The Hospital

Me After Surgery - Notice the black eye?

Hi!

So I figured I had interlude-ed enough, and would really like to get back to the story. It is weird, I am almost haunted to finish it now. It is like I will have accomplished something if I just finish this story… Silly really, but true. So, here goes…

I woke up from my surgery about ten hours after I went under. Of course, I had woken up before this, it is standard procedure for a nurse to wake you every 15 minutes or so after you have undergone anesthesia to do breathing exercises in order to clear your lungs, but this was the first time I remember waking up. I was in my hospital room, C. was standing at the side of the bed closer to the foot, my dad was at the end and my mom was on the right side and they were all looking at me.

Immediately upon waking I realize how immobile I am… I tried to sit up and it felt like my spine was going to fall out, so I just stopped trying to move. I laid there… My mom and C. kept asking how I was, and I don’t remember answering, but the next few hours were hazy to say the least. There are points where it is like I just ‘forget’ like my memory goes from having three people in the room to just one but I don’t remember anyone actually leaving. Trippy pain meds, I suppose.

Speaking of which, when I woke up I was outfitted with soo many different tubes and wires. I had a catheter, an IV in each arm, a pain pump attached, oxygen and a heart monitor. I felt like I was tied to the bed with tubes. The pain pump is a nifty little thing. It is a  machine that held dilauded, bust instead of ingesting it orally, I got in intravenously and I controlled my dosing. Every five minutes I could push the pump and get just a bit of relief. There were times, however, that the pain was so bad that I was counting down the seconds until my next dose. I could have asked the nurses to increase the dose, but I was so drugged up already I just didn’t want to be anymore fuzzy headed. So I learned to tolerate the pain.

My first night in the hospital there was a young nurse on duty. I had already gotten up and walked around my room, with a walker and IV poll following me. I was so stiff that night that I had to keep walking because I wasn’t comfortable sitting, I wasn’t comfortable lying and I couldn’t just stand around. So the nurse took me for walks, she wasn’t too pleases when I asked for my fourth one in three hours, as there were ‘other patients who needed her attention’. I understand that, but call me an orderly than, don’t make me feel bad for wanting to be mobile when that is the best thing for me.

Anyways, rant over. The hospital food was the second worst part  of my stay.(I will get to the worst part soon.) I have been diagnosed with Celiac disease, which means I can’t eat wheat, barley, rye or any of their derivatives. Needless to say that normal hospital food is gross, gluten-free hospital food is horrendous. To add to the problem, I had some problems with my blood work and they said if I didn’t eat the day I was discharged and get my blood work back up to where it needed to be, I would have to stay another night. But I am getting ahead of my self.

C. came and saw me every day, sometimes two or three times a day. It was hard on him, the hospital is a boring place and I was not very entertaining either. So he definitely didn’t enjoy himself. My dad came by almost everyday, with my mom, aunt and best friend each made it in once. I was showered with flowers, cards and chocolate  that made my hospital room a little more cheery, but it was still very dreary.

My second night at the hospital, I had a very bad night. I threw up all over myself multiple times. I HATE doing this, but I was stuck in my bed, still unable to climb out solo, and I was sitting in vomit. It toll the nurse close to twenty-minute to get to me and by that time I had vomited everywhere and was shaking and bawling. It was such a crappy feeling. But it still got worse… Throughout that night the nurse had to change my sheets four times. I couldn’t stop vomiting. As if that wasn’t bad enough, every time I heaved my back felt like it was tearing apart. Or that the metal rods and screws were trying to push their way out through my skin. Not a nice feeling!

I didn’t vomit again after that night, but I also didn’t really eat much. I had no appetite and all the food smelled like generic food smell so the aroma was not enticing either. I did manage to keep a small part of my dignity in tact. I never had to call anyone to help me off the toilet!! (At lease, not at the hospital! 😛 ) However, I did need help showering, dressing and walking, so my dignity and pride took a huge hit anyways.

