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Outta There!

When I last updated my treatment story, I wrote about having my port removed after nearly a week in the hospital being treated for SVC Syndrome and various blood clots. Here we are at day eight of my hospital stay and I wake up to find out that my “numbers” that measure the clotting of my blood were way out of range. So very far out, that they shut off my heparin for a few hours. Um, yeah, so remember that port out one day, go home plan? It didn’t happen.

Now I want to preface this by saying that I really had mostly amazing interactions with the people who treated and cared for me. Even the exceptions to that were not entirely awful. But this part of the story I am about to tell you likely got someone in really big trouble. Huge.

I was pretty frustrated that my numbers had gone from so close to being in range to so far out they had to literally shut it off. When they had increased the dose/rate overnight, it seemed really high. I even asked, because I’m not so into spontaneous brain bleeds and that sort of excitement. I was aiming to be the boring patient since coming in as Mrs. Plum. Then after the rate was pumped through the ceiling, go figure, my numbers were crazy. So I asked. I seriously wanted to know and you don’t know unless you ask. I needed to understand it to accept it. As That Guy and I were talking about it, the tech assistant person, who was also a nurse in training, came in. She did not look at my chart, but we had the numbers written down. She told me someone had obviously made a math error. To say my reaction was one of anger and frustration was an understatement. “Seriously?!?!? A freaking math error!!!” is all I could think. A math error that put me in danger. A math error that was, at a minimum, keeping me away from my girls another day and making my family and support system keep on scrambling. And I was going to miss That Little Girl’s first soccer game. Did I say, “Seriously??!?!!” yet?

The mistake seemed possible, since I already knew the nurse that was involved had made another mistake. I know she was new to the unit and hospital, and I’m not sure if she was just new to nursing in general. When I had returned from having my port taken out, they had to put me back on telemetry. When she did so, she didn’t listen to me when I said that there were already stickers left on me. She put her own on. That night, all night, she kept rushing into my room because the monitor would show that I was in distress or defib or something. She thought I was just anxious, someone was making me laugh, or whatever. The next nurse who came on knew the issue right away and was able to correct it easily. No more problems. And guess what, my vitals were a lot better since someone wasn’t rushing in all the time thinking I was in distress!

So at some point my parents showed up, and we told them what the intern nurse had said had happened. I was not happy, but I was not sure I was prepared to ask the nurse who was on duty during the day. My dad was prepared to do so. She actually showed him the calculations and numbers and protocol. Then she brought it in to show me. There was nothing they did wrong. Thank goodness! It was just my body and something happened and got wacky from what I understand. Of course, she wanted to know who had told me it was a math error. Since I did not want to get anyone in trouble, I was not going to tell her. The intern had meant well, but obviously that was not a good decision on her part to say all that without looking into it. Had it been true after she had researched my actual file and numbers, then by all means I would have been grateful for her telling me. Instead, it made me look like a total jerk and pain in the neck patient who then would not tell on who it was that started it all. And have no fear, the rain cancelled That Little Girl’s first soccer game! And my most faithful hospital visitors stopped by again! And I got a ton of thank you notes written! Let’s pretend I can focus on the positive in the moment and not just looking back at it!

With all that behind us, finally during the afternoon my numbers leveled out into an acceptable range. Once they did, I had to transition to the injectable blood thinner I would be sent home doing. The oncology doctor who was rounding that weekend actually stayed until late that evening to see that all worked out and the transition worked out. He checked on me just before I left, and I had just had a bloody nose and at that point they turned off the iv blood thinner to be safe.

From what I remember, that night was pretty calm. That Guy was with me and the girls were at my parents. The next morning, it was really as sure of a bet as it can be that I would be able to go home. I had to be able to walk around the floor a couple times. I was not hooked up to the IVs anymore so that was a little easier, but it was still hard after being in bed and so sick for so long. My mom brought back the clothes I had been wearing when I went into the hospital. Nice lady had even washed them for me! She also had my wig sitting in her dining room the entire week so she brought that back with her. Yup, that whole week I had seen so many visitors and the last thing that concerned me was makeup or wigs. Some of you who visit me at home might notice that my tolerance for the wig wearing is really starting to take a downhill trajectory at about this time. The nurses could not believe how different I looked once I was dressed and wigged up!

I was not able to take a normal shower the entire time I was in the hospital since I was hooked up to the telemetry/monitors. I was just grateful to be able to wash my face once I was able to get out of bed! The last couple of days, they did allow me to use a washcloth and soap to wash my body when I would change my gown. That took a helper with all the IV cords and monitors. Once they let me get dressed, catch a ride on the wheelchair, and head home with That Guy, my mom went home to get my girls. This gave us a head start to get me home and settled.

Fresh air was amazing! Sunshine on my face! I texted everyone to tell them I was free with silly makeup free selfie face and all. Then reality settled in. I am not even joking that I had to sit down just from walking into the house. Do not pass the sofa or two hundred dollars! So my luxurious first shower was more a race to get in and out before I passed out from exhaustion. Boy did it feel good anyway! I was not super steady on my feet so That Guy was right there in case I needed him and giving me support getting in and out for balance. Once I was dressed, I went to sit outside and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine!  It was truly glorious! Eventually, and it seemed like forever, my parent brought the girls home. They brought me balloons and flowers in a vase. The flowers and vase were a crafty gift That Little Girl had made for me the day before at my inlaws with her cousins. It was so good to get hugs and kisses and just be home!

So that lasted about 18 hours before I had to be right back at the hospital! Yup. I really love that place.

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Comments

  1. I’m glad you are home and feeling better.

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