Thursday, March 3, 2016
Monday.......my day off. I normally do some shopping and eat out for lunch; my "me" time. And I felt miserable. I went to the grocery store and bought stuff to make chicken soup, went home and made soup..... and slept the day away. Made a somewhat late run to the pharmacy for some meds, then back home.
Tuesday: I felt even worse, but hated to call off. I need the money, and I didn't want to make my bosses unhappy. After four hours, I was done; and got permission to go home early. I went home, ate more soup, and went to bed. I was starting to think I had pneumonia or bronchitis.
Wednesday: I got up for work and felt worse than ever. Dizzy, sweating like crazy, fever, chest hurting, coughing, and complete misery. I hated to do it, but I picked up the phone and called off 3 1/2 hours before my shift began... and went back to bed for 6 hours.
Thursday: My chest wasn't hurting much, but I felt horrible. I was dizzy, felt out of my body, weak, and had a hard time staying on my feet. I needed the money though and didn't want to upset, so I headed off to work.
I work my first four hours as a greeter in the ER, and every time I got up to help someone; I had to grab a hold of something to stay on my feet. I found myself thinking "I'm more sick than most of these people coming in!"
Sick of being sick, I made a doctor's appointment for Thursday afternoon at 1 pm....today. The next time my supervisor went by my desk, I asked if I could leave at 11 for a doctor's appointment and that I was really sick. He said yes, but I felt he was thinking "yeah right!"
Then at 10:00, I had a gentleman come in with chest pains. As is the protocol, I got him in a wheelchair, got some information from him, and called the nursing supervisor. She told me what room to go to, and I wheeled him back, feeling like all that was keeping me on my feet was the wheelchair.
I pushed him into room 35, turned on the lights, told him the nurse would be in shortly, stepped out of the way of the nurses as they entered the room........... and then it happened. I felt myself going down. I grabbed for the doorpost and missed. I heard some gasps and a few voice yell "Mark!" The next thing I knew, I had a few nurses looking down at me along with a doctor as someone cradled my head.
There were questions from the doctor, and I remember mumbling "I can't be seen in here, I don't have insurance." Then there was the lifting of me onto a bed and the doc telling me there was no way I was driving home when I said I wanted to go home. At their advice, I agreed to be seen.
First up was an EKG since my chest had been hurting. They put me in room 34, right next to where I had gone down. Once a heart attack was ruled out, next up was a CAT scan of my head. According to the medical personnel who had witnessed it, I had hit my head hard when I went down, and that was a concern.
Next up was a chest x-ray to see if I did have pneumonia. Then I waited and waited. The CAT scan came back OK, the x-ray came back OK, and the doc wasn't satisfied. She ordered a CAT scan of my chest.... and voila' - there was the problem: 2 small blood clots on my left lung.
A side note of things to be thankful for:
I passed out in the best possible place: back by the Emergency Dept patient rooms in front of two nurses and the main supervisor/nurses station.
There were nurses and a doctor by me immediately.
The doctor wasn't satisfied with the chest x-ray and ordered a chest CAT scan........which showed the blood clots. Had I gone to my regular doctor, he most likely would have ordered a chest x-ray and called it quits.........the ER doc figured so. And I would have died from blood clots on my lung.
I am thankful my parents came and brought clothes, books, my laptop, and Kindle.
I am thankful my pastor drove over to check on me.
I am thankful for the parade of fellow employees and Emergency Dept personnel who stopped by my room to see how I was doing.
I am thankful that I had two nurses who I like very well, and that everyone was so nice to me.
I am thankful for air conditioned gowns...... uh, not!
I am thankful for my own room, at least for now
I am thankful for the text messages and Facebook posts from family and friends telling me they care and are praying for me
And I am thankful for the assurance that had this been "D-day" for me, that I was ready to go and meet God.
And it has been a day of firsts:
A first time passing out for me
My first time eating ice cream and graham crackers in a hospital bed
My first hospital stay since I was born
My first time having my chest shaved....... and by a woman, at that.
My first ultrasound.... it is a boy.
My first time being drained of most of my blood...or so it seemed
My first breathing treatment
My first ride in a wheel chair
My first time ordering room service
My first time blogging from a hospital bed
And my first time I have had to truly trust God for a long time.
I have been praying about it. I have been asking God to draw me closer to Him, to help me to trust Him.... that one is a biggie. I worry a lot about the future. And I have told God I have a hard time trusting Him. He knows it already, so I may as well admit it to him.
I'll admit it: as they wheeled my bed into room 34 this morning, my mind started going to how much money this was going to cost.....and I felt God tell me to trust Him; that He has a purpose in even this. And then as I heard the news I would not be going home today, but would be admitted to the hospital; again my mind started seeing dollar signs and days without work and pay. And again, I felt God comfort me and tell me to trust Him.
So I let it go. I decided to be thankful they caught this. It is not melodrama to say I would have died from this if they had not. The embarrassment I felt at passing out in front of the entire Emergency Dept staff has changed to thankfulness to God that it did happen. It seems to be the general opinion around here that it would not have been caught otherwise.
I've decided to let the old Mark outside of room 330 where I now reside. That Mark would be freaking out, worrying, fretting, and doubting God. This Mark is being thankful that this happened. This Mark is enjoying a chance to rest, enjoying bantering with the nursing staff, enjoying the ice cream and graham crackers that were offered as a snack, and enjoying my new laptop.
This wasn't in my plans. It wasn't what I wanted, but I am trusting God to work it all out; and I am thanking Him for his goodness to me. This is the first time I have come face to face with the reality that something would have killed me if it had not been caught. I don't want to exaggerate or be melodramatic about it, but the truth is still there that if these events of today had not happened, these blood clots most likely would not have been found.... and I would most likely have died from it.
I didn't grasp it at first. The ER doc said the clots were in my chest. I wondered about the lungs, but she said chest... not lungs. Then another medical personnel said lungs. I finally asked someone how serious that was..... and they said "it can kill you." Oh.
I am thankful that I serve a God who interrupts life when He has a reason, that we may not grasp right away.