Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Brush with Death - Part 6

On May 2nd I had a physical therapy evaluation. It describes me as lying in bed, with wrist restraints and a Posey vest on (see picture, right, and you feel about that old with one on) lethargic and oriented to self, month, year, but I thought I was in my home town. Go figure. That day, I walked one hundred feet with minimal assistance for balance (using a gait belt see left, bottom) and stated that my goal was to return to my pre-hospitalization level of fitness.

Much later that day, I remember feeling really paranoid. I felt I was on a clinical study (which in reality I was going to be, the investigational embolization goop) and that the hospital staff, the LOML, everybody was in on it. I even confided to Evie about it. They wanted to take biological samples from me (urine, blood, brain tissue). I had to get away from the hospital fast. But it was the middle of the night and the rails were up on my bed in the neuro ICU. So, I stealthily leapt over them when the coast was clear and landed on my feet. Unknowingly, I had removed my IV lines and Foley catheter. I had only taken a couple of steps when a doctor walked in and asked me just where did I think I was going? He called for help, and lowered the rails and put me back to bed. The head ICU doctor came in and yelled at me for trying to run away as she tied me to the bed with this vest contraption (the Posey thing) and soft wrist restraints, the only time I remember being restrained. Did I mention that I don’t like hospitals very much these days? She pointed out that it was a good thing that I didn’t get away since I had a central venous line in my chest that and if it had pulled out I could have bled to death.

I decided to remember this episode because it was all so crazy and completely unlike me. But now when I hear that brain surgery patients run away, I can kind of understand it. There was a guy in Washington, DC, that ran away and was not found for a week or so. He found a hooded sweatshirt to hide his baldness and scar. Great idea, huh? The LOML asked me later what my plan was. Did I figure that I would make it out of the hospital in my gown with the back gaping open and then out onto the street? What would I do then? Where did I plan to go? Brain surgery can do funny things to you psychologically; none of which are rational.

So, we were back to square one and the embolization had to be done all over again. Dr. W arranged for an investigational embolization drug to be used Monday, May 3rd, by a hand picked team from a nearby hospital. The team was able to embolize 95% of the AVM and the procedure was a complete success. Step one of the two step treatment plan was now complete.

Afterwards, the LOML telephoned work to give them the good news. Dr. L also updated Dr. R on what my status was.


Anonymous said...

it's interesting to read this side by side with "bookfield." "brush with death" makes the bookfield look like a cake walk!

Sue said...

Thank you Evie. Okay students! Your assignment today is to contrast and compare "Brush with Death" and "Bookfield" in an essay. Compare the heroines, the plots, themes, etc. See you tomorrow. Dismissed!