My ability to ignore very high levels of physical discomfort and pain is at the STUPID level. Part of that is my ability to focus in a given moment on a given task. Part of it is my training. Part of it is just in my blood, and sometimes I had very little of that 😀
Way back in the day I had plans to go out with a friend. The original plan was to go out movie and dinner, in no particular order. I wasn’t feeling well, and hadn’t been feeling well, but just kept pushing through it. This day was a very difficult day, health wise. I called my friend up and changed the plan to picking up some take out and renting movies (pre-netflix days) and to meet me at my place. I later changed that to her picking up some take out and getting movies and meeting her at her place. I remember hearing her come in her house, but couldn’t see her. I was curled up in a ball on her couch. Ray! You’re blue! She yelled. Off to the emergency room. Trip number 1
Not related to pain or discomfort, but the level of stupid that is sometimes Ray. The nurse gave me an IV and told me to call her before the saline solution completely drains. I didn’t; wanted to see what would happen. It was my first IV (of hundreds? thousands?) When the bag completely drained the blood pressure causes the blood to shoot back into the tubing and bag. I pinch off the tubing and THEN call the nurse. The nurse had a word for the blood filled tubing I was holding
In 1999 I was singing in three choirs; my church choir, the L.A. Cathedral choir, and a choir a friend put together to perform his Master’s in Music Composition project. Again, not feeling well but pushing through. Coming home from performing my friend’s Master’s project an extremely explosive pain rips into my side. It’s about 10pm. If you can imagine what it would feel like if a white-hot bar of steel pierced your side and stopped somewhere near your spine, it was a little worse than that. I had no idea what had occurred. Thankfully I was only a few blocks from my apartment.
My muscles were totally rigid. How I was able to drive those few blocks was sheer will. I got there, parked and now faced a new challenge, walking. I don’t remember how long it took, each step being very painful. Next challenge, second floor apartment; I had to climb steps. Finally reaching my apartment, I open the door and fall in, literally. I lay on the floor mentally and physically exhausted until the light of the next day. Don’t remember my thoughts except one; I had stuff to do, didn’t sleep at all and planned out how I was going to get stuff done.
Called my friend, had her pick up 7up and crackers. When she got to my place she helped me into an easy chair next to an end table. She went to my car and got my school bag. I had about 180 2 to 4 page essays I NEEDED to grade. Enough about me for a moment 😀
It was the first year after the state started testing High School kids again (after years of not) and finding out what they knew about reading, writing, and math (of course you all know since all academic levels and areas of content are now tested) Well the results were shocking. There were 9-12 graders with academic skills in the elementary range. Districts created remedial classes and found dynamic, creative, smart teachers to help these kids get to grade level.
That year I had 180 freshmen with reading and writing skills from barely registering to high 5th grade. Immediately it became apparent why many of them had problems with their academic skills; most of them had social/behavior problems and a handful had undiagnosed learning disabilities. Enough about these kids; they deserve their own post on their own. Back to me 😀
There was about a month of school left. I had brought these kids a long way, through constant and consistent feedback. I demanded a lot from them, but I gave them written individually specific responses as quickly as possible to any work I assigned to them. I HAD to grade those papers; and I had to lesson plan as I figured I would be out at least a week. I did.
Sunday afternoon had my friend drive me to my classroom. She dropped off all the papers and LPs and took me home.
Why not to the hospital at that point? I am not sure. The pain had not diminished and I had not slept since Thursday. I think there was a degree of fear, knowing something terrible had happened and not wanting to know what it was. Monday morning I drove myself to ER. I couldn’t see the nurse behind the desk when I shuffled in; I couldn’t lift my head. She screamed and soon I was on a gurney getting treated
Because I didn’t go to the hospital when I was sick or when the rupture occurred. I got to learn a new word. Turns out two and a half days not being in a hospital with a ruptured appendix kills a lot of people
Peritonitis, abdominal cavity infection. Basically from below my lungs to above my waist was entirely infected.
First hospital stay: 3 weeks, 3 surgeries. Returned a month later for another week-long stay and another surgery
Wow I just scratched the surface on this one
Don’t cry for me Argentina! 😀 God apparently will not let STUPID ruin His Plan 😀