Friday, November 26, 2010
Today has been a day to catch up on things, including the spankings that I have been going without lately. Although trips up north for Crimson Moon and Our Need And Desire parties did a lot towards making up for lost time in that area, too.
I want my readers to know that this laps wasn't due to laziness or disinterest. It was just me not having access to my computer. When I get myself settled somewhere permanent, then please know that regular entries will be forthcoming. Again, my sincerest apologies.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
I kind of remember thinking it was odd that I didn't imagine what it would be like to make love to him. I thought about what it would be like to be spanked my him. At the time, I was trying to get my boyfriend to spank me and he refused. Oh, Tommy, where are you now?
With the departure of Mark Mulder, I soon found another pitcher to concentrate on. It was Chris Carpenter, the Cardinals' Cy Young winning pitcher. I've described him in another post as a man of few words. He just has this special quality that thrills me. Last month, he got suspended for two games for participating in a bench clearing brawl. He plays to win and is a gritty competitor. However, he cleans up nice.Mike Matheny also caught Chris in 2004. When those two worked together, my little spanko brain worked overtime. Chris another big, strong pitcher, one of many the Cardinals have had over the years. However, Carp is special. He's one of the most dominant right handers in the game. Even though he's now 35, his skills haven't diminished noticeably. It might take him longer to warm up and he might have to exercise more in order to keep in shape, but then who doesn't? I know that Chris can't pitch forever. I will have to find someone else to fantasize about. Most of the guys who play now are young enough to be my nephew (and some are young enough to be my son). I wonder if I will ever close the book on my spanking fantasies that involve baseball? There is one guy that might fit the bill. He's an outfielder and pretty hunky.
Monday, September 6, 2010
That's my friend, Jeanette, next to me and the lap belongs to Ben, the man who actually did spank me that night. We'd been eating a lot and drinking a fair amount when someone suggested a game of Trivial Pursuit, still all the rage then. I belonged to a group that played regularly so I was all for it. We played guys against the girls. It was a spirited game and we took it very seriously. However, no one wanted to see the evening disintegrated because of a silly game so we decided there would be no bragging or rubbing it in from the winning team. So a compromise was reached. Dennis, Jeanette's husband, suggested that if the ladies' team lost, the captain of the team (me) would get a spanking by the captain of the other team (Ben). "I already promised her one coz it's her birthday," Ben said. "She'll get spanked either way." The other ladies--Jeanette, Norma and my friend Rhonda--protested. What if the guys lost? "Yeah, think you can handle getting a spanking, Ben?" I asked. No way. The spanking was only for the ladies. If the guys lost? "We'll do the dishes," Dennis volunteered. There was a mountain of them in the kitchen, so of course, the bet was on. Well, it went down to the last question and we lost. It's been 25 years and I still think that Rhonda missed that question on purpose. Who doesn't know that Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin? But I was a good sport. I settled myself over Ben's ample lap and he counted out 25 pretty good spanks, plus one for good luck. I had on gray pantie hose under the winter white slacks I was wearing but I still felt it. So did Ben. "You have the hardest ass I've ever felt," he said. "Yeah, my dad said the same thing," I shrugged. "Must be all that horseback riding."
Anyway, that was the last spanking I got for a long time. I remember Norma was sort of looking on with a jealous expression the whole time her husband was spanking me. He was obviously enjoying it. I was 25, young and firm. I so wish I had been getting spanked for fun back then. Oh well...I've made up for lost time. And then some.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
Now don't get me wrong. I'm not going to start crying about how bad I had it under my dad's roof growing up. I knew I was loved by both he and my mother. It was just a different time. I think my mother was very wise. She knew that the less of a big deal they made out of my little rebellion the quicker it would pass. My dad had other ideas. He knew I was smart; probably the smartest of all his kids. He didn't want me throwing away a a chance to make something of myself. As a Marine he'd learned to value honor. What did it say about me when I was lying, stealing and drinking under age? I remember him once standing in front of me, hands on hips, trying to talk some sense into me while I sat there at the table looking bored. By this time, I was smoking cigarettes (a habit I would continue until I was 45), having sex with boys I hardly knew, ditching school and, when I was caught, ditching detention. In fact, my dad knew I'd had a detention on this particular night and demanded to know why I wasn't at school serving it. That's what had precipitated the little pow wow with Dad. He wasn't the kind to beg or try to make me feel guilty about it by telling me how hard he was working. What he did was lay it out for me. There would be no more cutting class. I was to bring that History grade back up to a B (at least). I was to stop listening to "that God forsaken" KISS. I was going to buckle down and keep my nose to the grindstone. Six months previously, I had been so enthusiastic about my grades that I had been gunning for early graduation the following year. "You're gonna settle down and fly right," he said, shaking his finger at me for emphasis. "Before you blow the whole thing." He knew my life's ambition was to be a writer. I'd wanted to work as a newspaper writer from the moment I knew that such things existed. I remember how he sighed heavily (as he usually did when he was really steamed) and paced back and forth in front of me. I looked at my feet, trying any way I knew to avoid having to look at him. I knew, deep down, he was right. He was always right. "I know one thing for sure," he went on. "You're grounded, young lady, until that C comes up. You can do better than that." I opened my mouth to protest, but he shook his head at me, indicating that it would be wise for me to keep my mouth shut until he was done talking. "I mean it. You're not leaving this house except to go to school. You're gonna learn to snap shit!" "Snap shit" is a Marine Corps expression. It means to stop messing around and start doing what you're supposed to be doing. He sat down next to me and said "Do you think life gets easier when you get older? It doesn't. It gets harder. It's a lot harder without a high school diploma." "I'll get my diploma!" I snapped. "You make a C sound like the