Breathing and Other New Difficulties

I’m gonna dive right in here: You’ve more than likely been filled in on my whole situation. I mean, how could you avoid it, right? I won’t shut up about it. “My poor lungs,” I bellyache. “My heart is weak,” I bitch and moan. “I can’t even shower without running out of breath,” I complain. I’m mildly sorry if you constantly hear these things, but as of now I think it’s quite alright for me to worry out loud. Bear with me for a while until either A) I’m a bit more “stable” or “normal” in the coming months or B) one of these pesky clots rushes to my brain while I wait in the checkout line at Walmart. Whichever comes first.

If I die young, bury me in SAVINGS!

“If I die young, bury me in SAVINGS!”

Now, for those of you left in the dark, here’s the deal: On Monday December 21st, I decided to help a friend out during a cleaning spree by taking her trash to the dumpster. I had woken up at around 10:30AM and immediately threw some shoes on, grabbed the full bag by the door, and meandered outside, not a care in the world. Once I was about halfway to the dumpster — which is only about a hundred feet from her building’s exit — I began to feel a bit winded. “You’re just fat,” my brain said. “You need to wake up and get your energy back. No biggie.” So I kept going like nothing was wrong. The problem? There indeed WAS something very wrong. I made it to the dumpster and you’d swear at that point I was taking a break from a marathon. I was out of breath, struggling from one gasp to the next. I dropped the trash bag and tried walking back to the apartment, but my equilibrium was thrown off. My ears were ringing, my vision was blurry, my chest was tight and burning, my whole body went weak. Luckily (if I can say that), I made it to the outside apartment door, where I collapsed just as I put my hand on the knob. I waited on my knees for a few seconds as I gathered myself, then picked my body up and stumbled back into the apartment. I made it to the couch and collapsed, trying my hardest not to freak out. Each breath I took hurt like no other. I wanted to burst out in tears and call the ambulance, but my dumb ass decided it was something that would pass on its own. As I rested, my friend came out and told me to migrate to another spot so she could clean around the couch. “No worries,” I said. “I’m about to leave. Gotta go to the doctor. I’m… I’m not feeling too well.”

“What’s wrong?” she asked.

“I really don’t know.”

“What the fuck do you mean you don’t know? Do you need medicine? What’s wrong?”

“I… Don’t… Know… I’m going to drive myself to the ER.”

Yes, I drove myself in that condition. I don’t know why I thought that was a good idea, but you know me, man. I’m not one to hinder on other people’s lives with my silly problems. You’d be happy to know, however, that I did make it to my destination.

Which, at first, was not the ER.

I'm an idiot.

I’m an idiot.

Being a stubborn bastard really bites me in the ass. See, before I went to the ER I decided to stop off at my friend Chris’s house, where I had been crashing for the weeks prior to this whole ordeal. Making it there wasn’t so bad, but making it to his door was a chore and even after feeling the pain all over again, I still didn’t go to the ER. No, I went inside, lied down on the bed, and thought about what was happening. Heart attack? Maybe. Pneumonia? ‘Tis the season. A debilitating STD? Yeah…OK. Unsure of what to make of all of it, I called my mom. I wanted to let her know what was going on in the event that I passed out and no one was around to find me. Yeah, another golden idea: CALL MOM AND WORRY HER! Once I said all of what I had to say, she told me to quote “get [my] fucking ass to the fucking ER before [she comes] down there and drags [my] ass.” OK, that was just the shove I needed, so I hopped in my car and drove down to the ER at St. Joseph’s on Broadway, less than a mile from Chris’s place.

Fast forward to my ER visit. I told them what was going on, they ran some tests and scans and whatnot, and immediately informed me that I was to be admitted. After hours of waiting, bouncing around, getting a finger shoved in my ass, and wondering what the hell was wrong with me, I finally got to see a doctor. He came in, sat down, and ripped it off like a band-aid when he said, “Charles, you have pulmonary embolism, which means that there is clotting in your lungs’ arteries and their “branches.” Not only do you have a few clots, you have SEVERAL clots. The damage is quite extensive, actually. Because of this, you also have right ventricular failure, meaning the right side of your heart is dangerously weak and is having an awful lot of trouble pumping blood into your lungs. We’re going to keep you here for the foreseeable future until all of this is sorted out.”

