Hospital days 3 and 4 and coming home …

By | Sat December 27, 2014

At day 3 (Saturday), things started to look a little better. I was moved over to the window. The room I was in was the tiniest of hospital rooms. The single room I had on my last stay was almost the same size as the double room I was in for days 3 and 4. The space was crazy small.

This was particularly a challenge for my neighbor, who had a large family. All the family wanted to be there all the time, but there just wasn’t space for it. For me, this got a little frustrating, as the family members wanted to watch TV – so the person they were visiting was asleep, and they were watching a ball game on TV … the only thing between me and the other person was a drape – which meant that no one saw me, and therefore made no consideration as to how they may be bothering me. The nurses did have to tell them to limit the number of people in the room. It was addedly difficult for them, as they were not from close by – a 3 to 4 hour drive away – so they didn’t have anywhere else to be other than there. I felt bad for them, but on the other hand, it didn’t exactly help me heal either.

I do think the TVs should be removed – personal TVs with headphones make more sense in shared spaces.

The thing that annoyed me even more than that was that for the two days we had different nurses. The other ladies’ nurse were turn on the overhead light at 6am and say a loud “good morning” … the lady wasn’t deaf, she just didn’t speak English (she spoke spanish) … anyways, I was annoyed that the nurse again paid no consideration of me. I had just gotten back to sleep after a 5am doppler check (I seem to be on an odd hour doppler cycle) … this is specific feedback that I will try to figure out how to provide to that specific nurse. Anytime my nurses went to wake me up, they put arm on my shoulder and gently woke me up … the overhead lights went on only when necessary to inspect dressings and such … but again, I think the curtain provides a false sense of privacy, but also a barrier that makes it too easy to ignore the patient on the other side of the barrier.

I have to say that over the 4 days I spend on the G2S ward, for the most part I had spectacular nurses. They advocated for me, and they worked hard to help me be as comfortable as possible. They also integrated Scott into my care – letting him help, showing him how to do things, and informing him about what was going on – and allowing him to advocate for me when  I was so drugged up that I could not advocate for myself.

On Sunday afternoon I was transferred to a new ward (C2)  as I no longer needed doppler checks every 2 hours). In C2 a private room was available. The space was truly delightful. When I first moved in, they were having an exceptionally busy afternoon/evening. I still needed help getting into and out of bed to use the toilet – with the reduced staff and them being crazy busy, this mean a waiting (first time I tried it was over 20 minutes).  Armed with that information, Scott decided to spend the night, as he could help with transfers when the nurses were not available. Unfortunately, at one point I had a bad transfer (the nursing assistant that shift wasn’t very good – the one that came on the morning I left was amazing). The bad transfer made me nervous about getting up – but also left me concerned about how we would manage when we got home.

Discharge was planned for Monday – so when the docs came by at rounds we specifically asked for a PT consult to help with the transfers. The PT was awesome. She showed me how to get into and out of bed on my own (much less painful than with assistance). That was really the last step I needed to be comfortable with going home … I could get into and out of bed on my own (just needed help once in bed with pillow positioning and blankets …

So, Monday afternoon I was glad to be home … again it took some time to figure out the logistics of getting into and out of bed … and Scott spent several hours figuring out how to manage my various medications.

After several days at home, we now have a routine. Meds on pretty much every odd hour except 1am and 5am (so that we have two four hour windows for sleep) … processes are much more efficient (e.g. dressing changes happen after a shower since the dressing have to come off for showering anyways). Healing is happening. I’m feeling a little stronger each day ….

I have four drains … and I’m looking forward to when I can get the first two removed. In theory the output is such that removal is an option … however, trying to get an appointment to make it happen is a challenge (ugh holidays).

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