Howie Saves The Day
It was a bright, sunny day in early spring of 2019 and I was starting to feel just a little better every day. My system was just starting to get used the RVD (Revlimid/Velcade/Dexamethasone) treatment regimen that Dr. Nadella had prescribed in treating my Multiple Myeloma cancer.
I bounced out of bed (something every doctor and nurse had told me not to do!) and headed out of our back bedroom, ready to start the day filled with vim and vigor. Making it all the way from the bedroom to the laundry room when disaster struck: I was changing my t-shirt when I started to feel dizzy. I remember trying to steady myself by grabbing the edge of the washing machine, but it didn’t help. I went down like a sack of cement.
The good news is that I didn’t hit my head. The bad news is that I hit the wall with such force that I put my left elbow right thorough it. I sat there and tried to figure out what had just happened? I yelled for Susan. She heard the panic in my voice and came running over. In her cool, calm, collected manor, she knew what she had to do.
Susan Called Howie
Susan called our neighbor and friend Howie Mueller. Fortunately he is an early riser and only leaves four doors down.
Howie is a big, strong retired Navy man and police officer (he’s actually two of the Village People rolled into one), and she knew he would know what to do. He muscled up and lifted up my 200 pounds into a dining room chair. I sat there trying to shake the cobwebs out of my head while we decided what to do next.
Susan and Howie wanted to call 911 and I said no, (I’m nothing if not stubborn) that I would be fine in a few minutes. But I was out voted and Susan made the call.
Hall County EMS arrived within minutes (having a station right down the street has its advantages). One of them started vitals while the other performed the finger/eye test (as in “Mr. Guernsey please follows my finger”.)
They determined out of an abundance of caution we should take a ride to the hospital. We had a very nice chat about sports even after they found out I was a diehard Boston sports fan.
EMS had radioed ahead and the ER was ready for me. The ER nurse put me in a bed and began running the exact same vitals that the EMS guys had just performed. They then started an IV and I began to feel human again! Another nurse came and wheeled me down to the CT scan room even though I had been very clear that I had not hit my head. Once we entered the room, the young nurse changed her mind and wheeled me back out without completing the scan. No one was able to satisfactorily explain why they had done this?
My Left Elbow
Even though I explained that I had hit the wall with my left elbow, it was the only part of my anatomy that they failed to check. I chalked it up to an inexperienced team. After several hours of tests and hydration, I told them that I was feeling better and ready to go home. Fortunately, they agreed and I was discharged.
Susan went and got the car and off we went.
It finally dawned on how this all came about. I had received my chemotherapy (Velcade) just a couple of days before and wasn’t anywhere near full strength when I attempted this fateful walk.
Suffice to say I learned my lesson and won’t try this again anytime soon!
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