end of the world." "When your brother would get C's I'd be happy," he told me. "But you're better than that. You think I want you waiting tables your whole life? You're gonna get that C up, little girl. And you're gonna stop cutting class and ditching detention. If you get another one for ditching this one, then you're gonna serve 'em both. You're gonna take what you've got coming. You hear me?" Boy, did I hear him. Then he left for work. Three nights later, I snuck out of the house and stole his bottle of Jim Beam. I knew, even as I was doing it, that it was wrong. I had a very strong conscience back then and still do. I sat glumly at the park with my friend, Lucy as we emptied the bottle. "My dad's gonna skin me alive," I told her. She had known me a long time and knew my dad well. "Yep, when he finds out, I wouldn't be you for nothing." Some friend. The previous year, Cigi had wanted to go to Chicago with her boyfriend, Tony to see KISS. They were playing the Aragon Ballroom that winter of 1977. Dad said absolutely no way. "You're too young!" Long story short, they went anyway. They would have made it back in time but Tony's car, a small red Datsun, broke down on the way home and Cigi had no choice but to call and ask someone to come and get her. Dad sent my brother. I can still remember him tossing my brother the keys and telling me "Go with him." I was terrified. My brother drove too fast and would race anyone, no matter how slight the provocation. Before we left, Dad handed me a $50 bill. "Tony will need money to get his car towed. Give this to him." He knew if he gave it to my brother, he would spend it on pot. My brother was 18 at the time, 15 months older than Cigi and I. Tony gave my brother good directions on where they were and we found them with no problem. Both of them were drunk. "Dad's gonna kill you" our brother told Cigi knowingly. Brother offered to take Tony home so that he wouldn't have to face Dad. When we got home, it was about 4 o'clock in the morning. Dad had been up all day and he was mad. As mad as I'd ever seen him. He was waiting for us when we came piling in. He'd whittled a switch, which he held in his right hand. He looked at me and my brother. "You two, get to bed." Grateful that everyone was home safe, I went to bed. Dad drove a lesson home to Cigi with that maple switch. I could hear it in my room with the door shut. I never heard a sound out of her though. She was tough. When she came to bed, she vomited into the trash can and fell into bed still in her jeans and black KISS T-shirt. Alcoholism would haunt her until she was 27, when she went sober.
Even though I despised being disciplined by him, I knew he did everything out of love for us. He would have walked through fire for us and protected us with his life if he had to. Next to my mother, we were the most important things in his life. He made sure that we knew we were loved. He would never refuse to hug us or let us sit on his lap. Some of my happiest memories of him was sitting on his lap after I had just gotten out of the tub. I would have wet hair and my pajamas on and I would sit close to him, him teasing me about my freckles. He would always start to count them and make a great show of losing count. God, I loved that man.
I feel sorry for Lindsay Lohan, who recently sent a letter to her father via her lawyer. It was a cease and desist letter telling him to stop trying to contact her. That's the saddest thing I can think of; for a girl to hate her father so much. If he had disciplined her when she was young, if he had established his authority in his home (in a loving way and not as a tyrant), she would have felt that sense of security that I had growing up. All the acting out and crying for attention would never have happened. I wouldn't trade places with her for anything.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
The two people pictured here are separated by 60 years in age. The young lady on the left has made a career out of being a troubled young actress. The man on the right has a career that has spanned more than 50 years. He's not only a talented comedian, but also a great humanitarian, whose Labor Day Telethon has raised billions for kids with muscular dystrophy. So why are they suddenly linked in the press? Allow me to enlighten you.
Jerry Lewis, in preparation for his yearly telethon, was being interviewed by Inside Edition. The talk was general at first. What did he think of today's young stars? He responded like a lot of old men might. These kids don't know who Al Jolson was. They don't have any respect for the people who came before them and paved the road for them. Then, the interviewer mentioned Lindsay Lohan. Lewis' answer was an honest one. A bit too honest for some. He said, quite candidly, that he was smack her in the mouth if he saw her. He said he would probably get arrested for abusing a woman. Then he added that if she wasn't satisfied with a mere smack in the mouth, he would turn her over his knee and spank her and then send her off to rehab.
I didn't see the interview so I don't know how the interviewer responded to this. I heard the story on a local afternoon radio talk show. The interviewer was a man who spun records as a disc jockey back in the 70's. Now he's a conservative talk show host. He took calls, as he always does, and of course, the good people of Peoria are backing the old man. At first, there was the usual amount of laughing between the host and his producer. But it soon turned serious. Did the listeners think this was too outrageous or does Jerry have a point?
Here's my personal opinion on this issue. Since this is my blog, I don't have to be careful not to offend anyone. I think Lindsay should have been seen to years ago, preferably by a big, strong male relative. Of course, this begs the question of whether it's appropriate for an 84-year-old man to advocate spanking a 24-year-old woman. My opinion is that I'm sick and tired of hearing about Lindsay Lohan. Whatever she does wrong, she goes to court, gets her slap on the wrist, whines about how unfair the world is, and then goes right out and does whatever it was that got her in trouble in the first place. I've seen far too many photos of her tripping drunkenly out of a club surrounded by her posse. Her movies aren't good and she's not a good actress. She should have been relegated to a reality series years ago. Surely, there are nice, decent, clean living actresses out there who are worthy of some ink. Why do the tabloids concentrate on Lindsay Lohan? Because misery loves company and that sells magazines. A lot of young people can relate to her and that in itself is telling. I think it says something about young people in general. But I'm not going to hate on young people. Just her. For some reason, young women think it's very glamorous to reel out of a trendy club with a cell phone on their ear with body guards on both sides. They think it's oh-so-kewl to leave a club in the early morning hours with their mascara running and a shoe missing.
