Monday, October 03, 2005

wheezy breezy covergirl: part I

So, looks like things are coming to a close and man, do I feel anxious. Yes, I wanted the lockout to end. Yes, I have been too sick to picket and I've definitely missed my paycheque. BUT, I don't know if I have a job. And now I have no picket pay to live off of and I won't get EI for a month. I am hopeful and excited for ZeD. There will be mucho work to be done in a very short time-line. If I am hired back, my schedule could be gruelling. I will have to find new things to blog about.

Like, say... the fact that I spent Sunday in the hospital after a massive and very frightening asthma attack. The night previous I was enduring unimaginable coughing fits - one after the other. And I'm afraid I'm gonna have to pin this one on the picket line. I finally got up the energy to picket and after a few hours in the cold things took a turn for the worse. I couldn't catch my breath. I had a few moments of real panic when it felt like my chest was going to collapse and I couldn't draw a full breath. A call to the 24-hour nurses hotline informed me that a 911 call was in order. No way. The thought of being escorted at 4 am into an ambulance was too horrifying of a thought. I just moved in and it just wasnt the impression I wanted to make on my new neighbours. It's bad enough that I've kept them awake for a couple of weeks with my incessant bronchial freak-outs. The ambulance service called me and I had to convince them that I absolutely did not need their services. I explained that I had a cold and I was fine. I guzzled half a bottle of Nyquil and passed out. But the next day I felt like shit and decided to swing into the emergency. I was afraid I was developing pneumonia.

So, I signed into the St Paul's emergency room and settled in for what was obviously going to be a very long wait. I placed a call on my cell phone only to be reamed out by two drunks. I had forgotten that cell phones are forbidden in hospitals. It was after I disengaged the line that I noticed all the big posters of cell phones with garish red slashes through them. I read a magazine and tried to ignore the fact that I was starting to feel OK. It had been a couple of hours since my last coughing fit and I was considering taking a powder. And then it hit. Like a motherfucking maelstrom (yes, I know that usually refers to a whirlpool, but it seems apt). I made it to the desk before I keeled over. Everyone ran for their SARS masks and I was ordered to put one on. They started asking me all these questions which I couldn't answer since I was heaving up a lung and wearing a Blue Velvet-esque face mask.

I was whisked away into a makeshift room that was was basically a supply closet. I was quickly undressed and an oxygen mask was applied. They were lifting my shirt and listening to my lungs. This did not make me happy. All I could think about was trying to sit up straighter in order to appear slimmer but my body wouldn't co-operate. Instead I doubled over more as my body tried to resist losing conciousness. After 5 minutes that felt like hours it began to pass. I was put on a ventolin mask and instructed to lie back. And so I did. The nurse I had was incredibly kind. He was just the nicest man. So nice that I felt ridiculously sentimental. He put a sheet over me and smoothed the fabric over my shoulders reassuringly. It was a small gesture, but I nearly burst into tears. The doctor came in and asked if I was asthmatic and I told him that I most definitely was not, but that I had a chest cold. He told me that I seem to have asthma now. I didn't buy it and dismissed the idea. He was really nice too. Referred to me as poor thing and promised that it would get better shortly.

As the doctor was looking me over, I overheard my beloved nurse getting into an argument with a nasty, fat bitch of nurse over my admittance. She was complaining loudly that I never should have been allowed into emergency. That acute patients are too much of a risk and she wanted him to get rid of me. My nurse responded by saying there was no way he was putting me out. He came back in the room and I could hear her nattering on behind him. The ventolin was working and I was able to breathe again and all I wanted to do with my returning strength was beat the living shit out of that fat cow. My nurse put his mask back on and begged my pardon saying it was nothing personal. Fine by me. He left me to finish my ventolin course and told me I would be going for x-rays shortly.

It was humiliating. A pert blonde fetched me and proceeded to push me through the busy waiting room and down the crowded halls to the x-ray ward. I wanted to die. I looked horrid with sweat-soaked hair, a tank-top sans bra and a big rubber mask on my face. I stared hard at my feet. I lifted my arms, pressed my tits up against the machine and the job was done. It was back down the halls and through the waiting room. Some people must have been seriously pissed. They had been waiting hours and I was admitted before any of them. Perhaps my embarrassment was the price I had to pay for prompt service.

... to be continued


Post a Comment

<< Home