Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Day in the Life, part 3, The Hazards of Going to the Doctor

Not every 'outworld' trip goes this badly, just a certain percentage. I've filled my quotient...

It was July, the 27th. It was Dr. Day. Every Tuesday I go to the doctors to have my immune system squished back in. They perform this miracle by injecting me with IV glutathione, either a push or a drip. The drip has other biologics that I'm deficient in and need to have bumped on a less regular basis.

It started out like any other Tuesday. Except that Ron was gone this week on a fishing trip in Canada. I was on my own. So far this summer had been a rough one. It seemed the spray applications and fly overs had been non-stop. There had been a recent 2, 4 D spraying and we were still inside the VOC window, but the applicator had been very careful and it was a little farther away. He was also covering the chores through the VOC period. I was going to risk the trip to the doctor's as my glutathione was so low. I wasn't doing too badly that morning, but the extra exposures were draining me. I could tell I was running low; I was feeling diminished: weak, a little shaky, very vulnerable.  I began my usual routine, doubling up on some of the particular supplements that recharge spent glutathione and would help me cope with the innumerable exposures TIs gets when they leave their safe-houses. My appointment is usually early afternoon. I plan my trip around the errands I can do at safer locations, like fragrance free stores, drive thru banks and PO. Some of the stores and the PO provide car-side service as an accommodation.

It was mid-morning when I felt the"crash" coming on. All of the sudden my legs buckled and a sultry wave of sheer exhaustion and the feeling of losing consciousness washed over me. My guess is systemic apoptosis. That's when groups of cells, all over your body explode. They commit suicide. It's a complete systemic crash, due to glutathione depletion. The emotional backwash that losing control brings up is like a second physical blow. I hate losing control. Panic pounces and I struggle to remain calm. What I need right now are massive amounts of C & B complex. I have to get to the box: point and shoot. Legs aren't working, heart's not working, I'm passing out. I'm turning into a rag doll. Can't breathe.

I literally crawl from the living room to the kitchen, stopping when forced to, to rest. I make it to the kitchen and pull myself up to stand using appliance handles and drawers. I've got tunnel vision at this point. I'm pushing, I'm pushing. There is no one else here. No one else could arrive in time and be safe enough not to put me over the edge.  I normally leave a glass there by the box. The box is next to the fridge. The fridge dispenses water. There's oral glute in the fridge for emergencies. It's all right there. 'I can make it, I can make it" I'm telling my self. My hands are shaking, I can barely keep the water in the glass. I can barely hold the glass. I fumble with the lids and take double doses. I gulp them down; they burn my throat. I slide to the floor, breathing hard, tears streaming. I hate being out of control.

In a while things come back on line. I climb up the counter face and take a few more supplements. I struggle to cook some broccoli. My oral glute contains soy, an estrogen analog. I have severe estrogen dominance. It's caused me a tumor, endometriosis and a ruptured and hemorrhaging cyst.  Broccoli, and other cruciferous vegetables help the body eliminate toxins and especially excess estrogen. (most pesticides are xeno (chemical) estrogens... I eat two to three cups of broccoli a day. Finally, I take my broccoli, and wobble back into the living room to collapse in my chair. My plan now is to rest and eat the broccoli. It takes a while.

O.K., I sigh, I still have to get to the Dr.s for the treatment. Otherwise, at this rate, I won't survive the week. I use my "phone a friend." There's no answer. I don't leave a message, because it would only alarm them. I'd have to do it myself. I mentally re-prioritize my errand list. I can survive on the groceries I have in the house. I was supposed to pick up a package at the P.O. It's important. a must. Ryan needed me to deposit his check in his bank. I can do that through the drive up window, quickly, with minimal exposures. It was his new bank account and the old bank hadn't released his funds because of some internal error. He needed money in there, to begin his new job in Utah. I had to.

I rested as long as possible, then showered to remove the toxic sweat (it reeks, by the way. I try not to do that to the doctor's office) then got ready and wearing extra covering, with my mask in place, I bolted (in a ragged line) to the car. Once locked inside with the purifier running, I stripped off the extra covering and sealed it in the bag.  I left my mask on until the purifier had a chance to work. I headed for the post office. I was feeling considerably better by this time. Crisis averted!

My postal encounter went very well. Mary came out to help me. She was entirely fragrance free. What a blessing. It was a quick hand off through the barely open window and everything was taken care of. I pointed my car in the direction of Ryan's bank. When I drive, I am so careful. I honestly believe, that if I were to ever hit someone or cause an accident, I'd die of grief. So rest assured I'm very careful. Its the up side of being hyper-sensitive. Your aware of everything. It does make you a safer driver.

