|Posted on June 17, 2012 at 7:20 AM|
And life goes on....(Pt 2)
Hello again. Right now it's Father''s Day, 723 am, and I'm taking a shot at finishing your update. I'm in a good mood, the arm feels ok, not aching too much so I figured before I do something to make it hurt more, I'd get a few words in. So, here we go....
When I left off, I had just called the ambulance. It arrived in good time, took me away to the old Hotel Dieu site. (The paramedics were great. 2 women who were extremely considerate. I'm going to try to find out who they were.)
I remember being in the ambulance, arriving at the hospital, but not much else in the beginning. There was the usual; clothing removal, tag affixed to my wrist, but what confused me the most was how fast everything happened.
I had worked in this very hospital both as a volunteer and as a clerical assistant on job placement, plus my mom had stayed here a couple of times, so this place and the protocol was familar to myself. To receive such quick care, such attention meant only one thing; I was messed up bad. And I was right.
I remember one asshole doctor, who had come over to tell me they would be taking me to xray very soon. I was crying. My entire arm and shoulder was aching so bad, it felt like someone was literally pulling it off my body. And this young, tall dark doctor turns his back on me, walks a few feet to where 3 nurses are standing there, and says "Stoic, isn't she?" and rolls his eyes. They laugh. "WTF!" I think. "They haven't even taken xrays, they don't know what's wrong and this jerk is mocking me?"...and just for the record, no they don't give you pain killers until they know what's wrong.
I was taken for xrays which was very hard. Seems for a shoulder xray you don't lie down, you sit up with your back to a screen. The problem was shoving myself back far enough on the table. I couldn't use my dominant arm to help myself, and every move sent spasms up that arm. (Spasms=a sudden, abnormal, involuntary muscular contraction, consisting of a continued muscular contraction--and when these muscles are surrounding broken bones...THAT'S WHEN THE PAIN GOES FROM ACHE TO SHARP STABBING JOLTS!) The tech for xray was marvellous. She actually apologized to me because I wasn't back far enough.What a dear!
Ok, xrays done, I'm back in the hallway. I have no idea how much time has passed. I remember a nice man giving me ice packs; that helped. I remember the day passing. I remember someone telling me I was being admitted and that Dr. Corrigan would be down to talk to me. (Who the hell is Dr. Corrigan?) And I remember being told I was going to get a CT scan. Now it was certain; I had messed up the entire upper portion of my right side of my body pretty damned bad.
A friend and a customer, Terry, was in the hospital working. She saw me, and turns out she was the one to take me for my CT. Her companionship at that time was so damned appreciated. The only person I would have called was my sis Anne. The hospital did try calling her, but all I had at the time was her home number and she was at work.
Terry took me for my CT and the tech there was fabulous too! My God, did all the people hidden away have these terrific attitudes? Get them to the front of the lines! The space to fit into the CT scanning machine isn't exactly small, but she was so concerned about my shoulder just barely touching it, she positioned my upper body very carefully; left arm over my head, and she even rolled a towel for under my shoulder. (you'll love the next part; I want you all to try it!) It was the absolute most comfortable I had been since before the accident. I asked her if I could keep that towel right there and she said of course. I told her she was the one who made me the most comfortable since I had been there, and she replied with "It's my job. I know you're in pain and I'll do whatever I can to help." and you know me, I said "So what's with the few assholes up there in the ER then?" or something like that. She laughed.
(About that towel.) During this time I had discovered something. I want you to lay down on your back. Feel your shoulders touch down, but don't force them. That is actually a movement. Your shoulders are pulled down by gravity. The muscles relax, usually, and the ball joint at the shoulder allows the arm to fall down into laying down position. It's a very small movement, but when everything in dislocated and broken...IT FUCKING HURTS! And because of the movement, more spasms of the surrounding muscles occur. So when I say I was grateful for such a considerate person, I~MEAN~IT!
