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    Default No Good Deed Goes Unpunished!!!!!

    A slightly incoherent pain and drug induced rambling story

    On June 8, I left my house in northern New Mexico headed to Albuquerque to fly to Georgia to donate stem cells to my little brother who has bone marrow cancer similar to leukemia. About 50 miles down the road the transmission in the Chevy quit. one of the cooling lines was out of the trans pumping all my oil on the ground. Got ahold of Pablo and he closed his shop and towed me to his house, then stole his wife's car and got me to the airport just in time. Seemed like a rough start but sailed the rest of the way. Started the daily injections that cause me to grow stem cell and release them into my blood. The pamphlets said that there might be light bone aches. After two days I felt like I was in a bar fight and every body in the bar beat and stomped me until they got tired. But I toughed it out until the day of collection, when I had to be at the Hospital buy 06:00 so I could wait till 08:00 to get a central line in my carotid artery which I think they drove in with a hammer but I was stoned enough I didn't care. Then off for one more shot, then finally in to donate, A cute nurse wearing a rain coat attached all 4 of the lines coming out of my neck to my personal centrifuge.


    The raincoat she put on every time she handled my lines worried me a bit. Other than my right wrist and elbow hurting more and more a boring day. Then the lab called to say we didn't get enough stem cells, so back again tomorrow. By the time I got there I was carrying my right arm it hurt so bad. They hooked me back to the machine and had a Doc look at my arm got sympathy and Tramadol. But later got a call that we had enough and she pulled the iv out of my neck, made me a little nervous when she that if it started bleeding to put a finger over it and go to the nearest ER cause I could bleed out in about 3 minutes through a open carotid. My arm woke me up about midnight with incredible pain that kept me up all night. Went back to the transplant clinic and they decided I had gout in my arm had never heard of gout anywhere but the foot or kidney stones, but the doc said that while donating the chair kept my legs higher than my arms. The next day I was packing to fly home and got got a frantic call from my daughter that the transplant clinic called and I had an rare dangerous infection. I had given them my cell number a half dozen times so they called the place I wasn't. I called them and they said that a rare gam negative infection showed up in my stem cells and I needed to get right to the main hospital. So I called my sister-in-law and she arranged a ride to the hospital. and led me right to an isolation room didn't even go through admitting. Standard infectious disease room with a changing and scrubbing room where they could gown, mask and bootie up before coming in. Immediately hooked me to a tree of antibiotics that the nurse said were industrial strength, They had me more than a little worried! I have had broken bones that didn't hurt as bad as my arm! I couldn't get them to give me enough pain meds, couldn't more than a few minutes at a time and if I did get to sleep they woke me up to draw blood. After 3 days of me bitching screaming and crying they still hadn't found any infection in my blood or treated my gout!! That night they finally started treating my gout and gave me some oxycontin Actually slept a little that night! The infectious disease doctor finally showed up a few days later and he politely said that they were all morons and finally talked them into discontinuing the antibiotics for 2 days to see if I got worse. Of course I got better they were treating my gout! They finally decided that it was a lab error or contamination and gout so they let me escape. By then Dianne had cancelled my return flight so it looks like I will fly home on the 4th 4 days short of a month and they still don't know if they can use the cells I donated!!!!!!! It seems through the drug haze like maybe Pablo said my Chevy was fixed! And my little brother said that there is nothing like good quality family time.

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    You are a good man Charlie Brown! Takes some stones to donate like that and I take my hat off to you. I would like to think I would do it for one of my siblings, but one never really knows till the shit hits the fan.

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    It makes your sacrifice worth so much more.. Because it was a sacrifice.

    John 15:13
    Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
    Large, painful, sacrifices mean something.

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    Quote Originally Posted by confab View Post
    It makes your sacrifice worth so much more.. Because it was a sacrifice.



    Large, painful, sacrifices mean something.
    I'll second that. Wishing you a speedy recovery!

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    Respect.

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    Dianne just scolded me for leaving out the texting woman with Colorado plates that ran us off the road one morning ruining a tire causing us to change cars to her backup Chrysler that immediately lost a battery.

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    good job Kemosabie

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    Love hearing "Feel Good" stories ...
    Although the feel good part is mostly mental in this situation ..

