Weight I have lost

Monday, February 29, 2016

What Could Be Worse than a Fractured Pelvis: Part 2

So on 1/7, I began my hospital stay. It started with me watching hockey on the TV.  With the lights on in my eyes, I didn't sleep a lot.  And the nurses came in every few hours to take my stats. Mostly I watched TV, and played on Facebook.  Around 7:30am, D texted that he was running late.  With the amount of people in my room, going over my chart and my roommate's chart, as well as bedpans, vital checks, getting medicine, etc., I told him there was no rush.  The cafeteria brought me food.  What no one realized was that I couldn't sit up.  With the food tray sitting over my head, I could basically feel my food.  The first morning I had half a biscuit and a slice of bacon. When D arrived, he ate the rest of the bacon. The cafeteria lady came in and took my lunch and dinner order.  She realized I couldn't eat, and automatically ruled out any soup.  The nurses mentioned surgery on Friday.  When D came he brought me a smoothie from McD's.  We talked most of the morning.  At 11, the nurse said I couldn't have any food.  D went to lunch around 12.  Of course that's when the nurses came in and said they were taking me to surgery.  So a quick call to D to get him back to the room.  And stupidly, I threw my contacts on the floor.  So I couldn't see anything.  D got back to the room, and we wheeled down to the OR.  I had just had my 3 hour dose of morphine and Percocet, when they got the call, so I was a little loopy.

So the anesthesiologist started talking to me.  The nurse who had yellow hair (I didn't have my glasses on) put some tabs all over my torso.  They were moving quite rapidly.  Then the anesthesiologist asked, "When did you last eat?"  Because I had barely eaten in the past 2 days, I said,
"I finished my smoothie at 11."  There were some whispers, and then she said, "I'm sorry but you can't have surgery.  I'm afraid you'll aspirate."  And she pulled off her gloves and left.  Now remember I just had those meds, and I have no idea if I got more during that initial time in the OR. I also am blind as a bat.   So  Yellow Lady tells me a man will be by to take me back to my room.  I'm laying there for what seemed like 10 hours.  Finally a man comes in the room, because I can hear his voice.  I see a large black blob.  So I go, "Black Man, are you here to take me to my room?"  He's like, "Excuse me!"  I go, "Yellow Woman said you would take me to my room."  The Yellow Woman came and they talked, with me going, "We have to go to the visitors' center to pick up the Red Man."  They both came over and asked why I was calling them colors, which was duh to me. What I didn't realize was that Black Man was actually black dressed in all black.  Anyway, they finally realized I couldn't see, and Yellow Woman figured out the Red Man in the visitors' center was D in the waiting room (he had on a red sweatshirt). Yellow Woman and Black Man had a good laugh at me.  I apologized for calling them colors.  I told Black Man he'd laugh about my craziness at happy hour, and to have a drink for me.  I'm sure he rolled his eyes.  Anyway, we picked up D and were back in the room.  D said that the total I was down there was 25 minutes.  Like I said it was like 10 hours.

The meds started wearing off when back in the room. I was angry and yelled at the nurse, Lu,  to get out.  Then I started to cry out of sheer frustrating.  She went and got me tissues.  Already knowing this was kind of serious, I was quite shocked when my dad showed up from South Carolina.  That's when I really started to get scared.  I am not one to google medical things anymore, and I still don't know where I got surgery in my back, but seeing my dad scared me a lot.  He is a 2 time stroke survivor and doesn't like to drive in Atlanta, so this was big.  We had a doctor come in.  He talked to D and my dad, since everyone had long figured out, I didn't really care about much, as long as I had my medicine.  D went to the McDonald's next to the hospital and got me another smoothie.

Another Devil Drink
  Mostly my dad and he were as bored as I was.  My friend from A Well Fed Life sent me flowers.  And we waited.  Lu came back and said that I may get surgery on Friday, so they would stop foods at midnight.  Since I wasn't eating much anyway, it was more like 9pm, which is when D and my dad left.

1/8: The next day they came back with another smoothie.  They stayed about 90 minutes, when my dad said he was going to be sick.  So D took my dad home, and took 2 of the dogs to daycare.  A new nurse Glenn said I wasn't going to get surgery today.  I really missed my dogs. Later in the day, D came back.  My friend J texted me asking what I wanted for dinner. I told him a McDonald's Double Cheeseburger. I think he was majorly disappointed.  Of all the restaurants in Atlanta, and I pick McD's.  He obliged and got D a sandwich as well and fries.  They sat with me and watched me eat a burger for about 2 hours.  I really don't know what we talked about, but I do remember that that cheeseburger was the best burger ever.  Wow it was good. Hot, the cheese was gooey and pulled.  Those little onions.  A good amount of ketchup.  Really. McDonalds at the hospital.  I think D and J were amused by this.  So visiting hours were over.

