PE #1

PE #1

Back in 95 I held my brother Tad’s hand for three weeks
as he coughed up blood from his lungs. Infarcted kidneys
threw hundred’s of clots his way, but all we could do was
touch, wait, and pray. The clots were flying out as bright red
Pollack splotches on immediately-soiled towels. Still, sitting
there with him, watching him not cry, I had no idea about the
pain until last week when a pesky microscopic clot kept right
on coming until it lodged in a capillary small enough to pinch
it off. It had been a week since my daily swim, so, while wife
and child pranced in the kiddie pool I swam a hard one. Well
a hard half. On lap sixteen I felt a twinge in my leg. No big
deal, so I pushed the last two laps, but then felt a stab in my
right lung. This was a bad cramp. Now I’m not breathing
well, slightly doubled over. OK, if it’s a cramp I can walk it
off, so it’s over to the kiddie pool to play with Hyuntay while
Mom hits the shower. Still, this pain won’t go away, but I
smile and goof around until Park emerges. Then, when
handing him up out of the pool the pain is like a dagger from
inside, poking out. Still, I figure I can walk it off, so I go for
a hot shower, dress, put on knee-high stockings, and stroll
out and tell my family “maybe it’s time to go to the hospital.”
Indeed, but it’s just like with Tad: watch, wait, pray. Pondering
mortality helps you seize the day. It doesn’t do much for those
around you. It doesn’t make you a better dishwasher, singer,
lover or poet. If determined, it makes you more involved.

Copyright, Doug Stuber, 2006. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


7 thoughts on “PE #1

    • With Pulmonary Emboli, there is nothing anyone can do. I was already on blood thinner. No surgery is available as the blood clots are moving.
      They just zap through the lungs lie little spears, and you get a booster shot and wait. In thatb case I was in the hospital 16 hours
      and they gave me one shot and one pill (I was taking my coumadin regularly anyway). Cost? $4800. Naturally my deductible is $5000 per year
      but at least my health insurance went down from$1800 to $1400 per month under Obama. Lots of people pay more now. Irony? The insurance
      doesn’t cover me overseas and I live at least 10 months a year in South Korea or China. Ha.

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