Wednesday, June 27, 2007

More Adventures from the Hospital

Today is day four of my hospitalization, as I arrived Sunday evening. I was traumatized once again with the IV placement. I asked the nurse for some ativan because I was so anxious, but she told me it wasn't necessary and made me feel like it wasn't even an option. They had to stick me a second time and I was not happy at all. Mike noticed that I was miserable and I think he'll push them really hard next time to give me the ativan. The social worker today that if I ask for it, they should give it to me. Next time, I can call him and he can advocate for me.

I had another trauma yesterday when the same IV caused my arm to swell dramatically and they had to remove it. I'm not sure why, but I appreciated that they sent me to procedures to have another IV installed with an ultrasound. They got it on the first try - and minimal pain for me. I wonder if I can beg for them to install my IVs every time. They aren't open on Sunday's, so that could be a problem.

I also had a blood transfusion yesterday and am in the middle of another one today because my cells are so low. I just started today's transfusion a few minutes ago and it should take about three hours. I still get nervous when I get transfusions just because of what it is. It doesn't hurt, but it's weird seeing this dark red stuff in my IV coming at me.

There was some miscommunication earlier today. Someone put orders in to install a PICC line, which doesn't make sense because I'm leaving on Friday. A PICC line is a semi-permanent line that would allow me to by-pass the IVs, but they would remove the PICC line probably before I left the hospital. I do start my fourth chemo round next Friday, so it would have made sense to install a PICC line on Friday. However, I usually have a different type of line installed - an IJ line and I've been pretty happy with that. After talking to my team, we've decided to stick with the IJ line. It seems now that someone (they don't even know wh0) requested the PICC line and it was a mistake.

My Irish Team has changed personnel since my last visit here. I was expecting new people in July, but not this early. The only Irishman remaining is Dr. Byrd as the cute one, Dr. DunLevey, seems to have moved on to another hospital. I feel like I accomplished something good this morning because I made them laugh! No one ever jokes, but they laughed. Dr. Byrd asked if I was having whole fat (whole milk products instead of skim) and I replied that I haven't had any skim milk products since April. I also said that I've been eating a lot of steel cut oats, which the nurse practitioner, Doug Matthews recommended. Everyone perked up and seemed really interested in what they were, since no one had heard of them. They're better than oatmeal because it's less processed. Dr. Byrd said it's "Irish porridge," to which I agreed and said I add a little butter, brown sugar, and raisins because raisins have potassium. That's when they laughed! My potassium's been low so they were impressed by my knowledge. Hey, it's something to me!

My mother-in-law, Gail has been here at the hospital with me everyday this week. I asked Mike to be here for the PICC line consultation (that didn't happen in the end) so she's at home today cleaning our house. I'm extremely touched that she'd clean our house for us. She's done so much and I'm very appreciative. My brother-in-law, Brian, arrives tonight but I probably won't see him until tomorrow since he arrives so late. I ususally fall asleep by 10pm and his plane doesn't land at BWI until 8:30. I'd rather seem him tomorrow and get some rest tonight. Mike's here today doing his work from the hospital. He drove all the way to his office (an hour's drive) to get his laptop so he could be here with me. I was really nervous about the PICC line procedure, so I asked him to stay. By the time we figured out about the PICC line mistake, Mike was already back at the hospital. He can still do his work here, though.


Blair said...

Grrrr. Sorry to hear they're making things difficult for you with the IVs. My first thought was the next round you should tell them to either give you The Good Nurse ™ or else you'll sic Luke on them. My next thought was that instead of threatening them with Luke, you should threaten to have Ron visit with the thong.

That'll fix their attitudes quite rapidly.

Kudos to Mike for being there to advocate for you. He's a good guy. I think you ought to marry him. :-)

WashingtonGardener said...

Wish I could visit you but I'm stuck in DC most all week at one conference after another - but hoping you are back home soonest to enjoy your nice, clean digs courtesy of your MIL!

If yu are really feeling better by Saturday - I have a table from 10-4 at the Rockville Going Green Expo at the new Rockville Library and love it if you could stop by - if you are feeling up to it - there will be lots of goodies & freebies and 'no sales allowed' on conty property - we'll SEE if they enforce that ;-)

Becky said...

Next time, throw such a psycho fit that they have to sedate you just to get you to sit still enough to start the IV! That way you get the Ativan, and you get the reputation of the being the crazy, demanding lady, so they'll send in the best nurse every time after that!