Friday, December 21, 2007

year in review: september 2007

the month of hospitals

my dad has been undiagnosed with some pretty odd symptoms for quite a while. at first he thought it was celiac sprue, with his inability to digest gluten, but it's much more than that. as a result, my parents went to mayo so he could get checked out. we were going to drive up since it was labor day weekend, but they rented a car & drove down here instead. that way they got to meet s for the first time, not quite a year after we started dating. they stayed the whole weekend & we all helped put together my new mission-style dresser. as the 'rents said, that was a good indicator of what kind of person s is.

i also wasn't feeling so hot while they were here, but mostly tried to suck it up. went to the doctor the week after they left, then on monday the 17th i was in a great deal of pain, called the doc. he had me keep an eye on it, but i was still hurting on wednesday the 19th & when he called back on my lunch break he said that he wanted to admit me to the hospital. i, shocked, said, 'what? you mean now? today?' not at all what i was expecting. it had to be s's birthday & he picked me up, so i could pack a bag & they admitted me around 4pm. a private room was all ready for me & there i stayed for 4 days, discharged that sunday. every 4 hours iv-infusions of super-strong steroids, so it wasn't like i could get a full night's sleep. you'd think that people in the hospital desperately need their rest, but no matter to the hospital staff. i couldn't get more than a couple hours of sleep at a go because they were constantly waking me up to infuse drugs, draw blood, send me down for an x-ray, etc. at least i was ambulatory & they let me take a shower. and s visited me, even at 3am one morning, so he got to know the overnight nurses.

the doctor was gone monday & tuesday and i went back to work as usual. i really needed to get out & stop feeling cooped up. except that i started to have just as much pain as before i was admitted. when doctor t got back on wednesday, he returned my call (his colleague's response to my initial call on monday was wait or go to the emergency room) & had me re-admitted. this time i had to share a room with an 80-something woman named margie who spent the entire night moaning, crying out & calling the nurse. i felt bad for her, but i was completely exhausted. they couldn't give the poor woman anything for her pain because they were trying to get her prepped for surgery by thickening her blood, so i felt guilty asking for anything to knock me out & i just dealt with it. by the time i got back from my infusion in the afternoon, the kind nurses had put in a request for a private room for me & all my things had been moved. another 4 day stay. i was on so many steroids that i was having major mood swings & crying at the slightest thing. (it didn't help that the 1st time i was admitted my father was having a needle biopsy to check if he had lymphoma). the doc put me on an anti-depressant to counteract the side effects of the steroids.

btw, the majority of the 8 days i spent in hospital was on a clear liquid diet. i had lost 12lbs in a week before i was admitted & that certainly didn't help me maintain or keep from losing more weight. first time i've ever had a problem keeping on weight!

next up: recovery

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