Lum: Deja vu all over |

Lum: Deja vu all over

Su Lum

I was going to finish the Yogi Berra-ism “Deja vu all over again,” but it turns out we’re not quite finished with the story. Stay tuned for further details.

What happened was that I once again passed out without any oxygen. The first time, in late May, I was distracted and hadn’t put the oxygen on. This time, I think the cannula was dislodged during the fall as I fainted.

Both times, I had pneumonia and was on antibiotics, and both times my friend Hilary Burgess found me conked out on the floor. A nice surprise for her — hours waiting for news from the emergency room and calling my kids and friends.

The first time, I flunked my first sanity test by saying that Bush was the president. This last time, I don’t remember a thing about being “combative” with Hilary or the police being there or the ambulance ride or their having to cut off my ratty night clothes or being in the emergency room for four hours.

I arrived at the hospital around 2 p.m. and came around at 9 p.m. to find myself in a hospital bed in a room with Hilary and Dr. David Borchers, thinking I was having a very bad dream. It was exactly like a dream in that one second I was gone and the next second — BING — I was back.

Despite my long period of unconsciousness, I was better off mentally than I was the first time and hence had more of an opportunity to assess my surroundings.

Foremost, the staff is absolutely wonderful. Night nurses, especially, work 12-hour shifts from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., tenderly wiping your butt and drawing your blood, and you wonder how they can stay awake, and what you really wonder is why these treasured employees had their coffee machine taken away. They should have a dozen coffee machines if it will get them through the night. I mean, really.

Then there are the beds, invented by Satan himself — impossible to get into or out of, humping at one end and lumping al the other and rough blankets that rip the skin off your elbows when you try to move. I won’t speak about the pillows.

As I said, it’s mostly good, but what’s bad is bad. And some is funny, like my first night when — jacked out of my mind on steroids — Christmas carols began playing at 3:30 in the morning. I’m not making this up. It was not an auditory hallucination. I think a patient must have turned on a radio; four numbers played (thankfully not “The Little Drummer Boy”).

My insurance is great, and I urge everybody to get the highest possible coverage. Lucky for me, it’s cheaper if you’re old and on Medicare.

Anyway, I started the drug-induced stress test, and there were some numbers that had gone up when they should have gone down, so here I am for at least another night to see if that gets better. I am running out of veins, so keep your fingers crossed.

Kate, one of my terrific nurses, is about to have a baby any second now, so it’s a race to see who gets out first.

Su Lum is a longtime local who will report further. Her column appears every Wednesday in The Aspen Times. Reach her at

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