Part 2 – Back from the Dead with Revenge in my Heart

…when last we left our intrepid adventurer he had just been strapped in to the evil nurses death-maker machine. Things looked bleak…… but it would take more than mere death to stop our beloved hero…

So I’m in this chair thing and she walks over and pretty much uses some plumbers vice-grips to jam closed my nose. The thing was tight. While she’s doing this she’s explaining that its important no air be allowed to enter or exit through my nose. Un-huh, Ok – I understand, but is it really necessary that you try and fuse all the molecules of my nose together so the nostrils become one? Cause I’m quite sure that’s what’s happening – I can feel the cartilage turning to dust.

Look, I’m not movie star handsome – (although more Carey Grant, than Brad Pitt) but I do know that any currency I have in the good looks department will be severely diminished if I only have one single, gigantic nostril staring people in the face. But I digress…

Then she takes this headpiece with a tube and mask thing that goes over my head and around and in my mouth. Then in a bit of comic genius on her part she says –  “OK now breath normal”  — Ok shall I just quickly do that while I’m swinging here on the outer rings of Saturn, because basically you’re asking me to do something equally difficult. Alright do your best, she says – I always do, I shoot back at her…. bow chika wow wow….

So we begin and I start trying to breathe normally, it’s difficult. I breathe that way for about 5 minutes so she can get her “baseline” readings, then she tells me to start panting like a dog…. Hello – “Dear Penthouse, I never thought this would happen to me but”… nope, I misread that sign as well. So I start panting like a dog, and it too is difficult with all this equipment on, then she yells at me. Really, she yells at me – “BIG BREATH, TAKE A HUGE BREATH IN, EVERYTHING YOU’VE GOT, KEEP GOING IN, IN, IN” –  I’m pretty sure this was when I started crying – then she yells again ‘OK EXPLODE OUT, EVERYTHING, BLAST OUT EVERYTHING YOU’VE GOT, KEEP GOING PUSH, PUSH, PUSH – OK MR CAMPBELL I CAN SEE THE HEAD, KEEP PUSHING, YOU’RE DOING GREAT, HE’S CROWNING”

Long story short, it was a boy, I’m calling him Painful Bastard, it has a certain ring, don’t you think? Alright, I added that last part for dramatic effect, but that was how it felt. On the little computer screen in front of her, angled just so I can get a glimpse of it, is this cartoon – as I am exhaling I am blowing up a cartoon hot air balloon. Now You’ve seen them, I’ve seen them, we’ve all seen them – I don’t care how good your lungs are – ain’t no way you’re blowing one up – so it’s a stupid picture to put on there, it’s demoralizing. Surprise, I managed to get the balloon full, then she says ok great, take a break and breathe normally – I was WOOZY. Then Satan says, we’re going to do this six more times, for seven total before we move to the booth.

Un-huh, I understand, I manage to nod, while care-bears dance quietly over in the corner and pretty stars flash all about the room.True to her word, we repeat the process six more times. By now I have a wicked headache, I’m hearing bells and ghosts are whispering in my ears, I have chills and at least 3/4’s of my brain is starting to die from oxygen starvation. I also had a very enlightening conversation with a couple of people who kept beckoning me to walk towards the light – I didn’t.

Then she gets up and removes my mask and the vice-grips on my nose. Sweet, sweet, fresh air floods my lungs and every cell, all at once I am alive, back from the land of in-between, filling my lungs again and again, hungrily gulping down the air – like a fat man eating Lasagna.


We mess around with some controls and the like for about 10 minutes until I regain most of my senses. Then she says ok now we are going to get you into the booth. I asked her if it wouldn’t just be easier to shoot me in the head? She didn’t really laugh. So sure enough over in the far corner of the room around this little half corner was a big solid glass booth with a chair thing inside, my first thought was “Houdini” she was going to teach me some kind of Houdini water escape. Wrong.

She fetches the vice grips and then clamps them on to my, I guess you could call the blood pulp on my face a nose, but not really, not anymore it wasn’t. Into the booth I go and I sit on the little chair. She explains what will happen we are going to do the test two more times, almost the same as the others except all the oxygen will be sucked out of this bloody booth and I will only be able to breathe through the mouthpiece. This will give an absolute true reading. Un-huh, I understand – are you sure you wouldn’t rather just shoot me? and again with the no laugh… tough crowd…

So she closes the door and it gets vacuum locked, for freshness. Then she tells me to put the mouthpiece thing on, she’s going to remove the oxygen from the booth. Now there are a number of things you would prefer never to have someone say to you, and I’ve got to say, this one is pretty high on that list, to be locked in a sealed glass booth and have someone say “Ok I am going to remove all the oxygen now” – not a fan. If this were facebook, I wouldn’t be pushing the “Like” button…

Then it happens she really does it, the oxygen is sucked from the booth and my ears start going bananas. The pressure change you see – I guess she saw something in my eyes because she says not to worry just use the mouth piece and breathe normally and I will adjust. So there I sit, sucking on this hose-pipe of life and I get to wondering how many other poor schumcks have been sucking on this thing? No time for that now, must breathe.

This is where we begin the event that will cause me to hate her, hate her more than almost anyone else in the world, except Gingers of course. (JK Deb) So we start he test like before , breath normal, then inhale everything, everything I can, fill my lungs to bursting – then explode it out, push every teeny tiny bit of air I can out of my lungs, everything. Now once you do that you have like a very brief period where nothing happens you sort of sit in this suspended animation, not breathing, then your entire body screams to suck in air as quickly as you can in one big whoosh. BUT – and here’s the dirty trick…

You want oxygen, you need oxygen and so you suck, YOU SUCK HARD, BUT, there is some diaphragm thing in the mouthpiece that has been snapped closed, so there is no oxygen to breathe, there is nothing to suck in, the contraption has shut-off, Elvis has left the building. Then you get a little bit panicky and she is watching me real close, and just when I am about to turn into the HULK and smash her and her stupid lab to bits, she flips a switch and the blockage is removed and you can suck, and my god you do. You suck that air like you’ve never sucked before. Then she apologizes and explains that it is part of the test to find out what the actual fatigued lung capacity is.

Apparently once your lungs are completely and totally empty, and you are refused the opportunity to take a breath for that short time, when the oxygen is turned back on, you take in your absolute maximum amount, there is no fooling around, no half breaths – you fill up but good, and thats how she gets the max reading.

Now, and we’re finally wrapping up here, she says through the intercom, get this…she says “you don’t look too impressed in there” and for one teeny tiny moment I saw myself standing over her disemboweled children, waiting for her to return home just so I could say, “you don’t look too impressed, hon” but then it went away. The other downside to this all, besides the actual test – breathing that hard and deep so many times is tiring, I mean like really tiring, and by the end, my Myasthenia was starting to act up. Hadn’t seen hide nor hair of it for months but now stressing out my lungs, diaphragm and general respiratory system this much – well, they were going to make me pay…. Not to mention my heart was doing 186 bpm at the end of the testing. It was the most strenuous thing I had done since the surgeries, by far.

I don’t recommend it. It’s tuesday, this testing was done last Friday and only now is my swallow and breathing reflexes returning to somewhat normal.

I want off this ride, I’m not having fun anymore.

Have a Great Day