Saturday, November 08, 2008

An Unwanted Adventure

Well, nothing much has been happening over here lately so I thought I would tell you all about my hospital stay. A lot of interesting funny things happened along the way. Actually, craziness seems to follow me around. lol

I hadn't been feeling well for 3-4 weeks before all this started. Mom knows how I told every doctor I saw that I felt sick and my heart kept pounding and I was losing weight and I had to quit therapy b/c I've been so weak and my bones were killing me and my legs were acting funny and I've been sleeping like a maniac. I've never slept so much before. But did they do anything? Of course not! They just let you suffer for some dumb reason. My nurse knew I was getting worse, too.

So on Sunday, the 26th, I felt off. I had a temp and just did nothing. That night I woke up feeling horrible. Shaking and chattering. Having chills. It took me like 30 minutes to figure out I needed to take my temp. It was 103. I called mom, and we decided to wait till Karen came. She always comes at 9 am. That was the longest 8 hours ever. It wouldn't have been so bad except I was in so much pain. My legs were hurting so bad, and I couldn't get comfortable b/c I needed to huddle in the fetile position b/c of my abdomen pain and nausea. But my legs wouldn't let me. So I was miserable. And exhausted. I think I got 1 hour of sleep.

I was so nauseated I got the trash can and sat forward, but it didn't help. I couldn't open my eyes b/c my eyeballs hurt so much and when I turned my head it hurt. Every single part of my body was in awful pain. Even my teeth. Karen let me stay where I was comfortable and took blood and changed my dressing. She took blood to check for a line infection. My temp was 100.8 when she was there. I was waiting to get unhooked before I went to the ER at Womack. So anyway Mom ran to the bank before I needed to be unhooked from my TPN. I slept for a bit and woke up with a 103.4. I put my comfy pajamas on, and tried to figure out how to stay warm b/c I knew the docs would want to see my PICC. Of course it was a cold day!

We got to the ER, grabbed our number, and waited 50 minutes for the nurse to see me. The ER was packed, and there were people there from 10 am! And it was almost 2 pm when I got called by the nurse. So anyway, my temp was 102.8 when the nurse took it. Oh, I was tachy from the fever, and my medicine to keep my heart rate lowered was so not working. My ears were hurting from the continuous pounding that I had been dealing with for weeks. Anyway, he heard my history and saw I had a PICC. My legs were killing me so I asked if there was somewhere I could put my feet up. He said to hold on a minute and then led me to a bed in the ER! It was that quick. The nurse and doc both came in relatively fast and decided I needed to stay in the hospital b/c of the PICC. I didn't get a room till 8:30pm b/c for some reason I had to have a heart monitor even though everybody knows fever gives you tachycardia! My blood pressure was low for most of my stay and even now it's staying lower than my already low. lol Couldn't resist. Sounded too funny.

All my nurses were really nice. That night my fever jumped to 103.3 again so they took off my blankets and turned a fan on me. The nurse told me I would hate him if my fever spiked again! One thing I hate about hopsitals is having to swallow pills when you're barely awake. I had so much Tylenol shoved at me and would swallow wrong and get the taste. You all know the taste. Oh, another funny thing is how all the guy nurses say "Good morning, ma'am". I'm like ma'am?! lol I learned to hate that word even more. :-D

They took so much blood out of me I don't know how I had any left! Never had so much taken in a week before b/c when my nurse saw me after I left the hospital she had to draw a ton of blood, too! I had trouble with my IVs. After less than a day, the fluid would start to go into my tissue making it burn. They wouldn't believe me until it would start puffing up really big, and the one time I had a huge knot in my vein along with the swelling and redness. Then my other IV was strange. It worked all night, but when I was unhooked to go to the bathroom and the nurse came back in to hook me back up it wouldn't flush. He was like why?! I couldn't help but laugh b/c he looked so puzzled and frustrated. It took them four tries to get the IV in my other arm. The first three times was b/c the needle wouldn't advance. And for some reason my IVs hurt like crazy when they put them in. I've never had so much pain from IVs before. It was probably from the line infection affecting my other veins.

Anyway, I had more fevers till Wednesday when it was just low grade temps. Then my fever was gone! I started to get better when they pulled my PICC. The one bad thing was that I then got sick from no nutrition b/c I was too sick and nauseated to eat or drink much. By the the last day in the hospital, I was so dizzy and felt like I was going to pass out. Mom gave me my TPN a couple hours early the night I came home to help me out.

I got my new PICC on Thursday. The guy was funny, and it didn't take long. Mom and I had to wear masks, and Mom was burning up from hers. I don't know what I would have done if Mom hadn't come to visit me every day. When I felt better, I was BORED out of my mind so it was especially nice. The evenings and nights were long.

