DON’T PAY THE RANSOM! I ESCAPED! (Guest Post by Paul Curran)

PaulCurran2015

I’m baaaaack!

After an absence of about 3 ½ months from my Word Press friends, I promised that I would explain. I missed all you folks fiercely, and I apologize for disappearing without any warning – as you will see it was not my choice.

The first week of November, I went to dialysis one evening, as usual. Except this day my, right calf was aching and it had some fluid built up – something I had never seen before. I showed the nurse and she seemed very serious and got a doctor.

The doctor insisted that I go to emergency after dialysis, not my favorite end to the night but they had me worried. I objected, knowing that I would spend hours waiting – but they persevered and off I went.

In emergency, it was a quiet night, and I got registered and had an examination room by 11:30 pm – a record given I had only entered at 10:30 pm. I figured this may go smoother than I had anticipated. Wrong. An intern came and took a history – complex with my cancer and then kidney failure. He left the room about midnight, and I guess they decided that my condition wasn’t going to kill me until the morning shift came on – so there I sat in the room until 7 am. At 7 am, my favorite emerg doctor appeared – a stooped white haired old pro who has worked emerg for decades, and he is sharp. I was happy to see him. He wears a Yarmulke and the nurses talk about his 10 or 12 children.

He examined my leg, and we discussed it – he always involves his patients in the discussion and diagnosis. Dialysis patients are particularly susceptible to infections because of the reduction in circulation in extremities and nerve damage. He was sure this was an infection and a nasty one – cellulitis. This devil kills 30,000 people a year.

Therefore, I was admitted to hospital and started on massive intravenous antibiotics. I had no clothes, no computer, no anything except what was on my back.

After about a week, the doctors were comfortable that the infection was receding and they released me with a home care nurse scheduled to visit daily and a pile of oral antibiotics. One of the major annoyances with broad spectrum antibiotics is that they kill natural biota in the colon and hence create considerable diarrhea – no fun. So the leg with the infection was now double its normal size and I could barely walk on it. I had to cut the strap on my house sandals and duct tape around my foot to make it fit. I also had to slit the seams of my pants to get them to fit over the leg.

I figured that I’d at least console myself with my online friends and when I arrived home, I found there was no internet. I contacted the building manager and he told me that a modem in the office had blown and that the repairman would be there the next day – internet was supplied with my rent. A few days went by and still no internet. The manager started making excuses, getting lamer each time. I began to be suspicious as I had seen this once before – three years ago. Most of the units are rented by university students and management had cut off internet for December to save a few bucks. This annoyed me to no end but all I could do was complain and fume. Also unable to walk, I could not go out and find a hot spot to let folks know what was happening.

Meanwhile, dialysis was not going well and I started to retain fluid. I actually put on 60 pounds (30 kg) and it was interfering with breathing, walking, etc. After talking to the doctors, I got aggressive with my dialysis – setting treatment goals that were painful (removing 5 kg of fluid at a sitting, normally 2 kg) and doing extra treatments. Each time I returned, the fluid would be almost all back again.

Early in December, I was rotting in my room, unable to get on the internet, hardly able to walk, when my door buzzer sounded. I figured it was either medical supplies being dropped off or perhaps a nurse showing up unannounced, so I limped down the hallway to the door and there stood a thin, sprite-like woman with long hair.

LindaGHillMy visitor looked up at me expectantly and said “Hi, Paul I’m Linda”. This was of no help as I knew of no Linda that would be ringing my bell. I asked “Linda?

From WordPress.

WordPress?

You know, Linda Hill

I pondered that for a moment – did I know a Linda Hill who would be ringing my door bell? Then it started to dawn on me – Linda from Word Press! OMG! I must have looked stunned because she smiled.

Linda HillLinda Hill from Word Press! I’ve never seen a clear picture of you – you use the redhead as an avatar. Come in, come in.

I can’t, my son is in the car [and sure enough there he was waving from the car at the curb].I had to come to Ottawa for an appointment and everyone was so worried about you that I got your address from another blogger and came by to make sure you were OK.

