The last days in the hospital were a study in frustration…I had a few visitors (Dan and family members, plus a friend I didn’t expect,) constant watching of CNN, USA Network (major overdosing of the Japan earthquake disaster, NCIS, and L&O: SVU and CI.) After they removed the catheter and discontinued the constant saline drip (I still had an IV port in my arm and they infused piperacillin four times a day,) I was able to take the wound vacuum, place it in a wheelchair (it had a battery pack) and walk around to exercise my legs. (For the first few days they had air-driven leggings on my calves to prevent deep-vein thrombosis, which is potentially fatal for people who are inactive for long periods of time.)
The plan was to release me from the hospital on March 11th, but due to bureaucratic snafus on the part of the hospital and Excellus Blue Cross/Blue Shield (my insurance carrier) they didn’t know if they could issue me a portable wound vacuum to use at home. So I was starting to show signs of anxiety. Fortunately, they were able to prescribe Xanax as needed to prevent anxiety attacks and help me get some rest. The whole thing was, I wanted to get the fuck out of the hospital…being restricted to a small space was not condusive to my mental well being. I missed my house, I missed Dan, Spike, and Gypsy. I WANTED OUT! Finally, this morning (after consultation) it was decided to let me go home, and instead of using a wound vacuum, I would be able to use a wet/dry packing to help manage the healing. So around 2:30 this afternoon, the surgical nurse/practitioner (a really nice guy named Marty) removed the port that was used for the wound vacuum and replaced it with the wet/dry packing. Once that was done, it was a matter of doing the paperwork, getting my prescriptions and after-care instructions, and getting my ass into the TrailBlazer and going home. (One side note…as Dan and I were leaving, we ran across Esther Zorn, the real estate agent who helped me and Dan get our house!)
I’m not saying that being in the hospital was a chamber of horrors, but I have never liked hospitals, and I am NOT a patient patient. But the nurses on 5A (the surgical floor) were very professional and they helped me a lot to get through all this bullshit that happened to me. Some of the things that helped me survive with my sanity intact were:
Dan, my partner: It helped that he works at the hospital that I was in, and he knew a lot of the people that were involved with my care.
My smartphone: At least I had a portal to the rest of the world, so I could keep up with what was happening elsewhere.
Facebook: I could interact with everyone (via my smartphone) and get a few laughs in the process.
My sister Missy, my niece Sheryl, my grand-niece Lexi (Sheryl’s daughter) and my nephew Andrew. Knowing that I have family who gives a shit about me really helped.
I was glad I was able to come out of this okay. But with all the shit that has happened in the world this past week, I count myself very lucky.