For those of you that didn’t know, I was in the hospital again right before Thanksgiving. I was in for 10 days and got out just in time to spend the holiday with MJs parents.
This hospital trip was long. Very long. Seems like I can’t just get in and out of there. And if you’ve never been in the hospital, a. You’re lucky and b. it’s not very restful at all.
I went into the ER on Saturday, November 9th. I went in because I started bleeding from my stoma again. (I’ll explain more about that in a health update after this post.) I really figured I’d be in for maybe a couple of days. Thought if they had to do the same procedure they did in May that they would probably wait until Monday when the IR guys are there.
So I was admitted and waited. They weren’t going to do the procedure until Tuesday. Sigh. Oh well. What could I do?
I was admitted to 4North this time because 1West (the oncology wing) was full. I usually don’t like being out of 1West. There’s a pretty big difference in how the oncology nurses treat you and handle things. They put me on the list for a transfer but I never did get moved. Worked out OK though. I did have an interesting view out my window.
Bonus was I did get to have the therapy pets come and visit. They aren’t allowed in the oncology wing. Had dogs come 2 different days and a cat on another day! A cat! It wasn’t a llama, Laura Dohrmann, but it was still pretty damn cool.
I had friends come and visit which I always love. Nice to chat and have company. There’s only so much crap TV one can watch before completely going crazy. We try to keep things as normal as possible for the kids when I’m in the hospital too which means MJ doesn’t usually spend a lot of time there with me. I do always forget to take some pictures when people come though.
Had the procedure on Tuesday. They cauterized the vein that was causing the pressure and bleeding. Last time they went through my groin which really didn’t hurt. The pain I’ve been having since that time has been the skin right around the stoma. I’ll get to that.
This time they had to go through my right side all the way over to my left and in doing so, punctured through my liver. Anytime the capsule around the liver or the liver itself is poked, um, yeah. Uh, apparently it’s quite painful. I ended up getting knocked out during the procedure. I was a little rough once I came to.
But I was still able to enjoy my graham cracker and vanilla ice cream.
OK back to that whole pain thing.
So yeah, remember when I said I had pain after the procedure in May? It’s been chronic since then. One dr thinks it’s nerve damage. Another thinks it’s from the vessels dying around that area causing something to something and yeah. I don’t really know and I don’t think they do either other than I have to take pain meds. And I’ve been on quite a bit and some higher doses. It can be quite painful. If I don’t take meds at all or not enough it feels like if you scraped your skin open really bad and then rubbed pebbles and salt into it. Super fun.
Well now since I’ve already been on some higher doses of pain meds, the meds they’re giving me for the liver puncture pain aren’t cutting it. I was in serious pain. The screaming out loud kind. They shoot me up with my all time favorite Dilaudid and it’s not even helping me sleep. I’m miserable and my night nurse sucked. There is just no other way to say it. I’ve never really had an issue with a nurse there before, but she was just terrible. She made me feel like I was being a big baby. She would tell me that I already had a lot of pain meds and asked me why I was crying. Then at one point she gave me a pillow to hug. Yeah, a pillow. By morning I could barely stand it anymore and was counting down the minutes until the shift change. Right before the change it was time for me to have a dose of my pain meds. Because my doses weren’t meeting my pain needs I was in agony the last half hour before the next dose. I called her the minute I could have the dose and she ended up leaving me crying, sobbing and begging for someone to help me for 20 minutes. I did end up filing a complaint later that day. I was terrified I was going to end up with her again the next night. Never saw her again the rest of my stay, thank God.
Pain management ended up being the focus of the rest of my stay and the reason I was there for so long. They ended up putting me on a PCA that next morning to try and get me some relief that day. A PCA is, well, pretty much the best button you will ever push.
They put IV pain medicine in the pump and set it so you have control over administering your pain medication. Basically, when that light turns green, you can press it at any time you need to and you will receive a shot of the pain meds. Ahhhh.
Now that they had me to where it didn’t feel like there was a hot poker stabbing me in my side every time I tried to take a deep breath, I could get some rest and we could start getting me back on my feet. I was even starting to look a little better.
Since I had been on pain meds for so long and hadn’t been properly managed it was difficult for them to titrate and it ended up causing me to be there an extra 3 days. I could’ve gone home, but the dr highly recommended me to stay there so they could monitor everything to make sure I had the right coverage. In the end I’m glad we did get it worked out. I feel like we’ve got a better handle on my meds now.
On Tuesday Nov. 19th, I finally got to go home! TEN DAYS! Whew! Sleeping in my own bed was incredible.
Here’s a funny side story…
This is Gus. Gus Glassmen.
Yup, he’s a gnome.
He’s part of the Glassmen Alumni Association. He visits Glassmen Alumni and we take him around with us to show what were up to in our daily lives. We take pictures with him and they get posted on his Facebook page.
I was about to send Gus to the next person when I ended up in the hospital. Since this is part of my life and what I deal with I brought Gus with me. I had him in his container in my backpack when I checked in at the ER. I figured I was going to be in the hospital for a few days so I packed clothes, books and stuff.
When you are admitted to the hospital from the ER they have to fill out a Patient Valuables checklist:
I like how he included his name. You know, in case they had an outbreak of “knomes” -as he put it. They would know mine was “gus”.