Thursday, September 06, 2007
The Journey - R's version
R mentioned that he wanted to work on his version of The Journey. I'm gonna post what he has so far. He asked me to pass along his continued gratitude for your love and support. He's read all your comments from the last couple months and we are both so comforted by them. I'll apologize for any grammatical issues, I can't read it again just yet.

First and foremost, I would not be here without Amy’s love and support. I could not care for myself at all the first month I was home, and Amy has done everything for me. I have seen what undying love really is. I am eternally grateful. I am a witness. God has more plans for me. Thank you also to all the folks who caused hospital traffic, who sent the funny as hell cards, (the ‘FAKER’ card was great!), all the phone calls and visits were really kind. I realize that people have busy lives, and to take time out for me was really nice. Thank you very much. It means the world to me for people to actually take time out to visit or call. The best thing one can do is to give someone a piece of your time. It is priceless. Before I start spewing out fortune cookie blurbs, one more time, Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Moving up to a room.

I do remember a lot from that day, believe it or not. From 1pm Thursday to 1am Friday I know nothing. From 1am on, I remember a lot. I do remember a white light. It was quiet. Peaceful. No voices, or faces. Just a white bright light. Then I heard someone calling my name. One of the nurses, Tara, had woke me up. They were very sweet. Every time they tried to talk to me, they would hold my hand. That was very comforting. I couldn't talk yet because the vent tube was still down my throat. I was half in half out of it. Some from the sleepiness, a lot from the anesthesia. I did feel a lot of the pain. A lot. One of the first things the nurses did was wipe me down. I guess I had iodine all over. All up in my business. It didn't click right away, but it was a bit awkward. It did feel nice. But then they had to wipe down all my cracks and crevices . Awk-ward! I couldn't roll over so they had other folks come turn me on my side to get my back. I can still remember the nurses talking smack about co-workers while they were wiping me up. I don’t remember what was said, but at one point something funny was said and I started giggling (moving my shoulders up and down.) The other male in the room asked if I could hear them, and I nodded. My eyesight was a little off at the time. I’m guessing because of the anesthesia, and were probably taped shut during the surgery. As the night went on, the nurses kept talking to me, asking me to move my toes and squeeze their hands. My toes could move fine, but I had problems squeezing. What I really wanted was the vent tube out of my throat. So the more I became awake, the more I wanted the tube out. It was kinda choking me. I also remembered that Amy was very concerned about getting me off the vent. The nurses asked me if I could lift my head. Couldn’t do it. They said that for the tubes to be taken out, I had to lift my head on my own. Every few minutes Tara would come by do other things (vitals, toes, head, shoulder, knees and toes) and ask me again to lift my head. No can do. “Keep tryin” Tara would say. My neck muscles were on vacation in the Philippines. As time went on, Tara would hold my hand, and ask me if I could lift my head. After the 99th try (who’s counting?) I eventually lifted my head what felt like 2 inches. Barely. “Good job” they said. Hoo- frickin- ray the tube is coming out! Tara said don’t swallow whatever comes out of your mouth. So they had to turn me after the tube exit. I’m like, ok no problem. I thought the tube was just long enough to go down my throat. Little did I know that the tube was as long as the day is bright. On three, they pulled the tube out. I felt the tube come from my stomach out my throat. They turned me on my side and I spit out whatever came out. Num num. Did not get any on me either. Ha ha! Took a deep breath, and the first thing I said was, ‘please call my wife and let her know I’m off the vent.’ It was 5:30am. Amy even said the nurses were really nice. Tara had talked to her earlier and said to call her anytime for updates. How cool is that?

After the shift change at 7am, Sandra was taking care of me. Sandra looked just like one of the gals who worked at the station (Mel) (Hi Mel!). She was super nice too. Sandra told me the chest tubes were the next thing to be pulled out of my ass (chest). These tubes were for drainage I was told. Maybe just in case a flash flood were to happen. Then they shoulda been called irrigation tubes. Anyways… Sandra told me the easiest way to remove these tubes was one motion, and quickly. Cool. I’ve never had tubes, so I trusted her judgement. She told me to exhale on three and she would pull them out. Once again, little did I know how long these tubes were. What felt like a long ass time was actually about two seconds. But that two seconds almost made me pass out. The close your eyes and wince then roll your eyes back to your head pass out. For real. The best way to describe the pain was a combination burning and cutting sensation. burcutt ? I was wide awake for a few seconds, then wanted to go to sleep in the same sentence. Good morning and Good night. This pain was the worst of my hospital stay. From then on, I compared all the needle pokes, stick to your skin like duct tape surgical tape pain to the chest tube removal pain, and there is no comparison. I almost forgot, Sandra took an I.V. out of the right side of my neck too. I’m ready for anything. Almost..

Next they wanted me to sit up in a chair. I can hardly move my neck, and now the chair? Of course two patient transporters came to help me. One at the legs, and the other up top. The first thing I told the one guy was that my breath was kickin like Jackie Chan. He said ‘that’s ok, I have an abscessed tooth’. Damn. Anyone got a tic tac up in here? Finally, sittin up. It was a little dizzy, but I’m halfway there anyways. It was about 10:30am. Our priest came and visited me in the recovery room. That was nice, and scary at the same time. Hey Father!! Hey father… whoa..(am I on the way out??) Then not a few minutes later, the resident chaplain came to visit too! Did someone forget to Cc me the e-mail?! It was nice to have both of the padres to come by while I was still in recovery. I was looking at the entrance to recovery and the doors opened, and there was Amy. With her hand over her mouth, she almost started crying. She began to walk faster and faster as she got closer. I waved with my left I.V. loaded hand. My parents were right behind her. It was like slow motion when I first saw Amy. Like the astronauts walk before takeoff. Only I was the one up in the clouds! I couldn’t talk much. Damn vent tubes. I was only allowed ice chips to eat. Those were some hella good ice chips. I hadn’t had anything to drink or eat since Wednesday night. It was Friday morning. Amy could not wait with me in recovery. We had to meet up in my room, #723. I dosed on and off for the next 5 hours. I was sore. My chest felt like a tank was on it, and all bruised up. My arms weren’t working very well either. By the time I got the green light for my room, it was 5:30pm. Thank goodness. I just wanted to rest. In a hospital? Yeah right.



Anonymous Grant said...

Awesome read, Roy. Glad you and Amy are doing well and that you're getting better every day.

Blogger Mrs. Chili said...

Roy, thanks for telling us the story from your perspective! I'm looking forward to the next installment because, you know, I like happy endings!



Anonymous Bat Man said...

Great read.

Anonymous Organic Mama said...

SO fabulous to know what it was like for you, the sights, the sounds and sensations. My whole household knows how well you are doing - both from Snob's and your perspectives - and reading your own take on it made your experience that much more real. Get completely better really soon!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Roy, you and Amy are saints for doing this. I could only imagine what this was like for you, and you have helped me to understand. I wish you continued healing. I'm really looking forward to having you back at work, but only in your own time.


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