There is a lot of humor is this post, but there’s nothing funny about any of it. In the midst of the most horrendous and shocking event of my life, Ferderico Fellini rose from his grave to make a bazaar movie, with me as the half-wit star and including all his old gross and crazy characters playing bit-parts.
First to the serious bottom line: Tonight, Thursday, my incredible wife lies in an induced coma while her heart heals from a massive coronary and Cardiac arrest. Tomorrow is a big day. The balloon heart pump is pulled and Amy’s warm and wonderful heart will beat again on its own. Hopefully by Sunday, the doctors will take her off the Michael Jackson “drug-of-choice” and wake her. They will pull out the awful intrusive long breathing tubes and ventilator system and all of us, in perfect harmony, will shout, “Breathe, Amy, Breathe.”
HOW SHE GOT TO THIS POINT Subtitled: How I unwittingly saved my wife’s life
We were with some of our wonderful friends celebrating New Year’s Eve when suddenly I felt real drunk. Weird, because I hadn’t had but a few beers over three hours, it was just 10:30, and what kind of wuss leaves a New Years party before midnight? But my head was swimming so I stood up, caught my wife’s eye across the room, and mouthed-the-words, “I want to go home.” Those were the last words I remembered speaking because suddenly I woke up on the floor with my wife bending over me and guests with worried faces staring down at me. My head/brain was perfectly lucid but my body did not want to rise. A few attempts at rising and passing out again and the hostess dialed “911.” My wife said no, hang up. We were only TWO blocks from the Mercy Southwest Emergency room, so a few of the husky guys there could help me get in the car and Amy would rush me to the hospital. (beats a $1200 two block ambulance ride) Before we could pull out of the driveway, Amy started gasping for air, saying she was having an Asthma attack. I thought that was weird because she doesn’t have Asthma. I know she had some Asthma problems as a kid (every kid in this filthy-aired town has or will have breathing problems), but she certainly was gasping for air. Our party hostess pushed Amy into the back seat and she quickly drove the two blocks to the emergency room with a gasping lady and a weird dizzy dude.
As we pulled up, Amy’s condition was very scary. She was screaming for air and a wheelchair was quickly brought to the curb and she was wheeled in to the emergency room, placed on a gurney, hauled to a cubicle and there she went into Cardiac arrest. If there is a perfect place for your heart to stop, it’s on the table in the emergency room. If we had been anywhere else or just stayed at home that night, I wouldn’t have her precious love still with me.
I did not know my wife had a heart attack. They checked me in at a different station and sat me in the long hall of patients waiting to be treated at 11:30pm New Year’s Eve night. Think about that one more time; picture who is in an emergency room on New Year’s Eve just before midnight. Yeah, they were all there, right out of a Fellini movie. Drug overdosed, alcohol poisoned, head bashed in, sick and crying Mexican babies and some real mean looking injured gang members. I was placed in the middle of them, still woozy and not quite accepting this scene as being real. It had to be a dream; this long narrow waiting room, with us sickos on both sides, staring at each other.
Across from me to the left was a druggie OD guy who was about 22, no shirt on and constantly screaming and banging his head against the wall. He got up at one point and ran through our narrow band of brothers and sisters, head-first into the far wall, bashing his head hard and screaming at the top of his lungs, “I Hate Reds!” I was suddenly zoomed back to the ‘70s when “reds” were killing hippies right and left. Reds were different types of “downers” like Phenobarbitol, Nembutol and Amytol. Mix them with alcohol and they could be deadly. I had no idea there were still idiots doing “Reds.”
Directly across from me sat a haggard-looking woman, dirty stringy bleached hair, about 50, with her head in her hands, moaning and rocking back and forth and every once in a while smashing her fist into her husband’s thigh and yelling something unintelligible.
Next to me was a large and cute bunch of 5 Hispanic kids with Mom and Dad and a screaming, crying sick baby.
I held onto my wheel chair, afraid of falling out or fainting again and constantly wondering what was going on with my dear wife.
We had been followed to the emergency room by a car load of friends who were running around trying to get me info about Amy. Two of the guys, and I love them dearly, are what you might say flamboyant and exuberant. At one point they appeared directly in front of me looking up and I realized there was a flat-screen TV above my head. I could look across the aisle and see the reflection of the TV in a portrait.. The ball was getting ready to drop.
My friends got very excited and at about 15 seconds to go, they started the countdown…loudly. When they got to “7”, the entire room of crazies, sick, drunk and injured, joined in and I heard, with gusto, 5—4—3—2—1 and the room erupted in applause and then total silence.
I loudly proclaimed, “Happy Fucking New Year.”
I’ll be back in this blog-slot on Monday, and I’m hoping I have some great news about Amy.