Released from the Hospital

CT Guided Aspiration Drainage

Blood bag strapped to thigh — My latest fashion accessory, just in time for Halloween.

I started my day with a gurney ride to Radiology. After downing a bottle of contrast, my food-starved, narcotic-fueled, sleep-deprived body was barraged by waves of trembling and voracious teeth chattering. Basically, reactions to being cold except they were very exaggerated. CT imaging revealed an abscess in the vicinity of my appendix. An area below my navel was numbed with topical anesthesia. I was infused with benzos to relax. I suggested they just knock me out! I really didn’t care to FEEL or remember the procedure. I did not get my way. But it was quick and mostly painless.

Two weeks ago, the oncologist assumed my GI pain was a kidney stone or urinary infection. Now, she suspects that my appendix ruptured. The goals of today’s procedure were to:

  • remove fluid, thereby reducing pressure and relieving some pain;
  • collect samples so that the Infectious Disease team can identify specific bacteria present as well as the proper antibiotics to combat the bacteria and remedy infections;

We need to treat infection with antibiotics to avoid, or at least post-pone surgical removal of my appendix. Avastin compromises cell health which would complicate recovering from surgery. Avastin is known to cause GI complications and is probably responsible for all this trouble.

Conclusion

I was released from the hospital today.
My own self evaluation of my overall wellness is entirely positive!

When unexpected complications arise, I’m reminded that October is the month for me that corresponds with the ominous 14 month death statistic. Despite a few recent hindrances, my physical, emotional, spiritual and mental well-being remain great. Plus, the tremendous outpouring of love and support for Tina and I is like a vaccination against despair. I don’t claim to be self-actualized or enlightened. I still fall prey to petty annoyances.*** But all-in-all, Everything’s Gonna Be Alright.


Too Much Information

A drain tube protrudes from my lower umbilical area and empties into a collection bag that I can strap onto my leg. Tina was instructed on how to flush the drain twice a day to keep it clean and clog-free in order to collect excess blood, pus and who-knows-what. I’m not sure how much fluid is expected to collect in this bag. It could turn out to be a good Halloween costume. Actually, it brings to mind, artist Andres Serrano!


*** some hospital experience examples, for the fun of it (and to waste more time)

#1  I understand that the statement, “How are you,” is a common and friendly greeting. But if I’m having an off day, it irritates me when hospital staff casually ask. I’m not going to retort with, “Fine! How are you?” if I am not. So I respond with, “Hello.” Or I deflect by asking them the same question. Most often, I don’t respond at all which is probably perceived as rude. I don’t know why I let this bother me. But I disappoint myself when I succumb with a fake, pleasant answer? Honestly, I’m not an advocate of political correctness but I think it would be reasonable for hospital management to suggest to employees that maybe a neutral greeting would be more appropriate when addressing their customers, the patients. Something like, “Hello” is probably fine. I know the topic doesn’t deserve this much consideration. What’s wrong with me?

#2  During my overnight stay in the hospital, I was checked on by a nurse every hour throughout the night either to change IV bags, evaluate pain status, take vitals, etc. So, it wasn’t a very restful night. When the morning shift change happens, it’s like the party gets going and the noise level cranks up. Then the new nurse comes in the room and greets me with a chipper, “Good Morning!” which sounds to me like encouragement to get up. Sorry — I’m laying in bed for two more hours. Can you keep it down!?

#3  I won’t go into a rant of the deficiencies of patient profile questionnaires, but that’s another hot button topic for me.

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5 responses to “Released from the Hospital”

  1. matt keener says :

    It’s funny you should mention the greeting thing. Recently my grandmother was hospitalised and the outcome did not look good, during that time I heard that phrase “how are you doing” addressed not only to me but my tear filled family members numerous times. Much like you my mouth responded much differently than my head did.

  2. Kitty says :

    I can’t stand “how are you” either. So if I’m not fine or good, I always send them away quickly by saying, “Well, if you really care to know, sit down and I’ll tell you.” Nobody has yet.

  3. Darrell Meece says :

    I got tired of it for a while but now I’ve gotten old enough than when I get the morning “how are you?” I am like “Eh, well, my knee hurts and I’m pretty tired, how are you?” Everybody has been pretty cool with it honestly.

    • Ken says :

      I’ve since reconsidered my stance on that rant. Everyone getting along requires a great deal of patience, understanding and consideration from everyone. Thanks for sharing your point of view.

  4. Laura biggio says :

    I agree with the “greeting” comments. They need to have more tact!!!

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