How I Feel for the Week ending 2.14.14……

15 Feb

Good day folks and a very Special Happy Valentine’s Day to each of you.  Would you be my Valentine??  Well let’s just get right to it, I feel about 2.5 and that is a weak number.  I got out of the hospital on Tuesday the 11th (after the 9th day of captivity) BTW we are starting the Post with AC/DC blasting “Thunderstruck” in my head, almost appropriate I think.  The music is much more enthusiastic than I have been all week.   Last week I rated the week a 2.25 and that was a solid rating given how I was feeling, my location and all the other giving facts.  This week report will not move much off that number.  So many of the reasons I was in the hospital are still with me, the cough very productive (with the bright yellow crap), the Shortness of Breath (SOB), chills, overall weakness, I do lack the self-pity, and I can read and write (which are positive signs), so having the scales of healthiness before me, the week gets a 2.5, I am improving, and I am doing things.  The reality is that I don’t feel that much better than I did in the hospital.  But if I am going to feel like crap I would much rather do it at home.  I was a touch under the weather during my hospital stay, and to fight the bugs that were trying to control my body at one point or another I was given the following drugs: Merrem, Vancomycin, Cefepime, Levofloxacin, IPRAT/Albuterol, Methy1prednisone (via IV), tobramycin (via neb), Levaquin, azactam,  and Acetaminophen.  I have stopped taking all of these with the following exceptions, Merrem and Tobi (10 days post hospitalization), IPRAT/Albuterol (taken normally) and now on oral prednisone 10mg.


The day before I was released from the hospital I had a PT assessment and during that brief test I managed to walk 300 feet with the walker.  That was the 1st time in 9 days that I had been allowed to venture outside the room. While as a guess, I was given enough cannula to venture from the bed to the bathroom, but not quite enough to get from the bed to the door, so my area for pacing was greatly limited.  Wednesday the 12th I visited Doc Infectious’s office to pick up medicines, and to have my Mediport dressing changed.  Then off to the grocery store, where I walked 400 yards pushing a grocery cart.  Big improvement for 1 day I would say, but damn I was beat. (Side bar comment I have my iPod on shuffle, I have gone from AC/DC to John Penet, to Allen Jackson, to CC Rider by Ray Charles to Locomotive Breath by Jethro Tull… Strange mix).  The bottom line is that I am still significantly weak, and still sick.  I am improving, but the reality is I don’t bounce back as I used to. 


Let get the vitals out of the week ending 012/14/14

NR = 1.5 taken 02/12/14 

O2 level = 95 taken on 02/14/14

BP 118/64 = taken 02/12/14

Heart rate = 98 taken 02/14/14

Temp = 97.7 taken 02/14/14

Weight = 264 (hospital weight lost) 02/11/14

— This is the one of the most beneficial reasons for going to the hospital.   I went in weighting 278 and not happy, 9 days later with the most extensive exercise I did was rolling over on the bed, and I lost 14 lbs. Another 6 or 7 weeks there and I could get down to my target weight LOL LOL.


Now on to the hospital rant, (you know if I spend 9 days in the hospital I will find something to rant about).  Any of you know that if you go to the hospital and are admitted you end up in a room   Each room consists of 4 walls, a 40 inch wide door, if you lucky a bathroom, many pieces of equipment hanging from the wall (TV, nurses desk, white (uninformed) board, clock (maybe), safe and or on equipment/monitor stands.  Some of these machines the IV hangs from and is passed thru a box that makes sure it drips properly, then there the stat machine which monitors your heart rate, your blood pressure, your oxygen level, and 2 or 3 other important numbers.  And as I am sure you know, that if at any point the machines that monitors’ you don’t like a number or event they start to alarm and alarm, and become most annoying.  Generally I have found the most alarms go off at 2am, the nurses are all napping, the room door is closed containing the noise, so it just beeps and beeps and beeps and friggin beeps, and then beeps some more. Which brings us to the single most important piece equipment in your hospital room (even more important than toilet paper), it is the nurse call button.

