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    battlefields's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Near Death From Tonsillitis

    Chapter One

    How close have you been to death? I’ve been there way too many times to count, from having a gun pulled on me when I tried to intervene in a stabbing, to pissing off the chapter Sergeant At Arms of a well known and savage bikie club (biker, for my American friends), to a motorbike accident where I had a 0.296% blood alcohol and I had to have my jaw reconstructed with metal that I still have today. These are only three out of many, many more examples, my brushes with death have mostly stemmed from something that I have initiated, something that can be placed, for the most part, squarely at my feet.

    Not in June of this year. For context, I’d managed to sidestep a cold a few weeks earlier in the season, during the turn in weather that Brisbane experiences well into winter months (seriously, our winter is mild as **** cause we’re close to the tropics). The cold I’d avoided usually consists of my asthma flaring up, a sore throat, and a cough that remains persistent for a month or two afterwards. I was unusually prepped for it this year, the moment I felt it, I hit bed and rested, warding it off at the time.

    A few weeks later, mid June on a Wednesday afternoon, a tickle developed in my throat, nothing major. I went home and again, did my best to get rest, although the next morning the tickle had become a sore throat. As I now work with Mr Miyagi, I rang him and let him know I wouldn’t be in to work, forgetting that he was on holidays. I went back to sleep and woke up to a phone call from work, turns out they were concerned that I hadn’t rocked up. After putting two and two together, four reminded me that Miyagi was on holiday and I hadn’t informed work of my absence.

    After clearing this up, I went to the docs. The doctor examined me, looked down my throat and concluded it was likely viral tonsillitis, that rest is best and he’d provide anti-biotics, but to only take them if it got worse. The rest of the Thursday was uneventful, rest and Netflix. Woke up on Friday and felt better, throat appeared to be on the mend and I didn’t feel like a truck had hit me, at least not as big of a truck as the day before. I was optimistic, thinking with a combination of sarcasm and seriousness, “sweet, I should be fine by Monday, ready for work!” ****, was I wrong.

    About midday I went to sleep with ducted air conditioning flowing warm air into my room. About three hours later I woke up and could barely breathe. My tonsils had blown up in size, and I could also feel something blocking my windpipe further down, just above the top of the breastbone/sternum. I wasn’t too sure what was going on, all I knew was that I could barely breathe. I frantically tried everything I could to reduce the swelling in my neck and throat, when a betadine gargle didn’t work, I warmed some water and threw a whole heap of salt in it to gargle, all while smashing ice cubes into pieces desperately trying to get them down. After all these methods failed to work and breathing became progressively more difficult, I made the decision to go to hospital.

    Now, I’ve never had to make that decision on my own, usually the ambulance, police, or friends/family have made that for me, mostly while I was unconscious. And it was only due to the fact that I’d seen signs at hospitals saying things like, “if you are experiencing breathing difficulties or chest pains, please inform nursing staff immediately” that I even considered hitting the Emergency department. Considering I don’t have a car at present and my preferred method of transport is Uber, I began to prepare to order one. Since this incident, people have remarked to me how amusing it is that I went to order an Uber and not just get an ambulance. Hey, as I said, I’m not accustomed to this “going to hospital” caper.

    Anyway, just before I hit the request button, my housemate, Brenton, came home and I yelled, with an admittedly comically throttled voice, “hey bro, you gotta take me to hospital!”

    He replied, “I thought you’d already be there, alright let’s go.”



    Chapter Two

    It was around 4:30pm as we set out and he GPS’d the closest hospital, with me only realising halfway there that it was a Private Hospital and although I have Private Health Insurance, I knew it was going to be fucking expensive and I pay a levy to the government for Public Health, so I’m using it. Truthfully, at this stage, I had no idea what was coming and was operating under the assumption that I’d be home later that evening.

    We renavigated to the Mater Hospital, not far from where we were. We pulled up at the ambulance/ emergency entrance and there was a security booth and boomgate. Brenton, in his tradie ocker accent, says to the guy, “this bloke can’t breathe!” and they opened the gate, pointing out where to go.

    Brenton pulls in and parks in a clearly marked ambulance spot, with an increasingly distressed me jumping out and following him through a door and down a hall. I had tunnel vision by now, could barely focus on anything but what was in front of me and getting as much oxygen as I could. A uniformed ambulance officer chastised us for being in the ambulance section, which was poorly signed, and me being the compliant idiot turned around and started walking back to find the other entrance. Brenton was having none of it, “**** that, he can’t breathe,” he said as he pushed open a door to expose the triage nurse on duty, “hey, he can’t breathe,” he said to her.