    About that bleeding out part, I seen that happen while I was living in Vegas ..

    I was at a bar with a date, a Rockabilly band was kicking out tunes with the dance floor packed elbow to elbow, we was sitting bout 10 feet away when my date jumps up and runs out onto the dance floor..
    She pulls out a ink-pen from a Fellow's neck, seems that he had a encounter with someone that had it in for him .. ??
    At the moment she got the pen out here came the blood, every time his heart beat a fountain shot into the air traveling bout 10 to 15 feet.

    The Fellow headed to the back entrance and collapsed at the door .. The bar went into lock-down mode when the Cops showed up .. EMTs got there fast and started working on him .. They saved his life, but later found out that he was almost at the checkout point .. Don't think they ever found the Guy that did the dirty deed ..??

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    Damn good of you to do what you did DustyDave. A carotid bleed is a nasty one, I’ve had quite a few roll through my old ER over the years, once you kick out that 2L mark it’s hard to ward off shock or bring them back, another reason I yell at whining bedrest patients after cardiac catheterization procedure’s these days, that femoral clot dislodgement makes a massacre when they cut loose. Hope your 100%.

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    Best wishes for all involved! Seems sometimes the worlds karma is off kilter so much craziness in everyday life not even including the pandemic. But you are a hero in my book to go thru all that for someone else! *Sure as SH*T Some religious wack a doodle will rant on the implications of stem cells (Dealt with that issue recently with a deranged loon).
    Feel free to punch them.

    As to the rain suit, with COVID, lots of weirdness in medical currently, Dont get me started but had a interesting conversation with a relative who works for dept of defense,,But we would quickly digress into a tangent about conspiracies and the media,
    (Not every crackpot out there is wrong, but way off topic here...)

    But,,, I have dated and many friends in the medical community, Its actually inexplicable my wife is NOT in that field, But a lady I follow on Quora is a nurse, the reason I like her, Is I know many Janes & Nancy's just like her both while I was in the military and since, and understand them and love them. Janes & Nancy's are cool in my book,And so much fun!!!
    But this Jane is also a GREAT writer.
    Being that, this is a biker-chopper forum, I am going to assume no ones going to freak out too much, But this is one of Janes best stories IMHO....
    See: https://www.quora.com/profile/Jane-Urresti

    https://qr.ae/pGoiDF " What is one unforgettable moment you've had in a hospital?"


    Jane Urresti

    Former Army combat medic(1988-1996), ICU RN,CCRN, Professor
    What is one unforgettable moment you've had in a hospital?

    TRIGGER WARNING: DISCUSSION OF BLOOD AND DEAD BODIES.

    A very long time ago, when I was working as a nurse in a cardiac surgical ICU, I was the charge nurse one shift. My friend Nancy* was taking care of a very sick patient who was on a machine called an LVAD (Left Ventricular Assist Device). It was essentially like an artificial heart. After a tough battle, the patient unfortunately died. Nancy had let the family in to see the patient and say their goodbyes. After a time, the family gave her the name of the funeral home and they went home.


    I went in to help her prepare the body. We were doing the regular post-mortem care when Nancy discovered a problem.

    “How are we going to get the VAD tubes out?” She said.

    The tubes are huge and sutured into the heart. The only way we could remove them would be to reopen his chest, cut the tubes out of the heart and close his chest again. Way too invasive and unreasonable for us to do.

    “You could just cut the tubes.” I suggested.

    “True, but he is so heparinized (full of anti-clotting medicine), that all of his blood volume is going to pour out of the cut tubes. We won´t be able to stop the bleeding and he will bleed all over the body bag.”

    “You could clamp the tubes and then cut them.” I told her, knowing she wasn´t going to go for that idea.

    “And lose my hemostats to the funeral home! Are you crazy?” She cried.


    Hemostats are large clamps that we used in the ICU for a dozen different uses. The problem is, they are not something that one can just run down to the local Walmart and buy. The regular floors had flimsy, lightweight clamps, but we had large, strong surgical steel clamps that we had to..um.. stea…liberate from the OR. Sometimes it took months to be in the right place at the right time to be able to snatch a good solid hemostat from the operating room. They were more valuable to us than gold.

