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The Ambiguous Yeti

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The Hospital
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ambiguous_yeti
If I seem really distracted in this entry, sorry, I have a natural disaster documentary on. LOL
I was in the hospital for 3.5 weeks.
Because my air ambulance ride only took about 40 minutes, and my mom and Aunt driving took about 3 hours, I got there long before them.
The stretcher I was on from the ambulance in Saskatoon worked in the air ambulance,  but when I got to Regina, the ambulance I was transfered too meant I had to change stretchers.  Which meant sliding me from the stretcher in the air ambulance to the stretcher from the other ambulance from the airplane! That was scary because with no control of your body, you can't help, especially if something goes wrong! It got my anxiety up!
And then once the paramedics got me to the hospital in Regina, they used a slider board to get me onto my bed.
The way strokes work is that at first you're very child-like, and I wanted my mom... and of course the nurses couldn't get ahold of her - passenger in a car and her phone was in her purse. She didn't heard it. Strokes also mess with your emotions - so basically I spent a boring few hours, crying on and off. Mom finally came, Auntie Yvonne went back to the house to sleep and then drive home the next morning.
I was very happy/relieved when mom came, but because I had such trouble sleeping (because I move a lot in my sleep and I couldn't move myself) I would wake up everytime I wanted to move, and because of my speech deficit I couldn't explain to mom what I was trying to do - so each time I woke up mom, and she would have to go get a nurse to help me move - I had an IV in my right hand (I also had an IV in my leg in the ICU, and when I was in the ER they installed a shunt in one of my shoulders), I also had my feeding tube in my nose down to my stomach, and I had a catheter in (which I didn't know about until they were moving me from the air ambulance to the other ambulance). Finally the nurse had to give me something to help me sleep,  and on her recommendation I was moved to the ward at the end of the main ward, that only had 4 beds and 2 RN's - instead of 10 beds, 2 LPN's and 1 RN. I was also prescribed a sleeping pill (I say pill but it was a liquid thing at first that they could put into my nose tube along with the medication that stopped the horrible acid reflux/heart burn I was having due to the liquid food they were giving me - it was like hospital grade Ensure which I can't drink, it's too high in protein and dairy products for me).
I think I spent about half my time there, mom came everyday (she was given sometime off work - which is better then me, I am still not able to work, I was covering a Maternity leave and almost done my term when this happened. Luckily my boss and everyone was really understanding, but I did lose my job).
It was here I learned to sit up by myself - those safety rails on the side of hospital beds are really handy for hauling yourself up with! They also took out my catheter here, and started what the nurses called, "bladder training". OMGoddess! So many accidents (because the catheter has stretched out your urethra) you literally cannot hold it! And you have to let someone else wipe you.
I was seeing a Speech and Language Pathologist (SLP) about both my speech and my swallow. She moved me to "solid food" - think baby food, but for adults. My nose tube was left in at first, and supplemental feedings were done at night; I was so happy when they finally removed it!!!! There was the provision that if I wasn't eating enough calories, they'd put it back in. As mushy as the food was, I made sure to eat every bite! After my swallow test - they use an x-ray machine and foods mixed with a dye they can see, to make sure food was going into my stomach, not my lungs; my stroke made the flappy thing that covers the lungs when you swallow be slow and lazy - I was able to have a "regular diet", eggs, toast, soup, pasta, that kinda thing. Water and juice were still thicker.
Eventually, when I was sleeping better, they moved me in my own room. Partly because I didn't need the same level of care that the guys who were moved in there needed - the young man who ended up in the bed beside me was there because of an injury by a steel rod hitting his head, and the old man across from me also had a stroke but it had caused diabetes and he was very confused. Like they both had to be tied down, and the old guy hit one of the nurses. It was time for me to move.
My mom came everyday,  my sister and her boys came when they could, one of my former colleagues came Wednesday evenings (she was there for AA), and even one of the mom's of my kids came (she was a nurse in a different ward but she came on her break). My boss couldn't come while I was in the hospital - her mom had died of a brain tumor in the same ward I was in a few weeks before (she did come visit once I was moved to the rehabilitation center).
Oh and my sister's first boyfriend, his current girlfriend, and my oldest nephew came to visit.
The tech guys at mom's work suggested,  and signed out for her, the 10 inch tablet I'm still using (they use them for wheelchair, and handicapped, students). I feel bad, cause I have dropped it twice! I do not drop things!
The hospital has free WiFi, so I was able to watch Netflix.  At first it was all cartoons, the whole going up thing, and then my watching matured as I did.
I was very happy when one of the doctor's from the rehabilitation center came, did her tests, and all I had to do was wait for a bed to open up for me!
They started Physical therapy (PT) - walking, balance; Occupational therapy (OT) - arm and hand strength, as well as hand use; and of course, Speech and Language therapy (SLP), while I was at the hospital,  and continued once I was at the rehabilitation center. Obviously. They added Exercise therapy (ET) while I was at the rehabilitation center, to get all your muscles stronger.
When I was moved into my own room, that was about when mom went back to work, AND that I was seeing double was discovered.
Wheelchair bound I had to go to the Eye Centre where they put a prism on the right lense to help me see. If my eye doesn't continue to improve they're talking about surgery to correct the problem.
-Rhett

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