Wha– I jus– I’m only 24? HOW in the ever-loving hell am I dealing with a pulmonary embolism and fucking HEART FAILURE? They checked my legs for any evidence of deep vein thrombosis. Nothing. Nada. They hooked me up to machines, did some Doppler ultrasounds, checked on my heart some more and were baffled when they couldn’t give me a proper answer. These professionals have no idea how or why I have a sh’load of clots in my lungs. The answer they did give me was that I drew the short straw in the genetic lottery and am just an unlucky son of a bitch.

“Thanks for letting me know.”

After eight days of constant blood work, tests, scans, x-rays, etc, that’s as far as we’ve gotten. Seriously. The good-ish news is that I have to follow up with all of this every week for the rest of eternity, so odds are they’ll find out exactly what’s wrong with me eventually. I have to set up an appointment with a hematologist soon because apparently I might have a shitty blood disorder that’s causing my blood to clot up for no real reason other than being diseased. For the time being, I’m on a blood thinner that needs to be closely monitored for the rest of my life and a blood pressure medication that’s helping me not stroke out.

YEAH! MEDICINE!

YEAH! MEDICINE!

The point of this blog, other than to share my story for those who are unaware, is to let you all know that it’s gonna be a while before I’m back to being the old me. My whole life has been put on hold and everything I’ve worked at for the past few months of my life is now on the back burner. I can’t drive long distances. I can’t work until I know my body’s limitations. I can’t drink alcohol. I can’t smoke. I can’t eat leafy greens or other Vitamin K rich foods (this one’s not so bad). I can’t stand up for too long without getting winded. I can’t sit for too long without running the risk of getting another clot or pushing an existing one through my body. I can’t… Well, there’s a lot I can’t do. It’s really doing a number on my mental health right now. I don’t get to hang out with my friends as much anymore. I don’t have a way to spend time with the girl I was hanging out with at the time of the incident. For all intents and purposes, I’m a bruised, sad sack of sickness, loneliness, and helplessness right now as I try to acclimate to this new development. For once in my life, I’m feeling sorry for myself because, for once in my life, I have no idea what I’m doing. Zero percent. There’s not even a shred of life confidence right now.

Life is different.

And I’m scared.

This all being said, I’m trying to at least keep my humor about me. Every time I bring up this predicament or my overall health in a joking manner, please don’t see it as me being pessimistic. While my optimism is not what it used to be, my humor — no matter how dark — is what’s keeping me sane and happy. When a doctor gives you a list of different ways an illness could potentially kill you, you have to find a way to make each day a little easier, to take your mind off of all the negative. Do I think I’ll croak any time soon? I hope not. With a huge change in my lifestyle, I suppose I could someday find some semblance of normalcy in this fucked up situation. The fact of the matter is, however, that these clots aren’t all going to go away. Some will be broken down by my body naturally, but with the sheer amount that are in my lungs, there’s no guarantee they’ll all go away. Does that spell out certain death? ABSOLUTELY NOT.

I’m just saying we should name them all and start betting on which one will bust out of the gate first and race to the finish line in my head.

I’m just kidding! You really think I’m gonna let you get rid of me that easily? Forget about it!

That’s it. That’s all I’ve got. Before I go, I wanna ship out a big THANK YOU to everyone who has helped me through all of this, whether it be monetarily, morally, spiritually, whatever. I have quite an awesome support system that continues to make me feel better each and every day. Much love to you all!

And thanks for reading, you rascals. I’m gonna go count my bruises.

1171

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO DONATE TO MY GOFUNDME TO HELP WITH THE COSTS OF ALL OF THIS, PLEASE GO HERE:

>>> CHARLIE’S POST-HOSPITAL COSTS <<<

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Fusterclucked

I’m a part-time insomniac. I don’t mean to make light of those who suffer from grown-up insomnia, but I only find it impossible to sleep maybe four days out of the week, five tops. If you’re keeping track of the time at home (it’s pert’near 4:00 AM here) then you are well aware that tonight is one of those restless nights. I’ve tried watching boring movies, reading a book, taking medication, mastur– WHOA! No. This isn’t a tell-all, naughty time blog post. My apologies to the five of you who really wanted that mental image.

Psst... Call me ;).

Psst… Call me ;).

