Winner Winner Chicken . . . shit happens.
In many ways I am a fortunate person, I have numerous blessings to count. But when it comes to what most of us think of as luck, let’s just say mine makes me wonder what karma I might be working off in this lifetime.
I don’t gamble because I never win. I don’t speculate or play the stock market because I’m usually wrong. It’s a guarantee that I can cause the temperature to drop and rain to fall wherever I go on vacation. Little things, first world problems.
I have a sort of backwards luck. I never win any kind of lotteries or drawings with valuable prizes, but when I was called on for a month of jury duty, my name was drawn from the juror pool for every single trial on the docket. Go figure.
A few days ago, I was treated to my third ride inside an ambulance. Being a writer, everything that happens in my life is an opportunity to write about it—write what you know, after all. So, there I was, in the back of an ambulance for the third time in my life, thinking about how many people there are who never see the inside of an ambulance even once, making mental notes of details, trying out sentences in my head, looking for themes – like who rides in an ambulance three times when there are no life threatening circumstances?
None of the three times I found myself strapped into a gurney for this bumpy ride (seriously, our roads need some attention) was I at death’s door, or even remotely close. But you don’t get much of a choice as to whether or not you’re taking that ambulance ride when being unloaded from a ball of mangled steel, or picked up off the pavement.
As I said, my blessings are many—bad luck is being struck by a car as a pedestrian, and involved in a head on collision on the freeway. Good fortune is sustaining only minor injuries in both accidents.
This time, it all started with a scheduled, minimally invasive screening procedure, one I’ve had before. The first odd thing was seeing another writer I know from the group I attend, sitting in the day surgery waiting room. It was a surprise to both of us.
The next odd thing was the power outage in the day surgery wing, and that despite being in the dark, they kept escorting patients from the waiting room into prep rooms. But the power came back on and things progressed as expected.
Later that day, my writer friend and I chatted online, comparing notes. Just to prove what I said about writers considering everything that happens to them fodder for their work, she said it would probably make a good Columbo type story, two writers show up in the same OR – the lights go out, something untoward happens and there is a mystery to solve.
Be cautious around writers, be very, very cautious. We are always taking notes.
The third odd occurrence of the day was the onset of after-pain—there is not supposed to be pain. I shared this with my friend. She said she was in no pain. So, I checked with my sister, who’s had the procedure numerous times. Not once had she ever experienced any after-pain.
It was a mild pain, but it wasn’t going away, and maybe it was getting worse. I knew the possible serious complications, and this was all becoming rather concerning.
Here’s the thing: When you are older (like I am) and you live a good distance from the nearest medical facility (like I do), and you think that the blood pressure cuff and the oxygen/pulse meter you have for these times might be faulty, because if it’s not you really should be passed out colder than a fish according to the numbers you’re seeing—well, they tell you it’s okay to call for first responders just to have them use their equipment and make sure your vitals aren’t tanking.
They tell you that, but then when they show up with the ambulance and four guys with serious looks, telling you they really think it would be wise for you to go into emergency, especially in light of the procedure you had earlier and the symptoms you are having . . .
And that’s how I found myself inside an ambulance for the third time in my life, thinking, what are the odds?
The ER doc didn’t seem as concerned as the paramedics. He thought anxiety was probably the cause of my irregular heartbeat—that’s what he called it, just an irregular heart beat. It felt more like the Alien trying to punch it’s way through my chest wall, but whatever.
The pain in my abdomen, however, required a CAT scan to make sure nothing was oozing or leaking or poisoning me. This was all way more fun than I want to have for a while.
Turns out, I likely have a rare, extremely rare, syndrome that mimics all the symptoms of the life-threatening, possible complications of the procedure perpetrated on me. Lucky me to be the one in a gazillion—Winner Winner! Treatment for this false warning includes fluids, bed rest, and antibiotics.
Just once, couldn’t I beat the odds in a cash lottery, or the progressive slots at the casino? Couldn’t I be awed by my luck of having a published piece go viral? Because, I already have more You won’t believe what happened to me stories to last the rest of my life, thank you.