From what I know of Ms. Lohan, she has been disruptive and unprofessional onset before, putting movies behind schedule and over budget. She would show up to work late, in no shape to work. You know, she's over 21. What she does on her own time is her business. My mother told me 30 years ago "Cheryl, you're a grown woman. I can't tell you what to do. But no matter how late you stay out or how much you drink, you'd better be able to get up and work in the morning." Of course, I was still living at home because I didn't make enough money to live on my own. And therein lies the problem. Add money to the mix, and these young celebs feel no one can tell them what to do. Ms. Lohan has been in trouble for public intoxication, driving under the influence and other outrageous behavior that would have landed a no-money working stiff like me in jail. I get the feeling that Ms. Lohan thinks she's above the law. She thinks her celebrity entitles her to do whatever she wants, regardless of the consequences. She's 24 going on 6. A spanking might be appropriate. Does Jerry Lewis have the right to say she needs one? Well, we live in a free country where people pretty much have the right to say whatever they want as long as it's not libelous. I think she should have been spanked a long time ago. She has thrown her career in the trash can. She's been warned to stop drinking and smoking so much. She's apparently been in rehab for drug and alcohol dependency. What does she think this is doing to her body? I had a heart attack three weeks ago today, after spending years disregarding what I was doing to my health by smoking, eating an unhealthy diet and not exercising. I was lucky. I don't think Ms. Lohan would be that lucky. Sadly, I think she's going to end up like River Phoenix and Heath Ledger: dead before her time. Someone who really cares about her ought to sit her down and talk to her straight. She's surrounded by yes men, whose job is to tell her what she wants to hear. But she needs to hear some hard truths that she may not want to hear. Yes, I think she's spoiled and I think a good, hard spanking would benefit her immensely. But it's not going to happen. So I would be content to see her get some sense talked into her. I don't care one bit about her fame. She's a fellow human being and a tortured one at that. Her bad relationship with her father is well documented. To me, that's a shame. She never seemed to have that loving paternal influence in her life. If she had, hopefully she would have been lovingly disciplined. She might have grown up to be one of our finest young actresses, a positive influence on other young, aspiring actresses. Instead, she chooses to self-destruct. She chooses to piss away a career that might have meant something. With coaching and hard work, she might have turned into another Audrey Hepburn. She made the decision not to work at her craft. Of course, she was an adorable, freckle-faced youngster. I thought her future was bright. Then I began to hear things about her. She stole a boyfriend from a friend of hers. She was engaging in screamfests with the press. She dissed actor Jim Caviesel (one of my favorites) by saying with a heavy sigh "He's so last year!". She had no respect for others. Then I started to hear about the drinking and the carousing. She became a poster girl for the Bad Girl's Club. At the time, she was about 19 or 20 and she began to look incredibly skinny. So then the speculation began that she had anorexia. She began to garner sympathy. But instead of embracing it and turning over a new leaf, she got worse. While working on one film, she received a letter from the head of the studio rebuking her for her behavior and exhorting her to concentrate on her work. Now think about that. If you were working somewhere and messing up and you got a letter, not from your immediate supervisor, not from the store manager, but from the CEO of the company warning you to stop screwing up and get to work, how would you respond? I think it's safe to say that most of us would be highly embarrassed that a person as busy as the CEO of our company felt the need to write us a letter about our behavior. Most of us would also probably be sufficiently contrite that we would do just that: buckle down and do our job; what we're being paid to do. At the time I learned of the letter from the studio head, I told Cigi "I can picture her balling the letter up, tossing it into a garbage can and saying 'Who does he think HE is?'"
I can't be the only person who, on one hand, thinks a good spanking is long overdue for this little diva and also thinks that that would be too little too late. When I was 17, I wanted to go out cruising with my friends. Unfortunately, I got a C on my report card and I was grounded until I bought this unacceptable grade back up. My dad worked second shift (3-midnight) at his job and I thought I could circumvent his rules by just waiting until he was gone. I had what we called Tenth Hour Release, meaning I had study hall last hour and was free to go home after ninth hour. So I got home about 2 in the afternoon, before my dad left for work. It was Friday night and he asked if I had homework. I held up my books and said, "What do you think these are for?" Yes, I was going through a rebellious stage. He warned me not to get smart with him and that I had better crack the books. It never occurred to him that I might sneak out once he left. I was the perfect daughter before that. It was beyond his comprehension that I might disobey him. Well, I did. I waited until he left for work (my mom worked the same shift so I was on my own) and I went out with my friends. Not only did we cruise down the Bradley to try to get into a frat party. Of course, they could see we were underage and they told us to get lost. This happened at every house we tried to get into. In fact, we went to the sports fraternity, Hassler Hall, and tried to get in. One of the guys there (a baseball player, I think) told me to go home "before your daddy spanks you." After this humiliation, my friends and I gave up on trying to get in to a frat party and went about trying to get some booze of our own. I volunteered that my dad kept a bottle of Jim Beam on top of the china hutch. My friend, whose name was Lucy, drove a 1966 Pontiac Catalina that we'd christened the Gray Ghost. We piled into the Ghost and drove over to my house. I went in furtively, making sure no one saw me take the bottle. No one did. I went out to the car, holding it up triumphantly so my friends could see that I'd gone through with this dangerous mission. We went off to a nearby park and drank this bottle of Jim Beam, which I'd ruthlessly stolen from my hard-working dad. My dad who loved me unconditionally. My dad who made countless sacrifices for me. We had to watch the time because I had to make sure I beat my parents home. So we sped home and I ended up in bed with just minutes to spare. The next day, Saturday, I felt awful. I was hung over because I was used to beer, not bourbon (or whatever Jim Beam is). I had a crushing headache that convinced me I was going to have a cerebral hemorrhage. I was awoken by a hand shaking my shoulder and was met with the angry countenance of my dad. "Where is it?" he asked. This happened in May, 1978 and I will never forget this exchange if I live to be 100. I tried to clear the cobwebs. "Um, what?" I asked, rubbing my eyes and sitting up in bed. "You know what!" he said. When his brow knit, I knew he was displease, bordering on furious. "Dad, I was dusting and I broke it. I'm so sorry," I told him. I was shocked at how easily I was able to lie to him. But he saw it for the ridiculous lie it was. Needless to say, I ended up over my bed while my dad used his Marine Corps belt on me. At least my sore ass took my mind off my headache. He tacked on two more weeks to my grounding. This was my last spanking until 25 years later when I attended my first party. I tell this story to illustrate a point. In the home I grew up in, bad behavior had consequences. I knew as soon as I snatched that bottle from its resting place on top of the china cabinet that this was how I was going to end up. I had that sense of the certainty of my dad's justice. If Lindsay Lohan had grown up in the house that I did, with a tough, no nonsense Marine dad, this blog entry would never have been written. She would have been brought to heel a long time ago. I did bring my grade back up to a B and I never, never stole from my dad ever again. Even after over 30 years I still feel incredible shame for this incident. I doubt Ms. Lohan has ever been acquainted with that emotion...nor the business end of a Marine Corps belt.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
I guess I'm not really saying goodbye to things like ice cream and brownies and the occasional steak, I guess I should just say I won't be stopping by as often. I've never been moderate about the things I really love. That's how I have ended up being as fat as I am. When I really like something, I eat it as often as I want to. Like potato chips. I had three bags in my cupboard that I gave to my neighbor. I know I might as well give them up because I don't know moderation when it comes to chips. I love them. The baked no-salt kind simply won't do for me. So chips are out the window.
