Monday, January 25, 2016

A Jonas Heart

So, this past Tuesday I woke up with a minor irritation in the left side of my chest. I didn’t like it, so I ignored the persistent ache. What else is one supposed to do?
            I went on about my days, working as best as I could and telling myself that I just had a bad case of indigestion. To be truthful, I knew something was wrong, the machinations of my daily routine were limited by the chronic, constant pain that radiated from the center of my chest to under my left arm. Picking things up and putting them down, part of my daily routine, caused me to pause each time the need arose and to derive a new and unique solution to the task at hand.
            By the time Thursday arrived, a day I don’t have to work two jobs, I was glad I would be able to basically sit in my office, work on small motors and mechanics or just sit at my computer and do curatorial work. The day went by pretty smoothly, I listened to some great music on my record player as I went about my duties. The pain, still constant, was not irritated at all. When I got home that night, all I wanted to do was lie on my couch in a semi-comfortable position and try to breathe.
            Oh, did I forget to mention the pain with every breath? Ya, there was that too. If I took a too deep breath my body would be wracked with a series of sharp pains. I found a position, partially sitting up, partially on my side, a blanket to keep me warm and the television clicker in my hand I quickly found myself dozing off into the land of nod.
            Friday marked the arrival of snowstorm Jonas. Everything in my area closed early, I was summoned by my offspring to pick her up from school. I drove there, in pain and against my better judgement. When my child asked to go to a fast food place for lunch, I asked her if it was okay if we went straight home. I didn’t feel good. She accepted this and to home we went.
            By five pm, the pain was worse, my daughter, my wife and my mother all pestered me to the hospital. I did.
            Within thirty minutes of being in the emergency room I had received an EKG a chest x-ray and the privilege of expedited service. It wasn’t long before I was escorted to a small room, hooked up to a bunch of machines, poked, prodded, ultra-sounded and visited by doctors, nurses and several assistants. Eventually, one nurse, I’ll call him “Blondie” came in and administered me a shot of morphine. It took the edge of pain away with a dizzying head rush that shook the foundation of my reality. This feeling only lasted a moment, then my body acclimated to the toxin and allowed it to do the job it had been injected for.
            My pain subsided, but not by much. I still couldn’t get comfortable. The lights in the room were too bright, the painting on the wall, a watercolor of a beach scene, had streaks of paint on it where some type of fluid had been splattered all over it. I tried to not think what fluids had caused the streaks. However, looking up from where I lay I could see where the small, colorful, dried drips had ended their journey on the bottom of the frame. The paint had mixed together when it was wet, and when it dried, they formed round, black spots with a pale blue corona around them. They looked like a dozen little eyeballs staring at me, mocking me in their smug dried fashion. As if they knew my future and I didn’t. Black eyes with blue coronas withholding the knowledge I needed to make it through the night. I flipped off the disembodied eyes in my mind and tried to ignore them. What the hell did they know? They were born in a mass market paint shop where the artists are given only one color to smear across a never ending conveyor of canvases. Yeah, what the hell does a ruined painting know?
            Not long later Blondie comes back in, injects me with another shot, tells me what the drug is and walks away.
            I send my wife and child out for food. I sit in the room and hope for the best. In almost no time I began to feel better. By the time my family came back from getting food, I was sitting up and moving parts of my body did not cause me undue pain. After an hour or two the doc cut me loose and I was on my way home.
            Seven hours had passed.
            I arrived home with a prescription, a note to rest and not exert myself and the so called storm of the year bearing down on us. So I did the only thing I could do. I went to bed and slept for twelve hours.
            Throughout this whole ordeal I tried to be as cordial as I could. I even thought long and hard on whether or not to post what was going on in my life on social media. I eventually decided it couldn’t hurt, so I did. The outpouring of concern, care and interest was overwhelming to me. I thank everyone who reached out and expressed concern and are still expressing concern.

            That is it for now, I hope you all had a good week and that the storm Jonas did not affect you too badly.

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