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Post number 24588Forum: Community Circle   Posted: Today at 0:37   Subject: It sort of depends on what you are going through?
Sometimes just surviving is all you can do.

May of 1993 I suddenly felt sick to the stomach, and began retching over and over, even after there was nothing to bring us. My stomach began to swell up and I was soon weak enough to collapse on to the floor. My partner made an emergency call and an ambulance was sent out, only to break don on the way. So it was nearly an hour later before the second one made it to my home, some ten miles from town I don't remember much of the ride, and was sort of in and out in the emergency room. Scans were made and blood taken for tests, but because of pain in my chest, I was transferred to a hospital some sixty miles away as they suspected I was having a heart attack and our local hospital did not have s surgeon. During the hour ride to the next hospital, tests results showed I instead had pancreatitis. This created an unfortunate situation at the second hospital as they had already called in a heart surgeon and he remained my main doctor throughout my stay. A heart surgeon called in and then discovers that he will not be doing surgery is not a happy doctor. and we never did get along. Meanwhile some scary hallucinations, made me afraid to sleep at night so I stayed awake all night and was out of it all day.

As a result I was not aware of most of what happened beyond four Cat Scans, nor my partner's visits. During the three weeks that I was there though he noticed so odd things. I was not allowed to eat or drinks fluids so everything came through two pumps an IVs. One day he noted redness around one of the IV, suggesting that it was not be changed ever 48 hours as required. Two weeks later, still unconscious, one of the pumps broke down and it's alarm brought an orderly who looked at me and the machine and unplugged it. When partner asked what he was doing, the orderly replied, "Well he is going to die anyway." Thus my partner had to get ah old of a State senator to see about getting me into the Veteran's Hospital nearly a hundred miles away, and my illness was not considered to be war related.

Once the order came through to transfer me there was the question of transport. As I had no medical insurance they would not medivac me out by helicopter, and even ambulance was questionable. So when I finally got a ride it was with neither saline solution IV, or antibiotics IVs. So I arrived at my third hospital in somewhat worse condition than I had started.

So the Veterans Hospital was the one that saved my life after many months, however even they tried to get me to go home a bit too early. first rip home I was so weak that after getting dressed and making breakfast, I was back in bed, so I had to fight my way back into the VA Hospital. A friend took me on the 225 mile trip back and we ran out of gas near an Indian Reservation, so he pulled off and had to walk to the nearest gas station n the Res., while Native police were wondering it they should take me to an emergency room, I said no that my friend would take me. It took four hours in the emergency room before they allowed me to come back in.

After that it was pretty much a repeat of several months and then at some point it was decided to release me again, but I knew I was in no shape to be home, so I demanded a nursing home until I got stronger. I had lost a lot of weight, from 210 pounds, to 139 pound. The first one, and nicer nursing home, decided not to take me so I ended up in the kind one hears horror stories about. Rolling Linoleum covered floors, painted concrete walls in a bare bit of ground in an industrial park right next to the Interstate, understaffed and they did not have physical training that I needed so I had to invent my own.

One thing they did have was Bingo games that the winner got a couple of quarters. Pocket money is a great rarity in a nursing home. One thing they do not have is decent and hot coffee. So that was what gave me an idea for my own Physical Training Program, walking.
At first that was only in the building, I was still weak. Then outside and then a block away, two blocks and so forth. I was not restricted to the building, just as long as I showed up for medications and mealtimes. Three blocks way I found my first cafe and my first hot coffee.
As my night nurse was Wiccan, she let me know about three Goddess tapes that our local Public Broadcasting station at the local University was showing during their fund raising season. As I could dress and undress myself I had the whole of the TV room to myself and watched. That set my next goal to someday make it to the University. One advantage that I had over most patients was that I had worked at a nursing home and studied what patients did that functioned and knew the limits of what the staff could do. So I never complained about something that they could do nothing about.

A couple of weeks later I finally made the two mile trip to the university, went to the public Broadcasting station and asked to order the tapes. In spite of having no money one me they did so, and I sent for money from my parents. As I was pretty good at winning Bingo, I usually had pocket change so the university became my coffee stop and I would start my usual odd conversations with local students who did not seem to find my death warmed over look, nor clothing that might of reminded them of homeless people under the bridges. meanwhile the University had grass, trees and even a pond with ducks, and fish to watch. So the University supplied me with the mental, physical exercise and some feeling of nature, which helped me to eventually be strong enough to leave and go back home. Still if was three more years before I dared to make an appointment for the next week.

Meanwhile I had learned some important lessons, how to accept conditions that I could not change, developed a sense of humor, and to search out, and note the smallest of good things every day, even if that was only that the bad thing was not quite as bad as I had expected. Now twenty-five years later, even with more disabilities and health issue, I find myself a rather cheerful old geezer, something that I could not have imagined as a young man often angry, frustrated and depressed by being Bi-Polar. So even our worst situations can bring us rewards of learning how to enjoy life however it may be.

But as I need laughter every day, that is the reason for the seventeen pounds of bird seed and four gallons of water a day that put across the driveway for the birds, and other desert critters. That guarantees that I can usually look out my window any time during the day, and see some critters doing something that will make me laugh each day. Life does not always bring you laughter, so sometimes you simply have to arrange for it. Works for me.
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