With the annoyance of this shitty sleeplessness comes random bursts of creativity, something I don’t get nearly as often since my good-for-nothing doctor put me on Zoloft. Yeah, sure, sometimes I feel like that bouncy little fuckhead from those old commercials, but it also drains my brain and makes me, dare I say it, somewhat normal. Perhaps the insomnia is a side effect of this, a sort of fuck the system rebellion my body is pulling so that I can someday share my clusterfucked bullshit with the world.

Though I don't think anyone's super ready for that yet.

Though I don’t think anyone’s super ready for that yet.

Looking at the bright side, I have had a lot of time to do things that I hope to someday release — screenplays, comedy bits, short movies, etc. For instance, I have a couple of stories outlined that I’m converting into screenplays within the next few months. One is a sort of fantasy/sci-fi number about a man who is actually addicted to dreaming. Just like how heroin, sex, and Nutella are habit-forming for a lot of people, this dude gets high on his dreams, no matter what they may be; the more intense, the better, he believes. He begins dishing out tons of money for sleep aids and experiments that thrust him into lucid dreams so that he can get his fix, since that is the only way he seems to be able to function in day-to-day reality. S’a good one.

The next project I have been preparing is more of a drama that pulls from my own life experiences. I won’t go into details on this (it can get a little sappy), but let’s just say there’s going to be lots of laughter, crying, drugs, and maybe even some softcore lesbian sex. Trust me, it’s not there because I’m some kind of perv, it’s there for a reason that I’ll explain later. For the time being, just think about how the fuck lesbian sex is pulled from my own life experiences.

Speaking of... HAVE YOU GUYS SEEN SEASON TWO OF 'ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK?' So. Fucking. Good.

Speaking of… HAVE YOU GUYS SEEN SEASON TWO OF ‘ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK?’ So. Fucking. Good.

As for the comedy, I’ve got a lot of new material that is, well, more me. If the Zoloft is doing anything right for me, it’s definitely made me realize that I have less fucks to give. Crowds don’t faze me anymore, nor do spotlights, controversy, or self-deprecation. I’m ready to showcase a newer version of me, while still remaining faithful to my storytelling and slightly fabricated tales of truth. I don’t promise much, but I can sure as fuck guarantee a fun time and maybe even a change of underwear.

On top of all of this, I still have plenty of time to indulge in games on my computer, educate myself with some nonfiction reading, and maintain a very sad yet hopeful online dating profile. It’s a lot of multitasking, but goddammit I have to show everyone that fat kids like me are totally capable of running the marathon. Am I right or am I right?

OH! ONE MORE THING! I also do these shitty things in my spare time. Got quite the collection going and they’re only getting better (?).

showcase

That gentleman at the bottom riding the velociraptor is Turner Watson, a damn cool dude with a blog of his own. Check out http://www.turnerwatson.com and prepare to be amused.

I’m out, folks. Peace up, A-town down… One love… Bye-bye biatch… Whatever the kids are saying these days.

Charlie Gallagher: 38 Facts (or Not) About a Midwestern Fat Kid

Charlie Gallagher (n.) – He who shan’t be fucked with; he who is unfuckwithable.

I figure I’d try a little some’n some’n to break the ice on this here blog. I’ve spent the past couple weeks compiling thirty-eight facts about me that I feel comfortable sharing with you, my audience of approximately six or seven (thousand!!) mouth-breathing, twenty-year old dudes with a chow hole full of braces because the “ladies think they’re dope.” Granted, I honestly cannot think of thirty-eight interesting things about myself, so I guess it’s up to you to decipher fact from fiction all on your own. Without further ado, I present to you “Charlie Gallagher: 38 Facts (or Not) About a Midwestern Fat Kid.”

  1. I was born Searlus John O’Gallochobhair in County Donegal, Ireland.
  2. I had my name changed in 1997 because I was tired of kicking kids’ asses at school for making fun of it. My fist can only take so many protruding bones before I need to lay low for a while.
  3. My parents and I came to America in 1994 because they thought “Soul Train” was still on-air. With afro-picks and bell bottoms in their suitcases, they made their way to New York or Los Angeles or whatever big city in which “Soul Train” was filmed and were sorely disappointed.

    Satan

    Seen Here: Dream Crusher

  4. They took their frustration out on me in the form of physical and mental abuse, mainly involving dad’s size 36 belt and a LaserDisc copy of “Watership Down.”

