The Bad Patient

 The Bad Patient by The Whiney Guy                          May 25/16

I am.

            It’s me, I’M the Bad Patient, and not a very patient Patient either; an Impatient Patient (the sinner of attention) truth be told....I don’t have all MINUTE to heal!

            I’ve never been good when it comes to getting Medical treatment in the big Hourly than thou Hospitals.

            I’ve always had some mortal fear of them, having seen older relatives go in on their feet and come Feet first, best of intentions considered.

            My first recollection was as a very small tadpole coming home from having my Tonsils removed (but they left that little punching bag thingy hanging in my throat) and coughing up great gouts of blood in the car; this is healing?

            Later, as a strapping youth in my mid-teens I wound up on the business end of a speeding car while riding my bike thru an intersection and the shock of seeing my right leg, (below the knee sticking out 45* from the rest of my leg), meshing with the bumper JUST before I went flying thru the air, ass over teakettle (Looka ME! I’m FLYING! Take THAT PLayland) before landing on my back in a crumpled screaming heap. The back would come to haunt me a few years later for the rest of my life with a spine injury. Yeah, I was LOUD and in paroxysms of shock, this being the second break for that leg (and I thought it was just an expression!) as the ghost of a comment the Dr that treated the original break mentioned to my Granny that if I broke it again, it’d have to come OFF! Came leaping to the fore of my conscious mind to HORRIFY me. At that point my mind must have been moving faster than the car that hit me, good thing it wasn’t in IT’S way.

            I went into shock again that night after surgery to insert Steel pins to just below my knee and thru my ankle as a form of traction. I saw the XRay of the break, what a mess.

            I was ‘ok’ (lower case) for the rest of the week of my internment but I WAS restive, oh them bones!

            There have been other times since, as Lynne (ma belle Amie) has endured life threatening Gastro-Intestinal issues as well as repeated bouts with her Vegus Nerve, a gamble that’s no fun, where I’ve spent all or most of a night in the Hospital with her, and one time, during an XRay, they DROPPED her (no shit, more butter for your fingers?) it can be scary in there!

            Another time, I sat with her Mom (who had Cancer) with a Doctor’s note for admission for EIGHT HOURS finally giving it up as a bad job, opting for the comforts of our own homes and beds.

            My later-in-life further experiences have their own tangled tales....The first instance involved Pneumonia which was discovered after my temperature of 104+ saw me rushed off to the local Hospital Emergency where I was properly diagnosed given some pills and a pat on the Bum and sent packing to give them a shout in the morning (or Mourning, as the case may be) should I make it through the night.

            I did, in fact I make an encore appearance (Thank You! Thank You! You’re TOO kind and enjoying my illness far too much!) when this time I was booked, cuffed, poked, prodded (OW! Hey! Do I KNOW you?! Not even Dinner and Drinks first?) X-rayed and confined to a bed.

            I was stifled and bored stiff too and champing at the bit to get out and get back to work, you can’t let the grass grow under your feet in the Music Biz and preferably over your head either. This caused me to miss working with the intensely fabulous Country Singer Martina McBride, then managed by my friend Bruce Allen, also Reba Macintyres little (in age, not girth) brother, Pake who everyone pronounced ‘Packie’, no offense meant, we all knew this was Country and WESTERN.

            In spite of my petulant behaviour, the Hospital staff were marvelous, in fact a group of nurses I called ‘The Knotter Girls’ pitched in to tie bed sheets together to expedite my absence, I recall one of the nurses seemed to have an eye for economy, as I was on the 3rd floor they nearly had enough to reach the 1st level and as quickly as she said ‘we need those last two sheets or he’ll break his neck!’ Then ‘ummmmm, on second thought, I need them elsewhere!’, hmmm as a shroud, perhaps?

            Once sprung, it was a long recovery, but I managed to fill it with all manner of things I wasn’t supposed to do, finally effecting a cure which was timely as my wife was getting right pissed with my Supervising the cutting of the lawn as I shouted directions and helpful hints from the porch...Oh for CHRIST Sake! Not THAT way!....but no matter what she offered the Hospital (are you sure you don’t need a cadaver?) they refused to take me back, huh.

            The last time in Hospital was a tad more serious, Cancer. I had also been a confirmed Diabetic which had helped fill in the time between other ailments. I had also quit smoking (cigarettes) and didn’t drink for 7 years (I’ve since caught up!) as I DO love my Bud in glass, can, pipe or paper, it’s the king of CHEERS!

            Some people in the Medical System, all well meaning, can instantly turn you into a shit-house panic when they say thing s like..the cause of your death will be...(Like you’re not even in the room!)..uh, my DEATH? Par’me? Hello? I’m HERE, I’m RIGHT over HERE!

            I had been working with the Irish Celtic group ‘The Chieftains’ who were a rather rum bunch of old buggers, and had just driven their leader Paddy to an interview on a radio station after his nap, and in the middle of the show he whips out a tin whistle and starts playing a lively tune and all the station staff are jigging around, and all the while  I was enduring a rather annoying pain where my Kidneys should be, and not wanting to seem ungrateful for a chance at a little old country footwork, hopped about on one foot, like a manic uniped, so as not to jar my back too badly. I dropped Paddy at the venue for their afternoon soundcheck and was quite amazed to find that one of them was stone deaf!

