Monday, September 29, 2014

Postal Carriers

Tonight Sarah and I went to Region's Hospital to visit a long time friend of hers who had been transferred there from Westfield's here in New Richmond. I'm not going to get to why her friend is in the hospital because it really isn't my place. However, being there, and more specifically being in the ICU brought back some memories that I'd mostly rather forget.
While sitting in her friends room, I heard a beeping noise coming from the room next door. I wasn't sure what the sound was, but it gave me an unsettling feeling. The sound came again and it flipped a switch somewhere in my brain but couldn't put a finger on to what it was. I heard it a again and Sarah had obviously heard it now and turned to me with this astounding look on her face. I'm like what is that, and she said that noise is from a ventilator, do you remember? Oh shit, I felt some anxiety, unsettled. I was on a ventilator for most of my time in Regions, about 6 weeks worth. The ventilator basically makes that weird beeping sound when the patient stops breathing, and then kicks up the oxygen to your lungs. It could be just a couple seconds, or many many seconds or more. I don't remember much about it but I do remember the noise and how I would need Sarah to come in to the room and she would calm me down enough to start breathing better and my oxygen count would get back closer to normal. She'd hold me hand, I don't remember seeing her face, but I could hear her words, and she would talk to me, calm me down however she could, and I could feel the air going back into my lungs. It would take much, much longer for the nurses to get my oxygen levels back to normal so I'd call for Sarah somehow and she would fix me up relatively quickly. When you don't have your breath, just a second or two seems like forever.
It was a little bit of an uncomfortable feeling being there. I know the visit wasn't about me, Sarah's friend is in rough shape, but it was still weird being there. Couldn't say I recognized too much, some familiarity but I suppose rooms would be similar, but we were in the same floor that I spent most of my time there on. I went to Regions and was moved from there to the U of M both times in an ambulance because of the rough shape I was in. The Doctor on duty today was the pulmonary Doctor I saw last week for my lung testing. The nurse, not sure where he was from, I'd guess Africa, reminded me of several of my nurses that I had. It is a little difficult to understand them speaking, and most times I couldn't speak anyway, but they understood what I was trying to say the best they could.

This brought me back to many other memories I had from my time in the hospitals. Sarah likes to refer to them as 'false memories' which makes sense in a way - most of them were false, whether because they were hallucinations or never happened, or that they were memories in how they were dreams, awake or asleep that continue to stay with me. In this case, from today's hospital visit, it reminded me of a nurse I thought I had. Most nurses I had would always introduce themselves when they started their shifts, even if I've had them before because I rarely remembered them, let alone their names anyway. One black male nurse in particular would always come up to my bed every time he entered my room, look over me and show me his ID card and would say his name. It was one of those hyphenated names that I probably couldn't pronounce anyway, but it was nice that he did that so I would hopefully remember. While I had several nurses, several male nurses and several black male nurses, and I could be wrong on this one in particular, but one of them I was sure was trying to get me drunk or stoned. Felt hungover every time I woke up so assumed he kept getting me drunk. At least he was giving me something enough to make me sleep. He'd say I needed my rest, would ask me what degree of pain I was in and would mix up whatever recipe for me and soon enough I'd be sleeping. It made me feel like shit, and I asked them to stop giving me so much of it. Told Sarah about it and she asked them to lower the dosage. I think it was called seroquel, which had a couple different purposes, and I believe one of which was to assist in me sleeping.
Ok, so most of you know my friend Robbie. He's a mailman in New Richmond. Oh, and he's black. Not that any of that matters, it's just part of the story. Well, 'Robbie' comes into my hospital room, not as a visitor, but as my nurse. Yeah, messed up lol. So I'm talking to him, best I can, asking him what the hell is he doing working here and why, if he's still delivering mail and where he lives now. Think he told me he needed a side job and lives in Woodbury so the drive wasn't bad. Good lord.. Well, for whatever reason, 'Robbie' sounded like he had a cold, real horse-like, which in turn, was just like my real life, hyphenated nurse's voice was. (Weird?)

Well I told Sarah about my new nurse the next day, and like I'm sure she had gotten used to by then says, "Mike, honey, Robbie is not a nurse." I'm like well he was last night! Yeah, guess not lol.
Well a few nights later I see 'Robbie' again in my room and I try talking to him, try shooting the shit, and he looks at me like this dude's messed up and keeps quiet and to himself, just continues cleaning the room up and whatnot. I'm thinking whatever, do your job, don't talk to patients, whatever blah-blah. Then I remember what Sarah told me and I get kind of pissy, is it true..? Well of course it's freaking true dumb-shit, of course Robbie is not my ICU nurse. Ugh, I did it again. Damn medicine - he got me too drunk!


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