I know I can do this. It will just take a lot of dedication on my part. The exercise is coming along a little more slowly due to my internal injury. Walking isn't a problem but the pain seems to be worse when I stop walking, even if I cool down. But I do it anyway. I'm hoping at the October Crimson Moon party I will be slimmer. Wish me luck, friends.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
My room was right by the nurses' station. There was a lady in sterile clothes whose job was just to watch the monitors of all the patients. She had two screens to watch: ICU patients and the ones on the floor. She didn't have to see patients or fill out paperwork. Her sole job was watching those heart monitors. I felt very safe with her on the job. I began to think of her as a lifeline. I never said a word to her, but she was very important to me.
When they moved me back onto the floor, I was pushed in a recliner (more comfy than a wheelchair). As we rolled past the nurses' station, all the girls there clapped and cheered. It was, I was told, a tradition to do this for people who made it out of ICU. It was a special little "you go, girl!" after all I had been through. I knew a lot of patients probably didn't make it out of ICU, unless it was to go to the morgue. While I was on the floor, the nurse told me I would get Fentynal for only about 8 more hours. Then they were changing my pain medication to Percocet. I think, at first, they were afraid I was drug seeking. But I think it finally did dawn on them that I was an actual patient with actual pain. Before I left ICU, a nurse removed the Foley from my bladder. It hurt more coming out than it had going in. Of course, I was so out of it when it had been put in that I couldn't be sure about that. From now on, when I needed to use the bathroom, I would have to get up and walk to the bathroom. Of course, they wanted me to call them if I needed help. When I went into the bathroom for the first time, I saw that there was a little pan there to catch and measure my urine. Urine, I knew, was gold in hospitals. Every drop was caught, measured and studied. I guess you can learn a lot about a person's health by looking at their urine. Anyway, I filled that thing the first time. Funny, but it felt so good to pee on my own. It also felt good to finally have a bowel movement. Of course, with the tear, it hurt a little. But they didn't want me straining and maybe causing the tear to start bleeding again. I didn't see any blood so I figured everything was cool in that department. My stomach sure felt a lot less bloated and painful. I was healing fast and beginning to feel a bit anxious to get back home. "Not until you can do stairs" my doctor said when I asked when I would be going home. Right, I never thought of that. I had some hellacious stairs at my apartment. No way I would be able to tackle those in my present state. Just getting up and walking to the bathroom exhausted me. These folks were the experts. I would have to take their word for it.
Of course, later that first day on the floor, I got my last dose of Fentynal. I savored the floaty feeling it gave me, knowing I was going to get Percocet next time. I remembered Percocet. My mother took it for her back and sometimes, when my cramps were especially bad, I would take one. Yes, I know. Very foolish. I could have ended up addicted to it. Unfortunately, the first time I needed something for pain (after the Fentynal was stopped) was during the night when the 3rd shift nurse was there. When she finally got to my room and I told her my pain was about an 8, she offered me a Tylenol. "Tylenol?" I said. "For a peritoneal tear? You're kidding, right?" She looked put out. Yes, I know it's harder to get narcotics; there's more procedure involved and she probably didn't want to go to the trouble. But I was in pain here. I couldn't have cared less that she didn't want to go through the procedure of getting me a narcotic pain reliever. I needed something for my pain NOW. When she finally did go to get it, she left me waiting (sweating and crying) for over half an hour. By the time she brought the pill, I was ready to tear it out of her hand. But I had to wait until she put it into a plastic medicine cup. There's some kind of federal law about taking medication directly from someone else's hand, even a nurse. She shoved it at me and gratefully swallowed it without checking to see if my water pitcher was full. It wasn't. The nurse got me a glass of water from the bathroom faucet. What a sweetheart she was. I would have washed that beautiful pill down with my own pee if I'd been forced to. It made me think of James Caans' character in "Misery": a poor person in pain at the mercy of someone who didn't care if they were in pain. I probably interrupted her break or something. Well, I'm sorry but my pain isn't on a time clock. Needless to say, I was glad when she left and another nurse replaced her. She was really great. Yes, I sometimes had to wait for her after I'd hit my call button, but she always apologized for the delay. I wasn't under any illusion that I was the only patient on the floor. I'm pretty sure most of the beds were full. I knew that I would have to wait for things.
