It’s been 21 days Since I’ve been gone, “Lord have mercy”
The sun comes up each morning and my first thought of the day is, “I’ll blog today” Then nothing happens…. Am I too weak, too angry, too worried, too full of other thoughts? “I’m not sure but I’m here.” I give up too easily to the fact that I don’t have a voice anymore, I lost it somewhere in the last 21 days and the lack there of energy picks away at me daily, but I’m here. I’m thinking if I expose what happened to me, then perhaps it will be that much easier for me to think, to write, to create again.
Catch Me WhEn I FALL
On May 8th I was in the Halifax hospital having a surgery I didn’t want. That evening while in a sit up position a nurse fondles for a release to move the bed over and pressed the wrong button on the bed sending me crashing to the floor. It was a CPR button and the bed dropped flat. Checked out by the surgeon I had possible torn muscles and a possible hernia. Next day, I suffered chest pain in the worst way and was introduced to a crash cart, taken an EKG to find I didn’t have a Heart Attack, still having chest pain. An ex-ray showed Pneumonia and so that started powerful antibiotics. Three IV’s later that had to come out because the vein’s couldn’t control the amount of fluid I was getting weaker. Finally an ex-ray is ordered to see what is happening with this solid lump of pain. It was a barium ex-ray to see if I had any leaks in my esophagus or stomach. No leaks, however the pain is worse. Doctor’s keep coming in and out I have 5 and each one looks puzzled that first I can identify the exact location of the pain but most are convinced I shouldn’t have any pain there. I’m not caring by this point it is day 3 just make the pain go away so I can sleep, eat, even drink something and while your at it, take all this noise away so I can sleep. The 4th series of blood work comes back to reveal the white cell count has dropped considerably and a stronger antibiotic has been ordered, then the fever starts, yet the same number of doctor’s check me each day and ask the same questions and I am begging them with my eyes closed, that I’m not getting any better.
I notice others getting sponge bathed in bed, answered call bells almost immediately, and ice water, is my call bell only working half the time. Or is my intuition correct that I’m getting just visits upon pain med’s? It must be the infection. It’s 3 hours short of day 5 and I call the nurse to come see me. First I close my eyes and imagine each one of the doctor’s, their voice, their expressions, their willingness to listen and I pick one Dr. Mason it will be. Second I prepare for the visit, I need concrete evidence to get his help and so I start a mental assessment on myself that will later lead to a physical assessment when the first part is complete. I’m slow to ask myself questions, the answer isn’t as fast coming, then I think I made a mistake and convince myself I need to start over again. I can’t seem to get this right so I give up on the mental assessment and move on to the physical assessment and start with moving one finger….I’m not satisfied that my brain told my finger to move or that it moved I’m confused. But have enough in me to continue and say go big or go home, “lift your arm off the bed” Did you hear me? “lift your arm” the only thing that happens is a tear squeezes from my left eye when I’m finally convinced I need help now. Dr. Mason walks in and sits at the end of the bed and listens as I tell him I was in nursing for 27 years, this pain, that fever, I need your help, please believe me, “oh I believe you,” he said. Leaving the room he motions to me that he will be right back. OMG he wasn’t just blowing me off, he did come back and told me he was sending me by ambulance to have a Catscan. Finally I’m getting out of this hospital and getting a change of air, a bumpy ride but not far to have a catscan and I’m returning to that awful place that made me so sick. Dr. Mason follows the attendants in behind by now it is 10:30 pm and he tells me he has called for the OR to open and he is having things set up I need another operation. This time we are going to make you better. The catscan showed a perforation in your bowel that had to of happen when we operated 5 days ago, we need to act fast as he is leaving the room he’s finishing the sentence. ”Thank you Lord, for making them listen.”
I wake in ICU, still confused, not sure I’m awake as I spent time looking at mom while I was sleeping and she has been gone for 6 years what is she doing at the Halifax hospital and how did she know I was there???? Oh I think I’m worse. Everyone’s buzzing around me, not enough oxygen, something is wrong, too many operations too much anesthesia, chronic lungs and severe sleep apnea I hear coming from one. If I could open my eyes I’d tell her I have a C-pap machine and to put it on me, they forgot to in recovery and I need it to sleep, I could get the right amount of oxygen if you put it on. Then I am given an injection of pain med and don’t care. I wake again to hear it’s Mother’s Day, someone is getting flowers, the phones are ringing, people are bringing in cards of Happy Mother’s Day and I’m feeling punished, do the kids know I have a phone I ask myself? Then my son calls later that night and I remind him it is Mother’s Day when he doesn’t announce it to me, “I know mom, but it isn’t much of, besides we can pick a day for that when you get home and call it Mother’s Day, don’t worry I didn’t forget it’s not the time. “Oh, good he remembered.”
