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There I was, just working in the gardens

by Ron Holdraker
May 12, 2023

Last Saturday I could finally get out side and really try to catch up in the gardens. This year I decided to replant the entire back lawn, due to its uneven nature and occasional puddling.

Scores of poured concrete edging had to be broken up and moved. Yes, it was heavy work, but I was gong ho!

After several hours of lugging blocks, bags of topsoil and stone, I felt progress was on my side.

Yes, these 72 year-old bones were aching and I seemed to be getting pretty thirsty.

Daughter-in-law Christie stopped by on her way to their Sodus cottage and I mentioned I was suddenly having a hearing problem in my right ear...no biggie.

Then, I felt a real thirst and was sweating profusely. Went into the house and drank several glasses of refreshments. I was pretty tired and decided to call it a day, not happy that more progress had been made.

Went to sleep that night and began to rise at the usual 4:30 a.m. It was then that I discovered I could not stand up. Dizziness was prevalent and both Wife Patti and myself realized it was Déjà vu all over again. VERTIGO!

Several hours passed and my boys showed up. They insisted an ambulance be called and they (the ambulance crew) decided to override my suggestion of Newark-Wayne Hospital and took me right the Rochester General.

I had been through this several years ago, so it was no mystery as to what lay ahead.

There I was laying on a bed in the hospital hallway. Tons of stuff going on around me as the hours passed. Once in a while a nurse would pop by to see if I was still  breathing.  I knew my condition was not critical and I also knew the time would come when I had to...pee.

The nurse brought over a plastic curved urinal container and with many surrounding people and lots of equipment marching by, I had to maneuver myself into a position to let it flow. Yeah, it took a couple of minutes.

The thing about VERTIGO is that it not like the case of Jimmy Stewart in the movie of the same name (VERTIGO).

Any movement when you are in its grip, everything your system holds comes roaring out. Sometimes nothing comes out. Every time they took me for a test, wheeled the bed, or took me by  wheelchair, I would vomit.

Finally, they moved me to a room at night and I was in no mood for either  the television, or the quasi-hourly blood draws, medications, or pressure checks.

Unfortunately, the guy in the double room was a night owl and did not know the finer niceties of volume control. Bowling - yes bowling - watching  some bowling tournament went on until quarter to midnight.

Being cautious, the doctors decided I needed x-rays, CT scans and an MRI, along with additional blood tests and heart monitoring. Guys are at a distinct disadvantage when they place those sticky patches on your chest and body, always in the most hairy locations. 

Yes, the nurse refused to use the same patches that the ambulance personnel had applied so removal with my body hair became her joy in life.

The food was gawdawful and the tests resumed throughout the next day. By noon they discovered what I had told them all along...VERTIGO.

By 2 p.m. I was  wheeled out and the next three days were unsteady for sure. Yes, the Holdraker clan has medical supplies at the ready and the use of a walker was necessary. This episode was much worse than the last one and I am being extremely careful.

If you, or anyone you know is suffering from occasional bouts of VERTIGO, you have my complete sympathy. The doctor follow-ups now follow.

The hearing in my ear is still a problem and thanks to my many, many medical connections, I did not have to wait until July for an appointment.

VERTIGO, not a movie, but a real affliction!

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