16 April 2007


My INR is 5.5! Yay! (That was sarcasm. It's actually a little screwed up, it's supposed to be between 2-3. Ah well. I heard that it takes time to get blood stabilised with Coumadin.)

Somewhat regarding the medical situation, I talked to Snow about it. He's so awesome. There aren't too many out there like him anymore. I mean it's always good to have an "in", but he doesn't even expect anything back for it. He's just being genuinely sweet. I'm not sure he realises how much I appreciate it.

And really, what sucks most about all of this is that with all the medical drama going on, I barely got to see my sister for spring break. Now I guess I'll have to make the move to see her now...which will be awesome of course but still. Timing was really, incredibly sucky for all this. (I remember Ecclesiastes 3:1-10, of course but somehow it doesn't seem to apply here.) Maybe I'll fly out to see Amme this summer...? If I buy tickets now, it won't be too bad.

One upshot: I got a card from my aunt and uncle overseas today. :D It totally brightened my whole afternoon.

12 April 2007

Pissed off.

My foreman, Mike, took me aside and showed me a letter from my attending physician during my hospital stay, addressed to the office safety coordinator for my contractor. It gave information about my stay at the hospital and reiterated that there were absolutely no restrictions placed upon me in returning to work. Mike mentioned that I might want to cover myself, in case. He was given it by the field safety coordinator. So I called him, and talked with him.

I meant to lay it out how I'm willing and able to work, that it's just a process getting my blood stabilised. And he hit me with "I know all about your disorder..." and proceeded to give me the talk: "Legally no one can tell you this, but maybe you might want to consider a career change" et cetera and that really shocked me. I always took him for a company man, of course but this was a little extreme. It made me wonder if he had requested that info from the attending physician. And I don't know what pisses me off more: the fact that someone working for my contractor requested it behind my back, or the fact that this doctor actually sent it. I'm asking my foreman for a copy, this is bullshit.

11 April 2007


This is just...not fun. I should be at school right now. But Javier sent me home, I was having trouble just being there. Overly fatigued, light-headed, nauseous. He gave me a freebie so I wouldn't lose my grade point average for taking an absence. This week has been grueling.

First, I think it's less the Coumadin and more the Innohep that's making me feel this way. Thankfully I got my last injection of that today, even though my INR is only at 1.4 but they doubled my dose of Coumadin so it should equal out. Work is a blur: I told my foreman I felt unsafe on a ladder and he's letting me do ground work but my journeyman is hassling me a little about it. But I don't care, I won't work unsafely. There's plenty to do that doesn't require a ladder. The only thing is, the attending physician released me to work with no restrictions so I'm a little worried...does she know I'm a construction worker? Does she know I'm on the Innohep? I doubt it. I hate when docs make judgements on limited information.

However, I did talk to one of the assistant directors at the JATC and one of the owners for my contractor and they both said things were good so long as I'm up-front and bring in all my notes and keep them aware of when I'll be missing time. That, at least, makes me feel better. I also showed my foreman and the field safety coordinator my documentation, so I don't think there's a problem. I just want to get back to feeling functional.

07 April 2007

So: I'm home.

Some of you already know, I'm here to give the full story so there are no worries.

I left work by ambulance Thursday morning right after break. I couldn't speak, couldn't walk, my pulse was wildly different between both arms, and I had an irregular heartbeat. They took me to Sunrise Hospital under "Code 100" which ensured I got proper care. It turns out I had a stroke. A mild one, yes, but still: it scared the crap out of me. The ambulance driver gave me the "This isn't a joke, you can die from this" talk. That, after he struggled to figure out my cell phone; I'd programmed it in French (for practice and so it would be less likely stolen) and he couldn't find my phone's internal phone book.

Very luckily, the neuroscience team worked quickily and that helped to reverse the effects. I was speaking some and had regained alot of the strength on my left side after 10 hours. After 24 hours I was mostly back to normal. Some stuttering when I'm excited and some words don't come like they should but for the most part, aside from extreme fatigue, I'm good.

Interesting thing: the medical director of the stroke unit did a "bubble" test on me, which takes a while to explain but anyway, it confirmed his suspicions of "patent foramen ovale" which basically means I have some kind of opening or hole between the atria in my heart. Mix that with a clotting problem and there you have it: instant fun.

