Exactly one week to the day, on Sunday, July 29, 2018, before 8am, once again; for only the second time in my entire life, I gave up and decided to drag myself in to the Emergency Department with a severe case of food poisoning.
Funny when you tell people that you’re just coming out of what feels like a near-death, then past-death experience, the first thing they want to know is what did you eat, and from where?
In hindsight, I know exactly what happened, how it went down, where, and how it went!
First and foremost, but not over and above public health and safety, as an entrepreneur, I’m not one to mess with people’s livelihood. So my first move in the aftermath, was not to go straight to full blast!
From a licensed premises point of view, mandated to follow strict regulations in the interest of public health and safety, I will hold them to the fire, but NOT from an adversarial point of view.
I will speak to the proprietor, who is married to the daughter of a long-time family friend. I wish them no ill will, but as a licensed food outlet, I will bring it to their attention with my medical bills!
We’ll start and go from there, to ensure that this doesn’t ever happen to anyone else ever again!
I also promised my attending physician that once I got through this hellish nightmare, I was also going to talk about him, and all the hospital staff I encountered that dreadful morning.
That was 48 hours into barfing, restarting from the minute I dragged my sorry self through those sliding doors. Trust and believe – it wasn’t PRETTY!
I was way beyond screw-face when my eyes first met hers – the woman sitting at the front desk.
She took one look at me and pointed her finger towards the glass window, so I hobbled myself over there and flopped down in the chair.
The woman behind the glass pushed me through in an instant. By the time I got up and turned around, there was this tall, dark brown, lean specimen of man, with not a single ounce of fat on his tall frame.
He had what seemed like two never ending long arms swaying side to side as he walked my way, with this glittering gold watch or something on one of wrists.
He was well-groomed with a beard, moustache, sideburns and haircut that was tight! And then I caught a whiff of heaven revisited as he directed me into the Triage Room.
I closed my eyes and took a deep breath to savour the first aroma that didn’t make me want to do another mad dash.
I took it all in for just a quick three-second minute for a quick time-out of zombie-ville, to inhale a full whiff of something other than being stuck in the middle of food poisoning.
I flopped down in the chair beside him, thinking this is the last stop before I get to see the guy authorised to knock me the hell out!
In my mind I was like “Please don’t let me throw up in front of this man! And in a matter of minutes I was wobbling off to see the wizard.
The nurse told me she was going to hook me up on drips and antibiotics. By the time she got that going the doctor was in!
I was like finally – the man authorised to put me down – take me out of my misery!
I remember thinking even though I feel like death, this man’s smile is soothing, and his bedside manner was even better.
His questions were clear and he listened very carefully to my every word. I thought to myself: “Okay, I don’t mind being knocked out by this guy with these bright pink gums, perfectly straight and even whiter than white teeth.
Even on death’s door, you will always get me with one of those bright smiles that light up the universe, even when you’re feeling like you’ve gone past death row!
I told him: “This ward is freezing, it feels like a morgue in here!” Then I started grumbling that I forgot to bring some socks to keep my feet warm.
I turned back to the doctor and barked: “I’ve been up since 6am Saturday, it’s now after 9am Sunday barfing. I’m even throwing up ICE CHIPS FOR GOD’S SAKE! At this point ALL I want you to do is knock me out!”
He smiled, told me he was going to examine my abdomen, started pressing and I started barking again. That’s when he told me straight that if I don’t let him do what he has to do, they may just be wheeling me down to that cold place.
I wanted to laugh but I couldn’t because it would hurt too much, so I managed a small chuckle. By this time, I was heading into that 72-hour stretch in a lot of pain with no sleep.
At this point, the morgue was looking like a refuge for PEACE!
The doctor left to go check out my blood work and a short time later, the nurse returned with a good dose of morphine.
I managed to lift my eyelids just enough to see her press her thumb down to inject it, I whispered thank you and dropped out of existence!
I’m not sure what time I woke up hours later. They asked me to drink something they give to children who have been throwing up endlessly, with electrolytes in it. It tasted like a tasteless slushy from HELL!
But I kept it down, took a look around and was on to the doctor to let me out. That’s when the Triage Nurse came back. He told me he was about to go off shift and warned me to stay away from what I ate!
I told him it was nice to meet him and that he smells ‘Heaven Sent’, then asked him his name and where he was from.
He asked if I wanted to know what the name of his cologne was and I said no because I had been delirious enough for now – I’m done!”
He said his name was David Vincent and that he was from St Lucia. I told him that I had never been there – been to St Kitt’s and Nevis, Barbados, all over Jamaica, but never there. I also told him it was nice to meet him albeit under hellish circumstances.
The doctor, apparently hails from Jamaica. His name is Dr Murphy Osborne.
I caught a glimpse of him sitting in this tiny little cubicle on my way out and asked him for his email address.
He told me that I would still feel sick for another two or three days because the food poisoning will take more time to go away. He was right!
I left feeling fine for several hours until around midnight when the bent over the sink, toilet or whatever drama continued with the same old routine until after 3pm on Monday.
By Tuesday, I could see a little more clearly while slowly making my way back from zombie-ville with major aches and pains.
I try my best to stay out of hospitals and away from doctors and their medical associates – ALL OF THEM!
And let me be the first to admit after covering some real horror stories in the form of Inquests into deaths at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital; personally, I am very apprehensive about that place – period!
But I also know that one bad apple does not spoils the whole bunch.
Not all medical people are personable, not all of them have a good bedside manner, and yes some of them are just outright arrogant and obnoxious! I’ve seen more than my share of them all.
The one good thing coming out of this that will stick with me on a positive note until the end of my time, is that the warm, personable, calm, soothing souls I encountered that day, with the kind of spirits that stick and stay in a good way – especially when it comes on what feels like death’s door!
And for that I am truly THANKFUL! Still trying to AVOID ALL OF YOU but GRATEFUL!
Eleven days later I feel so much better today!