Day 2 in Lock up, Lock down, Lock Sideways – it’s all a matter of perspective
I woke up on the wrong side of my plastic bed this morning. Reality smacked me with where I was and why I’m here. I can serve the “nickel” of the normal CF prison sentence. This stay has rattled my nerves and tested me. Escape plans fill my mind.
I swear I heard Fox partying in the hallway last night. I have never slept in a noisier hospital wing than the one I am in now. Loud talkers on a cell phone can’t match these people for volume. I miss the quiet floor I usually stay on.
Yesterday’s nurse princess transformed into a nasty, bossy four-foot troll who woke me up for blood pressure around dawn. No sweet kisses on the forehead here to awaken me from my slumber. Just a nasty lady mustache atop grinning wart lips.
Hospital communication breakdowns are my favorite. I give them a printed list of my meds but somehow they find a way to f**k it up. They cannot process the fact I take two nebs of hypertonic saline in the morning and two in the evening. They write down what they think it should be. READ THE LIST, people. I will be placing a special note on future lists: “Yo, it’s two, I repeat two HTS in the morning and two in the evening. That’s not a typo.”
Then there is the “surprise test of the day.” Today, I wasn’t supposed to eat breakfast, yet breakfast showed up. Luckily, I had treatments to do and didn’t eat it right away. The nurse stopped me in time. What if I had eaten it and couldn’t complete the tests? There’s another day in the hospital and another 10K all because of a three-dollar breakfast being delivered by accident.
It’s getting harder to hide CF from my managers at work. It was easier to do it years ago when I only went in once a year or every 18 months and I could depend on having a new boss every year. Now, it’s tightrope walking and juggling at the same time. It’s getting technically more difficult to hide the truth. I’m not sure how much longer I can do it. I want to work as long as I can, but CF is screwing with that plan.
Tests, tests, and more tests
My insurance company will look for ways to get rid of me after today. These doctors love tests. And they delivered big time with that love today.
First up was what I call the Survivor test. They injected radioactive Thallium into me, then strapped me to a table so I couldn’t move. Three large boxes circled me, taking images of my Labrador heart. It seems strange to say 20 minutes being immobilized feels like a long time, but it does and did. Holy crap. I have new respect for Survivor games where they have to stand on a stick for 6 hours. The tech made it a constant point to tell me not to move. I didn’t and couldn’t thanks to his strap-down job.
From there I went for the poison dart frog venom test. In this one, they placed me on a table and the same guy who shot me up with radioactive material 30 minutes earlier, dosed me with what must have been poison. All of a sudden it felt like I had just chased Fox out of a downtown L.A. bar and down the block. My chest tightened and I couldn’t breathe. SOB. SOB. SOB. Alert. Alert. Dying here. Shoot the f’ing frog that humped me, damn it.
The techs acted like it was normal to feel like you just ate bad blowfish. FU. Normal this, dudes. The bad guy just poisoned me like James Bond in Casino Royale. But I don’t have an Aston Martin with a drug kit in it. Why are you standing there? Give me the antidote. I’ll tell you what I did with the “Nurse, Nurse, Nurse” guy from last night. He’s duct taped to a gurney on the top floor of the parking garage. Antidote, please.
It’s no wonder I have a splitting headache tonight. It took me 10 minutes to come down off of that joy ride to heart stretching heaven.
From there, I enjoyed the Fast Pass to my 50-minute echo test. The three guys working it were cool and Fox had some x-rated guy conversations with them, but it was still painful.
Lunch came after the tests, which was a cheeseburger and fries with three ketchups and no salt. I get the no salt part. I’m in the heart ward. But three ketchups for all of that food? Are you kidding me? Who do I kill?
I got to repeat the Survivor test after lunch. It was just as fun as the first time. Try it yourself sometime. Lie on your bed, with arms at your side, hand clasped over your groin, and don’t move. 20 minutes. Start now.
The rest of the day I worked, barely. But I did eat more M&Ms in one sitting than I’ve ever eaten in my life. They’re monitoring my heart – WTF. Let it race.
Fox’s day in hell.
I thought it was a dude that woke Unknown for blood pressure. It was the lady stache that fooled me. I’ve woken up next to a few whiskers in my day, but this one was thick, black and greasy. I jumped on top of the TV and waited until she dragged her club foot out the door.
I partied hard last night with the nurses. Loud, lively honey babes charmed by moi. Bambi and Ginger helped me tape up the dude next door who couldn’t master the call button. We laughed our asses off to his duct taped, muffled “nurse” yelps. Press the button next time, dude. Press the button.
The docs punished Unknown for “chest pain” today with more chest pain. Whatever they shot into him is something I want a bottle of. That looked like 10 minutes of rollercoasting while drunk on Gin Ball Twisters fun to me. Gotta get me some of that stuff for tonight’s g-string martini “fiesta of love.”
Party like it’s your last.
Hey, Fox. Can we do a Skype call when I get back from vacation, or maybe even tomorrow if you’re up to it and I’m bored. I know I’m just a young pup of 31, but I did a stint in the top law firm in Tampa for a while and 3 years in military contractor Corporate America to relate to… I’d like to get a feel for your situation and genuinely want to help you separate concern from paranoia.
I suffer from both, so maybe I can lend an ear and a hand. Are you game?
Hey Fox, keep a lid on that boy will ya, i think he might OD on M&M’s and never get out.
Fox here. the docs had a talking to with Unknown today and chocolate consumption. He’s been a bad boy and got a scolding. Turns out a crack habit might have been a better choice.
UC, your writing style somehow manages to turn hopeless annoyance into a funny and enjoyable story to read. I’m sorry to laugh at your expense and hope you never have to try the poison frog test again. Did they conclude anything?
On the subject of ladies with beards, I encountered a young lady in Scienceland yesterday with impressive sideburns that put even my husband to shame. (Facial hair growing is his super power, so that’s an impressive accomplishment for the young lady!) I had to do a doubletake. I’m sure you’re relieved that Mustache Nurse forgot the morning kiss—unless it was the day of the week you normally exfoliate.
I kind of imagine you and Fox to be a bit like the grownup version of Calvin and Hobbe. You could parlay your adventures into a successful comic strip, I’m sure.
Heal up, eat plenty of M&Ms (a whole bag for me please since I cannot!), and just start ordering a side of ketchup with all your snacks and meals to build a stash.
You’re very funny. One day Fox is going to buy you and Matt an In n Out burger.
Thank you for the compliment on the writing and my pain and suffering. I think it’s funny. glad you do too. They said I passed the dart frog test. Yay, I survived a poisoning.
Yuk on the sideburns lady. Nasty. Give a secret santa gift of a beard trimmer. Today I had a dude nurse. No morning kiss again.
If only I could draw, I could do a cartoon. Bummer, but good idea.
Like the ketchup idea. I will do that when I remember to do it.
Thanks for the funny comments to brighten my jail day.
Like a fine wine, your blogs get better with age. Your creativity is second to none my friend. Now get out of there and enjoy a sixer STAT!!!
I don’t think a sixer will cover it. A 12-pack is in order.
you are too much! love keeping up with you, as always ❤ ~j
Come be a nurse in my hospital. Please. LA to L.A. Not hard to do. 🙂 Only drag is we don’t have a football team.