Thursday, May 18, 2006

Six More Miles to the Graveyard...

As some of you may know, I have been having problems with pains in my hands and left arm. Sometimes it gets into my left leg. The doctors all think it is a pinched nerve in my neck and lower back. I am up for an MRI next weekend. So we'll soon figure it out.

But then...

Last night, I when I got home from work I took my wife to a local Mexican restaurant for dinner. We had a great time. I had some fajitas and a margarita. We split a desert and headed home. It was probably 95 degrees still outside. When we got back I went to my Apple computer to import music to my iPod. I have been working on this project from time to time. I was sitting in my chair, playing my guitar along to the new Red Hot Chili Peppers album. Suddenly I felt weird. My left arm felt dead and I couldn't play my guitar. My leg also felt strange. I just remember getting up and leaving the computer to go outside. My wife and sister in law were in the front room and they both said I didn't look well and I was limping. I walked outside hobbling around the yard staring at the plants and stuff. My wife and sister in law herded me back inside. My wife handed me a glass of water and insisted I sit. After about 15 minutes or so I called the hospital who then begged me to call 911. I refused and said my wife would drive me. We went straight to the emergency room.

I checked in and had a seat. We waited for an hour and a half to see triage. When I finally got in my blood pressure was 183 over 90 which pretty much means my heart was cranked up a few notches. I hobbled out of there to wait some more thinking it'd be another half an hour or so. They pulled me right in. I was told to get into a gown. They put me in a bed. The doctor came in and gave me a neurologic exam. Then a lady came and took blood. Then another lady came and stuck an EKG machine to me. It was hard to sit still because I was shaking a bit. I was freezing. Then the lady came back to draw more blood. Then the doctor came back and said he was gonna run more tests and that I should drink a ton of water. Then a nurse came in and hooked me up to a heart monitor. And then they all left for a while. Every 15 minutes the machine took my blood pressure.

And there I was laying there in my gown and underwear. My wife was sitting next to me with her computer. All this expensive equipment and all these tests. I watched as older folks walked by my room. They were all in bad shape. I thought about how it would be tough to be that old. The curtains around the hospital bed had some pretty colors on them. Most of the time I sat singing a song off one of the Mike Ness solo albums, a Hank Williams song called Six More Miles...

Six More Miles Lyrics (with chords):

(g) oh the rain is slowly fallin’,
And my (c) heart is so (g) sore,
Six more (c) miles and leave my (g) darlin’,
Never on this earth to (d7) meet no (g) more.


(g) six more miles (c) to the (g) graveyard,
Six more miles, long and (d7) sad,
Six more (g) miles and (c) leave my (g) darlin’,
Leave the best (c) friend, I ever (g) had.

(g) oh I hear the train a-comin’,
Bringin’ my (c) darlin’ back (g) home,
Six more (c) miles, to the (g) graveyard,
And I’ll be left here (d7) all a- (g) lone.

Repeat chorus

This verse not on record, but in both early song books:

Left her in that lonely church yard,
Left my darlin’ alone,
Now I’m sad, my heart is cryin’,
As I wander thru life alone.

At about 1:30 am this morning the doctor came back. I guess I passed all the tests with flying colors. He admitted he was stumped. He gave some scientific name of some mild type of stroke which would be consistent with the type of symptoms I had but ruled it out because I am 32, skinny and in pretty much good, and nothing in any of my blood work indicated it. If I had some disease or something he'd have found it. My blood pressure was a calm 120 over 70. He discharged me.

So in a sense it was really good news. I don't feel like I did yesterday evening. I feel a whole lot better today. But I am a bit baffled as to what happened and hope it doesn't happen again.

My poor wife, I think that was the 7th time she's taken me to the ER in the 6 years we've been married. It felt good seeing the sun this morning.

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