    “Oh, he can’t breathe, huh?” she said with an air of distrust that must come from the many bullshit artists looking to get special treatment, “let’s have a look then.”

    She looked in my mouth with a torch for less than a second and said, “oh wow, yeah, you really can’t breathe!”

    And suddenly I was the centre of attention of the Emergency Department.

    I was given a range of drugs, not really sure what they were, anti inflammatories, relaxants, painkillers, I don’t know. They were attaching me to a range of machines to check heart rate, all that ****. A team of Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialists came in with some fucking high tech camera thing and they examined the **** out of me.

    They were taking my details throughout, Brenton helping where he could, providing the contact details for my sister, whom I had written down as Next Of Kin.

    Quick thing, Next Of Kin is no fucking joke, yo. I always thought it was something you put down so they could contact someone to pick you up if the drugs were too strong to be released on your own reconnaissance. Didn’t realise it also meant pick up your dead body if something went wrong.

    Anyway, there was shitload of action going on around me and the head of the ENT team informed me of what was going on. Basically it boiled down to this: I had both tonsils infected and they were severely constricting my airway. On my voicebox there was another infection that was basically acting like a ball at the end of a straw, with my tonsil constricted airway being the straw.

    The Intensive Care Unit didn’t want to take me because if my throat closed I would die under their care because ENT would have gone home (quick reminder that this is Friday night, around 6pm).

    ENT had to come up with a strategy to make sure they didn’t need to intubate by basically slicing open the base of my neck to get a tube in so I can breathe.

    Eventually ENT came up with a strategy and informed me of it whilst also having me sign a waiver. I put all my belongings in a bag, except my phone. I did two things with it, one was take a photo with a stupid smile and two thumbs up which I uploaded to Facebook and captioned, “About to go in for an operation”, secondly I messaged my boss after asking the doc if I’d be good to go to a conference in Vancouver and a little holiday in LA that I had organised for a week away and he said it was unlikely. It was odd, but not out of the realm of possibility, considering I still wasn’t 100% sure of what was going on and while the docs explain ****, they also need to take the corners off some of the sharper edges of the explanation, I imagine so they (a) don’t get sued, and (b), don’t freak the **** out of the patient.



    Chapter Three

    I’ll try and combine my experience of the procedure with the explanation of the strategy. While sitting in the hospital bed, in my new stylish hospital gown, a new doctor came in and began going over the process. Anaesthesiologists and other doctors, nurses and I’m assuming orderlies began moving in and out of this tiny room while he spoke and the gravity of the situation slowly sunk in.

    “Firstly we are going to spray this Novocaine up each nostril, which will have a numbing effect that you will experience in the nostrils and the back of your throat, which will act as a local anaesthetic...”

    So far, so good.

    “...after which we will be placing a tube in each nostril that will extend down your throat...”

    Easy, doc, no problems.

    “...the reason for this is that we actually need you to be breathing for yourself...”

    Odd wording, I wonder what he means by ‘for yourself’.

    “...so that when we put you to sleep, we can get this other tube down your throat through your mouth...”

    Oh, through the haze of drugs already provided, this made sense, I was warned that if they try to shove the tube down and my throat closes over, they’d have to intubate through the neck and that didn’t seem pleasant.

    “...okay? Oh, and the novocaine is going to increase your awareness somewhat.”

    I imagine I nodded, or responded with some witty quip, as is my character and also how I keep my spirits positive.

    We were on, the operating theatre door opened and holy ****, there was so many people in there. I’ve had serious surgery on my jaw as mentioned in the past, a procedure the doctor at the time told me was extremely difficult considering I’d shattered it into five pieces, but there was only five personnell in the theatre for that, in here there would have been close to twenty. Definitely made me realise this was a procedure that held much more life threatening weight than I had given it credit, despite having all the signs leading up to it.

    The novocaine had begun to work, but I clenched when I saw the tubes they were going to be using. Approximately six inches long and look at your pinky, yeah, pinky thickness. In my nostril and down my throat.

    The doc put it in my nostril and began twisting it, clearly looking for a soft spot in my sinus, an odd feeling, not painful, more uncomfortable. Suddenly *CRUNCH* and it was through my sinus and down my throat.

    The ENT team leader told me, “you’re doing well, mate, good stuff.”

    The second nostril wasn’t as numb as the first one, but I no longer had the ability to articulate, what with the tube halfway down my throat and my nostril clogged with a six inch pinky. I was just going to have to cop it sweet. *CRUNCH* the second one went through the sinus wall down my throat.

    Again, encouragement came from the ENT team leader, “you’re doing really really well, mate, good on you.”

