Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Home sweet home

I'm home sweet home as of yesterday and had a wonderful night of unbroken sleep.

Joe sprung me yesterday afternoon, and we got home on time for him to buy and cook chicken on the grill. I retired to the couch, which will be a good place for me in the next couple of weeks. But I can't get stuck there and need to find a balance of moving around and staying still.

It's difficult to be without a nurse to bring in the pain meds and tell the proper spacing. I didn't have it quite right today and ended up with an hour when I needed to take Dilaudid, the pain reliever which is working better this time than Oxycodone. I wanted to try the lower end of the recommended dosage range so as not to be quite so spaced out, but I really needed the whole six milligrams along with two  Extra Strength Tylenol. During the hour gap when I was under-medicated, my pain was nine on a scale of one to 10. (I never say 10  because I can't even go there.) I should put up little stickies: Keep ahead of the pain! It happens relatively quickly and before I know it, it hurts just to breathe, with a piercing pain occurring just from the incision catching my T-shirt when I inhale. That leads to short quick breaths, and that creates more pain, etc. Well by the end of the day I was doing a better job with scheduling.

On a day like today, it was hard to feel totally bad. The weather was perfect, a gift after the horrible weather this summer.

This morning I took a little walk on the arm of my neighbor, Susan, and later repeated the same thing with Barry, who came over and brought the best comfort food, macaroni and cheese. Meryl came over and brought some good "comfort fruit," cherries.

Back at the hospital, I had gotten a new roommate, an old woman who came in late at night with the usual turning on of lights and parade of hospital personnel asking her this and that. I thought, "here we go again" when she knocked on the door repeatedly while I was in our shared bathroom and later kept calling "Nurse, nurse" because she was disoriented and didn't understand about pressing the call button.

Her daughter had brought her in after she fell and broke her hip. She cried softly on and off throughout the night.

The next day, when lunchtime approached and no one had visited, I found her sitting in the semi-dark, eating lunch. I asked her how she was, and she said bored. I opened the curtain dividing the beds so that she could at least look out at something. (I had the window view.) She told me her name is Anne and she has two little granddaughters. I showed her how to work the TV (a nurse couldn't have told her that? or maybe she forgot) and she seemed pleased. When we both complained about the hospital coffee, I shared my little secret with her: Nurse Bill made the best coffee of all the nurses on the floor. Later when he made a pot at my request, I told him Anne would like some also. All was well in coffee-dom.

After that, when I went out to do my two laps around the nurses' station, she smiled and clapped at my first time around and gave me a little fist pump after the second. I wanted to say goodbye when I left later that day, but she was at physical therapy. I hope she'll be OK.

In talking to Bill about the problem of shared hospital rooms and the increasing numbers of hospitals offering private rooms, I thought this would make a good topic for my Newsmax blog. Sure enough, when I did a Google search, I found many stories like this one headlined, "Why Shared Hospital Rooms are Becoming Obsolete."


Joanna said...

I hope you are successful in staying ahead of the pain and having lots on non-interrupted sleep!


Anonymous said...

There's no place like home!

Sleep Well! Runder-Woman -- as you build up your strength -- the pain will diminish...

You are amazing...As are your Children...