Sunday, 16 February 2014

Living in the Hospital - Again!

Yes, I'm here yet again, the wonderful world of St. Clare's. It is not fun although I know most of the staff and I'm on the same floor as always (right by Labor and Delivery - oh, the irony. Fortunately, I don't hear any infants; that would make me crazy. The L&D section is very separate with heavy security - I am at a loss to explain this, I can't imagine why this engenders that kind of tight security, but it's not my problem).

The trip to the ER was just awful. And I have some major complaints about the day crew who brought me in, such as making me walk to the rig, a practice we did not engage in on the volley squads - if a patient said they could not walk - as I had; heck, they did not walk. Ice? Not an excuse. If we did it, they could too. And there were three of them. It is not a stretch to get the patient there by whatever means necessary. I was pissed off about this.

I also was mislabeled a cardiac case; I have a perfectly healthy heart and this is not conjecture on my part: as a patient with muscular dystrophy, there is a 50/50 chance that I could get it in my heart since it is a muscle. But I get an EKG with every annual physical to rule it out. And when I was diagnosed with this condition, I went to a cardiologist who specialises in patients with this. He put me through the whole heart-check process: an EKG, an echocardiogram (which was fascinating) and wearing a heart monitor for twenty-four hours (I wore it on Thursday into Friday, so I was actually on call while wearing it - I figured this was a great time to do it, since calls are usually filled with adrenalin; perfect to see the heart at rest and at work. We had an accident call that night, too). I passed all the tests with flying colours, so it is unlikely I will develop this kind of issue. I think I can face that with complete fortitude.

The new paradigm considering my vomiting - the thing that lands me in the hospital all the time - is the fact that I have tinnitus. This is commonly known as ringing in the ears, a misnomer as it really is not that kind of sound. It sounds like constant, high-pitched "white noise", and when it gets really loud, it cause...a kind of "pulsing, I guess is how I would describe it...that causes me to put my arms out to keep my balance and is excruciatingly painful. Think about this: your balance is housed in between your ears; it stands to reason that tinnitus, which directly affects the ears will directly affect your balance. Have you ever had vertigo or a severe ear infection? Same principle; shorter (hopefully) duration.

AAAHHHHHH. I just got my pain injection via I.V. I don't normally care for the feeling, but the relief from pain it so positive that I can put up with it - hospitals are not known for their comfort: the beds are not anything like my wonderful waterbed.

I miss my babies, Luiseach and Siobhan. My little puisín, I know she misses me, too. Siobhan undoubtedly does, in her own crazy way - she has actually gotten to the point where she will sleep with me on the bed. This from the least affectionate cat I have ever been owned by; but my little puisín (Irish Gaelic for kitten) is very loving and will be attached to me for the next three weeks when I do get out.

Have you seen the "Pusheen" stickers on FaceBook? That is the Anglicised word for kitten in Gaelic. But you know me - I'm a purist. You get it in the real Gaelic, just as Siobhan and Luiseach get their names, not to mention me.

The full Moon is coming. I can't see it from here, not there has been much in the way of a clear night to see it. I miss seeing the Moon, too. And the four-foot icicle outside my bedroom window.

On the other hand, I have seen entirely too much snow. Enough to last a bloody lifetime! We had gotten just over 20" on Thursday; the second time this season (!) we have had totals in one storm. We received another five inches over the weekend, and are slated for eight inches on Monday night into Tuesday. Then more possibly come this weekend. It has gotten old at this point. We received some 40" in the month of January; we are already up to just under that for this month and it is only the 16th. People keep asking when it will stop, but I have seen the rare and freaky snowfall in April; it happens as much as once in a decade, sometimes more, mostly not. This season, however, anything could go. As it stands, most kids will have lost two or three days of their spring vacation; if this keeps up, the little critters'll be in school through August. (Which they should be anyway; in this day and age, most families have two working parents to make ends meet. What do they do in the summer when the kids are out from late June to mid-September? They have to shell out massive amounts of money to put the kids in camp.)

I did not sleep well last night; tonight I hope I sleep like the dead (no easy task in a hospital). It isn't just missing my bed; I miss my husband and cats, my wonderful 60" telly (we are all slaves to our technology, are we not?) and TiVO. But some good news: the technology with my MacBook Air and iPad has reached the point where I can actually watch movies on Quad, our server at home, which is five miles away! Got to love the modern world in some ways.

Does that sound shallow? Maybe, but the hospital is a lonely place, and yesterday, with snow and icy roads, no one could come to visit and I was very painfully lonely. Having movies to watch helps to both to pass the time and to keep me distracted and not thinking about being lonely and in pain.

This is called taking what I can get. I'll take a good distraction anytime. Music, movies, books - I have read On a Pale Horse, With a Tangled Skein, and am now rereading Patriot Games by Tom Clancy (R.I.P.; what a loss to writing he is). I read a lot anyway, but here I can really read fast. Other than interruptions for medication and vitals, I have time on my hands - far more than I do at home, and I have far too much of it there, too. (I really miss my 3,000 piece jigsaw puzzle, too, about half of which is done.)

And so I think it is time to finish this post and FaceTime Ray before watching The Clash of the Titans which I love not only for the acting prowess - who beats Ralph Fiennes and Liam Neeson? - and the music, by the very brilliant Ramin Djawadi. He did the music for Iron Man I, Person of Interest, and Game of Thrones, to name a few.

Good night.

2 comments:

GypsyMama said...

Thank you for sharing about your struggles. I'm disabled too with ME/CFS and it gets pretty dark sometimes. Hope you are having a good day today.

Aislinge Kellogg de Gómez said...

29 Novemeber 2014

Hello, Gypsy Mama,

Thank you for your comment. I must have received it in April, but there are times I go without reading my e-mail. I apologise for taking so long to get back to you. I'm grateful to know that there are others who know what it is like to understand this. On the other hand, I wish no one had to know what it is like to understand this. I'm sure this makes a lot of sense to you; it does me.

I'm not familiar with ME/CFS, but I will look it up right now.

This is a unique and (often) terrile condition. I see it takes between three and six months to fully develop, but no information regarding a palliative or cure. However, it does mention that Cognitie Behavioural Treatment has made positive inroads with helping with the psychological side of this condition. I'm very sad to read that you have this.

I hope things do work out for you, and that something will help with this scourge.

Thank you again for your kind words,
Aislínge