NOTE TO READERS – Going forward, I will be writing all hospital updates on this blog entry. Each time I add something, I will change the date or the number after the date to reflect that I made a revision.
7/12 @ 12:22 am – I was feeling optimistic because I went all day on the 11th with a temperature no higher than 99. That holiday ended just now: 102.0. That likely kills my chance that they’ll let me go home today. *** This pain is similar to how I felt a few days after my mastectomy. I feel like someone sliced me open with a knife … Oh, wait; they DID. *** I love the SCD (Sequential Compression Device) they put on my legs to stimulate blood circulation and prevent blood clots. Is that weird? *** RN Veronica stole her 3-year-old son’s tablet so that, during her shift, I could watch Netflix on a bigger screen. I don’t feel guilty about it. *** I thought Morphine was supposed to knock a fucker out. How am I still up???
@ 9:07 am – I just debriefed with Dr. Sabeeh. He took 200 and 240 cc’s of saline from the left and right expanders, respectively. He gave my insides a deep clean, and he reported finding no pus anywhere around the expander. He said that once I make it 24 hours without a fever, he can start the process of getting me discharged. My release also depends on my blood culture lab results, for that might require changes in my antibiotics, antibiotics that may or may not be available to be sent home with me. He’s going to get with Home Healthcare today to try to arrange sending me home with one of those portable IV machines. *** Morphine makes me itch! I had to lather up my skin and fingernails with shea butter this morning, just so I didn’t scratch my skin off into a raw, bloody mess. I told them to go back to Percocets for the pain. I haven’t had Morphine since midnight; not only was I unable to sleep, but I am STILL SCRATCHING nine hours later.
@ 1:32 pm – snippet of a conversation between me and the Infectious Diseases doctor:
IDD: You’re still running fevers, so let’s wait a few more days for the culture results to come back, and then we can discuss releasing you.
me (squinting in annoyance, with a my lips drawn in a tight line): I have been here since Thursday. I want to go home with IV antibiotics.
IDD: Well, Infectious Diseases isn’t going to let you go home with a fe—….
me: Let me just stop you right there. No one can force me to stay here or tell me I CAN’T leave. Now, I understand I need to make it 24 hours without a fever, and I am willing to make compromises … but in the end, I can leave whenever I want.
That changed the tone of the conversation pretty quickly.
@8:50pm – I just got hives all over my body, and my temperature is creeping up. They had to inject me with Benadryl after giving it to me topically. *** On a positive note, I watched 500 Days of Summer for the 500th time, and it was just as good as it was the 1st time I saw it. *** I have now finished my 5th HBO treatment – 5 down, 25 to go.
7/13/16 @ 5:35am – Well … My bed and the hospital gown that I have been wearing for about 5.5 days now are completely drenched in sweat, my stomach is puffed out like the starving children’s commercials, and the dark circles under my eyes are officially bigger than each eye itself … BUT. BUT. … I finally made it through a night without breaking out in a fever. My last fever was officially more than 24 hours ago. Dr. Sabeeh, I hope you’re mentally prepared for the debate you’re about to have thrust upon you, for I am: it’s time for you to let me go home.
@ 6:15pm – I celebrated my miniscule health improvement by exercising today. Still hooked up to my IV antibiotics, I did lunges out my door, around the pod, to the elevators, and back. “Look at her go!” one of them chuckled. “She’s making us look bad,” another one commented (to which I assured her that she was already busy enough, by simply being an RN in a hospital, whereas I had endless hours to amuse myself). I did squats, too – two sets of 36. When my stretcher arrived to take me to hyperbaric therapy, I simply said, “I’ll be walking today, in case you want to ditch that stretcher for a wheelchair and just walk beside me;” we walked 1/4 mile there and 1/4 mile back, with her pushing an empty wheelchair. I amuse the hospital staff here, with my insistence on getting light exercise in lieu of the anti-blood clot shot they tricked me into getting the first two nights I was here. *** One of the nursing assistants hooked me up with baby wash so that I could handwash my hospital gown in the bathtub, and a womyn on the 3rd floor threw it in a dryer for me, while i waited in a binder and hospital underwear. I’m pretty sure that was the first time in my life I wore the same clothing for five days in a row; it had blood on it and reeked of sickness and Vancomycin. Not my most attractive moment. Then again, neither is this bathroom. (If you look closely, you’ll see the fine handiwork of Monday’s nurse, Rachel: She used waterproof body tape to fasten the showerhead to the rod so that I could actually take a shower standing up.)
*** I found out today that my staph infection could be MRSA. They’re still analyzing the culture sample in the lab but should know for sure by mid-morning. I let Dr. Sabeeh convince me to stay in the hospital for one more day. He wants to be 100% sure that he’s sending me home with the right antibiotics, but he needs to wait on the final results from those cultures. *** My doctor thinks I am crazy for pushing to go back to work on Friday. He doesn’t understand the extent to which I am in survival mode at ADJC. He keeps making these sweet-in-a-clueless-way suggestions like, “Maybe if I just *talk* to them and explain what’s going on with you….” I get it. Good, compassionate people have a hard time remembering how many bad, heartless folks there are in the world today. *** I’m looking at the clock with a grin on my face; by this time tomorrow, I will be HOME.
7/14/16 @ 5:55pm – Five hours late and two hissy fits later, I am officially discharged and on my way home.