There's only so much recuperating a person can do in a hospital. Sooner or later, it's time to leave and get on with your life. The first time I tried to do the stairs, I got dizzy. I attributed this to the fact that the stairwell was very hot. I was only dizzy for a couple seconds, but five people came running. I really was embarrassed. One of the nurses who was helping me said it would be better for me to wait until I can do the stairs alone than risk ending up back in the hospital, maybe with a broken neck this time. So it was determined that I should stay in the hospital for one more day. I was discouraged, but my sweet, understanding nurse told me that I would have setbacks. Come to expect them, she told me. You'll have times where you're discouraged, where you're frustrated. But you'll also have victories. But those will be hard won. She told me I would get well. The peritoneal tear was just going to make it take a little longer. She had me out walking the halls twice that night. Since I would be going home the next day, I would need to be as strong on my feet as possible. And there was still those pesky stairs. I wasn't going anywhere until I could master them. So I called forth my grit and made up my mind that I was going to whup those stairs. After the disappointment of failing the Stair Test, my nurse tucked me back into my bed with a Percocet. I was so disappointed. I was sure I would do well. I'm a very competitive person. I like to win. But not even being able to do a flight of stairs was such a stark wake-up call for me; a tangible reminder what my body had been through. "You'll do it tomorrow" my nurse said rubbing my shoulder and giving it a squeeze.
The next morning, my doctor came in. He was dressed in a suit this time and he looked gorgeous. He announced that I was being discharged today. He said if I had lived in a ranch-style house I would've gone home the day before. He asked me if I'd had any chest pain or if the pain was just in my tummy. Yeah, just there. No chest pain at all. He was happy to hear this. However, my tummy was still extremely tender and I reacted appropriately (something doctors call "guarding"). I asked him how long it would be that sore and he shrugged. It was all up to how fast my body healed the tear and how fast it reabsorbed the hematoma. He said until then, expect pain. But it would decrease as I healed. Pretty soon, he assured me, Tylenol will take care of any pain I was having. Just to be safe, when he gave my nurse my discharge papers, there was a prescription for Oxycodone. It was the small ones but it would work, he assured me. Cigi had had the big ones and had a Fentynal patch on top of that. Now I had some kind of perspective on how bad her pain must have been. Yet, I never once heard her complain or feel sorry for herself. I found myself admonishing myself when I felt like pitying myself.
I had to watch a movie called "Going Home Following A Heart Attack". All of the people in it were in their 60's. There was no one my age in the film. When I thought about it, there was no one my age on the floor. My nurse told me it was rare to see someone under 50 who didn't have a congenital heart disorder; unless they were drug addicts. One nurse told me everything about my case was atypical. Hey, what can I say? I was never one to do anything by the book. An internist was also seeing me regularly in order to track my overall health; his job was to make sure none of my new meds were interacting, that I was eating and "voiding" the way I should have been. He listened to my bowel sounds and continued to watch the area where the bruising was. The bruising, where the blood just pooled up under the surface of my skin, was horrific. It still stuns me to look at it. To think I lost that much blood just floors me. But the doctor told me that, as my body absorbs it, the bruising would fade. It would just take a long time. The trick now was to limit my physical activity so as not to tear it again. This is in direct opposition to what they want you to do after a heart attack. Most cardiologists want their patients up and moving as soon as possible. So my cardiologist knew not to expect any cartwheels from me just yet.
When the lady from physical therapy arrived to take me on the steps, I knew it was the moment of truth. My nurse went with me "just in case". I went up the stairs slowly but steadily. It had been coming down that had proved my undoing the day before. So I took it a little more slowly going up than I had before. Coming down, I felt good. I was wearing a device called a grab belt that the physical therapist could use to help me balance. When I hit the bottom of the staircase, I knew I'd aced it. I knew I would be going home that day. I was excited but scared, too. I'd been in the hospital for five days. It was time to continue my recovery at home.
So I say to all of my friends out there: don't ignore your health. Don't think it can't happen to you just because you eat a healthy diet, get enough exercise and your weight is normal. It can happen to anyone. Heart disease, I learned, is the Number One cause of death among women, beating out all cancers combined (even breast cancer). It's the Number Three killer of women in my age bracket (45-55) in the world. You only have one heart. Take care of it better than I did mine.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
I asked the nurse "Why am I a fall risk?" Now I was a total klutz and have tripped and fallen plenty of times over the years, but the bracelet was somehow insulting. She said "Hon, you've had Atavan and Dilaudid. You may not feel lightheaded, but if you should try to get up and walk, you would probably hit the deck. It'll just help us take better care of you." She smiled at me reassuringly. I liked her immediately. She would take wonderful care of me over the course of that night. A little while later, she advised me to order some dinner. It was after 4 o'clock and I had not had any food all day. I picked up my phone to order and the operator had to check to see what kind of diet the doctor had ordered for me. She told me I was on the cardiac diet. I ordered an open faced roast beef sandwich, mashed potatoes, green beans and some pudding. Also a Sierra Mist, which I drank the whole time I was there. I laid there and rested while I waited for my tray to arrive. The pain dissipated somewhat as I ate. I made sure to eat slowly though because I didn't want to puke it all up. Being sick is the thing I hate and dread more than anything in the world. Shift change had happened but my friendly nurse was still there for some reason. When I asked why she was working over, she said the third shift nurse had called off and she had volunteered to stay. Later, I would be glad this angel of mercy was with me. She was in my room every half hour asking "How's your pain,Cheryl?" I had to admit it was getting a lot worse and I