Thursday, April 28, 2016

X-Ray Department of St Johns Hospital

(My theme is places I have visited or lived)

Around four (4) AM one morning I woke up in severe pain and breathing with great difficulty. The pain increased and my breathing was becoming more labored. I moved to the couch and found a place somewhere between sitting up, slouching, and laying down that hurt the least. I stayed in that position until around 7:00 AM. I sat there and hurt and was barely able to breathe.

At eight (8) AM I had Irene call work to tell them I was sick and not coming in. I thought I might get better if I rested and kind of laid, sat, and slouched in a position that didn't hurt as bad as any other. But I wasn't getting better. I was a hurtin' unit." (Marine Corps slang)

Around 3:00 PM I told my wife I need to go to the hospital. She said, being as practical a gal as one can have, "You need a shower first." So I painfully climbed in the bathtub and dutifully passed out. Somehow she was able to get me out of tub, semi-dry me off, and into a T-Shirt and sweat pants. It was obvious I was in grave danger, so she called my daughter Stacy to drive me to the hospital. (I was not going to pay no $1,000.00 or more for an ambulance ride)

 They took me into the emergency room and began immediately to work on me. They got me in the X-Ray Department ASAP .It began to sound like I was going to be admitted into the hospital. 

I thought, "Dude, that ain't gonna work!" I was in the middle of closing three (3) mortgage transactions. I had clients depending on me to get escrow closed so they could get their keys and move into their new houses. I had loan officers depending on me to get escrow closed so that they could get paid. I had the office counting on me to get those deals done so that the office got paid.

So, through labored breathing, huffing and gasping for breath, I said to the ER Doc, "Let me have a couple of hours to close these deals and I will come back and you can do whatever you want." He took my wife aside and said, "If we let him go, and if we don't operate now, he may not have the next ten (10) minutes. He is not going anywhere."

Operate they did. Immediately. I had severe pneumonia and a collapsed lung. The staff had to do an emergency thoracotomy. They had to scrape "gunk" out of my lungs and re-inflate my lung. I spent eight (8) days in the hospital and a number of more days on my back recovering. St Johns and the excellent X-Ray department saved my life. Here is a description of a thoracotomy:

Image result for thoracotomythoracotomy is an incision into the pleural space of the chest. It is performed by surgeons (or emergency physicians under certain circumstances) to gain access to the thoracic organs, most commonly the heart, the lungs, or the esophagus, or for access to the thoracic aorta or the anterior spine (the latter may be necessary to access tumors in the spine).
Thoracotomy is a major surgical maneuver—it is the first step in many thoracic surgeries including lobectomy or pneumonectomy for lung cancer—and as such requires general anesthesia with endotracheal tube insertion and mechanical ventilation.
Thoracotomies are thought to be one of the most difficult surgical incisions to deal with post-operatively, because they are extremely painful and the pain can prevent the patient from breathing effectively, leading to atelectasis or pneumonia.

I was told by my doctors that it is more invasive and dangerous than open heart surgery. It was painful! But, alas, for good or bad, I am still here - praise God our gracious Father!


Arlee Bird said...

That doesn't sound fun at all. Not a place I want to visit, but I've visited the x-ray departments of other medical facilities. It's good that they are available if you do need them.

Arlee Bird
A to Z Challenge Co-host
Tossing It Out

nashvillecats2 said...

Sorry to hear of your experience Gregg, So pleased you recovered.
Good X post.

shortybear said...

praise God you are alright