Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Another sun-shiny morning at Kettering Hospital!

Im sorry these updates really arent as timely as they should be, and for this I apologize. Take comfort in knowing that my mom now has 30 myspace friends. Ill stick with the same bullet point update as I did the last time because it keeps me focused. While I know you all love a good long, rambling post, Im so incredibly tired right now. Every day I say that Im going to "Cool it" with the visitors" and work on resting, my breathing excercises, and every night Ill call a couple friends to hang out and things get crazy!!

Speaking of Crazy, Joni, my chemo nurse at Romer's stopped by after work this week. Ang, John & Jill were over and Joni was giving me some of the finer details of this talc procedure thats going to happen before they remove the chest tube. Apparently its very painful and its not uncommon for grown men to scream through out the process, and after they insert the talc into the body, they physically "roll you around" to get the talc to spread out and cover all of the open areas of the space.

"So you're kind of like a 'Fix-A-Flat'!!" John added. Ill admit it. It was funny.
Why yesterday was both awesome and awful:

Im going to tell you why yesterday was both awesome and awful in bulletpoint form because during the twenty seventh time I told this story to a visitor or over the phone, I felt serious scatterbrainage going on, and this is truly the only way I think I can tell this story and hold it all together. And you know I still wont do it, but whatever.

  • John came up early Saturday after he got off work and was there the whole day and stayed in the hide-a-bed. I had my chest tube inserted and was pretty much a mess all afternoon and all night. I was tethered to five uncomfortable units at this point, six if you count the remote control that gets equally tangled up with the oxygen tube, the chest tube, the IV port, the cardiac monitors and the BP/blood oxygen gaget that has been taped to my finger for four straight days now.
  • Anyhoo, I get my pain meds ever three hours. These are happy times for me. The initial push gives my body freedom to do so many AMAZING feats of talent such as coughing (ooohhhh!), blowing my nose (Ahhhhh!!) and...wait for it.....Scooting off the bed to go to the bathroom!! (WOW!!)
  • So I get my midnight meds and tell the nurse and her assistant that come three o'clock, they'll definitely need to come back because the throbbing side pain from the incision requires the pain meds every possible moment I can get them. Easy enough.
  • 3am rolls around and luckly the NA pops in to check in on me and I remind her to tell the nurse that I do in fact, need my pain meds. Sure! No problem!
  • I dose off and around 4am, nurse strolls in with those pain meds. Im sleeping anyway. As soon as she gives them to me, Im already over it.
  • Sunday night, moms here, same exact thing. Tell the NA Ill need that visit around 3, 3am the NA shows up, I mention that I need my pain meds, and one big difference, Nurse X doesnt show up. Until 6:30 AM!!! What the fudge?
  • So mom and I are spineless wimps who talk a mean game from 6:00-6:30, then when she finally strolls in, we kindly smile as she gives a completely lame excuse for ignoring me for 6 hours -- "Oh, Sorry, I got distracted, someone was having trouble breathing..." We smile and look at each other, wide eyed, flaring our nostrils, and wait till she leaves before we lose it. "REALLLLY. Someone having trouble BREATHING you say? Didnt have a minute and twenty seconds to push my pain meds? The problem was that Nurse X didnt emit a fraction of the sunshine that every other nurse in this place has, so we both chalked her up to a Carrie who was going to lock us in my room blasting the fire hydrant and spewing poisionous chemicals all over the two of us if we publically spoke out.
  • We settled on an oh-so friendly tattle-tale and was assured we dont HAVE to use any nurse and that we wouldnt have Nurse X and left it at that.
  • Somewhere along the line, it was suggested to me that I get set up with one of those "Pain Pumps" where I would have the ability to "control" my pain meds throughout the night. You know what I'd REALLY like to do throughout the night? SLEEP. Yeah, Sleep and have my nurse show up to give me my medicine once.
  • Im tired and ok the pump, its delivered to me after 11p and Im half awake while they're giving me the instructions. I actually have to sleepily flag down the nurse as she's leaving my room because after 12 seconds Ive already lost the hand pump. I have bad feeling about this. The only bad feeling I had was the severe grogg-head I was feeling in the morning because I completely slept through the night without using my pump ONCE all night....but the steady stream of pain meds just completely ran over me like a truck.
  • I had to be honest and tell them I wanted the shots again - I really didnt want the pain pump in the first place.
  • Im feeling terrible as I try to get up to pee, and when I sit up, I feel some easiness with my breathing and decide that im going to get up, spend 45 minutes untangling this mess, and actually sit upright in a chair for about NINE HOURS!! Thats the first time I was up out of the bed in (no joke) eight days. Im embarassed about that, but Im slowly working on my mobility. My stomach is not doing so great. Lets just say Ive been on pain meds and you know what pain meds can do your digestive tract.
  • When I first sit in my chair, Im quite proud of myself. I ordered a fruit/yougurt parfait and was working on eating that under the watchful, cheering eyes of my mother and the nutritionist who are encouraging me to put down spoonful after spoonful. (I havent eaten much at all, Ill give them that) Sitting up apparently was having some weird affects on my body. I told them repeatedly that "My stomach didnt feel really good", and about five minutes after the nutritionist left, yours truly yacked up breakfast. FANTASTIC!
  • Still not feeling that hot, I stay in the seat, and three nurses come in to swap out the chest tube case below (TIME WARP....the photo below is of the SECOND case they put in, and its already over 600 ml, which is why they're not taking it out any time soon, since the docs want me to hae just 150 ml drained in 24 hours. The 600 below pretty much happened this morning scrrreeewed!)
  • The nurse is leaning over me trying to snip off the tube at the bottom and I dont know if it was the proximity of the nurse or what, but I felt a little clausterphobic and quickly blurt out, "I think Im going to be sick".....the poor nurse throws the trash can over her shoulder and onto my lap and lapse into one of those full body convulsion scream vomits that I seriously dont know how not ONE of those nurses got ill!
    I apologized up and down but AGAIN!!! IM SO SORRY!!!
  • Thats why yesterday was awful - but it was awesome because I ran out of t-shirts to wear and lets just say I got a COLOSSAL hookup from my old alma mater - Lots of spirit wear to get me through the next few days - love you Johnnie!!
Cousin Sue, this one's for you! Below is the picture I took while mom was talking to you so you totally know what she looked like! I know! I love technology!!!

Sorry, I know this post sucked - I thought it would be much better!

Tomorrow is Thursday, and my goal is to get off my butt for the day, and get this chest tube out!!! Id like to be feeling better by the weekend!!!


Anonymous said...

Hey Fort--thanks for the post and am always thinking of you:) Just take it little by little, you will get through this! Love, Jami

Anonymous said...

Hey Melissa -
I can't begin to imagine what you are going through with all of this. You truly are an inspiration to those of us with less severe health issues. Your positive attitude and sense of humor is a light to the world! Keep trusting in God - He is still in the healing business today! My prayers are with you every day. Hugs, love and blessings....
Chalk board buddy

Anonymous said...

I just love the new wigs ! Those gals, Jeannie, Jan, Meridith did a great job selecting those !!!!!
I still like my bright green mylar wig, but since you are not a Northmont Person, I can see that you would prefer something other than GREEN !!!
See you soon Girlie !
Love & Hugs, to all, Auntie Helen