Friday, October 07, 2005

What happened to this weekend?

Hi again folks. This post has nothing to do with serving, but it does explain why I didn't write anything last weekend....

I've been feeling crappy all week. Getting over bronchitis. Coughing up phlegm, taking antibiotics, chugging NyQuil and DayQuil, the works. Saturday afternoon, the woman gets a call from one of her friends. She wants to go camping.

"Server, would you like to go down to Podunk to meet Breanne?"

"Sure, but I thought you hated camping? You always freak out when a bee flies by the screen door..."

She slaps me on the leg.

"Shut up. I'll be fine. We're going to sleep in my car."

I get up off the bed and walk towards the window.

"What are you looking at?" she asks.

"To see if you got a new car. I'm not sleeping in that little thing you're driving now. 50 miles to the gallon is great, but it just doesn't cut it when it comes to crashing."

Sure enough, her mid-size sedan has not been replaced by a gas-guzzling SUV or a mobile home. Regardless, I have a feeling that I'm looking at my bed for the evening.

Casting a look over my shoulder, I eye the cushy queen-size that I'll soon be leaving in favor of a partially-reclined front seat. Crap.

***

We're on our way. It's supposed to take an hour to get there. We've been driving for two hours.

"Want me to hop out and ask for directions?" I ask. I'm sitting in the passenger seat, leg on the dash, head on a pillow. I'm comfy, but I'd like to get to the campsite and streee-etch.

"Yeah, but I don't see any gas stations." We're flying by farms, corn fields, and the occassional trucking company.

"Stop up there."

"That's a bar."

"Yeah, I could use a drink. You don't get one, you're driving. Plus, they'll probably know where we're going."

The woman stops in front of the honky tonk and I extricate myself from the front seat. Opening the door, I notice how chilly it is. Glad I packed that extra sweatshirt...

The bar is bumping... for a hillbilly bar. I stick out like a sore thumb. I forgot my John Deere hat.

The bartender is a sweet, plump little thing. She's more than happy to help me out with directions. She does a great job, despite the fact that the old codger sitting at the end of the bar constantly interrupts her with 'short cuts'.

I thank her, and ask for a shot of her best top shelf tequila.

"Three bucks," she says, pouring Cuervo into a dirty small rocks glass. I love small town bars. I drop a ten spot on the counter, pound my shot, and boogie.

New directions in hand, the woman and I speed off into the night.

***

Camping is a good time. We're sitting around a fire drinking beer in plastic cups. Apparrently you're not allowed to drink alcohol in a state park. Wonder why?

For some reason, I don't feel so hot. My cough is getting progressively worse, and it feels like I'm getting a fever. I chalk it up to the camp fire and promise myself that I'll hit the hay before midnight.

Luckily, everyone else seems just as tired as me. I'm snuggled up in the front seat by 11:30.

I wake up around 4:30. Have to pee. I get out. It's freezing outside. Going to be a cold Chicago winter....

I do my business and head back to the car. As I'm walking back, I realize that I'm having a hell of a time breathing.

I stop before opening the door. I try to catch my breath. Nothing doing.

I knock on the window. My girlfriend opens the door.

"What's wrong?"

"Having... trouble... breathing... we ... should... go..." at this point, three things cross my mind. First, we're in the middle of nowhere. Second, if I don't get help soon, I may die. Third, I sounded exactly like Stevie from Malcolm in the Middle.

My girlfriend bundles me into the car and peels out of the campsite. Once we get on a main road, she dials 9-1-1.

"My boyfriend is having trouble breathing. Can you send an ambulance?" I would be surprised at how calm she sounds, except for the fact that she works in a hospital. She's holding it together really well... me on the other hand, I'm concentrating on staying alive. It feels like I'm sucking air through a straw.

"I have no idea where we are. We're on Highway A in Podunk.... What's that? A mailbox? Yeah... There's one right here. Says "Coffman." You know where that is? Stay here? OK, please hurry."

The woman gets off the phone. She turns to me.

"It'll be a couple minutes. How you doing? Are you feeling any better?"

She knows full well I can't talk. She also knows full well that by keeping my mind on something else, it may make the time go by faster for me. I know exactly what she's trying to do, which makes it worse for me.

Five minutes go by. I'm in agony. Finally, I can see the ambulance lights break over the hill. Sweet.

The EMT's load my ass into the ambulance. One straps an oxygen mask to my face while the other starts plugging me up to a vital sign monitor. Countless episodes of ER make the real thing seem boring by comparison.

