Thursday, May 2, 2013

In and out of the hospital

My long-awaited visit to the GI specialist in Boston was aborted when I ended up in the local emergency room instead.

Don't want to bury the lede, so I'll start by saying I am taking an antibiotic for treatment of an infection and am feeling better, though I was admitted for two days.

It started Monday, when, all dressed for yoga, I started feeling achy. I took my temperature and it was 101.2. I was getting chills and feeling worse and worse. From my position lying down on the couch, I called Dr. Alyea and asked if I could now be like a normal person and wait it out. He said no, go to the emergency room. Joe was in Boston, so I called Meryl. What a mensch. (I was going to write mensch-ela, but I looked the word up and found out that although the word is usually used for an honorable, just man, it is an equal opportunity word.)  I threw up in her car (successfully into a bag, unlike the time I threw up into a bag with holes in Joe's car), and, thankfully, she did not throw me out.

It was dark by now, and when we got to the Baystate Medical Center emergency room in Springfield, we encountered a scene from hell. Tons of people, some bleeding, some screaming, some fainting. When I used the words "bone marrow transplant," they put me higher on the list, below acute problems but above the routine. I put on a mask and we waited it out in a corner away from the crowd.

After a couple of hours, I got a bed in the emergency room, and Joe came to relieve Meryl. Another mensch. I can't even count the hospital trips he's made with me. The ER doctor called Alyea, who told her I was his "miracle patient" and should be admitted for observation. I got a room at 4 a.m.

Though the caregivers were fine,  the system was a little discombobulated. I had given my information – history and meds – in the emergency room, yet when I got into a room, I was questioned at length by a nurse and trainee who said they had nothing in their computer and would have to start from scratch. "So, you had a liver transplant?" the nurse asked. "No, bone marrow transplant!" I replied. Having to go through it again when you're feeling sick is not fun.

Also, you could get even sicker from the food there, or, forgive the exaggeration, maybe even starve. I guess I am spoiled by Brigham and Women's, but still, fix-it chef Robert Irvine of "Restaurant: Impossible" would have a field day in Springfield. You couldn't get a baked potato, but you could get inedible packaged mashed potatoes. Surely it's less expensive to buy potatoes than to use the packaged junk. I asked for pot roast and mashed potatoes without gravy plus a chocolate pudding; it came with gravy, and the pot roast tasted like I imagine cardboard would taste like. There was no chocolate pudding. My nurse said to ask for turkey with gravy on the side instead; when it came about an hour later, I got a double order of the same pot roast, two chocolate puddings and turkey with gravy.. You couldn't even eat the broccoli, which was a grayish color. The woman who brought the food seemed upset with me, insisting I had asked for a double order of the same bad pot roast. What a waste of food.

My roommate gave me a banana, and I had that with chocolate pudding. Obviously if I was going to be there longer, I would have asked the troops to come in with real food. As it was, Chip brought me a Coke because all they had was some flavored cola. A little bit of real Coke can go a long way.

Barry came and got me out yesterday. (Thanks, Barry and Chip.) It was a nice day, and I asked Barry if he wanted to go for a walk. He said only to the corner and don't call him if I take a longer walk and get into trouble. I told Joe later, and he approved.

Having had no MSNBC in the hospital, I really wanted my "Hardball" fix, but the three Boston teams were on all at once, so I watched with Joe as the Celtics, Red Sox and Bruins all won. Among Joe's many talents, he has mastered the art of the clicker, changing channels at the commercials so you get to see some of everything. Sometimes this can be annoying, but I was into it last night. I saw my three-pointers, my goals and my home runs. I often miss the goals in hockey ("Can't they make the puck florescent?" I asked) but I definitely saw two and saw the others in replay. Then we watched "Modern Family."

Very sweet.


Jennifer Sumi said...

Glad to hear you are back home! Please add my number to your ride list. I would be happy to help out when possible. When you are feeling up to it, Thristy Mind.

Joanna said...

Your life is quite an adventure. It seems as if a bone marrow transplant is the gift that keeps giving and giving...I hope you are feeling lots better.

Tracy Boyle said...

Ronni, Ronni, Ronni... Feel better PLEASE!!!