Sunday, May 20, 2012

30- Anaerobic Vulnerability

Autumn 2011

Although I am under constant surveillance, and have some of the best medical care available, I am still not overly concerned with my health.  That is, my condition is exponentially worse than I fear it is.  I have not seen a mirror since I entered the hospital, and I still do not care to.  The longer I can go without catching a glimpse of myself, the better I believe I will hold up mentally.

Now that the detox has a complete grip on my psyche, I doubt that my reflection would be of any use at all.  The fine line between reality and fiction is blurred.  With that, if I were to know all of the ins and outs of my well-being , the truth could very well be stranger than the fiction.

I have just given up on my low sodium lunch of chicken broth, and Jell-o.  My appetite is only worsening, and my limited diet is not helping the matter. Of course, my physical therapist is here.  At least, she is beginning to let me eat before-hand, now.  However, I am guessing that I burn more calories guiding my spoon to my mouth than I am taking in.  More often than not, someone shovels the tasteless nourishment into my mouth.

As much as I don't want to participate in the exercise of  relearning to walk, I know that I have to put in some serious effort if I want to make any progress at all.  Just like before, just getting myself ready for the walker is a chore in itself.

"Slide your bottom this way, Mr. Donnie."
"Oh!  Watch those IV's, honey."
"Keep comin'.  I've got you."
"There you go Mr. Donnie. Now, stand up tall!"

I feel all of the eyes from the staff as I struggle down the hall, again.  I am a little more experienced with the aluminum trekker, so I am not blowing tires on the base boards this time.  Holding myself up is even more difficult this time around because the fluid in my abdomen has returned to full capacity.  I hardly make it twenty feet before I am desperately gasping for oxygen.  Any muscle that I have kept is almost nonexistent, now.  I have to turn back before I collapse.

When my nurses help me back to my bed, they immediately check my vitals.  My blood pressure is dangerously high, and my pulse is a rapid 112 beats per minute.  The small clip on my middle finger is shaking due to my rapid pulse, coupled with my alcoholic shakes.  The red digital numbers emit the number ninety two.  I still don't know how this contraption works, but the number means I am only absorbing 92 percent of the oxygen in the room.

I lean back on my folding hospital bed, and I am still gasping for air.  The suffocating feeling is multiplied when my misplaced fluid moves to empty spaces.  Water directs where my digestive organs position themselves in my abdomen.  I have never felt pain like this.  Well, except for the last time I was full a few days ago.

Several minutes go by, and my breathing shows no improvement.  I am beginning to feel a deluge of anxiety.  This only tightens my chest more, and in retroactive fashion, my tension increases.  I am looking at my head nurse for comfort when I see a thought come to her.

"Sit him up.  Sit him up," she exclaims.  "The fluid is pressing against his diaphragm."

My caregivers immediately lift me to an upright position.  When the liquid pain shifts, I think of what a pregnant woman must feel like when she knows something is terribly wrong.  The motors whir my hospital bed back into position while the head nurse dials her phone.  It is past time for my abdomen to be drained.  I look forward to the relief of pressure, but the procedure is not a pleasant one.

I will be taken back to the bowels of the frigid hospital to take a look at the evil faces in the ultrasound pictures, once more.  Staying alive is beyond physically and mentally draining.  I just have to keep telling myself to take one day at time.

After waiting for what seems like hours, I am literally begging for water.  The nurses will not allow me a drop.  My liver will not absorb any of the H2O, and my condition would only worsen.  I have to wait until after the procedure.

My mind is reaching out for some kind of relief.  I have to deal with my self-inflicted illness, or give up.  To give up is to die.

I can handle the long, hot needle in my breadbasket once more.

About These Stories


  1. donnie i so enjoy reading your blog, we lov ya aunt ruby