Tuesday, January 4, 2011
My Chapter Ten Part 3
Meanwhile somewhere in the real world, I was lying in the ICU of Mercy Hospital suffering from massive brain seizures brought on by the lack of oxygen while my lung was collapsed. The head of neurology was my doctor and could not, even after every test imaginable, diagnose my case. Eric was told when and if I came out THIS coma there was no telling what level of brain function I would have. I might be wake up with the mind of a two year old, I could regain consciousness as I was or anywhere in between.
From my perspective I awoke slowly and in bits in and pieces. One day it seemed as though I could see the wallpaper in my room. The pattern was very intricate and I began following it with my eyes. Slowly and steadily as I traced the blue-green lines the walls seemed to come alive; pulsating and moving as if they were breathing and the wallpaper changed color from seam to seam. Then I would drift back into my bizarre dream world now slowly changing from the Anne Rice type theme to include characters and places from the hospital. Never can I remember having stranger dreams then when I was hospitalized those two consecutive summers. It’s funny, the comas have left me with large holes in my memory but I remember every single solitary dream, delusion, and hallucination from those illnesses.
The day I did arise from the depths of my fantasy world Eric was sitting beside my bed holding my curled hand. I don’t remember that day. He simply said, “It’s time to wake up now, honey.” He told me I opened eyes and smiled at him.. Dale was there too that day and Eric told me to blow him a kiss and I did. Eric was so happy he hugged me tight and kissed my face. He began rapidly asking me questions about how I was doing and if I needed anything. I just kept smiling away and blowing kisses. Dale stayed with me while Eric went to find the nurse so she could page the doctor. After a thorough exam the doctor explained again that there was no way of knowing if I’d stay like I was or progress with time, the right about of stimulation, or how much damage was initially done. My Eric and dear friend Dale had already set up camp taking turns staying overnight at the hospital just like the last time I was incarcerated.
The next day when Eric arrived to see me he was surprised to me sitting up with the ventilator removed. Rushing to my side he tossed his things on a chair waking Dale who had been napping on the air mattress beside my bed. Eric tried to speak to me but I just smiled and blew him kisses. So he asked Dale what was going on and why I had been extubated. Dale is a good friend but isn’t very bright and he told Eric he should get the nurse to explain. After finding someone to elaborate on the situation, Eric tells me the respiratory therapist was under the impression that this was my baseline brain function. And since my breathing stats were good there was no need to keep me on the ventilator any longer. Eric explained to therapist, nurses, and doctor that no, this was NOT my norm. I talked, used a computer, and painted. That night in my sleep I aspirated got pneumonia ended with that damn tube down my throat again! (to be continued)