Sunday, January 25, 2009

Some Stories

I'll leave the scary stuff for another time. Or maybe I just wont write about the scary stuff at all. I don't really know how much danger I was in, or how close to the finish line I was, but there was a lot of scary language and scary faces whizzing around the emergency room. So instead, some funny stuff, or stuff that I found funny:
At some point during my stay at Chateau Marin General Hospital, my organs were doing kooky things. My liver enzymes were up, whatever that means, and my gall bladder did not seem to be functioning. Doctors kept poking around my stomach asking me, "doesn't this hurt?" and I would say, "no, I think the blood work is taking you for a ride." So the first funny thing, although it was alarming at the time, was when a doctor came in and introduced himself as my surgeon (!) and told me that, for now, I would be keeping my gall bladder and they would wait to cut me open to see what was going on. Its nice to have someone come in and tell you you can keep your organs. Then, the regular doctor came in and was speaking very carefully about my liver, and finally suggested that I might have liver damage due to the SIX COCKTAILS a day it said I have in my chart. I think there was some confusion about drinks per day, and drinks per week, but apparently someone had written in my chart that I have six drinks a day. My mom and I started cracking up, and informed the good doctor that, although I would love nothing more than to start swilling wine at ten in the morning, I do not have six drinks a day, unless I'm in hawaii with the rum and the mai tai mix, and then I get close. He seemed relieved that I was not a lush, but his liver theory was out the window. Then, an infectious disease doctor came in (and, by the way, if you want a private room when you go to the hospital, get an infectious disease; I had my own room for 6 or 7 days. I couldn't really enjoy it, but my visitors did.) and she was this beautiful blonde who poked around my gall bladder again wondering why I wasn't in any pain, and then pronounced that I "must have a very high threshold for pain" at which my mom and I cracked up again. I informed her that I start whining the minute I get tired or thirsty, and that I don't have a high threshold for anything but naps. She was sure that I had passed a gall stone without knowing it, and that that was the cause of by crazy blood work. I have to say, I think I know my body pretty well, and they did a CAT scan of my organs, and a gall bladder test and all this stuff, but I kept telling them that there was nothing wrong with my organs, I felt fine, and sure enough, the blood work got more and more normal as the days went on, and I got to keep my pancreas and all the rest of the stuff in there.
Then there are the humiliating, but funny-in-retrospect things. On day nine, a woman came in my room to survey me on my treatment in the hospital, and I told her that no one had offered to give me a shower. Nine days, one lame page bath, no shower. I felt skanky. A few minutes later, a woman comes in and gets me up and I inch along with my walker to the shower room, and she helps me onto to shower seat and scrubs me like a dog, washes my hair, and I just cried and cried. I was like a drunk person, telling her I loved her, that she was my favorite person in the whole world, that she was star of the day, etc. etc. I was just so happy to be clean, even if it meant a total stranger cleaning my butt. Then there was a poo incident, but I wont go into detail about that. You're welcome.
These are the lessons I learned that I feel the need to share: If you ever have a fever of 103 or more that is not really responding the medication after three days, go to the hospital. If you are feverish and have the shakes and chills, you have a bacteria in you, and you should go to the hospital or doctor's office. Kids like going up and down in the beds at the hospital. The salad at the hospital is not half bad, and they give you chips. Three showers in one month is not enough.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Incredible, Monica. Can't believe all of this happened to you, and I am so glad you are better.