Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Adventures of Spleen Man

Day 1

***11:15am***

Hey, I’m getting the hang of this. Check me out! Look at me go! Heel-side… now toe-side…Yes! And Ian is back there eating my snow! I guess the trick is to stay balanced directly over the snowboard. Okay, here comes another toe-side… good good, no problems, I see the bottom of the hill coming up. Hmmm…I’m passing a SLOW sign, so I suppose I better s-----
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Oh. Ouch! Oh jeez, I’m hurting! What the hell happened? Oh, my ribs! My left bottom ribs!! Owwwwwwwww! I’m not moving…it hurts too much. I need to throw up. Can’t breath…the wind got knocked out of me? That was a bad fall. I think my left side of my head slammed into the ground, but why do I only feel my ribs? And my shoulder! Okay, I’m gonna try getting up on my knees and hands. I can’t stay on this hill forever! Uh oh…queasy…I gotta throw up…now.

Phew! Looks pretty gross. Chunks of yellow. Compliments of the breakfast burrito I ate earlier. I better cover it in snow. I feel a little better now. I better make my way down. Just ignore the pain…ooh…oww…okay, can’t ignore it…but don’t be a baby, Gus.
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“What? You’re done for the day? Aww…you’re a baby!”
“Dude, you don’t know how much it hurts!” And I can barely breath!
“I've fallen like that many times, and I always went back up.”
“No. If you were hurting like I’m hurting right now, there’s NO WAY you would have gone back up the mountain.” Why does my shoulder hurt so much?
“Fine, BABY, go sit with my sister…the other BABY. I’m going back up”
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This is terrible. I can’t breath. I can barely walk. It’s not going away. I’ve probably got a broken rib. Maybe the First Aid Station can wrap up my torso for me. Ugh, but it’s so far away. These stairs suck…left foot forward…right foot together…left foot forward…right together…left foot… together…

“Been there, man. Been there. Just hang in there.” Some snowboarder walking up the stairs. Do all snowboarders really have to go through this pain at some point in their careers? This sucks.
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Ah…I feel better. This oxygen mask is really all I needed. Damn it, man, stop poking me in my abs!
“It feels pretty firm here…but I can’t tell if it’s fluid or not because your stomach is pretty strong.”
So now I’m being accused of doing too many sit-ups? That’s a first.
“I’m actually feeling much better. The pain has definitely lessened with the oxygen.”
“Yeah…oxygen is really a miracle drug. You feel like you can stand up now?”
“Yeah.” Hell yeah!
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Well, that was no good.
“I have a 25 year old male here by the name of Gus, complaining of pain in his left lower abdomen. He was initially laid on the bed and given oxygen, and he said his pain was much better. There seems to be some firmness in his lower abdomen, but I couldn’t tell if it was fluid or just a strong stomach. Then we took him off the oxygen and stood him up. He was feeling pretty good and I was about to check his vitals again, but he started looking nauseated and sick all of a sudden, and then started to black out. We put him back on the stretcher and the oxygen mask brought him back to our world. He’s a little reluctant to leave in an ambulance, but I’ve gone ahead and called for an emergency vehicle, just in case.”

Oh no, no ambulance! It’s not that bad! I shouldn’t have come to the First Aid Station. I should have just toughed it out. I’m a baby.

“I told them a level 2…so no big hurry. Oh, you wanna come down and take a look at him? Okay.”

Who’s coming?

”Okay, Gus, keep breathing in the oxygen with your nose. Our head paramedic is coming down to take a quick look at you. It’ll probably be nothing, but we have to be cautious, okay? Feeling alright?”

