As breathing flows
My mind secedes

Warning: this bit of writing is gross. You’re welcome. Happy Thanksgiving.

I fall. After being out of the hospital for just under two weeks, I was feeling pretty darn good. And then I wasn’t. Things like walking became exhausting. And then I felt more tired, which was annoying because I had to use the toilet increasingly frequently. Dark charcoal needed to erupt from my asshole every few minutes. Then I started puking up the same dark charcoal. That morning I had tried to eat a smoothie, and so I thought the Angel Food Flavor was causing the damage…but…of course not. Angel food doesn’t make walking to the bathroom insurmountable. A torn artery, however — those fuckers are cunts. What I saw as charcoal was actually blood. I bleed.

Using the bathroom was something I needed to do. Every 5–10 minutes. But getting to the bathroom became increasingly difficult. I was experiencing orthostatic hypotension — very low blood pressure — so every time I tried to stand up I felt like I would fall down.

Then, around 3:00 a.m., I fell down. I fell down because my body didn’t have enough blood or oxygen to stay up or get up off of the floor once I fell. Unbeknownst to me, I was bleeding internally. More GI fun.

I fell down, I couldn’t get back up. Presently, my flashy-lighty ride arrived and I was escorted back to my home-away-from-home: Methodist Hospital. Yay.

Lovely reader, you may recall I have Hep C, which was the culprit of this extra special Thanksgiving. I was admitted for:

  • Bleeding of the digestive (gastrointestinal) tract due to enlarged veins in the tube that connects the throat and stomach (esophagus), a condition known as esophageal varices
  • Brain and nervous system damage due to the buildup of toxins in the bloodstream (hepatic encephalopathy)

I had lost a lot of blood, so I got some bloody transfusions. I also had severely low blood pressure. Also, I had very low haemoglobin, so I wasn’t getting oxygen. I also had low potassium. Again. Etc., etc., etc., Dot dot dot.

My Thanksgiving holiday highlights included being alone, in the hospital, going under, getting an endoscopy, having a vein cauterized. Sooooooo many needles. So. Many. Needles. The doctor insisted I get a morphine shot into my thumb so I could tolerate more shots into my hands.

“You’re so tiny. You’re so thin.” Nice words for a girl to hear on Thanksgiving, even if they are repeated observations about her veins.

I was a mess. And, also, sad.

Except for some really nice nurses, who literally are the only people who said Happy Thanksgiving to me — I was alone and feeling very, very blue. I was definitely feeling sorry for myself. Now I’m glad Thanksgiving is over. My hands can finally start to type again because the pain from all the needles is starting to get better. So…that’s the latest hospital Thanksgiving update. Hands getting tired, more amazing updates asap. Because. Night. night.

I bleed.




Writer. Rememberer. Forgeterer. During surgery I lost 90% of my memories. And all of my hair. These days I write about life, or lack thereof.

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Michelle O'Kane

Michelle O'Kane

Writer. Rememberer. Forgeterer. During surgery I lost 90% of my memories. And all of my hair. These days I write about life, or lack thereof.

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