There was only one other time I thought I might die. It was college. My third year. My first year at MTSU. I smoked some pot with a friend. It was laced with one of two drugs. If not both. But my heart rate went ape shit and I wasn’t feeling 100%, needless to say. Weird thoughts go through your mind when you think there’s a chance you might die. Luckily nothing really happened and it just wore off by morning. And then I am sure I walked it off at a Waffle House.
So last night around 8pm we popped in a movie. It was called Monster. It was actually pretty good. But not that good. Some of the dialog early on was really bad. Anyways…
Ok, let’s go back to the weekend. There were kids everywhere and of course some children gravitate towards me. Perhaps it’s the 13 year old mentality I have sometimes. Anyways… Then come Tuesday. My nose is dripping clear snot all day. Wednesday I am pretty much symptom free except for just general fatigue. Ok…
Back to the movie last night. After the movie I become more wheezy & short of breath than earlier in the day. I’d get up to go get a tissue in the bathroom and I’d be sitting on the toilet seat catching my breath. Something wasn’t quite right. So I took some ‘tussin and hoped that my dry and unproductive coughs would work their way out. Then I hit the sack. But at 2pm I got up because I couldn’t sleep and the wheezing was unbearable. I went down stairs and rested on a chair I brought in to the kitchen before I could even build up the engergy to stand up to boil water and drink some OJ. I thought the OJ would bring out some of the phlegm. It didn’t and at about 2.30am Emily and I decided she would drive me to the ER at the Adventist Takoma Park Hospital that was less just down the street. It was the same hospital Emily went to when she tore open her knee on that fateful biking trip. Since we had a good experience there in the ER that time, I felt comfortable going there again, this time for me.
We signed in and dealt with all the paper work, while I was barely able to utter my full name with out wavering or loosing breath. There weren’t that many people in there which was a good sign. I didn’t even have enough time to sit down to catch my breath again when I was called. The nurse took my vitals and temperature. Temp was ok, heart rate was pretty fast. 130-137 when I first sat down. She looked alarmed, but not freaked out. Because of my young age.
So after that she takes me back to the ER and I tell them my symptoms and they lay me on the bed. No longer than 1 second later there are 5 doctors over me. Two doctors putting the IV in my arm and the other getting the sensors on my chest for the EKG. Talk about freaking a dude out. At this point I was pretty convinced it was more serious that it was. But they were cracking jokes and keeping it light hearted, which actually really helped me and kept my mind off the matter at hand. I do appreciate that. I guess they do know a bit more about this sort of thing and if it was that serious they would not have been cracking jokes like that…
Once the doctor missed the vein in my hand and found the river nile vein in my arm, the IV was in place. I thought that was funny as nurses love my arms as my veins are usually bulging. He could not see the vein though because of the way I put the hospital gown on and from all the EKG wires. When he found it he made a funny joke. Anyways, I felt the cool of the drip. That definitely was the first thing that calmed me. I am not sure why. Probably from all the TV I’ve seen. There is just something really good about those IVs… Anyways. And I believe that was my first IV.
In the meantime, all the doctors are cracking jokes about how quiet it was except for a few typical UMD students who got too drunk. This one dude was getting a catheter and I am sure it wasn’t pleasant, but you drink yourself to death, you should pay the price. Anyways, he got fed up and just got up and took his gown off and started peeing. Security was there in a moments notice. I just got all paranoid he was gonna come over all Godzilla style and rip out my IV. That IV really made me nervous.
So after a few minutes another doctor comes by with an inhaler hooked up to the wall. It’s basically like an automatic inhaler. This inhaler totally opened my lungs up. I could feel the bits of phlegm loosen up almost immediately. It was kinda creepy. And in just minutes I could feel the snot starting to flow to my nose. It was kind of amazing. I could breathe again.
Then it was off to the X-Ray room. They wanted to x-ray my chest to see if I had Pneumonia. The girl who wheeled me back looked really familiar. I still can’t place her, but I think we took a class together at Montgomery College years ago. Or not. She was cute though. Something about girls and cameras (and IVs). Luckily the x-rays came back ok. In fact my blood work came back ok as well. There were no blood clots in my lungs. Oh and after she took the pictures and got me settled again, I asked her if the x-rays looked ok and she made some joke I can’t remember that she was not a doctor, just an x-ray technician. I wish I could have remembered that…
So, they basically determined I had some sort of Bronchitis infection set on from the domino effect of my cold and allergies earlier in the week. The mystery was my heart rate though. They tried getting me up to stand while still being monitored, but my rate jumped up to 130 again. So they put me on on the 3rd IV drip and gave me another hour to rest. I think that baby did the job as after that, I was much more regulated in the heart department. And by 8am I was home and in bed breathing like a champ.
So basically for the next 5 days it’s doctor’s orders to chill the fuck out. No work. No drums. Little activity. Tons of “clear” fluids and rest. They put me on steroids to avoid buildup in the lungs and gave me an inhaler for anytime I get bad wheezing.
So I am fine, just a little freaked out. But I think this put my life in to a little more perspective. But not too much perspective, because that would be bad.
It would have been nice to get copies of my chest x-rays. I might see about getting those x-rays next week.