    And now a pause so you can cry like a little bitch.

  5. I was raised in a modest little town in Michigan, but was whisked away to Ohio in the sixth grade.
  6. At age nine I was inducted to the Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame as an honorary member.  I still have no idea what the fuck that even means or how it happened.
  7. I can only remember so much of my childhood, much of it consisting of Rice Krispies and bananas, my mom spanking me with a brush, my ball surgery, and how some kid used to punch me in the gut every time I’d go check the mail by myself.
  8. My favorite movie at age 10 was “Conan the Barbarian.” Even then I realized that Arnold Schwarzenegger was snubbed at the Academy Awards, where he OBVIOUSLY should have been given the Best Actor statue.

    I still maintain that that joint is filled with talent, success, and ‘roids.

  9. To this day I can sing 95% of Brandy & Monica’s “The Boy Is Mine.”
  10. One of best friends from Ionia has kept in touch since Kindergarten, where I remember him wearing pajamas on most days.
  11. I made the mistake of showing my ex-girlfriend, Kim Kardashian, the very first video Justin Bieber posted on YouTube. You know, just to poke fun and write silly comments…

    I am SO sorry, America.

  12. Throughout middle school my nickname was Big Thick McPrick. Even the teachers would call me by that name.
  13. I won a local talent show with my spot on Don LaFontaine impression.
  14. Due to said talent, I lost my virginity at the age of 15.
  15. Unlike 89% of Americans, I went to high school. To prove to my parents that I wasn’t a total waste of space, I passed every class with a D+. Who’s the dumbass fuckhead now, Dad?!
  16. I graduated from high school and decided to go to the University of Michigan, one of the greatest schools in the country.
  17. I am majoring in pornographic studio management and minoring in Tae Kwon Do. Yeah, those are real.
  18. I’ve written a movie script already.
  19. I have the most eclectic assortment of movie knowledge in my head. I don’t know everything, but we’ll say I’m pretty boss at trivia.
  20. One time I dared to fear the reaper.
  21. My brother, David Gallagher, played Simon in the show “7th Heaven.” Look it up.

    Don’t deny the resemblance.

  22. When I got to college I was a nervous wreck. I got so stressed one day that my nose bled for a good hour, kind of like the scene from “Drag Me to Hell” where the main character’s face shoots blood.
  23. I have a Batman shirt that I wear quite a bit. People actually scream to me for help when I’m doing my shopping now. I would save them, but groceries don’t buy themselves, you know?
  24. I used to walk to Lake Michigan (over 100 miles away from home), jump in, and swim to Chicago just because Mom couldn’t cook a decent meal.
  25. The IQ test I took recently gave me a 700. That’s higher than my credit score, which I believe is around 115 or 120. Wait…….fuck!

    To whom it may concern: Is it too late to change my mind?

  26. I’m allergic to red brick.
  27. My lack of facial hair at damn near 20 years old makes me believe God has a sense of humor and just doesn’t think I’d look good with a beard.
  28. I was approached by a hot Hollywood producer to star in a remake of “Beverly Hills Ninja.”
  29. Girlfriend Count: 0. Kiss Count: 0. Sex Count: 0. Pity Count: 56.
  30. MC Hammer still hasn’t returned my pants.
  31. I find women in Pontiac Bonnevilles extremely attractive.
  32. Last time I was at a Chuck E. Cheese, I got terribly lost in the play place and freaked the fuck out.

    Pictured: Satan and the Blowfish of Hell.

  33. Now I haven’t checked in weeks, but I’m pretty sure my weight still floats at around 180 pounds, give or take a few ounces.
  34. My favorite bands are Cannibal Corpse, Sperm Swamp, Anal Cunt, and Tina Turner (those legs!).
  35. My greatest fears are birds, bats, heights, clowns, ladders, tight spaces, centipedes/millipedes/silver fish, and the deep parts of most lakes.
  36. I made a shot for shot re-creation of “Highlander” in my backyard with the original cast, including Sean Connery and Christopher Lambert. (Let’s face it, they weren’t doing anything anyways.)
  37. Mogwai, the cure for cancer, hover cars, telekinesis and lightsabers are very much real, it’s just that no one’s asked me politely to reveal them. Say it with me: PLEASE.
  38. This blog is how I’m going to be remembered, which is alright by me.