Saturday 7/09: It's 6:30am and I'm not sleepy anymore. I've been carried out by the ambulance and am being rolled to my hospital room. Going down the corridors I can't help but think, "WHY? Why does this place look like one big cubicle?" You've got bajillions of dollars hospitals, why not have some nicer wall paper? I feel like there should be an HGTV show for improving hospital interior decorating.
Then came the wall pictures. Pictures of flowers and children playing in snow. What a great way to make patients feel better about being taken out of that world and placed in a sterile environment than pictures of canyons and families playing at the beach.
Then after going down many hallways we make our way to the back of the hospital where a lot of the lights are off and it feels kind of abandoned. I'm wheeled into my room, which is pretty big and made for only one person, and I get settled into that bed.
Enter in the first 2 nurses I ever met:
Nurse #1: AnneMarie, my favorite nurse and the one who came in the most. She definitely indentified with me and tried helping me out a lot.
Nurse #2: Jackie, very spirited and caring. She mostly checked on how my overall experience was in the hospital. She also told me nurses would be coming in every hour to check on me and get an update on my vitals.
When asked how I was doing I said, "Much better now that the catheter is in." They then kind of laughed and remarked at how much it must have hurt to have 2 liters worth of liquid in my system.
Enter in Doctor #1 -who I thought was a "eurologist" but turns out is "urologist" but may as well be spelled "urinologist".
Doctor#1: Dr. Me******. I'm not sure what the rules are with writing/blogging about doctors including their last names. Dr. Me* was amazing though, she came in and sat down and immediately started filling me in on what they knew and planned to do.
She said my bladder had backed up into my kidneys and overflowed into my body. I had gone septic. They needed to get the water out and flush the infection out of my system. They also needed to wait back for the blood and urine tests to see what the specific bacteria was to administer the right medicine.
The bigger issue was figuring out what had triggered everything. Either I got an infection that had led to the bladder issue or I had a bladder issue that led to the infection. She decided to order an ultra sound toward the end of the day to see how much water was still in my system. She also told me doctor #2 -another urologist -was going to be coming in later.
I loved Dr. Me*. She was kind, direct, and genuinely wanted me to be taken care of. She was very adamant about finding out what this was.
The rest of the day was initially spent feeling like I was in a hotel room. I ordered room service to get my food, they gave me a folder and brochures on the hospital, and nurses came in every hour to check on me. There was also a TV in my room, so I decided to watch HGTV and my newest favorite show The Carbonaro Effect.
Around 3pm doctor #2 finally arrived. He seemed to be the main doctor, but later I found out it was kind of like the tv show House MD. There was a Doctor House, who was in charge of my case but never spoke to me or came into my room. Then there were Cameron, Foreman, and Chase who actually came in and talked to me. The first doctor was pretty much Dr. Cameron -caring and attentive. Doctor #2 was more like Foreman -more interested in my condition and the cause than me as a person.
Doctor#2: Dr. Mo*******. He came in and basically told me in a really depressing way that he didn't know what was wrong with me. Like the other doctor he started asking me questions to rule out any of the known causes or possibilities. He seemed really frustrated and kind of desperate to find an answer. It didn't make sense to him why I was that way or what had happened.
He then told me he wanted to quickly examine my vagina to see if there was a blockage. He asked the nurse AnneMarie to stay in the room while he examined me -which was uncomfortable and lasted maybe 45 seconds. He then took off his gloves and said, "It doesn't look like anything's blocking in there. We'll have to wait for the tests..." He then left.
I was left feeling kind of lost and hopeless. I had been fairly contented up to that point even with the catheter in because my 3 days of pain were finally gone. But that really deflated my balloon.
I started pondering him. He didn't seem to care about me at all, only my medical issue. He seemed very mentally-oriented, but then again so was the first doctor. I think sometimes people lock themselves away in their minds and they forget their hearts. I also think doctors sometimes purposely try to distance themselves from their patients. If it's a disease and it's a body your facing, then you don't have to feel bad about a person being at the center of it. But humans aren't their medical conditions and we aren't bodies. We are always more.
At that point I prayed for him. I prayed that he not lose sight of what matters -aka PEOPLE. This world will give you every excuse to be distracted from genuine human connection. It will even tell you that it's wrong. But it's EVERYTHING. People are always everything.
End of Saturday:
Towards the end of the day my energy was feeling pretty good and I actually thought I might be able to walk around. AnneMarie was there and basically told me I could try to walk if I wanted to. So she unhooked me from my IV bag and let me try to roam.
My mind had apparently tricked me. Catheter + 2am trip to the ER + Blood Drawn + Effects of Fluids and Antibiotics = DIZZY. I tried to walk and almost immediately fell. It's like my body was a car and I didn't have my driver's permit yet. I decided after about 2 minutes that walking was over-rated and that staying in bed would be awesome.
This also dashed my hopes of taking a bath. I really started wanting to take a shower and clean off. I thought the water would be soothing and "healing".
Around 5pm a nurse came in and said it was time to go to the ultra sound room. So she gurneyed my bed and I became a human shopping cart. We rode down the hallways towards the room and it felt like I was living a dream. Like I was dreaming about going past other patients and nurses in a bed and they couldn't see me. It was very surreal.
Then at some point reality checked back in and I was like, "Am I really here? Why is this happening? Am I really here???" It was strange for someone that had had so few medical issues to suddenly be in the hospital. It catches you off guard.
So there was in the ultra sound room feeling ultra depressed and that's when I met another nurse who was really nice. I think her name was Nicole, but I can't remember. she started performing the ultra sound and it was pretty clear there was still a good amount of fluid, though it had lessened. She and another nurse then started having a discussion about Taylor Swift.
Apparently there were some Taylor lyrics up for debate. In the song "Blank Space" there are some lyrics that say "a long-list of ex lovers". One of the nurses said she thought the lyrics were "Starbucks lovers". They asked me what I thought and I had always assumed the words were "Star-crossed lovers". Personally I think my lyrics are better, but whatever.
All I can say is GOD BLESS NURSES. I had been feeling really down and they included me in a conversation and made me forget for a moment what was going on. They made me feel like I belonged. It was enough to make me stop brooding and pick myself back up.
I feel like nurses are like angels. They're not jut there to heal you, they're there to care for you. There's a reason more people praise nurses than doctors. In spite of a doctor's credentials, education, wealth, name, prestige... even the ability to figure out the cure. People don't just want a cure, they want CARE. Nurses are there by their side having that direct connection. They work with and people and for people in a humbled way.
It also made me realize there's a difference between Higher Knowing, Higher Doing, and Higher Being. I'm more of a Higher Knowing kind of person, I seek largely to understand profound things and to impart that wisdom unto others. Nurses in part are more of Higher Doing -they are people of action that use there abilities to bring care and comfort to others. A person of Higher Being is more like Buddha, who focuses not on thoughts or actions but on state of being -which is something I strive for but occasionally struggle with. But we're all contributing spiritually in some greater way, whatever way we are able. It's ALL good.
I also reflected upon being in a hospital, trying to find a Higher Reason for it all. Part of me felt like maybe this was God's way of getting through to me about messages I had missed and there was something to be learned here. The one message that did come through pretty profoundly was this: You don't need to die or have a near death experience for God to reach you. Yes you're in the hospital under extreme circumstances, but God didn't need to put you there to reach you. You aren't that far away. You listen, God comes through. Stop thinking that something profound needs to happen for something profound to be understood. The truth will come to you clearly in whatever form it takes when it's meant to. Be patient with yourself and your path.