Friday, September 30, 2016

Up from the Valley of C. Diff and Death

You see that window behind me? That might as well have been another world during my first three days. I could see little outside and I had no idea what it looked out over. I was growing curious about it, but it might as well been on Mars. I couldn't get to it even though it couldn't have been more than 25 feet away.

But on my fourth day of imprisonment a new face appeared by my side. She introduced herself as a Physical Theropist and she asked if I would like to take a walk.

You bet your bippy, whatever a bippy may be. It is certainly a word the spell check doesn't like. It changed my first bippy to tippy and my second to hippy.

She disconnected my IV from the pole and I slid off the side of the bed to my feet. She turned off the alarm. She asked if I wanted the walker, but I told her I could manage on my own two feet. She did put a strap about my chest so she could grip me in the back if needed to keep me upright. I asked if we could walk by the window.

I was a little wobbly, but I really didn't need her to hold me as we walked a few circles about the room and past the window. Ah, how nice to see outside. My room was facing the West. I could see the WTC Plaza, the last building I worked in at Wilmington Trust. (I guess it is called M&T Plaza, now.) Over on the left was the Washington Street Ale House and straight ahead was the parking garage.
Directly below the window was the pickup and drop-off circle before the main entrance.

Off to the right was the cemetery, something I always joked was not what you want to see from your hospital room, a too near reminder of where you might end up. I had never dreamed I would be the patient gazing out at it.

It had felt good to walk about again, but it didn't rescue me from the commode chair. I though I could use the bathroom like a big boy now, but every thing that emptied out of my body had to be eyeballed and examined by the nurse before being flushed away.

They were checking the content of the potty for consistency and color and somewhat the same with the bottles of urine. I believe they marked down the amount of urine and one time the nurse mentioned it was too light, it needed to be darker, like I controlled the hue.

My Pastor and his wife, Karen, showed up for a visit, so someone got the word to them of what had
happened to me, probably my daughter had posted something online. They said they knew something was wrong when I didn't come to the church picnic on Sunday. I always go to most church events if only to take some photographs. I had just not felt up to it the past Sunday. Pastor Randy Scott brought me a balloon of a silly looking monkey with a "Hang in There" banner on it. That thing floated around the room the rest of my stay like a stray Angel watching over me.

On the fifth day, when the shift changed at 7:00 AM, the night Nurse brought the new day Nurse in to be introduced. This was the ritual at every shift change. This time was a bit different for the Day Nurse was male, the first and only male nurse I had the entire time. Keep this in mind. The doctor came in and announced they were discharging me later in the day. Yay, I was going home. I called my wife and told her to come and get me around midday and bring me some clothes. All I had was the open back gown and I didn't see myself exiting back into the world just wearing that, even though I was certain half of Wilmington had seen my nether regions by then.

The nurse came in and ripped off my tapes and took out the IVs.  My wife came in, looking very bleary eyed. The Nurse gave me the discharge papers for signing and a copy for myself along with a prescription for Vancomycin. He told me a wheelchair would be there soon to roll me out. They never let you walk out of a hospital, they have to ride you to the front door. Heaven forbid you should fall and sue.

My wife left to get the car and bring it to the pickup circle. I waited for my escort. I could see out the window my wife going up the elevator in the parking garage and then after a few minutes our Red Honda Fit winding its way down the levels to the street.

I still waited for my wheelchair lift.

Meanwhile, another lady approached me and set up my home health care.      

And I returned to waiting and waiting for the wheelchair. The nurse told me it would come soon, there had been a little problem getting one.

Time ticked away. I began to feel nervous because I knew Lois would be getting upset at this delay. I had no idea how upset.

The chair finally appeared and whisked me down and out to the front and up to the door of our car. I could see my wife was fuming. I got in and she began ranting about the situation. It was a hot day and she was sweltering. The Valet had harassed her, telling her she couldn't park there. She told him she was picking up her husband, but he kept eyeing her there after. She took off in her fury. She was going out the exit a bit too fast, stopping a little too short behind other traffic, and when we turned down the street to the ramp onto I-95, she missed the ramp somehow and was headed down a street into what is called Happy Valley. Right then there was not a lot of happiness. I told her to pull over and let me drive. I thought in her state she would get us killed or back in the hospital.

Part of the problem was the heat and the fact she hadn't been able to sleep the night before, an ongoing problem she has. She was too tired and upset to be driving. She calmed down after I took the wheel and we headed home thinking I was safe and secure from this blasted C. Diff. How little I knew about the disease.


  1. Do they do 'poop transplants' for this c. diff thingy? (helps restore the flora)

    Maybe Ron could donate some poop...



  2. Looking out your hospital window to where you used to trod those Wilmington streets to work, what a strange feeling that must have been for you Larry. Sorry to hear this is all so stressful on Lois. At lest you have somebody to pick you up from the hospital. Bill doesn't have his license now. Hopefully he'll get it back after his cataract surgery. I've been lucky though because he has always been most supportive during my recent medical situations. Never complained once. I hope the worst is over for you, especially since you've shown half of Wilmington your nether regions. Welcome to the club.