Admission # 2

The second time in UPMC Presby  was a little bit better and a little bit worse. This time I was beginning to retain a little bit of what was going on. I have very few memories, but I do have some. For some reason I can remember being wheeled out of the ambulance and into the hospital. Then there is a lapse of who knows how long. I remember a Starbucks I think in one of the lobbies or space murals or something like that. I was back in the ICU and I remember thinking that with this hospital being a busy one I should not expect to see the nurses much, and they probably wont be as nice as small town people. I was wrong about some of that and right about some, but more about that later. Fortunately the swelling in my brain wasn’t bad enough that they had to open me up to relieve the swelling. There was a little room near my room where 1 or 2 family members could go to get some rest during the night and maybe catch some sleep. I was a major fall risk and I always kept a towel over my head because I was constantly in pain. One night I got in my wheel chair and wheeled my way past the nurses station. I know that at least one of them seen me because I remember looking at her and thinking that I can not believe I am sneaking past her. I went to the small room where my mother and my wife were resting and woke my wife up. I told her that I wanted to go outside and have a smoke. I know that I shouldn’t smoke, but hey if I didn’t like smoke I wouldn’t be  a firefighter. My wife unwillingly agreed to this and bundled me up a little further and off to the elevator we went. We got outside to the designated area where we could smoke and lit one up. I am from a small town of about 7500 people and 18 police officers and at this point I still have no filter on my mouth. If you remember from earlier I stated that if it comes to my mind it comes out of my mouth. The city of Pittsburgh is large and they have alot of police officers, and I respect everyone of them for what they do. I had an officer walk past me in my wheel chair and I looked up and said “Good Morning.” He looked down at me in my wheel chair and looked away without even acknowledging that I was there and kept on walking. So as he walked away away I just said “or you can go blow yourself “. My wife was not impressed. I was just glad that he didn’t come back and hit me with the tazer. It is really a different feeling in your life when you know that something is coming out of your mouth and there is not a thing you can do to stop it. This non filtering of my mouth went on for a month or 2 before I was able to finally begin to control it. I wanna talk about the staff a little down there. The nurses in particular because I can remember more contact with them than with the doctors. The nurses down there were busy and I understand that, but there are some things that busyness should not do. If a patient has asked you a question, or you have asked the patient a question, you should not cut him off in the middle of a sentence to talk to your nurse friend about something that has absolutely nothing to do with the task at hand.  That only happened one or two times but I remember getting very angry about it to the point where I wanted to yell, but cooler heads prevailed and I kept my cool somehow and did not say a word.  On the other side there were nurses that were very compassionate and caring  and at our beckon call when we needed or wanted something. There was one particular nurse  that I will call nurse M. She was a saint. She would stand in the room and listen to me talk about things that had absolutley nothing to do with anything. The one day she actually sat down on the edge of the bed to listen to my wife and I talk to her about ghost hunting. When we told her that we had been to Waverly Hills, she thought that was awesome. In out time of worse things in life she was just willing to listen, letting my wife especially take her head away from what was being faced. It is those types of nurses that people need in a time of crisis. A nurse that just looks you in the eye and without saying a word is saying “I hear you “. I nominated nurse M for Daisy Award which is an Internationally recognized award.  My wife has won the Daisy Award, so I know how much it means to a nurse to receive this award. I waited for quite some time until I did the nomination and hoped that she would receive the award. I later found out that she had been recognized but did not win the Daisy Award. I felt bad in a way thinking that if I could have written that nomination a little bit better that she would have won the award. That nomination was nearly a year after my injury.

During this second admission things started to get a little stranger. I was able to be nice to strangers and very polite, but when it came to my family I was very quick to lash out and become frustrated or angry over the smallest things. Later down the road my wife tells me that she was wondering if the husband that she had known for 21 years would ever come back.  I am still not over the hump  in My Fall to Life.


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