Sunday 7/10 (Day 2 in Hospital):
The feeling of being in a hotel swiftly died when I conceived that I would have to stay the night there. And if the hospital was a hotel it was more like Hotel Transylvania where they wake you in the middle of the night to take your blood. The only difference is in Transylvania they'd be taking your blood to kill you, not save you.
My vitals were taken a couple times during the night and I experienced the feeling again of, "Am I really here? Is this really happening???"
By morning I did have some of the routines down though. If you went anywhere, your pass-code was Your Name and Date of Birth. It's how they verified your existence over and over. I also had an arm bracelet that was used like a check-out line at a supermarket. Every time a new bag of IV was to be used they scanned my bracelet and then scanned the IV bag's bar-code. It would essentially charge me for the medicine and help track what I was taking.
In the morning I was told they were waiting on the blood results to give the right antibiotic to send me home. Dr. Mo* had planned to discharge me that day, and I realllllyyyy wanted to go home.
One of the nurses came in and told me that the other nurses had told her I was a really easy patient to take care of. And I'm glad I'm low-maintenance like that. If someone's trying to help you why would you make their job harder? I never called on the nurses if I needed anything I usually just waited for them to come in and I never really asked for anything -I was pretty well set.
So most of my day passed in boredom watching excessive amounts of HGTV and answering numerous texts from friends and family who wanted to know how I was doing. The other portion of my time was spent in worry over my bank account status. I had about $50 in my bank account and was still looking for a job. Not a good position to be in when you're racking up hospital bills. I pretty much decided I was dead financially. It was one of the reasons I had held off on going to the hospital. I can't afford to die, but I also can't afford to live.
But I kept getting the understanding that it would be OK and that I shouldn't worry -which was insane. Not worrying didn't make sense. I was incessantly worried about the money situation.
By mid-day Dr. #3 came in -which in the show House would be Dr. Chase.
Dr. #3: Dr.???? Didn't catch his name. He came in a business suite and basically told me that he and Dr. Mo* were just waiting on tests results and then they'd send me home. He said, "We don't know what caused this, but we'll just wait and see what happens when they eventually get the catheter out. You'll probably have to have the catheter in for about a week. Then we'll probably have follow-up procedures." He pretty much had the enthusiasm of Ben Stein.
So I was mostly focused on going home at that point and fathoming having a catheter in for a week. Then Doctor #1 -aka Dr. Me* came in and sat beside me and told me she didn't agree with the other doctors. She said normal procedure was to have the patient stay for a mandatory 48 hours. She said I had been septic and they still didn't know what the infection was. Sending me home at that point would be highly negligible. She said I needed to stay another night. She genuinely seemed concerned for my wellbeing.
So then was mopey again at staying ANOTHER night. That's when I decided my new mission in life was to take a shower. I mentioned this to AnneMarie who was again on my side and said she and another nurse would help me.
That's when I felt what I thought was my catheter leaking liquid down my leg. Grabbed a napkin and found out, "SUPRISE! You just started your period!" I thought, "SH*T."
So that's when I decided my new mission in life was to REALLY take a shower. So up I went thanks to a new nurse friend named "Mo" who didn't speak very much English. She helped me into the bathroom, gave me the bottle of Shampoo/Conditioner/Soap. No actual soap, but a tri-hybrid bottle of everything. The water was freezing cold. Quickest shower ever taken. God bless Mo for standing guard outside the bathroom in case I fell because there were some times it definitely seemed like I would.
I felt better after the shower when I was restored to me bed and could rest again. I thought, "You know, Mo may not speak much English but she does speak the only language worth hearing: Caring."
A couple hours passed and then there was a sort of weird experience when I was alone in my room. I had turned off the TV and just decided to sort of meditate and tune into God. The first thing that happened was I heard this phrase psychically in my mind, "Best Selling Author". It kind of came out of nowhere I couldn't tell whether it was about me or something else.
The next thing I heard moments later was what sounded like Church Bells ringing. There were no churches near the hospital and nothing to account for the sound. then I got the sense that is meant there was FUTURE destiny/fate for me of some kind. A future JOY.
A little later on my energy returned to me and again I felt like I could run a marathon. You look around you with that kind of energy and think, "I can do anything." Then the world looks back at you and says, "But you're plugged into everything." Which was true. I was tied to my bed with numerous cords running through veins. No escaping.
Sometimes the body can't keep up with the soul. You will feel light and empowered but the strength of your body just won't be there. I've had times when the will of my soul really carried my body, but other times it's wiser for the soul to acknowledge its anchor.
Nurse Uno had been tending me the second half of the day and she came in to announce her shift was ending and my second favorite nurse Amanda would be returning since she did night shift. It's amazing how you can bond that closely with a nurse on nightshift -a time when you're konked out supposedly bonding with nothing. But Amanda was my buddy and I liked her being around.
When she came in and asked me if I needed anything, I did have a request. A needle had been placed in my arm at 3am Saturday for the IV fluids to go in. After all the time of keeping my arm straight so it wouldn't bend into the needle, my arm was aching pretty badly. I told her I had no pain but the pain in my arm by the needle.
She explained it was a plastic needle and I could sort of bend it minimally. She then said she would try to start another needle in a more conveniently located vein. Apparently ER people just stick it by your elbow and hospitals try to relocate it to other parts of your arm.
Amanda gave it 2 tried. Nurses are only authorized to make 2 attempts and then they must call on another nurse to try and set in the needle. Both of Amanda's tries failed unfortunately. Which is when I met nurse Kate, who was also very nice. And also missed 2 times. Finally my savior Lauren came in. She kind of reminded me of Jennifer Grey from the movie Dirty Dancing if Baby had aged 10 years and gone to medical school. On the first try Lauren got the Godzilla of veins and managed to relocate the needle.
This series of needle attempts eventually left bruises on my arms, but was totally worth it.
Monday 7/11: I woke up on Monday morning and said my goodbyes to Amanda and thanked her for helping me.
I also got to re-meet Sheryl, one of the two ultra sound nurses from the day before, who came to my room to re-check the water in my body which had dissipated at that point.
I then met two new nurses named Karin and Kaori who told me I was just waiting on the final results of that stupid blood test that seemed to take forever. I waited until 1pm and then a nurse came in and told me I was officially being discharged. No doctor came into explain the results, I just signed some papers, signed up for Medicaid, and was set free.
Life Afterwards: Post-hospital time consisted of resting at home, drinking water, taking cephalexin?, meeting up with a general doctor about 10 minutes away, finding out I had e.coli in my system, and scheduling to get the catheter out on Monday -aka yesterday. I was supposed to schedule a follow-up with Dr. Mo* but he was kind of hard to get a hold of get a follow-up with so I decided to go with the generalist doctor, Dr. R*, to get the catheter out.
The catheter removal seemed to go well. Then 4 hours passed, I couldn't go pee, and my bladder started to hurt. I then had to get the catheter put back in. Now I'm trying to schedule an appointment with the urologist Dr. Mo* so I can go in, possibly get this taken out again, and do some follow-up exams to see what is blocking my bladder/causing this issue. Just for the record: If you're a doctor and you make your patients feel hesitant about seeing/contacting you because they don't want to bother you or your busy schedule -you're kind of a crappy doctor.
In other news, my body isn't a balloon anymore and is back to its original size. Also found out today that catheters need to stay in 1 to 2 weeks so looks like I have to wait a while longer to get this out...
Hopefully they figure out what's wrong with me so I can go back to really living.