Hello again, and I hope everyone is having a great Monday.
This is another excerpt from my personal journal. The following was written in April of 2011, and describes the happenings of July 8, 2010. This particular day was a vertical romp of immense emotional instability for me. Putting it in different terms, it was a frigging electric shock to my goat fuse box that had me running through the wild kingdom’s dictionary of altered emotions.
Anyway, thanks for putting up with the ramblings of said goat.
Take good care.
July 8, 2010
Lynne and I arrived at St. Joseph’s hospital in Bangor that Thursday afternoon around 2:30. We went in, found the Hyperbaric Unit, and sat down for a preliminary interview with one of the nurses. During the interview, she asked me if I smoked, and I said yes. She seemed troubled by this and asked me when the last time I had a cigarette was. I told her about a couple hours ago. At first they didn’t want me to have the treatment because of the underlying health concerns related to smoke and the lungs. The capillaries in the lungs would be greatly affected by the treatments and having them laden with nicotine was of great concern. I don’t know why, but they agreed to let me proceed with the treatments. My heart sank and lifted again in a matter of seconds. I don’t know how I kept from going through a mental break down, because I sure felt like I was going to. Take my emotions and put them over here, then again over there, and then yank them back over here again. Thank you, and yes, tug them back now. There you go. No, not there, over in the next room. There, much better.
I really felt as though the treatments would have a positive effect on me. I felt it in my heart that there was something that would rescue me from my dark corridor of despair. Something had to get me the hell out of here, and this had to be it. It had to be.
I felt so good, and so full of faith and hope. My God how far could my emotions swing? There had to be a limit.
I was told to undress into a Johnny and then I was slid into the chamber. There was a 2-way intercom set up in the chamber so that I could communicate with the head nurse during the procedure. I was excited and scared and hopeful and fearful and just plain worn out. The session started with the oxygen level pressurizing to 100 percent oxygen. This took roughly 20 minutes and during the whole time my ears were closing tight. It was rather painful after a few minutes. I had to keep clearing my ears every 30 seconds or so. The speaker was hooked up to a TV in the room, so I could hear it. The whole while I was reaching 100 percent oxygen, or as they call it, “going down”, the nurse was talking to me to make sure that I was doing ok. I made it down all the way, and then my ears felt fine. I stayed at 100 percent for roughly 1.5 hours and then they brought me back up to normal air levels.
I could have sworn that while I was in the chamber, my eyesight was doing some weird stuff. I could see bursts of light and shades of contrast that I could not before. I started crying a few times because I felt as though I was getting some kind of positive results happening. I don’t know now that I received any positive happenings from the treatments. I guess maybe that I was convincing myself that something good was going on inside my head. I was just so damn hopeful.
I came out of the chamber certain that I had received some benefit from the procedure. The Doctor came in the room and was very inquisitive as to the results. She did seem sort of disappointed after she realized that there was no major changes in my sight. I tried to convince her of the certain improvements that I had convinced myself of. This had to work, right? It just had to.
There was a feeling that I was going through. I felt as though I might have to lie to her so that she would continue the treatments. If she knew, or thought that there was no positive results at all, maybe she would terminate the sessions. She would terminate any chance of me seeing again. I needed to convince her that something good had happened. She had to understand.
I look back now and wonder if I was being completely truthful or not. Was I stretching the facts? Was I suffering from some sort of delusion of reality? Had I convinced myself that something good had happened when it hadn’t? Was I grasping for a little more hope?
I know now that what I was experiencing was my last grasp at sight. My last chance to see my world again. My last chance to control my destiny. My last chance at a normal life. As normal as I could ever perceive it to be that is. Pitiful how we think we are in total control of anything. We are in such non-control that it is funny.
Well, I left the hospital that afternoon feeling that after 3 or 4 more treatments, I would start to see some good results. I would get some of my sight back. I was sure of it.
The McDonald’s food, sadly so, calmed my nerves on the ride home.
Another sightless day was winding down, and tomorrow’s forecast looked like another roller coaster for sure.
To be continued…