Monday, September 22, 2008

Missives from SMH Ward 3 Orthopedics - SUNDAY EDITION

Originally emailed
Sunday, September 14, 2008

Hello all, just a quick update from the happy ward.

First off about me, I'm doing well. My creatine level from my kidneys is down to 180 today from the 260 that it was at its highest point. That means I'm recovering well with the IV fluids, likely won't need to see a kidney specialist, and there likely is no possible outlying kidney disease. Such a relief! It also looks like I can get the greenlight from my specialist to have my Remicade treatment this week. Still no word as to when I'll go home, Remicade is an immune-suppressing drug and with me having been so sick I can see Dr Prest keeping me here a couple extra days to ensure I'm safe to go home. At least there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel and it's not me sitting in oncoming traffic in the wrong lane. :)

It's Sunday in the hospital which means that despite any quiet going on, there's still the usual comings & goings, but it means that people with free time think visitors' hours are just a rough guideline. Started off this morning with getting my morning morphine shot - god that's a lovely phrase to say! - and watching some man with a coffee wander through my ward room looking at one of the patients asleep, then eyeing up my bed and my breakfast tray. The nurse and I are looking and she's saying, "Can I help you?" while this old duffer tells her something about the man next to me in bed B and his fractured hip, that if he wakes up he might not know where he is. Well I learned that last night when he'd wake up and say to me, "Hello there... are you my nurse?"

In bed C is a cool lady named Beth recovering from a third reconstruction for breast cancer and double mastectomy. She's my hero; she was up the day after surgery doing her own self-care and today we went out to the patio off my nurse's station for twenty minutes or so. It was great to be in the sun for a few minutes, it felt so good out there. Her story rocks, I totally want to send in something to the breast cancer society about her, she's just awesome.

Then we have bed D. In bed D we have Mr Youngish-Mid-Thirty-ish Man who has somehow broken his leg and needed surgery. The bit of the story I caught while pretending to listen to my iPod was that he was "doing something stupid and it caught up" to him. So I'm not sure what the stupid is, but somehow it appears to be terminal. But the best part? The whinging. Oh my god, you'd think they'd lit his foot on fire he claimed to be in such pain. He was whining and moaning and arguing that he was ready to crawl down to emergency for painkillers. The nurse's answer: "So you can move your foot?" They ended up calling the surgeon out of the OR to come look at him, to find that by cutting and loosening his dressing that it felt better, but no morphine. The surgeon was pissed. "I just cut into someone else an hour ago, I have to go back to surgery and I will check on you later. You can have Tylenol, but you don't need morphine." Then the surgeon muttered back down the hall about having been called out of the OR for this. Pissed. Me too!!

Then... oh yes, it gets better... he calls his brother at 10:00pm to come back because he doesn't think he's being taken care of properly. At midnight I realized there's still some strange man in my room and I complained that it's past visiting hours. The excuse? "We're concerned that he's not in a warm and caring enough environment." Please, the nurses aren't going to hold his hand because he has a pain in his widdle leg. I was ready to go over and ask him in my nice teacher voice, "Are you dying? If so, could you do it quieter? I can't sleep. Nurse! Can I have my morphine please??"

Oh yes, I make sure to ask quite distinctly that I want my morphine shot... I'll rub it in if I have to. I'm on prednisone, I can say whatever I want, it's the steroids talking. Oh that is going to work on so many levels for the next few weeks. Anthea! I have a new slogan...

Christ, it was better when I was outnumbered by the dementia patients who were strapped into bed each night. At least they weren't out roaming the halls and only jammering in polish.

Alright kids, this has been fun but it's time for the morphine to come around (I don't need it, I just want to remind Mr Terminally Stupid that I'm getting it and he's not) and mom to take the laptop back home and send my missives.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


what has landed you in the hospital? I hope you are well & feeling the morphine ;-)