I certainly had no idea when I went to see my doctor on June 17th that my inpatient stay at Seton Medical Center would last five days! I was finally discharged this afternoon at 4PM, definitely improved since admission but with a whole new set of bruises on both arms from multiple pokes and prods from attempts at starting IVs and restarting infiltrated ones. Where did the nice large veins of my youth go? Advancing years not only bring on the wrinkles, they do other dastardly things to our bodies.
I must say, I was impressed with the wonderful nurses I encountered. Also, it was like being on an international journey which, you know, made me happy. Reflective of the Bay area's multicultural, diverse make up, some of the wonderful staff who cared for me were Danielle,
Sook from Korea, Steve from the Philippines ( or of Filipino background ), Stephanie from Manitoba, Asako from Japan, Kris, and Jeannie. The nursing assistants did an excellent job, too - Maria, Zen - I wish I remembered everyone's name!
I had three different roommates during my stay - the first was basically comatose and the last was a lady, over 90, was was unable to do any self care. The staff did such an outstanding job of caring for these ladies. As an RN of 45 years, I am especially mindful in situations like this and I was aware of their ministrations, the gentle manner in which they spoke, the frequency with which they came in to turn these patients. It really brought tears to my eyes and reminded me of why I chose to be a nurse all those years ago. I felt a real sense of pride in these women and men and I cannot thank them enough for their care of me but, especially, for their care of my roommates. It truly warmed my heart.
People from housekeeping, transport and the lab were always so pleasant. As the housekeeper was sweeping around my bed this morning, I apologized for the bits of trail mix I had spilled on the floor. He just smiled and said, "Oh, that's okay, I need this job!"
My own doctor, Alice Chan, who is Chinese, has been following me for about five years. She brought in an infectious disease doctor, a lovely Indian physician who could be starring in a Bollywood film. Dr. Talwar supervised the three different intravenous antibiotics I was on for my cellulitis. Dr. Yan also consulted with two brothers, Dr. Kahn and Dr. Kahn, from Pakistan, orthopedists, who ordered an MRI of my right lower leg, foot and ankle to absolutely make sure there was no fracture. X-rays showed none but they said that, sometimes, x-rays might miss a small fracture. It turns out that, in my fall on the 8th, I just suffered major soft tissue injury. Why I ended up developing cellulitis, I don't know but this is about my sixth bout with it in as many years and I've had it in both legs.
I really made a mess in my hospital room last night. I had brushed my teeth and was putting things in order around my bed, getting ready to go to sleep. My IV was running and I'd arranged my pillows and blanket and had one leg up on the bed and one foot on the floor. All of a sudden, I felt something sticky on my foot. I looked down and, to my surprise, saw blood all over my left foot and fabric sandal, my gown, the floor and the IV pole. Without my knowledge, the IV tubing had disconnected from the attachment to my hand and, because I was on heparin injections ( an anticoagulant to prevent a clot ), I was bleeding quite a bit. I put on my call light for my nurse, then called out for help ( my room was right across from the nurse's station ). A nursing assistant came in, saw all the blood, then began yelling, "Help, the patient in 721 is bleeding!" About six people came running into my room! My nurse, calm and collected, had my IV instantly reconnected and the whole mess cleared up within minutes. I'm just glad I noticed it before I got into bed and fell asleep. I would have required a transfusion!
I am going to get started tomorrow on catching up on all I've missed. I can't wait to read everyone's blogs and to finally answer all the wonderful comments I've been getting during my
hospital stay. I appreciate that you all haven't abandoned me. Now I'm off to sleep. It's amazing how much I have slept these past five days and I still feel exhausted.