practice what I’m going to say to the check-in lady, always thinking they will turn me away at the window. I need to justify to myself, why I’m in the ER if I’m not bleeding profusely.
The triage nurse noticed my “Storm Trooper Pirate Flag” shirt and tested me by asking what the Kessel Run was. Luckily, I had just finished reading the Han Solo Trilogy. Any way, triage went alright and I ended up half naked in a large room with glass doors.
They did some tests and nasal swabs, and blood tests. After about an hour they came back and said “Nope, you’re fine. Just a mild lung infection.” they gave me a prescription for Motrin 80 and sent me home.
Well, I felt a bit better the next day, but still didn’t go to work. I think this was Wednesday, but can’t remember for sure. I was in bed all week, and it felt like a month. I laid on my stomach and spit our whatever I coughed up, which I didn’t realize at the time was blood. After a day or two the Alkaseltzer wasn’t working any more, and I could hardly eat, so I drove myself back to the ER at around 10 (I think) on Nov. 6th.
This trip went almost exactly as the last one had. Except that about halfway through Triage the nurse decided something was really wrong with me and went to talk to someone. It seemed like he was gone for a long time, and I was about to get up and try to find something to drink when he came back and showed me to the exact same room I had been in 2 nights earlier.
They ran pretty much the same tests as before, but included a chest x-ray (FINALLY!!)
One of the Techs was an old friend, who I’d worked with in the past. He would come in and we’d chat and he’d leave and then come back. I remember him showing me part of the x-ray and saying the Doctor was coming in to talk to me about intubation and my lung filling with fluid.
Just realized that we’re back where we started.
I don’t remember if I called Natalie or if the Hospital did (probably I did, I’m sure my phone was dying and I was texting her everything that was going on since I’d arrived). But she was there and it was around 1am, I think they put an oxygen hose on me, and the Doctor was still explaining things as I fell asleep…
End, Part 1.
TO BE CONTINUED…