IMG_20140211_105759_401 - Copy

This device turns the TV on/off, it increases the volume, it changes channels (in only 1 direction) and it calls the nurse.  Well it connects to the nurses’ station, but from there I suspect it goes into a black hole.  If you are in need you press the bright red big button right there in the middle, it beeps once, and then a dis-embalmed voices says “can I help you?” to which you may reply, “help me!” or may I see my nurse, or “there’s a monster in the room!” or may I get a glass of juice or some such perceived need. Once you hit the button a light goes on outside your door, and a bright light fires up on the wall where the button is connected.  This is the visual alarm that goes along with the insistent beeping.  It is amazing how quick someone comes to the room to turn off the alarm and say I will have your nurse come right in.  Well 40 minutes later, still no nurse, you hit the button again, and again the dis-embalmed voice says “can I help you!” only this time the voice doesn’t seem as patience, and there is an edge on the voice saying “I told you I would tell your nurse!” 


You don’t rest much in the hospital, you really don’t. You don’t lay there in a comfortable position, you don’t relax, no no, you are always anticipating the next visit.  The next time someone comes in and wants to take vitals, or a doctor wants to listen to your chest, or the CNA comes to weigh you, or the vampire wants to draw blood, or house cleaning wants to know if this is a good time, or food services wants it’s empty  tray back.  So you don’t really relax, you don’t rest at all.  I say all this to demonstrate that these are the times folks come into your room unannounced or uninvited, without you the patient having a desire for them.  You didn’t hit the red button to summon someone, these folks came because they wanted to be in your room to complete whatever function they wanted.  The red button had no impact on them.  But as soon as you hit that red button all visits stop.  The light goes on outside the room, it lights up a bulb at the nurse’s station and in the room, but as soon as you hit that red button, all activity stops.  No one comes in the room for fear that the patient may have a real need that needs to be meant that moment, something that can’t wait for a more convenient time for the staff.   Yes of course I am being unreasonable and cynical, but I am the patient and I have expectations, and I truly hate being ignored when I am in the hospital.  The only good thing is that I know I am not alone.


I don’t have a solution for the red button, I don’t have a magic trick that works for me, I have found that to get something, it generally takes a minimum of 2 pushes of the button spaced 20 minutes apart, but have seen it take as many as 4 pushes in an hour.  But in fairness I have pushed the red button by mistake many times and have gotten immediately response and action. I am just saying this so you can plan accordingly your next visit to the hospital.


Folks I am extremely happy to be out of the hospital.  I am very happy to be home. I know that I am still in the recovery mode, and that it will take a couple of weeks to get back to wherever I am going to get back.  But my finger tips are sharp and I will get to doing some posts quickly. 


If you have any questions, concerns, comments, or ideas please feel free to ask away. I hope you have a great weekend, and I will be posting again soon.  Take care, Bill


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32 responses to “How I Feel for the Week ending 2.14.14……

  1. livingwithshadows

    February 15, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    Glad to hear from you again. i know you must be feeling better if you can go on a rant lol! no one feels like ranting when your gravely ill so i am happy for your recovery. You are so right about not resting in hospital, there is no peace to be had!

    anyway i stopped by to let you know i have nominated you for one of these blog awards.. but i think it’s the nicest one yet. participate if and when you feel like it or just forget about it but here is the link to find out more..

    • FlaHam

      February 15, 2014 at 4:38 pm

      Shelley, It wasn’t much of a rant, just a quiet ineffective one LOL LOL. The more often I go to the hospital the better my understanding is. The bottom line is they don’t want you dying there. Don’t get me wrong, they aren’t all the worried about making you whole, they just want you well enough to get your ass out the door. But that is a rant for another time and place. Thank you for the nomination, and the choices, the shear fact that you did tickles me to know end. If I could just post the award on the side bar, I would be happy. Thank you so much. Take care, Bill

  2. kanzensakura

    February 15, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    Good to hear from you. If you are doing the shuffle thang, you may want to get some good rhumba music for your tunes, springsteens’ friend in disguise is a good one. you shuffle to that, you feel like you’re actually doing something.

    • FlaHam

      February 15, 2014 at 4:41 pm

      Kanzen, I may just have to get some rhumba. I truly believe that of the 1500 + songs I have on the iPod, not a single is Rhumba. Now I will chase it down and add just so I can say I have Rhumba. Take care and have a great weekend. Bill

  3. benzeknees

    February 15, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    You just reinforced my fear of going into the hospital! Glad you are out & on the mend!

    • FlaHam

      February 15, 2014 at 6:01 pm

      Benze, My dear, do NOT let my experiences by anyway shape your expectations. If you need to be in the hospital do not repeat do not fight it, go, get the best possible treatments you can get. My dear for as much of a PIA (pain in ass) as going is, there is a level of treatment and skills you can’t get at home or the local Doc office. My bitching is an attempt to lighten the load, not make it heavier. Take care, Bill

      • benzeknees

        February 16, 2014 at 6:01 pm

        You’re PIA in this reply just triggered a funny memory of when I was trying to learn a new computer program at one of my jobs. Whenever I was having problems I would have to call the IT dept. & I would try to lighten the mood by calling myself “their 4th floor PITA) PainInTheAss, ha!

