The Rest of the Story


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     I got to the hospital in Indy at around  7am.  I managed to get there just in time for shift change, so by the time a doctor made rounds and got me on some pain meds it was around noon.  Mental note:  Never get to a hospital during shift change.  I was not a happy camper at that point and I’m sure I made my feelings known.  The hospital I started out in did blood cultures before I left.

     The next morning when Dr. Whomever came in he said I needed to be transferred to ICU immediately as in yesterday.  Ironically the first thing they did to prep me for ICU was put in a foley per their protocol.  It seems I had a life threatening infection in my bloodstream, go figure.  I had a yeast infection in my bloodstream called fungemia.  How fun!  If it’s rare or unusual apparently I’m going to get it.  I didn’t understand how serious it was at that moment.  I’m a girl and a diabetic therefore no stranger to yeast infections.  All I’m thinking is give me some diflucan and I’ll be on my way home.  It was after all, the week before Thanksgiving where I was planning to cook an elegant dinner for my family and friends.

     I hate being in a hospital so far from home.  It’s hard for my family to visit and I get lonely.  Once I got into a regular room my best friend decided to come see me and stay for the duration, very cool because she brought my laptop.  Most hospitals now have internet access for patients.  I was getting very frustrated and told the doctors I wanted to go home on Sunday and on Sunday I was prepared to leave AMA (against medical advice)  Something happened that never happened before.  Not one but two Infectious Disease doctors sat on my girlfriends roll away bed and very bluntly told me that if I left I would probably die.  I was in tears at that point I wanted to go home so badly.  Instead I told them I needed to talk to my husband before I made any decision, totally ruining my plan to not mention the AMA part and just tell him I was discharged.  It was a bad plan anyway, I can never get away with lying to him.  He always knows.

     The dear man told me he would rather miss having me home for one holiday and have me alive for all the other ones and to please stay in the hospital, also I forgot to mention the doctors had me scheduled for surgery in the morning.  I had to have my port removed as they believed that was the source of the infection.  I’ve had my port for 2 and half years and I loved it.  My veins are so scarred from IV’s that it’s very difficult to get vein access and it saved me from countless central lines.  In fact it took the anesthesiologist 4 sticks to get a vein to remove the port.  I also decided since I have my laptop to google this new oddly named infection.  Turns out that it has a 40 to 70% mortality rate.  Okay then, you convinced me to stay.   Now I don’t know whether to get it replaced or not.  It would be great to think maybe I don’t need another one I just don’t know how realistic that is.  On the other hand this one almost killed me.  I’m open to suggestions.

     The end of the story is that I did get home 2 days before Thanksgiving and I owe a big thank you to my sister who with the kids did all the cooking and cleaning for day and I didn’t have to lift a finger, so I still consider myself a pretty lucky girl.  I did land myself back in ICU one time since then, but that’s for another post, another story.  Thanks for listening to me I know this was a long one.  Since I started blogging this is the best way for me to vent.

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The Rudest Surgeon


     Lest everyone think I forgot, I do know I’m a very lucky woman.  I’ve been surrounded by not just my husband and kids, but an entire community and neighborhood of people who love and care about me.  That’s how I ended up with a whole posse coming to the hospital for my hernia surgery.  I thought I was done writing about it, until my husband reminded me what the surgeon did.

     I was in outpatient recovery with two of my best friends and hubby had to go out and move the car, which is when the surgeon came in to talk about how the surgery went.  One of my friends asked if he could wait just a minute until my husband came back when the doctor told him, “No, I have other patients.”  When hubby walked in a minute later he was furious.  Turns out the nurse had told him earlier to wait in the chapel and the doctor would come there to talk to him, and the doctor left all of them waiting there for over an hour and never did show up.  It was only when he grabbed a nurse to find out what was going on when the nurse told him he had to move the car and brought everyone else back to recovery to be with me.  So he never did talk to my husband.

  During my follow-up and subsequent surgeries, is when I noticed Dr.S. would be backing out of the room while I was trying to ask him questions.  The last time he did that I got up and followed him to the nurse’s station to let him know that I was his patient, he was my doctor and I deserved a few minutes of his time and attention instead of being made to feel like I was bothering him.  Which brings me to my point, I’ve had some terrific doctors, but I’ve also had some who were just rude.

     During one of my sub-clavian central line placements, done while my 16-year-old daughter was in the room, I don’t know what nerve he hit but I got an intense burning pain that shot from my armpit all the way down to my fingertips.  I screamed and the surgeon literally yelled at me to quit screaming.  I yelled right back at him to quit hurting me.  His response to that was to tell the nurse assisting him to inject me with Valium, and blamed it on a deformity I must have in my anatomy.  I still get angry when I think about that.  I’m not sure it’s ethical to use drugs to shut me up.  As a matter of fact this is the same doctor who did my gallbladder surgery.  I gave him my very extensive surgical history, while I was waiting in pre-op I started reading my chart that was on the foot of my bed.  The only thing it said was that my history was positive for an appendectomy.  I still have my appendix.

     Of course now I have to mention my favorite surgeon.  He brought me Godiva chocolate before making me npo.  Npo is when you can no longer have anything to eat or drink.   When I asked if he could use a local instead of general anesthesia, he told me no.  Actually what he said was that the last thing he needed was me telling him how to operate while he was operating.