Wednesday, December 12, 2012

How I Spent My “Fall” Vacation – Episode 42

Episode 42 – December 11 – Last night’s sleep pretty much sucked between the noises the Salvadoran woman across the room making every possible nasal and throat noise all night (and continued to do so all day today) and the guy with dementia down the hall screaming along with the stress of the disturbing change the surgeon made on my rehab schedule, the effects of the little blue pill were somewhat negated.
I was up doing my exercises before 5 AM but for the first time I could include leg lifts. That’s a good thing.
 I am happy to report that Mom is back at home from the hospital so at least that relieved my stress a bit.
So I’m back on a hot streak as far as nurses go. Katrina was very accommodating yesterday. She complimented me on being such a good patient because I wasn’t ringing the bell constantly. Truthfully, it wasn’t my being such a good patient but she was very proactive anticipating my needs. When I thought about it later I did only need to use the call button twice once before and once after a certain situation which Katrina very conveniently timed her break during. Rob last night and this morning. He’s great for advice on dealing with the lack of communication around here and telling a few good “war” stories as well.
This morning, I drew another pool nurse, Jessica. She has been great so far. She took the time to listen to my concerns about Dr. McConkey’s change in my schedule and some other problems rather than just do what the order on the chart said. She also found the time to apply the medicated cream to my feet. She too has been proactive rather than reactive. And she is extremely easy on the eyes. If she wasn’t already married with two little girls, she would make a great Crown Princess.
One of the things that nurses do every morning and every night is check my vital signs; blood pressure, pulse, oxygen absorption  and temperature. They take my temperature with a digital oral thermometer. I would swear that there is a little game nurses play with the probe; after they place the stick under your tongue and as they hold the other end and the monitor they slowly pull back so you are chasing the damn thing with your head while trying to keep it under your tongue. All of you nurses can confirm that this is some sort of revenge conspiracy.
Barbara in the next bed checked out and I’m sure her first stop will be Tim Horton’s drive through and that should get her at least as far as the next Starbucks. She was replaced late in the afternoon by Allison, another hip replacement patient. The first thing they give after surgery before any liquids is a cup of ice chips to slowly suck on. She’s one of those people that likes to chew ice. That grinding noise is right up  there with fingernails on a blackboard.
You may have noticed I haven’t groused too much about breakfast or other meals lately. The main reason is I’ve managed to figure out what menu items are palatable and which are vomit inducing. The prime example is last night the choices were baked fish or shepherd’s pie. I have never been a fan of shepherd’s pie but I knew how bad the fish could be. The pie turned out to be okay and filled a small spot in my belly. Totally aside from this, most places that serve shepherd’s pie make it wrong. The general way is to use ground beef. Wrong-O!! I’ll give you a hint it’s called shepherd’s pie not cattleman’s pie! My new pet peeve about the food is the diced pears. The pears are fine for the most part but they always seem to include a little chunk of the core which just grosses me out. Of course, the people downstairs in catering would continually fail that part of any culinary course that covers presentation. A case in point, was the tuna casserole for today’s lunch, it looked like something Nala used to cough up on the carpet but actually didn’t taste too bad.
I just witnessed something that I always get a kick out of. As most you are aware a lot of the staff in hospitals are new Canadians especially in the housekeeping department. When two or more are from the same country they will quite often communicate in their native tongue. However, when there are two from different regions they try and communicate in their own versions of English. It just doesn’t work. You really need someone to act as an interpreter. I had to perform that function when I worked for a Taiwanese brass manufacturer several years ago. We were on our way to a trade show in Las Vegas via Sea-Tac airport and we had to go inside US Customs at the Peace Arch crossing. Between my manager who had a heavy Taiwanese accent and the customs agent whose first language was Spanish if I didn’t intervene we’d probably still be there today or in jail.
Public Service Announcement time: After witnessing the overnight improvement, the simple transfusion of two units of blood I have to once again encourage you to go out to your local blood bank and donate a pint. My former cellmate, Cheryl, for two to three days could hardly find the energy to stay awake and she was held back from leaving because of a hemoglobin deficiency. They gave her the two units on Sunday and she was ready to fly out the door Monday morning. I hope you are recovering well at home, Cheryl. For Canadians find out more about giving blood by clicking here. While we are at it anyone who hasn’t signed up for organ donations please sign up here for BC residents; for other jurisdictions they will sites for your province or state. For the time being, I will be disqualified from giving blood because of my surgery and although I have been registered as an organ donor for many years, I plan on wearing all mine out before it’s to time to leave.
Dr. Haaf came in this afternoon and we discussed my concerns about the surgeon’s contradictory rehab schedule and he is going to speak to Dr. McConkey and also get Dr. McConkey  to explain his plans to me.
The physio team came by just after I got back in bed to give my legs a work out. Just to make matters worse Jennifer told me the order on the chart says that they are not to start doing 90° of passive motion until the end of week six.
For those  of you who have only started following my blog since I was hospitalized and you want to know more about and my thoughts on a variety subjects like travel, holidays, and feelings you can always go back into my archives as far back as October 24, 2010 which explains the title “Running with Safety Scissors”.
I’ve got Rob back again as my night nurse with David, the student helping him.
I took my little blue pill and started catching up on season 4 of “The Wire”. Yes, I know, I’m only half a decade behind. I just started watching it when HBO reran the series last year so I was half way through season 4 when I decided to come here on vacation.
To be continued...

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the plug on donating blood! It's easy, it's relatively painless, and it takes about an hour of your time... you can also become a donor for plasma, platelets, red blood cells or bone marrow through other organizations.... and all are needed desperately!