            Due to having made an urgent Doctors appointment due to the now acute ache in my back, I didn’t make it to the show or after-show meet & greet and neither did some of the group, having gone to bed already and in these cases I believe in lieu of a living group member they handed out bags of dried fruit to represent them as they were a little on in years and the texture was about the same when it came to shaking their hand.

            My Doctors appointment opened the Gates of Hell for me and everything was a hurricane of activity...everyone went into Panic Stations. The first thing they discovered was that I was bleeding to death internally from a Tumor that had attached to my intestine. As it was, the blood loss was so significant that I was 24 hours from total shutdown, and as a sidebar, the blood loss had me a star candidate to be included in Anne Rice’s next Vampire novel, yeah.

            This was some serious shit which was aggravated by the necessity of constantly being poked for blood tests to the point that, thirst notwithstanding, it would be useless to try to drink anything (what do you mean there’s no Bud?! This is a Hospital isn’t it?!) for fear it would just leak out of all the holes.

            However, there was nothing for it but an operation and as they wouldn’t let me organize that, I waited and amused myself by monitoring radio stations as tho I were still at work.

            While I was out, I was gifted a Catheter and I can assure you I didn’t miss being awake for THAT....OW! Who ARE you, Jack the Gripper?!

            I was advised upon awakening by an attending Nurse that I couldn’t feel anything below the waist…a bit hazy I asked ‘mine or yours?’

Catheters are real step savers tho....aaaaaah, that’s living!

            Coming out from being under, I found I’d been cut, drawn, quartered, re-attached, all my belts and hoses (see above) checked and closed up with dissolving stitches and metal staples (good thing Monty Robinson didn’t see me in possession of ‘office supplies’!) as well as tubes and bags, but I didn’t worry as I wasn’t going anywhere anyway so it didn’t bother me that I didn’t have shoes to go with the bags.

            They didn’t bother to put me out however when they removed the Catheter.....Jesus H Jumping Christ, take it EASY, that’s gotta last!

            The Nurse or possibly Journeyman Mechanic wasted no time and got right to the point (cough) and began yarding away, hand over fist like it was a Tug-O-War (with MY tug!), one work booted foot on my chest for leverage.

            ‘I see you’ve done this before ‘ I gasped between gritted teeth, and then ‘POP!’ (went the weasel) and it was done. I hadn’t peed blood for a while but I couldn’t wait for it to stop; hmmmm, interesting swirl pattern however!

            Because they had to remove a section of bowel (you may call me gutless and be partly right) they had to reconnect it and, odd as it sounds, they can only tell if everything ‘took’ by having you play them a little tune with your bottom, and would come by regularly to see if you’d written anything.

            At first I panicked! What would I play??!!

            I ruled out ‘In the Mood’ right of the jump, ditto any Cavalry Bugle calls. Hmmm, would they settle for the Root Bear song? It was all in vain as nothing was forthcoming.

            A monstrous sound did wake me in the middle of the night, Eureka! It’s working! But no, it was the person sharing the room snoring and as it was the middle of the night, well...if a tree farts in the forest......

            Finally, the next morning, I was able to play them a rather amateur version of ‘Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy’ giving myself a blister in the process.

            It WORKED. I beamed somewhat discomforted by the tad of trouser pudding that accompanied the performance...I’m a BIG boy t’day! And they all nodded in agreement while they ran gagging from the room, no encore.

            Most of my post-op time was spent hooked up to a pain management machine which dispensed pain meds at the click of the button...cool!

            Things were  certainly interesting as I was in and out of the ‘fog’ while trying to write a Children’s story as I thought if I don’t come out of this at least I’ll have  written a story, something I always wanted to turn my hand to.

            So now I’d surprised myself (and disappointed other no doubt) by making it out alive, I was released into Lynne’s custody in mid December, just in time to not be able to go out and buy presents, my presence not being quite the same thing to me.

            We did have a Christmas, decorations and all, I think Lynne bought some stuff for gifts for me, herself included and promised to act surprised on Christmas Day.

            The people at RCA/BMG were kind enough to circulate a Get Well Card through the entire company for signing and this thing is the size of a freaking Billboard! I’m pleased to say I still have it, very special when you consider I might get the ‘Black Spot’ or something. Also, our Branch Manager, the very Special and Highly Capable Michelle Stewart brought the Vancouver Branch posse over for lunch one day, now I’m getting spoiled!

            Because of the surgery, it was a loooooong recovery and I couldn’t bend very well (prior to the operation I’d do 50 sit-ups on an angle board, a day, now I couldn’t do one, BUT I made the best of it and became able to pick up things with my feet, kind of footing the bill, as it were; feat don’t fail me now!

            In closing this operational narrative, a word to the wise or unsuspecting anyway; Hospital food has never been a Culinary highlight of fine dining, I mean when was the last time you heard someone say…We’re going to the hospital for dinner tonight! They’re serving liver! I’d have these bilious buggers check whose  liver it was before tucking in, yeah.