Hmm…define “alright”.
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”Tell me where you’re hurting, Gus.”
Damn it, I already told the other guy! Fine!
”Well…my lower abdomen is pretty tender, and it really hurts right here, on my bottom left rib.”
“Okay, I’m gonna push down a little, and you might feel some pain, okay? Here?”
“No.”
“Here?”
“No.”
“Here?”
“Ugghhh…YES!!!!!!!!!!” JESUS CHRIST! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING TO ME!!!
“My left shoulder also hurts.”
“Huh?!?!?! It does!?!?! Let’s hook him up into some IVs, we need some fluid in him. Call the ambulance and upgrade it to a Level 1 emergency! Let’s go!”
Oh shit.
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Wow…I’m in an ambulance. I’ve never been inside an ambulance before. It’s a lot more crowded than I thought. There’re gadgets and gizmos all over the place, and something keeps beeping. Must be something connected to me.
“Hi, Gustafo, do you remember how you fell?”
“It was in a weird angle…kind of on my left side…with my elbow tucked into my stomach…”
Oh, it’s hard to talk. I’m losing my breath. And this oxygen tank makes me sound like Darth Vader. Kaahhhhh…ahhhhh…kaahhhhh…
“Did you hit your head? Did you lose consciousness right after?”
“No. I mean, yes I hit my head. But I didn’t lose consciousness.”
“We should be to the hospital in 20 minutes, okay?”
“Ahh….excuse me. It’s going black.”
Damn it, I’m feeling sick again. My vision is going. Shit shit. It’s almost all black now.
”Breath though your nose gustafo.”
Oh, I gotta throw up. And I can’t freaking see. I can’t see!! My eyes are open and I can’t see!!
“It’s all black now. All black.”
“Gustafo, can you tell me who the President of the United States is?”
President? Err…Bill Clinton comes to mind, but I know it’s not him. Damn it, why can’t I remember!!
“Pressure’s dropping! Step on it!”
Oh jeez…scary. Gotta stay awake. Gotta…stay…stay…
”Stay with me, buddy!”
AWAKE! Oh! Awake! Awake…awake…oh………
“Gustafo, listen to me gustafo. Stay with me! Do you know where you are?”
No, I don’t. Where am I? I have no clue where I am! What’s wrong with me! Where the hell am I!?!?
“Gustafo, can you see better now?”
“…uh…wait…hold on.” It may be coming back. My vision is coming back. I gotta blink. Blink really hard a few times. Ah…it’s coming. Jeez, I’m sweating a lot.
“Yeah, it’s coming back. It has no color…black and white. Looks strange. Ah. Here comes the color. Very bright neon colors. What did you do?”
“I just fed you more fluids. Gustafo, who’s the President of the United States?”
Take a deep breath, Gus, you know this.
”George W. Bush.”
“Good. Do you remember me asking you that earlier?”
“Yeah, and I didn’t know it. I don’t know why. I just couldn’t remember.”
“It’s good that you remember that I asked you.”
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“Gus, you have a ruptured spleen. Normally we’d have to take the spleen out in cases like these, but there’s a procedure called Spleen Embolization where surgery can be avoided.”
Just nod, Gus, just nod.
“We don’t have that procedure here, so what we want to do is send you over to an affiliated hospital in Denver, is that okay with you?”
Just nod, Gus, just nod.
“Okay. And since it’s such a nice day outside…”
Eh?
“We’re gonna go ahead and helicopter you in.”
I think that’s pretty cool.
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Okay, I’m in a helicopter. The view is beautiful. Look at all those mountains, half in snow. It’s too bad this pain sucks…I could really be enjoying this. I think even if I wanted to move, there wouldn’t be any room. The pilot’s on my right, and there’s a paramedic right behind me. It’s so freaking loud! Even through these ear mufflers I can hear the chop chop chop of the blades. The paramedic told me I was supposed to give him some signal if I needed him for anything. I don’t remember what the signal is. Whatever.

This pain sucks. Gotta think of something. Sing a song in your head, Gus.



Que mis ojos se despierten
Con la luz de tu Mirada, yo
A Dios le pido
Que mi madre no se muera y que mi padre me recuerde
A Dios le pido
Que te quedes a mi lado y que mas nunca te me vayas mi vida
A Dios le pido
Que mi alma no descanse cuando de amarte se trate mi cielo.

Que los dias que me quedan
Y las noches que aun no llegan, yo
A Dios le pido
Por los hijos de mis hijos y los hijos de tus hijos
A Dios le pido
Que mi pueblo no derrame tanta sangre y se levante mi gente
A Dios le pido
Que mi alma no descanse cuando de amarte se trate mi cielo

Un segundo mas de vida para darte
Y mi corazon entero entregarte
Un segundo mas de vida para darte
Y a tu lado para siempre quedarme

Un segundo mas de vida, yo…
A Dios le pido

Lalala lala lala la la
Lalala lala…

Shit, I wish I’d learned the rest.

To be continued…

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gustafo,

I really enjoy your ideas and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

10:17 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Poor Gus! I would come and visit you in the hospital if I weren't so far away! Get better!!

10:25 PM  

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