I apologized for my untimely disappearance and explained what was happening. We chatted for about 10 minutes before she had to go. My spirits were greatly raised knowing that I had so many friends who were worried about me. I felt rather guilty that I had left them suddenly with no explanation. With my spirits bolstered, I returned to my room.

[TO BE CONTINUED …. JOIN US AGAIN TOMORROW TO FIND OUT HOW PAUL FOUND HIS WAY BACK TO WORDPRESS!]

__________

Paul Curran and I love to hear from our readers. You my comment on this post, comment on my Facebook or Twitter pages, or email me at cordeliasmom2012@yahoo.com or notcordeliasmom@aol.com

__________

Paul Curran photo by Paul Curran; Linda Hill photo by Linda Hill

This entry was posted in Guest Posters, Paul Curran, Relationships, That's Life and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

70 Responses to DON’T PAY THE RANSOM! I ESCAPED! (Guest Post by Paul Curran)

  1. Victo Dolore says:

    I have all of these diagnosis running through my head. How miserable all of that must have been!!!!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Paul says:

      Thanks so much for dropping by Victo. Yep, you are right it was miserable. We discussed a few other possibilities but ruled them out (I had had occurrences of DVT but was on blood thinners and the pain was very different ). The swelling and the pain were very limiting – and it took a long time to fix it. Thank God I have a neighbor who could run errands for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, I for one am quite grateful we have our favorite gentleman back, safe and sound! Some of us are rather fond of you and you were greatly missed. I am so glad Linda had the courage to simply do the most logical thing and knock on your door. A few of us we’re rather reluctant to invade your privacy, but it seemed so much more reasonable than taking up a collection and paying your ransom. Also, we weren’t quite sure exactly who had kidnapped you, could have been pirate women or something, in which case you probably wouldn’t want a rescue at all 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    • Paul says:

      Ha! Thanks so much for the kind thoughts IB. It is great to be back. I really missed you guys. I promise that if I should happen to get kidnapped by a gang of women, I’ll let you know so you don’t have worry. Ha!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Gibber says:

    Welcome back Paul. Hope this finds you feeling and doing better.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. willowdot21 says:

    Oh! Paul we are so pleased to have you back!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. LindaGHill says:

    So glad you made it back, Paul! And happy my visit cheered you up – I was afraid you’d think I was stalking you. 😛 🙂 It was very nice to meet you. 😀

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Elyse says:

    So glad we will finally get a new Paul story — although I can tell, this one will be a thriller!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      Hi Elyse! Missed you guys seriously. This story actually gets more intense in Part 2. I can tell you this – it was a hot dog bun that created all the furor. Ha! I look forward to seeing you in the comments at tomorrow’s installment.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Some of us know about that little check up on you, and the relief it gave at the time… now, even though I do know the end result, I cannot wait to read the continuation. It really is so good to see your avatar floating around again, my friend. Huge hugs!

    Liked by 3 people

  8. ksbeth says:

    what a tough story so far, and yes, we were all so happy when linda reported that she had found you –

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Barry says:

    And here I was preparing an “in memory of Paul” post similar to what I did when Doobster disappeared. I am very, very pleased that it is one post that I am happy to bin.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Paul says:

      Thanks so much Barry. I am very happy to be back here at Word Press. I really missed all the community. I enjoy reading others’ ideas and words – I especially like your posts as they show a world that I have never experienced – from the weather to the political system to the culture. Thank you Barry for sharing your world with us – it is amazing.

      Liked by 3 people

  10. Pingback: RETURNING TO THE INTERNET (Guest Post by Paul Curran) | Cordelia's Mom, Still

  11. I hate when my biota is killed. Welcome back. It’s odd when people in the ether just vanish. Sometimes they come back (glad to see you) and sometimes you never hear from them again. The internet creates great mysteries, but it also solves some of them.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. markbialczak says:

    I’m so glad you’re back and writing, my friend. Our health is so fragile. That’s why I fretted upon your vanishing act from our WP lives.

