arteejee

A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Bloggerpalooza Hangover (Part 2), or the Continuing Adventures of the Warrior Queen in ICU



Quick recap: last Friday morning, I returned home from a clinic visit when my wife suffered an asthma attack and told me to call 9-1-1. I was on the phone for all of a minute and thirty seconds, and by the time we were finished the operator said that help was on its way. 
 
Meanwhile, the Warrior Queen had retreated to our downstairs powder room. She had assumed her normal position for an asthma attack: seated on the toilet with her head hanging over the sink. Yes, our powder room is the size of an old-fashioned telephone booth. It’s small enough so that you can sit on the crapper and spit up anything into the sink at the same time. It’s a room that brings out the biological versatility in all of us.

The emergency vehicles - East Norriton police car and an ambulance - were in our driveway within five minutes. The female officer came in and told me to guide the ambulance crew in, while she assisted Anne Marie. The officer could not get too much information from AM because my spouse could not catch enough of a breath to speak. 
  
The next few minutes went by quickly in a blur. One crew member asked me about her medications and insurance coverage. I dumped the contents of her purse on the couch so I could find the info the crew needed. I found her insurance card and we ascertained from a few medicine bottles on our side table which medicines she took on a regular basis. Meanwhile, his partner worked on placing a tube into Anne Marie’s mouth to start treatment.

I scooped up Nyla and put her onto our sun porch until the ambulance crew could get Anne Marie out safely. While the crew loaded her up - at this point she was loudly gasping for breath, even with the tube in her mouth - I prepared to follow them. I said a quick prayer under my breath (yes, I still believe in the existence of God), pleading that Anne Marie would not be taken from me. I was scared and let my thoughts tumble into the most fearful scenarios imaginable.

The ride to the hospital was short and uneventful. The police officer turned off a side street before we reached the main street of our township, Germantown Pike. I didn’t get a chance to thank her, but I hope to somehow catch up with her soon.

At the hospital, I was a few steps behind the crew taking Anne Marie into the emergency triage area. I turned right into the administrative section and gave as much info as I could to the lady at the desk. Yes, here is her insurance card; no, I don’t know her social security number, or the name of her family doctor, but her office is on Township Line Road across from the CVS Pharmacy. Yes, the woman knew who I was talking about, but she could not figure out the proper name either. We both agreed that this information could be gleaned later.

After a short wait, I was allowed to see Anne Marie in her exam room. At this point, she was sitting up, conscious, and breathing with the aid of a device which resembled a T-bone stuck in her mouth (insert double entendres later). She could barely speak, but we were able to communicate to each other that we were both scared. And oh yes, I told her I loved her.

Wow! Reader’s Digest maudlin alert!

At this point, Warrior Queen expected to spend a few hours here, be released, and be home in time to post the Saturday Night Dance Party on her blog. After a major medical, potentially life-threatening emergency? HA!

Within a few more hours, she was transferred to her own small room in the hospital ICU unit. Somewhere along the way, a cardiologist was brought in and an order for an ultrasound was issued. In the meantime, I went home, fed Nyla, and returned later to find the ultrasound in progress. No doubt the findings were inconclusive since Anne Marie could not stop coughing long enough for the device to get an accurate reading. 
 
First night AM had a liquid diet, and even then they held off giving her any liquids as long as possible until the staff was certain that she was not suffering heart failure. Heart failure? Where the eff did that diagnosis come from? The next day AM was back on a solid diet and anxious to get home. Unfortunately, the doctor on her case would not release her until a viral specialist saw her. A call was made to this doctor’s answering service that morning…and we waited. At one point, I went home to get spouse’s knitting to stave off her boredom, and her favorite stuffed animal, Boo Bear, in case she ended up staying another night. She would need her bear to help her sleep. 

We both knew that Anne Marie was feeling better and getting back to her old self as early as Saturday afternoon. When I came back after lunch, she was having her lunch. I stuck my tongue out at her through the glass door of her room; she responded by showing me her middle finger. Yeah, she was feeling better all right!

Unfortunately, the doctor she needed to see did not get her message until Sunday morning. This doctor examined her, pronounced her fit to go home, and after one more respiratory treatment, I brought Anne Marie home that afternoon. 
 
At some point during this experience, my own ailments from the previous week disappeared. It may have been the medications finally doing their work, or a combination of the drugs and adrenaline kicking in during Anne Marie’s crisis which did the trick. This week I’m feeling 100% better.

If I may indulge in one more moment of Reader’s Digest maudlinity, I hope Anne Marie and I won’t have a repeat of this experience anytime soon…

(Thank you for reading!)

8 Comments:

Blogger Nadege said...

What a crazy weekend you had! First all the excitement of Bloggerpalooza then this ordeal.
I am so glad you are both on the mend. (You both looked so good on Ron's short film, how could it all happen so fast?).

March 25, 2014 at 8:49 PM  
Blogger Bob Slatten said...

I know "that" feeling all too well, and wouldn't wish it on anyone.
Glad it resolved itself and everyone's doing better now.

March 25, 2014 at 11:15 PM  
Blogger Ur-spo said...

Indeed that is enough drama for now.

March 25, 2014 at 11:26 PM  
Blogger slugmama said...

Thank goodness AM's middle fingers are in working order again!
Quite enough exceitement for one month(or should that be year?).

I hesitate to ask what you will do next year after Bloggerpalooza III too top this....

Though I am not a dr.(nor do I play one on the interwebs), here's my prescription for next year--Remember, MORE excitement AT the Bloggerpalooza, MUCH LESS excitement the week after.

Glad you are feeling gads better too Todd, she said, in her best maudlin voice. ;-)

March 26, 2014 at 3:35 PM  
Blogger Travel said...

You all take care,
DG

March 26, 2014 at 6:31 PM  
Blogger todd gunther said...

Thank you all for your wishes. Yes, way too much excitement during the last two weekends. i think we will just relax and watch it rain this weekend.

March 28, 2014 at 6:45 AM  
Blogger Jay M. said...

I'm a little slow on the uptake apparently. I am so glad you have good EMS response there, and that everything has turned out OK!

WHEW!

Peace <3
Jay

March 29, 2014 at 1:04 PM  
Blogger todd gunther said...

Don't worry about being slow, Jay. Thanks for your wishes!

April 5, 2014 at 6:48 AM  

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