Worse, I actually lost my life twice in a matter of days. And I dont remember most of it.
It started as a head cold or allergy. As my breathing problems increased I went to the Doctor like anyone else would. The idiot physician gave me a breathing treatment but wanted to admit me for uncontrolled hypertension. Since my high blood pressure had been totally uncontrolled for a couple of years but I had been asymptomatic, I refused hospital admission (AMA) - against medical advice. The idiot physician took this as a personal affront and refused to prescribe any antibiotics for the obviously growing respiratory infection, nor would he prescribe home breathing treatments, which was a viable option as well. A new rescue inhaler? Absolutely not.
I remember about 12 hours after leaving the VAMC ER...and nothing until I came out of a medically induced coma totally restrained to a bed looking at the ceiling lights in the ICU with breathing tube in my throat. I didnt know what day it was or what the hell had happened. I panicked, again it seemed, and I ripped the breathing tube from my throat. That alone was no small feat either. As I said, I was totally restrained to the hospital bed at the time. Here's what I found out a day or two later.
I had passed out in my backyard some four days earlier. I couldnt breathe and overheated and began stripping off clothing trying to cool off as I walked the 50 some odd feet from my bedroom to the backyard. I had an older sister visiting at the time and she noticed me passed out with my face in the dirt and roused my oldest sister to help. When the panic attack couldnt be stopped (I have some significant issues with panic attacks and complex PTSD), an amblulance was summoned. The paramedics couldnt stop it either and they decided to transport me to the hospital. That's where all the problems started. See, they sent 4 rather large firemen to restrain me for transport. My sister tried to warn them, but they didnt listen, or maybe they just didnt believe her. I freaked out to put it mildly and I am told 1 literally launched 4 rather large firefighters as if they were nothing. I did this more than once too. I would have to say this is evidence as to the effectiveness US Marine Corps Combat training. When one goes into "combat mode", regardless of how old, broke down and out of shape one is, one is literally a weapon. A scared one, perhaps, but a Marine is a Marine. There is a reason you "earn" the title of Marine. You dont just join up like you do in other Services. When you are trained far beyond the normal for even a Marine (like I was once), you dont forget your training....ever. It's kinda like watching old Steven Segal movies: it doesnt matter how old and fat he is, the man is simply someone you DON'T want to fuck with.
When I was 20, I was a bad-ass. In my 30s, I felt I could hold my own. In my 40s, I could handle myself if forced to, but I've never the mental shift or what it turned me into during my "episodes". I turned 50 in April and find myself smiling quietly as I listen to men half my age brag about how much tougher, smarter, faster, badder, or meaner they are than this old fat white guy that is sitting in front of them. The worst are the ones who really dont understand that the HARDEST military service to even get into is the Marine Corps. I listened to one brag one evening about how much more intellient he was compared to 99% of the men around him and how much of a bad ass he was. I sat quietly and smiled to myself wanting nothing more than to look at him and ask, "and when were YOU smart enough to join MENSA?" Personally, I joined when I was 13 years old. I hold two Associate Degrees, A bachelors degree, a Masters degree, and am about 5 hours from two different PhDs. I hold a White House Presidential Service Badge which I have cheerfully given the phone number to White House Centrex and the White House Military Office just for grins on more than one occasion simply to watch someone pale and shit themselves in fear as my credientials are validated. I have authored 10 natonally published books, over 300 nationally published songs, danced and acted professionally. I have been an adjunct professor at one university and a Clinical Instructor for three other colleges. Marines are taught from day one to be a leader and step up and take charge when necessary. I have met some who are better leaders than others, but I have never met a Marine who was a "dumb grunt" or a "brainwashed stupid automaton". If nothing else, we are taught to admit and embrace our fears and weaknesses and USE the knowledge of our own weaknesses to control our situations to achieve our objectives in spite of our shortcomings.
So, I come to in time to yank my intubation for the third time and find out I had been in a coma courtesy of Micheal Jackson Juice (Propanol) for nearly 4 days. I have an ENT doctor in front of me givng me a choice of being re-intubated or allowing her to take 30 seconds to run an NG tube down me to look at my throat and vocal cords and see if I had fucked anything up. I chose the NG tube. I found out that that after my excursion with the local firefighters, they had to start chest compressions on me. Once at the ER they did a cut-down and inserted a central line into my aorta and subclavian artery only to have me crash and they manually compressed my heart to keep me going. Pretty sure I had some kind of small stroke on the way to the ER too because I had no proprioception in my right arm and had lost the ability to write (its returning slowly thankfully). I did the math and figured I had used up several of my cat lives and only have about 3 left now. Neighborhood felines are wary when they get too close to me for some reason. Guess they think those "9 lives" randomly float around between us feline types. LOL!
Oh and the ENT doc found a nodule one of my vocal cords that might be malignant. Problem for another day. My blood pressure is still not controlled, but it is better. Its easier not to argue with my friends and family who dont know my limits as I do and simply want me to be around for a while longer. I can live with that.
So I lost a week of my life. BUT I found out a few folks who actually give a shit about me that I never realized did before now. I can honestly say that I have died and come back, although I probably wont discuss any of that for a long time.
That's the short version of the story. To everyone who came to visit, cared enough to text, call, and show genuine interest, I thank you. Through all the misunderstandings, drama, and weirdness of my vanilla family, I ask you all to not hold a grudge but rather understand how scared my family was and still is, and know that I thank you all for your prayers, energies, and concern.