    “You clamp them and send yours to the funeral home.” Nancy challenged me.

    “Ha. Fat chance of that. He´s your patient, you figure out a better way to do this. Can you bend them and tie them off?”

    She shook her head. “No, the tubing is too thick and strong.”

    She thought for a while then finally smiled.

    “I´ve got an idea.” She said triumphantly.

    “Uh oh.” I narrowed my eyes at her. “That doesn´t sound good.”

    Nancy, besides being an excellent nurse, had a secret superpower. She had the ability to convince people to do the craziest things by sounding logical and level-headed.

    She was the person who could convince you that jumping off of a hotel balcony into a swimming pool ten stories below whilst blind drunk was a perfectly reasonable idea. Until you woke up a month later from your coma and thought “why the hell did I listen to her?”

    Except she was even better than that. She could convince people to do crazy things while they were sober.

    “All right. What´s your idea?” I said, dreading it already.

    She took a deep breath. “I think we should cut the tubes and drain out his blood…”

    “No.” I said sharply.

    “But, wait…”

    “No.” I repeated.

    “Listen. What is the first thing they are going to do when he gets to the funeral home?” She tilted her head at me, and her voice changed into her hypnotic convincing tone.

    I sighed. “Drain his blood to instil the embalming fluid.”

    “Exactly! So, I suggest that we drain his blood into a kick bucket (stainless steel container used in the operating room to catch bloody gauze and stuff) now. We aren´t doing anything that´s not going to happen to him anyway. He won´t bleed anymore, AND we save the funeral home one step. It´s a win-win!” She smiled in triumph.

    I shook my head, but she had already woven her spell. It did sound reasonable. We weren´t doing anything that wasn´t going to happen to him in an hour or so, and it would solve our problem. She had done it again.

    I agreed to her plan because after all, draining all the blood out of dead body into a bucket - what could possibly go wrong?

    She went off to the OR to find a bucket and meanwhile I received a call from the hospital nursing supervisor.

    “You are one nurse short staffed tonight and I am sending you one from Neuro ICU.” She told me.

    “Great. Thanks.” I said happily.

    “Listen, we have a problem. Your unit´s reputation has preceded itself and I just spent 15 minutes with her in tears trying to convince her to come work with ya´ll.”

    Us open-heart ICU nurses had a reputation for being the meanest b—tches in the hospital and she wasn´t the first scared nurse who had come to work with us in tears.

    “JB,” The nursing supervisor continued. “Be nice to her.”

    “Me? I´m always nice. I´m the nicest person you´ll ever meet.” I defended myself.

    “Sure, ya´ll are sweet as honey to your patients, but I have seen you body slam each other into walls to try to reach a crashing patient first.”

    “OK, ok, but that´s just with each other. We can be nice to strangers.” I had to admit she was right.

    “I swear if they put all of you in prison you´d be shanking each other for control of the cell block within a week.” She knew us too well.

    “Yeah, that´s probably true, but I swear, I will make sure she is well taken care of. I even have a super easy patient picked out for her. She is going to have a great night.” I assured her.

    “Fine, I am counting on you to be able to control your wolf pack and keep them from biting her.”

    “No problem, I can control the wolves.”

    I got off the phone by the time Nancy returned with her stainless-steel bucket. We went in the room and pulled the curtain closed. She positioned the bucket on the bed, put the tubes into it and cut them with her scissors. The blood started flowing and I had to admit, it seemed to be working well.

    After a while, the bleeding slowed, and Nancy suggested sitting him up to get the last remnants of blood out. She raised up the head of the bed and positioned the three quarters full bucket between his legs. More blood came out. She gripped him by the shoulders.

    “Help me lean him forward slightly.” She asked.

    I grabbed his arm and shoulder and we leaned him over the bucket. More blood came out.

    Unbeknownst to me, at that moment my Neuro ICU nurse had come in the unit and asked the secretary where the charge nurse was.

    “She´s in there, behind that curtain. Just go on in.” The secretary said helpfully.

    The nervous blonde pulled aside the curtain and walked into the room. She took in the sight of Nancy and I leaning a dead body over an almost full bucket of blood nestled between his knees and screamed. She spun and ran out of the room.

