Underneath my yellow skin

Tag Archives: medical anniversary

Five month anniversary

A few hours after this post goes up, it’ll be the five-month anniversary of my medical trauma. That’s astonishing to me because I didn’t think I’d make it past the third month, but not for health reasons. Healthwise, I’m lucky that I haven’t taken any sustained damage. I have been checked out and given a clean bill of health. I have a little bit of short-term memory issues, but it’s no big deal. It only comes into play during my private lessons and my note-taking, which I need to improve. Other than that, I can watch a video of the same movement time and time again, which helps.

It’s almost been half a year. That’s mind-boggling to me. And I still can’t remember what happened during that fateful night itself, but I can talk about it because my brother and I have talked about it several times. I can tell people what happened as if I were there (well, I was, but you know what I mean), but it’s all because of what my brother has told me and from what I’ve read in the Caring Bridge journal. He wrote daily entries there, which I’ve read several times and have been invaluable to my understanding of what happened to me.

To recap once again, this is the story. Roughly around three at night/in the morning on September 2nd/3rd, I couldn’t breathe. I called 9-1-1 (which is not like me at all) and they told me to unlock the front door. I did before promptly passing out in my front hallway. The cops came and bagged me (oxygen) until the EMTs came along. Then, they took over. I had a cardiac arrest and the EMTs had to shock my heart so it would start pumping again. I had another cardiac arrest and they shocked it again. One of these times, they also jabbed me with an Epi pen. And I had a stroke as well. This was all in a 20-minute ambulance ride.

Here was where a lot of luck came into the picture. Remember, the pandemic was still raging at this time. Beds were at a premium. My brother had a friend who had a very similar experience a month earlier (pneumonia, couldn’t breathe, etc.). His wife rushed him to Regions Hospital and they didn’t have a bed so he was taken elsewhere. He had a cardiac arrest at some point and he died.

Regions has the best heart center in Minnesota. They do innovative techniques like lowering the patient’s body temperature to protect the innards (brain, lungs, heart, etc.). I was lucky to be accepted there. I was unconscious when I was admitted. My brother found me roughly fifteen hours after I collapsed, with a healthy assist from Ian. He and I Facebook message every day when I get up, which in those days was between ten a.m. and one p.m. When he didn’t hear from me ,he messaged my brother around seven p.m. his time (after messaging me and texting me from noon to six or seven or so).


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