Didn’t manage to get back to any writing yesterday. Things took a bit of a turn for the worse in the afternoon. I’m in a step down unit with a couple of patients with elusive ailments. Both had TONS of visitors yesterday. The old lady next to me has four sons, all doctors, and they took it in turns to show up, present their credentials, and then act quite indignant about mom’s care. The guy across from me is a pickup football player, and the entire team spent the day here yesterday hanging out flirting with the nurses.. I think that’s where some of my care slipped through the cracks.
In the late afternoon I started feeling some serious pain. Suddenly very aware of everything they did to me on tuesday. Someone from the pain management team came and whacked up my dosage.. at the same time, one of the nurses noticed that my catheter wasn’t draining. Somehow in the shuffle of getting out of bed to test my legs and getting back in, the line had been routed badly, and the bag had been placed too high. So TONS of urine was building up in my bladder, and I think really contributing to the pain..
After a short nap, I noticed that the sump from my abdomen wasn’t draining.. One of the nurses came and turned up the suction, and it vigorously emptied out and then started making the noise it makes when you’ve reached the bottom of a milkshake with a straw.. I could feel air being sucked into my body and gurgling around and coming back out.. Very disconcerting. The most troubling thing about the it all was that no one seemed to know how it was SUPPOSED to work. At some point in here a nurse came to take my vitals, and realized that they hadn’t been taken since morning, and that I had a fever. By 8:00 I was feeling as though the lunatics were running the asylum and had I been able to stand up and walk, I’d have left! The final straw was when a nurse removed the suction from the drainage tube, and just taped a rubber glove on the end of it instead.
At this point I did something that I find very embarrassing. I complained. Vigorously. It felt very foreign. As a rule, I’m not a whiner. But I raised hell. I was put in a situation where I suddenly felt no confidence in the care, and it was very scary.
in retrospect, I think the fact that i hadn’t slept at all the night before, and hadn’t eaten since sunday were probably contributing factors in my snap.
Last night went much better than the night before. The nurses were much more aware of the lights, and the noise level. I slept very well. Woke up feeling fine. Today has been a good day. My main dressing was removed this morning, revealing an 8 inch strip of staples. Crazy. I got out of bed several times and went walking. My right leg seems not to be connected to my abdomen in any way.. not sure whether it’s just numbness from the epidural, or a reaction to having my abdominal muscles sliced up. I guess I’ll find out in time! The second walk was much better than the first, though.
No definite word yet on moving to another room yet. It keeps being mentioned, but not materializing.