At one time... Have you ever been lonely?: At one time...
By Pete on Wednesday, February 18, 1998 - 09:25 am:
    I was in the hospital last summer for 6 weeks. There was a period when I couldn't get to sleep at night...I would literally stare at the clock on the wall and count the tics of the second hand...until minutes and eventually hours passed by. I think that was the loneliest I've ever felt...counting tics on a clock, waiting for the day shift nurses to come in.

By Christopher on Thursday, February 19, 1998 - 12:43 pm:
    Pete, You've piqued my interest here. What put you in the hospital for 6 weeks? If thats too personal, I'll understand. I was once in the hospital for 8 weeks, when I was 16. I'll tell you mine if you tell me yours...

By Pete on Friday, February 20, 1998 - 10:22 am:
    OK, if you really want to know...

    Last spring, 2 days after Memorial day, I pass out in my bathroom while putting in my contacts. Didn't know at the time that I had passed out though...thought I was just feeling dizzy and decided to get on the floor (BTW, did you know that bathroom floors are excellent to lay upon when feeling nauseous?). Realized when I woke up and was taking a shower that I had indeed passed out (the knot on the top of my head, the cut under my eye, and my broken glasses were a clue). So, that night, as I'm getting ready for bed, my right hand is killing me -- just the hand, not my arm or anything else. I can't even move it an inch off the bed without experiencing excruciating pain. So I decide to go see my doctor the next day,but unfortunately his office is closed on Thursdays (what's up with that???). So I settle for a Friday appt.

    Come Friday, he checks the hand, which of course now feels better, draws some blood, finds out I have a temp. and tells me to go straight home & not go back to work. And he gives me a prescription for something or other. I get the prescription filled, go home, take a pill and go to bed. When I wake up 2 hours later, my hip is now killing bad I can barely walk.

    So this begins a 2 weeks cycle of me feeling lousy, feeling better, pain etc. (I was going back to work whenever I felt better and staying home on the other days). Towards the end, it is my back that hurts...back spasms like you wouldn't believe. I try using a hot water bottle and give myself second degree burns on my back (which didn't feel as bad as the actual back pain...) By this time, I'm reduced to having to sleep sitting up on my couch -- it just plain hurts too much to lie down. So my doctor prescribes pain pills and muscle relaxants and all sorts of pharmaceuticals which only numb the pain a little bit. And he thinks it may be hepatitis, so he keeps drawing blood and having it tested. (I was pretty damn happy when he ruled out Hep B)

    Finally, my friend came over to bring me some groceries, fill my prescriptions, etc. I could barely walk around the apt. (I do remember asking him when he came in if he wanted to snuggle... apparently I was drenched in sweat at the time. Isn't that a lovely image? *G*) He says that I wasn't making any sense, talking nonsense, etc. so he insists on taking me to the hospital. Which was very nice of him and he even spent much of the night with me while I had spinal taps and god knows what else done to me. The drs. came in after the spinal tap and asked what drugs I was on, and how they only see these results when someone has been doing drugs (at least that is the way I remember it...) I get quite rude! And I haven't done anything since college and all I did back then was a little pot. Hmmmph!

    Three days later I have an unobserved seizure and I remember nothing until about 2 weeks later. Turns out I had a staph infection which infected my mitral valve...the infection shot off clots into my brain, caused bleeding and probably was the source of my passing out 2 weeks earlier.

    So, after open heart surgery and 4 weeks or so of recuperation and rehab, I now am the lucky owner of a mechanical heart valve which ticks quite loudly and annoys me when I'm trying to sleep. And I had to learn to walk and think again cuz of the strokes...but what can you do -- it's useless to complain. The biggest pain is I now have to get IV antibiotics prior to any dental work and need blood tests every 2 weeks and am on medication for the rest of my life and a lot of the time I can't remember if I've taken it or not, but hey...who's complaining? Not me. Oh, and I just turned 35 in December so it's not like I'm an old fart. (My roommate in rehab had brain surgery so he was quite the zombie. Used to pee on the floor practically every night... :-p Now there's a nice image for ya!)

