Thanksgoating – Day two. Welcome to me. The sequel.

capnjb went on a bit of a rant said
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The Book of CapnJB – Chapter Two

Ok, lets get this out of the way. This is a tough one. You may or may not know, but I had some serious health issues last year. I’m just going to put it all out there, all at once. There is nothing that embarrasses me anymore. Here is my story. Parental discretion is advised. And I promise not to make this an everyday theme, but it might pop up from time to time.

Last summer I had severe abdominal pain. I had what I thought was a hernia and being proud and stubborn I dealt with it for a bit, but it became unbearable. I had my wife drive me to the emergency room. There was a lot of poking and prodding and I had my first ultrasound (spoiler: not pregnant). I sat waiting on the weird table with the paper and after a bit the doctor came in and looked at me and my wife and said to me, “we’re going into surgery NOW.” I woke up nearly two months later. Broken, but alive.

It seems my pancreas was failing. My gallbladder was failing. My liver was being a jerk. And those guys got together and destroyed my colon. Half of that was removed. Had I waited a day or two more, I likely would not be here writing this post. It had ruptured and was not doing great things for me.

I had multiple surgeries. I have been split open from my groin to my sternum more than a few times. I was intubated, ventilated, dealt with pneumonia twice, had a septic infection that left me with nerve damage in my toes, arms, and my head. Fed through my neck, then through my nose. I was moments away from having a trach tube in my throat, but somehow I started breathing again at the right time so that didn’t have to happen. I don’t remember any of it. My wife does, and I carry that guilt. She came and saw me every day and kept a detailed journal. I’ve looked at it briefly, but it is something that is very hard for me to spend time with. It’s good for me to talk about this… so thank you all for the free therapy.

So, on that happy note, let me tell you about what I am thankful for today

Today (and every day), I am thankful for nurses.

The translation of Nurse from latin to English is: Angels who work very long days. And kick ass.

I was in the ICU for a long, long time in a sedated state. They eventually brought me out of it and when I awoke I was in my ICU room (which they have now named, ‘The Miracle Room’). I couldn’t move my legs or sit up but I could use my arms. There was window to my left with a nurse stationed there. I lifted an arm and she came in immediately. She asked what I needed. I was so thirsty and wanted to ask for some water, but like my legs, my voice didn’t work. I’m guessing that was due to being on a ventilator for so long. She leaned in close and even though I was trying to shout it, I couldn’t do anything but whisper. She couldn’t hear me, so she grabbed a notepad and wrote the alphabet on it and I was able to communicate by pointing to letters. W. A. T. E. R. She smiled and apologized and said she couldn’t. I couldn’t walk or speak, and it turns out I couldn’t yet swallow again. A cup of water would likely have gone straight into my lungs and a third round of pneumonia would likely have killed me. But she came back with a small dixie cup of water and a small sponge on a lollipop stick. I hated it, but was also so thankful for it. I eventually found out that I was allowed to get ice chips and it started with tiny cups, but I used my guile and eventually charmed the nurses into bringing me pints of ice chips. I had one amazing nurse who, whenever I was her ward, she would always just show up with a giant cup of ice chips. That made me feel so great. I got my food through my nose. My fluids and electrolytes though my IV. But those ice chips… those made me whole again. This is getting wordy so there may be a ‘Thankful for Nurses Part Two’ down the road. I could literally write pages and pages about how much I loved each and every one.

So, thank you nurses everywhere. You saved my life. Not hyperbole. I was close to death twice, and you kept me in the game. Love you all!

I’ve met Sammy Hagar… but I’ve met nurses who are bigger rock stars!

I promise I’ll try to be a bit more light hearted going forward. Be thankful everyone. Life is great.

Dad joke of the day:
Q: If you were a punctuation mark, what would you be?
Me: Obviously, I’m a semi-colon.

Peace out.