I had arrived home from my Endoscopy and I felt pretty well. My Home Health Nurse, Leo, showed up in the afternoon and ran the usual check of my vitals. He looked at me and said,
"do you know you have a 101 fever?"
No, I didn't. He took out his phone and called the doctor. He got done talking then told me I was to immediately go to the emergency ward. They thought something had happened during my procedure, like a tear or infection.
So we headed down I-95, my wife driving, but this time we passed Wilmington. I had decided I wanted to go to Christiana Hospital instead. Wilmington and Christiana Hospitals are all part of Christiana Care, but the big complex at Christiana is the mother ship.
We came around and up in front of the emergency ward. I was struggling a bit, but there was no one coming to help. Some people were standing around, but none moved to do anything. This was ticking Lois off and she was none to quiet about it. I went on in and she left to park the car.
I went to the check in window, but the lady there told me to go over to a window to my right. A guy came over and took my info. he told me to go through a gate into the back just as Lois arrived. We did as he said and I was ushered into a little exam room where further questions were asked and then we were sent into the main waiting room.
There we sat doing what the room was for -- waiting. Lois has no
patience for waiting. She was complaining, in no uncertain terms, and finally got up and went to inquire. Of course, this did little good, but finally my name was called and I was once again in a little curtained exam room, where it was decided to admit me. They wheeled me off in a wheelchair and Lois took some of my things and left for home.
Different hospital, I was now entrapped in Christiana Hospital instead of Wilmington Hospital, but other than the location everything else was familiar. The bed was the same padded prison with the same alarms and the same discomforts. Like before the phone was out of my reach and the window was too distant to look out at the grounds. The TV was the same with its difficult to use control screen. There was a different set of nurses and aids and technicians, but they did the same procedures. One of them put an IV in my left arm, but they did not put a second one in my other arm this time. I guess we can count that as different. Each morning the vampire came by to draw vials of blood, although this one did have a sense of humor. I was injected in the stomach twice a day as before and fed that evil Vancomycin four times a day.
And the raging diarrhea was back, I was having my second bout with Clostridium difficile, or C. Diff as they called it for convenience sake. So I was wearing only the very exposing thin gown with the open back and riding the bedpan once more.
By the third day, once again, the diarrhea had lessened and they were allowing me to walk over to a commode chair when my bowels moved. It was all routine to me now.
One thing was definitely different and welcome. This nurse asked if I would like to bathe. Oh, yes, indeed I would. I had spent 5 days in Wilmington Hospital without any such thing as a bath or shower. Now I pictured a scene from Seinfeld (the whole world can be defined by Seinfeld scenes). George was visiting his mother in the hospital and behind him was a curtain hiding the other occupant of the room. Suddenly a beautiful nurse appeared saying she had come to give the patient a spong bath. You saw just the dark silhouettes behind the curtain.
This is what I pictured in my mind: A beautiful nurse comes in with a washpan and strips off my gown to wash me with a sponge. Ah, the kind of fantasy I had when a teenager. Of course, the reality was not quite living up to the imagination. A nurse, who was perfectly fine looking, did come in with a washpan, but she continued into the bathroom. She then pushed a chair into there and came and got me out of bed.
I waddled into the bathroom and the washpan of hot water and a washcloth were in the sink before the chair. I was left alone then to wash myself. There was the hot water and soft washcloth and body wash and lotion on the counter. I stripped and did that warm wash ever feel good. There was even a glass holding a fresh toothbrush, toothpaste and mouth wash for me, which I made use of and then I dried off and slipped on a clean, fresh gown that was hung on the back of the door.
I called out I was finished, but got no answer, so I walked out to the bed myself. My room was empty of anyone else, but as soon as I sat on the bed alarms rang out and the nurse quickly appeared.
Each shift change the nurse that had been in charge would come in to introduce the next head nurse. On the fourth morning, at 7:00 AM when this occurred I was introduced to a male nurse, the only male nurse I had that week. I took this as a good omen. I had one male nurse during my imprisonment at Wilmington Hospital and he was the one on duty with I was released. Could it happen again?
To Be Continued...