My Life Changing Medical Ordeal Well, it all started in March of nineteen ninety seven. I had Little did I know that I would be headed into one of the biggest ordeals of my life. I had gone to the doctor for various things such as colds and flus but this was going to be the mother of all sicknesses. I had started a diet and went to see a doctor by the name of Bruce Longest. He gave me a pill that make me urinate the extra fluid out of my body. After a week or so I was not feeling well so I went to see another doctor named Dr. Farmer, he was a stubby old doctor that was way past his prime. He doubled my dosage of fluid pills, thinking that was what I needed. As it turned out, that particular diagnosis was a near fatal faux paw. I had been off salt for quite some time at that point, so I continued to slip deeper and deeper into my illness. Early in the month of April I was babysitting my nephew and went to go cook lunch. That is when I realized I lacked the strength to get up out of my chair and there was a severe crushing pain in my chest area. I called my mother at work and she called an ambulance to come and get me. The ambulance took me to the local hospital. At the hospital I continued to get worse and started losing my memory. They soon figured out it was a sodium and potassium imbalance and pneumonia caused by taking the fluid pills without taking a vitamin and mineral supplement. The good doctor there, Dr. Seacrest, prescribed the right medicine and soon my memory returned. My breathing did not fair so well and all the local doctors said I needed to go to a more advanced hospital. I was transferred to the hospital in the big college town of Oxford, Mississippi. The physician there was named Evans, a tall thin man with a baby face and dark brown hair. He sent me straight to the I.C.U. Dr. Evans climbed on to my bed ,with his knee on my chest, drove a spike through my collar bone with a silver hammer. This was used to run tubes into my heart and lungs. All this was done with no anesthetics or pain killers. I was fully awake for all of the procedure. After they were done they injected me with amnesia drugs of some sort that are made to help a person forget something traumatic that has just happened to them. The problem was that they administered to much and I woke up a few days later thinking I had just been asleep the whole time. I did get better so I was moved to an intermediate care floor. On this particular floor some bad stuff occured. The nurses were, for a lack of a better word, lazy. My mother stayed with me around the clock. If I needed something, like say my hoses, tubes, or wires fixed, she would call for the nurse. It would take twenty to twenty five minutes for a nurse or nurse's assistant to make it to my room, which was scarcely ten feet away. After a day or so my mother started doing most of it herself, but there were some things she could not do for me. I began getting worse again. I became very depressed to say the least. Of the scant moments I can remember, one hundred percent of them were spent wishing, in one way or another, for a quick and painless death. The tubes and lines still kept getting infected. The staff would pull them out of my chest and put them in my neck, then out of my neck and back in my chest on the other side, then out of there and then back to my neck on the other side. It went on like that for days on top of days. I only remember fleeting moments. All of a sudden one day I woke up in the I.C.U. unable to speak or move. For hours I lay in torment. I did not know where I was or why I was there. What had happened was quite a story as my mother told me later that same day. "You was dying right there in front of me", she sobbed, "you lost your mind and could not breath." Her words were stuttered and drawn out. She continued,"I finally got the doctor in there to see you and he took you off to emergency surgery, where they put a tracheotomy tube in your neck there." By now she was in full blown hysterics. But she persevered, and went on,"You have been in here for two weeks with this thing in your neck and a staph infection caused by the way they have been giving you terrible care in here." I was mortified, horrified, and speechless, literately. She went on to tell me tales of woe. Such as when I had coughed hard enough to rupture the blood vessels in my eye, which caused a hemorrhage. She also told me I was on a ventilator and it would be a while before I would be able to speak. In the next week or so I did a lot of writing. I was slowly weaned from the ventilator in about three or four days. Everyday they would come to check my blood oxygen levels and to do so meant cutting a slice in my wrist ,because my veins were so deep, and they could not see where they were. Again they would give me amnesia drugs to make me forget the pain of getting cut and probed with a needle. Soon I got better so I was moved back to the