The random thoughts of a nash.
Published on January 1, 2006 By Gene Nash In Life Journals

I spent the week in the hospital.

When I tried to get up from bed last Monday, the world suddenly spun and went black and I toppled to the floor. Timber! My left hand and the left side of my face went numb. Even while laying there, the world still seemed to spin wildly. After a few minutes I tried standing up again. Same result.

I'd fallen and I couldn't get up.

I thought I should go to the emergency room and get checked out. Ever since Harry Reid had his little incident, I've been subjected to PSA after PSA exhorting me to immediately seek help at the first sign of anything stroke-like, because -- according to them -- each second equals one more bit of dead brain. The PSA extols the new wonder drugs and treatment interventions that can save your mental faculties if only given quickly enough, not unlike immediately loading up possible heart attack victims with aspirin.

Here's where I start getting pissed.

The ambulance was reluctant to take me because they didn't think it was an emergency and weren't sure my insurance would pay for it. Fine %^$& off, I'll find my own way there.

They left me sitting in the ER waiting room for hours without anyone checking me out or apparently even considering stroke, despite my symptoms. Hello? What about the dead brain every few seconds? What about the mind saving drugs and interventions? Anyone? I guess the mother#%*!ers don't listen to the radio. This is the same brain trust that didn't suspect excruciating pain in the abdomen might be an appendicitis, even though it was the first thing that occurred to me.

I wanted to just get up and leave. If they'd taken one more person with a runny nose ahead of me, I would have.

I hate that *&^$@ing emergency room. You just sit in a tiny room for hours on end. If you're lucky, the doctor pops in maybe once or twice. The rest of the time is long bouts of nothingness interspersed with being wheeled off to an occasional test. You never really know what is happening.

At one point they injected me with something "for dizziness" that made me start sweating profusely and feeling... best description... "weird."

"Weird" doesn't satisfy nurses.

"What are you feeling?"


Oddly enough, that satisfied her. ?!?!?!?!

Eventually they admitted me "for observation," where I spent the rest of the week eating hospital food, watching reality show marathons on VH1, and worrying about my cat. The hospital stay was a lot like the ER visit, but with TV. They should put TV or some other diversion in those ER rooms. People in the waiting room get TV and they're not even having their wallets sucked dry.

I had my first MRI. For those who've never had one, it's like being mechanically wedged into a skin tight coffin which someone then starts jackhammering. I expected to meet a nice family of spelunkers squeezing their way through.

A day or two later they shoved me back in it for an MRA. Yeah, I didn't know MR's came in multiple flavors either. I wonder how many letters of the alphabet they can attach to MR. MRX, -Y, -Z, anyone? If they'd sent me down for an MR-epsilon I'd have known they were just jerking me around. That great sucking sound south is my insurance company going under.

The good news is all my tests came back negative. That's good. I've had stroke-like symptoms in the past that -- in the wake of all the PSA's -- worried me in retrospect. If I did ever have a "mini stroke" it apparently didn't do any permanent damage.

The bad news is all my tests came back negative. I'm still messed up and have no idea what is wrong. That is the way it always is with me, dammit -- a gazillion tests with nary a cause in sight.

So, now I'm home and exceedingly worse off than I was the previous week. I'm consistently dizzy. At least once a day the world spins and I flop over. I have to use a walker. I'm not supposed to drive. The cat throws a fit every time he gets a notion I'm heading for the door, apparently afraid I'm going to leave him alone again. Oh well, I got out of cooking for a week.

*SIGH* And I'd just convinced myself I might -- might -- make it through the holidays unscathed. Oh me of little faith.

Comments (Page 1)
on Jan 01, 2006
Wow, sorry to hear about your health issues. Emergency rooms definately suck.

Have you seen a neurologist? There has to be some reason you are feeling this way despite the negative test results (just means they didn't run the correct test yet).
on Jan 01, 2006
Health Care in Las Vegas generally sucks. I, too, can attest to that.

I hope that you're feeling MUCH better in the near future. Keep us updated.
on Jan 01, 2006
Gene, I'm worried about you. Did they do a spinal tap? They should have.

I'm sending you an email, so you'd better respond, mister.
on Jan 01, 2006
Gene, sorry to hear about your mishap, hope they find the problem soon. Keep us posted. Turts
on Jan 01, 2006
If you were a UK citizen (or preferably an immigrant from the former USSR) then the NHS would have no problem spending my taxes on caring for you old chap.
on Jan 01, 2006
I hope whatever is causing this comes to the surface soon so you can get it treated and start on a nice recovery, rather than one filled with worries over what is going on.
on Jan 01, 2006
Try a good antihistamine and see if that relieves your symptoms at all,

i was just about to suggest something similar. it could be a severe histamine reaction...and they may not have tested for that.

most of all, i'm truly sorry you're goin thru this and i hope whatever it is is detected and treated really soon if not immediately. i'd been wondering why you suddenly seemed to have disappeared.
on Jan 01, 2006
wow. I'm sorry to hear about this. I have no medical advice, just wanted to let you know I'm concerned, too. I will be waiting for an update.
on Jan 02, 2006
Sounds like an inner ear infection.  Welcome back
on Jan 02, 2006

I feel your pain, buddy.  I have had stroke like issues for years.  I'll have the left half of my body be numb and lose the peripheral vision in my left eye.  I have been admitted to the hospital and seen a neurologist.  When he couldn't figure out what was wrong, he sent me home with the encouraging words of "I think you'll just get better.  If not, come back".  However, I did learn that taking a baby aspirin a day can help prevent transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), and strokes, for whatever that is worth.


on Jan 03, 2006
"but he'd have waited MONTHS to be seen by the NHS."

Only for major problems like cancer etc. It is remarkable how quickly a peasant can be treated nowadays, they are so very keen to waste tax revenue on curing plebs.

Time was they would be just sent to the workhouse to die.
on Jan 03, 2006
Recently, bankruptcy laws were changed in several US states. I recall watching a news report on the issue on a CNN broadcast. Hundreds of peasants were rushing to file for bankruptcy before the law changed, I was delighted to hear that unpaid medical fees are the top cause of bankruptcy in America.

What a most wonderful system of private healthcare, not only does it not cost wealthy chaps anything in taxes, it makes the small businessman bankrupt.

God bless America.
on Jan 03, 2006
I recall watching a news report on the issue on a CNN broadcast

Enough said.
on Jan 03, 2006
"Enough said."

How dare you suggest I am lying? Do you know who I am?
on Jan 04, 2006

"Enough said."

How dare you suggest I am lying? Do you know who I am?

Better question would be "Do we care?"