was beginning to feel short of breath. She went to report this to the doctor, who I still hadn't seen yet. The doctor was ordering pain medication without even seeing me. She returned swiftly with a hypo which she told me was Morphine and asked if I'd ever had it. Yes, I had it after my hysterectomy. In fact, I had a pump where I could hit a button and get a hit every half hour. I'd loved it because it had taken away my pain without making me sick the way Demerol did. She began to push it slowly into my IV so that I wouldn't have that dreaded "head rush" which I hate so much from pain meds. She told me the lab had been alerted and someone was coming down to take two vials. One was to check my cardiac enzymes again and another one for a test called a dedimer. This test checks for blood clots. The dedimer test wasn't conclusive, however, because you can have an elevated level just from having an IV, which I did. Twice she had given me this awful tasting concoction that was supposed to help raise my potassium, which was low. The guy from the lab arrived and, without much preamble, found a vein and drew the required two vials of blood. I was aware now that I'd had a lot of blood draws already and the needles now stung as they went in. I admitted to my nurse after the lab guy left, that I was afraid. I didn't want to have a blood clot in my heart or lung. She told me to just relax. A STAT order had been placed on my test and the results would be back in minutes. When they arrived, the news was bad. My cardiac enzymes were elevated and my potassium was still low. By this time, there were five people in my room, including, finally, the doctor. He was tall and trim, just like the ER doctor. He was attractive and efficient. He spoke to me like a person. "Cheryl, your cardiac enzymes are elevated. Not a lot, but enough that I'm concerned based on how long standing your pain is." He listened to my heart and took my blood pressure, which was very high. He asked me if I knew what an angiogram was. Sure, I knew. It's where you inject me with radioactive contrast, thread a catheter through my femoral artery and look at my cardiac arteries. Cigi had had one a few years ago and so had my roommate before his bypass surgery. I took care of his wound (because he's diabetic). I knew how risky and painful they were. He wanted to do one. He said he wanted to see what my arteries were doing and if there was any damage to the heart muscle. I said "OK" and the doctor gave me a consent form and a pen. Saying a silent prayer, I signed it. He told me I would be going to the Cath Lab shortly. I'd never been inside a Cath Lab before but I was so scared and in so much pain I didn't care what they did to me as long as, when it was all over, I was out of pain. Two men, one of them ruggedly handsome, came into the room with a metal table on which was resting a plastic yellow sheet. I asked what the plastic was for and the handsome one said that sometimes, when the dye is injected, people pee themselves. The plastic sheet makes it easier to clean up. Wow. This was good to know but I was mortified by the thought of peeing in front of a good looking doctor and his ruggedly handsome assistant. They got me on the table, which was freezing cold, and began to wheel me to the lab. All the while, the doctor is giving me the odds of certain things happening. One of them, an arterial bleed, was given as 1200 to 1. When I arrived in the lab, I understood why the table had been so cold. The room was freezing. It was so cold that my teeth were chattering and my legs and arms were shaking. The doctor explained that the room was cold due to all the sensitive equipment and because I would become really hot when the radioactive dye was injected. I would be grateful, he assured me. He asked his assistant (the handsome one) to give me some Verced. A female nurse was there, too, helping the doctor put plastic sheeting over the flouroscope (the X-ray machine that would allow him to see my artieries). The handsome guy pushed the Verced into my IV. "I'm giving you some Verced, Cheryl," he told me. "It's to put you into twilight sedation. You won't care about too much after I give you this." Before it hit, the doctor asked me where the scars on my pudendum had come from. Because I'm in the spanking scene, I keep my hoo haw shaved. Otherwise, he would never have seen the scar. I explained that I'd been born with a hernia and had had it operated on when I was two years old. He numbed the area on my groin that he was going to go in through. I felt nothing and didn't care. Verced was the best stuff in the world. The nurse patted my shoulder and let me know that she was going to inject the dye now. I would feel it and it would feel cold at first, then really hot. It felt like ice water going in. By the time it hit my heart three seconds later, I felt like I was on fire. The doctor said "You have a blocked artery, Cheryl. It's being a bratty artery, for sure." I was praying because I thought I'd just heard the doctor say I had a blocked artery. I asked "Just one?" and he said "Yep, all the others look beautiful. You have very large arteries." He explained to me that he was going to insert a stent into the artery to open it up. It was the right coronary artery, which carries blood to a large part of the heart. And it was blocked. Terrific.I saw the doctor remove the stint from its packaging. It looked huge. I thought 'That's going in my heart?' He said he had done balloon angioplasty on the artery, in which a balloon catheter was put into the artery and then inflated in order to push the plaque build up against the walls of the artery, moving it out of the way for the stent. A stent is a plastic tube with cobalt chromium wires criss crossing it. The stent was top of the line, he told me, given only to the healthiest patients. As soon as the stent went in, every bit of my chest pain disappeared. I was so relieved, tears began to fall from the corners of my eyes. The ruggedly handsome guy said "You OK, hon?" I told him I felt a thousand times better and was so relieved to be out of pain. The doctor said "Well then, you're gonna hate me. I'm inserting a collogen seal into the artery. That way, you only have to lie flat and motionless for a couple hours instead of six hours. But it's gonna make you feel like your leg is on fire." When he inserted the seal into the artery, the pain was the worst I'd ever felt. I cried out for real and shed new tears. The ruggedly handsome guy, who I acertained by now was the anaethesiologist, advised me to breathe in deeply through my nose and then out through my mouth. "Slow deep breaths, Cheryl", he coaxed. Little did I know that my pain was about to get a lot worse. I was still crying from pain and the doctor asked Mr. Ruggedly Handsome to give me some more Verced. I was in pain again, but at least it wasn't my chest. The bratty artery was now unblocked.
