Sunday, September 12, 2010
So after being informed that I was headed to the hospital, I was told to go home, pack a bag and wait for a phone call to tell me what floor to go to. Instead, I packed a bag, unloaded and loaded the dishwasher, watered my plants, turned in my homework and went back to work. By the time I finished telling my boss what was happening, it was time to go. I found my floor and the nurse took me to my room. As I passed each room I could see that everyone seemed to be elderly. These were some very sick people. And they also appeared to be sharing rooms. I was not too excited about this. But, my room was empty when I got there, and only contained one bed! This, I learned, is because I was being quarantined until I learned whether or not I had MRSA. Fine with me! I got set up with a hospital gown and the remote to the TV (which gets better cable than I do at my apartment) and nobody came back for over an hour. It was amazing. As bad as I felt, and as hard as I had been pushing myself since the surgery, just resting in bed felt incredible. After an hour, the hilarity began. The first 2 people to enter my room were a student nurse and her instructor. The instructor asked if the student could start my IV. I hesitated and the student said "I know what you're going to ask, and I have started one before". I reluctantly agreed, but warned her that my veins are deeper than they look. They both looked for a vein for about 10 minutes as I felt the cold sweat of fear starting to drip. They eventually decided that my deep veins were a job best left to a pro :) Bullet dodged. So now I've been in the hospital for an hour and a half, an IV started, and no bracelet. With as much experience as I have as a patient, I am always on the lookout for ways that medical errors can be avoided. So I ask for a bracelet. And although I assured I will get one, another half hour passes without any identification on me. Then the lab tech shows up to get blood. She's about to start drawing blood and asks to see my bracelet. I explain that I still haven't gotten one. She asked how long I had been there, and I told her two hours, and she flew out of the room and I had a bracelet within the minute. So with the blood sucking vampires satisfied, I get to order dinner (the stir-fry is disgusting, go with the pork loin) and rest and visit with friends. At 10pm, my first dose of antibiotics arrives, and with it, a shot of Heparin. A blood thinner. So I don't get a clot in my leg. I express my disbelief that my 27 year old, non-smoking, non-birth control taking legs are going to clot, especially because the Heparin is injected into your stomach every 8 hours, but I feel too tired to fight this very much. Nighttime is terrible in the hospital. My IV pump is noisy. I'm awake to check my vitals at midnight and 4am. My next dose of antibiotics are at 6am, so I'm up for that too. And I'm up all morning. By the time my disgusting lunch order shows up and it's missing cheese, I'm in tears. I was just SO TIRED. One of the several wonderful nurses I had told me about a little thing they have called EARPLUGS. I slept from 1-5. Dinner, friends, TV, antibiotics, earplugs and sleep again. The next morning, my surgeon shows up around 6:30am. He tells me it's NOT MRSA, and asks what I want to do. I believe my response was "GET ME OUT OF HERE!" So just like that, my vacation, I mean, hospitalization ended. I walked out of there with a new prescription for oral antibiotics and went home to sleep away Labor Day weekend.