Author’s note: This is a recollection of my events from a year ago. There is no need to panic.
When I was in the hospital a week before I gave Kelly a key to my house. She made a copy for herself and gave me the spare. It is a Hello Kitty key. It’s on my key ring right next to the Darth Vader key. I freely admit that I live the life of a large child sometimes.
Today she lets herself into my condo using the copy of the key. Kelly finds me sitting on the edge of the bed. I tell her she didn’t have to come, that I could have driven myself to the hospital. She might have yelled at me for a minute. Regardless, I am going to take a shower before I go. I am mortified at the thought of admitting myself into the emergency room to have the doctors and nurses smell my body odor. But showering is a struggle now. While Kelly packs a bag for me I sit in the tub and turn the shower on. I tried to improvise a bath stopper with a coffee mug. The previous stopper had been discarded after too many clogs. The coffee mug I use to cover the drain is ineffective so I just sit in the shower and wash myself.
It takes me several minutes to put on clothes. Kelly has taken my gym and laptop bags and packed them in her car. I make my way downstairs and climb in. In the short drive to the hospital I realize that my vision is blurry. Driving to the hospital would have been a mistake.
She drops me off at the emergency room while she parks the car. I sign myself in and collapse in a chair. This time when the wheelchair is offered I take it. My skin is white, almost translucent. My eyes are completely white, with the blood vessels in my eyes clear.
The ER doctor asks me if I have noticed a black tarry stool. I can’t really say for sure. I haven’t been paying attention and I had been constipated anyway. He’s going to perform an exam and he asks Kelly to step out. I crack a joke and tell her she can stay if she wants to. I never lose my sense of humor. He checks and it confirms what he suspects – I have been bleeding internally in the digestive tract and it has been passing through my stool. They test my hemaglobin. It is 4.9.
It was the blood thinner shots. While I was taking the shots I took the other medications I was accustomed to, which included aspirin. No one had ever told me to stop. Somewhere in my digestive tract I have developed an ulcer and it has been bleeding for the past five days.
They hook up an IV of plasma immediately. I remember that they stepped out for awhile. While they were gone I play a round of Candy Crush on my phone. I beat the level and move ahead of Anayra again.
Kelly comes back and sits with me. I assure her everything is going to be okay. Through it all I keep on cracking jokes. It hasn’t hit me yet how severe my blood loss is. I will not understand it until several weeks later.
I am admitted to hospital and taken to my room. It is a liquid diet for me because an endoscopy has been scheduled for the next day. I am put into a gown and the plasma is switched for whole blood. I will be on IVs for the next four days. There is no discharge date in site. I am disheartened by all this but I know that everyone has a job here to do so I do my best to remain positive.
I can have soup (cream of mushroom), pudding and ice cream. I order it all. On my first night in the hospital a nurse sits and talks with me for awhile. Everyone else may be worried but I am not. I will make it through this. It is not my time yet.