I am currently sitting in the Emergency Room watching how packed it is and wondering how long will I have to sit here in agony. I look around the room questioning who is here for what and when the last time it was they were in the emergency room. I laugh thinking if only they knew what number this is. This constant cycle of going back and forth to the hospital is something only a chosen few are able to endure and understand. How many times is it though~I ask myself and am dismayed by the large multitude that keeps me from knowing.
One by one people are called. One by one I anxiously await the sound of my name to be called but it's not. It's not yet my turn. In this same breathe I feel the pain in my shoulder grow excruciatingly sharper and fierce as it moves throughout my body. I am truly amazed that I am even capable to write as I am. Then I think of the tolerance that I have built up over the years. I fear that by the time my name is called I won't be able to move and I think of the embarassment that may come if I were to need to be carried in the presence of all these strangers. Strangers. They are strangers and yet I give them this power. Why should I fear them when there is something much greater happening. No. No, I won't give up more power. I need that power to fight this disease with God by my side.
Uhhhh. The process. Coming in. Waiting. In pain. Finally, getting called. Going in onto a stretcher. Again waiting. Finally the beggining. Getting an I.V. placed. For me it's placed in my chest where they surgically placed a porta-catheter for I.V. access. Why? Why do I have this? It's because of the endless amount of times I have been stuck by a needle to get blood and to have an I.V. access. The I.V. access helps push my sickled cells through my veins: A normal occurence so many don't even know to appreciate that I have to pray to have happen. Being stuck so much led to my weak veins that would blow at the contact of a needle and the cartilidge that exists due to constant pricking. I have no more veins to work with so surgeons implanted a catheter in my chest connected to my gugular vein that goes up my right neck ever so subtley. I know it's there but many do not. When they see it they think it's a vein. When I see it, I know it's a tube that liberates me from the constant proding. Yes. Now, when I'm stuck neither I or the nurse have to hope and pray to catch a good vein or even a vein at all. No. Instead, I get stuck in my chest to get access to the catheter which allows nurses/docs to take blood so much more easily than trying to get my blood through a vein (with it's many sticks) and to give I.V. fluids so much more easily and so freely. Blood is drawn and I.V. flows through. X-Rays done. What next? A doctor comes in to ask questions already answered three times before getting on the stretcher. I answer. Finally the doc leaves. Once the doc leaves, you know treatment is not far behind. Yes. Pain medication. Relief. Then more pain medication and more pain medication. After the third pain medication then you either leave or get admitted into the hospital. For me it's always an admittion into the hospital. All of this takes place for about 5-9 hours. Then you wait some more. Wait 1-3 hours for a bed upstairs. Once upstairs constant pricking, blood, 24/7 pain medication on drip in addition to pill pain medication and being stuck by a needle that has medication to thin out my blood (since I can't move much due to the pain) which would normally occur if I was able to walk. Then I have none stop nurses coming in and out and a nurse aide noting exactly how much I drink.
No sleep. No real privacy. Once better, then discharged from hospital with a list of drugs (some new some old) to take at home. Once home weak from all the pain and from not being able to move much while in the hospital. So I build slowly to get to the me I know myself to be. How long? It differs. Once strong I'm back to being ME only to go through it all over again. That's an experience of a Sickler, NO, a RARE GEM. Using the word Sickler only demeans us more. We are rare and we are gems~>Rare Gems!