        • FlaHam

          February 17, 2014 at 4:08 pm

          Benze, Smiling, apparently we share that as a trait as well. When I worked I was indeed a MAJOR PIA to any IT folk within a block of me, and for a time I was a significant PIA to one that was 400 miles away, having to work remotely with me. LOL on the good old days. Take care, Bill

  4. Brenda

    February 15, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    I’m glad you are home. I don’t remember being in the hospital with affection for all the waking/poking/prodding/pills either. I like your call request: monster in the room!! Eek! Seriously, I hope next week is higher than a 2.5!

    • FlaHam

      February 16, 2014 at 2:57 pm

      Brenda., The recovery process continues at home a much safer environment, and less taxing. Hospital stays have become a normal course of this disease. I know it will happen, it only remains as to when. Sometimes it’s only twice in a year, other years, it could be 3 or 4 times. I am going accustomed to the visits so I pack accordingly. The only saving grace is that I always find something to write about. Smiling that’s a good thing. Like this time the “red button” I have gotten a ton on comments on that aspect, and I love it. Of course my preference is to never need to go back, but the realist in me understands so I just make the best of it. Take care, Bill — I am so glad you appreciate my works, I truly do.

  5. Chatter Master

    February 15, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    Glad you are home!!!!! Maybe to ease you in to being home your wife needs to wake you up at 2 am for a couple of days. 😉 Rest up Bill. You’ve got lots of stories to tell!!!!!

    • FlaHam

      February 16, 2014 at 3:01 pm

      Colleen, I am doing everything in my power to get the next report up to at least 2.75. Laughing, when I mentioned to Steph needs to start waking me up at 2am, she scoffed and said “then you need to stop waking me at 130am.” Yes I have several stories to share, and I truly enjoy doing so. Please take care, and thank you for your continue concern and well wishes. Bill xo

      • Chatter Master

        February 16, 2014 at 9:19 pm

        Your attitude has got to be the best medicine for you. Okay well if you are waking her up at 1:30 I don’t think it’s fair to expect her to wake you up at 2 am. We have to be considerate here. Looking forward to more stories. 🙂 I’ll wait patiently for that 2.75 post (meanwhile hoping for a 2.95). 😉

        • FlaHam

          February 17, 2014 at 4:10 pm

          Colleen, You are to sweet to me, but I thank you anyway. I am still working to get my sea legs back under me, the recovery is slower than I am happy with, and may be a few more days before I write anything of substance. Please bare with me, I will soon be in write mode. Take care, Bill

          • Chatter Master

            February 17, 2014 at 6:53 pm

            No hurries Bill. I’ll be here when you get your fingers tip tapping through the keyboard. As long as the recovery is going in the right direction! 🙂

            • FlaHam

              February 18, 2014 at 10:49 pm

              Colleen, Soft smile there are thing jelling in my head, I am sure they will soon find there way to my fingertips. But now these short replies are keeping me in touch and going. Take care Bill

              • Chatter Master

                February 19, 2014 at 6:01 am

                I’m glad you’re doing what you can and letting things gel. I hope you are getting better, day by day. ❤

                • FlaHam

                  February 19, 2014 at 5:19 pm

                  Colleen, You always find a way to brighten my day. Thank you, Bill

  6. jmgoyder

    February 16, 2014 at 12:06 am

    So glad you are out of hospital, Bill, but it doesn’t sound easy. You are a born storyteller though and I am sure that helps. We like your stories! xx

    • FlaHam

      February 16, 2014 at 3:04 pm

      Julie, Thank you so much for your sweet well wishes, I am glad to be out of the hospital as well. As for being a “natural” story teller, back in my Navy days I was told I was a great BULL SHIT Artist. LOL LOL, The reality is there isn’t much difference between a good story teller and a Bull Shit artist. But no matter the label I enjoy sharing my stories. Take care, and again thanks for your continued support and well wishes.

