As I am wheeled up to room 220 at York Hospital for the night, much is on my plate.
First, I love the ER staff, nurses and docs of York Hospital; even though I don’t remember their names, I thank them for their kindnesses. Being more “with-it” later in the evening, I do remember Jo, Tracey, and Nicki, up on the second floor. I felt their loving kindness and professionalism. Pretty sweet combo for my nurses.
As I nestle into bed this Tuesday night, some five plus hours after coming into the ER, I am pretty much coherent, speaking intelligibly, and remembering how good life is. One helluva far cry from a few hours ago.
Tomorrow morning, I have three bad boys lined up to see if there are answers for my temporary amnesia/aphasia; 15 years ago there were no answers.
The echocardiogram will look at how blood flows through the chambers of my heart, heart valves, and blood vessels. Might some blockage be the reason for my short-term amnesia/aphasia?
The carotid artery ultrasound builds on the info from the “echocardio.” It creates pictures to show how blood is flowing through my arteries. When arteries become clogged with cholesterol (i.e. the technical term is “excess crap”), they can become dangerously narrow. Could clogged arteries be a cause of my brief whacked-out-ed-ness?
The EEG (electroencephalogram) detects electrical activity in my brain. The test diagnoses seizures and epilepsy, which could be the cause of my temporary-out-of-mindness.
As the Red Sox game ends this evening, I am with-it enough to appreciate the health care I have. My mind takes a simple leap to the question – How many millions will lose such health care if Republican Washington has their way? I’m begging you, Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), don’t be bullied. I have my fingers crossed.
From 11P to 1230A, I flip between the Red Sox game highlights and ESPN Sports Center, but little is of interest and still I don’t fall asleep.
At 1230A, still wide awake, I buzz for some Tylenol for a slight headache and for a sleeping pill. I never take sleeping pills, but I’d like to get a little sleep before dawn, less than five hours away. The doc approvals Tramadol, but it does little and I muddle through the night, occasionally sleeping.
Sometime around 2A, I buzz the nurses for another pit stop as I am hooked up to a saline solution which keeps me well-hydrated. And then, all of sudden, I am looking up at the faces of four beautiful nurses. It seems my blood pressure was 65 over 35! I got up a little too quickly from my bed. Fortunately, one nurse caught me as I tumbled. Unfortunately, I have to use a bottle to pee in from now on!
At 540A, I give up and turn on Sports Center; amazing how boring baseball highlights for 15 separate games can be. I mute the TV, then text on my iPhone to pass the time. Thoughout the morning, three angels visit: thank you, Corky and Scott and Tree.
My morning line-up of heavyweights: electrocardiogram at 8A; carotid artery test at 11A; and the EEG immediately thereafter. Dr. Mark Graziano, my PCP (primary care physician of 35 years), will fill me in on the details tomorrow. Does everyone get such prompt care? I am guessing it’s the norm at York Hospital, here on the Gold Coast of Maine. Rural and inner city America? I’m not betting on that.
After the 90-minute EEG test at 1230P, I am wheeled passed a waiting area where Hannah, Owen, and Max talk to Corky. Delighted as I am to see them, I am chomping at the bit to transition home (discharge seems like such a disgusting verb filled with sewage and waste).
While I wait, Owen and Max lounge on my hospital bed and watch their favorite show, Dinosaur Train on PBS.
Released after 2P, I have instructions to take a baby aspirin once a day and don’t drive until the neurologist checks me out.
On Saturday, part 6 is a wrap (to use a Hollywood term); my temporary amnesia/aphasia saga concludes with the test results, what could be an explanation of what has happened to me, and the changes that are coming to me for the short and long term.