When I got to the bank with Ryan's check, things started to go along smoothly. Unfortunately, the teller decided to call over her supervisor. Could of been the mask... It was, I should mention 98° out. I was running the air conditioning, to keep it cool. I'm horribly heat intolerant. One of the legacies from Organophosphate poisoning. It was taking too long. I couldn't keep the car cool without the motor running. I can't keep the motor running if I have to talk out the window, because the fumes get me. Finally we finished and they sent back papers. The supervisor had handled them and her sickeningly sweet stench filled the entire van. I stuffed them into the ziplock bag as quickly as possible. Too late. A hit.

I was heading north, out of town on the highway when I noticed the engine temp gage. It was really high. Crap! I turned off both the air conditioning and the purifier. They draw  the engine and keep it hot. I decided I had best have someone check the coolant as Ryan and I had had previous problems with it a few weeks ago. Maybe there was a pinhole leak? I made a parking lot u-turn and headed back to a vendor's who routinely works with me. My feed store. I went to the back and asked the young man there to check my coolant. He was not mechanically inclined, so he called in someone else who worked there.  While they were checking it out two unfortunate events happened. A semi roared by with-in 10 ft and another customer pulled up and wandered t'wards us. It just so happened that it was at the moment that the guys had asked me a question which required me to step out and answer them. I was totally exposed. I was injured. I could feel it. The guys did say the reservoir was completely full. I thanked them and went on my way. The engine had cooled somewhat, so I determined that if I left the air-conditioning off until I reach highway speeds, and kept the air-conditioning at a minimum, I'd be o.k. So that's what I did. I drove constantly monitoring the engine temp and responding as necessary.

It was going alright. I crossed the river and headed north. The doctor's is 50 min. away. I live in a desert area. There's no trees. It's very hot. I was about fifteen minutes into my trip when I realized I was shaking all over, my hands were cold and numb and my arms were becoming paralyzed. Shit! I thought at first that it was adrenaline and kept telling myself that everything was fine. Then I realized the other customer probably had pesticide on him. It began to be difficult to breathe and I could feel myself starting to pass out. Oh, crap! I knew I needed to pull over. If I pulled over along the roadway, with the temperature climbing to above 100, I'd boil in no time. I needed to reach an exit and find some shade. I new the next one coming up had an underpass. I struggled to hang on. I pulled over partly and drove slowly along the shoulder, until I reached the next exit. Of course I had to turn off the air.  I drove even more slowly down the off ramp fighting to see, fighting to stay conscious, praying I wouldn't crash into anybody. There were a few people down there in cars. My car crawled slowly to a stop. I turned my head stiffly to the left. The shade under the freeway looked like a mirage in the desert. I took my time. I double checked. "God, I don't want to hurt anybody!" I prayed. Carefully I edged out and directed my car,  with air off, to the shade. I stopped the car and turned off the engine. I collapsed panting hard.

After a few minutes, I reached up and adjusted the mirrors. I wanted to see what was going on behind me. The tears were streaming. I could tell my condition was not going to improve on its own. I phoned my friend, again. This time she answered. I sobbed out my location and what I needed. She said simply, "I'm coming. Hang on." This is a really great friend. (Some of you are probably wondering why I didn't call 911. They are toxic. They wear fragranced personal care products, like cologne, aftershave, deodorant, laundry product. They idle their diesel 'bus' while retrieving you and the back fills with really toxic diesel fumes. Their uniforms are dry cleaned. Dry cleaning chemicals remain toxic for months. They clean the bus with really toxic chemicals that out-gas for days. They clean it every day. They wouldn't take me to my doctor's. They'd take me to a hospital. Hospitals are toxic. They're not set up to treat me. In this state, it would kill me.)

