Saturday, September 24, 2005

Medical Clearance, Wisdom Teeth, and a trip to the Emergency Room

This Monday, September 19th to be exact, I recieved a letter from the Peace Corps giving me medical clearance!!! This is a huge step in the process and one that usually takes the longest and is the most difficult to achieve. The reason for this: the peace corps examines EVERYTHING in your medical background to ensure that there will be no problems in the 2 years while you serve. My clearence does have one condition. That I be near psychiatric help if need be. This stipulation comes because I have been on Paxil 3 times in my life, most recently in 2002 when I accepted my first teaching job at Morristown (go Yellowjackets!) a week before school started and accepted the lead role in Jekyll and Hyde. I knew I was going to be in a stressful situation so I had my mom call our family doctor to prescribe Paxil in an effort to help me get through a difficult situation. I was on the medication for about 3 months. There was no psychiatric counseling either before or after. I didn't even go to see the doctor for crying out loud. I just needed the drugs. They had worked for me in the past and I knew that they would work again to get me through a tough spot. If you are looking into joining the peace corps here's a big word of advice: be careful what you list on your medical history. If you struggle w/ depression and have serious bouts and have thoughts of suicide, then yes, you should disclose that. You could do yourself more harm than good if they place you in the middle of Africa and you are DAYS away from getting you counseling or meds. But on the other hand, if it wasn't a BIG deal, if you were only on anti-depressants because you were in a rough situation (relationship breakup, school, career, family, etc) just be aware that the PC will THOROUGHLY investigate. So make sure it's a big deal before you list it. October 8th. If i haven't recieved my formal invitation by then I probably won't leave until next spring. The PC has 'windows' throughout the year when they send people and when they don't and the spring is the most active time, winter the slowest. I'm still waiting on a decision from my brother Andy as to whether he will live in the house until it sells if I leave before I have a buyer. I also ran into Bobo the other day and he suggested the possibility of he and Jennifer moving in for a time until it sells and they can find a house of their own. In the mean time, I'll just pray that it sells before then. I've had several lookers, but no buyers. I got my wisdom teeth out yesterday. My dentist suggested I get them out, but what i found out this week is that it is manditory for PCVs to get those out before they leave. I had all 4 removed and had it done at the IU Hospital in Indy. The process wasn't bad, the top teeth came out easier than the lowers. It was mildly uncomfortable but overall not bad. The real drama started that night. My mother called and asked if I should be home (in Rushville) so someone could keep an eye on me for 24 hours. "I'm fine, Mom. I feel great. I'll be ok, trust me." I ate soup, yougert and icecream while i watched "My Best Friends Wedding" and then went to bed around 8pm. At 10:15 I woke up and went down stairs to get some gauze. I could tell I was still bleeding and swallowing blood, so I wanted to try to get that stopped w/ some gauze. I stopped to go to the bathroom while down stairs and started to feel light headed. I get that way if I get up too fast and I didnt' think much of it. I put my hand on the wall because I could feel myslef getting dizzy. It was getting worse and I could feel myself blacking out, so I went down on my knees and then immedialtly I laid flat on the lanolium floor, head spinning, sweating profusely, unable to move or speak. I was FREAKED OUT! Mark, my roommate, wasn't home. My phone was upstairs. All i could think was that I needed help and I needed it now. I faught passing out but I could feel my body shutting down. "Get upstairs! Get to the phone! Call 911!" Thoughts that raced through my head. The lanolium felt cool and good agains my burning skin. I mustered up strength and turned on the fauced and splashed water in my face and then went immediatly back down to the floor, knowing i didn't have enough strength to get up the stairs. I barely had enough to stay awake. I laid there for what seemed like a few moments and then decided that my only chance at getting help was to force myself to get up the stairs. Maybe i crawled, maybe i walked, i don't remember, but i made it to the stairs, where i collapsed again. Rested for a few and then decided I MUST get up there. I prayed, "God, help me! Just help me! I need Your strength now for mere survival." I lugged up the steps and into my bedroom crashing onto the bed and grabbing the phone. I must have hit my hed on the bedpost because i had a small pool of blood on my sheets, but I didn't notice. I was too far gone. I grabbed the cell phone thinking, "i just need to dial 911 and give my location." I pushed the buttons and noticed i had dialed 9-1-1-1 instead. Cleared the phone and dialed again. "Where is your emergency?" I gave my address. "What is the problem?" "Need an... ambulance. About... to pass out" I could feel my strength starting to come back but i was terribly weak. I wanted to get the front door unlocked for the EMTs so I gathered up strenght and made it downstairs and unlocked the door. Upon arriving they started asking me questions. "what's your name? what happened?" They took my blood pressure which was something like 45/65 and my blood sugar which I think they said was 58. Both very low. They got me on a stretcher and wheeled me out to the ambulance. Hooked me up to an IV and started me to the hospital. I was feeling better by then but still very exhausted and weak. Upon arriving at the hospital I was very cold. I had been there 5 minutes when I saw a big guy in a blue shirt and glasses walk by. "Bobo!" I yelled out. It was my good friend Jason Cain who was a volunteer fireman in Mays. He looked at me funny, asked me why I was there and I did the same. I guess there was a volunteer fireman who had a brain tumor and he needed to be transported to Indy and he wanted his crew to transport him. Bobo asked if I wanted him to call my folks and I told him to go ahead. My dad and brother came in around 1:30am to take me home (Rushville). The prognosis: Vicodin. Though I had taken the prescribed amount, because I'm such a light weight and a runner which means my pulse is slow anyway, It was too much for my body to handle. It wasn't an alergic reacion, but i haven't taken any since. It was very scarry. To be home alone, away from a phone, unable to move or cry for help. It made me think of the elderly who break their hips and wait for hours/days for help. It made me think of Africa and what would have happened to me if this happened over there?? I'm fine now. Weary but fine. More conscious about what I put into my body and more thankful for God, friends and family who are always there, especially when I need them.


At 26 September, 2005, Blogger Jennifer Noble said...

I'm glad you're ok.

At 26 September, 2005, Blogger darrelkline61791025 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 03 October, 2005, Anonymous Karen Thompson said...

Jacob Harris gave me your link. Sounds like God is doing some interesting things in your life. I pray that everything works out with the Peace Corps. Take care!

At 03 October, 2005, Blogger cory said...


right on with the med clearence. and the drug thing might work out. i don't know what kind of assignment you're being considered for, but you might not want to be too far out anyway.

bummer on the emergency, but it all makes for great stories later

At 06 October, 2005, Blogger ashby said...

Fat guys never have trouble with the Vicodin. Troy and I sometimes eat them for fun.


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