Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Hospital Recovery

The first day of my recovery I again don't remember that much, but some important events happened. I finally got off of the pain med pump which was making me itchy all over, and would knock me out within minutes of me pushing the button. I was introduced to Percocet. Hellooooo Percoset! More flowers arrived. I was visited by my parents, and my friends Julie, Maya and Dorothy. The CATHER was removed. YAY! I used the bathroom all by myself, and the biggest... Eric took me for my first walk.

On the second day of my recovery in the hospital, I was moved to a different room, in a new nurses station area, and now, with a roommate (the first of 3).

I wasn't able to really focus on anything. TV, books, nothing really held my attention. But thankfully I had my lovely cell phone with texting, IM and email capabilities, so I could communicate with my friends and family. My thumbs got pretty quick if I do say so myself.... ok, not fast enough for IM, but it was still a good distraction.

By this time I was getting up to us the restroom, and Eric would walk me around as far as I could go. I still had these air compression sleeves on my legs to help prevent blood clots, but once I was walking regularly (day 3?) the nurses finally said I could take them off. I was eating a bit more, but for some reason, I wasn't asking for pain meds in the middle of the night, even though I was getting up 3 times a night to use the bathroom, and each night I would wake up in a puddle of sweat as I had a fever each night.

My doctor was still concerned about my continued blood loss especially since I lost so much during surgery, so now we were waiting to see if my body would mend itself so I could avoid a blood transfusion. She was also a little concerned about how tender certain parts of my belly were since there were some complications around my fallopian tubes during surgery. She showed me pictures of the fibroids and of my uterus as she HELD IT OUTSIDE OF MY BODY! She pointed to the tubes and all of the parts of it. CRAZY! She said that the report had come back on the fibroids and they appeared to be "normal" fibroids and no cancerous (YAY!), and together they weighed in at 1 kilo. She visited right when I was trying to eat breakfast, and can I tell you how quickly nausea can come on when you mix a high dose of narcotics, french toast and turkey sausage, and having your fallopian tubes pointed out to you in a picture? Thankfully they have drugs which quickly make the nausea go away.

By Day 3 I had a new roommate who was suffering from an infection after a hysterectomy 4 weeks earlier. We were the youngest people on the floor, and the nurses seemed to like to come in to chat with us. Odd. My appetite was definitely coming back, and I could stand a little TV watching here and there. I also finally picked up a book I had brought with me, but had no interest in all of the food magazines I would normally love. We were still waiting on my blood work to stop going down and the outlook of a transfusion was looking likely.

Day 4 came, and there was a dispute between my doctor and the on-call GYN on whether or not to give me a transfusion. The on-call GYN just so happened to be who saw me in the ER right after the wedding, so he knew I had had a slight reaction to that transfusion. My doctor knew this as well, but there was some confusion amongst the nurses depending on which doctor talked to who. After that was straightened out, the process to get the transfusion got underway. It takes HOURS to get that going, so by that afternoon, I had the crazy experience of getting Benedryl via IV which SUCKED! The Benedryl was a precaution in case there was a reaction to the transfusion, but mostly they were going to slow down the flow to really, really, slow. I then I got a new IV for the transfusion (my other one's were too old), and then the blood started flowing.
There was a nurse shift change before my 2nd unit started, and my normal evening nurse was now training a brand new graduate. Newbie got to give me her first transfusion, and got to take out my staples. She had lots of firsts and she did such a good job, except she was afraid to hurt me with the staples and would jump when I jumped or made a noise.
That night my young roommate was discharged, and within 45 minutes, I had a new roommate. This time an 83 year old woman who fell and broke her wrists, AND she was hard of hearing.
This was the longest night of all of the nights in the hospital. Thankfully I didn't have a fever this night, and I was asking for the pain meds much more regularly, but I wasn't sleeping because my roommate was having such a hard time with things. Our night nurse had a VERY heavy accent and was rather curt and even a little cranky from midnight to about 5am, and then she was a doll until her shift was over at 8am. But you take her accent, and her shortness, plus an old lady that just got out of surgery and can't hear well, and you get loads of confusion. I ended up calling the nurses when she needed something, communicating with them about what she was asking for, and would try to calm her and explain to her what the nurses were asking of her. She kept crying as she was used to taking care of her husband, not having people take care of her and she felt very helpless and scared. Her pain meds made her nauseous, and no one figured that out until her husband came the next morning. It was kinda a big mess, but thankfully was straightened out the next morning. Funny how she could completely understand her soft spoken husband.
Each day Eric would come to the hospital to walk me around as much as I could. He found that there were little courtyards on our floor so I could get outside and breath some fresh air. The nurses let him stay as long as he wanted to, and even offered to get him one of those chairs that turn into a bed. On that last night, they asked if he was going to stay the night! We had no idea they would even allow that! Good thing because he just might have, but really he needed to get home to get some sleep for himself. One really doesn't get that much rest in the hospital.

Day 5 I was discharged in the AM as the blood work that was being done every 6 freakin' hours taken by those really cute phlebotomist guys, was finally going UP! Eric came as quickly as he could to pick me up and take me home. That car ride was a trip though (ohhh... drugs!), and I felt every little bump, but man it felt good to be going HOME, no matter how much pain I was still in. (at least the pain was less then a few days earlier!)


Beenzzz said...

Hey Cherry!
Sounds like quite the experience in the hospital. Good thing you had percocet! The part with the doctor showing you your innards would have sent me over the edge too. Glad they had anti-hurl meds to give you! And....that poor older woman you shared a room with!!! Oy! Glad your back home and convelescing (sp?) there.

Karen MEG said...

Wow, what an experience at the hospital. You must have been looking forward to seeing Eric everyday. And reading about your doctor showing you your fibroids and uterus - that must have been so strange for you! Yikes!
Glad that you're finally home though. Amazing that you can remember it all in such great detail - my head would be spinning.

MrsGrumpy said...

That was super nice of you to help out your roomate. So many times it is easier to just get irritated, especially when one isn't feelig well. You must have been an angel in her eyes. I am so happy that you are home and mending. Sounds like you have a real keeper in your husband.

ML said...

Being in your home is so comforting. Wow, what an adventure you had in the hospital! Eric is so supportive and that's a huge plus.

Get better quickly, brave lady.

J at said...

My innards need to stay IN, thank you, and if you need to take them OUT, don't show me. Barf city. Way too gross. :) Glad you had drugs to keep you from barfing.

Coming home after being in the hospital is the BEST. So relaxing and comforting to be in your own bed, without people poking and prodding you every 1/2 hour, no neighbors keeping you awake, no strange noises of nurses talking in the hallways...

Hospitals suck. Except with how they kinda save your life and such.

Py Korry said...

Holy crap! Pictures of your uterus AND breakfast? Where's your doctor's "bedside manner?"

I'm glad you're on the mend, but boy that was quite the ordeal.