It was about 3:30 in the afternoon and I had just returned to the airwaves after being out for the last four days due to the repositioning of my catheter. I was energeized, funny and having a swell time. Suddenly, and without warning, sharp pains erupted in my lower pelvic region. I stood up to maneuver my body and before I knew it the only sense available to me was planted firmly in my nose.
"Stinky," is all my brain could muster. And "OW!" Probably the latter more so.
I was face down on the floor smelling the studio carpet. Keep in mind when they clean the carpets in the building, they never do the studio. It just "slips their mind." After years of use there is vomit, urine, feces, semen and a number of other five letter substances meshed into the fibers due to circumstances I probably shouldn't elaborate on.
Anyway, there I was enjoying them all with pains continuing to shoot through my abdomen. I missed one live break. Then two. Then another. Someone from traffic came down and found me on the floor. I should mention that the entire time I was down there I was cursing rather loudly and felt the urge to allow tears to flow.
I fought that last one since you don't want anyone to see you cry. It's unmanly. And unbecoming a pseudo-famous broadcaster.
"Ok...ok. What's wrong? What do you want me to do?"
All I could muster is..."...ambulance."
It took them ten minutes to get to the studio since my show isn't #1 in afternoon drive, only #3.
When they finally arrived, all I heard was, "Oh hey, my daughter listens to you every day."
"Well don't tell her you found me on the floor, ok?"
Even at my lowest moment I could still muster up enough humor to make the EMT guys chuckle.
I believe I have a small sense of what condemned men feel like when they're escorted down that long hallway to the gas or electric chamber. Everyone glancing at you, seering into your soul how pitiful and sorry you look.
That's how I felt on the gurney when they led me to the ambulance.
Fortunately they had enough brains to take me on the breezeway instead of through the building. It's hard for a salesperson to sell a show where the host is traveling with an entourage.
Once they finally had me encased by the ambulance the morphine started flowing. I started to relax a little because I thought, "At least this will take away my searing pain away."
But it didn't.
You must understand that most drugs and medications take three times the dose to even begin to work their magic. I asked for something stronger, along with something for nausea.
Once I mentioned that I might vomit all over their nice clean ambulance, the syringe's started flying.
I felt every bump, every pothole, every crack in the road on the way to the emergency room. They should use me before they begin to do road repairs.
We had to be diverted from Memorial Hospital, where I usually go, to Sutter. I felt like Han Solo in Empire, "I have a bad feeling about this."
I was admitted and my vital's were taken by Nurse Jim. Nurse Jim was a cross between a hippie and a beatnik with his long grey hair and sharp build. I believe people call them "bippies."
First came the blood test. They stabbed my hand three times before they found a vein that was operational.
"I don't know why you're so upset."
"Because you're a fucking nimrod. Shouldn't you practice on stuffed animals?? Or is the medical field so desperate for personnel they'll take people from the bus stop...??"
That's what I should have said. Unfortunately, it remained as really loud thoughts in my head.
Then came the IV, which I didn't really see the need for unless they were going to give me pain medications.
I ended up wasting four hours in all, in incredible pain, before I decided to take matters into my own hands.
I had dialysis at seven o'clock that evening and it was already 6:25, so I stood up (ouch) and grabbed my IV bag off the pole. I used my other hand to keep my gown closed so my skinny, pale, pimply ass didn't become a late night joke while the staff was drinking with their medical friends at the local pub.
"Excuse me. Excuse me, someone? Bueller?"
For some reason, my sense of humor never runs and cowers when I truly need it.
Apparently I awoke a John Hughes fan because someone finally took notice there was a half naked goon in their lobby.
"What can I do for you?" asked the nearest stethoscoped dolt.
I spoke quickly and with conviction.
"I've been here four hours in seering pain and now I'm going to miss dialysis if you don't disconnect me from this thing."
He escorted me back to my gurney and I met someone who I didn't think existed there: an ER doctor.
"What's the problem here?"
Jesus. I had told my problem to four other people who had already taken notes. Shouldn't you by up on my condition by now??
The IV left and so did I. What a huge waste of time and resources.
Plus it took $16 for a taxi to get me back to my truck so I could drive to dialysis.
Let's recap, shall we:
- Humiliated in escort out of workplace on gurney.
- Loss of wages due to leaving show early.
- Loss of patience as I realized Sutter has a worthless ER.
- Suffered for hours due to neglect.
- Wasted an ATM $20 on a less than IQish taxi driver.
And to top off my first day of hell week, a less than comforting dialysis treatment.
Coming up...on tomorrow's Week of Hell Blog:
- Another ER visit.
- Another IV.
- Hospital admittance.
- Catheter debate in the halls of medicine.
- The best pain medicine ever.
- And...more suffering for the kids.
- Plus...the worst hospital roommate in my medical history. (I call him Dubya.)
Don't miss tomorrow's blog, where you'll hear Stacy say, "M*****F***** A******."
That's right, massive frightening asparagus.