    That apartment manager’s slow reaction to the bum modem is despicable. Our connections to the outside world that way are invaluable. The cad oughta be arrested.

    Thanks for serving up Paul’s Phoenix essay, CM! I eagerly await the remainder.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Paul says:

      Hey Mark! Thanks so much for dropping by. Yeah, It really annoys me how they cut the internet like that. The manager is a decent guy and I don’t doubt the issue started with a blown modem. The problem is the owner – he’s an assh*le. A rich one, but still. He has about 10 buildings with around 200 residents in one of the most expensive property areas of Ottawa. He rents primarily to students and there are a few of us on fixed income. i am tired of him screwing with us and have started planning to make other arrangements. Anyway, we’re good for the foreseeable future.

      Yes as I age health becomes more and more a challenge. It was hard to understand when I was young and invincible. But life is generally good – and I am so pleased to be back on WP. Thanks for your thoughts and I apologize for the disappearance.

      Liked by 2 people

    • And thank you, Mark, for your pivotal role in finding Paul. You’re the man!

      Liked by 2 people

  13. socialbridge says:

    Hey Paul, my Irish eyes are all teary reading this but tears of happiness to have you back and tears of awe at how at how you and Linda must have looked as you met that day .

    Liked by 4 people

    • Paul says:

      I’m sure it was funny had I been a bug on the wall – the two of us standing there looking at each other – Ha! it was kind of surreal – I had never met any person that I had seen on the screen before and I must confess it was surprising , as if the two worlds would never intersect and suddenly they did .

      Liked by 2 people

  14. See, duck tape fixes just about anything…surely they are working on a medical equivalent.
    Bet you were surprised with that knock on the door. (We are all very grateful for Linda.) Cheers for your return

    Liked by 3 people

    • Paul says:

      Bwahaha! You picked up on that eh? I use duct tape for everything. You’d have laughed – I have a colostomy left over from a bout with cancer – i’ve been cancer free now for years so I’ve learned to deal with the colostomy. When I was trucking, the air seat moved up and down continually and it would flex the flange (the part that sticks to the abdomen and provides the seal) on the colostomy and cause premature failure. I found that by putting a strip of duct tape around the perimeter of the flange I could double the life of the flange ( from 2 to 4 days – typical is about 3 days). Anyway, one day I had to go in for an MRI and they strip you down and ask about any inserts, tubes etc that might be metal – anything magnetic is a no-no in an MRI because the magnetic fields are huge in the device, it’ll pull the nails right out of your shoes – ha!. I showed them the duct tape and asked if it was OK. The nurses weren’t sure, so we walked over to the control room where the door was open (it was between tests) and asked the operators about duct tape. They didn’t know, so they broke out these huge manuals and started looking. Ha! There were four people pondering this when the supervisor strode by at a high speed. One of the nurses shouted after her – “Is duct tape OK in the machine?” The supervisor didn’t even break stride, she just shouted back over her shoulder: ” Duct Tape is fine!” Ha! And so it was.

      The moral of the story is that I am apparently not the first person who has taken duct tape into an MRI. Ha!

      Liked by 3 people

  15. First off, I love the picture of you… and her… and hope we all get to meet in real life… preferably here, where it is warm. Secondly, sorry to hear about your health problems. I sometimes feel guilty for being such an excellent specimen of a human being because so many people on wordpress have real health issues. I just have achy joints and failing eyesight… on the positive side, I have always said than when I do start to slide, it will be like a freekin’ Olympic bobsled race… so… uh… glad you are back, buddy!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      Thanks so much Art! Ummm, I wouldn’t wish these health problems on anyone, and yet I have gained so much from living through them. I too suffer the achy joints and poorer eyesight – that’s what it is to have lived more than half a century – I’ve yet to find a machine that can last that long. That said I have always wanted time to write and never had it. Now that I am on disability I have all the time I need – and thanks to good friends, the means to do it. My mind is as sharp or sharper than it has ever been – I tried for 3 years to get a job, putting out over 1,000 resumes. My experience and training is meticulous and yet as soon as employers find out I am a dialysis patient, they are not interested – medical liability. Anyway, I eventually gave up on that and decided to grab what I had and go in another direction – and here I am. The day came when I went to the DMV to renew my license and I gave up my commercial licenses – all three of them (straight truck, tractor-trailer and air brakes). It was a formative moment when the clerk asked if I was sure (it takes years of tests and experience and training to get them) and I just nodded. I kept my car licence and I could have kept the commercial licence but no longer had the strength to even get into the cab of a truck. Might as well face my reality and move on.

