Feb 24, 2011

Scenes from the hospital

I'm sure I'll never forget my time in the hospital this week, but here are a few photos that might one day jog my memory.

Garry snapped this photo with my cell phone when we arrived in the ER Sunday. I was too delirious to object. I actually look much better than I felt. I shudder to remember....

After surviving the ER, I came up to the third floor. These bad boys were my constant companions. The pump on the left regulated all the medicine. On my first afternoon, I was trying to nap. The humming of the machine was SO annoying, but I eventually got used to it, and by Wednesday (when I was last attached) I hardly noticed it anymore. It had crazy-loud alarms when something malfunctioned. Usually an alarm meant that my IV was about to infiltrate. It wasn't my favorite sound.

This is the chair where my mom or Garry slept overnight when they stayed with me. They were good sports. After two nights, Garry needed a bed.

Several people generously sent me flowers to brighten my room. These are from (L-R, top to bottom): Cindy, my Relief Society president; my sweet extended family in Salt Lake; the Credit Group at Wells Fargo; and my mom. Every time I look at them, I remember the people who love me.

I was determined to shower every day and re-join the human race. It was so refreshing, even if the shower was a tiny curtained cubicle. I fixed my hair every morning in the chair on the right...except for the first morning, when my mom did that for me.

I used waaaaay too many of these (barf bags). Moving quickly to the bathroom with a heavy/awkward/plugged-in IV pole is impossible. Puking in the comfort of my bed is overrated. This dispenser was full when I arrived.

These are some views from my bed. Even though my window overlooked a parking lot and Lowe's, I was grateful for the blue sky and sunshine every day. The natural light was wonderful. My room is almost directly above the ER. The whiteboard showed my nurses and techs every day. My favorite, most compassionate nurse was Katie. Lisa took care of me four nights in a row and was two weeks further along in her first pregnancy than I was. She was also fantastic.

This was my "bling." I had three wrist bands. The white one had my name and medical record number. The red one said I didn't have any drug allergies. The purple one told nurses and techs not to touch my left arm. The PICC line had been in that arm, and after a few attempts, it became apparent that no IVs could be in that arm, either.

So all of my IVs (and there were many) this week were in my right arm. Three were in my hand, rendering it almost useless. The brace helped stabilize the IV. I also used it to straighten my elbow when IVs were placed in the bend of my arm.

I devoted much energy to eating. I have developed a rather unhealthy relationship with food, so every time I eat something I think about what it will taste like when I vomit. But I am working on it. On Monday, I had a President's Day feast of popsicles and Jell-o. By Thursday I could tolerate more regular food. I also enjoyed the addition of a computer to my room.

Because I have now been able to tolerate (read: keep down) food and water for 48 hours, I will be discharged in the morning. After five days in the hospital, I am ready to go home. Can you tell?

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