Tag Archives: University Hospital

Re-creating a live Tweet of today’s colonoscopy

I’d planned (threatened) to live Tweet this morning’s medical procedure that Dave Barry refers to as A HORRIBLE THING. I still wonder how many would have tuned-in for that play-by-play.

So I’ll re-create that for you now. I’m pretty sure this is how it would have gone.

9:45 a.m. – My appointment in the GI/Endoscopy unit at University Hospital was at 9. Waiting 45 minutes after the previous 12 hours of “prep” is inexcusable. I tell the sign-in desk person that I’m nauseous and uncomfortable. I’m admitted by an RN, Martha.

9:46 a.m. – Martha is awesome.

10 a.m. – Another nurse, Erika, starts my IV and another RN, Megan, gives me some nausea medicine.

10:05 a.m. – Erika and Megan are awesome. I fall asleep – not from the nausea meds, but from my typical reverse anxiety mode that kicks in at times like this. My blood pressure is something like 100/70. Chillaxed. (Oh, and a warm blanky from Martha).

11:10 a.m. – A young doc introduces herself as I wake up. I’m thinking the procedure must be over. She asks me if I’m excited for my first colonoscopy. My restrained response probably indicates that I am not. She tells me that the second half of the “prep” is the worst part. That I agree with. The young doc asks me what procedure I’m getting. I’m half-tempted to tell her something bizarre, then I remember that, in my estimation, a colonoscopy is fairly bizarre. She goes over the risks and a few details of the procedure. I sign a consent form. She tells me it won’t be long.

11:40 a.m. – An RN, I think her name is Debbie C., wheels my bed into another room where the young doc awaits. Another nurse/tech person (sorry, I wasn’t keeping notes) dons rubber gloves and has me turn onto my left side and pull up my right knee. I tell the med folks that I don’t bend very well. Never did. Nurse Debbie says it’s fine. She’s holding two or three thick syringes and I ask her when I’m getting the happy juice. “As soon as the doctor says we’re starting.” To be as well-informed as I can be, I ask what’s in the syringes. She tells me fentanyl. I’ve heard of this stuff. I think we’ll get along just fine.

11:45 a.m. – A second doc comes in and introduces himself. He tells nurse Debbie to begin and she begins administering the first big dose of fentanyl into the IV port on my right arm. As the drug goes into my vein, I asd erjlkj eoir and start to feel a dj elkjr ad d sdaijmj did i tell you the one about the elephant and the clown that cdwqe lkjd fdsaef. there is a bog huh i meant to say fog did you see that penguin but anyway i see a screen and the doc mumbles something about xdf l;kj;wer jkljdf er ferlug medilei byeice butterflies lincikme skerdrocrumlkj there and right there. ther’s blieab arkable baby unicorns schtingle ploratimum.

1:30 p.m. – I wake up in the recovery room. The end.

In conclusion: Absolutely amazing nursing staff. And the docs were so amazing that I hardly noticed them. (See: fentanyl).

Most of all, my awesome youngest daughter, Natasha Myrick, who took me – and came back for me. Then spent the afternoon with me at home while I returned to a state of semi-consciousness. Natasha’s awesome heart is a warm blanket.

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Filed under CoMo Health Beat, Family, medical procedures

Desperate for justice: conclusion

This is the conclusion of story that I covered on July 9, 1984, while working for the Belle Banner and the Bland Courier, sister papers of the three-newspaper Tri-County Publications. (Part 1 appeared on Monday).

Police, neighbors and a distant relative put together the following narrative: Seven hours before the auction was scheduled to begin, Christial – who actually went by her middle name, Veneda ‑ dumped 30 gallons of gasoline and 30 quarts of motor oil throughout her wood frame house. The tinder box that was once her paid-in-full haven included piles of old newspapers, a cord of wood, some old tires and $30 worth of fireworks. She was apparently sitting in a recliner in the living room at 5:30 a.m. when she struck the match.

 

The explosion immediately flattened the house, blew out windows at Bland High School just a block away and dozens of other windows through the little town of about 600 people. The explosion blew Veneda right out of the house. A step-cousin raced to the scene and found Veneda – conscious but badly burned and incoherent – laying on the side of the road. An ambulance took her to the University of Missouri hospital in Columbia (called the MU Medical Center back then).

Local police got a call from the Bland Post Office at 8:30 a.m. Someone found a letter taped to the wall inside the lobby, along with copies of the canceled and endorsed check that Veneda had written to the contractor, the signed agreement with the contractor, and the legal notice of the sheriff’s auction. The next day a duplicate of the letter arrived at the Gasconade County Republican, the 3,500-circulation weekly newspaper in Owensville where, incidentally, I would go to work in April the following year.

There’s really no way to end this story on a positive note, although the lien laws were changed a year later to provide greater protection for homeowners.

The image of the smoldering ruins of the house is still haunting. And so are the words of her letter:

“The hassle of living just isn’t worth it anymore. Nothing is worth living for. I can’t have anything no matter how hard I work I work for it and somebody else enjoys it … Just because there is a crooked law on the books for you to hide behind to win the easy way, you don’t any of you care about justice. I am a woman alone with no knowledge of the stupid laws. So that leaves me helpless in their hands.

 “I can’t have anything no matter how hard I work … But this is the time I’m not going to hand it over. I’ll burn all and go in the fire myself. Then you bastards can sift the ashes or look elsewhere for the money you want. I signed a contract and I honored it. I paid once for what I got. I don’t intend to pay again … This house and car is all I have to show for 44 years of work. I can’t enjoy it and I don’t intend anyone else shall.”

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Filed under A reporter's life, Living Write, MIP: Memoir-in-progress