However, despite how relieved I was that I wasn't going to need bypass surgery, I continued to be in severe pain as I was wheeled back to my room. My sweet, caring nurse was there waiting for me. She smiled and applied a wet wash cloth to my forehead, knowing that I was still hot from the dye. Another nurse applied a heavy sandbag directly to the wound. The pain incresed again. OK, I lied before. This was the worst pain I'd ever felt. Suddenly, I began to feel very strange. I said to my nurse "I'm gonna be really sick!" She went to get one of those vomit bags they give you and, because I couldn't raise my head (I still had to lie flat and still) she bunched up a blanket around the side of my head. "Go ahead if you need to, honey." I lost my lunch all over the place. Then I lost my bladder. The bed was soaked under me. I felt like I was going to pass out and I said so. I felt so weak. Lucky for me, my ministering angel didn't leave the room during this time. Something in how I looked made her grab the blood pressure cuff and check it. "She's crashing!" she said. I heard footsteps running away. I didn't feel THAT bad. The doctor charged into the room. It was like a scene out of "ER". "What's her pressure, Janet?" he asked. "90 over 65" she said. The doctor whisked my sheets off without ceremony and shoved up my gown, exposing my in all my sick, suffering glory. Then he did it. He pressed on my stomach. More pain washed over me like a wave. I was sure I was dying. This doctor had killed me. He wanted a CT of my belly. I was so out of it that I couldn't even sign the consent form. I had to raise my arms over my head for the scan and, for some reason, it made me feel a lot better. I was able to follow the directions I was given. The tech injected me with the contrast and I felt like I'd wet my pants again. But I knew this was the effect because Cigi had had a number of CT's. The effect didn't last very long. Neither did the test. It confirmed the doctor's worst fears: I had bled into my abdomen and the resultant hematoma (pool of blood) had ripped a hole in my peritoneum, the lining of the abdominal cavity. I heard the doctor curse under his breath and ask a nurse to get me "type and crossed for two units." I knew what this meant, too. I was going to get a blood transfusion to replace what I'd lost. I was informed of the bleed and the tear and told that I would be moving to the Intensive Care Unit. Terror gripped me and I began to cry again. The nurse patted my arm. "It's OK, sweetie. You'll be OK. They have the best people over there." I wasn't stupid. I knew that it only took a few minutes to bleed to death from an artery. They moved me swiftly to the ICU and the blood was waiting for me when we got there. We were met by Jennifer, a young ICU nurse and a man from the blood bank. He read the number from the red bracelet I'd had put on before I even got out of the CT tube. I began to think of my blood type--B postive. I told myself to do that. Be positive. It was close to midnight by now and things were quiet, except for the nurse hooking up my blood transfusion. In the ICU, I was given Fentynal for my pain every two hours. No one was asking me to rate my pain anymore. They knew it had to be bad and it was. Every movement was torture. I thought I had a high pain threshold. Everytime the young nurse lifted my gown, I whimpered because I knew she was going "appreciate" how hard my abdomen was and I knew it was going to hurt a lot. A foley was inserted into my bladder and immediately my abdomen felt less full. Getting rid of the urine took a lot of pressure off my belly. The nurse who catheterized me told me it might hurt but that she would be as gentle as possible considering what I'd already been through. At another time, I might feel self-conscious having a woman spreading my lips open and fingering my pee hole. But I was so sick I didn't care. They could have injected me with Draino and I wouldn't have cared at that point. She came in at the wrong angle the first time and it stung. She rubbed my leg. "Sorry about that, Cheryl. I'll get it this time." It slid in easily this time and immediately urine began to fill the attached bag. I let out a sigh of relief. "Better, hon?" she asked. I nodded and was rewarded with a nice shot of Fentynal. A blood pressure cuff was attached to my arm and it took my blood pressure every fifteen minutes. It was coming back up but still low. "This takes awhile," Jennifer told me. "Just rest and hit your button if you need me, OK?" Again, I just nodded. She was concerned enough to ask me "Cheryl, can you speak?" "I can but I'm so tired," I told her. Again, she patted my arm. I couldn't tell if this was respect afforded an elder or if she just empathized with her patients. "Is there anyone I can call for you, Cheryl?" she asked. "Your family?" I looked at the watch. "Not at this hour," I said. "My big sister will be here at 5 o'clock and she'll wanna see me. She'll spread the word." There weren't any phones in the ICU but the nurses would make calls for patients. The way it works in ICU is that every patient has a nurse assigned to them. That nurse is your nurse only. Unlike out on the floor, where there might be four or five nurses for 15 patients. I saw the room number on the wall--271 and noted with irony that that was the very same room I'd been in when I had visited my roommate just a month before. I never thought in a million years that when I was visiting him I would be in the exact same bed. This was one for "Ripley's". Sure enough, at 5 am my sister came into the room. Apparently, someone knew that she was my sister and had told her when she came in. She hadn't wanted Kathy to see my name on the board when she came in to clean the rooms. She wanted to make sure I was OK. My new nurse told her I was stabilizing but not out of the woods yet. My big sister, who's so stoic that her childhood nickname was General Patton, was crying. "I just lost my other sister" she said quietly. "I know" the nurse said understandingly. They brought me Fentynal and ice chips at regular intervals. I couldn't have any solid food (as if I wanted any) just in case another test was ordered. My memory is a bit hazy but I remember having pillows placed under me and being turned so they could see the lividity my internal bleed had caused. Because I was lying flat, the excess blood settled in my back and bottom. Just being breathed on, let alone moved, was excrutiating. When I would cry out from being handled, the nurses would rub my shoulder and say "There, there, sweetie. It's almost over. We just have to see how bad the bruising is. I know it hurts to be moved but it has to be done." When they were done with their examination, one of the nurses came back with some warmed up baby lotion and massaged my back and bottom (yeah, I got aftercare in the hospital). The pampering was nice. For five years, it had been all about Cigi and what I could do to make her clean and comfortable. Then I had been caregiver for my roommate, an assignment that never should have fallen on me in the first place. Now it was about me for a change. I know this sounds selfish, but I relished the attention and made no secret of the fact that I ate it up. I never got pampered like I did in the ICU.Unfortunately, the vampires were still coming to draw my blood every four hours, no matter the hour. Most were gentle but some weren't. When the pain overwhelmed me, I cried. I had been through the wringer so I thought I deserved to indulge myself. I'm not a crier by nature, but I defy anyone to go through what I'd been through and not shed a few tears. Between the pain and the fear that I might die, I did a lot of silent crying and praying. Later that morning, I was resting quietly, waiting for my pain meds, when the doctor who had wanted to discharge me walked by. When he saw me, he did the double take of all double takes. He pushed the glass door aside and came in. "What happened to you?" he asked. "I had a blocked artery," I said. "I had a heart attack and then an arterial bleed and then a peritoneal tear. I'm feeling pretty miserable." He didn't come right out and say it, but the expression on his face said "I screwed up big time." "Are you gonna be OK?" he asked. I shrugged. "I hope so." He was clearly uncomfortable so he said he hoped I felt better soon and left.