Finally, after being in the hospital for five days, I was released. The intern who released me had no idea what she was doing. It took her over two hours to complete my paperwork, five days after a major spinal fusion she made me sit in a chair (something I am still not supposed to do for more than 20 minutes at once.) and had the orderlies clean the bed so I couldn’t even go lie back down. Further, she messed up my prescription and I was unable to get it filled.  In addition to that, my case worker for WSIB had not pre approved mobility aides before my surgery, even though I tried to explain to her I wouldn’t be able to install them after my surgery so I should do it now, but she didn’t agree.

So I came home with no mobility aids and no pain killers. I was so damned happy to be home! It is so nice to be back in your own bed with food you like eating and natural lights chasing away the gloominess. Plus, I didn’t know how much more hospital food I could take!!

In my next blog I will bring my readers through my transition from the hospital to home. I will tell you about my mobility aids and the precautions I had to take, as well as some of the things I felt helped with the pain and anxiety.

As always, thanks for reading!                    -S.

Click Here for an Interlude on How I Felt at the beginning of May ’10

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10 Comments to “The Hospital”

  1. I never thought of it that way, well put!

  2. Wow so sorry to hear about your time in hospital, glad you’re out now and on the road to recovery!

  3. To say I’ve enjoyed reading your post seems the wrong thing to say. I have found it really interesting. The emotional battle must be massive, never mind the physical one.

    So well done you for finding the courage to revisit what you’ve been through.

    I hope that looking back also helps you see how far you’ve come from those days of intense pain and immobility. Each day is a day further away from that and one more on the road to recovery.

    Someone said to me recently – if all you can take is baby steps then take baby steps – they are still steps in the right direction.

    Hugs to you

    • Hi Caroline,
      I get that alot actually. People seem to think I won’t enjoy hearing that they like to read my blog, but if I think about it, for anyone who isn’t experiencing it, my story might just read like a somewhat depressing, but gripping drama.
      I have just realized that I have in fact been waging an internal emotional battle while I am fighting physically as well. Backonmyown just recently brought to my attention that I have experienced an emotinal trauma as well. It puts a whole new perspective on it. I can allow myself my moments of overwhelming sadness, because I am being effected emotionally. I had tried to almost seperate the two into physical and emotional pain, but that is just stupid. I already know that when my pain is high, my emotions are erratic, I guess I just didn’t make the connection.

      Thanks for reminding me that baby steps are still steps in the right direction. I have a hard time thinking about improvement daily because I can’t see myself getting better, but if I look back by weeks, I do see major changes.
      I guess it is all about perspective.
      Sorry for the long response… I can’t seem to stop typing! 😛
      Hugs, and thank you from the bottom of my heart, it means alot that you are here regularly.
      xo -S.

  4. Really enjoying reading your story. Congratulations on going to the effort of telling it, I’m sure it takes a lot of energy. I’m amazed the intern wasn’t being supervised, sounds like they did a terrible job.
    Looking forward to seeing the next chapter, keep it going! x

    • Thanks Jess!
      Sometimes it is hard and takes alot of energy too. I just don’t like looking at the worst points in my life, but if I don’t deal with this now it may hinder me forever. Hopefully at some point, somewhere and with a bit of luck, someone who was as… at a loss as I was will discover this blog and take some measure of comfort from my words.
      Lets just hope my recovery goes smoothly so it will be inspiring rather than I don’t know, what is the opposite of inspiring?
      haha Anyways, the intern was ridiculous. She could have hurt me with some of the advice she gave. I told my surgeon and he addressed it with the intern, I think she was taken off of the post-op ortho floor.
      The next chapter will be up soon, hopefully tomorrow if I can get some sleep tonight. I have problems stringing words together when I am exhausted.
      I hope all is well, and have you seen anymore cool train people??
      Best,
      xo-S.

  5. Wow! Thank you for telling your story. I don’t imagine it’s easy to talk about all that pain and misery but you’re doing it beautifully and I think it will help you to heal from the emotional trauma you’ve been, and are still going through. Keep writing. It will preserve your sanity.

    Always,
    Pat

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