This is what happened to me way back then.
I went to lunch the other day with my good friend Janet. We met at AA and have been good friends ever since. At lunch, I was telling her about my experience with "near death" and she had no idea that I had gone through that. I decided to look for the calendar that had all of that experience written down. I found it and here it is. It all seems, a bit, like a dream I had. But I know it was real and I could go back there if I'm not careful (that means by not staying sober).
I had a weekly calendar handy and this is what my friends wrote in it:
June 14, 2004
Went to Park Plaza Hospital ER admitted with Double Pheumonia
June 15, 2004
Sterling came by am. Seemed tired but able to talk sparinly. You wrote my numbers down.
June 16, 2004
Sterling came by. Still talking. Getting ready for a bronchosopy. Saw Dr. Gathe. Puzzled as to what's goin on. Called Kevil. (Kevil is my therapist)
June 17, 2004
Took a turn for the worse wednesday night. Sterling came by. You were sitting up in the chair. Tied in and agitated and delirious. Talked with your Mom. Brought you pecan pie. Did not recognize me. ( This was written by my good friend Ken who took charge when I became ill. He was actually the executor of my "estate" and had my living will, my brother was supposed to take over when he got here)
June 18, 2004
AM-Talked with your mom. Lying down-Xray for your "line" to go in. Still "out of it" but not as agitated. Sleeping, snoring.
June 19, 2004
ICU Non responsive. Ken Hoge just found this. I have been looking after LGJ (that's me) since Wednesday. I am also communicating daily with Lance. (my brother)
June 20, 2004
Ken by at 4:30 pm
Bill his nurse said xray better today getting new drug versed for DTS's. Some kind of test till better? ( I just have to say that I really don't think I had DTS. I had been drinking a few days before I came down with this but I hadn't drunk anything for 2 days and I'd been sober off and on since January 12, 2004)
June 21, 2004
Ken by at 7pm. Larry intubated, had MRI, Menegitis test will do spinal tap now. On ventilator early yesterday after 2 codes. (I stopped breathing and my heart stopped) Needless to say, they brought me back.
June 22, 2004
Spinal Tap, result negative
June 23, 2004
Dr. Schrader says no menigitis. Just keep treating pneumonia and try to wean off venalator. resing peacefully at 5:30 pm
June 24, 20045:30 pm
LGJ respondin to basic questions. Understood I was here-nodded and squeezed my hand. Dr. Calabrese had reduced his medicine and said he will wake up more now. Dr. Gathe was pleased. Maybe able to come off ventilator. Schrader, Gathe and Celabrese saw him today. Doppler study of legs-no clots. Have added cuffs on legs to help circulation.
June 25, 2004
June 26, 2004
June 27, 2004
Opened eyes once but no other response-sleeping, resting Jewel
June 28, 2004
Awake and wanting to communicate-bad handwriting-asked about Max Sterling
Awake and alert-we talked about his course here in hospital. So much better! Still weaning off relpirator Ken
Tuesday June 29, 2004
Awake and responsive. Asked for help cleaning mouth and throat. Jewel, Norris dropped in too.
6pm. LGJ tired but alert. Dro. Toppel not by yet to wean. Maybe this eve?Schrader and Gathe saw him AM. Ken
Wdenesday June 30, 2004
2:30 pm. Extubated!! Dr. Toppell did it at 6:30 am. Too tired to talk (just got some ativan..drowsy) Ate a little pudding and sipped fluid this am - No lunch. I left his address book and novel. Ken
Name games. Asked for his glasses this morning, is wearing them now.
Friday July 2, 2004
Visted LGJ-much more coherent though still confused. Spoke to Dr. Toppell today and to Dr. Spector(psych). They are treating the withdrawl psychosis with valium. LGJ wants underwear but I told him not yet.
Saturday July 3, 2004
Dropped by and chatted with Larry. He is bored and wants restraints off. Ate beef stew for lunch. Stomach ok. Talked about Kristi's wedding and her new husband Bernie. Dr. Fernanedez came by, Katherine his nurse and Norris came to visit.
Monday July 5, 2004
Roy de la Garza stopped by to visit
Tuesday July 6, 2004
Craig T. Wiggins visited. Chris Alexander and Ken visited, brought checkbook and paid rent, elec., phone bill. Larry ate some of his dinner. Jay, nurse is great-helped LGJ get comfortable and took off his restraints during our visit. Sterlink helped him eat lunch. Ate about 1/3
Wednesday July 7, 2004
6 pm. Larry eating dinner. Ate good. Bit of beef, potatoes and carrots. Nurse Monetta very nice. He has paddles on his hands now because he tried to pull out his line again. Nice bisit but asked me to check if his car was right outside his room. Was sure I was there...Ken
Friday July 9, 2004
Larry was getting a bronchoscopy when I came at 11. Will try to come back later...Jewel Sterling 1 - 1:30 pm Sleeping from bronchoscopy Kitt, the nurse says L has been eating up to 50% of his food. (today was Kristi's wedding)
By Sunday the 11th of July I was finally awake enough that they could remove those fucking paddles from my hands. Being restrained is one thing but those paddles were Hell! On Monday they took out the line and I started trying to walk. Not pretty. I'd been flat on my back for 28 days. Talk about atrophy! I could move my feet a bit while in the wheelchair. Tuesday, I was able to shuffle around using the wheelchair as a prop. They gave me a walker and by the end of the day I was walking by myself and dragging the walker. Still couldn't turn left or right but I could do a straight line. The doctor was estatic and very surprised at my being mobile so soon. I was determined to walk again! Wednesday I didn't need the walker at all but I had to have help getting in and out of bed. Thursday I was supposed to go home but there was some hold up and I stayed another day. Friday, July 16, 2004 I caught a cab home. (Made the cabdriver stop and go in for cigerettes. I hadn't smoked in about 35 days. Boy did that taste good!) Some of my friends were upset that they let me come home so early and I have to admit it wasn't easy that night or the next. When I'd try to get out of bed (back then my bed was on the floor) I'd have to crawl to the bathroom and use the sink to pull myself upright. But I got through it and then the social workers showed up and I started physical therapy which was exercises and someone helping me walk around the block. That went on for a couple weeks until I was almost back to my old self. About that time, when I could drive a clutch again, I went to Jim and Jon's to get Max. I had missed him so much. So it's amazing (once again) that I'm still here. Back from the brink of death. There is a God, and for some reason he wants me here.