(and confirms to friends and family that he’s a moron)
Wow. Has it really been a month since I updated my blog? I guess there’s a reason for that, I really didn’t know what to say for this part. I’m past most of the excitement of trying to kill myself and becoming violently ill. I’ve called EMS, spent hours in the Emergency Department, been admitted to the hospital, and wheeled up to my room.
But, I have to write something, so we can get to the excitement of… well, you’ll see in an update or two.
(That’s called a teaser. hehehehe)
When we last left our idiot.. I mean “hero”, he was being watched by a sitter to make sure he didn’t try to harm himself again, and had drifted off to sleep thanks to modern pharmaceuticals.
I slept fitfully. Even with the sleeping pill, I still surfaced from time to time during the night. You must understand, a war was raging in my body. The caffeine wanted to keep me awake, the sleeping pill wanted to calm me. Add that to the fact that I was still processing my experience, and you’ll understand why I say I slept, but not peacefully.
I remember during the night that I was aware of my sitter watching Disney’s “The Santa Clause”. I must have incorporated that into my dream, because I was convinced that I should be in the red suit. I was also aware of being restrained. I’m guessing I must have rolled over and felt my IV tug on my arm or something, because my first conscious sensation during the night was of my hand balling into a fist, preparing to fight off whoever or whatever was restraining me.
Now, understand that this is very out of character for me. I’m not a fighter in the least. It was probably because of this very reason that I didn’t take a swing. My mind suddenly snapped into focus a half second before I threw the punch.
I sat bolt upright. This must have startled my sitter, because she asked if I was ok. I told her I thought so, just give me a minute.
You know how you sometimes wake up in a strange place and for a moment don’t know how you got there or why you are there? Imagine that going on for a minute or two. I had to clear my head, concentrate on taking even breaths, and work backward for my answers. “My name is Stephen. I’m in a hospital. I tried to kill myself. You are my sitter. You are here to help me.”
Yes, it was pretty rudimentary, but it’s what I needed at the time. I had scared myself with the punch I almost threw. I needed time to calm down and realize I wasn’t in any danger.
Eventually I laid back down and fell asleep.
I woke up in the morning during the shift change of my sitters. Each sitter has a 12 hour shift during which they make sure the patient doesn’t try to do anything stupid again. Even during the dead of night when I’m asleep, they can’t sleep. I imagine it must be pretty boring most of the time, but it’s a living.
She explained who I was and gave her notes on any special needs I might have. I greeted this new sitter and just kinda stayed in that happy state where you are in the process of waking up, where you doze for a couple of minutes, wake up again for a bit, then slip back asleep.
I finally woke up proper when they served breakfast. If I remember correctly, it was eggs, a slice of toast, turkey sausage, and coffee. Again with the coffee. Hadn’t someone explained to the kitchen what I had tried to do to myself? I nibbled on the toast, but was only able to choke down a bite and a half, then have to abandon it. My throat was still very raw from all my vomiting, but at least the swelling had gone down. It no longer felt like there was a golf-ball in my throat. I shunned the rest of the food. I wasn’t going to take a chance with anything richer than the toast. I was able to talk the nurse into some apple juice, which went down a little painfully, but at least stayed down.
I watched a little TV with my sitter, but mainly just stared at the opposite wall and thought. Thinking about life. Thinking about death. Wondering why I was still alive. Worrying if I had done permanent damage to myself. I seemed to be all there. All my toes and fingers wiggled. I could see from both eyes, both ears worked. I didn’t seem to have suffered any brain damage.
(The view from my hospital bed)
It almost didn’t seem fair. From what I took, and how long I waited to get help, there should be SOME kind of damage, shouldn’t there?
So I laid there in bed, wondering how (and why) the destroying angel had passed me by.
Around 10 AM my parents entered my room. This came as a shock, as they weren’t expected to return until the evening. I learned they had driving through the night to get to me. We discussed things briefly, having a talk on all my stresses and how we could get through them as a family. I told them I was sorry for doing this to them. All in all, a pretty emotional hour they were there.
One good thing that happened during their visit is we were finally able to get me on a clear liquids diet, which I had been requesting since I was admitted. I knew my digestive system was still very weak, and I needed to ease it back up to normal food.
Finally they left to get some sleep from their drive. Mom had brought me my phone and scriptures, so I guess they stopped by the house on their way to the hospital. It was nice to have something to do during the day. I read for a couple of hours, in between updating my friends on what had happened.
Most were very surprised. I had hidden my inner turmoil very well. That’s the problem with being an actor for so long. I had gotten very good at playing a role. =/ Up until that point, I was the happy-go-lucky, if slightly odd, Stephen. This was a new side that they hadn’t seen before.
It was at this point that the IV in my arm really began to bother me. It was actually quite painful. Paging the nurse, we discovered that my IV had what they call “invaded”. It basically meant that it had popped out of my vein and the IV fluids were actually going beneath the skin. It was removed, which ended the pain.
But, I still needed IV fluids, so they tried on the back of my hand. Nope. After a couple attempts there, they tried between my knuckles, nada. I was starting to feel like a pin cushion. One nurse gave up and called in another one. Tried the other hand, then knuckles, then the inside of my elbow. All in all I must have been stuck around 15 times. They still couldn’t hit a vein. I went through 3 nurses. They felt so bad for me. I took it in stride. I probably went about 3 hours without an IV.
Eventually they pulled in a specialist from the pediatric ICU. He examined all my different spots they had tried, then went with his backup. I figured he was gonna try an ankle or something, but nope. He was gonna try in a spot I never thought an IV could go.
Put your hand over your heart, palm against your chest. The part that’s facing the floor? That is where he put my IV. After hunting for the vein for a couple of seconds, he nailed it and I was once again hooked up to fluids.
Now, I know it’s unusual, but if you ever have to have an IV, ask they put it there. It doesn’t get in the way. I could put my arm above my head, roll over, etc. Since your arm doesn’t bend there, there’s virtually no way for the IV to move. I was one happy camper.
The next day I had an ultra sound of my heart done. My blood pressure and pulse were recorded every 3 hours or so. I remember during one of the nights I woke up to a nurse taking my pulse. I made some small talk with her, and she told me my pulse was still very elevated. She said while I was sleeping, my heart was beating like I was running a marathon.
Looking back on it, I guess they just wanted to make sure my heart wasn’t about to fail from the strain I had placed upon it.
I won’t bore you with further with details of my hospital stay, but I spent 4 days in the hospital, before they shuffled me off to Lifestream (a mental hospital).
Next Post: No one ever listens to poor Stephen, no, he’s quite mad they say. It is good that Stephen does not mind, has even grown to like it.
Listened to: Piano Sonata No.14 “Moonlight Sonata”: I. Adagio sostenuto from the album “99 Must-Have Chillout Classics” by Evelyne Dubourg