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Abby : My hospital diary
Diary entry posted Fri 1:55pm 8 February 2008

In the beginning, I was fairly whole. Now, less than a week later, I have 2 broken bones that are held together by a beautiful assortment of metal plates, pins and screws; I have had blood taken at least 5 times, one of which was an "artery" something or other and was more painful than the regular way; I have had 6-8 shots of demerol in my left thigh, at least 6 in my left butt cheek, and one in each arm; iv's placed 4 times in one arm, three of which blew immediately and the fourth lasted until about 4 a.m. Thursday morning, at which time they moved to the right arm, where an iv was placed three times, 2 of which blew immediately. I have gone from an out-patient surgery to staying in the hospital for 3 nights and almost 4 days. On the third day, Thursday, my fever had gone down and they were waiting for the results of the blood tests before they could send me home. I had made it the few feet from my bed to the bathroom alone several times, so I got up carefully, went to the bathroom, got back up, hobbled towards my bed, and realized the room was spinning violently around me. Next thing I knew, I was sitting on the floor, with my rear end in the trashcan, not wanting to move for fear of there being more pain. I sat there a minute, trying to figure out how I was going to call a nurse to come help me, when my nurse came in and asked what I was doing on the floor. I told her that I fell, and she immediately left, leaving me still sitting on the floor, afraid to try and get up by myself. She sent two other nurses to help me back into bed, where I gingerly felt my splinted leg to try and determine if there was any further damage. Oddly enough, no one seemed concerned about whether or not my ankle was okay, they just started doing more tests to try and figure out why I got dizzy...let's think about this...for the past four days, I had been on major painkillers every 4-6 hours. Yesterday, they added high doses of the mega-tylenol to the mix and then wonder why I felt dizzy. So begins hours of more tests, including taking my blood pressure, every hour or so, lying down, then sitting, then standing. If you know anything about broken legs, you can imagine how painful this was for me to do. My bp would be fairly normal laying down and sitting up, but would drop about 15-20 points when I was standing. They didn't have to keep doing the test, I could have told them when I was feeling dizzy. I kept asking nurses what exactly the deal was, and moody/scary day nurse number 2 kept feigning a lack of knowledge and saying the doctor would be over to see me soon. Finally, at about 5:30, when the nurse was hooking up my umpteenth bag of fluids and my sixth or seventh bag of antibiotics, I asked her if I was staying the night...yup. Yep. I was staying AGAIN!!! My poor parents and daughter had been hanging around the hospital all day, waiting for me to get discharged and now they tell me I wasn't going home!! The doctor comes in around 6 and tells me to add hypotension (low blood pressure) to my list of hypo problems (hypoglycemia, low blood sugar, and hypothyroidism, low thyroid). She takes me off the Demorol, thinking that might be what was driving my bp so low. That was fine with me. They had been giving me Demorol all week long and it had only been taking the edge off of the pain. It was when they added the Tylenol for my mysterious fever, that the pain got within control. So she takes me off of that and instead gives me Percoset. Fine, that is a high level pain reliever too. Yeah, within the first hour and a half of only having Percoset, I was sobbing in my hospital bed. Moody/scary nurse told me that the doctor didn't want me "having all that Tylenol". As soon as her shift was over and the new nurse found me crying in my bed, she brought me Tylenol. The mega-dose Tylenol at least allowed me to stop crying, although I was still doing Lamaze breathing techniques, and I think new/nice/night nurse gave me the next Percoset early. So now it's 10:30 pm, I have slept about 12 hours total over the past 4 days, I'm so tired, but I am STILL IN PAIN and that makes it hard to sleep. I want to go home. I want to be out of pain and out of a cast, but instead, I have six weeks of this to go through. And seeing how wonderful the first several days after surgery were, I can only imagine how fabulous the next few months of recovery will be. We shall see.



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 Fri 1:55pm 8 February 2008
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