Oh, the reason why the docs ruled out the flu or something like that is b/c my fevers weren't constant. I would spike then go down, spike then go down which is typical of a blood infection. Also I didn't have any other symptoms. I survived my first and hopefully, last line infection!!! Whoo hoo! They gave me Vancomyacin and Levaquin twice a day through IVs then gave me three days of Levaquin to take at home. Strangely, most of my bloodwork came back negative for a line infection, but it's the only thing that fit. Everybody believes I had one even with the test results. Especially since I got better when it was pulled.

One night I woke up screaming. And I mean loud screaming. Three or four nurses came running in asking me if I knew my name and where I was. My eyes were all bugged out b/c it was like I was in shock or something. It was the last night I had a high fever which could have contributed. Not sure. But the poor guy who bore the brunt of it. He was the CNA coming to take my vitals. Apparently, he woke me up even though I don't remember that at all. I just remember opening my eyes and hearing myself scream. He's like he's scared people awake before but never such a loud one. LOL I felt so bad for all the people I woke up!

My last night in the hospital was the worse b/c the woman next to me had a bed alarm so if she moved it went off, and it was LOUD and PIERCING! I would end up covering my ears b/c sometimes it would stay on till somebody came which would be forever. When my day nurse came, he saw how extremely loud it was and told the other woman's nurse to go turn the alarm down.

Oh! I forgot one of the most annoying things. The woman next to me (I had 3 different women roommates while I was there) had those things on your legs to keep from getting blood clots. For some reason the docs decided to pick on me. I had to get a shot in the abdomen every day. When the nurse told me, I was like are you kidding me??? He's like it's b/c you have to stay in bed, and I'm like I always do that! Bottom line - they don't want to get sued. Anyway, he tells me that I can't touch or itch where he puts the shot b/c I'll get an ugly bruise. I'm thinking why would I itch it. It wasn't bad. Just a little stick, and then it stung and burned from the medicine. Typical. The only thing different was that it stung for ten minutes or more. And it was kinda itchy. lol But I didn't itch. :-D Oh, something interesting. The last day of my temp I had four nose bleeds. I haven't had nose bleeds for at least twelve years. Here's the clincher - I had big clots come out with each one. That anti-clotting shot really worked, huh? ;-) Either it got it out or it was just a waste. lol Strange... but things are always strange with me. :-D

I'm scheduled to talk with a surgeon about getting a j-tube. They don't know if I will be able to get it before I go to Texas, but all my records will transfer b/c it's army so it shouldn't take long for me to get one once I'm in Texas. You have to stay in the hospital for a day or two b/c it's surgery, and they need to make sure the feedings go alright. My new PICC is in my left arm. It's a good placement. It's a little higher up, and it's a good brand of PICC so my nurse is happy. So ends my four days in the hospital. Or was it five? I'll say five b/c I was in there all five days. I do not recommend it.

I have four doc appointments this week. Yuck! Well, two are tests. The one on Thursday is the one I do not want to go to. You have to lay on this hard metal table for 2-3 hours. Hurts like crazy, and I always go numb and feel like I'm going to pass out when they raise me up.

By the way, it's been a year and a week that Ben has been gone. In two months I will be in Texas with Ben!!! I can't believe it! I'm thrilled beyond words....

Rheed finally feels better. He had bronchitis for a couple of weeks and had to have breathing treatments and prednisone. Braxton had a double ear infection, and his brother William had pneumonia. I hope William finally feels better. He's been sick for awhile. Arianna got sick over the weekend. No surprise there. Seth had bronchitis bad, too. All the little ones have been sick! And now Mom is sick! Dad was sick when I was in the hospital, and Aaron had pneumonia and Daniel had bronchitis a few weeks ago. It's an epidemic over here! Run for your life!!! lol Hopefully, no one else will get sick.

Mom and I had a laughing fit one day when I was in the hospital. Funny stuff kept on happening and I was giddy from lack of sleep and Mom was tired, too so that probably contributed. But Mom was like shhh b/c I was squeaking from laughing, and the nurse might think I needed help. :-D That was one of my favorite memories from being in the hospital. I'll end on that note - the high, squeaky one. ;-)


Megan said...

MER! What an ordeal....I would've come every day to see you at the hospital. I laughed out loud at the last paragraph; I can just picture you and your mom giggling away. We used to get like that after long hours of painting remember? Well you have a few months to rest and get better so hurry up! And please, don't get bronchitis or pnuemonia okay? ;)

Maria said...

i remember us laughing away. :-D i've been painting and missing my painting buddy! at least i got you laughing from way over here.

kathy/mil/mom said...

You are amazing how you can go through so much and still come out laughing. I must really be a weakling, I would come out crying. I'm so happy you and Ben will soon be together again. God sure is good to us all the time in everything.

Ben said...

I'm not sure what to say, but I love you and I need you, Mer.