So I promised a final story from my heart saga. It's 4 am and I'm still not asleep so here goes. I have been having trouble sleeping and think I've figured it out. When you face death on some level it is hard to go to sleep because you realize that when you close your eyes that could be it. And maybe you have more to do or say, or at least think you do. Or maybe you think about time wasted or dreams deferred.
Anyway. Last time I was in hospital (before this time) it was about twenty-five years ago. I had another weird little known condition except with my lung. I wrote about it here already so that's not the story. But there are some similarities. I almost died then from an anaphylactic reaction to a medicine. In fact, I would have died if my husband hadn't walked into the hospital room at that moment.
After that I had trouble sleeping too. But I also had a lot of appreciation for life and a lot of self reflection. When the surgeon stuck a tube in my lung and out flowed blood and water I thought of Christ on the crucifix because a soldier stuck a spear in his side, so as to say - see, he is human, he bleeds. So I thought, yes ... that is the point. The human experience which can be transcended yet at the same time the transcension happens - because - of the human experience. It is a prerequisite.
This time in the hospital, with my heart, was in some ways more dramatic and in some ways less. It was definitely a human experience and if you've ever been in an ER, you'll know what I'm talking about.
The part you yearn for is when something is over. The blood pressure is down, the chest pain stops. I remember when the pain stopped I felt kind of amazed. But then other things were happening.
But what I want to tell you about here, since I already told you about the ER and angiogram, is about the crucifixion part later.
When they wheeled me into a private hospital room I felt relieved. This is the end, where it's just quiet except for the beeping machine and occasional interruptions of sleep from various hospital staff.
I was hungry and asked if I could eat since I hadn't since morning. The doctor agreed to a sandwich, stressing I was on bedrest and couldn't move. The nurse brought me a turkey sandwich and milk. And I want to tell you that turkey sandwich was soooo good! It was a total sensory experience.
After that the nurse made sure I was tucked in appropriately. I didn't really think I could sleep but imagined I'd doze in and out.
But I felt an odd sensation. They had put in a catheter since I was on bedrest so I thought maybe that was leaking. I didn't want to turn on the overhead but there was a nightlight that provided some light. I pulled back the covers and there was blood everywhere. I was bleeding out from the angiogram port.
Now here is the funny part. And you know there is always a funny part in the human experience.
I didn't know how to call a nurse.
The actual hospital bed had a little nurse symbol with a button. I kept pushing that and nothing happened. I tried pushing it harder - nothing. All the while I'm bleeding out. Later I learned there was another control attached to my bed somewhere.
Fortunately, I had asked that they keep the door open with just the curtain pulled.
But did I yell, "Help!"
That would have been too logical.
I yelled, "Hello! Hello!"
Well guess that seemed strange as it was the hospital quiet hours. But my nurse came to the door and sort of gruffly said, "What do you want?"
I said, "I'm bleeding."
She said, "What?"
I said again, "I'm bleeding," and pulled back the covers.
That's when she freaked out.
She called another nurse and they were both working over me, then calls to the doctor, then more working on me. The doctor thought I had gotten out of bed but I hadn't. It's just the blood thinner they gave me was working overtime.
Well, an hour later and things had stabilized, again. The nurse tucked me in. I made them pack me in with pillows like a mummy so I couldn't move, not even twitch!
Now I could go to sleep.
I stared at the ceiling and thought about my turkey sandwich. Gee, that was a good sandwich!
Staff came and went through the night and I was awake.
Sort of like right now.
Thinking about the human experience and crucifixion and resurrection and turkey sandwiches.
But I think I can go to sleep now.