Sunday, December 21, 2014

Billy Squire

So, I spent the past two weeks with headaches. At first, OK, a headache. Everybody gets them from time to time. Usually, two Tylenol and a cup of Joe is all that is needed to wipe them away. Not this time. Two weeks later, they got worse. Worse enough for me, a typical American "I am fine" male, to call the doctor.  I had spoke with him a week earlier and we decided that unless they got worse I did not have to pay him a visit.

He sent me right to the neurologist who basically made me do the drunk walk - heel to toe, in a straight line, eyes closed, juggling three live chainsaws. Who has not been there?  Touch your finger to your nose. Good boy!  Now follow the light with your eyes.  You do have Scooby Snacks in your pocket, right. Otherwise, I am not going to do it. Come on, ask me. Pull my finger.

Well, I passed the tests and it was time to schedule the MRI. How many times have my readers told me to get my head examined. Here you go.

I get into the giant magnet of an MRI machine and it comes roaring and squealing and banging to life What is it you want to hear, the technicians asks referring to the music to soon come out of the headphones that is supposed to sooth me? Of course, the correct answer was "Freebird."

The pitchy whiny non-metallic headphones start blaring loud tunes as the big machine kept on screeching and howling. After a few minutes, the tech gets on the speaker and asks if I am OK. I asked him, "I did mention I had headaches, didn't I?" Hulk kept smashing.

When blissful silence finally came, I got up, went to the locker to retrieve my belt and coat and then out to the waiting room. Evidently, the doctor labeled me as "stat" to wait for the results. In got on the house phone to chat with him and he said, in total disbelief himself, that I had a stroke.

Excuse me? I said. Are you @#$% kidding me? A stroke? I just came from the gym. I drove my family to New Jersey the week before. And I caught the game winning touchdown last Sunday. I had zero risk factors. I was generally healthy. And WTF?  It would have been the same surprise if he told me I was pregnant.

The doc said it did not just happen, more likely it was about a week old. Hmmm, is that why I have headaches? Was it the collision I had on the football field. I remember it being like bumping into someone walking in the mall. Not to mention I outweighed the other guy by maybe 30 lbs. But there was no get your a$$ to the emergency room this second urgency. First thing in the morning would be fine.

My devoted wife got me there and I was comfortably in the emergency room bed with my buttocks hanging out of the ample (not) hospital gown they supplied. The time was 10:30 am.

We just discharged a lot of patients so we should be able to get most of your tests done today. Liar! Not only did it take hours to get a room, when I was in the hallway waiting with the other room refugees but someone actually said it would be another 10-15 minutes. Liar!

Fortunately my primary care doc was on the case using his phone and a room suddenly was ready. The room attendant/nurse/assistant? asked if I needed anything and I said Buffalo Wild Wings. He liked that idea. Eventually, my ride arrived and the ride of shame from ER hallway to overnight room began. I waved to my wing man as we passed by.

The transporter guy kicked up quite a breeze as we whirred through the hallways. Impressive driving skills, too, as we avoided equipment left in the way and the backsides of relatives chatting with their own refugeed love ones.

Ride of shame? Yes, remember I was in the gym the day before. I do not need to ride like a sick person.

Cue voice in head - Dumbass, you just had a stroke.

I still had to walk the final distance from gurney to bed. I am not sure but I might have flexed a bicep as I did that. I ain't no hollaback boy!

We are trying to get that MRI in today sir. It was 5pm.

Can I get something for my headache? Sure, let me get something. In walked the nurse with two IV bags to help. After all, if were about to have tests, nothing by mouth. I felt a little better but I took a little look at the bags.  Saline and more saline. She said it was oxycodone. Liar!  True the fluids made things better but not for long. 

What about my test? We are still trying to get it in. It was 10:30 pm.

Doctor greenpants, one of the minions who checked me over when I was still in the ER dropped by. We just had a cancellation at the MRI so a spot cleared up for you. Liar!

I finished watching regulation for the 49ers-Chargers game on my computer and shut my light at about 10 to 12. Sorry, not watching overtime on that one. 

The Night before Football

'Twas the night before football, when all through the floor

Not a creature was stirring, bullsh*t, everyone was stirring, especially the door

The charts were hung on the wall with care,

In hopes that my MRI would soon be there

The patients were nestled all totally uncomfortable in their beds,

Can you please stop slamming the supply room door, the ache in my head

I tossed and I turned but could not find the spot,

The air in the room was stale and quite hot.

Finally, after sneaking my own supplies I managed to nod off at about 2:30. How do I know? I had just checked my email.

Suddenly, the sun ignited over my head and someone was at my side trying to wrap a tourniquet on my peaceful arm. It was the count, no, not Count von Count to help me count sheep to get back to sleep. No, it was Count Drac alighting to suck my blood.   The time was 4:45. Let me rephrase that Four Freakin Forty Five. Lots of "F's" in there for bombing.

Sleep? It is a good thing it is not helpful in healing sick and injured humans. And the headache came roaring back. Please sir, can I have some more....motrin? What? You want more? One of yesterday's doctors appeared among the throngs that came to visit this morning to ask if I had my MRI.

No, no don't rush it. I have only been here 11 hours. I have not even met my deductible yet. Actually, he seemed rather upset it had not happened yet but what did he do? Promise to get it rolling. Liar!

Well, at least the food has been pretty good. Seriously. I was surprised they offered so much bacon. In a stroke unit. Where they forced me, without risk factors, to take Lipitor for cholesterol. Can I get an apple?

Anyone who has read what I write knows I express myself through song lyrics quite frequently. What does the title of today's blog post mean? In the late 70s early 80s, Billy Squire had a few hits, one of which was named "The Stroke (1981)."

Now everybody have you heard
If you're in the game, then the stroke's the word
Don't take no rhythm, don't take no style
Got a thirst for chillin', grab your vile