ReeCreates

life is a long and difficult journey…be sure to stop now and then for a little snack

Reflections From My “Vacation” in Room 321

on June 14, 2013

June 3 started like most any morning around here…lot’s to do.  I was quite irritated that I was woken early with tummy rumblings.  So I popped an antacid and tried to get on my day.  Well, that didn’t work.  So I took another.  And when that didn’t work and my symptoms quickly got worse, my son, Richard, took one look at me and quite promptly, my very smart 18 year old dragged my “in denial” self to the emergency room at Upper Chesapeake Medical Center.  When we arrived (about 40 minutes later), I was thankful that he insisted we go there immediately because by this time, I was barely coherent and in intense pain (which is saying a lot since I live every day in a “7” level or higher of pain).  You know, when the nurse asks you “On a pain scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the worst ever, where is your pain?” and your answer is 12…yup…that was me…the second and third time she asked me, as well.  Apparently she didn’t hear me screaming it, but I am sure the folks in the next county heard me and would have been happy to share the information with her just to get me to shut up.

Unfortunately, these symptoms and pain were all too familiar; this being the third, and worse, bowel obstruction I have had in as many

Photo:  Upper Chesapeake Medical Center

Photo: Upper Chesapeake Medical Center

years.  I will spare you the wonderfully graphic details of how they got rid of it (those who are squeamish can thank me later) but suffice it to say, I did not take the easy way out, surgery, which would have caused more scar tissue, which was the cause in the first place.  I have had so many surgeries, my abdomen gives Mapquest a run for it’s money.  Instead, I decided for a less-invasive procedure that uses an NG tube down your nose into your gut – and well, that’s all I’ll tell ya.  It took 8 “glorious” days for about 14,000 mg of crud to be escorted out (and 1 extra day for observation), so I had lots of time on my hands.  Granted, the first 4 days or so, I was still pretty incoherent, so I will not be held responsible for anything I may or may not have said or done during that time.  However, after that, things were on a slow but upward scale.  I had nothing but time on my hands; which for me, could always prove to be dangerous.  (Without a computer, I was going nuts and was willing to take everyone with me!) So there from my little doorway to the outside world of the very busy west wing I learned…

*  When asked how you are doing, do not answer “well at least I haven’t died yet” – as apparently most doctors do not share my quirky sense of humor.

*  The staff was great for so many reasons – but especially because of a guy I will call “Butch” and the fact that they were kind and loving to Butch.  He would walk past my door hundreds of times a day and gave me the creeps until I saw a staff member not too far away from him trying to “coral” him back to where he belonged, apparently in the psych wing.  But wait…wasn’t his room right down the hall from mine?

*  It took me about 3 days to realize that when my favorite doctor came to “wake” me every morning at 7:00 a.m. (after approximately 1 combined hour of sleep all night) addressing me as “hey there prisoner”…he was just kidding.  Apparently, I had no sense of humor the first few days of my visit **sheepish**…sorry doc

*  In preparation for my next visit, I am going to have my own special hospital gowns imprinted with my name and date of birth in BIG letters on the front, so I won’t have to say it a bazillion times a day whenever someone treated me – especially when they won’t let me have any water and my lips are stuck together.  Fun times.  You would think by now they knew who I was…or were the drugs that powerful that they were making sure that I remembered who I was?

*  Those drugs should come with a disclaimer against use by a parent in the presence of their children.  Apparently, I no longer have college-days secrets from my boys.

*  I missed my furbaby, Cody, so much while I was gone.  I was so thankful they had therapy dogs come to visit me; I waited for their

Photo:  AKC.org

Photo: AKC.org

visits with anticipation and nearly lept out of the bed when they arrived!  My husband was insulted that I wasn’t nearly as excited to see him come through the door.

*  No matter how much you beg, plead, give “puppy eyes” or otherwise bribe, the nursing staff is strong and unaffected and will not give you food, not even water, unless your doc says it’s ok.  Trust me, I tried.

*  Of course, it didn’t dawn on me to actually shut my door but I felt like I was an animal at the zoo…everyone that walked by my door felt the need to peer in, especially Butch, as if I was on display.  I guess it’s not every day that you see someone with a big old tube down their snout sucking out their guts?  Geeze folks, get a life.

*  Don’t engage in a “walker race” with the 95 year old woman in the bed next to you; sadly, you will lose…repeatedly.

*  The most expensive vacation I have ever taken – and they didn’t even feed me until the last day!  But when they did, I would gladly put their food quality right up there with any restaurant in town; I was incredibly surprised!  (and no, it was not just because I hadn’t eaten in over a week)  However…their gelatin has got to be the worst stuff on the planet!  Think about it folks, you are talking to a woman who loves food that had not eaten in 7 days, it was the only food given to me and I threw it out.  Just sayin’…

*  I gotta tell ya, I had a grand time; I was treated like the “Queen of Everything” – I rang the bell and they came running to help; sometimes they came just when I was thinking about ringing the bell.   I’m thinking I really need to introduce my guys to this concept at home too.

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