What I haven't told you, because Google disenfranchised my blog about the time it happened, is that I was involved in another exciting medical experience this spring. Here would have been my report Wednesday, 8 June had I been able to file it.
The over-all sensation of the last 10 days is one of having been forced to run through a crowd of people all of whom beat me mercilessly with instruments, some heavy and blunt, some sharp and small. Somewhere in the middle of it, my fifth granddaughter was born! (See post for 31 May 2011.)
In more real terms, I began spontaneously to bleed to death just as I began to mount my motorcycle to go to work on the morning of the first day of June.
As soon as Julene could ready herself, we departed in the van (rather than sacrifice her nice car) for the hospital. I adopted the bowl I typically use to make pie crusts, baking powder biscuits and other delights in.
It took the EMT surgeon 2½ hours to stem the flow of blood—failing in the case of about 3 litres of it. He admitted to me later he was plenty worried most of the time. He told me he'd never spent so much time in surgery, never had anyone lose so much blood, and never had to transfuse blood to a patient in over six years. I don't know all that he did, but he said he couldn't find exactly what to fix, so he started reconstructing stuff behind my face until it stopped. I think I'm minus some principal artery in my face now (there are a whole bunch with names I don't remember learning in any of my anatomy classes)—small loss. However, I wasn't there: thank small angels for inventions like general anesthesia.
Waking up was predictably very hard and painful and with my refusal to ingest narcotics (as they nauseate more than anesthetize me), I went home to convalesce Thursday afternoon. Very much in pain, very anxiety-ridden, my blood pressure went up to 220 by nighttime Friday. Saturday morning the doctor reminded me that stroke was a very real possibility, so I returned to the hospital immediately.
They found a cocktail of narcotic and nausea-repressant that did not sicken me (a trial that failed some 10 years ago in unrelated event, so there's history behind this). By Sunday morning all sorts of additional symptoms, contributory and substantial in their own right began to stop asserting themselves though it really took them until today to reach the partial conclusion that I'll be okay. At one point there was discussion that despite improvement, there's an unusual autoimmune shenanigan going on and they say they want to find that. I personally am quite done with the whole thing.
Ultimately, I imagine, a nose-bleed from hell will come take me when, just as last week, I least expect it. It's not lost on me that, while traumatic for the family, that door is probably less desirable than, say, languishing for months or years finally to succumb to cancer. At least not for me.
I'm here; I'm on board with sticking around; I'm eager to determine whether I also lost any little grey cells as Poirot would say. I'll return to work at least by Friday if not as I hope tomorrow. I know it will take a few days to reestablish daily habits and finish clearing the mist...
Thanks to all who wished me well. Apologies to those I didn't adequately notify which include many cherished friends who, being so far away, geographically or shall we say socially, seemed like the easiest to abuse in exchange for lessening the burden on Julene and myself. Work colleagues too. As I say, with a keyboard in my hands, I'm a great communicator, but toss me even my Android phone (even with thumbboard) and it takes a lot to motivate me to extend my news beyond my children, parents and siblings. As it is this note's been devilish hard to write (having lost some of the grey cells devoted to typing skills).
Of course, the Sunday after I wrote this, I re-bled, if only less than a pint. Nevertheless, I solidly revisited the hopeless feeling for a short time of bleeding to death. It stopped at the emergency room and hasn't re-bled since (it's been over two months now) and it's taken me about this long to forget the paranoia.
Nevertheless, I saw my surgeon for the last check-up today and he pronounced me fit, but cautioned me to keep squirting water up my nose and humidifying the air around me at night.