Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Home Sweet Home

I'm Home!! I'm Home!! I'm cleaned up, have had my neck adjusted by my chiropractic uncle ( the first stop after leaving the hospital), and sitting comfortably on my reclining sofa with my leg elevated. I don't think I'll ever take this moment for granted ever again.

To spare everyone the boring, painful details of what transpired from the time we went behind the double on Friday evening to the time we walked out of the Hospital on Tuesday afternoon, I'll just give the painful essentials, a la Faulkner:

got on a table, difficultly, medical professionals notice I'm in pain, quickly determine its infected, without haste the on-call surgeon is called, meanwhile an IV sends the first dose of morphine throughout my body making me very sleepy and my knee slightly less noticeable, chaos abounds as orderlies run, walk that is, to and fro, time passes painfully but accordingly, next door a child cries, has been crying, will be crying, obviously in more pain than I, but I hurt until the surgeon arrives and preps me for emergency surgery, but not before I thank every one in ER land for being so pleasant, an awkward, dry exchange occurs between me an my anesthesiologist as the pasta in my stomach causes a problem for using general anesthesia so she coldly suggests something in the back and sharply cuts off her words for an awkward amount of time until I realize she's asking me to make a choice, so I assume the risks of general anesthesia on a stomach of Italian hoping not to aspirate it during surgery, but I assure her it was so delicious I didn't plan on giving it back from 6 hours ago, then everything goes black as I suck on oxygen in a bright, white, sterile I hoped, room, awaking in my room with my wife by my side and my knee still aching, but apparently without all the yellow puss on this Saturday morning, and there I lay and lay and lie and lie in my bed and about me being OK, it hurts really bad, I thought the battery had been removed from the clock on the wall, the morphine they give me every two hours only lasts about an hour and gives me a bad migraine, the nurses don't come when I press the button, and the come all the time when I don't, mostly at night while I'm trying to sleep, but I do have lots of visitors who come to see me, but my wife is there the most, someone I need there, not only for support, but to make sure the nurses are nursing professionally as only few do and many, most, do not, but that's OK, I guess, I'm used to it, but one thing I couldn't get used to was being sweaty hot one minute and freezing cold another, but my vital signs did show I was running a constant fever, but nothing, not proficiency nor neglect, nor any of the myriad of programs offered on daytime t.v., could take my mind off of the horrible pain in my knee, but finally, yes finally, on Sunday, I got a great nurse, a super nurse, a smart nurse who told me of a simple procedure that could have been done the week prior to surgery to avoid the whole infection, a procedure, that if done by my whole family, would rid ALL of us of any potential bacteria we were carrying, and that afternoon, my knee finally began to lose some of its swelling, meaning the pain began to abate, still severe, but manageable, and I could finally lift my leg and slightly bend my knee so I knew the antibiotics were working and I thought of going home soon, but then came Monday, and with it, more of the same, which involved more progress in movement, less pain, and waiting and waiting in that darn uncomfortable bed which was now beginning to feel like a piece of concrete with a too small, wet sheet on it so I was uncomfortable in so many ways, but I didn't get to go home since it was the first day my original surgeon looked at it and he wanted to check it out again tomorrow, reserving the right to reoperate on it again if he needed to to reduce the swelling, but he'd see tomorrow, and so for the 3rd night in a row I had to go without any food or drink after midnight until the doctor saw me the next day and decided for or against another sugery, which often came late in the after noon, which meant that I also speant most of my days very hungry and very, very thirsty, and my back was in so much pain from laying around and the c1 vertebrae in my neck was out long ago, so I was so uncomfortable in so many ways until today when my nurse told me that my doctor called and said all of my lab values were good so I was free to go and she proceeded to tell me about the people to call and the pills to take when I got out to continue getting better and then it was almost 30 minutes later on this very Tuesday that I left that hospital.

As the sun hit my face, I felt the windy, moist air blow across my face. It felt fantastic. I climbed out of the wheelchair and into my wife's car and gave a sincere, "thank you" to the orderly who brought me to my car.

Now the real healing could finally begin. One cannot expect to feel better until one actually leaves the hospital, and I was looking forward to spending the next 5 days to get myself ready to get back to school.

On a "stranger than fiction" note. One of my best friends who came to see me in the hospital in my room, actually entered the hospital shortly before I did for emergency gall bladder removal surgery. The room they assigned him to was a room he had been in just days before. As luck would have it, my vacacy created and opening for him, and in an unfortunate coincidence, he is now recovering from surgery tonight in my old room. I'll call him later and give him some insider tips, but I sure hope no one he likes too much comes to see him in the hospital, 'cause I'm not sure they're going to like the prospect of ending up their themselves in a few days!

I wish him well, but boy am I glad to be out of there.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

hope you feel better soon! class isn't the same without you!