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Rated: ASR · Short Story · Other · #1901135
Phoenix is ready for his ECT procedure...and thirsty.
Phoenix awoke from an odd dream, yet something that could not be considered a nightmare.  Phoenix was thankful for that.  He slipped out of bed quietly, as not to wake his spouse, and took the two medications that he was supposed to take the morning of an ECT.  He could not take all of his medications - just those two.  One was for his heart rate and the other was for his stomach acid.  Those two kept him from getting sick afterwards.  He grabbed his flashlight and picked out his clothing for the day from the bedroom.  He had his "ECT shirt", an old brown t-shirt with green graphics that had Henley-style buttons down the front.  It was the shirt he wore for every ECT.  For one thing, it allowed the nurses and doctors easy access to his chest and shoulders where they had to put the measurement lead patches.  The other reason he wore it was because it had become somewhat of a tradition for him.  It was like a team shirt, in a way.  "Team ECT" did not seem too catchy, but that was the idea.  Phoenix showered up and made sure that he washed well with neutral soap and shampoo.  He could not put on any deodorant or hair gel or anything like that, and he was to wear loose, comfortable clothing.  That made the process of getting ready very easy for Phoenix.  He just towel-dried his hair, threw on his comfy jeans and ECT shirt, and dug out his slip-on shoes from the closet.  There.  Almost ready.  He had a few additional things to do.

Phoenix grabbed his small wallet with only his VA ID and his driver's license inside, and put on his glasses, which he would leave at home when he left for his ECT procedure.  He went to his computer and pulled up the medication list.  He always made a list of medications he was taking and when he last took each dose for the nurses at the hospital.  He was told that it helped them, so he continued to do it, even though they asked him about each medication, anyway.  He printed it out on his PC, folded it, and stuck it in his pocket.  So.  He was ready.  No jewelry - he had taken his earrings out and his wedding ring off.  Ready to go.  Only five hours before he was supposed to be there...

Phoenix would have to call the Pre-Admissions and Testing Lab, though, because they had called him the night before, on his home phone (NOT the way to get ahold of someone who is seldom home), after 1700hrs, and failed to leave a number to call them back at.  Fortunately for Phoenix, he had asked them several times for their direct line in the past, so he had the number, but he knew that he could not have called the night before because they would all be gone.  He would have to call them today.  He wrote on the computer for a while, waiting for enough time to pass for the PAT Lab nurses to be in their office so that he could call them and tell them that he was no longer on his antipsychotic.  That was neither here nor there medically, as far as the procedure went, but Phoenix knew that he was still supposed to report any changes to his medical history or medications.  They would not be in until at least 0800hrs, he figured.  He listened to his iPod and typed some more.  Only four hours to go...  Phoenix hoped that it would pass quickly.  He wanted to get to the hospital and get hooked up to the IV so that he could get some hydration.  Phoenix wanted a drink badly, but he could not take anything by mouth until after the procedure.  He was thirsty...
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