    “Who the hell was that?” Nancy said, annoyed.

    I shrugged. “Never seen her before in my life.”

    The secretary appeared five seconds later.

    “What did you say to her?” Her eyes grew as wide as saucers. “Good God, what the hell are you two vampires doing in here?” She cried.

    “Draining the blood out of a dead body into a bucket, of course.” Said Nancy. “What´s the problem?”

    “What´s the prob….” She stammered. “Are you f—king kidding me? It looks like a horror movie! No wonder the Neuro nurse ran out of here screaming something about having a migraine and needing to go home.”

    “Wait. That was my nurse?” I interrupted. “Shit.” I looked at Nancy. “You got this?”

    She nodded. I let go of the body and ran out of the room, through the front door and spotted her running down the hall.

    “Wait! Wait! It´s not what it looks like!” I yelled after her as I ran, sounding like a man having been caught by his wife while naked in the marital bed with a stripper.

    She didn´t slow at all. She looked over her shoulder. “Tell the supervisor I got a migraine and had to go home!”

    I flew past the hospital visitors in the hallway. “Stop! Come back! I can explain!” Knowing full well that there was no way in hell I would be able to explain what she saw. Damn Nancy! She had done it to me again.

    I finally lost her around a corner. I dragged myself resignedly back to the ICU. I paged the nursing supervisor. I picked up the phone when she called back.

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    Part 2:
    “Um, do you have another nurse you can send me?” I asked her sheepishly.

    “What? What do you mean another nurse? What happened to the one I sent you?” She said sharply.

    “Uh, she seems to have run away.” I cringed when I said it.

    “Run away! She was there for two minutes! I told you to be nice. What in the hell could you possibly have done to her to make her run away in two minutes?”

    “It was all Nancy´s idea.” I said defensively.

    “Nancy!” The nursing supervisor shouted into the phone. She had worked with us for years before getting promoted and she knew us all well. “Are you trying to tell me you went along with one of Nancy´s harebrained schemes?”

    “Yes.” I said dejectedly.

    “Are you crazy? Do I even want to know what you two did?”

    I watched Nancy contentedly pushing the stretcher past me with her patient´s body, heading to the morgue.

    I heaved a big sigh. “No. I really don´t think you want to know.”

    “Well I don´t have anyone else for you, so now you get to stay here for another twelve hours taking care of that nice easy patient that you were going to give to the float nurse. Good luck.” She slammed down the phone.

    Damn Nancy.

    EDIT: Before I have every young doctor and nurse write to me about VADs: “But Abiomed, but Thoratec, but…but Heartmate!” I know. This story took place circa 1995, and it was the first generation VADS, long before they became small and cute and portable and people could go skiing with their hearts hanging out of their bodies. Ours were huge and clunky and unwieldy and if you had the misfortune to be put on one you had around a 95% mortality rate and you had to be heparinized within an inch of your life for it to work. I was even part of the pilot program for the first “portable” VAD, although it was huge, and on wheels. Our first patient in Virginia asked us to fit it for a gun rack.

    Yes, we made a lot of jokes – You might be a redneck it you want a gun rack on your artificial heart… Just saying….

  12. #12

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    Takes some stones to donate like that and I take my hat off to you. Wishing you a speedy recovery!

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    Finally got a call from the committee of Idiots and they have decided to use my stem cells! Don starts his Chemo again Sunday and gets my stem cells the next Friday!!! Although it still feels like Chuck Berry and Hunter Thompson got together to write my life for the last month at least I maybe did what I came here to do!!!
    Dusty

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    Quote Originally Posted by DustyDave View Post
    Finally got a call from the committee of Idiots and they have decided to use my stem cells! Don starts his Chemo again Sunday and gets my stem cells the next Friday!!! Although it still feels like Chuck Berry and Hunter Thompson got together to write my life for the last month at least I maybe did what I came here to do!!!
    Dusty
    Thank God for that... really pleased you got a result.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DustyDave View Post
    Finally got a call from the committee of Idiots and they have decided to use my stem cells!
    In fairness, they were busy hiding in rodeo barrels for a week or so there..

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