La La How The Life Goes On

Famous Last Words

Posted on: April 11, 2010

Those of you who know us know that we just returned from China with Baby Sister.  The trip was fabulous and we are all adjusting and doing really rather fantastically for people who just met each other a month ago.

Before we went to China I made a Family Pronouncement that went thusly:

“Listen up, Jones Family!  Hear me now and believe me later: NO ONE and I mean NO ONE in this family is to get sick in China.  No one will fall ill on any airplanes either on the way to or on the way home from China. No one will contract a disease or spike a fever or require more than a bandaid while we are living in a hotel. There is henceforth a prohibition on projectile vomiting, diarrhea, dysyntery, malaria, febrile seizures or any other adverse medical event until this trip is over.  There is to be no disease, no illness, no infirmity until March 28th when we’re back at home.  After that, I don’t give a rat’s ass what happens.”

Anyone want to point out my mistake here?  Let me help you out: I am now in the hospital recovering from an ear-infection-turned-blood-infection that started a few days after we got home.  Perhaps, in my enthusiasm for disease-control I should have been slightly more circumspect in ending my pronouncement, no? Gotta fire my speechwriter.

So it’s now 5 days in the hospital on every full-spectrum IV antibiotic available to the  medical community. And thank God.  I apparently was so sick that the doctor said that if I’d arrived at the ER even a few hours later, “I’m not sure we’d have been able to help you.”  How’s that for bowel-lurching scarytalk?  To my immune-suppressed body’s credit, I have bounced back faster than expected, the infection is on the run, and Mama is awaiting discharge in the next couple of days.  But the interregnum has been excruciatingly bad.  But also a wee bit funny.

I had an episode of V-tach that was poetic in its choreography and timing.  I was sitting in bed, the nurse was taking my vitals, and I felt a wee flutter in my chest. I thought, “Oh. There’s a wee flutter in my chest.  Whatever.  When’s lunch?”  The screen went crazy. The alarms went crazy. The nurse looked at me for a reaction.  At the exact moment of alarms screaming/screen flashing/nurse looking, the medical team entered my room to do late morning rounds.  It was like one of those scenes on a TV medical drama where you’re thinking, “Oh right, like they just happen to be right there when the guy is coding, right?! Please! I’m going back to Two and a Half Men.”  But it really did happen just like that.

Then it got better.  Because as these ten people are all staring at the screen/staring at me/staring at the screen/staring at me, I’m trying to figure out what all is going on on that screen that’s got everyone so jacked up.  The crash cart comes flying in.  Then the EKG cart comes flying in, I’m hooked up, and it’s off to the tachycardia races.  Paper is flying out of the machine, hungry little resident hands are grabbing at it to measure whatever it is they measure on that graph paper, and I’m still trying to figure out why I’ve merited the Grand Rounds treatment.  Just shy of three minutes later, my rhythm apparently goes back to normal and my world becomes immediately abnormal.

You see, V-tach is apparently a “not good” rhythm to have. Even if I had no idea I was having it?  Yes.  Even if I’d been at home and I’d have gone back to vacuuming with nary a thought?  Yes.  It’s the “She died instantly of a heart attack” rhythm.  The one that generally kills you in 30 beats.  (This is what I’ve been told; I make no claim to any medical knowledge whatsoever, having that grand total of zero years of medical school under my belt).  So now I’m getting all the cardiology workups to ensure that it was a result of perhaps myocarditis from the infection rather than some latent V-tach impulse that wants to off me in the back of my yard on a sunny Tuesday afternoon to then be mauled by wild dogs and squirrels and only later discovered by a horrified Dada investigating that smell near the Japanese Maple.  But not to worry.  After the tests it’s all sunshine and lollipops.

In another made-for-TV event, I had my soap opera doctor moment today.  I was going to  walk out of my room to get some ice water.  As I opened the door there was an exceedingly HOT man standing directly in my path with his hand up as if he were about to knock on said door. (I swear I’m not lying! Two and a Half Men is a repeat anyway!)  “Miz Jones?”

Me: All fluttery and googly, “Um, yes, that’s me.”

“I’m Dr. Dashiell Charming from Neurology. May I examine you?”

“Why, yes, Dr. Charming, come right in.”  Seriously. This dude was from Central Casting: gorgeous eyes, perfectly-coiffed hair, crisp dark jeans with a well-tailored tweedy jacket, leather brogues, and the perfect Jewish-but-Anglicized name that is perfect for television.  I’m going to say maybe Maxwell Caulfield circa 1984 if I can get that obscure on you.

You see, in catscanning me to all hell, they found “stuff” on my brain.  Turns out it’s something to do with my “white matter,” a result of all the chemo from my transplant, signifying pretty much nothing for me in any practical way at the moment, thank god. But as Dr. Charming was having me touch my nose with my eyes closed and remember 4 words to be spouted back in 12 minutes, I was seriously thinking I should be saying something like, “You know Dakota will never forgive you for this.” To which he’d reply, “Yes, Miz Jones, but that’s okay because you see, I’m not really Dashiell Charming, I’m his evil lookalike cousin Chance Silverlake!” We’d passionately embrace, only to be walked in on by Dr. Chester Steaknife, the Chief of Neurology and ex-husband of none other than….Dakota!

That would have been cool. Instead, he pronounced me “totally fine” and went on his hot soap opera doctor way.  Or so I thought.  Because as I closed the door to my room and spun around to my mother (Oh, I did mention my mother was present for this whole reverie, right?) I said rather loudly, “Could that guy have been any hotter? Oh my god!” I then opened the door to go get my ice water (one wonders why, since I’d just had a tall glass of Dashiell Charming)–and HORROR! He’s still there! At my door! Dude heard everything! So I said, “Thanks again!” and shuffled off in my totally sexy johnny with pants to go get my beverage. Dude wishes he could tap that. Although, he was so good looking I simply have to think he’s gay. Do you know what I mean? There is a level of awesome hotness that no straight man can achieve (through no fault of his own), and I’m thinking Dashiell Charming was coming pretty close to that line. The bone structure, the haberdashery, the charm, the talent, the all-business-but-you-know_I-can-rock-you-later-vibe. And, let’s face it: the shoes. Those shoes are what put him near that line of Unachievable Gay Hotness. Either way, I had my I Play A Doctor On TV moment. And believe me, as I coughed all over him and detailed my projectile vomiting from a few nights hence, Dr. Charming had his, because what real soap opera doctor doesn’t live or die by the devotion of demented, ill-dressed, middle-aged women? 🙂

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