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!
This time spent with the hospital has brought my husband closer than he needs to be. Each time I open my eyes he is there, jumps up tries to get me to drink, gives me whatever it is I need and other times I open my eyes, he is laying next to me crying. I’m convinced by now that something is very wrong and he will tell me, he always does. For you Guy, for all the times you waited for me to get out of surgery and not to get to see me, for the amount of patients you hold, the waking days you spent, sleepless weeks on end, for the stake that was driven through your heart, the fear you endeavoured, and the helplessness you were left with in the end, this is for you Guy, I love you, please be strong.
Each day I am getting weaker, I’m not able to drink juice, boost, even water is too heavy and nothing is staying down. I’m convinced I need to go home. Each food tray that comes, I pick off the package of juice, boost or boost drink and put it into the drawer beside me. The doctor’s are still coming and going and are rather pleased with themselves that they found out why I was so sick. My next step is to convince them I could better rest at home, convince them that yes, everything is moving and passing as it should, and put on the happy face until I get out of here. Guy isn’t at the hospital because on lack there of sleep our house has sold and he returns to Charlottetown to assist Victoria our daughter who I made power of attorney in the event the house sold a year ago while we were on vacation she could sign the paper work. Well I can’t be there so she fly’s to Halifax and drives home with Guy so he has company on his trip back. I’m left alone in the hospital, I can manage, after all the worst is over right? I manage to be able to walk down and have a shower, although I’m disgusted at the amount of dirt in this shower only after I turn it on and step in do I realize, God I could get an infection in a dirt trap like this. I reach for a towel and put it on the floor of the shower to stand on as to not get my feet dirty and the towel is turning a rust colour at the drain. The soap scum is all around and the curtain is moldy at the bottom. I shut the water off and think about steeping out, no way the floor is dirty also. Getting back to my room seemed to speed up because of wanting to get out of the filth. Oh good a doctor is about to come in and I’m all showered sitting on the side of the bed looking my best, combing my hair. She is sweet, stern and holds authority I can tell because she always has followers taking notes. She asks me how I’m feeling after she tells me how much better I look. Now’s my chance and I say all the right things. She tells me she sees a big improvement and she is convinced I should return home. Yes, I did it now I need to rest she has left the room and that took every bit I had in me.
These days I’m home, just barely coping with what each day has to offer. I’ve been to hell and back, but after a reassuring visit from my doctor here at home he tells me to give myself one month to start to feel better that I’ve had an awful shock to the system and at least 10 weeks to recover. @#$%^&*( 10 weeks ) I’ve heard this over and over again so I’m thinking it might be true. I’ll push ahead of the 10 weeks I have to… we have a life together Guy and I. I’ve decided on my good days I’ll do, on the not so good days I’ll not.
Yesterday was a good day and I returned after 21 days to a little spot that makes me happy, come see.
Where the Sand Meets the Sea – that’s where I’ll be
It was a beautiful sunny warm day. I’m sitting with two layers of clothes on a hoodie and a blanket wrapped around me. An umbrella is shoved into the sand beside me blocking the wind from me and with my hands under the blanket I hold on tight to my e-reader while I read my next book – Objects of my Affections – I drift off and fall asleep one dog on each side of me for protection (they think) ones a friendly Border Collie and the other a spoiled Chihuahua. The sound of the ocean keeps me sleeping in peace.
Watch the waves: http://youtu.be/6wsP9BB_FBM
I’m home one week now, I’ve had two outings and a number of set-backs. I’m disappointed to think our little tea room is perhaps not going to be used as much. I still am able to wander about the gift shop, talk to guests at the B&B and venture to the garden to answer a few questions if someone comes through the gardens on a tour. My hope is by writing about this I am able to put it in the past, forgive the mishaps, forget the anger and start healing the pain.