Folks have probably been wondering where I’ve been for the past week or so. I haven’t even logged-on since last Thursday morning. I would love to tell you that I was out testing a fabulous new motorbike, but unfortunately, that is not the case.
The squeamish amongst you should leave now.
If any of you have EMT experience, Ssshhhhh! No telling…
The following has nothing to do with my Ride to Work, but since it did affect the regularity of this blog, I offer it as explanation:
My ride on the Rhino Rocket started in the Emergency Room of North Memorial Medical Center. A blood vessel in my anterior sinus had ruptured at about 8 a.m., and by the time the ambulance got me to the E-R, I had been bleeding rapidly out of my nose into a bucket for about an hour. Drip-drip-drip, about three drops per second, with no sign of slowing. This was getting serious.
The original “Rhino Rocket” is a sort-of tampon device put out by the Shippert Medical Technologies Company. But the name was so catchy that it has been adopted by E-R professionals to refer to a range of devices whose collective function is to stop bleeding in the nasal cavities.
The monster they inserted into my nose, after a generous injection of morphine, was made of green rubber, and had two balloon sections in it, fed by two external Leur fittings. Once inserted, the two balloons were inflated, and a dreadful pressure exerted on all of my nasal passages until the bleeding stopped.
This hurt like hell, morphine be damned. They determined that this device would reside inside my head for the next 72 hours. The pain it caused required a fresh shot of morphine about every two hours. I thought I could just live with it, as long as those shots kept coming. But they had a nasty surprise in store…
Friday afternoon, some schmuck of an E.N.T. (ear, nose, throat specialist) decided that he didn’t want to perform the removal and subsequent possible surgery over the weekend. My bet is that he had other plans, out of town somewhere. So the bastard discharged me on Friday afternoon, with a weak-ass prescription for Tylenol 3, and instructions to leave that gawdawful device stuck up my nose until “somebody” could see me on Monday.
The American Medical Industry is going to Hell in a bucket of blood, if you ask me.
Well, I spent a sleepless weekend in pain and misery. I couldn’t sleep because as I began to doze off, inevitably my mouth would close at some point, and I would begin to suffocate. BANG! Wake up time! This happened about every twenty minutes, all night long, for three long nights.
I couldn’t derive any momentary distraction from food, either, because I couldn’t put anything in my mouth that might choke me when I tried to breathe. Little sips of juice, chicken broth, or water were all I got. Here we find the only bright spot in the story: I lost 9 pounds over the long weekend. It’s not a diet I would recommend to anybody.
Monday came, and I was sent to an E.N.T. in the suburbs near work. This guy seemed to know his stuff, and at least feigned some concern at my comfort level. He removed that demonic device from my nose after bleeding off the pressure, and we had some fun with the suction hose cleaning up all the resulting mess.
When he finally got a good look at the source of the bleeding, he did what they could have, and should have done on Friday night. He cauterized the ruptured vessel. That would have saved me three days of agony, and I might have even gotten out for a ride on Saturday or Sunday. By all accounts, the weather was gorgeous here this weekend. I heard the Harley start up and depart from the house down the block.
I never even looked outside.
So, my plans for changing Scarlet’s oil and getting back on the road have been postponed for a bit. If it’s warm enough on Thursday, I may ride to work. But I’m not going to push it. I’m supposed to avoid stress, and get my blood pressure under control. That should probably be my top priority for awhile, don’t you think?