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11 January 2010 @ 02:00 pm
Modern medicine  
I am sitting on the sofa at home and happy to be here!!
Last Wenesday, after a hell of drinking horrible liquids for a day until (this is disgusting) I was pooping clear water, and not being able to eat or drink after 12, I went blithely to the Shands Endoscopy Center for a colonoscopy. They were nice, which was a relief as we had had to pump up a tire and then got caught in a traffic jam on 441 on the way into Gainesville. Some kind of accident but they closed both southbound lanes and we all had to turn around and take a two lane road, instead of opening one of the northbound lanes to southbound traffic. Dumb! I called 411 on my cell to get the number of the Shands Endoscopy Center and they guy said they had no number. I left the paperwork at home... So I tried again and a GIRL found it immediately. GRRRR! So I was already a bit stressed when we got there a half hour late. They were lovely, and the nurse reassured me that the doctor was wonderful and had done her colonoscopy. My big fear, of course, was that I would be the one who gets perforated and dies...
Well, I got perforated, but I didn't know it. I woke up all happy, because anesthesia and dramamine are the only times I sleep well, but the doctor said, "It didn't go well. I perforated your colon." Luckily the drugs hadn't worn off, so I just felt kind of la la. "I clamped the hole shut and stopped and now I want you to go over to Shands Hospital and be observed for a few days..." Bob had to drive over there, but I went by ambulance. The ER is brand new, badly laid out so that pushing the stretcher/beds around is awkward, but the staff has lots of cubbies to hide in in case you might want some help or something. I tried to get some water to RINSE OUT MY MOUTH twice in the hours we were there and NO ONE CAME. NO ONE. Bob finally got ice water by tracking someone down. BTW the place was almost empty. Then I met the surgeon who said he didn't trust the clips, and wanted to sew me up using laparascopic surgery. I was already cleaned out and it was the safest option. I figure he has more experience of what can go wrong (which includes colostomy bags) if you let things go, so I said yes. Long wait in the ER. Transport girl can't find the new waiting area for the OR but eventually does, but they are closing so we get sent to the post-OP area. There someone too young to be my son gives me a shot and I wake up later in the surgical ICU. Lovely bed, pretty nurse named Nikki, dry mouth. She has little sponge lollipops to dip in water and put around in my mouth. Still can't eat or drink and don't want to either. Felt very mellow. Had IV's in both arms, one just waiting, getting antibiotics and zantac and a pain pump I could push myself but I felt very little pain.
Later I was moved up to a room at the far end of the hall from the nursing station. Most people have heard or experienced hospital life but I haven't been in one since I had Jack in 1964, when nurses hovered over you. Before that I was in for my tonsils when I was 5. They said I could have anything I wanted to eat and I wanted steak. I go icecream. Liars!
My friends tell me that Shands (a teaching hospital) is much better than North Florida Regional. I suppose it must be true, but help was slow to come and I learned to unplug my IV stand and just go to the bathroom by myself. I also walked with Bob or by myself. No one offered to change the bed till I'd been in it for 2 days and having it clean was an unexpected pleasure. The bed itself sucked and hurt and I hated every minute of being there and practically cried when Bob and I were home again. He has been waiting on me hand and foot, making jello, bringing ice, broth, etc.
One thing this has done, eating clear liquids for 4 days, is to give me a disgust for our standard foods that I hope never goes away. I want one ingredient foods. Fresh spinach. Strawberries. No more chemicals. I can taste them and they are disgusting. Jello clings to the inside of your mouth and coats your teeth. Broth smells like rot. If this ever happens again (and I still need the test) I am going to get an organic chicken (Consumer Reports says they do taste better) and make my own. And gelatin and make my own with real ingredients. Meanwhile, I am not hungry and I have been nauseated since yesterday from the antibiotics. One says on it "If this drug upsets your stomach take with crackers, bread or a small meal." Well, Instead I puked and stayed nauseated for a day. I called and they said to eat broth first, which I did. No more puking, just nausea all day." I called again today, and after getting "This mailbox is full. Please call back." at the number they gave me, I finally got through later and the Dr says "Oh, I can call in a prescription for nausea.
F*ck! Why didn't you say that yesterday! Actually I only thought that which is a miracle...
Bob is out with Jack getting me food from the health food store and the Dr told me to go to "full liquids." They don't have to be clear. Just had some tomato soup (and I could taste the chemicals!) and took the pill in question. And I feel okay. I can go outside, although it is mighty cold for down here, teens last night, warmer now, fire in the woodstove keeping it nice inside.
Being out of the hospital is my idea of heaven on earth. I want to remember that...
Current Mood: bitchybitchy
Rose Greenolmue on January 11th, 2010 10:19 pm (UTC)
Well, I'm glad you're out of the hospital. Yikes. I hope you recover quickly!
patty1943patty1943 on January 12th, 2010 04:19 pm (UTC)
I am a lot better but get tired easily. Thanks for the good wishes.
Amy Butler Greenfieldamygreenfield on January 11th, 2010 11:27 pm (UTC)
Hospitals can be awful places... home is definitely better. Hope you're feeling yourself again soon!
patty1943patty1943 on January 12th, 2010 04:19 pm (UTC)
Me too. Thanks for the thought! I already feel better being home.
themenow: friendsdthemenow on January 11th, 2010 11:40 pm (UTC)
*gentle hugs*

I'm so glad you're home! I can't believe that this happened! It's nuts! Shands...they're better than perforations. ugh.
patty1943patty1943 on January 12th, 2010 04:21 pm (UTC)
The perf is a risk. I just hated the treatment in the ER and on the ward. I talked to a surgical nurse who was following up and she will have someone call me. So maybe my bitchin' will do some good.
themenowthemenow on January 12th, 2010 04:26 pm (UTC)
Yeah! They have all those boxes everywhere saying, "Tell us who's doing a good job" but none that say, "Let us know when we suck!"
WPAdmirerwpadmirer on January 12th, 2010 12:56 am (UTC)
I'm glad you're home. Let me know if you need anything!

patty1943patty1943 on January 12th, 2010 04:22 pm (UTC)
I'm glad too. I got Pat a tiny red devil to go with the Nun calendar. Nice balance eh?
(Deleted comment)
patty1943patty1943 on January 12th, 2010 04:23 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the good wishes. I am going to make broth myself from now on.
Voodoocatcindeefirst on January 12th, 2010 04:18 am (UTC)
I am glad that you are home safe and sound. I would not allow anyone I know to stay in a hospital without someone with him AT ALL TIMES. Nursing care (or patient to staff ratio) is not what it used to be...
patty1943patty1943 on January 12th, 2010 04:23 pm (UTC)
Me too. Next time I am taking a guy named Guido with a gun!