In the last installation of our never-ending story we left poor, sick Lor in a hospital bed filled with toxic fluid and a particular hostility for Doctors who don’t explain the whole story and present a cohesive plan.
It seemed like the longest night until a nurse told me that it seemed I was scheduled for a procedure to place a drain in my gut next morning. More drugs and I slept. I’m thinking that at this point we may have been going a little overboard on the drugs. I don’t really remember the drain placing procedure although I’ve been told I erupted like Old Faithful and filled three drain bags quite quickly. I do remember a nurse showing us the drain and telling us that we needn’t worry about positioning as this drain would remove the liquid regardless of gravity.
More hearsay as I don’t recall many things that happened in those days at the hospital: things that went into my stomach were not playing ball and going through this new pouch hole into the intestine. No, stomach contents wanted to stay in the new pouch and the new pouch was still paralyzed and unable to help move things along with any muscle contractions or other GI functions. We had to heal stomach pouch and get it working again, so back to clear liquids only and a new little buddy-a PIC line to use for taking in nutrition! WOOT! I get night feedings just like Mikey used to have when he had his GI tube!
Several days of observation and getting pain meds straightened out and I was released again to go home. This time I went home with a new drain, a new pump and a nurse who would come visit me several times a week.
Just a little off topic ramble here. Remember the old days when people went into the hospital and friends and neighbors and relatives all sent small gifts, flowers, books, etc to the patient? Remember paying obligatory visits to hospital patients to “cheer them up”? I can easily recall finding out that Mr. Johnson was taking care of his three children alone while Mrs. Johnson was in the hospital so the whole community would go into cooking mode and drop off casseroles and cookies and at Mr. Johnson’s house so that he wouldn’t have to worry about a thing. Why, even Mr. Johnson’s mother would open up his house and the neighbors would be in there cleaning…… Okay, back to our regularly scheduled blog with that mournful commentary on times past.
So I was home….again but still not feeling well. My little walks around the couch for exercise were going well but I was still running out of breath by the time I’d hit my goal for the day. Always tired, now I started to feel sick.
A few days after I returned home I was running a temperature. Those memories of the Staph infection in my back that almost killed me rushed back and now we were terrified and depressed. The doctor told me to take Tylenol for the fever but that if the fever went over 101 or kept up for more than a few days I’d be back in the hospital.
As I sat on the edge of the bed shivering off a fever on my last day before I was going to have to call the doctor and tell him we couldn’t keep the fever under control, I was milking the line to the new drain. It had been several days since there had been much coming out of the bag but I’d hoped that meant the stomach was waking up and doing it’s job. But now my old nursing training came back and everything was gravity flow. We even learned how to set up surgical suction using a big bottle and gravity. So I unhooked the bag from it’s pin on my bra and dropped the bag unceremoniously to the floor. Almost immediately the bag began to fill. After three trips to the bathroom to dump this nasty stuff, it slowed and I slept.
to be continued: