Sunday, 28 December 2014

A Day in the Hospital

Medical stuff: during the bronc yesterday, they opened up part of my incision where it had been oozing and got out most of the ooze. They are still concerned it's infected (I don't know when I'm repeating myself anymore) so along with the antibiotic I started a few days ago, they are sending me for a CT scan today to make sure there is no infection in my bones. The wound care nurse is all over the site and actually sounded excited today when talking about the various options they could use since I'm allergic to their go-to dressing. In lung news, they apparently sound much better but they carry on with the Lasix to make sure every hydrated part of me is gone.

Now that the medical part of the day has been reviewed, I thought I would answer a general question I've gotten several times "how are you not crazy bored all the time?" Well imaginary person, here is how my days in the ICU were spent (I'm describing a good day when I wasn't sedated or losing blood):

I would wake up 630-8, usually on my own, sometimes by a nurse, often by the x-ray technician for my daily x-ray (cancer from radiation is not a concern on this floor). The nurse would do her morning assessment, then the parade of doctors would start (I have a different team of doctors for lung, GI, infection, and transplant, each team has their own staff doctor and set of varying level residents and most of them want to see me at some point), each of them to stop to tell me what they were thinking for the day or if any results came back overnight.

By this point in the day, a family member had usually showed up and I would go for a walk with physio or sit up in the chair. All the other various professions usually showed up some point before 11.

Then I would basically hang out with family for the day while doctors came in and out and procedures were done. After the visitors left (whenever they were starving enough), I might knit for a bit or (most usually) play on my phone until the night nurse would do her nightly assessment. And then I would relax for a bit before sleeping.

Just like that, one day in ICU.

Yes, all the days blend together. However, I was rarely bored and thanks to my family, I was able to keep my mind off the hospital setting and on other activities.

Today was honestly the first day since surgery (that I was conscious), where I hadn't had a visitor by the afternoon. I say that not to make you feel sorry for me today, but to say that in the past month, I have been blessed with having people who love me enough to sit by my side while I was passed out, and awake, day after day when nothing ever really happened. I've heard enough stories to know that isn't always the case.

I love you family and thank you so much for dropping everything and being here for so long with me.  I never would have survived trach masking or without you being there to play games and make countless amounts of cards with/for me. This honestly would have been hell without you having been here.

I realize that yes, I'm still in ICU step-down and there is still a long way to go before I'm home. The one difference is that now I feel more able to self-entertain when no one is here. I'm able to harass my nurses into getting my stuff for me and able to focus for more than 10 sec on one particular activity. I still need to figure out how not to panic without oxygen and learn how to breathe properly.

I guess the point of this rambly post is that no, I'm not super bored. And thank you family for taking such good care of me.

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