It’s a good thing my daughter is a Certified Nurse's Assistant, because when I fainted on Sunday, she knew exactly what to do. Aside from catching me before I hit the floor, she kept saying over and over to sit down and put my head between my knees. (Which, by the way, really does work). Of course, I had no idea she was saying anything because I had already blacked out, but she gave me a second by second replay later on. Not sure why it happened; dehydration and/or lack of food while in the sun, I assume, but it made me reflect back to all the times I came close to death. Three, to be exact. I hopefully have 6 more lives to go because I'm not counting this last episode as a near death experience. But let me tell you, fainting is not fun. It's very strange to not remember those few seconds when you have left consciousness.
But I do recall my near death experiences. And I mean really near...like another 20 minutes and I would have been gone. For good. Adios. Arrivederci, Au Revoir, Hasta la vista baby.
The first time was back in my 20’s. It was a normal workday and I was at my office sitting at my desk, doing my job, when all of a sudden the pain going through my abdomen was excruciating. I figured I just had a really bad stomach ache and lay on the floor doubled over in pain for 4 hours. That’s right…four hours. Why is it that we don’t call our doctors right away because we don’t want to ‘bother’ them, in case it’s a false alarm? How ridiculous is that? When the pain started spasming through my rectum (sorry to be so graphic), I decided gas was not the diagnosis of the day and realized it was time to make that call. He wasted no time in telling me to meet him in the emergency room. He also wasted no time in taking out a 15 inch needle and shooting it into my cervix. ARE YOU F**KING KIDDING ME?!?!? What would a good word be for 10 times worse than excruciating? I don’t know…let me see…ummmmm…there is none?? Torturous comes to mind but that’s not horrible enough. Labor pains are a minor annoyance compared to that pain. And not only did he do it once…he did it 3 times. “Just to be sure”. And it was like a boomerang. He shot it in and out it came. In…out…in…out. Good thing my legs were strapped in or a swift kick in the face wouldn’t have been out of the question. In fact, it would have been an absolute sure thing. In fact, maybe I would have aimed lower just so he could experience a quarter of the pain he was inflicting on me.
I was taken into the operating room within minutes having internal bleeding. They cut me open as if I was having a c-section and stitched up my burst cysts on my ovaries. Cysts have been the bane of my existence my entire life. A little one here, a big one there, and never do they come quietly. Geez…there’s got to be something they can come up with to catch these little suckers before they catch you.
My biggest mistake was coming home from the hospital with 20 staples in my tummy and watching ‘Airplane’. You can NOT laugh with 20 staples in your stomach. After about 5 minutes of trying to hold my incision together, the T.V. was turned off.
My next almost jump into the netherworld kept me from work for 8 weeks. Every time I stood up I would black out and get headaches that I can only assume mimic migraines. Whoa…that wasn’t fun. To this day…no clue where the internal bleeding was coming from. But after a lot of iron pills, a lot of rest, and time to recoup, I was fit as a fiddle. Fit as a fiddle…what the hell is that supposed to mean anyway. Fiddles are fit? They’re inanimate. How can they be fit? If I was inanimate, I would make myself fit, too. With a D cup for my boobs and a 22 inch waist, blue eyes, no cellulite and never age past 34. Anyway…as always, I digress. But have you ever taken an inordinate amount of iron and realized what a number that does on your stomach? That’s fodder for a whole other blog.
My last near death excursion to hell (or maybe heaven? Nah…probably hell) was quite a bit more dramatic at the onset. It was like one of those scenes in the movies where someone is on the ground, dragging themselves towards a phone, trying to get help, after they’ve been shot. It was around midnight and I had gone downstairs to use the bathroom so I didn’t wake my husband, since I wasn’t feeling too well. I was nauseous and feeling a little weak. Once I saw the blood pour out of me, I crawled out of the bathroom to the stairs. There I was…pulling myself up the stairs to yell to him, but I had no strength to do either. So I hung on, draped across about 5 steps, for a minute or two, and finally got the words out, in a barely audible voice. “Help me.” How he heard me is beyond my comprehension, but he jumped out of bed and within seconds we were in the car on the way to emergency. Have you ever been in a cop car on a high speed chase? Well, this was as close as you could get. Two bleeding ulcers later, and a shitload of blood transfused, and I was on the road to recovery. It was a hard lesson to learn that taking too many anti-inflammatory pills could burn holes in your stomach. Having a tube stuck down your throat into your duodenum isn’t the most pleasant either. But who the f**k cared…I was in a twilight haze and happy as a clam to be on the operating table. Cauterize all you want, doc. Close up those suckers. But keep me anesthetized! Woohoo. There’s something to be said for anesthesia.
And speaking of happy as a clam. What the hell does that one mean? Clams are happy? How do you know clams are happy? Is it because their shells look like they’re smiling?
[I think I’m going to coin a phrase. First I want to know where ‘coin a phrase’ came from. Who coins phrases? How does coin and phrase end up in the same thought?]
Life. How I cherish my life. After these 3 near death experiences, (actually 5 because I almost drowned twice as a toddler), I never take anything for granted nor do I take chances. My doctors are on speed dial. I’m a member of ‘Life Alert’, I’m having a tracking device implanted in my body, I have a list of all my meds and medical history permanently tattooed on my chest, I’ve map quested every hospital within 50 miles, I’ve friended every fireman, health care provider and medical assistant I could find. I have a siren with blinking lights in my glove compartment, and I visit the doctor on a weekly basis. Just for the hell of it. Medical paranoia has now become a part of my makeup but who cares. I’d rather be a hypochondriac then dead. Welcome to MY world!