Non-emergency Hospital Road Trip

The Day after the Day

By noon the intestinal bloating was again becoming intolerable. My go-to cure, ginger powder, wasn't positively impactful in the least. And neither was intestinal massage, applying a heating pad, nor wishful thinking. Heck, as I've just awoken on a Tuesday morning, my heart rate remains elevated, likely due to the internal intestinal pressure.

Anyway, because they do not offer proper care here at the nursing home, I had to hit the road. Because really, if I were to patiently wait for prescribed gluten-free simethicone to arrive at my bedside, it's highly possible my heart rate would have accelerated beyond light speed. And nobody here in their right mind wanted to clean up that.

The nurse on-duty called my primary physician to request transport… (except the primary listed wasn't my primary care physician). So then eventually they figured out who was whom, and sent out the request, my needing to be deflated.

They also called my emergency contact, the person formerly (as of 19 days ago) known as my wife. So I tripped out for a moment or three, fearing she may become involved. But fortunately, she didn't answer the phone or respond to the messages left behind. And that's not surprising.

I immediately changed my emergency contact to … my medical advocate. Sure, she's two thousand miles away, and I've only known her for what.. 19 days? But she's been more helpful, supportive, and just plain old caring (in these recent days) than anybody else (outside of this forum) in these past several years.

Yeah. Different people are capable of different things. And everybody's good at something. Blame is unnecessary. And disappointment is a real thing. Right now, my advocate is good at being there, as needed. And that's exactly what I require.

And so you know, it's not a one-way street. At least, I do not suspect, because that's what my advocate tells me. In a sense, I return the favor.

Come to think of it, am I being too demanding of my resources here? Jeeze, I used to help out a fair amount more in and around the forum. If any of you need what I have (Howard thinks long and hard) ... an ability to put things into perspective? ..dial me up. I mean, I think that's what I am capable of doing. Does that sound right?)

Medically? No. Please. DO NOT rely on me. You will die. Well, you'll die somewhat at ease, at least.. knowing your intestinal motility has been satisfactorily resolved by way of ingesting ground ginger powder.

Not wanting to unnecessarily worry the former wife (in case that's suddenly become a thing), I eventually texted the daughter of my former wife, letting her know that I was okay, while also explaining that her mother had been removed as an emergency contact on all fronts and would no longer be bothered.

Her daughter was pleased to hear from me (we've had a very good, mutually emotionally available relationship over the years), but I'm not going to make a habit of contacting her at this time (which I'd already explained to her, via email exchanges).

At the Hospital


Empty. Totally empty. E.R. was dead. And I was not. No, I was merely inflated beyond bounds ever known.

Either way, the staff descended upon me. I was big news. The only news. So the doctor (and her student nurse) locked right in. The doctor? Wow, I was impressed merely watching her process. Assess. Conclude. She had a subtle intensity, combined with empathy. And so you know, as a tribute to the doctor, I am never ever removing my hospital wrist band, because…? Her name is on there, just above the barcode. Haha! And she impressed me in such a way.

Yes, I am weird.

Oh, and of course I got the, "You CANNOT be in your 50's" reaction from the entire roomful, which sometimes helps. I mean, why not? When you're 6 feet tall, 123lbs, and bedridden, you take what you can get!

And really, I think it's more so the way I carry myself, than anything else. The way I communicate and interact. It is funny though.

So of course, the next line of questioning had to do with me currently residing in a nursing home (come on people, what about my darned bloating/heart rate issue!?). Apparently, I'm not the nursing home type.. which we sort of already know.

Anyway, a succession of staff members came into my room throughout the night, seeking additional details and background regarding my recent transition, while also offering to help.

"Maybe you should write a book."

Yeah. Perhaps I should, haha!

The best part was Dallas. You remember him, don't you? We last connected in June, during my tube replacement/bedsore visit. That's the time wherein the caregiving company assigned one of their administrators to communicate for me and on my behalf. Why? Because I was so severely affected by the paramedics' handling of me, carrying me down those difficult stairs. Talking, much less, breathing freely, were slow to return (typically, an hour or two). So yes, I needed somebody there to help. To protect.

Anyway, I was glad to see my friend, and we quickly got back into it as he probed my forearm, seeking out a most proper place to poke me. You see, Dallas used to be an air transport medic, covering much of the borderland. So he takes pride in being able to place an IV under any circumstances.

"Easy as cake," he tells me.

He hung out with me for 20 minutes or so, as we discussed this and that. And he also shared valuable insight regarding my nursing home, and others in the immediate vicinity. Instances of neglect, yes, too many of those. And he also mentioned the resulting heavy fines had been levied in the past (not my facility). He, as well as other hospital staff, encouraged me to report any issues.

Later, as my nurse came off her shift, she stopped by, offering assurance that things would be okay. She smiled, then gently rubbed my shoulder before she left. And damn. I needed that. How very nice of her. Perhaps she knew.

Before I departed, the charge nurse came back in and packed my lunch (travel) bag with extra supplies, a dropper, saline syringes, and some take home simethicone.

"Don't let them take this away from you," she instructed.

Also, my always-on-top-of-everything advocate instructed me to request a referral for a G.I., which my doctor readily provided.

Oh, and the CT scan revealed numerous bladder stones, but nothing else of consequence. The Superior Mesenteric Artery did not appear to be pinching off my duodenum, but the CT method utilized wouldn't have identified that anyway.

Back Home (much later)

Eh, pretty much the end of the story. I slept a few hours, then by 7am my bpm's dropped into the 90's.

No outdoors for me. Listened to music, quietly. Room dark most of the day. Then… my little sister called at 1051pm, in a panic.

