I had almost 20 chest xrays.
Three C.A.T scans.
One Nuclear Stress Test.
I was told I was being taken down to ICU to have a breathing tube inserted, one night I was awakened by a resident who told me I may have Congested Heart Failure and might need a pacemaker.
Neither ever happened.
A colonoscopy was mentioned more than once.
Transport around the huge hospital was always a problem, would take hours to get to some of the tests, one time I was left on a gurney in a hallway and someone turned out the lights, only my yelling alerted them that a patient was still waiting for “transport.”
It took SEVEN days for the test to come back that I had the “flu.” That alone should make you worry, if the “flu” is so deadly I would think you would be able to determine in less than a week if a person has it.
I was the 3rd confirmed dude with the virus in the hospital.
But I was loosing patience,
All I wanted answered was one question, “What do I have.”
Of the dozens of healthcare professionals circling my bed,
no one could answer that.
“…just you and I and nature…”
Several days my “treatment” consisted of pills in the morning, then sitting up in a chair the rest of the day breathing Oxygen pumped from a mask into my nose.
I can still feel the mask on my face as I write this.
Here’s the cautionary part of all this:
· Even though it was an emergency, and they saved my life, going to the hospital during the time between Christmas and New Years, I believe lead to a bunch of wasted days due to vacations and short staffing, not to mention a snowstorm. In my mind my real care began on Monday January, 6th. I understand staffing but a full service medical center should be just that…full service ALL THE TIME. Once 1/6/2014 rolled around 24 of the interns/residents disappeared.
· If you are banged up, or have a normal kind of illness, a medical center can seem to fix you up pretty…get a virus…and the wheels come off. I can’t tell you how frustrated I was to hear over and over again, “We just have to let the body heal itself, give supportive care…but your body has to heal itself with a virus.” To be told that in a multimillion-dollar health care facility, while I’m sure true, borders on the bizarre.
· But buy far, the worst part of all of it was the absolutely lack of Patient Care Advocates. Dudes trust me on this one, when you have more than two dozen medical professionals hovering around your bed…you need…DEMAND…a team approach…with a Patient Care Advocate between you and the bureaucracy. Call the hospital where your doctor practices find out IF they have a team approach…FIND OUT WHO SPEAKS FOR YOU…and if no one does YOU need to start shouting…the most important involved in your care IS YOU. To not have a team of Patient Care Advocates highly involved in your care along with everyone else, in my belief, is the biggest failure medicine faces.
“…and the Father in the garden…”
Enough looking back, you pretty much have the unvarnished story…I hope you don’t take “the flu” stuff lightly. Get a “flu” shot, I never have gotten one and it almost killed me, that won’t happen again.
If you don’t know where to get a “Flu” shot go to this page www.flu.gov scroll down some to the Flu Vaccine Finder…put in your zip code and it will direct you to a “Flu” shot near you.
AND GET THE DARN SHOT.
“Well dude, looks like your down to six lives left,” Mac.
Obviously, when you lay in a hospital bed all plugged into all kinds of machines for 18 days…you think some.
Mac, my good friend, if I have 6 lives left, three, or just the one I’m in, I promise to spend the time looking for the intrinsic good in people, the working stiff ethic that built all this around us.
I believe one of the most powerful forces on this planet, is goodness, is a positive attitude,
is faith, your special faith, that warmth you feel inside, when faith happens in all the various ways it can come to you.
And come it will, believe that.
Goodness wins, negative losses.
I want to thank all the people who took care of me in the hospital from the lady who brought dinner, the nurses, the techs…all of you, I’m here because of you.
I want to thank the parishioners of Sacred Heart Church in East Berlin, CT for the blessed healing prayer shawl…wore it every day and I know it helped.
Want to thank Father Mark at the hospital for the daily visits, the talks, the understanding, and the blessed rosary he gave me.
To all those on Facebook….thank you for being there for me…for your encouragement…for your prayers…for the love you showed me…it too helped a great deal.
We all are not the “me” we were yesterday, not the “me” we are today, not the “me” of tomorrow but when you put all of those together…that’s the “me” who we all are.
Standing in heaven with feet planted firmly on earth.
Every word of love we ever say, every bit of compassion we show to others, every person we take the time to help, every positive thing we do in life, stays with us, follows us, is what we are held accountable about, if even only in the mirror we all face.
I believe that to be a secret we all need to learn,
that while it may rain on earth,
love is in the clouds,
it is the music of the wind.
“…and the Son and the Holy Ghost in the garden wet with rain.”
In The Garden
and to Grandma, Annabel, I felt your hand on mine throughout this illness, can’t wait until we finally meet…just not anytime soon. Love you.