Wednesday, September 28, 2016

On the Third Day the Waters Receded

By the dawning of day three, the diarrhea had slowed down. None of the jabbing and stabbings had, though. I was still awakened early by the vampire, who unlike the legends, disappeared as night fell and reappeared as the sun rose. She called me to wakefulness, standing over me with her trusty kit of butterfly needle and tubes.

The twice daily injections in my belly continued as well, as did that great bitter elixir of Vancomycin four times daily.

A doctor came in this morning, asked me my name, date of birth and if I knew where I was. He then asked me the day and date and I think even who the Presidents was. Wasn't I sick enough without that reminder? He then explained what I had and told me he had ordered a cat scan of my head. Why? The diarrhea wasn't in my head.

Once more I went on a joy ride down the corridors; a lot of corridors. I was wheeled into an elevator and I noticed he pushed the button for sub-basement 3. I was being transported down into the bowels of the Earth.

So into this basement far, far away we went. There were more corridors, but we weren't dodging anyone, they were basically empty. He rolled me up to a door that said Xray, stopped, mumbled something about it being occupied and then wheeled me in reverse down the corridor, turned a corner, went down another ing hallway and me placed along the wall in what appeared to be a kind of storage area.

And he left me there.

What a bleak feeling this proved to be. There was no one about. I was in this desolate place somewhere deep in the guts of the hospital. I had no means of contact, no means of escaping the gurney and if I did, how would I find my way back to civilization? How far could I walk anyway in my weakened state and almost naked body? I lay there and lay there feeling quite deserted, wondering if I would be forgot. An indeterminable amount of time passed before another orderly showed up and rolled me back the halls and into the Cat Scan room.

The young lady running the equipment was very nice and commiserated with me. She said they use to park the gurneys right outside the door in such circumstances, but then there was a change of policy and it was off to that storage alcove. She didn't particularly like it either and understood my discomfort.

The Cat Scan didn't take long and it is not as intimidating as an MRI, since the machine is more open and wider. You don't feel like you have been placed in a tomb. By this time, I had racked up 4 MRIs, 4 Cat Scans and several Ultrasounds over a month and a half.

Back in my room I began to contemplate the possibility I would never get out of the place or worse, be carted off to a Rehabilitation Home. I still had no means of communication and didn't know if anyone knew where I was. There was a phone in the room, I discovered, but it was clear over on the far side, much out of my reach.

Things were improving, relatively speaking. For one, the nurses decided I could try using a commode chair rather than a bedpan. All I had to do was prove I could stand up and walk a few feet to the chair.
They had wrestled it out of the bathroom, after a brief struggle because it seemed somehow entangled with the shower stall. They placed it up against the curtain that separated my present domain from the hallway.  The chair sat about 6 feet from my bed.

Although, they offered to help, I did manage to sit on the side of my bed and then plop my feet to the floor and stand. Of course, this set off the alarm bells like it was New Year's Eve. They turned off the alarm and followed me with the IV pole over to the commode, when I parted the gown and sat.  They handed me the call button and said ring when I was done.

It was loose and watery, but it did not go on forever as before and soon I called them back. They cleaned me up , changed the pads on the bed and once again I was absconded in my prison until the next call of nature.

A nurse told me my daughter had called, so now the home front had some information and knew where I was. The only problem was they told my daughter I was septic and she asked my wife if I was going to die. Actually, I learned later, I had come very close to dying.

When the doctor had been in during the morning he said he was putting me on a clear diet. Clear of flavor, I guess. I received a tray contains milk, hot tea, orange juice and this covered dish, which when revealed contained some sort of hot white substance. I took a spoonful and it was like paste. I didn't eat more. I think it was Cream of Wheat. It came again in a later meal and was a bit closer to edible after I spread some sugar over it. I kept getting drinkable things, apple juice, milk, even some coffee along with chocolate pudding, which has never been a favorite.

I think they are trying to starve me.


  1. Hey Lar, use a larger font for your posts. This font is almost as tiny as what's on the back of prescription bottles. Remember, there are a lot of us old folk reading your very interesting blog posts.

  2. Wow Larry, the lengths you go to for subject matter for your blog posts (smile). Seriously though, I've been on those gurneys rolled off to the side and parked. Sort of metaphoric isn't it? We're old now thus we're rolled off to the side and seemingly forgotten about. I really sympathize with you on your reduced bathroom use. Man oh man. But I guess you get used to it. I know I did with all my "exposure" with kidney stones and prostate cancer. Remember I also had the two sphincteromities. TWO! My modesty is gone.
    Another great post Lar. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Glad you didn't go to 'the other side' yet!

    Hope you're up and about before too long.