I haven’t been feeling well for a while; I have some chronic health problems and this is to be expected when you reach the age of 56, and haven’t taken the best of care of your body. Frankly, I’m lucky to be alive and in fairly decent shape. The only real down side is I have to behave myself now. The fun had to end some time I guess. Anyway, I have been having some dizziness for about three weeks and it got sharply worse 3 nights ago. I have been having trouble breathing recently and I do have emphysema. I stopped smoking years ago, but have been fairly symptomless until about a month ago. Smoke Nazis, spare me the hate mail. On second thought, vent away. At least it’s a response. Just kidding. Enough organ recital; that’s not what this entry’s about. No, the journey’s the thing, here.

We call 911. I’m legally blind and am starting to have trouble getting up and down the stairs, so the Transcare people come out. Doogie Howser’s driving and Denis Leary’s riding shotgun. My roommate hollers out, “Jesus, how old is that kid, 12?” This kid doesn’t even break stride. He and Denis just get me on the gurney and wheel me into the van and off we go. I ask Doogie, “how old are you?” he says, “16… no, really, I’m 22.” Denis interjects “but he writes like a kindergartner.” I shoot back, “is that in form or content?” Denis laughs, “his content’s good, but his form sucks.”

In the meantime, they seem concerned with my O2 gases; they keep pinching my finger ends with those clothes-pin like doo-dads; nothing serious, but it’s bugging the hell out of me. It turns out Doogie’s last name is Memo and he answer to Memo. For real. I tell him I am going to use him in my blog if I ever pick it up again, but that I will give him an alias like “Note-Pad” which I think is really lame on my part. Denis thinks this is really funny; go figure.

Anyway, we travel with gay abandon through the streets of lower Tampa to to the Emergency Room. Memo drives. Denis points out all the highlights, kind of a low-rent tour guide. He’s diverting me because I’ve decided this is the perfect time to have a full blown panic/anxiety attack. It’s been so long since I’ve had one, I’ve forgotten how truly horrific they can be and I am out of shape.

I don’t go out much and if I do, it’s to a doctor’s office or the grocery store or the corner store. The last time I took a ride in an ambulance, I don’t remember because I was elsewhere occupied with a psychotic break, so I was kinda busy. So, on top of being out of shape, everything is just so goddamned STRANGE!!!

I highly recommend the humor approach to combat the panic. Denis (whose real name I never did get) started in. First he told me I couldn’t have an attack, it wasn’t on his schedule; we hadn’t even turned the corner yet. He explained that his was scheduled for Tuesday and we were having synchronized Panic Attack practice on that day. The Vise grip on my head is easing a bit.  He was helpfully pointing out various cats and kids on bikes which I couldn’t see because I was LYING DOWN, but he caught himself. I thought that was pretty bogus, heh.

Then as we were driving by a burnt out gas station (which I also couldn’t see, because I was STILL LYING DOWN, but which I know about,) he told me his friend took him by the thing and told him that this was the place where he was arrested. Denis said, “and?” The guy said, “and the next month, I was on C.O.P.S.! Wanna see the tape!” The guy was really tickled. Denis says, “So, the show we all watch when we want to feel better about our own crappy lives is being touted and bragged on by a guy who is on the show getting arrested. I’m surprised he’s not handing out copies of the tape.” I said, “Next time you see him, tell him to get an agent; he’s going places.”  Denis laughs.

About this time, we’re rolling up into the bay doors of the hospital. The usual rigamarole. Gurney derby, race through halls, grab a wheel chair, joust your way to the waiting room for triage. Denis insists I use my seeing eye cane as if I am in Medieval Times in the Lists. I get a primo spot by the elevators. Memo and Denis leave to collect other patients. After triage, as the nurse is helping me with my things, she hands me my seeing-eye cane and says, “here’s your whack-a-mole stick.” I wheel on out to sit with what seems like several hundred other fellow ailers in the waiting room in wheel chairs. It is a busy Friday. I get home late, late that night. No bacterial infection, some kind of virus. A little song, a little dance a little seltzer down my pants. I’m good to go. I feel better all ready.


Posted June 10, 2012 by violafury in Uncategorized

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