My latest experiments with intracranial hemorrhaging involved several ambulance rides to other clinics and doctors. This got me thinking about other ambulance rides I have had. Surprisingly, out of the hundreds of times I’ve been to the hospital, I only rode in an ambulance twice.
The last time was just a few weeks after we moved to Arizona. I had been feeling very run down, and after taking my shower that morning, I was so weak I couldn’t even dry myself, and I fell onto the bed exhausted. After a while I called my boss and told her not to expect me that day and then called my doctor. The lady at his office said they would squeeze me in, and I contemplated the monumental task of getting dressed. After resting again I got dressed and my wife drove me to the doctor’s office.
While I was filling out the new patient forms, I was surprised to discover I couldn’t remember how to spell my name or where I lived. While I was still puzzling out those details, they called me back to the exam room. There, the nurse asked me to sit up while she took my blood pressure. I remember telling her I really had to lie down. After that, there is this brief interlude in which some people and I were sailing a boat somewhere sunny, and then a voice says, “He’s got to be bleeding in his gut. You can smell the blood on his breath.” That didn’t sound right to me.
I opened my eyes, and there were about six people standing around me, and this guy with sailboats on his tie tells the nurse to call the ambulance and to see if anyone was waiting for me in the lobby. I said my wife was out there and she could drive me home, and he said no, that I had to go to the hospital. He really seemed to have his mind made up, and I was too tired to argue, so I let him have it his way.
A few minutes later, a couple of paramedics were loading me into a large, box-like truck that had more medical equipment in it than many of the emergency rooms I had been in. As they drove the three blocks to the hospital, one of the paramedics sat next to me taking my blood pressure over and over and asking me all kinds of questions about my name and where I lived and stuff. I didn’t think it was an appropriate time for a pop quiz, but still managed to get several of the questions right.
That night they gave me six units of blood, which got various numbers about halfway to where the doctor with the sailboats on his tie wanted them, and I was able to remember how to spell my name. I was rather proud of that.
About a month later, after a few endoscopic exams, a bit of surgery and a couple stints in the ICU, they let me go home. It seems an ulcer had eaten its way into a, thankfully, small artery. Another thing I don’t recommend very highly.
Read more Guy Boss at the Missing Factor.