Walking into a new and brighter life.

Walking into a new and brighter life.

The healthy me

The healthy me

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This I know.................

This I know.................

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

My 5 days post surgery

The 22nd as planned I arrived at the hospital at 6:30 for my surgery at 7:00.  Brittney, Bill and Layla were there with me and my brother was on his way from his hotel to reach me before I went "under".

Honestly, I don't recall that day or the 23rd and 24th.  Parts of those days are sketchy.  Bill, Britt and Greg left by Friday the 24th.  I was under the impression that Bill or Brittney would stay with me at the hospital until my release... taking turns and coming back to Klamath Falls in-between.  The nursing staff told them I needed rest and they didn't want them in my room.  I kept telling them to just leave and go home and take care of things, that I had good nurses and I would just be laying around being drugged and the hospital staff could take care of whatever I needed.

The 22nd through the 24th I was in the Trauma ICU.  I was well cared for, fed, bathed or washed off, helped to the commode, had my I.V.'s flushed every day, was given all my medications, had water or ice chips without even asking.  They were good nurses who knew what I needed before I even asked for it.

Then around the evening of the 24th they told me as soon as a bed was ready on the recovery ward I would be moved.  Friday night/Saturday morning around midnight I was transferred.  

Being on such heavy drugs I had been hallucinating the entire time and getting moved late night in the dark surely fed into my paranoia.  So began the worse experience of my life.  Each day several times Bill, Brittney, Greg and Robbin (my brothers) would call and ask how I was doing.  Even in my darkest times I always told them "fine".  I didn't want anyone to think they had to drop what the were doing and run to take care of me.  

I can't honestly remember much of the next 3 days so I will only comment on what I know to be fact.

In this room my door stayed shut and the lights remained off, unless a doctor came in the check my tubes or remove them and my epidural, the rest of the time I remained in the dark.  Yes, there was a T.V. but I could figure out how to change the channels.  I slept most of the time.  I was supposed to be given a shot in the stomach once a day to help keeps clots from forming, out of 3 days there.. I got only one shot.  I would call the nurse to help me to the bathroom and she would say back on the speaker that it would be a while.  So, I always got up by myself to use the bathroom.  They had one of those buckets in it to measure stuff.  The entire time there no one checked it, and I was the only one to empty it.  I never was cleaned up or washed.  I through up one day all over my bedding and I called the nurse, she came in and removed the sheets and changed the sheets.  I asked her for new clothes and a washcloth.. nada.
I would occasionally leak urine on my bed and just sit in it until I had enough stamina to get up and get new underwear and a "leak pad".

Sunday night the doctor came in and took out the last chest tube.  I began to tell him how filthy I felt and that I had asked for help but no one ever showed up.  He was the one to tell me I needed to go home.  That I was at more risk being in the hospital for germs and bacteria and pneumonia.  So, Monday morning I called Britt and told her to come and get me.  

My conclusion and advice to anyone facing a major surgery is this.......
Family is there to help you.  I should have never thought I was a burden to them, and insisted that someone stay there with me.  When you are in the hospital alone you are at the mercy of the staff.  If you have someone there on  your behalf then they can demand a bath, or less drugs, or new clothes, or just better care.  That's my surgical story.

I am doing fine at home.  
Thank everyone for their prayers.  I needed every one of them.
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