    So what were you in for?

By Christopher on Friday, February 20, 1998 - 03:20 pm:
    OK. You showed me yours, Heres Mine (heheheh)

    A lovely spring day in Germany. Cruising down the Autobahn, Dad is driving a BMW, speed about 85mph. Apparently, that is the equivalent to the slow lane in Germany. One of those fun loving Aryans decided to show up that sluggish beemer with his masculine Mercedes and plowed into the back of it. That is where I was. The Mercedes effectively "mounted" the Beemer and crushed down the rear end and skinned me from the middle of my back down to just below the belt line. Yep. Ripped my skin right off. No broken bones, no concussion, just me, trapped in the back of a crushed BMW, bleeding to death at the age of 16. I was flown by helicopter to a hospital and some of my skin was reattached, then several weeks of laying there in
    an amorphous hazy blur of morphine, while my skin slowly reattached to my body. After that I went back to the states, and became a junkie . Wait--Thats not what I meant to say. I meant to say that I under went a couple of skin grafts, which weren't too bad. The surgeons did a really good job, and now it looks like I have stripes on my lower back, but it isn't repulsive looking or anything. I can't get sunburned back there or I'll be in trouble, so my aspirations to be entertainment coordinator at the local nudist colony had to be shelved. All in all, I walked away from it without too much anguish. I do have some hangups about being a passenger in a car. I'm the worst backseat driver you've ever seen, and if the car I'm in gets closer than two car lengths while we're travelling I get really freaked out and tense, stamping on the imaginary break pedal and clutching the dashboard. The only other leftovers from this whole experience is that when I hear someone speaking german, I'm torn between wanting to put sugar in their gas tank and wanting to ask if they have any morphine.

By Pete on Monday, February 23, 1998 - 10:24 am:

    2 scarred, GWM separated by 3000 miles, give or take a few. AND you can cook, you say? Hmmmmm...

    Well, glad to hear you pulled through ok...I think you're going to make it after all (as the theme music to the Mary Tyler Moore show swells dramatically)

    You know, there was an accident last year (or was it 2 years ago? I've lost all concept of time since the hospital stay...) where a Georgian Diplomat was speeding up Dupont Circle, plowed into some cars, launched one into the air where it came to rest, upside down on another car and killed the girl passenger -- Diplomatic Immunity my ass -- anyway, your story reminded me of that story. Lucky for you the outcome wasn't you feel "blessed" somehow? I know I don't. But I did have all sorts of people telling me I was once I came back to work -- felt like screaming at them instead, maybe spinning my head around 360 degrees *G*

By Edgy on Monday, February 23, 1998 - 12:57 pm:
    A Georgian diplomat? Probably all liquored up on corn squeezin's. What the hell are they letting them damn southerners have drivers licenses for, let alone positions in politics? Look at Bubba, screwing around with all them interns! Someone should make a law. If you're from Dixie, you can only drive south of the Mason/Dixon. As for politics, we northeners have enough problems with the Kennedys.

By Pete on Monday, February 23, 1998 - 02:33 pm:
    uh, that would be the REPUBLIC OF GEORGIA, as in the former Soviet Union, the U.S.S.R., the Red Menace....

By Edgy on Monday, February 23, 1998 - 04:34 pm:
    Hey, isn't it poor form to call them Russkies "The Red Menace"? And as far as them Southerners trying to pull that secession crap again (Republic of Georgia? Sheesh!), I thought they'd of learned after the Civil War. I didn't know things had gotten so bad down there that they are starting to model themselves after the Commies. Dear God, we're gonna have to put a fence around them.

By Boris Badanov on Tuesday, February 24, 1998 - 08:14 am:
    A big tall fence with barbed wire to keep the crazies in...and the weirdos out.

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