Good news is, all that finally convinced the Hematology Board to put me on Coumadin. I know there are plenty of issues with adjusting and I'll have to get an INR log and things like that but I finally feel like I'm being taken seriously now. I'm just happy it wasn't more devastating. It could have been so much worse.

So now, I'm being weaned off the heparin as my body learns to accomodate the Coumadin; so for the next 6 days I have to get stomach injections. The nurse on my unit tried to harpoon me and the bruise is immense but at the shot clinic today it was better. I just hope I won't have problems at work. Injections and venous lab draws every day? They won't like that. A little worried there.

And on top of that, this happened on Tannah's and my 11th anniversary. Spending it on the telemetry unit just sucked. But again: it could have been worse. I have to remember the small blessings, too.

03 April 2007

"Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose."

[Je remercie Rush, pour des paroles.]
J'ai besoin de saigner. Je ne sais pas d'autres mots..."l'haine" est quelque chose que la plupart des personnes peuvent comprendre. Je ne veux pas admettre les raisons, jamais. Il y a seulement une raison, vraiment, mais je ne peux pas accepter rien excepté mes propres mensonges. Tannah sait, je pense. Il sait la plupart mais je maintiens toujours mes secrets dans mon coeur; et ça fait mal. Je souhaite juste que j'aie su une manière de blesser différemment. Parfois, il semble comme je mourais déjà, et je ne me rappelle pas quand. Je sais que je devrais vivre, dans Dieu, mais quelque chose m'élude. Celui qu'il soit, j'en veux.

02 April 2007

Way too many this year so far.

Another construction accident today...thankfully, no deaths this time. It was at Sky, a condominium tower just north of the Circus Circus. Sometime after 11h00, a crew was bleeding a gas line and something sparked an explosion on the 4th floor. I know two guys were taken to UMC's Burn Unit and one guy to Sunrise...I just can't help but to think what a tragedy this is, even without deaths. It just seems that in the past six months, there were more construction accidents than in the past couple years combined. I mean sure, I remember when I was at the Wynn, there were a few electrical deaths, all from arc flash, I think. And then those guys who died in the middle of July (all in the same week!) from dehydration a few years ago, and we had a safety meeting focusing on proper hydration. Nonetheless, it just seems needless, all of these accidents. I wonder if complacency played a part.

01 April 2007

Poisson d'Avril and the best prank ever!

Tenno called up Mada earlier and said excitedly into the phone, "Hey did you hear? The Luxor's on fire!" Now honestly, Vegas has had a few really brutal brush fires in the recent past, including one that nearly destroyed Shenandoah (Wayne Newton's estate). And there were some high-profile casino fires too; one at the Stratosphere during construction, and one at the MGM Grand that killed over 80 people and injured nearly 700 in November of 1980. So it wasn't entirely unbelievable.

Anyway, Mada seemed both amazed and confused, so Tenno went on to explain that the huge million watt lamp at the top of the pyramid had burst and the fire was contained to the tip of the structure, but the entire Strip was engulfed in thick smoke. However, he went on to elaborate that the glow from the flames could be seen from space, as was reported by Russian cosmonauts, and that made Mada check the news stations. When he told Tenno nothing was being broadcast about it locally, Tenno told him it was being broadcast nationally only, as the local authorities feared tourist panic. Tannah and I could scarcely hold our hysterics as Tenno insisted that Mada watch CNN for the latest developments.

Completely aside, but somewhat along the same lines, I logged onto my laptop and my home page is Yahoo! France...partially because I have a .fr email account so that's where I log in. Anyway, the news section was full of crazy news stories, like the French presidential election being postponed indefinitely. I clicked on the link and it took me to a page full of articles about "Poisson d'Avril" and I was like, what the hell is this? What does fish have to do with it? I went back and clicked a different link for the same story and it brought me right back. Then, spontaneously I remembered eating foil-wrapped chocolate fish for April Fool's Day in high school French class and it made sense. Nothing's more enlightening than being duped in another language.

(For the record, Google has a pretty decent one, too.)