Welcome to the Hotel Hospital-ia – – UT Medical Center – Dallas, Texas
“You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave….” The Eagles.
I’m back in the hospital. Oh JOY!
When you’re readmitted to a hospital, you already know the weak links of the system, so you know to sidestep them and move forward on your own. For instance, while on my way to the chemo clinic, it was determined that my system couldn’t tolerate a second dose of the stronger Chemotherapy. My kidneys were in distress, and they wanted to monitor me and make sure the Creatinine levels returned to normal. “Robin, you’re borderline dialysis,” said the kidney Doctor. They suggested I stick around and they’d get me a room. Ha! Even a doctor prepping for someone else’s surgery knows that there is no such thing as “sticking around to make things happen faster!”
So I went home, paid bills, watched TV, and packed a bag, so when they called me and asked “where are you?” I told them “I’m minutes away, did they have a room ready?” I live 20 minutes away and the reply made me smile; “yes ma’am, within the hour you’ll be in room 333.” I would have sat there for 4 hours waiting on that room! That was trick number ONE!
Once again I am admitted to the hospital, shown to my room, unpack, and ask for pajama bottoms. No way am I getting caught in the breeze this time around with my bass (no treble) hanging out! I start to walk down the hospital hallways, all the while running into old friends that say ridiculous things, even though I know they mean well. “Oh, so happy to see you again!” “Oh, but not under these circumstances!”
My first close encounter is, “The Stick Nurse,” who is apparently known for her prowess at giving needles. I’d never met her before, but she says she’s known in these parts because, in her own words, “I only stick my patients once, because I look before I poke! Right!
She stuck and dug and infiltrated my veins until she finally said, “Girl? Your veins just keep rollin’! Do you want me to find another site?” I said, “NO. I want you to find me another NURSE!” Ok, that was my first black mark, and I admit I could have been nicer about it, but don’t tell me you’re good at one thing, and turn out to be bad at it! I HATE that!
Next; The bed was broken. It felt like an air mattress was blown up only in the middle so that every time I’d lay down I’d roll to the side! They didn’t believe me until I insisted the nurse lay down on the bed! Her words, “well bless your heart, this wouldn’t make for fine sleeping now, would it!” The mattress replacement took 3 hours. Not that I’m counting, but that would have been up to seven hours of torture, four hours waiting for my room and three hours waiting for a new mattress! I could just picture Bob Barker’s team announcing “A NEW MATTRESS!” with the model waving her sexy princess arm across it. Am I out of my mind yet? Yes….but wait! There’s more!
Next stop, the MRI and Ultrasound tests in the basement. They took me to the very cold hospital basement strapped in a wheelchair with no blanket. When I laid on the table the tech added warm gel and started probing with the wand. I began to laugh hysterically! When did I become ticklish? I kept trying to control myself because he had no sense of humor at all! My theory is that you become ticklish when you lose weight, because your bones are closer to the surface of your skin. Does this make sense?
After the sonogram I had to wait for “transport.” I waited 20 minutes for someone to come and push my chair up one elevator floor. “This is ridiculous!” I said, and grabbed a blanket left the chair. I found the elevator and snuck back to my room! What they don’t know won’t kill them. I had a conference call scheduled for 7pm and it was 6:50 already!
A young man walked in asking if he could change my bed. I was sitting in the high backed chair and waved him in happily! Anyone that offers to make my bed can just as well lie in it, figuratively speaking, of course! But when was the last time a man, made YOUR bed? I watched him as he perfectly turned in the corners and said to him, “My mom tried to teach me to do that, but I could never master it the way you have! His response led to a long conversation about people helping each other to feel better. He felt making the perfect bed helped someone feel comfy and secure when they climbed in. He’s right of course! Then he began to tell me about his project on Anti-Poaching. He’s writing a book about endangered animals, and showed me some of his animal drawings. I’d swear I was looking at photographs, not pencil works. He kindly considered me to be one of his “go-to patients.” He said, “When I need three or more minutes to just smile and relax, I have my favorite patients to check in on, like you!
It’s amazing how we fail to look at things as others do, from different perspectives.
Then the headaches began. Oh Lord, where they came from I don’t know! Honestly, they are vicious! These were the kind of headaches that cause you to lay very still and pray very hard. It’s the “no light at the end of the tunnel,” kind of pain. All my problems were determined to have been sprung from the chemo being too strong for my system. I’ve been on pain meds, and nausea meds, while lying in this hospital bed being prepped for the next round of “”Chemo Delight!” I think it’s the equivalent to setting oneself up for disaster!
I have a great idea, being that I’ve opened up my life for all of you to see; let’s make a greater case together. I’ve shared the fact that I was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer, and I’ve also told you how I’ve been affected by certain treatments, as well as how to watch out for these signs in your own bodies, and what to do if you see something amiss. My idea is that we help other women get through this, together. Forward this blog to any woman you know within the ages of 25-65 as a “heads up” and together we may save a life! As I am finding out, a little knowledge goes a long way!
I have so many things I yet want to do, but saving another woman’s life is at the top of my list.