intermediate care. The nurses were still inept on that floor. But my mother was getting better at doing the things the nurses were suppose to be doing. I was almost ready to go home when one day a nurse came in to suction out my lungs and she left the catheter in me to long. I was unable to breathe the whole time. At that point my mother pushed her aside and pulled it out of my neck hole. That nurse was upset and started callin my mother names. She went and told the head nurse that my mother slapped her. " The H*** I did." ,barked my mother. the head nurse said, "don't you know we video tape these rooms, can't you see the cameras?" Well that did not phase my old cantankerous mother. She told the nurse that if she could show her the tape of her slappin her,she would gladly go to jail. That is when she decided to confess,"those cameras have not been on in years." That was the last day for that nurse. After that, all I got was friendly and helpful nurses. They taught us how to clean and care for the tracheotomy site. Then came my last day. Dr. Evans came waltzing in late as usual and said,"Today is the day you get to go home." I was so happy even though there was a fear deep in me. I didn't know how much longer it would be untill I was normal. When would I get the trach tube out of my neck? Oh, the question was soon answered. Dr. Evans sat us down and said in an inconsiderate tone,"That tube will be in your neck the rest of your life and you are going to be suffering the whole time." You could have knocked me over with a feather. I was crushed, broken hearted, and felt lower than a snakes belly in a wagon rut. But, I went home. Once at home, I was improving at a steady rate. One night the inflation bulb on my tracheotomy tube sprang a leak. We taped it with duct tape and the next day I went to get a new one, but they had to order it from California. It took a month to come in and I went through ten rolls of tape rigging it up myself each night. Finally I was able to go get my new one. I sat back in the chair in that stark white exam room scared of the sting I was told to expect. When the docter pulled on the inner cannula, a hot hissing fire of intense pain shot through my neck like a fireplace poker. My flesh had grown attached to it, all the way down and it took quite a few minutes to get it out. When he did finally get it out blood gushed from the gaping wound like it was a sprinkler system. The room soon became darker as the walls and floor were being covered in blood. Pink light shown from the hemoglobin covered fluoresent light tubes. Where once three people stood only two were left. The nurse had dove to the floor and was now cowering behind the open door. The doctor tried to had the slippery plastic piece to her but handed it to my mother instead. "In with the new one", he grunts. He pushed ,I screamed a gurgled and mumbled yell of agony. The blood with no way out now flowed inward to my lungs and stomach. The pushing and shoving continued, I was screaming bloody murder and vomiting a mixture of lunch and bloody gore. It turned out they ordered the wrong size and he was trying to stick one that was way to big into my shredded neck orifice. He gave up after what seemed like an eternity and grabed the old one and slipped it back into the gouged out fissure. I got sent home with the same old used cannula. The physical pain lasted for weeks, the mental anguish may never heal. A month later the new one came in and it fit perfectly. A lot less painful and only a few minutes and it was over. They had put me in the same room I was in the last time, only this time it was newly painted due to my last horrific ordeal. The smell of new paint slowly left my memory as I drove home. After that whole mess I could no longer do "business" with those doctors. My new doctor was in the wonderful city of Tupelo, Mississippi. His name was Dr. Rish, he was and still is one of the nicest men I have ever met. His first comment to me was,"You was butchered!" He sat up an appiontment for a sleep study to see what he could do for me. The sleep study went by without a hitch. I was told to show up the next day to remove the traceotomy cannula. On that day ,December 9,1998, it slid out for the last time. It was like a rebirth or a prison sentence being lifted. Since then I have recover physically and some mentally. I lost two whole years of my memory as well as small gaps from my childhood on up to the preasent. They say"That which does not kill you makes you stronger". I can truly that I am a better man for having gone through this saga. I learned that there is no amount of pain that a human can not endure. I know that all these rough pain filled backroads and dark thorny paths have led me to meeting my fiance and being able to write this story for you. If you like this maybe I can try to put some more on here from next semesters class. I thank yall for bein so supportive of me.