Monday, March 15, 2021

Keeping You in the Loop

 

I thought it was time for an update and to tell you some of my experiences at the hospital last week. update you on what's been going on. When I went to the emergency room at John C. Lincoln March 5, they admitted me. I was hoping that they'd just pump me full of antibiotics and turn me loose like they did the last time, but no luck. 
 
Although it was quiet when we'd arrived at the ER, it rapidly filled up, and I soon couldn't hear myself think. A 101-year-old woman had fallen and broken her hip. The sounds the poor soul made every time they had to move her broke my heart. Then there was the confused woman who was hard of hearing and had to be shouted at many, many, many times. The icing on the cake was the woman who'd given herself a mind-blowing mix of legal and illegal drugs, and she spent six hours (that I know of) babbling a four-note mantra of yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah on an endless loop.(I can still hear it a week later.)

By the time I got to my room, it was 6:50 PM. After talking with the nurse and his finding that I hadn't eaten all day, I was handed a phone and the menu. It was 6:57 PM. Meal ordering was over at 7 PM. Unluckily for me, the nurse had forgotten that the phone system was dead. No food for me. In the mean time, Denis had gone home to get my hospital bag. (If I'd brought it along, they probably wouldn't have admitted me.) What we didn't anticipate was different visiting hours due to COVID-19. They were over at 7:30 (3-7:30 every day). Denis wound up being forced to leave my bag at the front desk. Fortunately, the night nurse got it for me so I could change out of that horrendous hospital gown and into my own nightgown. She also found a nice little box lunch for me so I wouldn't starve.
 
Then followed the night from hell. I couldn't get to sleep because I had the worst "seat in the restaurant." Having a table by the kitchen is just like having a hospital room across the hall from the dirty laundry and supply rooms with their self-closing (read self-SLAMMING) doors. Then there were the countless times that people came in to take things from the supply area in my room. I won't even go into all the people who came in to check to make sure I was resting, draw blood, etc. I wound up watching the moon sail across the sky from my fifth floor window while the patient next-door groaned and sang and people laughed out in the hall.
 
I talked with the night nurse just before shift change, and she shut the door to my room. You would not believe the difference that made! I actually got some sleep despite the 5 AM vampire. When I mentioned the amazing difference in noise levels and the greatly reduced traffic, Payton (the night nurse) told me that it probably had a lot to do with the fact that the fifth floor had been a COVID-19 floor, and the people who worked there got used to seeing a closed door and knowing it meant STAY OUT. That closed door ensured that I had peace and quiet and could focus on reading and knitting.

Fortunately, I was released on Sunday afternoon. All my numbers were good, and the doctors did not want me to miss my appointment for my first COVID-19 shot. (For those of you interested in such things, Denis and I got the Pfizer vaccine. I didn't feel a thing, no side effects, and we were both very impressed with the way everything was set up at the Arizona State Fairgrounds.)
 
Friday, March 12, was my appointment at the Wound Care Clinic. My left leg has also started acting up, so now BOTH my legs are wrapped. I told the nurses they could make a mint wrapping everyone up as mummies for Halloween. Today, there's a follow-up with the nurses, and next Friday I'll see the doctor again. I also have to make and appointment with the infectious diseases doctor.



Since I'm stuck keeping my legs elevated, that means I can't use my much-preferred set-up of desktop computer and three monitors. The stand I use here in the family room to attach my current knitting pattern to is supposed to be a laptop stand anyway, so now it's serving its original purpose. I don't like using laptops. I never have, and it isn't just because a laptop doesn't have three monitors. I don't like the small keyboard, and I loathe that track pad with a passion. As you can see in the photo, I now have a wireless full-sized keyboard and a wireless mouse (this borrowed from Denis). Now I can start catching up on everything I've fallen behind on. It will take awhile, though, because one of the leg bandages isn't letting me sit to type with any degree of comfort. But for all intents and purposes...

I'm back!

26 comments:

  1. So sorry you have had to go through all this. Hope your legs improve soon.
    I know about not sleeping in a hospital. It has happened to me for night after night, and then people kept coming in and out, even when the doctor told them not to do it.
    So I came home and slept after sleep deprivation for nights.
    On the laptop, I hate the touch pad. I used it for a day last week because my pc monitor died, and so did two mice. I had one left and plugged it into the laptop -- and, voila, it works.
    My pc monitor is dead, am getting a new one. And the charger is broken for the laptop. A technological nightmare here.
    But a great technician came over, diagnosed problems and told me what to order. Technology is an expensive habit!
    Anyway, I'm merrily on my laptop with a mouse that is plugged into it.
    I do hope you are better soon, and can type away on a computer.
    Meanwhile, I hope you have good books and some good TV movies or shows. By the way, I loved Michael Connelly's The Law of Innocence. Now post-good-book slump.