Another awesome view (TV and nurse extensions)

The nurse turned out my lights that night.  He said it was nice to finally see me sleeping.  I knew D would be late on Saturday because it was My Friend's Growler Shop's 2nd Anniversary.  I had asked him to go and get some beer (not for that day) but for the future.

1/9: So I was left to my own devices for awhile.  (again, I might be out of order on things).  Now during all this time, I was on a bedpan.  So I had to call someone whenever I needed to pee (being on that much pain medicine and not eating, I didn't need to do anything else).  The nurses always left their extensions written on my wall, but I really couldn't figure out why.  There was just the "Call" button.  That Saturday seemed to be an "every hour on the hour" type of day.  It was to the point the call would go into the nurse's station, and they'd just ignore it.  So finally about to wet my bed at one point this lady comes in.  I was like "Thank God!" and pointed to the bedpan.  She did it with no objection and cleaned everything. Then she introduced herself as the Director of the Floor.We chatted and she asked how things could be improved and I told her that her nurses could answer my need to pee a little more fast.  That's when she noticed I didn't have a phone in the wall.  The jack had been stolen.  It occurred to me, she probably hadn't changed a bedpan in a few years.  She smiled, and we talked about my lack of appetite, and I showed her pictures of my dogs.  Then she left.  About 20 minutes later, a technician came in and hooked up a jack and a phone.  Nurse Lu and Nurse Glenn both apologized that they hadn't realized I didn't have a phone.  It was ok.  At least I never wet the bed. D texted me pictures.  Scuttlebutt didn't want his Christmas Collar off.

SB waking up

SB at My Friend's Growler Shop 2 Year Anniversary

Scuttlebutt got to go to the Anniversary.  He had a good time.  Surgery was a no go for Saturday, and they were looking at Monday.  I was getting frustrated.  They had explained to my dad and D why it was getting pushed, but it was getting old (and I was too high to understand the reasoning). The offers of food started coming in.  I felt like a complete bitch saying, "No thank you."  It wasn't that I didn't want any, it was I couldn't eat it (and I wasn't hungry). I was flat on my back and not allowed to bend my spine.  So the food tray looked like this from my view.

Doesn't my food look appetizing?

I'm not sure when D came back to stay with me, but he did.  Later in the night, my friend T came.  He brought me cookies and fudge.  So for the day, I ate 2 bites of a Clif bar, a tomato slice, 1/4 of a biscuit, a cookie, a piece of fudge and 6 Chicken Nuggets.  I won't lie that I was beginning to wonder if I was losing weight. 

T makes really good cookies

 I think I had a good conversation with T.  I know we talked about beer and beer releases.  D is amused that I have no idea my conversations, but I remembered the food.  It was a surprise to me to see T, so it made me happy.  He left probably to go to a concert (he really likes music).  D stayed with me until about 9 when they kicked him out.

Then I went to sleep.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

What Could Be Worse than a Fractured Pelvis: Part 1

So I finished out 2015 with my goal of breaking 40 minutes on a 5K.  We had a family emergency, and D had to leave to be with his parents over Christmas, after being on a business trip.  Due to the last minute nature, we couldn't board the dogs so I stayed home.  But overall we were feeling confident about running short distances, running hills, running long distances, and weight lifting.

D finally got home for 2016.  On January 5th, I planned on going to the gym in the afternoon, so I shaved my legs that morning (it's winter and I'm lazy).  We have a shower room, meaning you step up on a platform, and then down into the shower. There is no door.  I routinely, use the platform to shave my legs.  I'm heavy handed with shaving cream, but you know, I rinse off my legs in the center of the shower and off I go about my day.  (I'm sure you all care about my shaving ritual).  Well, anyway, I couldn't find a parking space at the gym, and while circling the block twice I saw there were no treadmills anyway. So I decided I'd go at 4:45am the next day.

1/6 4:45am: The alarm went off, and I laughed. I laid there until 5:12.  I decided to go to work.  So off to the shower.  I turned on the water and  went to the bathroom, and undressed, weighed myself, etc.  Then I stepped on the platform, and took a tiny step into the shower as I reached the rain spout to see if it was hot.  I must not have rinsed the shaving cream from the day before, and it got re-wet.  My foot went out, the other foot went with it and down I went.  I screamed.  Doug and the dogs ran in.  All I could yell was, "911."  I could feel my legs and I could feel my arms.  Somehow I curled into the fetal position.  I kept screaming.  I could hear Doug try to give the 911 operator directions to the house.  I could hear them not finding the street despite living here for 10 years.  I could hear my screams.  Doug said they would be there in 4 minutes.  I don't know when he turned off the water, and I don't know how I got my head and back up on the platform.  I was laying straight out with my legs in the shower.  Doug got the dogs contained, and then tried to get me dressed.  He got my underwear on partially, but I couldn't lift my butt off the platform without screaming.  He tried to put a shirt on me, and I said a towel was fine.

