Saturday, October 8, 2011

Rule #1: Don't let a resident from Plastics put on your ileo bag

Morning.  Awake again.  But can I really consider it being awake if I didn't truly get any sleep?  See the, horrid thing about being in the hospital is the fact that you really don't get any deep, restful sleep.  At all.  The blood draws happen at 2am.  Yes folks, that's right, 2am.  All the lights pop on and they torture you to try to find a remaining vein that may or may not produce a modicum of blood to get the levels they need to measure.  This is amidst the blood pressure, temperature, and pulse oxygen measurements which happen every 2 hours or so?  And just when you finally doze back off, the i.v. lines start beeping incessantly.  As dawn finally breaks and my heavy eyes can't stand staying open anymore, I pass out for a minute.  And again, I do mean a minute because between 6 and 7am, the residents for the doctors begin rounding, again turning on all of the lights, each of them taking a turn asking you the same questions over and over, each one wanting to examine you to see the body part in which they soon will be specializing.  When you don't know if the doctors will be by later, your tired brain scrambles to try to remember the questions you want to ask, knowing if you forget to mention anything, you won't get another chance until the next overly-tired morning rounds.  They spend between sixty seconds and three minutes, and lights go out again.  Soon, the sun is blazing through the window, the food cart, rattling, is being pushed through the hallway, and your breakfast of fairly tasteless mass produced food is dropped off, stinking up your room with smells of weak coffee in plastic mugs, rubbery eggs, and tasteless, soggy pancakes.  Is it any wonder people recover better and faster at home than in the hospital?

But I digress.  Upon "waking" on day three, I'm still in pain and in the spinal unit.  Adam is my daytime nurse again, which makes me happy.  I keep tripping over myself apologizing for the prior day's pain and complaints that were lodged.  He asks how my night went, and I tell him the usual, crappy and tiring and somewhat painful.  He asks if there is anything he can do to ease my pain, and I quip "get me out of this bed...not to walk, not to look out the window.  Just get me back in my old air bed that they forcibly took away."  I absolutely HATE sand right now.  This bed has me folded in half like a taco, and my back is screaming for something hard to be underneath it.  Like a rock.  Or a plank of wood.  Or ANYTHING that could possibly give my straining, aching back muscles a rest.  Adam makes a call.  And a second call.  And about 3 hours later, blissfully, my air bed is re-delivered to me, and for the first time in three days I'm out of the sand and back on air.  As per the agreement I made with Adam, I did half a lap around the floor and then got back in the room and into my happy happy air bed.  Did I mention happy? Oh, happy bed.

It still hurt a ton to move, and I could barely shuffle my feet, but having the ability to not be totally flat on my back, to be able to roll to my side, to find a comfortable position, to get out of bed seemed like such a luxury.  I couldn't have been happier to have that bed, and with that bed came a new room and new roommate.  Okay, take away one of the 'happy' from before.  As stellar as the bed was, the new roommate definitely made things a bit more difficult.  But I'll get to that later.

Being up and moving meant they determined that I could now eat 'clears' for dinner--no longer was I npo, but was allowed to consume some broth, or Italian ice, or juice for dinner.  I passed on it.  Anyone who knows me knows I don't like soup broth on a good day, let alone when I've had nothing in my system for 3 days. 

One thing I didn't bank on with the new bed though, and the moving around, was the fact that my bag wouldn't keep holding.  I guess the first tip-off was the overly excited resident from plastics who very proudly exclaimed to her whole group of residents no less than 3 times "I put on her ileostomy bag!!"  Well, folks, rule #1: Don't let a resident from Plastics put on your ileo bag.  It may look aesthetically pleasing, but it won't hold up worth a darn.  Larry, my nighttime nurse, sure learned that one quickly.  He and Shelby quickly got a lesson in How to Change an Ileostomy on the Fly 101.....

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