anemia [uh-nee-mee-uh]

–noun

1. Pathology. a quantitative deficiency of the hemoglobin, often accompanied by a reduced number of red blood cells and causing pallor, weakness, and breathlessness.

2. a lack of power, vigor, vitality, or colorfulness: His writing suffers from anemia…

Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrroad trip!!!

The car is tuned. It’s got new tires and is loaded down with jackets and maps and food for doggie and me and of course my camera and the tripod I always take and hardly ever use. The back seat’s converted into Otto’s Command Center so da pooch can survey the world from the comfort of his traveling bed. And we are driving down Highway 101 through the ridiculously green hills of an El Nino winter California listening to Roseanne Cash and Michelle Shocked on our way south to visit family and friends…

That’s what was supposed to happen.

Instead, Thursday I wound up in Moffitt Hospital a few pints of blood short of a six-pack, getting a transfusion while the docs scoped me out from both ends (yes: exactly that) trying to find the leak while I, delirious from lack of oxygen, a triple-whammy sedative of demerol, percocet and benadryl, and most of all too too too many medical procedures for any one lifetime, howled at the injustice of it all like a fourteen-year old grounded for a month.

Twenty-four hours later, my fluids topped up like a nursed engine with a cracked block, I walked out of the hospital with the hangover from hell and returned to my day life.

Huh?

If you cut a leg artery or your jugular or remove the tip of your finger you are immediately aware you have a problem. If you spring a leak internally however, not so much. Especially when you are in denial about any new medical problems because you’re feeling a wee bit put-upon after four years’ state-of-art medical S&M.

If you want to know how you know you have an inner leak look up melena, I’m not going to blog the details. I should’ve done something sooner: this isn’t my first internal bleed – not even my second or third. But I’m rationalizing maybe it’s the cherries I ate or maybe it’s the iron I’m taking or maybe it’s anything other than some damn disaster that will send me back to the hospital.

It was only a day or two before departure that I realized the trip was no-go. When you have no blood you have a hard time concentrating on a C.S.I. episode and you drive like a stoned alcoholic texting your next order to the bar you just left. 500 miles behind a wheel down California’s coast with no oxygen in your brain is not a good idea.

So instead of Rrrrrroad trip! I now sit at home while Otto goes on adventures with the dog walker, waiting for my hemoglobin to creep up to a functional level. Good news is, the top-up they gave me at Moffitt kicked in quick enough so I can actually read a book and do some stuff, if not exactly what I planned. Other good news is, the leak’s stopped. And it’s sunny for a change here in the Bay Area.

So: lemons, lemonade. Whatever.

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There has got to be an upper limit to how many procedures, transplants, runnings-out-of-blood, medically called-for cavity invasions, viruses and auto-immune diseases one body can handle. You think?

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