Saturday, October 25, 2014

Above N' Beyond

Good to be home. So WTH happened? Well, this is kinda embarassing but here goes:

I was sprain some waterproof spray on my cowboy boots, this bein' the rainy season n' all. Everything was join' great 'til the heater clicked on.
See, I have one of those floor heaters that blow hot air out.

Now, I thought I was bein' careful. I read the warning label on the spray can. No sweat.
But the heater had other ideas, no doubt inspired by Murphy, of Murphy's Law fame.
The air blew as I was sprain' and as I felt the spray hit my face I automatically closed my eyes, which is a good thing cuz this stuff can really do a number on eyeballs.

However, I forgot to stop breathing' or wasn't fast enough and I got a good whiff.
Nothin' happened. Or so I thought.

Two hours later, Murphy's Law went into effect and I started coughing' so much I could barely catch my breath.
This wasn't like any cough I ever had. this went on for a few minutes and then stopped. But I could tell by trying' that I couldn't take a normal or deep breath without setting the coughing' fits.

So I breathed more shallowy. "Okay, no problem. This will heal on it's own, right?"
I got no answer. I felt a foreboding. I inhaled this stuff over two hours ago. Was it too late to go to the ER?
But like a fool I weathered it out.

Throughout the night I would have these coughing' fits then they would go away.
More foreboding filled my mind.

"okaaay...I'll get some sleep and hopefully, this will be gone by morning'."

0500, I awoke to the most violenty coughing' fit yet. It just wouldn't stop and I felt myself getting' weaker by the second. It felt like I was gonna die.

"Dammit! I'm a fool!" I thought, cuz I sure couldn't speak very well.
So I called 911 and managed, after awhile and with extreme focus to tell the 911 guy the who, where, what stuff.

Then I waited, and tried to remain calm...and prayed.
19 minutes later the ambulance arrived and my coughing' fit subsided.
"Oh great, now these guys will think I'm a hypochondriac or a nut."

I met the EMT's on my porch so the dogs couldn't run out and explained to them what happened.
One EMT guy advised me to go to the ER to make sure I was okay, but it was up to me if I wanted to stay home.
I didn't hafta think about it, I chose the ER.

I never rode in an ambulance so it was kinda cool. Although I didn't like vein' strapped down, but I let it slide.
When I got to the ER I explained again what had happened and I had brought the can so the ER docs would have more to work with.

They gave me a nebulizer treatment and steroids and I felt a lot better. About 80% better.
When my blood test came back it indicated I had an infection, perhaps unrelated to the spray. So they gave me some heavy duty antibiotics just to make sure.

Around 1130 a VA ambulance arrived and I was transferred to the Seattle VA. I didn't wanna go there but I didn't want more to pay for everything, so off I went.
it's really weird to see everything from the back of an ambulance.
Both the lady EMTS were really nice kids, around the age of my daughters.

So we got to Seattle VA and I was taken to the second floor, put into a room, where they tok more blood.
I was getting' a bit down when three beautiful lady doctors arrived to inform me they would be my doctors.
They were all very nice and humorous ladies.
I immediately felt remarkably better about the Seattle VA.

When the blood tests came back one of the beautiful, lady docs arrived to tell me my white cell count had gone down. Her theory was my white blood cells had reacted to my lungs vein' irritated by the spray, but to be sure she ordered another blood test the following morning'.
My x-ray had shown my lungs were clear and had no permanent damage.

Later that evenin'beautiful Doc 2 arrived to check on me, and to tell me she concurred with beautiful Doc 1 about my diagnosis.

Later still my nurse, Joe, asked me a bunch of questions they are required to ask. Am I suicidal? No.
Am I homicidal? Not yet.
How much do I drink? Good thing Skully ain't here, I thought.
Do i get depressed? "Aye, I get depressed sometimes. I was depressed when my wife passed away, but I'm okay now," I replied.

Joe offered a heartfelt condolence (I could tell) and I thanked him.
He asked me more questions, but to my relief he didn't ask if I had any guns.

Still later on I got a new nurse as the shift changed.
She was a very nice lady, looked to be Phillipino.
"I heard about your wife's passing and I'm very sorry," she said.

"Thank you, I replied, taken aback somewhat that Joe spilled the bean, but that didn't bother me.

She said a book helped her when she lost her husband and thought it could help me if I was interested.
She also had searched online for an excerpt from the book and printed it out for me to read.
I felt touched by her kindness and fought away some tears that were trying' to make a break for it. But a few escaped.

"Thank you," I managed to say.

"I hope this will help you," she replied, and left the room.

