Wednesday, June 20, 2012 (Friday's Part 3)

Posted on June 21, 2012 at 12:50 AM

And life goes on...(Part 3)

Hello again. When I left off, I had just been put "under" for my surgery.

I woke up in a ward room; four beds. OHIP only covers ward rooms. But I didn't care. I remember a nurse telling me everything went well and to try to get some rest. I was shaking. I heard her ask me if I was cold. I never answered. I passed out.

I don't know how much longer I slept for, but I awakened a second time to one hell of a gorgeous man in a police uniform standing at the foot of my bed asking if he could ask me a few questions. The nurse on my right side, trying to make me more comfortable with a pillow for support under my arm and a couple of thick cotton sheets spread over me, shooed him away, saying "You can't talk to her now. She just got out of surgery." I wanted to tell him to come back, but I couldn't speak. Once again I was told to try to sleep and to not worry about not being able to speak. "It's from the dry mouth. You're being given morphine. It's a side effect." I am quite familar with the side effects of narcotics, so I was able to relax and drift off again, but not before a thought passed through my head; "Why is my shoulder three times larger than my other one?"


I woke up to darkness. It was the middle of the night, and a nurse was giving me something. Either the morphine, the antibiotic or the "flushing", (a saline solution used to flush out the tube in my hand. The antibiotic actually clogs the tube; it's kind of thick, or so I was told.) The anesthesia was gone. I was fully alert. Turns out my right shoulder was three times larger than my left because of all the packing and bandages. LOL it never occured to me that a surgical wound would require a lot of bandages. Shows how often I've been in the hospital!


My night nurse was CHANTEL. What a wonderful person! Damn! She was so concerned about my comfort. She came in to my room every chance she got, just to "...make sure all is ok!" She wasn't overly cheerful. She wasn't sickeningly sweet. She was a-ok.

She gave me the general info; meds I was receiving, feeding times, let them know if there's any redness, swelling, soreness around the iv feed site, etc, and "do not move unless you have to go to the bathroom! Dr. Corrigan's orders!" I was fine with that.


Breakfast arrived at 8 am, and I was starved!! With a lot of trouble I managed to sit up and I practically inhaled my breakfast. Turns out that was one sign they were looking for. Everyone knew I hadn't eaten since Friday night, and here it was Sunday morning. (Quick note here; I have always liked the food at the Hotel Dieu Hospital, now known as Cornwall Community Hospital - McConnell, or the Janet McDonnell Pavillion site.)

I met ASHLEY, the daytime nurse. Very professional. At first I thought she was cold, but as we spoke, I found out she loves helping people, but she does her best to remain detached, so she can do her best. And she does do great work.


I was sent for a follow up xray, and then back to my room. I spent the day on morphine and sedatives so it's kind of fuzzy. I remember Dr. Corrigan stopping in, telling me everything went beautifully and my xrays showed that all was taken care of. I think he told me to take it easy and get plenty of rest.


My friend Penny visited me. She offered to get me some personals from home. Thank God for her. The company was so welcomed, and we hadn't talked for a long time. I can't remember if she came back later Sunday or if it was Monday, but she had bought me slippers! THANKS PENNY! And of course the things from my home I had asked for. (God the mess she saw in my home! I normally house clean on the weekends, so my home was a mess. I cringe when I think of it.)


I'm not talking too much more about Sunday. I'm too afraid of "false memories", but damn the food was good!


I had a lot of trouble sleeping Sunday night. The muscles in my shoulder would spasm, feeling like someone was shoving a knife into me. I remember the nurse having to increase my morphine at 4am. I had told her I wanted to go for a walk to try to bring sleep, and Dr. Corrigan had apparently left orders for my morphine to be upped if necessary, and for a sedative. That was the only time I felt a "buzz" or "high" from the drugs. I remember the room spinning, my brain going foggy, and muttering, "Maybe I'll try to sleep right here." I heard Chantel chuckle. "I think that's a good idea." And darkness took over once more.