"Are you awake?"

"Sure, why not?" I responded.

And immediately, she gets into it, because.. she smells smoke in her house. And her electrical outlets are flashing red, making odd clicking sounds. And most importantly, how is she going to charge her cell phone?

Long story short, I have her call her only neighbor. And fortunately, her only remaining neighbor is a volunteer firefighter (everyone else already moved off the mountain, not wanting to get snowed-in all winter). So the neighbor recruits the rest of the firefighting gang down in the valley, and they arrive within an hour.

It turns out there was an area wide power surge in her small community that happened to fry her electrical system.

I was up until 1am (otherwise occupied on my phone) by the time the "all clear" was given.

An electrician came out yesterday and did the best he could for a reasonable price.

Slumber Party

Oh. I slept 5 hours. In a row! It's a once per week occurrence of late. Somewhat surprisingly, I've been getting by on three or four hours, mostly.

Right now it's 5am on the following day. My roommate had medical things going on for the past 106 minutes (to be exact), so I may only get three hours sleep for now. Of course, he's already back to snoring. He did, however, apologize for the inconvenience.

And…. yesterday Jeff told me that he appreciated having me for a roommate, mentioning how smart I am, while also thanking me for helping him. He's been much much quieter of late, too.

In tomorrow's edition, we'll discuss ...missing formula feeds. Yes, three in the past four days! It's becoming a bit of a problem.

Take care,
Howard

Comments

I agree w/ you, @Howard should write a book. You just work on it in bits and eventually voila!

Thats what I"ve been advised, anyway. (that progress in small increments is progress)

Regarding needing the resources of PR- have at it.

What strikes me is you occasionally appear at times of need when others are having trouble and often, your comments are extremely on target, often very helpful to the party in question. So your a valuable contributor around here.

You have advanced degrees in This. You earned them.

Fascinating, frankly, your whole download on revisiting your favorite ER and running back into a supportive team. They know alot about the local scene.

Despite prevailing news, I think most humans are good people trying and striving to be better people, despite it all. IT just seems we pay too much attention to where we trip up and maybe we need to attend more to where the universe opens doorways, provides kindness, a touch at a the right moment.

***
Story Univinted- My Husband Drove Cab (and So Did I for Two Months ON Sunday).

I agreed to be the Sunday cab driver, when my soon to be husband went on a prolonged trip out of town.

Lucky to make five dollars, I tell yah. Nothing like Sunday in a very small town.

But years later he drove cab for the Big Cab Company. So we had all the taxi Diaries and stories and crazy tales.

What my husband discovered many people, who get picked up to ride to the doctor, sneak out of the rest home or even break out of the psyche facility.

My husband in fact saved many people.

This is part of why Cloud Atlas is one of my favorite films. They succeed in breaking out.

He met the most interesting people in these varied predicaments. Over time you discover this or that about people, un-presumed.

I recall waking up one morning and this older woman was sleeping on our sofa. I guess my husband brought her home for 24 hours, stranded by her family with an awkward tale of woe.

You discover that you can help other people and its really an enjoyable activity.
 
So your a valuable contributor around here.
I go through all of the forum threads each day, and it rarely seems like I'm able to add anything. Everybody else seems so advanced. At least occasionally, I can learn a thing or two. I do however, utilize the search function quite frequently.

You discover that you can help other people and its really an enjoyable activity.
Yeah, a lot of people here need help from somebody and someone. Family members aren't really involved at all. However, social services, the activities department, and other outfits on site do good things, I just think they're /undermanned/overwhelmed.
 
Good evening all......Yes, I can believe that one would earn starvation wages in a small town on a Sunday. In my younger years, everyone was at church and many were planning to return for a "do" in the evening. Grocery stores were closed and definitely shopping on Sunday was something for the future. Hard to believe, isn't it? Yes, there actually was such a time....and in America.

The writing group sounds very interesting, and I may pop in now and again, but not for the entire group of sessions.

Howard, you definitely should though, especially if Karen (is it?) is heading your way. As a matter of fact you could incorporate her in one of your stories.

You're going to fade away, far away to nothing if you don't get your formula mix. Perhaps you'd better ask (insist) on telling the nurse in charge of each different shift. That's not good news and I hate to hear it. Are you getting enough fluids if you're outdoors for prolonged periods of time?

Boy, Jeff just really lucked out in having you as his roomie. How did you fare today? I hope you were able to lay under the clouds and shut your eyes. See, your sleeping through your meals, that's the problem!

You'll soon have to send out your Xmas cards or, like so many of us, people either don't remember who we are, are dead or otherwise engaged. Personally, I'll be sending letters to people I owe them to, but no real Xmas cards. One more tradition that is being blotted out of our landscape. Poor post office needs some help....and I don't have an outstretched hand filled with Forever stamped envelopes.

Just wanted to check in and see how you're doing. MUST get the formula taken care of. Too important to let it go, Howard. Put Jeff in charge if you must. Take good care. Yours, Lenora.
 
MUST get the formula taken care of. Too important to let it go, Howard. Put Jeff in charge if you must
That's funny. After missing three "meals" in four days Jeff actually did erupt in front of the staff.

Anyway, it turns out they've changed the orders once again, hoping to make clearer the instructions. No misses today or yesterday. And yeah, I've got to somehow curb the very gradual weight loss. It's just that my intestines can only handle so much volume, so it's additional calories versus less hydration. That's what I've tried just recently, and I indeed have hospitalized (perhaps indirectly).

But yeah, my roommate is being more cooperative (if only because he often falls asleep with the TV at full volume status... and then I shut it off with my remote - :)
 

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