Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Throwing Up and other Adventures of a Hospital Stay

Staying overnight in a hospital is not as exciting as "Night at the Museum", neither is it as peaceful as staying at a country bed and breakfast. Hospital stays are full of craziness and a warped sense of time passage - I've learned you always have to try to be alert and ready for anything! When we entered the world of UCH early yesterday morning I found my self repeating an "I don't want to be here. I don't want to be here" mantra. Quickly though I have accepted that we are here - an acceptance that was made easier by having a general idea of what to expect and knowing that this will be a short hospital stay. This is quite a bit better than a hospital stay where you never know when you will leave the twilight zone aka Benny's Birth at University of Utah Hospital July-August 2004 (a 2 week hospital stay).

Tammy had a rough first night as the lovely nerve block began wearing off. Today she has been working to get pain under control. Tammy has been eating well today (breakfast and lunch) and has been able to take some oral medications without throwing up!(I'm so glad because although I enjoy a friendly game of Dodgeball, I do not enjoy dodging projectile vomitting like I had to do 3 times yesterday). After lunch Tammy was able to sit up on the side of the bed for the first time with the assistance of myself and one physical therapist. Remembering our last experience of sitting up for the first time, I immediatley got the vomit basin ready but was thrilled not to need it.

Dang it! Our vomitless day has just been blemished! As I was writing this blog at 2:30 PM, Tammy threw up but luckily I was sitting next to her bed with a basin at the ready under my chair and I'm happy to report that I was able to catch it all like a baseball in a mitt or maybe more like something on that old Nickelodean show with the green slime?

Tammy says her day nurse hates us today. I think Tammy thinks this mostly because of an incident this morning when the PCA medicine machine started beeping because it was low. (if you have ever stayed in a hospital - you know how annoying these machines can be and how long it can take for nursing staff to take care of them) I let the CNA know who was in the hall, he said he would tell the nurse, I came back in the room and pushed the silence button and waited and then it started beeping again. As I was pushing the silence button the second time when the nurse walked in and said aomething like "no, oh no that's a bad idea" and I pushed the button anyway. We got in a little discussion because she said things like "If you turn it off - I won't know" and "we can't have you messing with the drug machine". I said things like "I already told your assistant about it", "it's only a silence button, I'm not going to mess with anything", "I live here and I'm going to press the button because I don't know how long it will take someone to come in" and "the beeping noises make Tammy spasm". Anyway I don't really think the nurse hates us because she smiled and it didn't seem like a mean smile to me. Tammy says I had more than just one heated discussion with her nurse today, but this is the only one I remember - I guess one was about getting the right amount of meds. I think it's just the nurse's personality you know, every nurse like every person is different and nurses are people too. Tammy says her nurse today reminds her of Sam on ER; Sam is the one who has a son named Alex and dated John Stamos and on the ER series finale she got a nice red car for her birthday. So, if you know this character from ER, you will have a pretty good idea of who our nurse is today.

I will write of our further adventures at the hospital in another post.....


a.j.heilmann said...

Dustin I knew there was an athlete in you somewhere!! Maybe someday you'll have the pleasure of playing catch with sporting equipment instead of Tammy's "bodily functions", as she calls it. And way to take charge of your environment and keep your cool too! It must be really hard to be in your position, but luckily you are well practiced.

Tam, I'm sorry to hear about the nausea although it sounds like its not nearly as bad as last time! Are you able to keep your spirits up?!? Not getting too down I hope. Are you alert or still in cloud land...C A N Y O U H E A R M E ? Just remember to keep your eyes focused ahead and know what no matter how low you feel now its only upward from here :)

I am teaching tomorrow until 12 but we are going to try to come visit in the afternoon. Is there anything we can bring that you or Dustin might need? Love you lots!!!


Unknown said...

Glad to hear you got to sit up! I will be prepared for the projectile vomit, but let's hope that doesn't happen because we could get a chain reaction going - and I don't think Dustin will appreciate having to catch two digested lunches :-) I am ready with the stories and computer skills and I look forward to diving into reading too! See you tomorrow!

Kristen Moffitt said...

Hi Guys- I pray the recovery time is quick and you get out of the hospital and home ASAP! It's always better to recover at home... no beeps! Hang in their lady, you know you can do this- you are so tough- nothing will stop you as I'm sure anyone who knows you knows. Plus with your husband by your side, kids well cared for and God in your court-it's just a matter of time- so again we prat for quick recovery! Love you. We will be in Colorado Aug 2nd-11th, I sure hope you guys will be around, love to see you and meet your husband and kids. Love ya

Lowell and Julie said...

We're glad your there with Tammy! We know the time thing too. Julie and I have had many experiences with family members. We were at Boulder Community Hospital during Julies Aunts surgery. It was during a Christmas snow storm a few years back. Just know each passing second,minute, hour, brings you closer to getting out!
The kids are getting ready for bed. Desty had a great dinner, she eat a bunch of Minnesota tuna noodle hot dish. Watermelon for desert. The kids are so good and fun. Thanks for trusting us in their care. Tammy take care! Lowell and Julie

Dustin said...

Tammy has been able to catch up on some much needed sleep this evening. She even slept through about 35-40 minutes of beeping. I only had to push the call button twice and push the silence button 13-14 times (I was trying to keep count so I could write it here but I started losing count toward the end). Tammy is very tired because she didn't sleep well last night.

While I was typing this comment,Tammy threw up again and had a nosebleed. Am I sharing too much information again? Tammy is really doing very well. Really she is - this stuff just happens when they cut you open and put a big, metal ball and socket in your hip. Am I being too graphic again? Anyway, Good Night Wednesday :-)

Dustin said...

Now Tammy has a humidifier hooked up to her oxygen - it sounds like there's a waterfall in our hospital room - kinda fun (I guess :-)