The reader should know that I remember very little of this month in the hospital. Only the high points; the shotgun, the rock band, the one armed man, the poopy bed. Further clarification follows. Keep in mind, please, that my brain was in the process of rearranging itself.
Record of my one-month hospital stay:
Day 1- Happily cleaning closets, find my self involuntarily on all fours, crawled to phone, called friend.
Emergency room, lumbar puncture, commonly referred to as spinal tap. (Oh, you haven’t lived until you’ve had one of these, worth a read, google “spinal tap”.)
Upon examination of my spinal fluid, blood was discovered. He lowers his voice, and across my prone body, he whispers to another doctor, “This is traumatic.” Well, DUH!
Followed closely by being wheeled into a torture chamber cleverly disguised as an operating room where men in white coats relish sticking a tube up one’s groin, past various organs, etc, ending up in one’s brain and then proceeding to pull the trigger of a 10-gauge shotgun, telling you they are photographing your brain…Ha! Good con! (Which sicko doc got that job?) They shrewdly entitle the procedure “cerebral angiography”, (also worth a read). Incidentally, I do NOT remember giving them permission to do this.
Next, I am immediately transported to ICU and my neurologist, Dr. Lisle, informs me, “We didn’t find anything. Your aneurism has either bled itself out or sealed itself off”, and then he graciously added, “You’re lucky. Occasionally in brain surgery one can lose the use of an arm or a leg.” I do remember that. Him telling me I was “lucky”. Some people have a sick way of describing “lucky”. Whatever.
Day 2-3-Nothing there really, but do vaguely remember icepacks on my head.
Day 4- moved from ICU to a smoking room
Day 5-feeling a tad bit more normal
Day 6-I felt great! Whew! Close call! I had dodged the bullet! Friends came to visit and we hooted and hollered. I begged for a cigarette and some kind soul presented me with one and I had just lit it as my neurologist walked into my hospital room. “If you were my wife, I wouldn’t let you to do that”. Excuse me? You wouldn’t let me do that? I have never been so glad I wasn’t married to Dr. Lisle.
Day 7- Home! Headache, tired, sorta hungry. My daughter, Lissa, brought me a sandwich and iced tea. Poured ice tea down my front as I mumbled, “Thank you.” Daughter panics, yells to Ted. Ted calls my dad, they load me into a car and I am off… to where? Don’t recall exactly, but common sense tells me it was a hospital.
Day 8-11 Sometime during this period, after I had been released from ICU, Ted arranged with the hospital to move his office, including his secretary to the adjoining room. I know. What a shit I am.
Day 12- I am aware there are people in my room. Relatives. My sister says quietly, “Do you think she can hear us?” Yes, of course I can hear you. I can’t talk and my right side is paralyzed, but I can hear you, go ahead, I dare you, say something what you really think about me… but not just yet. I am currently in a really, really cool place. Peace like I’ve never known. Floating…hey, what’s that bright, glowing, welcoming light up ahead?
Day 16-Totally shamed myself by involuntary expulsion of excrement in my bed. I know. Humiliating. The good news is that is was a large, very well formed S shape, Dr. Oz would be proud. Nurse assumed benevolent temperament as she cleaned it up. Strange, I never saw that nurse again.
Day 19- PT Physical Therapy (euphemism for torture chamber)…hated it. They wanted me to learn to walk again. Shit. Who needs to walk when they can be pushed around in a wheelchair? However, a highlight: a man with no arm and a pack of Marlboros in his shirt pocket entered the PT room. Now, he is what I call lucky. (I am feeling some camaraderie with the doctor who pulled the trigger on the 10-gauge shotgun…sick mind)
Day 20- Flooding on the hospital floor, rolled to another floor, another room. A most unique room! In addition to the standard issue $20 box of Kleenex, there in the uppermost right hand corner, was a teeny, tiny miniaturized rock band in all it’s frenzied, hyperactive glory performing their number one hit single of 1985 for me. Mötley Crüe! I didn’t even know I liked hard rock. I was honored. It also made me second-guess my aversion to all recreational drugs. I think I could get into this.
Day 21-29…Nada, drawing a blank, but more than likely, more of the detestable PT.
Day 30- Bingo. Ted and my mother pack up oodles of flowers and oh yes, me. And we head home. But, bipped them. They just think they are taking Susie home, what they are transporting is in actuality an entirely different being. This one has absolutely no desire for a cigarette, (what happened between Day 19 and Day 30?), likes hard rock and is not averse to sampling recreational drugs.