      Anyway, enough navel gazing – I’m glad to be back Art. It is a pleasure to know all of you guys and you just never know when I might show up in your town for a coffee, life is strange and I never say never. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Ned's Blog says:

    First, I’m so glad you are doing better, my friend. It sounds like a rough time that is finally beginning to subside. Secondly, how fantastic it is to see that kind of love out there in the blog-o-sphere. It just goes to show how what we put out there comes back to us. So glad to know you’re on the mend — physically and spiritually 😉 Welcome home, Paul!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Paul says:

      Thanks so much for dropping by Ned – it is a pleasure to have you visit. It is amazing how much people care – I was floored. It really is home. Thank you for the kind thoughts and wishes.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. The Hook says:

    Glad to see you’re back on your virtual feet, Paul.
    Just be sure to continue the forward momentum, all right? There are too few exceptional bloggers/humans out there as it is! We can’t afford to lose you, pal!

    Liked by 3 people

  18. lbeth1950 says:

    So glad you are back. Missed you. BTW, I was a dialysis nurse for 30 years, so I know how sick you were.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      Thanks so much for dropping by for a read Ibeth. Yeah, I didn’t get into it much because not many have experienced it but it was scary – I seriously thought that i would lose that leg. And all the indicators I use to judge fluid retention all started working backwards. Normally the drier I am the higher the heart rate – well this was going the other way – the drier I got the lower the heart rate – and my B/P went crazy dropping down to 70 or so during dialysis when I always maintained at least 110. I have a colostomy and partial kidney function (about 10% on one side only) so determining fluid removal is more of an art than a science and I had gotten a handle and done it well for 7 years and then I completely lost control for some reason. Adding 60 pounds in 4 weeks is crazy – I couldn’t even get up from the toilet – it was brutal. I got ruthless with it and have removed all that wants to come off (still some swelling but minimal) – I’m running the B/P down to 80 with a max 13% drop in blood volume – which is about all I can tolerate and even that is borderline. Even so i have stalled at about 6 kilos over my original weight (about 13 pounds). Anyway, there are still a number of side effects that will make things more complex, but the infection is gone, thank God.

      Great to see you here lbeth – please drop by again. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  19. It’s great to have a wonderful blogger back 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Thank you so very much Celona. It is wonderful to be back, believe me. The out pouring of support from fellow WP bloggers like yourself has been astonishing – Thank you so very much. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  20. julie says:

    PAUL!!! I absolutely love your stories!! Although not too crazy about the news in this one, it is good to see you again my friend! I too did the disappearing act, and am trying to get myself back to normal, whatever that might be. How sweet of Linda!

    As always, hats off to Cordeliasmom! I haven’t forgotten your gracious offer, I just need to get back on track….

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Aussa Lorens says:

    UGH this all sounds so frightening. I made an audible groan when you talked about your leg doubling in size. This is so awful. AND NO INTERNETS?!?! How cruel can the world get? That is the most terrible timing.

    GG told me about Linda stopping by, and I think I read a post about it as well. So funny and touching at the same time.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Pingback: Back in the Saddle | Mark Bialczak

  23. ~ Sadie ~ says:

    So sorry you were so sick!! Sounds like it was pretty scary! But love the way Linda hunted you down 🙂 Enjoy seeing a pic of her, too!

    Liked by 2 people

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