Let’s face it. The body, like a machine, simply wears out as we get older. And this old lady is just that, an old lady. It seems, at least these last four or five years that I spend entirely too much time with doctors and medicine and hospitals.
I’m certain you’re tired of hearing about my problems, but something happened again and I need to talk about it for a special reason. I’ve already lost a breast to cancer, and here I was again getting another mammogram. The blood test showed something wrong. Into Carson City for a test, they had and a problem with the machine which meant additional waiting and going back two weeks later.
It wasn’t fun wondering all of that time if my cancer had returned. Finally the test was taken and all was normal. More blood tests were ordered to reconfirm. This time showed no problem. Go figure? Then I go to pick up my usual medications to find that the government has come up with some new regulation and I can’t get what I need for what I use for my arthritis.
Then I find out that my doctor is no longer practicing. I’m referred to a new one. In the meantime I had to use a new medication that made me nauseated. I thought about jumping off of a tall building, but we don’t have any here in Fallon. So I had to be content and wait until I could see my new physician. Now here’s the good part.
I’m sitting enjoying a cocktail and playing my favorite machine at a local casino when a nice gentleman came in from the kitchen carrying a try of small pieces of beef to try. I took one, tried to swallow and choked. Let’s just say I had a real, real problem. Trying with all my might, I couldn’t swallow. I had a pain in the middle of my chest that would not go away.
I tried everything, and stupid me, I had my son, Doug take me home. It’s crazy, but I slept fine Saturday night. However, at 9 a.m. Sunday I had Doug take me to Banner’s Emergency room, I was in real trouble. Those nurses and the doctor had me in one of those open-down-the-back nightgowns and in a bed with “things” stuck in my arms and a blood pressure reading telling the story.
I just love that one needle things they put in your vein that opens and shuts like a faucet. It saves a lot of poking around. The doctor told me they were going to do a CAT scan to find out what was wrong, and 20 minutes later told me that I had a piece of beef stuck between my stomach and intestines. It had to be removed since my digestive traffic was on hold.
Sunday morning and they had to call in a physician; an anesthesiologist and surgery room nurses out of church or resting at home. I never do things half way, do I?
This entire event happened because of my not chewing a piece of meat completely. All of this time nurses and the doctor were coming back and forth and talking to me, making me comfortable, and I can admit now that I was terrified.
I’ve been down this road so often, but let’s face it, at 90 one tends to wonder if they’ll make it to or through the next operation. It wasn’t any time at all that they’d gotten everything ready and were there to explain to me what was going to happen. It was nice of the doctor to be polite and laugh when I told him to be certain to wash his hands.
All of the rest was the usual being told what was going to happen — “now, Edna we are going to put something in and you will soon be going to sleep” – I’m sure the rest was telling me about waking up in recovery, I don’t remember, I was gone to never-never land. The next thing I knew the doctor was telling me what had been done the beef was gone.
I’ve been in and out of a lot of hospitals, emergency and otherwise, and never, ever have I been treated with such a professional staff, or with more concern and kindness. I wanted to take this time to say a very sincere thank you to everybody last Sunday. You were great.
Edna Van Leuven is a Churchill County writer and columnist. She may be reached at email@example.com