Weight I have lost

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Road to the Book of Mormon

So I got discharged from the hospital on 1/12/16.  D took me home and then went to the pharmacy to fill all of my prescriptions.  My dad and Scuttlebutt took care of me.  D came back, and then he and my dad helped me into bed.  Since my dad was in the "good" guest room, D got to sleep in the second guest room.  They had set up the dog crate so Scuttlebutt was not allowed in the Master Bedroom.  That made me sad.  D and I set up my phone to take my meds.  He wrote them on paper, and I set alarms...as you can see, this is why he was sleeping in the other guest room.

When am I supposed to sleep?
So on Wednesday, D got up and went to work.  Dad started my physical therapy.  D and I had tickets to Book of Mormon on 1/19, and Dad decided I was going to go, since this would be the 3rd time I had tickets and still hadn't seen the play.  On top of it we had Row F Center, so they were a pretty penny.   The problem? We didn't know if I could sit in a chair that long.  That first day of "home PT" was excruciating.  I had to walk down the stairs, sit in a chair for 30 minutes and listen to Dad scream at Fox News in agreement with them.  I'm not sure if the TV or the chair were more exhausting.

The second set wasn't so bad.  No yelling at the TV.  He helped me with my Short-Term Disability papers, figuring out what I had to sign, and what had to be filled out (a lot had been done at the hospital, but nothing by me).  And we made some doctor's appointments.

He also made me an egg with a tortilla.  I remember Scuttlebutt getting the tortilla and half the egg, since I was full.

I sort of remember talking to both of my sisters-in-law about my mother-in-law (she had been in the hospital over Christmas).  I remember my dad's phone ringing a lot, and him talking in a hushed voice.  And wishing I could take a shower as it now was over a week since I had one (I don't call the fall as a shower, since I never actually showered.). One of my SIL's told me my MIL wanted yogurt and the hospital, and that's about all I really remember.  I had a lot of sleep and was in and out of it.  D came home from work and looked really tired.  I could hear him and my dad talk but couldn't figure out words.  They came and talked to me.

D's mom was back in the hospital, and he had to go back to Maryland.  They were worried about what I would think.  Looking at D's face, all I remember thinking was that I was going to have to tell him to take a suit, just in case, and that I was upset I couldn't go to give my MIL a hug.

One of my friends, Devo stopped by.  He brought me my laptop from work.  I'm not sure if hijinx were involved getting it since Devo doesn't work at my company (he works in the building).  But it was good to see him.  He had just lost his mother, and unfortunately I had been in the hospital for the funeral. I had wanted to go.  But you know, it was rather impossible.  So we spoke...I don't think for long...again, look at all the times above for when I had to take a pain pill of some sort.

Anyway, he left, and D helped me get a shower.  Thursday, he left for MD.  Thursday continued my physical therapy courtesy of Dad. 2 things...1) Dad is a 2 time stroke survivor.  So his reflexes are a little slow. 2) He complained about walking SB.  The dog wouldn't poop.  Somehow I knew this was going to become an issue.  D got to MD with no issue...his mom was re-admitted to the hospital.

The dogs' daycare got a picture of McMenamin at this point.  I missed him a lot.  They didn't get one of Lompoc, which is to be expected...she runs no-stop.

McMenamin, courtesy of Rex and Roxy's
Dad and I hung out.  I did laps around the main floor.  I watched him clean out our cheese drawer.  I watched him cut all the bags of vegetables because the bags had too much bag on them.  Scuttlebutt was not allowed in the bedroom.  The way he and D had positioned the dog crate to block the door, SB was miserable because he also couldn't get into the crate.

On Thursday, Dad wanted to check my back, and didn't put close the half door, so there was space for SB to come in the room.  He took his chance.  He ran in and got on the bed.  Dad told him to get off.  He rolled over and stretched.  I got him off, so then the rule became he was allowed in the room, but not on the bed.  (Since my back was open, my dad was afraid of dog hair getting into the wound).  That didn't last long.

No, Grandpa.  I'm not in the bed.
My friend, The Doctor (he has an MD and PhD) came over to bring me soup and bread.  We talked for a little bit.  He gave me the history of Grady hospital when I made a comment of how the middle of the hospital seemed to be "courtyard" and the sides were the rooms.  He said it had to do with the fact that it used to be segregated. Since it was too expensive to have 2 ORs,  they had designated times when whites and blacks could be in there.  So that's why it always felt like I was going into the "middle" of the hospital.  Anyway he picked up my Short Term Disability papers so that my friend J (his neighbor) could fax them to different places.  And then I slept.

I guess it was Saturday. We had so much food, and we kept eating in the dining room since the chairs were proper for sitting in (continuing my therapy).  Besides the soup and bread, my friend V brought us empanadas.  I did eat an empanada in bed, and there was a bone in it.  I accidentally knocked the plate off the dresser, and the bone went under the bed.  I had to get on the floor and get the bone before SB  did.  My dad was coming upstairs at the point to take a nap.  He saw me "praying" at the bed.  I was actually stuck trying to figure out if I could get up.  I did manage.  Then he gave me the vacuum and told me to clean up the rest of the mess.  Man, I felt like I was 16.

