Tuesday, October 18, 2016

What is Hopefully My Final Escape

Yippee ki yay, I'm back on the bedpan again!

But by the fourth day I was no longer suffering that old C. Diff diarrhea. I was actually feeling much better and this was the day they let me bathe myself.

More importantly to me, was at the 7:00 AM staff change. My night nurse brought in the new day shift nurse as they did at every shift change. It was a man, the one and only male nurse I was to have at Christiana Hospital after a long line of female nurses. I immediately perked up, not because I had something for male nurses, but because when I had been in Wilmington Hospital I had but one male nurse as well and he came on duty the morning of my last day there.  Could history repeat and this be my day of discharge from Christiana? I took this as a promising omen.

I began my morning with a series of doctors paying me a visit, Manny, Moe and Jack; or was it Moe, Larry and Curly? No, one
was a lady from the Infectious Disease Center because yes, I had an infectious disease, one they told me was very much so. Anyone coming into my room first had to don a gown and gloves as a precaution. She explained to me that I could get the C. Diff again going forward, it was a stubborn disease and it would forever be a part of my life, like some sneaky criminal lurking in the shadows of my bowels. There was no real cure either and nothing I could do or eat that would prevent it if it choose to strike again. All this because my Primary Physician had put me on an antibiotic for sniffles. Curse you, Cefdiner!  (That's the antibiotic, not my doctor.)

Not long after she left, Dr. Wetherill popped in. He was the attending physician for the hospital. Because of the similarity in the names,  I kept wanting to call him Mr. Weatherbee, the principal from the Archie Comics. Actually, he even looked a bit like Mr. Weatherbee. He told me they were considering discharging me either today or on Saturday. He asked me how I felt about it.

I told him I would love to go home today.

Did I feel strong enough to go home?

Yes, I felt strong enough.

He left with a "We'll consider it."

Consider it well, in fact, put on your Nikes and just do it. 

I called my wife and told her I might be coming home and I'd call her when I knew anything for sure.

Sometime around noon the nurse came in and told me I was being discharged in about a half hour. He took out my IV, which entailed more ripping off of tape and hair. He noted who ever put it on was a bit of a sadist. It used to be a sign of virility for a man to have hairy arms and chest and I guess I was a viral man, but boy it hurt to have tape ripping off that hair. If I want a wax job, I'll go to a salon.

I called my wife again and the phone rang and rang until the voice mail came on. I hung up and tried again. It took 4 tries before my wife answered. She sounded weary and said she had been trying to unclog the vacuum. She sounded so upset I didn't even think to ask her to bring me fresh clothes. I fished through a paper bag on my counter and put on what I had worn into the hospital, shorts and a T-shirt, but still better than the open-backed gown.

I didn't want a repeat of when we left Wilmington Hospital and she  had to wait in the heat because they couldn't find a wheelchair to bring me down. I told her when the wheelchair came I wanted her to go down with me and then get the car. However, things did not go so smoothly this time either.

When the nurse came in to go over my discharge instruction and have me sign the release paper, I asked if he would order the Vancomycin (oh yum, I get to drink that poison four times a day even when I get home) from the pharmacy so we could pick it up on the way out. He did so. He came back and said it would take an hour to prepare, we could wait in the room where we had TV or we could go down and wait in the hallway outside the pharmacy. We choose to stay in the room.

My wife does not have much patience with waiting. The hour seemed to never end and she was getting more and more annoyed, but then the nurse came in and said the hour had passed and he was ordering up a wheelchair.

My escort appeared right behind him, a young lady named Poon. The three of us set off for my exit. Poon then rolled me into the pharmacy and Lois left us to get the car.

Poon assisted in my buying the bottle, which cost $124 because it was not covered by any insurance, and then she rolled me out to the large window fronting the pick up area. 

There we waited and waited, but then a man came up and told her he would watch me. He was the traffic director for the pickup place. Since it was a nice day, he rolled me outside and there we waited and waited.

And waited.

It was like the Philadelphia Airport, car after can pulled in to pick up the recently discharged, but no sign of our red Fit. We waited there, although the guy went off to aid some other people occasionally, while I grow more and more panicked.

I know she walks slow, but even at her pace she should have reached Parking Lot B long ago and it was not a long drive from there to here. Where was she? Christiana Care is a large complex with multi-lanes throughout the parking lot, perhaps she was lost. Or what if she went to the wrong exit?

I asked the guy if there were other entry/exits. At first he said no, but after a bit of prodding it seemed there were at least four: the heart division, but that was just down the driveway in our sight and she would have had to drive past where we were to get there. There was the Emergency Room, where we had originally entered, but I really didn't think she would go there. Then their were two other smaller points.

What if she went to one of those? How would I contact her if she was sitting at pint B and I was at Point A? For that matter, how would I contact her if she were lost in the parking lots? The guy asked about a cell phone. First of all, I thought mine had gone home with her after they admitted me. Second, I didn't think she ever set up her phone when we got new ones a couple months previously, and if she had and had it in her purse, I wasn't sure she would answer it.

It was growing later and I pictured myself sitting alone in my wheelchair as the sun set. I was really wondering how we would ever hook up again when suddenly she came around the bend into the pickup area.

She was pretty frazzled.

We left and I again told her to pull over and let me drive.

She was very upset and blamed the problem on construction they were doing at the hospital. She couldn't turn up the drive she wanted and then she did get lost in the confusion of lots, eventually ending up out on the main road heading toward I-95. She turned around and still had trouble finding the proper lane to the pickup point. 

I kidded about it being like the mazes they use to feature in the children's books, like "Highlight's" and "Jack and Jill" when we were kids.

She didn't really see the humor in it.

I didn't care. I was heading home again, hopefully for good this time. I had no desire to return back to either hospital.

1 comment:

  1. Lar,
    What an adventure you're having! An "adventure" I wouldn't wish on anyone. Two things, next time you're at Christiania as your wheelchair escort Poon her last name. I hope it's not "Tang". If so that alone would be worth your adventure. Oh wait, nothing is worth what you're going through now but at least you can get a good laugh out of her unfortunate name. The other thing, you HAVE to get your cell phones operating. That's what they're for Lar, situations like you were in trying to connect with Lois. I remember when I was waiting for you to pick me up in Philly and I was waiting outside on Chestnut Street wondering where you where. I tried to call you on your cell phone but you HAD IT TURNED OFF. Lar, here's a bulletin - you can use the cell phone for more than just an emergency phone to call a towing service in case your car breaks down. Use that phone to connect. You should try it, makes life a LOT easier.
    I just tried to call you this morning because I read your Facebook post that your Ci-Diff may have returned. I hope you're not making a return visit to the hospital.