Wednesday, April 02, 2014

I Feel Normal

My view during the climb for altitude in the King Air "ambulance"

Welp, I've been in the hospital again. I still had a low red blood cell count, so I was anemic as hell, and my INR was about right, but it had been a lot higher. INR is International Normalized Ratio, and it gives a scale to the degree your blood is thinned. Normal is high ones or low twos, thin enough to prevent blood clots is normally around three. All the blood thinners out there will turn your innards to liquid if you take too much - warfarin has the slang name of "rat poison" for a reason. That is exactly what it is - rats and mice eat that stuff and they die horrible painful deaths when their guts turn to water. Oh damn. Cry me a river.

So anyhow, I had gone in for a doctor's appointment, and she decided I needed to be hospitalized. I started out in a regular room, but when I started eliminating fresh blood from the ol' starfish during a cleanout to prepare for a scoping, they moved me to intensive care. I'd already had a severe case of diarrhea before I ever got there, so my unmentionable body part was mighty tender. Still is - haven't quite healed up yet.

Scoping didn't really find anything, but I hadn't really started crapping pure blood just yet, either. They thought I had some scabs in my stomach and put a vacuum line down my nose. They were getting some blood up from my tummy, so I had apparently been doing some bleeding there. They more or less threw up their hands and decided there wasn't much they were getting done, so they decided to ship me to Wichita to Via Christy St. Josephs, where I was put in an intensive care room.

They pulled my tube tout suite - they said suction is the last thing you want to do - you don't want to suck up a scab and start more bleeding. I had not been allowed any food or water for several days by then, and I was about to go nuts. When they finally allowed me to drink, I about foundered on icewater - Sis was there and she probably got tired fetching refills for me all the time. I couldn't help it - it seemed nothing tasted better in my life than that cold water and I'd never get my fill.

What happened was that they weren't giving me my diuretics and I gained about twenty pounds of water weight while imprisoned. Since they are more or less set up to keep you in bed and not moving around in those wards, they have no real bathrooms for the patients. It's pee and crap in bedpans, urinals and commodes. The damn commode had a hole that was not elongated enough, so that I'd pee on the damn floor when I had to do my bidness. They finally decided that I had been bleeding in my colon, that it had stopped, and they moved me to a regular room, and later that afternoon (last Saturday) they cut me loose.

I got kinda crabby on Facebook because for about the fifteenth time someone asked me how I felt. I answered "Normal." That was not good enough for her - she kept hounding me for a more detailed answer. I was tired and cranky, and there were several reasons. One - I'd already answered that question about ten times too many, and by then I had the idea that people would rather just ask me and bother me and push my privacy hotbutton than look at all the other times I had answered that question. So I asked her what sort of right she had to ask, and what sort of answer did she want? Did she want me to blow smoke up her a$$ telling her how good I felt, or would she really like to hear the real nitty gritty (cue the highly irritated starfish, among other things. She let it go, and another of my friends called me "Mr. Grumpy."

Yep, I was that.

But let's look at what I mean by normal. Right now I feel about 25%. When I got out of the hospital, I could barely walk, I could not feel Mr. Winky and the boys because I had sat at the edge of the air mattresses and a really crappy chair for too long and had my nerves pinched. I swear, I put three pillows down on that chair and it still managed to kill off the family jewels. I'd gained about twenty pounds, so my feet were so swollen putting socks and shoes on was quite a chore. The skin on my shins was blistering and opening up to drain liquid. So, I figure I felt somewhere between 15 or 20% when I got out. Sunday I started recovering quite well and was able to walk around the house without losing my balance or being unable to get very far. By Monday, I'd lost a few pounds and I had about as much stamina as I've had for months. Not enough to go without riding the fat man cart at Wally World, but enough to load myself into my pickup, drive somewhere, and walk into the store without too much drama. Normal, in other words. Had I said I felt fine, I'd be lying. With my way of thinking about it - I'd have to be about 60% to feel "fine."

I figure that the high point in my life as far as physical condition was when I was in my early to mid twenties. I'd been working a very physical job at a warehouse and had lost over a hundred pounds working there. I was pretty much full of  piss and vinegar, and I'd say I felt about 95%. Now, complications from diabetes have brought that score down and I'll never get that good. I have no feeling in my feet, so balance is an issue. When the pain from diabetic neuropathy kicks in, that knocks the score down quite a bit as well.  Being morbidly obese knocks that score down as well. I think that if I do manage to drop a bunch of weight and get into better shape with far better stamina - I hope to be above 65% - maybe up to 70%. I have to believe my efforts just might have a payoff or I couldn't go on.

But now, anemic and with no wind at all, and carrying all this weight has really dropped that score. Before my current weight ballooned up so badly, I weighed about 350 - and I was carrying enough water even back then to make my shins weep like they do now, so as long as I can keep shedding water, maybe I'm in business.

I'd sure like to say "I feel fine" and be telling the truth.


Earl said...

Keep moving, those medical types can catch you if you don't keep moving. You have every problem my mother had, she wouldn't move enough, everything seemed to hurt, so she sat, and that didn't help.

threecollie said...

Wish you could say "fine" and mean it and hope that day does come. Meanwhile, praying for you, which is about all that is within my reach. Feel free to grump btw. You have every right and reason.

lisa said...

Thinking of you, and if I was going through what you are, I think I would get a little tired of people asking how I am doing, also! Most of us know you are not doing great, and just so you know, we sure are thinking of you at this time. Prayers, always. Hopefully soon you will be saying you are feeling FINE!

Anonymous said...

You are on my prayer list. You do have a right to feel crappy and you can say so. Just hang in there! It is good you are home.

jed said...

Why wouldn't they give you the diuretics? I suppose they had their reasons, but I'm hard pressed to make the connection between internal bleeding and water retention. If it'd been a drug interaction issue, you'd think it would've manifested earlier.

But you got a ride in a King Air. Nice plane. Curse the circumstances though. I was thinking, at least you went for a plane ride without getting probulated by the TSA, but then you got plenty of that, eh?

Sorry to hear of the setback, but glad to hear you've turned it around again.

Here's something you probably don't see more than once: Man grafts Peterbilt cab onto tractor for cross-country trip.

And yeah, damn those petite little toilets built for an ass the size of a french hooker. We men demand the Binford Jet-Stream 10-gallon SuperFlush! When you hit the lever, Lake Meade better notice it!

Road Pig said...

Not Mr. Grumpy. I called you Grumpy Gus. And one of your other friends said exactly the same thing I said to you. GET MOVING!!!!

Anonymous said...

I hear you.

You're like Sisyphus with his stone.
We all are, on much smaller scale than yours - but we know the feeling.
There is no other way, Jeff, but roll that stone, up up the mountain.

No shortcuts for us.

Jess said...

From my point of view, in spite of your health problems, it's good to know you're still on the green side of dirt.

Hang in there.

Kathy B. said...

Thanks for not giving me a really mean reply:) Sorry I asked. Good health is something that many of us take for granted. Having watched family members that have suffered, I've figuratively been moved to action the past 25 years. I do miss a cigarette and some booze every now and then, but not enough to partake. I say a prayer for you Jeffro.