Thursday, 18 December 2014

Crazy two days! Part 1.

My whole new day attitude worked fairly well. I had a fantastic walk with only the physio walking with me. The respirologist has decided that I'm not necessary to walk with, yay! I did about the same distance as the day before only with less oxygen. Double yay! The only thing that hurt at the end were my scrawny little calves.

The morning went smoothly, the results from the CT scan returned and it did show some fluid pooling in two spots in my lower lobes. The doctors couldn't decide whether or not to put in chest tubes called "piggy tails" (I assume because they are so tiny...?) And as of this morning, still haven't decided anything. I had been off the ventilator (the machine that helps breathe) and on the trach mask (breathing on own but with oxygen help) since 630 and was determined to go for 24 hrs since that's all I need to get out of here. I'm sure I've mentioned this once or's all I can think about.

The afternoon was pure chaos. Absolute pandemonium. Nothing to do with my end, I was able to sit and watch the drama. One minute after my nurse went on break, the charge nurse burst into my room and announced that I was to be moved "temporarily" to a new floor. Right this second!!

I sat in my chair and watched in amusement as everyone in the department run around madly without any oversight. The nurse who was covering the shift mentioned that since I was already sitting up, I should just go down in a wheelchair. That soon became "the patient wants to go down in a wheelchair," to which I kept trying to sign that I was really, honestly, ok with being transferred back to bed for the ride. The porters (sorry, "transport," as they're known here) brought up a wheelchair for me and had it ready to go.

Then my nurse sauntered in late from her break, complaining that the staff elevators were being crammed by people rushing down for the free hot chocolate being given out to staff on a bottom floor. She, already slightly high strung, did not react well that she was being shipped off to a new floor. It was another 30 min before anything happened.

I was, as I expected, transferred into my bed, and whisked off to the Acute Post Op Area (still not sure if that's where I was). Basically a giant ward where people hang out after surgery. I was probably there at one point.

As expected when people are suddenly whisked to new locations, there was nothing prepared for them. The nurses had to set up the medication system which never really worked and then had to figure out things like "how to use the thermometer" from the floor (just FYI, you swipe it across the forehead to the temple). It was not exactly a relaxing environment.

It didn't help that the poor man beside me kept trying to pull out his trach and all his lines, hurray for being most stable on the floor...? But come evening, the humour of being in a new place was over when 1) the respirologist (RT) was one from that floor instead of the ones that I'm use to and 2) I was starting to feel myself get super anxious around 11pm and the staff had to go back up to the ICU department to get my Ativan. Not only that, one of them decided he would go on break and "bring the meds down after." That's great when it's something routine but doesn't work when I feel as though I can't breathe.

It all went downhill after that. I couldn't bring myself down, I got myself more and more worked up that eventually the nurse had to call in the RT. Only much to their surprise, the day RT had only wheeled down the vent machine and hadn't actually hooked it up. They couldn't get it to work so the nurse had to bag me (like on all the tv shows when they use the squeezy thing to help someone breathe) for a solid 5 min while the RT tried to figure it out.

My oxygen stats spiked back up and I felt immediately better being bagged, so because I'm an idiot and refuse to say no, I agreed to try the trach mask again. I thought maybe since I had calmed down from the attack, I would do ok once I returned on it. Nope!!! Another round of panicking occurred and back on the bag I went while the RT figured out for real what was happening with the machine.

Thankfully and mercifully, almost 5 min back on the vent machine, I went to sleep and slept soundly until 630.


Sue said...

good Lord Alley! I'm glad there is a higher power watching over you. I can't imagine (well I can, which is probably worse than what it actually is as my imagination has the ability to completely overwhelm me!) that feeling of not being able to breathe.There doesn't seem to be a dull moment around you though so good for you for giving them a reason to hone their skills! Hope today is much better for you.

Anonymous said...

good grief. an anxiety nightmare. I applaud you.. just for getting through it.

Also, had no idea "porter" was a trendy way to say "transporter". world rocked today.

Michelle Matta