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    1. I must be lucky-- I don't think I've ever suffered from post-good-book slump.

      I know I was lucky with my electronics. Denis gave me the wireless mouse that he wasn't using, and my wireless keyboard only cost $25. Can't beat that with a stick.

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  2. It sounds as though you had a really unpleasant hospital experience, Cathy! I'm so glad the staff did so much to try to make it better for you. It's also good to hear you weren't there very long, and that you're home, where you're most comfortable. I hope all of this clears up soon. In the meantime, even if your setup isn't exactly what you'd have wanted, I'm glad you've managed to make it work. Thanks for the update.

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  3. Thanks for the update, Cathy! So glad to hear you are on the mend and learning to tolerate your laptop :).

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    1. I actually think I like this keyboard better than the one at my desk.

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  4. Glad you're back home, even if the way forward isn't as fast as you'd like. As for noisy hospitals, yup, though I don't think my experiences come anywhere near yours this last time.

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    1. I never dreamed that COVID-19 could be a blessing in disguise, but it certainly was concerning the noise levels.

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  5. You've really been through the wringer, Cath; so sorry to hear that. Your experience with the hospital, sadly enough, is typical of what I've experienced the time or two I've been confined for a few days - especially for my broken hip of a few years ago. And ERs are a nightmare unless you're carried in by ambulance and go in through the "back door." I learned that from all the times I went there with my father. It's never a "good" experience but at least you're not part of the crowd out front.

    Thanks for letting us know how you're doing; we've all been concerned about you. Take care...and congrats on the covid shots. (I had my second dose three days ago and my wife gets her first this Friday).

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    1. Something you said reminded me of an incident when my grandfather was living with me. It was just the two of us, and my job at the time often had me working 12-hour shifts. Well, Grampa decided that he wasn't getting enough attention and faked some chest pains. Even though I knew what was going on, I couldn't take the slightest chance that I was wrong, so off to the ER we went. At midnight when I had to be back at work at 8 AM. Six hours later, Grampa was throwing a fit at how long everything was taking, and I told him that they had to make sure nothing was wrong before they would turn him loose. That this was normal for going to the emergency room. He never had "chest pains" again while he lived with me.

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    2. Lol! Man, I wish it had worked that way with Mom. She soaked up the attention from the nurses. Lots and lots of middle of the night calls from the assisted living place telling us they'd just packed her off in an ambulance, and off we'd go to the ER to wait until they decided there was nothing wrong, which we'd figured all along...

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    3. I had a feeling that I got off lucky on that one!

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  6. Goodness, you've sure been through it Cathy. So sorry to hear all these difficult times. But hopefully, on a good recovery road now. Thanks for updating us. Wishing you a speedy recovery. Ev

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    1. Thanks, Ev. I spent a few minutes this morning scheduling follow-up doctor appointments, only one of which could be handled by phone (televisit?). At least I'll be getting out of the house!

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  7. Whew! I'm glad you're home and recovering, or maintaining!! May the next few weeks see you recovering and back to your regular hijinks! Wahoo for your first vaccine and for adapting the laptop situation. How is Denis adapting to retirement life? Well I guess next time you stay at the hospital that you should request the VIP/spa treatment and floor but glad that your stay was short, if not highly educational. Haven't we learned a lot in this life?!?
    Stay safe and enjoy this March weather!

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    1. Isn't this weather gorgeous? And I love every little drop of rain that we get. As for Denis... he's loving the retired life (and so am I)!

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  8. So glad to hear from you! My sympathies on the hospital experience - it's unfortunately not too different from one a good friend of mine endured about a year pre-COVID. I know that the comfort of your quiet home and sleeping in your own bed will make a big difference in your recovery; here's hoping those doctor visits pay off also!

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  9. I'm sorry to read of the recurrence of the cellulitis. As if 2020 wasn't challenging enough....2021 needs to shape up. Continue the recovery process in the comfort of your home, feet propped up, enjoying a bit of a respite. I got Pfizer and never had any side effects with the first or the second vaccine. I still observe all mitigation protocols but I don't worry as much when I go out into the world.

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    1. Yes, I'm looking forward to not worrying so much each time I leave the property.

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  10. What a frustrating experience! Glad to know you are home now--rest and recover, Cathy.

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  11. Welcome back, although I am sorry you have to navigate a new set up with those elevated legs. Hope it is working well!

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  12. i'm trying to figure out the very impressive computer set-up. Is the monitor to the right part of a computer? Then there's one to the left. And your keyboard is hooked up to what? I can see why it's hard to keep your leg elevated.

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    1. The "monitor" to the right is a large screen TV at the other end of the room. The "monitor" to the left is the laptop which my wireless keyboard and mouse talks with. Denis let me have his lap desk which has legs and makes it much easier to keep all necessary body parts elevated.

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