2nd day

They say it’s the second day out that’s the hardest after surgery. I guess I’d agree to that. But honestly, the incisions don’t hurt that badly. Did you know that they inject the incisions with a pain killer? I mean, wow, no wonder they didn’t really hurt even in recovery. It’s the rest of me that hurts. What on earth do they do to you while you’re asleep that causes all these other muscles to hurt?

Things went well over all. My neighbor and her SO ended up driving me and then she insisted on staying with me while I waited and waiting while I was in surgery and then hanging around while I was in recovery. I think that’s boring work and I did my best to convince her she didn’t need to do that. Her father died recently and I really think that was a lot of her need to stay there with me. After I realized that I shut up and just said thank you a lot.

I was pleasantly surprised that they actually got me in for prep ahead of time. I figured with what was supposed to be an easy surgery I’d be pushed to the end of the day again. But no, zipped right into line. And the surgery, I hear, went pretty well. There was one adhesion but I guess that wasn’t too bad. I’m very sore today and I guess that’s partly from them having to shove my liver and other organs out of the way.

All the staff I met were great, friendly and helpful. It was the hospital itself that was a total screw up. I got to post op/recovery around 2PM and I was coherent enough to see and read the clock across from me by 2:30. And I was sitting up and comfortable by 3:00. And yet, I got stuck there until after 8:00 PM. On an uncomfortable gurney. They didn’t have a room, they said. They had a room, but no bed. They found a bed but no longer had a room. They had a room but it needed to be cleaned. And this has become normal for this hospital, apparently. They so overbook and then claim that they can’t control who comes in through the ER. I realize they need to make money but this was crazy. And, of course, wasn’t only me that was stuck in post op for hours.

Then there was the diabetes thing. At least post op was aware I have diabetes. But they were trying to give me insulin like I was type 1 – 6 freaking units for a blood sugar of 250. Type 2 is different, most of us are hideously insulin resistant. I can throw 50 units at a blood sugar of 250 and still not have it drop below 150. So, okay, I understand they might not want to do that but they need to understand how to do corrections for type 2. And then when I got to the floor, I finally tested my own sugar at 300 and they didn’t even know I was diabetic. They eventually gave me some corrections for high blood sugar before eating – but nothing to cover the food. And no lantus, no metformin.

Same thing, really, with other meds. My blood pressure was high, how shocking. Would it be possible to actually take my blood pressure medication? No breathing treatments but they let me take my own albuterol that I had with me. The only thing they wanted to give me was pain meds and nausea meds, just in case. I did finally get blood pressure and neurontin but it was just so disorganized. The poor nurses and other staff were very nice people but far too busy with the crowd they had to deal with and somehow the computer was not sharing information from unit to unit. I’m very glad that I didn’t hurt that badly, my blood sugar was not high enough to be in the dka range, and I was comfortable enough just sitting in my recliner listening to Wait… Wait… don’t tell me on my mp3 player while fighting with Skype which never did let me log in. I could afford to be patient.

One funny thing with all this lack of communication – when I got to the floor they started doing 15 minute post surgical checks again. But I’ve been out of surgery for 6 hours, I said. Hell, I’d even been up and walking around a little by then. I got the equivalent to a pat on the head and was told they’d be back to check on me in 15 minutes. About 4 or 5 checks later she popped in and said “You were right!” and cut back the checks so I could at least get some rest. I had a really nice talk with one of the older nurses the next day about her feelings on how the hospital and nursing has changed. She worries about the younger nurses who haven’t known any way different from the in and out rush that is forced on them now.

But, I’m feeling less militant about the screw ups now that I’m home. I still intend to fill out the survey because some of that could have been dangerous and sitting around in recovery for 6 hours was just annoying. But I’m home, not feeling all that bad and expecting to feel a lot better tomorrow.

Oh, the kitty kitties! They were not happy at all about being home alone for a day and a night. Zoe threw up some crunchies – I know it was Zoe because she doesn’t chew. Then she was too freaked out to eat dinner. Charlie settled down faster and ate his dinner and her’s. She finally decided she wanted something to eat and then relaxed and both of them stayed close to me the rest of the evening. Zoe slept beside me during my morning nap and Charlie kept walking on me till I at least convinced to lay down. They are back to their normal selves now. Zoe is asleep on the end of the bed and Charlie is hiding somewhere.

zoe rests

She looks tired. Poor thing.

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10 thoughts on “2nd day”

  1. Glad that you’re home and also relieved that you could be your own advocate. I remember many times having to be Patt’s; it was scary to think of what could have happened if I hadn’t been there. He also spent way too long on gurneys in the ER, waiting for a room. 😦 Poor kitties were traumatized by your absence. They will be comfortable and happy now!

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    1. I agree that you have to be your own (or your loved one’s) advocate. I mostly don’t blame the staff, As far as I can tell, they do the best they can in the chaos. Everyone around me was as frustrated as I was about getting into a room.

      You do have to feel sorry for those poor kitties, don’t you?

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  2. Glad to hear the (mostly) good report. (I’ve been out of town with no Internet connection so I just learned about your surgery.) Your neighbor sounds like a good soul for driving you to the hospital and hanging around. It’s good that she’s nearby. Hospitals are scary places: so much technology, so many ways to make a mistake, so many problems with payment, so many demands on underpaid nurses. I’ve spent just enough hours in emergency rooms with both my parents to know how desperately I don’t want to be in a hospital; but I’m realistic enough to know that I’ll probably have to do my time in one eventually.

    Good luck with your recovery!

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    1. Thank you, Pam. I agree that hospitals can be scary. I’ve had mostly good experiences and a few things over the years that really ticked me off. Mostly those things have ended up being someone else having a hard day. I wish you good luck and never having to experience hospitals. 🙂

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  3. Thanks for popping over and leaving a comment! 😉

    Glad it all went well. 🙂

    This seems like not enough words in response to all your words so let me just say I appreciated you telling us all about it, this was fascinating to read.

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  4. Interesting to learn about your experiences in the hospital, but I can’t say that I’m surprised. I’ll sound like Roseanne Roseannadanna here, but “It’s always something.” Glad you are back home and recuperating.

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    1. You must’ve been smoking the same stuff as Snoskred! This was a vent more than anything else and I’m much less irate. It’s good to be home and I’d say I’m pretty well completely recovered – though sometimes I still feel tight. I wonder if the stomach stays a bit constricted for a while.

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  5. We’ve been away so I’ve only just read this. I think I’ve said once before on your blog how amazed I am that your health care system can be as chaotic and disorganised as ours. Until I read one of your posts a while ago (a year?) I was always under the impression that the US system would be better because you pay for it. We pay for ours, of course, but in a different way, and I always thought that the the power of being able to take your money to this hospital or that hospital would mean they’d have to have their act together. I have to agree with Snoskred, it was a fascinating read, and a great insight for me. I hope you are feeling better now, less sore and back into the swing.

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    1. I’ve heard good and bad things about your system but at least there, everyone has access to medical care. What is forgotten here is that only those with money have real access to medical care — and the very poor if they get state aid. Mostly, it’s the folks in between who may have insurance but still not be able to pay the copays, or who are uninsured but don’t qualify for aid that suffer.

      I’ve never had such a bad experience. Again, the people were nice and clearly overworked but so much fell through the cracks. I was glad to be there just overnight.

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