Yesterday, I woke up coughing. I hadn’t coughed much or felt sick since Sunday. I thought I had my cold licked.
I had an assignment to sub at Vista Heights Middle School. I’ve subbed there several times this year. It’s a nice school. It’s just twenty miles away. I coughed intermittently in-transit to school. I was worried because there was patchy black ice on the roads; and I didn’t want to cough and cause a pile-up or something.
Once there I had time to prepare: baseball. “But there’s eighteen inches of snow outside,” you say. The game is played in-doors with light plastic balls, bats and rubber bases. The ball can’t be thrown or hit hard and never goes straight. With middles school boys running every which way, we had a lot of fun; but I started noticing problems: I felt dizzy, all my muscles ached, it hurt when I urinated and I was having a hard time keeping score.
After the last class, I wrote a tiny note (I usually write long, thorough notes on behavior, participation and successes) and drove to where I thought the Veteran’s Outpatient Clinic in Orem, UT is. The Clinic had moved six blocks straight west. Delirious and confused, it took me forty-five minutes to find it. Once there, the clinic staff told me none were permitted to “see” me. I told them my situation and they agreed I shouldn’t drive the forty-five miles to the Salt Lake VA.
They gave me a number to get permission for 911 to come and pick me up.
I called and stayed on the line for thirty minutes before a guy got on to help. I did not understand what he was saying, but under the impression he would call 911 for me after I hung up, I did. He didn’t.
I called again an hour later, feeling much worse. The long wait went faster this time. I was really out of it. The phone told me this time to have the desk clerk here call 911. Okay, but to place the call the desk clerk needed permission from the head nurse to make the call. So after two phone calls, I was finally able to “see” someone at the clinic to be sure the expense of a 911 call and ambulance trip could be authorized. I guess heavy lung congestion, high blood pressure and a temp of 103.9 was enough for the nurse who “saw” me saying I shouldn’t have been driving in the first place.
What was I thinking.
The ER docs were quick and efficient. My problem there was I could not remember any of my family’s phone numbers (no cell phone). I know my own of course and so through my roommate, I called a close friend, Kevin, who gave me a ride home from the hospital after they stabilized me.
I feel much better today. My son helped me get around filling prescriptions up at the Salt Lake VA where the cost is zero when the prescriptions at a regular pharmacy would be well over a hundred dollars for only a few days worth of goodies.
Anyway, I’m about to take my pills which will knock me out, but will hopefully help me recover.