Even under the overpass, the interior is heating up. Because the engine was overheating I couldn't run the air-conditioner. I'd reclined the seat. I open the door slightly, with a weak hand, to get some fresh, cooler air. "Oh, my God" I cried out in desperate prayer, in my head. There's non-stop traffic driving on the highway over head. All the exhaust fumes are pouring down beneath the bridge. The air is thick with carbon monoxide and the stench of diesel and gas exhaust. I continue my mental prayer, it was really more like a lament. "O God, O God, O God."  I close the door. My panic rouses me somewhat and I realize there's a lot of people parking under the highways or near the end of the ramps down here with me. It takes me a few minutes to realize they are doing drugs, drug deals and really gross sex. Ah crap! I lock the door and continue praying. As the heat climbs I'm slipping in and out of consciousness. I'm fighting to stay awake, because I can't leave the door unlocked. I'd be easy pray for the less than exemplary citizens frequenting this sight. If I don't unlock it, my friend won't be able to get in. I have bottled water. I try to keep sipping that. I'm wearing coveralls, to protect me from exposures, so I drop the flap to help disperse my body heat. Finally, after an eternity, I call her again. She was almost there. Right at the off ramp. (really it was only 40 min. She was at a yard sale on the other side of town. She had dropped what she was doing, rushed home and showered, putting on clean clothes, so she wouldn't tox me. She even came to me with out make-up. That's heroic. She'd never done this before. What an incredible friend!) I unlocked the door and moved (a very ponderous, undignified and difficult task, about which I will spare you the details. Feel free to use your imagination, there's no way you could come up with anything worse than what it was) over to the passenger seat. By this time the interior was over 120°. I had, during the wait, tried opening the door  a few more times when the heat was too much. Each attempt was toxic. I was now wearing my mask because the fumes in the car were so strong and I couldn't run the purifier any more than the air-conditioning. I was no longer crying, there were no more tears.

While driving me to the doctor's she was attempting to make light conversation. I wasn't responding. It was taking every bit of my willpower not to die on her. I could feel the systemic collapse happening. I was willing my self to make it. I knew if I died, she'd never forgive herself. It wouldn't be her fault, but she couldn't help it, she would take the responsibility. I was limp and dying and I knew it.

We made it to the doctor's office and at that point I roused. You see, I knew she couldn't carry me. I couldn't risk exposures from anyone else, trying to help. I had to, I had to make it in under my own steam.  She pulled up at the end of the walk.  I swung my arm down, from the shoulder and fumbled numbly for the disabled placard. She was asking me if we could park there. She's been a bus driver, so I figured she would know about the placard. I mumbled something about it. I doubt it was coherent. I can't recall if she actually put it up. When she opened the car door , I sucked it up and lurched up the short walk way. I'm still not sure how she got to the office door ahead of me. I staggered into the office. Dr.s mother was there, that day. She looked shocked. I knew I was standing twisted and cockeyed. My skin was livid red, my breathing was rapid, labored and short. Rich, the RN came through right at that time. He immediately said, "In here! Right now!" and helped me to the chair, pausing only long enough to swipe my IV off the counter. The fragrance in the office that day was high. I could smell it through my mask. I couldn't take off my mask to breathe easier because of the smell. I couldn't have taken it off then, anyway. My arms and hands were still paralyzed and it wasn't long before Rich had the needle in one and was filling me up. But unlike usual. I wasn't recovering. I was still panting, breathing hard. I could tell when the fragrance cleared out but, for some time, I was still too paralyzed to reach up and remove my mask. Rich was checking on me constantly. He wanted to call an ambulance. He told me it was the worst he'd ever seen me. I panted out, "I've been worse. There was a time I couldn't even get out of the car. Dr. would treat me in there." (Those were days Ron brought me.) I couldn't breathe. My mask was suffocating me. It was damp with tears and sweat. I couldn't remove it. I lay there. propped in the chair.

Rich went for Dr. and he began some other detox procedures. Eventually I was able to remove my mask. My breathing continued labored. He was really worried. It's bad when you can tell your Dr.s worried. He ordered me, and he doesn't usually order me, "to detox therapy right now!" I responded, "It's not up to me. You have to ask my driver. So they brought her in (yes she has a name, but she's a very private person, so I'm omitting it.) I could tell that this is not what she wanted to do with her day. With the powers of hyper-sensitivity, we see everything. But that's not what she said. Now she's giving passed when it hurts. I started to weep again. They didn't know why, I didn't enlighten them. Dr. called the Nurse who does the detox therapy and the soonest she could see me would be 7:00 pm. It would take 4-5 hrs. I'd just commandeered my best friends entire evening and half the night.  She marched into it like a trooper.  When I recovered enough to stand and walk and not resemble the hunch-back of Notre Dame on a drunken binge we crawled out of there.