After a few minutes, I'm able to breathe again, although it's still shallow. The EMT's are asking me questions. They decide to give me nitroglycerin.

For those of you not in the know, there are several different forms of nitro. The first is an explosive that can be used to blow a hole in the side of a bank vault. The second form is used to stifle a heart attack.

They stuff a pill under my tongue. It starts to dissolve. It tastes like crap.

Suddenly, it hits me. I'm having a heart attack!?? What the hell? I'm in my mid-20's, I can't be having a goddamn heart attack!

I'm freaking out now, and all of a sudden I can't breathe again.

I pass out.

When I wake up, they're wheeling me into the hospital.

***

A while later and the woman is able to join me. We're in a hospital in Podunk at 4:30 on a Sunday morning. Surprisingly, it still takes a good 30 minutes for a doctor to get to us.

The only other patient is a girl who is sobering up in the next room. She's not a quiet drunk, and she's been spending most of her time on the cell phone, screaming about how unfair it is that this latest 'set back' was going to destroy her dream of being a cop. She's making very little sense, and I hope to God they don't make her a crossing guard, let alone a cop. Some folks should not be allowed to brandish six-shooters.

Trying to block out her complaints, I turn my attention back to the woman. She's putting on her tough face, but I can see the trails running down her cheeks where the tears have cut through the soot of last night's campfire. She's worried about me.

At this moment, I'm not concerned about anything else in the world. All I can see is the woman sitting in front of me. I always knew that she loved me and that I loved her. I just never realized, up until this point, how much it would actually mean if one of us lost the other.

I think back to my bitching about sleeping in the car. I realize how stupid that was, and I decide to make a conscious effort to never complain about the little things. There are more important things in life.

Finally, the doctor shows up. She gives me an inhaler. Apparrently I didn't have a heart attack. My bronchitis damaged my lungs, causing bronchospasms, which is similar to asthma. The inhaler should help me in case of another attack. She sends us on our way.

The drive home is long, but uneventful. Watching the trees fly by on the highway, I can only ponder the future. How long will I have to deal with these spasms? Will I be able to play sports? Will I be able to throw a baseball around with my future son? Will I be one of those people that lapses into a state of permanent health problems? Would my girlfriend have to take care of me? Would I put her through that?

Finally, exhausted and consumed by thoughts and fears beyond my control, I drift off to sleep.

To be continued...

(You didn't think that this was enough of an excuse? Good, cause it gets worse. This wasn't my only ambulance trip that day....)

45 comments:

Sbyllek said...

Holy cow! Glad you are allright! At least allright enough to write a post!!
Hope all those nasty commenters feel really guilty right about now!
Good to hear from you again!

Dispatch_mama said...

Love your posts!
Your woman's 911 call made me smile. I work as an emergency dispatcher and we receive calls from the middle of nowhere from time to time!!
Glad you are doing better...don't keep us waiting too long for part 2. You've really got my curiosity piqued!! :)

Anonymous said...

Hope you get better soon!

J Epstein said...

Aaargh! Cliff hanger!

Well, I'm sure you made it through . . . whatever comes next . . . but you had us all scared there for a minute.

Welcome back Server!

-j

myssk75 at gmail dot com said...

Fergawdsake... more than one ambulance ride??!!

Glad you are OK now. :)

Bev

vivica-defect said...

glad you're better now :) take care server!

toes said...

welcome back!

hopefully part two isn't some tragic adventure..

hope you feel better.

Hari said...

Atleast its good that you in the US have 911 emergency facility... Take care of your health!!! Hoep you dont need this again!
And really good to have you writing again,, take care.
And please keep writing!
regards,
Hari Iyer

me said...

hey... what happenes after?

did you die?

well how am i supposed to know if you don't finish!

(glad you got through the first post tho, of course...)

Lia said...

i really hope you're feeling better! i hate to take pleasure at someone else's expense, but it's good to have you (and your dramatic story) back.
I'm so sorry that there's more to this story, though. doesn't sound very pleasant. hope everything's okay!

Victoria said...

Feel better sweetie!

-Vic

Kelly said...

The suspense is KILLING me!!!

Anonymous said...

wow, never heard of ANYONE getting THAT sick with bronchitis, sounds like you got Pneumonia, serious lung infection. Hope you feel better soon.

Jia Li said...

Hi, I have Cronic Asthma and if you can't get to the Hosp. fast enough, drink strong Coffee, a Doctor told me that once, expresso coffee(1 cup) has enough andrelin to get your heart pumping, and expands the muscles...it really does work, for a short time...But don't drink too much if you got a Heart Murmer like me...feels like you are having a Heart attack...