I woke up a few hours later to breakfast; about 8 am, and I was hungry! (With all due respect, Cream of Wheat SUCKS!) That day I met a second day shift nurse, and unfortunately I never got her name, because she was one real bitch!


With my first dose of medication for the day, I noticed it really hurt when the nurse put it in. It never had before. I looked down, said "That one really hurt." I noticed my left hand had turned bright red and swollen. Right away I pointed it out to her. She said "The flushing usually stings a bit going in. That's alright." And she walked away before I could say anything. May be I was overreacting. I let it go.


The next time she gave me my meds, it hurt like hell! "Hey" I said, "It's really hurting and it shouldn't! That's what the night nurse said!" I was looking down at my hand and to my total shock, she literally shoved the plunger down with force, causing my hand to burn and feel like someone had just hit it with a hammer. "HEY!" I yelled. "What are you doing?" She just took her things and left; not a word. Holy shit!


A couple hours later, I think, Ashley came in to help me take a shower. I told her all about what happened. "I know it's supposed to sting a bit, but I'm telling you she did it intentionally!" Ashley took one look at my hand and said, "That should have been changed long ago. We'll take care of it now." I looked right at her and said "Ashley, I'm sorry, but I don't want that nurse anywhere near me ever again." She replied "She won't be. I'll take care of you from here on." I was so relieved. The rest of the day was made up of some chit chat with my roomies, a shower, a dressing change, a few walks around the grounds, and a visit from Dr Corrigan asking me if I'd like to go home Tuesday. LOL I don't know if they were getting tired of me or what, but I said "YES!"


I spent the evening talking, walking, dozing, ...and that's about it. When SOMA, my other night nurse came on duty, I warned her I would probably have trouble sleeping that night as I was going home the next day. She assured me I could get a sedative. (Soma was every bit as wonderful as Chantel! Folks, if you ever have to have surgery, and you know you'll be spending time in the Post Operative Department, watch for Chantel - nights, Soma - nights, and Ashley - days. You will be in good hands. I guarantee it!)


Monday night was spent with teeny tiny little bits of sleep; even with the sedative. Almost no effect on me. Oh well. Dr Corrigan had tried Percoset as a alternate to the morphine, and I warned him, it will have no effect on me, as a doctor tried it once before with me. He suggested we try it, and it had no effect. I had to make do with ibuprofen, AND IT DIDN'T HAVE ANY EFFECT EITHER! So I walked. I chatted with peeps. I went outside to smoke. 8am came; I had breakfast. Good once more. Then at about 9 am I started getting ready to go home. I am so unfamilar with the check out policy, that I actually went to the nurses' station with all my belongings packed into my backpack, asking "Ok, now what?" LOL I was told Ashley would be in with the release papers as soon as she was done. I could hear giggling as I returned to my room.


Ashley was in moments later. I signed the papers. She explained Dr. Corrigan's orders, and I left. I sat at the picnic tables outside of the ambulance bay and called Penny.

As I waited, I reflected on my first stay in a hospital. It was pretty cool, except for the surgery and that one bitch of a nurse. The staff, for the most part, were pleasant and very helpful. Even RON. I almost forgot him. He'd come in each morning, offering warm wet cloths to wipe our faces and necks with. His smile and sense of humour tickled me. I said he reminded me of Ron James, the comedian. He said he doesn't look anything like him. I agreed, but, I said, you make me laugh.


Ok took a bit longer at this than last two times. Shoulder's twinging, or spasming, whatever. Part 4 should be the last part.

Til then folks...............


Thought of the day: When working with the public, the use of scents is pretty much hit and miss, but when it comes to a health care facility of any kind, LEAVE THE SCENTS AT HOME! This applies if you work there, are admitted, have a simple appointment, WHATEVER!


Allergies are not the only problem. Many of us will have reactions to scents that are not classified as "allergies". So when medical personel ask us "Do you have any allergies?" Guess what? We're going to say no!


Come on people. Common sense!


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