Tuesday, August 7, 2007

I'm at NIH and Riley's at Camp Barkalot

My temperature spiked at 100.4 and then 100.9 last night so I had to get to NIH. Mike was still at volleyball with Riley so I called my mom. Mike called be back and said he was on his way home so my Mom turned around and went back home. I then arranged for Blair to pick up our big redheaded golden retriever and take him to camp with his dog, Wylie. Mike arrived home shortly thereafter and we finished packing for our trip here. Mike was starving after volleyball so we stopped at McD's first (I was impressed with the McDs in Rockville on 355 - they totally redecorated it and it looks really nice. It's too bad we could NOT understand the guy at the drive through. At one point, I thought he asked if we drove a VW Jetta.)

Anyway, we finally arrived at NIH at 9:45pm. I went to the inpatient unit and they said they had a room ready for me, but some lady was in my room who was not even a patient. They were confused and asked who she was and it turns out that her daughter is staying in the ICU and she was staying in my room. The nurses quickly worked to get a new room ready for me, but I had to wait a while. They took my blood pressure, pulse, and weight while I waited. I weigh 126.8 pounds - neither losing weight since last time nor gaining weight - I am STABLE!! (okay, at least just my weight is stable, I can't speak for the rest of me ;)).

We finally checked into our luxurious new digs at NIH and the bathroom hadn't been cleaned so I had to call for housekeeping. I told every nurse I saw that I needed a very experienced person to start my IV because I'm terrified. Several nurses were honest and said they wouldn't be doing it. I also met with the doctor on call, Dr. Huang, after my temperature returned to nearly normal. I asked if I could return home and come back today, but she said no.

I had a very difficult time last night because of all the waiting - waiting for someone to stick me with an IV, waiting to go down to Admissions, waiting to get a chest x-ray, waiting for my medications. In the end, Nurse Richard did my IV and he was so good that I didn't know until Mike told me this morning that he also drew blood cultures too. I mentioned to my NP this morning that no one from phlebotomy showed up this morning and Mike said that Richard had already done it. I kept getting my medication a little at a time and I was tired so I kept dozing off while I waited. I finally got my G-shot at 2:45am. They also started me with antibiotics last night for about 30 minutes, but then took me off the IV, which they don't normally do. For once, I was free to sleep without worrying about an IV pole leash.

This morning I woke up thirsty and had asked for some water last night, which no one brought. The morning nurse brought me a teeny cup of ice water because she said she wasn't sure what the doctors were going to put in for my nutrition orders. When NP Karen McGinn arrived, I complained about everything to her and she got my water, made sure my orders were put in so I could order breakfast, and genuinely apologized for all of the craziness. Karen McGinn is smart and funny and always willing to take care of me and Mike. She's a bright spot here at NIH.

Riley is having a great time at Camp Barkalot and the first thing he did was eat all of Wylie's food and then Wylie ate his. Blair will keep them busy I am sure, but I'll post some of his musings from camp.

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