    It is at this stage I should say that I don’t know if I could have handled ANY of this without Jiu Jitsu training, the ability to stifle my own panic response, the ability to experience ANYTHING that I went through in that theatre or immediately before, or the ability to maintain through what came next.

    “Okay, we’re putting you to sleep now.”

    Nine days later they pulled me out of the induced coma. I had time travelled into the future Intensive Care Unit.



    Chapter Four

    Wracked with severe pneumonia from having been on a respirator for the entire time, I had majorly atrophied and had several other infections that were regularly driving my temperature up into the 40s and without getting it down, these temperatures will cook your brain and give significant brain damage. I am still on the fence as to whether they managed to keep it down.

    There is a timeline here that I can’t quite nail down, considering the cocktail of drugs I was on, as well as the downright scary hallucinations that I was experiencing night and day.

    My dad had trekked up from Sydney and was bedside from what I understand nearly every single day I was under, and all the days when I came out of the coma and was in ultimate pain and delusion. “I was in a racecar!” I exclaimed to him on the first day awake, under the heavy influence of one of my hallucinations that I had linked with dad, who actually races cars. I remember this hallucination as it reflected something I would have felt with a tube in my neck, and being immobile, the hallucination was that I had crashed an open cockpit racecar and had a strut or similar go through my neck and I couldn’t move as I was strapped in. Yeah, that wasn’t even the most fucked up thing I saw over this period.

    At some stage early after I woke, I felt good enough to eat, the hallucinations seemed to have stopped and my body felt like it was on the mend. I ate a meal and felt okay for about, let’s say five or six minutes before I began spraying a black liquid everywhere, while profusely apologising to everyone in the vicinity and a Dark Hallucination began to take hold again.

    The Dark Hallucinations still scare the **** out of me and it took me a while to come to grips with what I had “witnessed”. A simple way of saying it would be like I was witnessing the most metal album covers of all time. But that doesn’t give it justice. It was like I was looking at Hell, from an elevated position, and the souls were slabs of meat swirling around a central ominous light, replete with eyeballs that displayed the fear and pain you’d expect from souls who had been relegated to pieces of meat that were being tormented for eternity.

    It wasn’t the scene that terrified me, but the fact that it was me that appeared to be the architect, the overseer, the instigator of these beings’ pain. Like the agony I was in from being riddled with infection was being transferred to them in purgatory. In my hallucinations I had this sword of which was a gold multi sectional extending blade that I whipped across all of the slabs of meat, relishing in the pain it provided. I’m not joking, this really fucked me up, when I stopped having the hallucinations I would occasionally break down weeping from the memory of it.

    The Dark Hallucinations dominated my time in ICU, even as they began losing their strength, I still had to fight to remind myself they were hallucinations. Thank **** I have had many hallucinogenics prior, preparation meant I could decipher that I wasn’t really seeing demons. I was able to swipe at many of them with my hand and like ripples in water, could make them disappear in the area I’d just swiped. There was times when I almost convinced myself that some of the demons were voodoo magic from my evil ex, but was able to quell the notion.

    There was one point where I suddenly found myself in this beautiful Australian countryside, in between a homestead and shearing shed, this gorgeous dancing light of the sun twinkling through the gum trees. I thought to myself, “wow, this must be a part of the Mater’s treatment, fresh air and countryside.”To my left was a Maori family, short and stocky, as is a feature of many. One of them said to me in the trademarked high pitched kiwi accent, “you’ll be alright, bro, you’ll get better,” to which I turned to my right to find the dad of the family and said, in the same high pitched kiwi accent for some weird reason, “only if you help me bro!”

    He chuckled and replied he would, when suddenly *SNAP* I’m back on the ward.

    “When did you bring me in from outside?” I asked the nurse, who looked at me wide eyed and head shaking.

    “Yeah, you haven’t moved from here.”Which makes sense, I was in the Intensive Care Unit, they don’t do day trips to the countryside, idiot.



    There is a Chapter Five, Six, and Seven, however, I'm probably right now in the middle of Eight and going in to Nine, Ten and Eleven, if I'm lucky, more if I'm not.
    Last edited by battlefields; 7/21/2017 12:24am at .
    GET A RED BELT OR DIE TRYIN'.
    Quote Originally Posted by Devil View Post
    I think Battlefields and I had a spirited discussion once about who was the biggest narcissist. We both wanted the title but at the end of the day I had to concede defeat. Can't win 'em all.
    Quote Originally Posted by BackFistMonkey View Post
    I <3 Battlefields...

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    **** a duck - sounds like you had it really bad. I had tonsillitis when I was in my early 20's - terrible experience, not just not being able to swallow but I went delirious for two days and thought I was the Emperor Claudius and all my family were trying to kill me (I was watching I Claudius just before I went down with it). Childhood illnesses are really not to be recommended as an adult... just in case you didn't know.....

