I’m back in the SCV at last. Seems like forever. It was four months. So I get to the Thousand Trails resort in Acton and get set up. Have a quiet night. Monday I do a few chores and try to enjoy being home. Didn’t have any energy.
My left leg hurt like all get-out. It was sore and red. Took a picture and sent it to a friend by messenger. She said to get my butt to the emergency room immediately. I took a shower and lollygagged down the 14 to Valencia. Checked into the emergency room and Henry Mayo Hospital. They looked at my leg and gave me near-top priority. By 1:30 a.m. I was in a room and had antibiotics coursing through my bloodstream.
Just in time, it turns out.
A few things were and are happening to my body that aren’t so good. It appears I have Type-2 diabetes. Blood pressure is a bit high, too. Triglycerides are off the chart. While bad cholesterol is low, the good kind is low, too. So my guess is, the diabetes caused the foot problem that allowed the staph germs to get inside me and started to get my leg ready for worse stuff. Like blood clots. Swelling. Looking like a cooked lobster. Little bits of poison were spreading all over. Had I ignored the “order” to get to the hospital, my body may have been found this past week. Bloated in the heat. Stinking. Ugly.
As I turned from Newhall Ranch Road to McBean, I had the thought, What if someone on staff has read what I wrote before about Henry Mayo and wanted revenge? Silly me, I forged ahead.
Now, the construction going on makes it a bit of a challenge to find the emergency room and park. I found the lot and the door to go in. Within a couple of minutes I as being seen by a doctor. Next thing I know, I’m in a hospital room and an IV has been started to inject lots of antibiotics into me. Four large doses per day. They draw blood. Lots of blood. Vampire City amounts of blood. I’m given pills for all manner of things. I think I had a pill that helps me remember the pills I need to take.
I’ve spent the week watching the red on my left leg recede from my groin to my knee and now below that. The swelling is going down, too. I might have legs of the same size and color again soon. I can only hope.
I know, just a few years back I stated I’d rather go to a good vet than have to go to Henry Mayo. That was one of the kinder statements I made.
Well, read it here and now, folks: I WAS WRONG. Very, very wrong.
Not that everything has run really smoothly during my visit. I can be a bit demanding. Like telling me what procedures and medicines I am involved with before I do or take them.
Communications can be somewhat important. This old sailor likes to know the pitfalls and reasons things are being done to me. I can then learn and grow. But if I don’t know the why something is happening, I get riled up. It isn’t pleasant to anyone around.
So, to the nursing staff that had to listen to at least two of my tirades, please forgive. I held back my sailor words. Please understand how difficult that was.
Staring at the front door of the emergency room to my location tonight, nearly five days later, I can say that Henry Mayo has just about the best nursing staff I’ve ever encountered. They can’t seem to do enough for me and for every patient they contact … every day. Whatever they are doing, it looks as if they are always doing something. Non-stop. It is as if they don’t want to stop, or maybe can’t stop. The CNAs, LVNs, RNs and all do what nurses to best: take care of patients with compassion and caring, no matter what.
The doctors figured out what was wrong, and the nurses had to take the actions they said to take. And a little more. Day after day.
Getting an IV in me isn’t easy. I’m what they call a “hard stick.” It wasn’t easy, but they got it done. Took a while, but they didn’t stop. As they were looking for a vein, they would keep saying how sorry it was that they were hurting me. Well, it did hurt a little but, it is the job they have to do.
I wouldn’t be here today if Jayne hadn’t seen the picture of my leg and told me to get my “butt” to the hospital.
I wouldn’t be here today if the emergency room staff hadn’t acted quickly and efficiently.
I wouldn’t be here today if the doctors hadn’t done what was necessary to start me healing.
I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for the best damn nursing staff west of the Mississippi River.
Henry Mayo is doing well for me. I’m alive. I’m going to learn how to live with the diabetes thing.
They worked too hard for me not to learn healthy living. They can’t always be around me, so I’ve got to take care of myself. It is the only self I have.
Thanks to everyone at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, especially the nursing staff.
Of course, I’ve said this before getting my bill. Whatever that is will be worth it.
Darryl Manzer grew up in the Pico Canyon oil town of Mentryville in the 1960s and attended Hart High School. After a career in the U.S. Navy he returned to live in the Santa Clarita Valley. He can be reached at email@example.com and his commentaries, published on Sundays, are archived at DManzer.com. Watch his walking tour of Mentryville [here].