When you get sick and need to spend an extended period in the hospital one of the things that you undergo is a disorientation in time and experience.
Last night I was trying to retrace what had transpired over the last week, I was even trying to figure out which day this whole ordeal started. It was Tuesday.
Days turn in to night, night in to day. Doctors and Nurses are in your room at all times, tests are taken constantly, either vitals by your nurse or blood by lab techs, weight by nurses assistant, and so on, stuff happens at all times.
I would love to recount what went down but instead, as details elude me, I’ll just give a bit of a recap of some of the bigger happenings. And I’ll start after the Foothills Hospital and the blood pressure fiasco as I’ve covered that earlier.
My surgery to deal with the ascending cholangitis was a success albeit surreal in an Inspector Gadget ascending down your esophagus kinda way. The PLC GI team cleaned out the bile duct and the stent they placed their in April and they took away the abdominal pain as a result.
I should mention that other than my Oncology team I haven’t seen another group that is fully stacked with awesomeness. The Nurses and the Doctors are brilliant, but what makes them really special is their character. They truly care and you can see it in everything they do, from attention to detail to the attention to the human. And I want to thank them again for bringing me back.
Another group that has an interesting challenge are the EMS teams that do the inter-hospital transportation. They drive us patients around all the hospitals as each hospital has different specialties. I went from the Foothills to Peter Lougheed (PLC) in order to do the ERCP. I took another ambulance from the PLC to Rockeyview to see the Opthamologist as my eyes got messed up as a result of all the adventure.
Turns out it wasn’t anything serious, just an inability for the eyes to handle the quick intake of fluids. And I don’t blame my eyes, I blame my low blood pressure - they had to pump me up with a lot of liquids in order to raise my blood pressure. It’s only fair one organ has to help out another every once in a while.
As you can see, so much happens, in so many ways, that it all kinda rolls in to one big discombobulated mumbo jumbo of confusion.
Kinda figured after the surgery was complete that I would have a day or so of antibiotics to deal with the infection and I would go home, but you know me, it’s gotta be different than the plan.
Sooo, instead I had a mild reaction to my first antibiotic, a mild rash on my face so I was given Benadryl for the next dose. The next day, the day I was going to be going home, they put me on a new antibiotic and shit completely went sideways. As soon as the drug started I could sense something wasn’t right but I so badly wanted out of the hospital that I asked for a Benadryl again and roughed out the full antibiotic IV bag, not a smart move. I knew I needed this last dose in order to complete my hospital process and be given my discharge papers.
But as it turns out the opposite happened. I had another large group of senior Nurses and the Doctor administering ECG’s, culture tests, blood tests, vital signs, bags of steroids, bags of saline and ringers lactate, the works again. It was a Déjà Vu of Wednesday in most ways.
My Immunotherapy treatment gave my immune system the opportunity to mess me up in a very unique way. My Doc was quite excited as he had never seen such a reaction. He’s keen to have possibly discovered something to put in the monograph - the Immunotherapy is so new that all sorts of things are being learned. He nerded out and we high fived...you had to be here to understand.
The only difference between the Wednesday emergency and Friday emergency, from my perspective, was that Tracey was here to provide me with comfort. And that was so very much appreciated.
It’s now Saturday and have cleaned my room, finished the book ‘Tuesday’s with Morrie’, had breakfast, walked the hallways, brushed my teeth, watched two movies. I’m ready to go so I am challenging my Nurse to get the OK from the Doc and the discharge papers started. I really want out.
I want to be back at home eating good food, have a bath, walk the block, read some books, listen to music, hug my wife, joke with my daughter and smell anything but hospital smells.
I so much appreciate the staff and the medical system, but I’m looking forward to less disorientation in my existence. And I’m going to get that by doing the really simple yet important things that we all take for granted on a day to day basis.
And it’s those things I just mentioned above.
I’m gonna revel in the simplicity of it all.
UPDATE: I got out around 4pm. Had a bath, a hug and a joke. So good.