Anonymous said...

Now I am starting to think you DID die!

Kathy said...

I havent posted before, but am a fan. I am worried! Hope you are doing better.

Anonymous said...

I do enjoy your writing, and I really hope you feel well enough to write again soon- the suspense is really getting to me!

I have asthma and have been where you were a million times. You get used to carrying around that little yellow inhaler with you everwhere you go all the time. Make sure you have yours with you the next time you get lung sick! So sorry you had to go through that.

Sometimes, as I'm sure you know by now, it takes months to get over bad bronchitis. I had it for months and it turned into pneumonia, which SUCKED, but the good part was that strong antibiotics totally cleared it up pretty quickly, total recovery.

Don't worry about the spasms too much- if they keep happening, you can get better medications that will solve the problem. Just make sure you go to a pulminologist this time, not the frikin ER, and don't rely on that inhaler if you keep having problems. They have much better preventitave medicines these days.

Kathleen said...

I too suffer from chronic asthma and even ended up in the ER once for being unable to breathe. What the anonymous just prior to me said is true - talk to your doctor if this keeps up because you shouldn't use albuterol very often at all. A preventive inhaler is a much better option.

Also, any hot drink will help as will a heating pad on your chest - obviously when you're not sleeping in the car in the middle of nowhere.

Kris said...

Another new reader, rather concerned that part two isn't here yet. I hope you're okay.

Anonymous said...

long time no IM. glad to see things are well in chicago with the woman.
much love,
your favorite blonde librarian - can you
guess who?? ;-)

Sonia said...

xyphey take care of yourself. i've been reading your blog for some time now. just haven't commented. hope you're ok now.

Anonymous said...

Should we assume death? To bad, I was enjoying your BLOG.

Revan said...

hope you are still alive

LaughingJack said...

Yeah, seriously, you ok?

Anonymous said...

Gosh, does anyone out there in commentland know this guy and can let us know if he is okay? This is really starting to creep me out. I hope he's okay!

Sondra said...

Um, Server? Server? Are you okay? You just dont write an entry about going to the hospital TWICE in one day and then disappear off the face of the earth! Please write something!

Anonymous said...

I guess you are all done here, no more posts. We should all unmark his site and move on....

Anonymous said...

Its been almost a month now and I guess you are done with this blog.I will check back every now and then to see if your ok.I hope you are alright and blog something as your blog is one of the good ones

Nichole said...

I hope your ok--you havent wrote in a long time, and I totally miss you entertaining me.
Sorry that was kind of selfish, I hope your feeling back to your creative old self here real soon. If you are done writing in this blog please let us know that your ok at least!

Sbyllek said...

Hi
Would you please do us all a favor by letting us know 2 things?
1. How you are doing
2. If you are done with this blog.
Thanx!
Hope all is well!

Zee said...

You have a a really great blog. I just read all your posts in one sitting, and I can honestly say that I laughed out loud more times reading your blog than any others I've read, and I came here from Waiter Rant. Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Is he dead?

Shilohtd said...

I think the server is dead. rest in peace buddy.

Anonymous said...

This is the problem with anonymity...when something happens there is really no way to follow up and find closure...

DivaM said...

Well, I guess its another link to be deleted. Two more weeks, then poof. I really hate it when that happens. /shrug.

Anonymous said...

ahh yes, time to hit delete on the ole' link to this site... I noticed that "The Waiter" took him off a few weeks ago, don't know why I hung around for so long, prehaps just to see if he would actually start writing again. Farewell.

Anonymous said...

Another loyal reader giving up on the server. I liked your style too...what happened to you?

sourcedoc said...

Rest in Peace Server.

Delete.

Anonymous said...

hope life is going ok for you...too bad no more blogs, they were very entertaining.

Selena

LaughingJack said...

Sad that we know the Man so well, but we're going to delete this link and walk way and forget him like so many blogs in the past. Blogs, livejournals, poor dilapidated websites that no longer entertain us. I hope you are well, Server. All the best, I'll be around.

Anonymous said...

What happened here? This was such an entertaining blog... I still check it every day to see if a new post has appeared. Hope Server is alright... Please let us know!!!

Sbyllek said...

Farewell Server

Sondra said...

SERVERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR please let us know that youre ok!

Trinket! said...

Long time reader, first time poster. You know the drill.

It's been ages since the last post. You OK, Server?

Anonymous said...

I couldn't stop reading. This was delightfully well written. And the story itself was so engaging.
Todd Vodka
www.blithelywego.blogspot.com