 My dad let me take a shower by myself, waiting outside, just in case.  I saw the scars on my back and cried in horror.  I thought there would be 1 incision, not 5 gashes.  It was hard to handle.  I managed to get myself dried off sort of, and got some clothes on.  Then my dad took a nap.  During that time, SB started acting out.  Remember how I said he wouldn't poop?  Yeah, this was a "take me out now" dance.  So I went downstairs, sat down and got a harness on him, and a leash, and we went out.  Not far, but he was able to do his thing.  Then we came back.  Then I got yelled at for not letting my dad know where I went.  Did I say 16?  I meant 5.

So Sunday, I made dinner for the crockpot.  Then because I needed to get out, I made my dad drive me to get a bagel.  We also went to the grocery store to get some more dinner. I was not allowed to use the walker because that's what a cart is. We got back, and my friend M texted me if she could bring over  some Greek Soup and Pizza (and salad).  Of course!  So she came to visit.  It was good to see her, because it had been far too long.  I showed her the scene of the crime, and we talked for awhile.  She laughed that my dad checked on us to see if we needed anything.

She left and I took a nap.  Dad and I also walked SB.  He was watching football.  I was watching hockey.  Our conversations were starting to take a toll.  I had started talking with every sentence ending in an inflection.  He kept saying, "Like Really."

D's mom had stabilized, and was on the mend.  So D came home Sunday Night.  Dad and I talked about when he (dad) should go home.  He left Monday afternoon.  Before he left he checked my back because it was itching uncontrollably.  He washed it out, made sure no signs of infection and put lotion on it.  It made it feel better.   Then he left.

D went to daycare after work, and picked up Lompoc and McMenamin.  I was so excited to see them.  It had been 12 days.  Lompoc ran into the house and just cried in happiness.  Then she passed out.

Lompoc sleeping on Scuttlebutt's butt

So 1/19 rolled around.  D worked and came home.  He helped me shower.  At this point I had lost 12 pounds.  So I put on a pair of pants that I hadn't worn in forever.  They didn't zipper.  WTF?  The only pants that fit that weren't yoga pants were my fat jeans, which prior to the fall were loose.  So they went on.  I felt a little foolish wearing jeans to see a play (a pet peeve of mine), while D looked nice in khakis and a dress shirt.  But such is life. (No doctor could explain how I lost weight but gained 3 inches in my waist and 1 in my hips, losing 12 pounds)

D took me to dinner at Argosy (I wanted a hamburger and a beer).  I hadn't taken a pain pill since the day before, so I could have that beer. I may have been a crazy woman and had 2 beers.  (Buxton's Sky Mountain Sour and Wicked Weed's Cherry Go Lightly).  And I got that burger!  I ate 1/4 of it.

La Plancha Burger from Argosy
We went to the Fox for the play.  Being the cheap ass that I am, I refused to let D park by the Fox. It was $20.  We walked (with my walker) for a really long time (at Cypress Pint and Plate) so we only had to pay $5.  He laughed at the fact I refused to pay $20.  We got to the theater, and got some soda.  I took my pain pills then.  Then we went and watched the show.  3rd time was a charm.


Monday, March 7, 2016

What Could Be Worse than a Fractured Pelvis: Part 3

1/10/16:  I woke up at 3:30am.  Why?  The nurses thought it would be an optimal time to give me a bath with all those anti-bacterial wipes.  I posted that on Facebook, and fell back asleep until 6 when the nurse, Glenn gave me another bath.  I asked her how old she was.  She didn't tell me, but seemed genuinely pleased I thought she was 25.  She said a hat hides the gray.

She and I talked for a little bit and then she realized I had no idea they were prepping me for surgery. I just thought she was a neat freak and was packing all my things into a storage locker.  So she let me call D who didn't answer the phone.  I was able to reach my dad and tell him I was going to surgery  and then I hung up and started to cry.  Glenn told me we weren't having any of that today.  Although she knew I am not religious, she grabbed my hand and prayed for me.  Then I gave her the best hug that I was able to give.  And they wheeled me off to the OR.  Thankfully, I have no recollection of the surgery.

I got out of the surgery and woke up back in my room (or at least that's what I remember).  I was in horrible pain, and I felt like I was sticking to the bed. I told Doug I didn't want any visitors.  He said ok.  For most of the time I was very grumpy.  My roommate sounded like she was having a party on her side of the room, and a ton of people were using the bathroom (only 2 people were allowed, and no one was allowed to use the bathroom except patients). D ended up getting security to kick everyone out.  Most of Sunday was a blur.  Thankfully, the Skins game was a blur too.  Late in the day, I was taken to X-ray.  Again I wasn't really able to move, so when I was moved into this room with a bunch of stretchers and could only hear moaning, I convinced myself I was in some kind of pre-morgue setup.  Then a staff member drove my stretcher into a wall, thus sending shock into my entire body.  I screamed and cried and told her to get away from me.  Another member (not sure if they were nurses) came over.  I sobbed uncontrollably and she just held my hand until it was time for my turn at X-ray. It pretty much calmed me down.  Then I was brought back to the room.