When the blood transfusion was complete, they gave me some medicine in my IV that would help it circulate better. I was getting saline wide open as well. Because I was right by the nurses' desk and the nurses had Report before every shift change, I heard the litany of what had gone wrong with my stent placement a number of times. The nurses talked loud, it seemed. The charge nurse was a caring lady; every bit an old-fashioned nurse. Alot like my mom, I thought. I remembered being in the same hospital 17 years earlier for a hysterectomy and many times the nurses would come in to check my catheter, simply spreading my legs and looking without so much as saying anything. Nowdays, I think the nurses do a better job of guarding patients' dignity. If the nurse had to come in to check something, they would always say what they were going to do before they did it. Hospitals aren't good places to sleep in. Even at night, they're very noisy. The doors stay open much of the time and the curtains stay open so that the nurses can spot a patient who might not be able to reach their call button. But if something private was about to be done, they would take great care to close the door and draw the curtains.
I was starting to feel much better by mid-day on Sunday. Blood tests and examination of my belly showed that the bleed had stopped. The blood would be reabsorbed by my body. But the peritoneal tear will take a long time to heal. I was continuing to have severe pain due to the tear but I could now move my leg and only experience moderate pain. Before I was told I could order my dinner, the nurse came in and gave me a bed bath. I had thought those had gone the way of white starched hats. "Not in the ICU" the nurse said unsnapping the snaps on the shoulders of my gown and gently pulling off my robe. She covered me with towels, both to guard my modesty and to keep me from getting cold. The warm water felt so good I just laid there and let her bathe me. It hurt so bad to move my arms I couldn't even wash my own crotch (and I didn't even try). She was a professional, doing her job. She took special care with my belly, back and bottom. They were (and still are) badly bruised. The blood was just puddled up under the surface and as I was moved, I could feel some of it moving with me. It's not like to went over to the other side or anything, but I definitely felt it moving. When I'd been bathed and put into a clean gown, the nurse brough the menu to me. I was starving. "You're on the cardiac diet so stick to that, OK?" she said. I ordered a chicken stir fry with brown rice and some orange sherbert. My throat was so dry, despite the steady diet of ice chips I'd received during my transfusion. I was on a sodium restricted diet because I was now on meds for my blood pressure, but I could still have soda so I ordered a Sierra Mist. When my tray came, I couldn't raise the bed high enough to sit up to eat. Sitting up put too much pressure on my belly. So I left the bed down and grabbed the food with my fingers. Pathetic, I know but I was so hungry I would have eaten it off the floor if need be. The nurse brought in my pills that had to be taken with food and offered to feed me. I passed, wanting to keep what was left of my dignity.
Time passes slowly in the ICU. Even though there was a clock on the wall, I had no real sense of time because I was drugged much of the time. The Fentynal served a two-fold purpose. It managed my pain and kept me relaxed. Because my potssium had been so low, they were worried about me developing muscle cramps, which would have been very painful. People from my church came to visit me and I barely remember it. My world consisted of being prodded and moved and Fentynal. And blood draws. This was my life. But sooner or later, it was time for me to go back onto the floor. Again, I got a bath first. But I had to do it myself this time. And I had to get up and walk to the end of the hall. I was shaky but I did it. The real pampering was over, I knew. Now it was time for me to start recovering. That meant doing as much as I could for myself. I bathed myself with wash clothes that had been microwaved. I also got something called a shampoo cap. This thing looks like a shower cap but inside is some water and shampoo. You put it on your head and rub it around as best you can. I was aware that I had severe bed head. Before I took my bath, a nurse came in and removed my foley. Removing it proved more painful than inserting it had been. But I was glad it was going away. Instead of being moved on a gurney, I was moved in a recliner. One nurse pushed me to my new room and another followed behind with my bags of belongings. I bid all of my nurses a fond farewell and went to my new room. I was told I was still going to get Fentynal for another 8 hours or so but then I would be given Percocet for pain. Obviously, I was healing fast. The move had exhausted me and I slept for three hours after being made comfortable. When I awoke, I had to go to the bathroom really badly so I hit my call button. I had been used to not having to wait more than a few seconds for my nurse. I had to wait almost ten minutes before the nurse came. I needed help to the bathroom I told her. I was a fall risk, after all. When I got in the bathroom, I noticed there was a little plastic pan to catch my urine. In the hospital, urine is like gold. Every drop is caught and measured. But I was worried because I hadn't had a bowel movement since before I'd gone to the hospital on Saturday. The nurse told me not to worry. My bowel sounds were good and I hadn't had that much solid food. Plus, most narcotic pain killers cause constipation. I learned that cardiac patients weren't given laxatives or enemas because it would cause problems with the heart. The best I would get, if I didn't go soon, was a stool softener. I was a very dignified person and the thought of being helped in the bathroom rubbed me the wrong way. Having to have my ass wiped because I couldn't reach back far enough galled me. There was some comic relief though, when one of the cardiac nurses came in and told me that, because I'd had blood and because I was having good bowel sounds, I was going to start releasing a lot of gas. She was going to show me how to do that without hurting myself. I looked at her incredulously. "Farting lessons?" I asked. She shrugged. "Pretty much, yeah." She had me turn on my right side, facing her and told me to tell her when I felt one coming. I was mortified. I thought nothing of farting while playing, but the thought of farting in front of a nurse who was going to coach me, well, it was bizarre beyond words. But I got through it and was later glad she'd taken the trouble to teach me the safe way to fart.
Since I'm really tired now, I will continue the rest of the story tomorrow.