So, backtracking a tad, now that I knew what was going to happen, that things were moving along and the light was shining brighter at the end of the tunnel, Mike and I enjoyed a nice lunch together. After we finished eating, we just sort of hung out together. It was the first time we could do that. Todd was in Dallas taking care of Gavin. Mike was free and I was lucky enough to have him with me.
Mike looked uncomfortable sitting in the stiff, plastic hospital chair. I moved over and patted the bed next to me.
“Come lay next to me.”
“Come on. First of all, we’re married. Second, we’re not going to do anything. Sheez. We’re just going to lay here.”
Mike grinned, got up and settled in next to me.
No sooner had Mike settled in when the skinny woman to transport me to the cath lab came in my room. What, so soon? I thought. It was only three o’clock. Maybe this was too fast.
Once I was down in the cath lab, which was immense, I was wheeled in to a large area that was lined with sections that were curtained off. There was a row of curtains on one side and another set on the other. I would say at least five or six per side. It looked like the sleeping area in the Nun’s story if you ever saw that movie. Some curtains were open, some closed. Some had people lying on gurneys, some were empty. Each area had their own set of monitors and equipment. My eyes bugged out thinking about the assembly line of cardiac catheterizations that were performed here. How often? weekly, twice a week, daily?
The skinny gurney woman, more like a girl to me, wheeled me into the very last one on the right side. She backed me in. with out the beep beep, parked me and took off with a wave. Eyes wide I scanned the area. Oh, no, I thought. Oh, no.
I saw a white board on the wall to my right. Welcome to pre-procedure, it said with other pertinent data. A nurse whizzed in introduced herself, did a little prep and then rushed out. I was alone for a while. I think I was the last one of the day because they squeezed me. There was a flurry of activity all around me behind those curtains. Because they were only curtains I could hear some of what was going on in the ones closest to me. In the area across from me, a woman was kind of moaning.
“Her IV is occluded. When can we bring her up,” a nurse, I assumed, said or she said something like that into a phone.
When she hung up she went to the woman. For some reason her curtain was open and I could see all.
“You have to keep your leg still,” she said. Oh boy, I know what that meant. For some reason, they left the sheath in. Well, I guess that kind of thing isn’t unusual.
Next to me, a nurse was talking to a man, I think he was some kind of driver, who brought in a guy from a nursing home. They were discussing where the guy would go after the procedure. Was he going back or would he be admitted?
Once the driver left, the nurse was on the phone. Apparently, the guy’s labs were in and his kidney results were elevated. The procedure needed to be put on hold. She hung up called someone else, “I have to get the driver back. I don’t know where he is,” she said. “The patient needs to go back. They are going to treat him with medication and wait to do the procedure.”
I heard a new comer enter a few curtains down on my side. It sounded like this new one was a male. All the nurses and whoever who was in attendance, busied around him to get him ready. Or that was what it sounded like. I think he was going before me. I heard the sound of a razor. I knew what was going on. They shave you down there before they do the cath. I was shaved at Allen but the nurse here at Dallas freshen it up, just to make sure. Can’t have a stray hair hanging around ready to botch things up.
“I know man, I’m sorry. It has to be done,” A male voice said to the guy who was being shaved.
My eye caught a woman entering a curtained area across from me a few space to my left.
“Hi, Dad,” her voice drifted to me through the curtain. “You’re doing great. I love you. I’ll see you when you get to your room.”
Her dad mumbled something. The curtain moved and a middle aged blonde woman left.
Wow, I thought. All these people with heart disease. All these professionals, resources, time, money. For what? I didn’t feel worthy of the expense. Even though, obviously, I wasn’t alone. I felt damaged. Like I shouldn’t deserve this treatment because I didn’t take care of myself good enough. I let myself get heart disease. I don’t know if the other the patients felt that way but that was where I went with it.
A guy came in, he looked Hawaiian. His long jet black hair was tied in a pony tail that went down the middle of his back. He was tall and athletic looking.
“Hi, my name is, (insert name here, I don’t remember it). “I am one of the technicians taking care of you today. We will be bringing you back in a bit. Is anyone here with you?”
“Yeah, my husband. He is up in my room. Can he come down here?” I am sure I must have looked distressed because I was feeling stressed. My eyes wide like a deer in highlights.
“Not a problem, I’ll go get him for you. What’s your room number.”
I told him and he turned on his heel and left. Shortly he was back with Mike in tow. Oh was I glad to see my Mikey.
“Mike,” I said.
Mr. Hawaiian guy left us. I think that guy smokes, I whispered to Mike once Hawaiian guy was gone. “I can smell it on him. How is it that some people can smoke, drink in excess, eat in excess do whatever in excess and yet here I am and there he is looking healthier than health.”
“It’s not your fault, Baby,” he said and patted my arm.
I smiled up at Mike and to change the subject I proceeded to fill him in on all the goings on.
The curtains emptied, the place became cavernous. I, the lone survivor, with my partner in crime, Mike, was waiting to be picked up. Before long, Mr. Hawaiian came over to do just that. He instructed Mike as to where to wait and off we went.
The cath lab. I remember this cath lab. First, I was not given any Benadryl or Valium to pre sedate me so I was completely aware. And let me tell you it was scary. The picture below is more or less what I saw.
I think there should be a part six, hey? So…