The next mornin' a different Beautiful Doc 3 arrived to tell me the good news. The third blood test showed that my white blood cells were back to normal. They were probably bummed out that there was nothin' to fight and whined about another drill.
I could go home, with the stern instruction from beautiful Doc 3 to go to the ER immediately if the coughing' resumed, or if I have any other symptoms, like coughing' up blood or pain in my lungs.

A bit later Beautiful Docs 1 and 2 arrived to wish me farewell, and to see if I had any questions. I thanked them for helping' me get better.
They also expressed their condolences at Patti's passing.
I thanked them again.

The EMT's, Docs, Nurses, janitor, everyone I met at Providence and the Seattle VA went above n' beyond their normal duties and I can't praise them enough for helping' me out. They were all great kids, close or right on to my daughter's ages.
They give me a renewed hope that their generation just might turn out to be good. Regardless, they were good.

That goes for you guys too!
Thank you for your prayers and kind words. I don't feel alone any longer and I feel good known' I can call y'all friends, brothers and sisters.
You truly have gone above n' beyond to help me, and I can't thank you enough (if I tried you might think I'm stalking you).

And a big thank you to Phil, my Guardian Angel! He's really rackin' up the OT, and I hope he get's a big reward when it's my time to go.
The Angelic Medal of Honor. Phil deserves it. He must be a special forces Guardian Angel because I can't imagine how hard it would be to be my Guardian Angel.

And thank you Lord Father for hearing our prayers and answering them. I feel humbled, honored, and most of all...Loved.


John Lien said...

I better not miss a day of prayers, for your sake at the very least. Stay safe. You know, Sno Seal and a heat gun or a blow dryer works great. Just greased my boots up earlier this week. Gob it on, melt it in. No aerosols.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Um, thanks John, I think. What are you tryin' to say? :)
BTW, why John Denver? Because Patti liked his music.
I reckon this song and so bad. :)

julie said...

Glad to hear you're alright! And it's nice to know the Seattle VA is treating you so well. My stepdad spent a lot of time there, in the 90s and early '00s, whenever he was having trouble with his MS.

Leslie Godwin said...

Ben, I'm so relieved you are home and the infection was just a temporary scare. Do you have a neighbor who takes care of your dogs when you are partying with the cute doctors, by the way?

Thanks for taking the time to update us! Glad you got the Special Forces Guardian Angel! I hope Tristan has one of those ;)

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Hi Julie,
I wasn't expecting such a high level of professionalism and kindness at the largest VA in the northwest.
The only part of the stay I didn't like is the food, but I can't say I ever liked any other hospital food either.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Hi Leslie,
Aye, the mom of the owners, and neighbors I rent from likes dogs and she watched them for me while I was getting my gallbladder out and during the lung scare.

Sadly, her husband passed away last year in his sleep.
She's a very kind soul and the dogs like her.

I believe that Tristan needs a mighty tough Guardian Angel. He looks fearless in the photos you and Bob have shared. :)

mushroom said...

It's hard to understand why things keep piling on. I know from your perspective all those wonderful people are a blessing to you. I know you were a blessing to them as well. We don't know all that is going on.

Still, as much fun as the ambulance rides are, we'd rather you didn't need one. I'm with John, just, please be careful if you use the heat gun. :)

Rogelio Bueno said...

Dang it, now my eyes are leaking.

Joan of Argghh! said...

Aw, Ben. Who couldn't love you? So glad that your doctors and nurses agree with the rest of us!

Keeping you in our prayers!

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Hi Mushroom,
Aye, we can never no all the Things Goin' On (great song by Skynyrd, btw) and frankly, most the time I wouldn't wanna know.
Be pretty boring if we knew everything, I reckon.

"Yeah, on Dec. 7th My truck is gonna break down so I can't make it."
Well, I reckon it would be helpful for some things, but not overall.
I like mystery n' revelation which ain't opposed to the other, jest different.

Hmm...I don't have a heat gun so no worries. :)
I would like to get a chainsaw, however. Patti always thought that would be a bad idea. I can't imagine why.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Hola, Rogelio,

When my eyes are leakin' I like to watch The Outlaw Josey Wales. Just to clear my sinuses.

Incidently, I wasn't tryin' to be sappy (but you guys know that).
Still, gettin' in touch with my emotions more than evah makes me feel funny and kinda weird sometimes.
In a good Way of course.
Reckon I'll get used to it eventually, right?


USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Thank you for your prayers, Joan!

Well, I know a few people who don't love me but that's okay. Cuz they can all go to...the bottom of my prayer list.
That'll show 'em. :)

mushroom said...

Ben, I want to thank you for Identification. I was so thrilled when I opened the package. I'm back from the post office and still haven't gotten the grin off my face.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

You are most welcome, Bro!
Just a token of my gratitude to you, Mushroom. :)