Can I just take a moment to say how much I love PenRei? Thanks: PenRei, I love you. For so many reasons which would take up a whole novel but the most recent one being the bunny pictures related to hair donation…and the hair donation itself of course.
And now for something completely different: my trip to the hospital in an ambulance.
That’s right, folks, Strugglebot Nomes has done it again! Taking the art of struggling to a whole new level!
It all started this morning, or should I say last night, or should I say Monday… Well really it started when I was born with this curse: doomed to struggle forever. But fast forward to this morning I guess, when I wake up after not quite enough sleep. The cause of which was last night’s soirée with friends (let me specify that I am in O-town currently, having returned to the family homestead for a 3 week break from school). Needless to say there was wine. Ok so I had a few glasses of wine. What of it? There was water involved and food being consumed, so all in all a very tame and responsible night of merriment. Got home around 12:30am, my bad there, but I’m pretty sure that this is acceptable and I’m still a healthy girl in her 20s who doesn’t need to worry about sleeping 9 hours every night or else she FAINTS.
So…yeah. I fainted. On my way to work, this morning, the bus was relatively full, and I was standing/cramming myself between bars and the wheel box (that elevated platform at the front of the bus under which the front right wheel resides). Also I was reading a book (Feast of Crows, 4th in the DELICIOUS Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin… I’m sure PenRei will have a review for you once she’s done reading them too. What… you expect me to do book reviews? No that’s the organized half of this team’s specialty:) ) . In any case it occured to me as we approached downtown that I was not feeling a hundred percent, quite nauseous in fact. My headache, which I attributed to dehydration/lack of sleep, started to make its way into my stomach. I felt a pain in my chest which seemed to be anxiety (which I’ve never experienced quite so physically before) and a wave of claustrophobia hit me (also for the first time ever). I tried to smile: using reverse muscle memory to calm myself… Nope! I flashed back to the time when I threw up in the bus a few years back and realized I should probably get off before that happened…but the bus was packed…and I didn’t want to be late for work. “Tough it out, Nomes, just breathe. Put the book down (my sister gets motion sickness in the car, especially if she’s reading), and face the front of the bus. You’ll be fine once you get off. Oh look at that girl, she looks familiar. Breathe. Just bre…..”
Next thing I know, I hear a man say “Oh my god… oh my god.” I open my eyes and my face is pressed against the wheel box, my glasses have left my face and I’m..well.. on the ground. Everyone is looking down at me and the bus driver is asking if I’m okay. We get to the next stop and I get off to just get some air. The man who was saying “Oh my god” follows me and asks if I’m feeling okay. I answer I’m not sure and sit at the bus stop. Well he ended up waiting with me, that gentleman and a scholar. The bus driver did too. He stopped the bus and everyone had to get out and grab the next one, because he wasn’t going anywhere. He got OcTranspo emergency people to come and they in turn called the paramedics. The kindness of all these people just cannot be measured. People are frickin’ fantastic. My sincerest apologies to everyone on that bus that had to wait while the driver assessed the situation, only to get bumped to the next crowded vehicle. All 900 of you. No wait… *blink* 47 of you.
I got into the ambulance, feeling a little better, and they start wiring me up. First it’s the blood pressure (mine was low). Then it’s that finger clamp thingie. Then they checked my heart with half a dozen electrodes on my legs, arms and chest. My dad was luckily headed to the hospital to accompany one of the men he works with to an appointment (my parents are saints, that’s all), so I got the ambulance guys to go to that same hospital. More fantastic people, I tell you. Just lovely.
I admit I used this experience to my advantage and took mental notes for future roles I might play in a hospital setting. Win. So I got to lie on the stretcher as they drove me the hospital and even had some oxygen pumped through my nose. The whole nine yards, man! I felt bad again for making them wait with me as we tried to get a nurse to pay attention to us, once we were at the hospital. I offered to sing to get their attention. Was denied.
Got in to see the nurse and she got me to don the hospital gown of shame. She hooked me to the heart monitor and another nurse stuck a needle in me to take blood samples and left it in, in case they needed to IV me up, and then left in a puff of helpful, caring yet busy nurse-ness.
So I sat. And waited. I needed to get in touch with my dad…and felt like this would be a good time to start learning a monologue for next term, but unfortunately I could not get to my purse as I was stuck in an array colourful wires (which looked a lot like the wires they have in bombs, in movies. Upon seeing them I joked to the nurse: “Oh no.. which one do I cut?!” She was silent. Then she may have chuckled, but it could have been a cough. Awkward.)
So I sat, a long time, contemplating the other patients around. One woman was tied to her bed as she kept thrashing, semi aggressively, and seemed constantly uncomfortable, poor lady. One woman was just sitting in silence in the dark with what could only be considered as a red sleeping bonnet, on. Then there were all the nurses and doctors puttering in and about the central work station. I started playing around with my finger clamp thingie. It looked like a duck from one angle, a donkey from another and an alien from yet another. I should have taken a picture of that, cause now I just sound crazy. In any case, I stored that fun fact in the ol’ attic to use in case I ever need to entertain a kid, were I to, one day, know a child who has to stay in the hospital. Win.
So I finally got a little too bored and decided to try to make something happen; while the doctors and nurses weren’t looking, I grabbed the table next to me, wincing at the pain from the needle stuck in my arm, and tried to manoeuvre it to roll over to my purse and perhaps grab it and drag it back to me. Well, I felt stupid after 10 seconds of that doomed-to-fail attempt, so I put the table back and just asked the next nurse who didn’t look too busy to grab the book my play was in, from my purse. Nice person number 192 today! When the original nurse came back around she announced that there was an emergency trauma which was keeping the doctor from me. Aaaaand I felt bad again with my silly fainting and low blood pressure, while somewhere else, someone was actually bleeding… Man the hospital is an interesting place.
Skip to doctor coming in, asking me questions, getting me to squeeze his fingers and breathe deeply into his stethoscope, and tell me that I just had a classic “fainting spell” from dilated blood vessels which caused all of my blood to fall into my legs. He recommended I lie down for the rest of the day and drink lots of fluids to restore blood flow and that’s when Super-Daddy arrived to take me home. He knows all about this kind of stuff so spoke to everyone and got all the info and voilà! I am home now. Not before worrying all of my sisters of course, and my mother and a couple of close friends who I informed of my unfortunate yet kind of hilarious situation. Made more hilarious by something they wrote on my chart. Apparently I had suffered from a Syncope/Pre-syncope. In French, “une syncope”, is a medical term as well as a word used in hilarious expressions similar to “Don’t have a conniption!” or in the famous words of Bart Simpson: “Don’t have a cow, man!”. “Fais pas une syncope!” we would say, and laugh our happy little French heads off. (OOOhhh accidental French Revolution pun. Good for me!) I can finally see “J’ai fait une syncope!”….and mean it.
My final words as I finish this post, will be the same as the last words I said as I left the Emergency Ward with papa: “Oh. How embarassing…”