Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Living in the Hospital, Not Outside of It...

For those of you who read my somewhat forgotten blog, you'll get a chuckle out of the title, as it matches the title of the blog. I haven't actually forgotten it, but it has fallen by the way side thanks to feeling crappy more often than not. However, two things have happened to suddenly bring the sun back out onto my island of writings and musings...

1. I'm in Mo'town (our EMS designation for Morristown Memorial Hospital and there is only so much to do. I have all the telly viewing I could want on my iPad, but since I'm not a telly addict, there is only so much I will watch. And I don't consider playing games to be worthwhile on a computer, so scratch that off the list. Typing extensively on an iPad is not really ideal and so I have never posted anything onto my blog from there.

Which brings me to 2. Luis (how much do I love that man?) got me the one and only thing I really, really wanted for Christmas: a MacBook Air. Oh, yes. And just as I love my iPad to distraction, let me count the ways I love this beautiful piece of artwork in my hands. It weighs nothing; it is as thin as anything could be, it is loaded to the eyeballs with space and fast as the dickens. It is gorgeous. And it is totally silent. It is just magic!

And so that which really wasn't possible on my iPad is now completely possible in my hands - and anywhere I go.

I came to Mo'town around 03:35 Saturday morning, thanks to Don, Brian, Sandra and a newbie who is very nice but I was not in any shape to remember her name (I do apologise, but I am sure she understands utterly). The short story is that I ran out of Tizanidine thanks to a mix-up with Aetna (and we will leave it there) and bad things happen without it - extreme vomiting, pain that is off the charts, etc. And since this is my... what... 12th trip here this calendar year, my veins are for shit. That is the polite version. They did get a line in after six failed attempts, which is miraculous, considering just how bad my veins really are. And then they began loading me up with fluids, the anti-nausial drug which suddenly has escaped my memory and of course, dilaudid for pain. And hte pain would go from ten to maybe an 8 if I was lucky, and after X number of 2-milligram injections, they went from ER to admittance, and here I am.

While I wasn't much to celebrate Christmas this year, this was NOT what I had in mind...

I'm still here, unfortunately, because despite putting back on my own meds orally AND giving me Dilaudid every four hours, I'm still in too much pain. It would be easy for them to send me home like this, but until I'm down to a pain level of 2 to 4, my baseline pain level, there is no point - I'll just end up inconveniencing my crew again and driving the ER people to distraction, only to be admitted. Then I can ring in the new year here as well. What fun.

Every new years, I wish for the new year to be better than the old one. Every time I do this, it bombs - fast. I think this year I will ask for it to be a total shit year and have a wonderful one in which a cure will be found, I will become healthy, strong, beautiful (well, why knot? Might as well ask for the Moon, right?), start working as an HR Manager again and start riding as an EMT too! Shouldn't that work? And maybe then I will get my dream of truly getting a call from NASA who wants to invigte me to the next Moon mission.

If wishes were horses...

Since they are not, however, something tells me that this will not work. So I suppose I will hope for some miraculous event to make 2013 a damn sight better than 2012 and see what doesn't happen. And at the end of January I will be 45. Another moment to ask for the unreasonable.

At least there are some plusses to the who Mo'town experience. The staff are super-pleasant and they are great people - mostly. At night I have problems with the median - no one wants to wake me up at the right time to give me the meds I need and so I wake up later suffering. What a treat. During the day this is much less an issue. But the dilaudid has ceased working, and that is an issue of unreal proportions, as it means I will be here until the cows come home. In New Jersey, there hardly any cows TO have come home, which means I'm stuffed (as the British say).

The other plus is a woman - a nursing technician - named Alberta who is so sweet and wonderful it is like the sun shines when she enters the room. I could talk to her all day. Good thing, because there is a patient across the hall who needs to meet an untimely (or maybe timely) end. I suspect from the sound of the voice that this is one very old patient. And last night, at some hideous hour, I could hear the patient yelling "HELP!" every time a person walked by. I heard one nurse go in and ask what was needed and the patient screamed, "I need to go to the bathroom!" THe nurse told the patient that there is a catheter and no need to go anywhere. THis argument went on for some time. GGGGRRRRRRRR! A catheter just works - there is no need to feel anything or need to "go" as it just does its job without any work on the part of the patient. I've never been catheterised but I certainly understand the theory and the practise, having had patients, friends and family who have been at some time or other. It may not be fun (less for men than for women, for reasons I'm sure I needn't explain) but it is easy and makes urinating a non issue. As for defecating, there is no outside solution, but that was not the patient's issue last night.

Apparently the person had foot surgery. On Christmas. Who knew? I didn't think an elective surgery would be done on a major holiday...

(I'm in the Meade section of Mo'town, which is orthopedic. Isn't that weird? I find it so as well, but I'm just as happy not to be in the Gagnon Cardiac section, with those damn heart monitors on. I haven't any cardiac problems, so it is clearly wrong to have me there. And this week there is almost no one in this part of the hospital. I guess there wouldn't be, but still... on Christmas Eve, there were seven patients here including me. That is some level of care, let me tell you!

Still, given the opportunity, I'd rather be home than here.

The food, at least, is okay. Not great, but okay. OK is better than total shit. I never could understand my mother's constant complaining about the food... but then, she did get the "cardiac" diet as well as the diabetic diet, and so there was no sugar AND no salt. She used to gripe at us to bring sugar and salt and of course we didn't, which made her pissy as all get-out. But Ray and I were less likely to piss off the hospital than her, much to her disappointment.

I get the normal diet, although this visit I've been getting my blood sugar tested before every meal. My fingers are running out of unpricked places and my temper where this is concerned is getting short. Why this? I'm not diabetic. And all the blood tests have corroborated this, so why keep beating the dead horse?

In one post I've gone from riding the horse to beating it after it is deceased... Maybe it is time for me to crawl back into bed and hope for deliverance. Well. I'll hope for lunch - I have a much better chance of seeing that than deliverance, I suspect.

See you all soon, my faithful readers.

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