My girl friend asked if I minded her driving by the Nurses place as we headed out of town, so when we came back in the evening, 4 hrs. later, she could drive right to it. I told her about the engine overheating and I manned the air controls while she drove. We managed to keep the temp gage in the proper range, all the way there. It was in a small neighborhood. Lots of stops and starts. The engine didn't like it. As we pulled out on to a main thoroughfare, a few blocks from the highway that bisected the town, things began to heat up.

We could hear this rumbling, like a "hog." My girlfriend was looking in all the mirrors, trying to locate the cyclist, so she wouldn't cut him off. She switched in to the protected left turn lane and the light turned red. All of sudden, bells began clanging and screaming, the temp gage had instantly hit the top. I cried out, "Turn it off! Turn it off!" She knows a lot about engines, as do I, so she countered with, "What if it won't start again?" I came back with, "We'll worry about that at the time, TURN IT OFF!" She did. The rumbling continued, but we were distracted from possible great big motorcycles by worrying about the car overheating. Finally after an eternity the light turned green. We held our breath and prayed. The engine started. I told her to head for the nearest shade and park, at least the engine, in it." There wasn't that much shade at that time of the afternoon. But, in hardly a moment she had done just that. We were parked on the west side of the road in the parking lot of a mall. We were about 20 ft. off a 4 lane highway.

Then the rumbling had turned to roaring. She got out and opened the hood. The fluid in the reservoir was boiling heavily. It was spilling out over the asphalt. There wasn't a 'hog', it was us. The fumes knocked me back so hard I began the third crash of the day. This time I descended into autism spectrum disorder. This is not lovely. I began rocking and stimming. It's totally humiliating. But  it got worse... Of course the engine was in shade and the body of the van was in the sun. It was now 106°. My girl friend called her husband, to come for us. He couldn't get away from work. His supervisor was away and he'd have to wait until he came back. I called Lane. He's my son's friend, a friend of the family and a wonderful neighbor. You see, I knew I couldn't leave the car in the parking lot 'til Ron got back from Canada. I knew I couldn't have it commercially hauled; they'd contaminate it with fragrance and petroleum and I'd be without transportation for months before I could get it cleaned up safely. I knew Lane was resourceful and a farm boy. He can do stuff! We own a car hauler. Lane would be able to get it and come get me. (He was on call, if I had any trouble, an arrangement Ron had made before he left.) I figured if we got the car hauler, I could drive the car onto the hauler, we could get a bunch of bags of ice and pack me and Lane could drive us home. The reason I was figuring on riding in my car is that Lane is a farmer, he might have chemicals or petroleum. When I got Lane, he said, "Not a problem." In fact he was in town, at a friends, who had a hauler and he'd be there as soon as possible. We told both guys what was going on and it was now a race to see who could save us.

Meanwhile, my girl friend was expiring in the heat. She was trying to prevent me from exposures, while not  leaving me to suffer alone. She decided to get some water for the reservoir as it had boiled dry. She also picked me up some mocha latte and herself some tea. She chugged her liquids, I chugged mine. The coffee was a brilliant idea and a life saver. I started to sweat. With the sweat, out comes the toxins. She saved my life more than once that day! She also called the Nurse and cancelled my therapy, telling the nurse to call me back and reschedule later. I was beat red, rocking and stimming and devolving rapidly away from coherency by the time the guys arrived. It ws about 40 min. They arrived within minutes of each other. Lane got there first and we discovered he'd been working on a friend's vehicle. I couldn't drive the car by this time and I couldn't remain in the car while it was moved to the hauler as Lane had petroleum on him. They parked me against the building. Due to the gross amount of ethylene glycol and the petroleum fumes from the highway, I began to hemorrhage. I could feel blood running down to my knees. I called weakly out to my girlfriend, and a passerby relayed the call. She came over quickly. I asked her, still stimming and drooping against the wall, "Is it sweat or blood running down my legs?" She looked me right in eyes, not even glancing down and said with authority, "It's sweat." Bless her heart. She lied through her teeth.  Her husband arrived. My friends husband had revved up their air-conditioner all the way there, so high he was frozen, by the time he got there. As soon as he arrived they swept me in to the frigid interior. What a blessed relief. Her husband helped Lane and then they took me home. They'd also gathered up my airpurifier and I sat slumped over it in the back seat, just breathing and struggling to recover. (Also the heavy towels I have on the seats, so I wouldn't leave a mess.)

When they got me home and I made it in the door, my girl friend looked like she felt she should stay and help me. I lovingly kicked her out and told her to go home. She'd done so much and she was stressed and exhausted. I then began my decontamination and detox procedures. I "had miles to go before I could sleep."

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