1/11/16: For the most part I tried to just mind my own business.  My roommate went home.  I had some Angry Nurse that seemed ticked off that my bed was raised so high.  She lowered it so basically my hands could touch the floor.  D would raise it, so I could see out the window.  It was also the first day that my bed could be bent so I could sit up.  It felt weird.  The doctor I liked the least came by with a team of medical students. At the same time, the nurses were taking my stats, and the Physical Therapy team came in.  I asked the doctor if he knew anything.  Since he wasn't my surgeon and he didn't have my X-rays, I once again told him he was useless and to get out.  And if he did come back, he was not to bring the entire Medical School with him.  The nurses finished taking my vitals.  I did ask why I was hooked up to oxygen.  They said it was to help me breathe, and in a few minutes I would understand that.  So Lu and Coxe (the nurses) went and did some other things, and the PTs said it was time to walk.  Seriously?  I haven't been out of surgery for 24 hours and you want me to walk?  They got me out of the bed. D tied my gown, and we walked about 20 feet down the hallway and back.  Then they showed me the toilet seat and we got that adjusted to my height. I think all of this took about 5 minutes.  I was completely exhausted.  They helped me get back in bed, and I was having trouble breathing (out of breath, not emergency).  They hooked me back to the oxygen.

My friend J came to visit that night again while D ran to daycare to give the dogs more food.  I learned to get him to help me get up to use the bathroom, and assist me, all the while staying modest (at least I think so).  His wife and daughter brought me flowers (My running buddy A, if you have been reading the blog for awhile).  I also learned how to climb stairs since that was an obstacle of going home.  D came back, and they watched me eat dinner which was half a bowl of mac and cheese. I also finished Todd's cookies, and had a chocolate milkshake.  When D and J left, I was exhausted, but really happy I could use the toilet.

11/12/16:  In the middle of the night, I had to go to the bathroom.  I was suppose to tell a nurse when this happened, but for some reason I forgot.  D and J had moved their chairs close to the bed, and it was back to being really low.  The walker was in between the 2 chairs.  Somehow I figured out how to lift the walker over the chairs and get it to the foot of the bed.  And I managed to get up and out of the bed and go do my business.  Coming back, however, the bed was too low for me to crawl into.  And since I couldn't get the walker back over the chairs, I couldn't get in the bed (I still don't know how I got out with a foot board).  And I couldn't reach a phone.  So I sat in one of the chairs.  2 nurses or techs happened to be walking in the hallway, and I was able to call out to them.  They got me back in bed but I was feeling like I was going to throw up.  Glenn came in and did all my vitals and explained this is why I needed to call her.  She said my lungs had shrunk from the days of just laying flat, and getting sick to my stomach was a side effect.  She put me back on the oxygen, and raised the bed.  And she pushed the chairs back to the wall.

I fell back asleep.  Around 4am, my surgeon came in to look at my wounds.  I had this super big hygiene pad on my back (like an Always but with no wings, and sticky all the way around).  He ripped it off.  I had some choice words, but he seemed to ignore me.  He said the wound was looking good.  He asked about the pain levels, and upped them.  Then he left.

D had to go to work that day, so our other friend J came back to visit me.  We cruised around the hallway.  J took this pic of my view from the end of the hallway.

View from the 5th Floor in Intermediate Care Unit- Photo by Jim

We also found out I was going to be discharged.  For the most part all the nurses and staff came in to say good-bye.  D came back from work.  I got a new roommate.  We never got her story, but something was up. She was being re-admitted, and had 2 huge suitcases.  She was an older woman, and seemed in a lot of pain.  D and I gave her the flowers and balloons I had, because she didn't have the window view.  She liked that a lot.  Jon (new nurse) came in to give me all these papers. He and I went over them. He gave me his phone number in case I had questions. We talked about the toilet seat.  He told me it was going to be thrown out.  Then he left for about 10 minutes.  I blinked my eyes, and the seat magically ended up in my bathroom at home.

He came back.  Then he said when Wheel Chair Services came, I was free to go home.  I asked him if Lu and Glenn were there.  I had already said good-bye to Coxe.  I went and found them (yes, I walked), and gave them big hugs for helping me stay as sane as I could.  Really the West 5th Floor of Grady has some great nurses.

Finally Wheel Chair Services came.  They brought this almost completely plastic WC.  It also pushed you forward.  I told the guy not to hit any bumps.  He laughed at that and the fact I was holding on for dear life.  He sent D to get the car.  We got out to the front of the hospital, and he and D helped me into the car, and D took me home.

And thus my hospital stay was over.