Saturday, October 08, 2011
Happy to Be On This Side of the Grass
That was not a given back at the end of September. I'd gone in for a routine colonoscopy -- in fact my first, baseline one recommended for we 50-year-olds. I was lightly anesthetized with Versed and Demerol, a mixture I'd been given before for oral surgery, with no ill effects.
I remember waking up woozy and uncoordinated and having to ride a wheelchair to our car. I remember eating a late lunch on our patio. I remember walking inside and lying down on the sofa. At some later point I moved to the bedroom.
Then, apparently I experienced what they call a rebound effect from the anesthesia; instead of passing out of my body the way it's supposed to, it somehow re-anesthetized me, to the point of seizure and respiratory failure. Fellow Traveler, who'd been checking on me every quarter hour, stepped into the bedroom to find me on the floor, face bloody, writhing and trying to cry for help. Yup; I almost bought the farm that night, while the local first responders and ER staff worked on me.
I'm not sure whether to be relieved or disappointed that, during this medical crisis, I didn't see Jesus or my dead relatives; I wasn't encouraged to walk toward the light; I just woke up in ICU, stuck with tubes and sensors, being coaxed into eating a really bad omelet.
I came home for a week of marginal functionality -- I was on bedrest, which wasn't difficult for me because my head felt as if it were stuffed with a heavy bolt of wool, and I was having a hard time with eyestrain and sudden changes in light and dark. I also discovered that, during my seizure, I'd broken a molar, my notorious "weather tooth." But my biggest problem was fear: fear of going to sleep and not waking up; fear of sleeping alone.
Then, just as the fog was starting to lift and I was tentatively puttering around the house in gentle activity -- I came down with a bad upper respiratory infection, one that knocked me back into bed for another week.
All of which is to say, it's been an interesting couple of weeks. And I'm on a fairly short leash for the next six weeks. Oh -- and Michigan law mandates that, since I seizured, I can't drive for six months. (How advantageous that most of my six months will be during the time of year that I hate driving the most.)
But as FT's uncle used to say, any day on this side of the grass is a good day. Right now FT is at the antique store where we keep a booth; I'm taking a break from some very low-key laundering and dusting, watching the honeybees on our new mums and asters. My head and eyes are still "heavy," but they're getting better.