Monday, December 10, 2012

How I Spent My “Fall” Vacation – Episode 40

Episode 40 – December 9 – My sleep was much better last night although Denise had to wake me up in the middle of the night because of my bipap mask being off kilter. Paul had rung the call bell because as he said later “It sounded like the air coming out all the tires on a semi at once.” Actually, it wasn’t a serious issue because there was still enough air getting into my nostrils to keep my airways open. If I wasn’t getting any air it wasn’t it would have startled me awake.
Apparently it was snowing outside at around 7 but I’ll have to Denise and Paul’s word for because I couldn’t get to the window.
It turns out Paul is a retired VPD member so he remembers a few of you out there.
My nurse today was Maggie and the more I deal with her the more I realize how green she is. Yesterday she almost experienced the “Wrath of Denny”. In order to move me on the lift, I told hold it was best to swing the overhead trapeze bar off to the side. This entails pulling a spring pin and moving the bar one notch. I can do this normally by lying flat and reaching behind my head but I was already strung up in the sling. Esther was there to assist the move and she tried to explain it to Maggie. Instead she managed to drop the triangle piece into my face hitting my directly on the left lens of my glasses hard enough for me to be concerned about them breaking or scratching. At this point I was about to explode and likely would have if there was any damage.
It actually seems that there nothing but pool nurses working on the floor. I didn’t recognize anyone working today. Sundays are the worst day for this case because there on no aides or students to help out. It’s even bad for the shorter term patients because the pool nurses may not have spent much time dealing with orthopaedic cases. Although one of the pool nurses, Cecilie, has been leading an bit of an interesting life. She’s back home on vacation and picking up a few extra shifts. She and her husband have been working in Shanghai, her as a school nurse and him as a photographer. After their contract is up in a year, they plan on moving on to another locale.
The original plan was for all three of my cellmates to be released today but after assessments only Paul was allowed to go home to Sechelt. Lisa was still in too much pain from her broken foot and Cheryl’s hemoglobin count has been dropping instead of increasing so they will have to give her a couple of units of blood today so she can go home tomorrow. A new woman, Barbara, has moved in to the bed vacated by Paul. This one is a pre-op ankle fracture.
Lunch wasn’t bad today the soup is always good and instead of the regular sandwich, I had a frittata. I didn’t taste too bad but I still can’t figure out how they can get the eggs so chewy.
My brother, Pat, showed up this afternoon. He was making the rounds of hospitals today, checking up on Mom at Langley Hospital and then on his “little” brother in North Vancouver. He brought me some much desired raw veggies and dip. So much tastier than the overcooked mush they pass off as vegetables here. This was a big deal for Pat because he is like the rest of the men in the Donnelly clan, we absolutely hate hospitals. I have always avoided visiting people so I don’t begrudge anyone for not coming to see me. I even hated going into hospitals when I was in the medical supply business. Needless to say I was never very successful in that field.
The other day, Denise, told me to remind the other nurses to weigh me again. When I asked why, she told me that dietician wanted me weighed twice a week. This made absolutely no sense for a number of reasons. For starters, there should not normally be any significant fluctuations in a person’s in a couple of days or even a week or two. The second reason it’s stupid is I’m not here to treat my weight or control my blood sugar, I’m here because I have two legs in immobilized in braces. The weight and sugar thing are secondary. The fact that both are under control because of my stay is great but they are issues to be dealt with more seriously after I learn how to walk again. 
As I was prepping to get ready to go back in the bed, I finally showed my true klutzy colours. I managed to flip over the veggie tray that Pat brought up while trying to put the lid back on it. I knew there were a few too many in the tray and would likely get tossed but I wanted to do it on my terms. I did save a few pieces and most of the dressing.
By late afternoon, I changed my mind about Maggie. I wasn’t so much as her being green but more it was more like she was clueless and not very useful. I suggested that we should wait a few minutes before moving because they were about to take Barbara down to the OR for her surgery. Her answer “I might be on my break by then”.  So I shrugged “okay let’s do it now”. The she went off to find someone to help and returned to say she couldn’t find anyone. Of course, she couldn’t find anyone; they were all busy getting Barbara ready to be taken downstairs. She did finally recruit someone and we ended up creating extra chaos in the room. Then she started complaining that she was too busy to do this and too tired to do that. Here’s some simple career advice; get out of the healthcare industry.
They were a nurse short on the floor for the night shift so I was considered a bit of an orphan but I at least had Kevin covering me and making sure I was supplied with my Benedryl and my little blue friend.
I dug into my supply of mandarin oranges and tuned into the latest episode of “Hunted” a BBC produced suspense drama.
You may have concluded that I happen to enjoy mandarin oranges and in particular the ones imported from Japan under the Sun label. They may cost a little more but are so much better than the Chinese ones. The best place to buy them are at Kin’s Markets because they will go through each box at the checkout and replace the inevitable two bad ones in every box with good ones. Mandarin oranges, or as
we always called them, Japanese oranges, were always a sign Christmas was on its way. Every year in late November they would arrive at the Vancouver docks and they would be a special ceremony with the press, local politicians, the Japanese Consul and women dressed in traditional kimonos as they unloaded off the ship and the first small wooden crate was broken open. I miss the wooden crates and how well they burned in the fire place.
And now it was time for sleepy time.
To be continued...


  1. Congratulations, you have now been there longer than the contestants on Survivor.
    So Denny I hereby grant you to be a TRUE Survivor, if I had a trophy or a million dollars I would send them to you, however all my trophies are non exsistant and I am broke......
    Now get the heck outta there soon.

  2. Thanks,Carol;
    I'll just put a lien against your estate for the million. And those "Survivors" had better food. ;-)

    1. lien on my estate, get in
      Don't tell the kitchen staff that the "Survivors" ate better than you, until after you are released, or you may never know what you will be served next, (grubs, worms, burnt rice, coconut husks or maybe some snails and slugs)
      Take care