...getting back to our story...
Episode 23 – November 22 – Last night was another of those chaotic times with Art acting up and the two new post-op patients having issues. Thank god for that little blue pill so I at least got some rest.
Today is Thanksgiving Day in the US and I hope all my American friends and family are enjoying their holiday. Of course, I also empathize with all you because family dinners are always so much fun. I recommend Prozac in the mashed potatoes and keep the tranq dart gun handy.
Today also marks the 49th anniversary of the assassination of John Kennedy. Most people my age can vividly remember where they were that day. I remember being at Friday morning mass at Our Lady of Sorrows and the priest walking up to the pulpit and making the announcement. We were then taken back to our classrooms and then dismissed for the day. As much as I admired JFK, he was actually my fourth favourite Kennedy sibling behind Teddy, Bobby and Eunice.
I have another new day nurse today, Barb. I broke her in fine this morning by causing myself to repeat my mantra “I never want to be a nurse”.
While enjoying another scrumptious breakfast, the vampire dropped by for her own breakie. This time she claimed it was for my hemoglobin. I think they’re just making up big words to fool me into giving them more blood.
Dr. Haaf came in to check on me. He finally got the ultrasound and urine culture results back. Both were negative for any signs of infection or stones. He thinks it may have either been a small stone passing or a strange muscle spasm.
We also talked about Dr. Chow on the weekend being more concerned more about my weight than my legs. He figured I’d be a little pissed when he read the chart. Let’s deal with today’s problems and worry about the long term later.
We did however discuss switching to a new drug for my diabetes which we will look at when I get out. Apparently this is a new one and is the only one approved for helping with weight control. The problem is it is injectible. Great, more self-mutilation.
Lunch was passable being meatballs and gravy and it appears someone in the kitchen actually found the spice rack. But just to make sure I wasn’t totally sated, they threw in their infamous split pea soup. Bleccchhh!!
While we are on the topic, as I mentioned in a previous episode, I had been catching up on the series “Treme”. The problem is that it is painful to watch from a hospital bed. The big thing besides the music that New Orleans is famous for is the food and the show features this as well in all its decadent forms. I am dying for crawfish etouffe and a huge poor boy sandwich.
I have now become immune to all the alarms going off all the time. Between Art constantly climbing out of the bed and setting of the bed alarm and the people over at Evergreen House burning the toast and setting off the smoke detectors, it all becomes just noise.
After lunch, Barb came in and it was time to remove the staples from my incisions. This procedure is for the most painless but it still grossed me out and I tried to avoid watching. Yes, I’m a big wuss and proud of it.
The physio finally showed up after 3 and it appears that there was some conflicting information between Dr. McConkey told me and what he wrote on the chart. He told me that I would have increased range of motion in my braces while in bed awake and the chart said the physio was to conduct passive movement of 30°. This required ten minutes of undoing then doing up my braces for about thirty seconds of moving each knee about three inches. This seems way too cautious of a rehab protocol.
For some reason every Thursday during my stay has been the down day of each week and this one was no different. My mood had become so sour that I refused to go into my wheelchair because the process seemed so pointless.
While I was having my major pout about my rehab, the revolving door in this room continued. The newest addition to our ward is an elderly English woman, Stephanie who had broken her ankle. Her biggest problem was a bad reaction to the anaesthetic and spent the night throwing up.
Even after my discussion with Dr. Haaf about Dr. Chow’s obsession with my weight, her order to weigh was still on the chart. The bed is set up to weigh patients by zeroing the built in scale when the patient is lifted out of the bed and then putting the patient back on to the bed. The good news is I have lost at least 30 pounds in the last couple of months. Some of it was prior to my accident and the rest due to the great food here.
The best thing that happened today was receiving a call from my wonderful niece, Jennifer. Hearing from her always brightens my day even when she is lecturing me about my health or life choices. This time, she got to listen to me vent about my day and other things. By the time we said good night, I was in a much better mood.
Unfortunately, just as my emotional state was levelling out my physical pain exploded. The gout condition in my left ankle started to act up and rapidly escalated to absolutely excruciating. It had increased exponentially even from the time I pressed the call button until the nurse’s aide arrived to find out the problem. Unfortunately this was happening at shift change for the nurses. Esther was able to pack some ice on my ankle to cool it down and reduce some of the swelling. Rosita made some calls and got a doctor to approve my usual gout meds and then we had to wait for the pharmacy to approve the order. Finally they arrived along with my sleeping pill. I was able to get some sleep.
The pain involved was far greater and more sustained than either that from my fall and even the post-op trauma pain.
To be continued...