Jason TNT

Jason TNT

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Back in "The Joint"

In private, we all do things we'd never do publicly.  I won't judge, but I know some of you (OK, maybe it's just me) like to sing Depeche Mode while knocking out household chores.  Passing out was something else I liked to do privately.  Even though my previous passing out episodes were serious enough to have landed me in the hospital, at least I had been spared the embarrassment of anyone else seeing it happen. It had either happened at night when everyone was sleeping or during the day when I was the only one home.  Like singing along to bad 80's synthesizer music, I felt better knowing that nobody else had seen me in my moment of weakness.  That all changed this week. 

I'm lucky enough to work with a fantastic team of smart and dedicated people who had sacrificed time with their families to put in 60+ hour weeks to finish off an urgent project.  On Monday, we went to lunch at a nice restaurant to celebrate the finish of that project and to catch our breath.  As we got up from our table to head back to the office, my head started to evaporate and a slow, but unavoidable, journey towards the floor began.  Clearly, passing out in public was my destiny and there was nothing I could do to stop it.  Luckily, my colleagues managed to grab hold of me and steer me to a chair before I hit the ground completely.  As my vision regained focus, I found myself face to face with a confused and concerned restaurant manager.  This guy was more than a little anxious.  He was used to comping an appetizer or desert if someone's soup was too cold...he was not ready for someone who needed CPR on top of table 5.  That said, I was feeling pretty clever when my first newly-coherent words were "it must have been something I ate".  The manager missed the humor.

And thus, the dynamic had completely changed.  Not only had I now passed out publicly...I had completely bypassed my family and passed out in front of work friends/colleagues.  As I told them, I must be one hell of a leader because I just took team building to a whole new level.

So, as it turns out that we're not completely past my low blood pressure problems...my BP was 60 over 40 when I got to the doctor's office later in the afternoon.  Not only do those numbers represent Lane Kiffin's IQ over the SAT score of his average player; they also represented my ticket back to Florida Hospital.

I was admitted on Monday and had some fun experiences along the way.  I spent the first night in a cubicle in the Emergency Room with what seemed to be a gang member right outside the curtain that served as my doorway.  He was brought in by police and paramedics. For several hours, he alternated between demanding pain meds and jumping off his gurney to try to escape...only to be dragged back by the cops and paramedics.  Good times.  I was then moved to a "holding pen" in the Central Transition Unit (CTU) and had the good fortune to land a neighbor with two things on his mind...watching old movies at volume 11 on a scale of 10 and demanding Percocet every 30 minutes on the dot.  The best thing about my little cubby hole in the CTU was the toilet hidden within the sink cabinet.  I actually had to open the cabinet doors and pull the toilet out to use it. 

I finally made it to a real room at about midnight on Tuesday...or 32 hours after my journey started.  We quickly learned that my gallbladder was in poor shape and had produced a ton of "sludge" (the doctor's medical term) that was likely contributing to my low blood pressure.  Despite some risks because of my compromised immune system, we decided the best course of action was to surgically remove the gallbladder.  That procedure took up most of Wednesday and went well.  It turns out the sludge was worse than thought so everyone was happy that we got that bad boy out of me.

After spending Thursday under observation and watching my blood pressure results improve, I was released from the hospital on Friday.  As always, it was great to get back home to see the kids, the dog and my own bed.  There's nothing better than scraping off the hospital funk and escaping the staff who want to wake me up at 4am to take blood. 

Thanks to my Dad & Kathy who came to Orlando to help while I was "on the inside" and of course thanks to Jen who was right there with me every step of the way.


  1. "it must have been something I ate"

    Awesome line. Sounds like something I would do as well. Glad things are improving. I hear gall bladders suck anyway, so no loss there. :)


  2. Who needs a gallbladder anyway? Glad to hear you are back at home. I was going to compare your cankles to how it feels to be pregnant, but at least we get a private room without gang members while in labor. So, you win. Love to all of you.
    Laura, Chris, Carlz and Jen

  3. You really do need to become a novelist. You truly have a gift for writing.

  4. Hey Jason,

    Just happened to check back to your blog to see how things have been going since the transplant. Glad to hear things were going well but sucks to hear about the slide back to chemo.

    Not sure why you had popped up in my thoughts lately. The whole passing out thing is never fun. Had more than I wanted to admit prior to my treatment. Not sure if it was the whole swollen lymph node or the random A-Fib. Either way, not the best way to take that afternoon nap. People tend to look at you funny or at least funnier than normal.

    All the best on your continued fight and let me know what flavor of blood you need. They may finally let me donate again if you don't mind some risidual ABVD chemo.

    Take care and let me know if you need anything.

    Steven - TNT 2010