Totally Maimed for Life

The last two weeks have sucked some major donkey balls.  It’s been over a year and a half since my heart attack, and I have been relatively healthy.  I have been losing weight, and dong really well.  Like nearly down 70 lbs from my heaviest.

But two weeks ago, I started to feel all gross and pukey again.  And the worst part was that I was supposed to be babysitting for the week while my cousin was out of town.  Ugh.  I was able to help out as much as I could, but I was finally able to make it home.  Home is the best place to feel sick.  Not that you feel better, but it is always better to be in your own space and element.  But around Friday, I really couldn’t make decisions anymore, so Paul took me to the ER for the first time since the heart attack.  They kept me overnight, ran a bunch of tests, and thankfully there was no additional heart attack.  They let me leave on Saturday.

But by Sunday, I felt shitty again.  Monday was ok.  A great friend came by to bring me a smoothie with a shot of vitamins and protein and I had a fairly good day.  Good friends are amazing.  But Tuesday, back to more of the same.  My blood pressure was up, along with everything else.  Paul had a long day of work, but when he got home I decided it was time to go back to the ER, if nothing else just to stop the damn cycle.

We went back to the same ER as before, and they rushed me back and started hooking me up to monitors and began the task of trying to draw blood.  Here’s the thing – I have always had one awesome vein in each arm.  Throughout my whole life, they were always the go-tos for any kinds of blood draws or IVs.  But over the past four years, they have been used and abused by medical staff, so now they suck.  These past two visits, I have gotten lucky that the person in the ER has been able to get an IV right away.  But, then they bruise the crap out of my arms trying to draw more blood.

But on this trip, for some reason, someone from Respiratory came to see me.  She said that they needed to draw some blood.  I didn’t know why, but I rarely question.  I told her good luck with that.  Between the dehydration and weird, tiny rolling veins, I knew the chances were slim.  “Actually, I have to draw arterial blood.”  [blank face from me]  “I have to draw it straight from an artery.  And it might be a little painful.”  Ok.  Whatever.

Let me explain.  I don’t care.  I have been poked so many times in my life that it doesn’t even phase me.  I had to start taking weekly allergy shots when I was two years old, which continued until I was 15.  I have been hospitalized dozens of times in the past four years.  I had a heart attack, during which I had a heart cath done (which consists of running an electrode from your groin up into your heart) and I was awake for it.  What I am trying to say here is that I am not a wimp.  I rarely even notice what they are doing, and I have never made a sound.  Even with the heart cath which was painful.  But mostly I didn’t move because I was afraid they would kill me.

When this lady went to hit the first artery, I almost punched her in the face.  I have never felt anything like it.  Mostly, because as soon as she hit the artery, lightning shot through my thumb and forefinger.  And not in a cool, Dark Lord of the Sith, kind of way.  More in an OH MY FUCKING GOD LIGHTENING JUST SHOT THROUGH MY FINGERS!!!! kind of way.  And I screamed.  I never scream.  At this point, Paul, who is terrified of needles, had to leave the room.  She looked at me all apologetically.  “What the hell was that???” I asked.  “Sometimes we hit a tendon.  But… I couldn’t get any blood.  I am going to have to try again.”

“I hate you.  I apologize in advance if I punch you in the face.”

FOUR TIMES she stuck me.  Once in each wrist and once in each arm.  I was BEGGING for pain medication.  No dice.  I don’t get it.  Normally when I walk in the door, they throw me on the morphine train.  They must have been using all their morphine to shoot up RTs before they came in to do arterial sticks on unsuspecting sick girls.

I guess she finally got some kind of blood, but at this point, both of my thumbs are spazzing out, along with my index finger.  I’m pretty sure I passed out at that point.  They let me go home after the fluids and some other meds (still none for pain, bastards) and I went straight to sleep.

But here’s the deal – Apparently, this lady’s “gift” was one that keeps on giving.  I am now all shocky in my hands if I move them suddenly.  Or my arms.  Or not at all.  I am wondering if I have permanent nerve damage.  This will really cramp my style.  Not to mention it hurts like a motherfucker!  Last night I must have slept on my arms weird because I feel like a slow kid that just keeps touching the electric fence.  “Ow! Quit it! Ow!  Quit it!”  Ugh.  I told Paul that pretty soon my hands were going to be all clawed up.

Paul:  Like a lobster?

Me:  Yes.  Exactly like a lobster.  I will get a red and white checkered cape and a side arm of butter and will become Lobster Girl.

Paul: [laughing] I love you.

So, since I am having a hard time typing much, or opening jars, I may just have to start going around telling my gruesome story of how I was maimed for life (or hopefully like a week).  Or whatever other stupid thing comes to mind.  Lobster Girl – Live on Stage in Branson.  How depressing.

About ElizabethBlessitt

Writer. Photographer. Organization Development guru. Rabid Scrapbooker. Partially terrified singer. Getting fit physically and emotionally. Will kick your ass at Jeopardy. Does Sudoku and Crosswords in pen.
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