Even after all I had been through, the thought of calling 9-1-1 scared me. Did I really need it?

I must have sat there in the kitchen for 10 minutes. Pick up the phone, dial 9-1-….. chicken out and hang up. Repeat a couple of times. I texted a friend and my parents “Very sick. Calling 911.” Finally I summoned my courage and dialed the third digit.

I had always thought that when someone called 9-1-1 that an operator was right there. Either I picked a bad day to call, or the reality was not what the TV makes it out to be. It must have rang 4-5 times before someone answered. I didn’t even hear what they said, either it was muffled or my hearing was going. I heard them stop talking and I gasped out (was that really my voice???) “I’m.. very.. sick. Need help…. passed out….”

The operator’s voice came into focus and I was able to confirm where I lived. They said help was on the way and told me to call back if anything changes. I hung up.

I was able to stumble to my room and grab my keys. By the time I got back to the kitchen I was able to see the ambulance and fire truck pulling up outside the house. I shuffled out the front door and locked it, then gingerly walked to the driveway before I collapsed/sat down, just in time to see the police cruiser pull up.

In total, I think it took 2 minutes from the time I hung up to when help arrived. Thumbs up for Lake County EMS. :)

The medical personnel were on me in a flash, taking blood pressure, pulse, respiration, etc. I think they were just viewing it initially as a bad case of food poisoning. Until I was able to gasp out “I… tried… to commit… suicide.. yesterday”. That got their attention very quickly. Before I knew it, I had an oxygen mask on my face and I was being helped on to a gurney. They loaded me into the back of the ambulance, got my information, stuck an IV into my arm, and we were off.

I remember during the trip the head medic kept telling me to slow my breathing down. I was trying, but it was hard to breath. All my vomiting in the past 24 hours had inflamed my throat and put a rather large lump in it, so I was gulping oxygen. Every couple of minutes he would caution me that my respiration was climbing again, and if I didn’t calm down, he would have to put a tube down my throat. It got so bad, I was THIS close to telling him to hell with it and tube me.

We arrived at the hospital and I was unloaded and wheeled into the emergency room. The ambulance crew helped me transfer on to a hospital gurney, told me to take better care of myself, and then set out for their next call.

I was left there in the hallway of the emergency room for what felt like hours, but probably was only 30-45 minutes. I wondered about the wisdom of leaving an admitted suicide risk unattended, but figured I was being monitored in some way I was unaware of. All I could do was lay there and beat myself up mentally. I felt so stupid.

I guess the emergency room crew was waiting for a bay to open up, because after 30-45 minutes I was then wheeled into a curtained partition in the emergency room proper. They once again took my information, gave me a hospital bracelet, and stuck the electrodes on my chest, belly, and left ankle. I was hooked up to a machine to monitor my heart, a pulse-oxygen meter, and was given oxygen via my nose.

For those of you who have never been on oxygen before, let me tell you something. The kind at the hospital STINGS! It’s not what’s in it, but what isn’t. It’s totally dry, which in turn dries your nostrils out, which then stings. So I thus began my game of have the oxygen on until I couldn’t bear the feeling of pins being shoved into it, take off the oxygen and breathe normally. When the nurse would come in she would see I’m not on oxygen, and “help” me put it back on. Rinse, lather, repeat.

I will admit, with some misplaced pride, that I probably confused the emergency room. Caffeine poisoning is not something you run across everyday. I imagine they were consulting the oracle of Google on what exactly the proper treatment would be in my case. They couldn’t pump my stomach, because too much time had passed, it wasn’t in my stomach anymore.

In the mean time, they kept pumping IV fluids into me. They needed a urine sample, but my body was so out of whack that I had absolutely no feeling of needing to “go”. After two IV bags went in, they gave me an ultimatum. I needed to provide a urine sample very soon, or they would “cath” me.

So I was left in bed with a urinal and I kept whipping out my dick, willing it to squeeze out a couple of ounces of pee. Nothing. I briefly considered refusing and signing out AMA (Against Medical Advice) to avoid being cath’ed. =/

I thought I had gotten a reprieve when the radiologist came and wheeled me in for a chest x-ray. Chest x-ray for a poisoning? I figured the hospital was just being safe. Either that or they were padding the bill. But, it bought me some extra time to try to produce urine. My chest was x-rayed from the side and back, then I was helped back into bed and wheeled back to my curtained off “room”.

The nurse was waiting for me. She gave me one more chance to naturally produce a sample. Alas, my bladder did not want to coöperate. She decided to go in for it.

Now, I’m going to state it here and now. Having a strange woman handling your junk is scary enough. If that same woman wants to then shove a tube into it? Yeah, my heart was really racing at that point, and not just from the caffeine.

She tried to numb me up, I know she did, but there is absolutely no amount of topical Novocaine that will dull this feeling. The best way to describe it is to imagine a baseball bat being shoved into your pee-hole. You feel it the entire length up. It HURTS. It’s a whole new type of pain. There is no way to adequately describe it, you have to experience it. But I’m praying none of you will. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

Then I have to wait, enduring the pain while they tap my bladder and drain it. Ugh.

Finally they tapped the keg for as much as it would hold. I’d love to tell you all was roses then, but it hurts ALMOST as much coming out as going in.

Afterward the doctor came in and told me that I had a chemical pneumonia, and they were admitting me. This came as a surprise, as I was thinking they were just going to shuffle me off to the loony bin and be done with me. But I wasn’t one to argue, else they find another hole to shove a catheter up. =/

They were just waiting for shift change to bring me up to my room, because I required a nanny to watch me and make sure I didn’t hurt myself again.

Next Post: I’m either in Medlab, or in Hell. Either way, the decor needs work.