The EMTs got there and assessed me. They wanted to know if I hit my head and if I was pregnant.  They did some leg/feet tests.  They checked my head, because I didn't know if I had hit it.  They told me they were going to put me in a sitting position.  We tried that and I may have called them a lot of colorful names.  Somehow Doug and one of the EMTs managed to get a T-shirt on me.  They were all concerned about getting pants on me.  I was laying there in complete agony wondering what the hell.  They told me we were going to stand up.  I said, "Fuck" a lot.  Sometimes directed at them, sometimes directed at the air.  We got my underwear up, and they were still talking about pants.  We managed to get into the bedroom, and I saw Scuttlebutt's blanket that he sleeps/rolls on (it is covered in dog hair).  I grabbed it, and wrapped it around my waist and said I was ready.  Doug ran downstairs to get my wallet.  One of the guys saw my phone and charger and grabbed them.  He said I would be thankful later.  I told them I wanted to go to sleep and tried to get in the bed.  They told me no, still talking about pants.  I asked where the stretcher was.  They said I had to walk downstairs.  I called them more names.  We got down the stairs and Doug found my dog walking shoes (New Balance slip-ons) and then outside.  I complained it was hot (it was 33 degrees out).  7 more stairs.  Finally we got to the street, and they put me on a stretcher.  They told Doug to take his time, we would be on the street for a few minutes and then we'd be going.  And he should take his own car.

In the ambulance, one of the EMTs wrote down all my insurance information.  The other took some stats. They asked some questions, and then we were on our way.  The EMT that rode with me gave me my phone.  I voice texted my boss.  "In ambulance can't come to work back something."  I also sent the text to my neighbor who wanted to know what was going on.

We got to the Grady Trauma ER.  I don't know if that is different than the regular ER. In triage, they asked me my medications, put a bracelet on me, took my temperature.  I remember the older EMT (the driver and the one who held me up the most) saying, "No wonder she wasn't cold."  Then the younger one pushed me into the ER.  He made sure the dog blanket was still wrapped, that I had my phone and charger, and he tucked my wallet under me.  He also got a nurse to put a sheet on my bottom half (today it makes sense why they wanted pants on me, back then not so much).  He parked me under a counter where all the nurses and doctors go (no rooms available).

My view at Grady for awhile

6:15am  It seemed like 5 hours had passed.  A doctor redid the test to my feet, rechecked my head, and re-asked if I was pregnant.  I got a pill and a tranquilizer.  I had no idea what they gave me.  I don't know when D showed up but he did.  I was flat on the gurney and staring at the ceiling.  At one point the nurse sitting at the counter saw my hand come around the counter, because the pain was so bad that I was looking for something new to grab, because grabbing the handles of the gurney was no longer working.  They gave me a Percocet. It was 8am.  I had told Doug at 6:15 they had given me Advil.  Apparently, no, they had given me a Percocet.  Somewhere around that time, I was taken to X-ray. At first I was taken to a gurney waiting area.  It was in an older section of the hospital, because it was really cool (temp) in there.  It felt nice.  Except the walls were old.  I decided they were leaving me here and were going to film another episode of Walking Dead.  Eventually, someone came and got me and I was taken to X-ray.  The staff told me to hop on over to the table.  Then they realized I could barely move. They were very patient.  They took 3 or 4 X-rays.  Then back to Doug and the counter.

9:00 am  Now Grady is the main Trauma 1 Center in the area (the other being Atlanta Medical Center).  However it is also the "gunshot" hospital.  So while I'm laying by the counter, I can't see anything (except the ceiling).  However, I can hear.  One guy shot his eye with a bow and arrow.  Something with the recoil, since he shot himself.  Another guy was on his phone, and left someone the message of "When I get out of here, I'm going after you, bitch."  On the way back from X-ray, a prisoner in leg and arm cuffs was being walked by me by a cop.  I was highly entertained.  Until this doctor started talking about surgery on a sebaceous cyst, that was rather large and hefty in someone's stomach.  Because I was now "under" the counter, I guess he couldn't see me.  I yelled, "Enough!"  The nurse laughed.  I also learned if you become a military resident doctor, it is boring because mostly you treat STDs.  I was finally moved into a room.

At this point they realized Percocet was not working and they put me on morphine.  The X-rays came back with something wrong at T12.  A patient advocate told me this. I have no idea what she was talking about except that where T12 was not where it hurt.  I also had to find out where T12 was.  It was rather confusing because I was also in Room T12.  Anyway they said I needed a CT scan.  Who knows when that happened.  But the same thing as the X-ray occurred, needing help.  There was a lot of not breathing (holding my breath, not dying) and not moving and all that.  Then I was back.

Room T12. To be honest, all I could see was the TV.