  3. #3
    Cake of Doom's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by scipio View Post
    **** a duck - sounds like you had it really bad. I had tonsillitis when I was in my early 20's - terrible experience, not just not being able to swallow but I went delirious for two days and thought I was the Emperor Claudius and all my family were trying to kill me (I was watching I Claudius just before I went down with it). Childhood illnesses are really not to be recommended as an adult... just in case you didn't know.....
    Word on the street is... Livia still wants you gone.

    That sounds fucking horrible. mate. Thankfully, I've never had tonsillitis or any childhood illness in my adult years. Don't want them either.
    Train hard, fight easy.

  4. #4

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Livia is a sneaky cow, I know she is still after me. I've taken to sleeping with a knife under my pillow...

  5. #5
    ermghoti's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Well that sounded fun. Congratulations on not dying!
    "Systema, which means, 'the system'..."

    Quote Originally Posted by strikistanian View Post
    DROP SEIONAGI ************! Except I don't know Judo, so it doesn't work, and he takes my back.
    Quote Originally Posted by Devil
    Why is it so goddamn hard to find a video of it? I've seen videos I'm pretty sure are alien spacecraft. But still no good Krav.
    Quote Originally Posted by Plasma
    At the point, I must act! You see my rashguard saids "Jiu Jitsu vs The World" and "The World" was standing in front me teaching Anti-Grappling in a school I help run.
    [quote=SoulMechanic]Thank you, not dying really rewarding in more ways than I can express.[/[quote]

  6. #6

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Glad you survived to tell us the tale, B.

    And hope the nightmares run their course soon enough. It's a sobering reminder of the mental damage that can be inflicted through a serious bout of physical illness.

  7. #7
    BackFistMonkey's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    **** yeah!

    I had a temp pf a 102+ for a couple days this week I thought I was just hot and cheese brained. Nah ... I too was trying to die on yall.

    I feel better now glad you are too... and you are correct. You do not get to go outside when your in the ICU. They don't like that nor let it happen after my surgeries.

    Antibiotics FTW over here by the way. Nothing dramatic. Just me being stupid.

    I don't like the lengthy memories of the procedures I had while "twilighted". Nor do I like I the very vivid memories of a couples seconds of my first lung surgery. I've been through some **** but ... yeah nah. Let your brain process **** how it wants.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghost55 View Post
    Violence is pretty uncommon in clubs in this area, and the dude didn't seem particularly hostile up until the moment he slapped me.
    “I don't mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out.”
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    Quote Originally Posted by WFMurphyPhD View Post
    Slamming the man in the bottom position from time to time keeps everybody on their toes and discourages butt scooting stupidity.

  8. #8
    Diesel_tke's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    ****, that sounds like an overall terrible experience that you are going through. Hopefully you are through the worst of it. Here's to a speedy recovery and quick repression of all the stuff you experienced.

    I got in a head on collision going 65mph in which I was the only survivor. They had to pull all my guts out and fix me. I had some pretty gnarly hallucinations through that one, but have tried to forget all of them, which are trying to bubble up as I type this. But I won't let them.

    Sending good vibes your way. Not sure which direction you are from Florida, but I'm sure they will make it there.
    Combatives training log.

    Gezere: paraphrase from Bas Rutten, Never escalate the level of violence in fight you are losing. :D

    Drum thread

    Pavel Tsatsouline: kettlebell workouts give you “cardio without the dishonour of aerobics”.

  9. #9
    cualltaigh's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    It's time. Time to move away from the hustle and bustle of the big smoke and embrace la dolce vita up here on the sunny coast. Beaches, bikinis, beers and BJJ. I'm sure I can find a doctor* who will prescribe it for you.


    *may or may not be medically registered.
    Dum spiro, spero.
    Tada gan iarracht.

  10. #10
    battlefields's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cualltaigh View Post
    It's time. Time to move away from the hustle and bustle of the big smoke and embrace la dolce vita up here on the sunny coast. Beaches, bikinis, beers and BJJ. I'm sure I can find a doctor* who will prescribe it for you.*may or may not be medically registered.
    Believe me, bro, this has definitely put my head on straight again and aim for that lifestyle.
    GET A RED BELT OR DIE TRYIN'.
    Quote Originally Posted by Devil View Post
    I think Battlefields and I had a spirited discussion once about who was the biggest narcissist. We both wanted the title but at the end of the day I had to concede defeat. Can't win 'em all.
    Quote Originally Posted by BackFistMonkey View Post
    I <3 Battlefields...

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