What I Did on My Winter Vacation

What I Did on My Winter Vacation

This is a discussion on What I Did on My Winter Vacation within the Bob & Terry's Place forums, part of the The Back Porch category; A few weeks ago, I was facing the perils and discomforts of colonoscopy. In self defense, I cleverly avoided that very unpleasant issue by contracting ...

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    Senior Member Array M1911A1's Avatar
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    What I Did on My Winter Vacation

    A few weeks ago, I was facing the perils and discomforts of colonoscopy. In self defense, I cleverly avoided that very unpleasant issue by contracting double pneumonia instead, because they can't do a colonoscopy on someone who may be on his death-bed. But it turns out that I wasn't clever enough by half. My body decided, all on its own, to add pericarditis to the mix, and then it threw in pericardial effusion as a bonus prize.

    I guess that definitions are in order. Pneumonia? Lung infection. Both lungs, in my case. They fill with semi-liquid crud, and breathing becomes difficult, but coughing becomes frequent and painful. Pericarditis? Infection of the pericardium, the sack which surrounds the heart. It becomes inflamed and filled with fluid, and the heart struggles to pump blood, and wants to quit its job and retire to Florida. Pericardial effusion? Liquid of one sort or another keeps invading the pericardium, and makes the heart feel very annoyed.

    Thinking that my problem was merely a heart attack, our island's EMTs shoved me into a helicopter, and sent me off to St. Joseph's Hospital for the Physiologically Perplexed in far-off Bellingham, WA. But no, it really was pneumonia, for which St. Joe's filled me full of antibiotics. Those antibiotics had the interesting side effect of promoting diarrhea, so, much too frequently, I experienced the incomparable pleasure of gasping desperately for air as I went galloping toward the nearest toilet. After four days of this, the medication had finally worked its magic, and I was sent home.

    But then the pericarditis made itself known. That was much less of an emergency, so Washington State's ferry system carried me off to Island Hospital in nearby Anacortes. I can tell you with complete confidence that Island Hospital is my resort hotel of choice, not least because the food is really good and the nurses are really nice. Island Hospital's house physician told me one of those things that a patient never wants to hear: "Your case is…interesting. Really, really interesting." But even so, four days later I was on my way home again.

    A day later, the EMTs were back. I was once again having sharp, unrelenting chest pains. "Heart attack," they said. "To St. Joe's," they said. Heck no, I said. Anacortes, please. And so, once again I was stuffed into a helicopter. This time, the whirly-bird had serious problems with shake, rattle, and roll. Now, I know that a helicopter is merely an assortment of associated parts, all flying in formation, but on this trip the judder, clank, and shake was just a wee bit overemphasized. I must admit that we did land safely, though.

    This is when the pericardial effusion showed up. The pills to reduce that little number had me filling Mr. PeeBottle about every half hour, but at least there was no running and no shortness of breath. And, as usual, four days later I was home again. Home now included a source of oxygen, to which I am still connected by a long tube, and the requirement that I spend the vast majority of my time in my most comfortable chair, unmoving and resting, probably for the next two months.

    My first visitor, during my convalescence, was my dear friend Pat. She looked down at me, temporarily anchored to my chair and tied to my source of oxygen by that long tube, and she said, "You know, you should've chosen the colonoscopy." And, of course, she was right.

    So now you know where I've been, all this time (that is, if you'd noticed that I was gone). I should be back to being almost normal by the end of March, or maybe in early April.
    Steve
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    VIP Member Array MMinSC's Avatar
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    Wow, glad you are improving now. I hope your recovery is smooth and not too tedious.
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    Glad you are on the mend! Makes us appreciate our health especially as we age!
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    As the poet said.....dude, that’s a weenie!

    Very very sorry to hear this partner and I’m glad you’re on the mend. The helicopter rides get a bit pricey I know. The combination that you’re describing sounds like a Muhammad Ali set up. But you’re a tough enough bugger to be weathering the storm. Keep us posted, breathe while ye may, can you have a snort now and again?
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    So sorry to hear all you went through but very good you did find a decent resort with knowledgeable enough staff to find the problem and not just do something not related and send you back home as so often happens!

    Do rest, and rest some more. And get all well again, please. Sending a few prayers in your direction.

    And one more thing: I have never heard of a hospital with good food before - at least, not since my twins were born 59 years ago in St. Louis Missouri. You DID pick a good one!
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    Glad you are doing better and back with us.
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    VIP Member Array G26Raven's Avatar
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    M1911A1, hope you are feeling completely back to normal. If not now, then very soon.
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    Distinguished Member Array KILTED COWBOY's Avatar
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    Well they say bad things happens in threes, so I guess you are in the clear now and good to go
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    Wow. That's quite a saga. Some people will do ANYTHING to avoid colonoscopy prep. Glad to hear you are on the mend.

    I spent about 15 months in Bremerton and got to spend quite a bit of time exploring Puget Sound and the mountain ranges. Whitbey Island was one of my favorites due to its disproportionate share of sunshine compared to the rest of area. Made more than a few trips to Anacortes Brewhouse. I'd love to play tourist again, but not by helicopter medivac.
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    I love the skillful arrangement of wording, which made me laugh, and then feel guilty for it!

    But yes, I did notice your absence, and am glad to see you back, and hope you have a speedy recovery!
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    It is a bugger when you can't breath.
    Thankfully most don't know what thats like.
    Get better soon!
    Listen & follow doctors advice.

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    VIP Member Array Texas Red's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M1911A1 View Post
    My first visitor, during my convalescence, was my dear friend Pat. She looked down at me, temporarily anchored to my chair and tied to my source of oxygen by that long tube, and she said, "You know, you should've chosen the colonoscopy." And, of course, she was right.

    So now you know where I've been, all this time (that is, if you'd noticed that I was gone). I should be back to being almost normal by the end of March, or maybe in early April.
    Holy healthcare, Batman!

    Here's to a quick and complete recovery.

    And then, the colonoscopy...

    They're no fun. I know. I've had four. But it'll be nuthin' compared to what you've been through.
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    VIP Member Array airslot's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about your health issues. Glad it seems to be under control and happy to see you back among us.
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    VIP Member Array LimaCharlie's Avatar
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    Remind me not to go on vacation with you! Glad you are back.
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    VIP Member Array Hoganbeg's Avatar
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    What, no vacation photos? At least you got to practice your creative writing! Now, repeat after me: "There's no place like Home...".
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