Back to the hallway to wait for whatever. A short time later, I meet Dr. Corrigan. He's not exactly smiling, and he looks concerned. He tells me what's wrong with my shoulder and arm, and I hear everything. He tells me I need surgery and that I will be admitted. I won't be going home for days. I think he patted my leg and told me to try to rest. The surgery will be soon. (Ok I think. Something else to be terrfied of. The only surgery I've had has been carpal tunnel and wisdom tooth, and neither were a pleasant experience.) He asks me if I have any questions and the only thing on my mind seems infantile, but important, so I blurt out "Will I be totally unconscious for the surgery? Cause I don't want any stupid local!" "Of course you're going to be out. I wouldn't attempt this any other way." God the relief! You hear so much about how hospitals are encouraged to use local instead of general anesthetic. I swear, I had no idea of what all was involved, so my thoughts immediately went to the worst possible scenario.
Some time passes; I have no idea if it was seconds, minutes, hours...I didn't doze off, no matter how much they tried to relax me, but by this time Dr. Corrigan had ordered pain meds, so that did help. And no, I didn't get buzzed, high, or woozy. The nurse hooks me up, gives me a shot via the iv lead in my left hand, and tells me to stay on the gurney. (While waiting I had gone to the bathroom, little walks, etc. They finally had to tell me to stop it and stay put. LOL now THAT sounds like me!)
I'm lying there, my eyes open and I see Dr. Corrigan on the phone at the ER desk. I can hear his voice but can't make out what he's saying. Then his voice raises. I'll always remember that moment. "No, he's not next. Barbra Tessier is. We HAVE to get her in there now!" O-M-F-G!
Folks, you want to talk fear! Holy crap, shit, fuck, whatever expletive you want to use when you feel your blood run cold, your heart rate shoots up, insert here.
Now I'm being rolled to surgery and a small woman with a kind face meets us in the hallway. It's Dr. Chen, the anesthesiologist. She explains what she will be doing, asks a couple of questions about my last meal, tells me not to worry. I ask her "I'll be completely out?" She smiles and says "Yes. I'll make sure of it." Once again I'm so relieved. She's nice and doesn't make fun of me. The nurse pushing me asks if she can take my glasses now. I say ok, and she tells me if I want they can leave them on until I'm out. I say no it's okay to take them now, not like I'm really going to need them in the next few minutes anyways. She takes them off my face and tells me they'll be nearby when I wake up. I didn't even notice I had been crying again.
They wheel me into the OR, push my gurney next to the table, and with some help, the transfer my body onto the table. In the midst of doing this, I lift my head and see something shining; REALLY shining. It's the instruments the doctor will be using, all lined up, ready and waiting. I address the nurse. "Ma'am?" "Yes?" she says. "I'm glad you took my glasses before we got here, cause I don't think I want to see what I'm looking at." And that was it. I don't know if my blood pressure skyrocketed or what, I just know at that second they put me out. And I'm very glad they did.
And for your information, it is not just like falling asleep. When you fall asleep, there's a short period of time in which you are semi-awake. When general anesthesia is used, you are awake and the next second you are asleep. That's it.
Ok arm's aching like a bastard, need to do excercises to loosen up and then take care of that aching, so best to get off now. Took almost two hours to type so little. I have my left hand still. It's slow and frustrating, but at least this is something to do. DAYTIME TV SUCKS BIG TIME, EVEN ON THE WEEKENDS!
I plan to type more in next day or so. Watch for it!
Thought of the day; As adults, there are always things we will regret doing. Things that will leave us shaking our heads in bemusement, asking "What the hell was I thinking?" For myself, I sit here wondering.....
WTF did I ever see in daytime soaps? Holy crap! Was I high? Did someone have a gun to my head?Talk about your cry for help!! Oh well, chalk it up to being young and foolish.....
(No offense is or ever was intended for soap lovers. If you're offended by my opinions, tough! I'm entitled. Besides what did you expect? I'm a realist, and that includes tv shows. If that's not good enough for you, then please, feel free to bite me on my cellulite riddled ass; it's cheaper than liposuction. )