  7. The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

    February 16, 2014 at 10:31 am

    I’m so happy you’re home, Bill. And, boy do I understand that red button. Hugs!!! 🙂

    • FlaHam

      February 16, 2014 at 3:45 pm

      Paulette, Thank you it is nice to be home and among friends. The red button struck many a cord, with several folks. Also thanks for allowing me to bend you ear the other day. I needed it on so many levels. Take care, Bill — xoxo–

  8. huntmode

    February 20, 2014 at 1:21 am

    Bill, I am just coming up for air – still helping my friend who had the heart surgery to remove the 6 centimeter tumor that was INSIDE her heart. She came through well, but there have been some bumps and ups and downs. Your inside (!) story of staying in hospital sounds similar to what my friend has dealt with.

    Because she is out of ICU to the next “recovery” floor, before going to a Skilled Nursing Facility (“SNF” – delightfully pronounced “Sniff!”), there is a pad she sits or lays on – all of them on the 8th floor have this pad. If she or someone else shifts off their pad, it sounds an alarm, which I got to hear a couple of times while I was on the phone with her… The tune it blasts out is “Merrily we roll along” played on a xylophone – I almost went through the phone to make it stop – it would catch the attention of someone who is actually dying, much less the nursing staff, who come pretty fast when that annoying sound goes off… Awful, just awful.

    So glad to see you are home, you are improving, you are strong enough to bug Steph – always a good sign. xxoo HuntMode

    • FlaHam

      February 20, 2014 at 7:03 am

      Hunt, You have a full plate, take your time, besides you have no obligations here at all, smiling it is al all volunteer service. The needs of your friend far outweigh the need for viewing this immediately. Take care, gather yourself, then if appropriate sit and view. Take care, Bill

  9. writetowag

    February 21, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    Hurray!!!!! I am so thankful you are out of the hospital AKA GERM PIT and are HOME HOME HOME!!!! This is reason to celebrate!!!! I enjoy watching SK’s Maximum Overdrive for an AC/DC fix 🙂 You are so right bout the hospital, you NEVER sleep…plus they need to install cable and Netflix in every room…just sayin’…What else to do while you wait, ache and worry? God bless and be with you and yours Bill…I am so glad you are home!!!!

    • FlaHam

      February 22, 2014 at 6:07 am

      ToWag, Thank you so much, it is so much better being home that at the “Germ Pit.” A term I wasn’t familiar with but so appropriate, and one I will find a way to use in the future. Netflix would be a welcome addition, especially when I am so far behind in the movies I want to see. That would have helped the stay. ToWag, you made my day thank you, Be good and stay safe. Bill

  10. Helen Devries

    February 21, 2014 at 4:08 pm

    Thank you for visiting Monty…..
    I don’t know if enjoy is the right word for your red button story – the way you tell it made me laugh, but from my husband’s experience it is all too true!
    Hands paralysed after an attack he needed to pee. He could not manage the bottle – hands being paralysed. You would think the nursing staff would have twigged this – but no.
    Red button getting the usual lack of response he eventually had to let rip…..which is just what the morning shift nurse did on finding the disaster.
    Whose fault was it ? His!

    • FlaHam

      February 21, 2014 at 10:31 pm

      Helen, I hate the red button, and I hate the lack of effort that hospital staffs put into not responding to it. But as you read more of my blog you will find I have a sick maybe sometimes a missplaced sense of humor. My red button component was a way for me to vent, and to get a chuckle as I do so. I am truly sorry for the treatment your husband received, there is no call for it, and it doesn’t belong in the care providing business. I have also encountered staff nurses that lie, and could care less for the patient. But in fairness I have also encountered some very wonderful nurses. I wish you and your husband the very best. Please take care and visit again. Bill

      • Helen Devries

        February 22, 2014 at 8:13 am

        My husband’s attitude to his illness takes a similar form to yours, Bill and he has come across the same range of care and carers in three countries.
        I’m ticking follow to make sure i don’t miss any posts.

        Best wishes


        • FlaHam

          February 23, 2014 at 8:29 am

          Helen, Your husband has a great attitude. He knows what that final part to the disease is, yet he is going to live his life to the fullest extent possible. I know it is a struggle, I know the amount of energy it takes, and I know how he has to suck it up on a daily basis. That’s enough to make us all proud of him. But my dear Helen, your with him, your not letting him make the journey alone, your helping and encouraging, without pitying him. Believe it or not, your attitude makes it so much easier for him to have his. Take care, Bill

  11. Dessie Umberger

    April 3, 2016 at 3:58 am

    my husband was wanting Professional Publishing Form 105-TA CAL earlier today and found a web service that has a ton of fillable forms . If others want Professional Publishing Form 105-TA CAL as well , here’s a


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