Our friend Jim came up because D had to go walk the dogs. He hadn't done that.  Jim kept me company.  (Some events may be out of order).  So D came back.  Apparently my T12 fracture was an L1 fracture but it was old.  Everyone wanted to know if I was in a car accident.  I tried to remember a time I hurt my back.  But I had shards of vertabrae in my spine.  And something was wrong with my heart.  So I called my dad.  He was like "What are you talking about?" He also said some stuff about why the hell was I in a teaching hospital.  He talked to D.    Somewhere around 11 they realized morphine wasn't working and they put me on Fentanyl.  That stuff was awesome.

The TV was stuck on Sportcenter. It was the only channel we got.  It runs in a continuous loop. It is almost as painful as breaking your back.  The Patient Advocate said Neurology wanted to look at my stuff but being that everyone was in surgery, it would be awhile.  Around 4pm, I asked how I was supposed to go to the bathroom.  They said a bedpan.  Jim and D left, and the nurse Taylor tried to get me to go.  It just wasn't going to happen.  So Jim and D came back in. After all the issues with my underwear that morning, I told D that I had no idea where Taylor put them.  He started laughing. The nurse eventually showed him where she had put them. but for awhile, it was highly amusing to us, that we had a Panty Thief.

For the most part, D, Jim and I talked. I have no idea about what.  We watched TV (D finally stood on a chair and changed the channel).  The nurses wouldn't let me eat.  I secretly took about 3 sips of water.  We laughed at the lady who came in next to my room. She had super-glued her contact.  She had put in her contact and grabbed nail glue instead of eye drops.  Luckily her eye was saved because the glue was primarily on her contact.  She was very concerned where in the lunchroom she had left her lunch (I guess at work).  Like I said, the people kept me entertained.  There was someone who was watching some show that had kittens.  Half the ER thought there was a kitten in the ER.

Jim and D from my perspective.  I was high and bored.

By 6, it had been 13 hours without going to the bathroom. They hooked me up to an IV.  The nurse came in and asked if I could stand.  I said, "No."  Apparently someone wanted me to do a Standing X-Ray.  Jim left the room (I now had on a hospital gown with no back), and Taylor (the nurse) and Doug stood me up.  It was one of the first times I started to cry.  The pain was unbearable. After, the Patient Advocate said I was being discharged.  With no meds or brace.  I started to cry. I couldn't stand. I couldn't even walk to the bathroom.  WTF?   I asked for a second opinion.  Somehow I remembered Trauma and Neurology were 2 different things (or D or Jim did).  The PA said she would get Neurology to read everything.  Within 30 seconds 2 guys came in and did an ultrasound.  They said it was for surgery.  Now we were all completely confused.  They left and the X-ray tech came in.  He wheeled me away and told me the X-rays he was going to do.  I asked why I wasn't going to stand.  So he went and checked the records.  He came back and said I was correct.  I was scared, because it seemed everything was going fast.  His assistant was not a strong-looking woman.  They decided she would take the X-rays and he would assist me standing.  He was actually in my X-rays holding me up.  I cried some more.

He wheeled me back.  It was packed in the ER.  I was really glad to have a room.  At this point, I'm pretty sure there were bets on when I'd pee.  Finally at 17 hours I did.  Also all the confusion of what was happening seemed to settle.  The ER resident was completely wrong, and they were going to get the Neurology Attending to read my file. I wasn't going to be discharged since I couldn't even stand.  At shift change, I got a new nurse.  She was not as friendly as Taylor, but she was in ER as well (like I said, ER and Trauma ER were different).  It turned out she had lost 2 of 3 patients  in 1 hour (1 was a high-speed chase idiocy, and the other 2 were bad car accidents).  When she came to see me, you could tell she had been crying.  She said I was being admitted to the hospital because I was getting surgery.

I don't remember when, but at some point Jim left.  When Mandy (new nurse) came to give me Fentanyl she said something was wrong.  I was going to get a room, and they had already tranferred my file.  So no more Fentanyl.  And worse the Morphine was less than it had been all those hours before.  Finally around 1AM, they admitted me.  I got rolled up into the hospital.  As we were going, they told D that he couldn't stay the night, nor could he come in my room, because it wasn't a private room.  I slightly freaked but I was more freaked by the pain medicine screw up.  He gave me a kiss and he went home.  My new nurse Bobby got me from the gurney to the bed.  He and another nurse checked me for bed sores.  I asked for Fentanyl.  I was on a non-Fentanyl floor.  I asked him for more morphine. He looked at my chart, and called the doctor on call to get me more meds.  Vitals and all that crap and then they left.  Bobby finally came back and realized I had no way to call an nurse because the nurse remote was on the floor.  He gave me more meds and gave me the remote.  This one worked for the TV, but not the lights. So I had to sleep with lights blaring in my face. They checked on me every 3 hours.