Dr. Suess, in his book. You're Only Old Once, stated, "Getting old is not for sissies" was quite right. This year I've been to the hospital three times and two of those were through the emergency room.
As of Sunday my bowel movements were full of what medical professionals call frank blood and tarry stool. I think that Frank Blood would be a great name for the hero in a detective novel. Frank Blood investigates the Tarry Stool Murders. Too bad Dashell Hammit and Damon Runyon are around any more.
But I digress. I was somewhat concerned, but thanks to Google, I looked up adverse symtoms of Coumadin and was convinced that was what was wrong with me. So my wife called the doctor early on Monday morning as I was getting ready for work. I was about to leave when the phone rang. I was told to go to the emergency room STAT, which is the medical term for ASAP.
Man was I an unhappy boy.
So I arrived at Saint Elizabeth's emergency room and fitted with a extra large size stretcher and as is customary, stabbed mulitple times to determine the exact color of my blood, which turns out to be somewhere between brickdust #15 and burmese ruby.
I was also treated to experiencing the sensation of a naso-gastric tube. This is an unpleasant procedure wherein a clear tube is inserted in one of your nares, the medical term for nose hole. The tube is then forced up your nose hole and into your stomach. The contents of the stomach are sucked out into a clear plastic cylinder for the viewing pleasure of the hospital staff.
Thankfull I didn't have any blood in my stomach contents. If I did they would have left the tube hanging out of my nostril.
I then was visited by 4 doctors. One doctor had me take off my pants and he used his gloved finger as a dipstick into my hinder and commented, "Oh that's blood alright."
I was whisked off to a room and fitted with a hospital gown. I then was stuck four or five more times by folks that had never seen burmese ruby mixed with brickdust #15. They carted it off in little vials as souveniers of their visit. I was told that my hemoglobin was at 11. Which was sort of low. I'm thinking between the bowel movements and the folks draining me, there is no doubt it would be at 11.
After this it was hurry up and wait. I had a delicious clear liquid diet. Not only did I enjoy chicken broth, but beef broth as well. I had a variety of green, red and yellow Jello.
There was a Marion Davies film festival on The Movie Channel that was pretty interesting. She was a comedic actress that started working in silent movies. Sleep was out of the question.
The noise level of a hospital is pretty close to what you would hear at an Aerosmith concert only slightly louder and more annoying.
The latest invention by Hilldenbrand Industries, ticker symbol HB, is the farting mattress. This feature is exclusive to hospital beds.
To prevent bedsores, medical term would be decubidus ulcers, Hildrenbrand has created a mattress that continually changes positions when anything is set upon it, such as a sheet or a blanket or you. This sounds like a marvelous creation. However the drawback is that once every 30 seconds the mattress emits a sound similar to a whoppee cushion.
So between the racket in the hall and the farting mattress, there is no way to get any sleep at a hospital.
I was told by my nurse that I was scheduled for an espophagogatroduodenoscopy, the medical term for sticking a hose with a camera down your food chute. I was to be anesthetized for this, so I would not feel any discomfort. I asked when this was to take place. The nurse said the doctor had me scheduled after his normal patients. This meant either he would do it late or perhaps I was the beggining of his abnormal patients. Communications obviously were not a priority.
After a sleepless night of watching lightening from my window, filling up the urinal five times (which I actually did) and watching more Marion Davies movies I was visited at about 7 am by my morning nurse and my morning nurse assistant for the complimentary squeezing of the arm, temperature taking, finger poking and blood letting. I was told they needed to do this quickly as the stretcher bearer was here to take me for my procedure. The doc must have worked really fast or his normal patients didn't show up.
So I rode down the hall and up the elevator to the Endoscopy room and was wheeled into a very cluttered cubical. There were several TV monitors none of which were tuned to the Marion Davies festival.
The camera at the end of a scope that was about a meter long was focused on a box of aloe-enhanced surgical gloves, which must have been the doctor's sponsor.
A nurse asked me several questions in a loud voice that sounded like she was used to dealing with geezers, the medical term being geriatric patients. I was asked to open wide as she sprayed something in my mouth. I don't think it was Binaca, because the back of my tongue became numb.
The next thing I recall was the ceiling was spinning. I then recall waking up in another corridor. I was then told some things that I cannot recall because I was focusing on the revolving ceiling tiles at the time. Then it was a quick ride back to my room and more of the film festival. Peg O' My Heart, featuring Miss Davies as Peg, was just starting. Soon after this the house doctor came in an explained that I have several bleeding ulcers in my stomach and a lesion in my esophagus. He didn't really relate how this was affecting my poo. I wasn't questioning him either and don't really recall a whole lot of the conversation as I was still a little tipsy.
My wife came and I explained what I knew to her. She was rather upset that she missed the TV episode of INSIDE MARC, brought to you by Nutricel Aloe Surgical Gloves that leave your hands soft and pleasant smelling. She wasn't at all interested in watching Marion Davies movies.
I was then given my discharge papers from the morning nurse. My IV was removed and I was told that I could put on my clothes and go home. Which I did in record time. Linny and I went to Applebees for some non-clear liquid food.
When our nurse...I mean waitress asked if I would like onions and jalepenos in my chili I started to say Yes, when Linny said, "What are you crazy?" I said, "Just cheese please."
I was still sort of tipsy.