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.
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 buttonall 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 buttonby 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