Thursday, December 6, 2007

Demerol Daze and Zombie Nurses

Every day brings some improvement in my condition, and later this afternoon I will go to the doctor to have the staples removed from my belly and for a check-up, etc. I was going to post a picture of the three staples in my navel and call it "Temporary Triple Navel Piercing", but it was really much too gruesome to share. ;-) The surgeon did that laproscopic surgery to remove what was left of my appendix and whatever else he did in there (I'll get more details today, I hope), so instead of one large incision there are three small ones. I'm uncertain that there is any advantage to that because the pain has been equal to if not greater than the one large incision I got when having babies and a hysterectomy. Maybe it has to do with the nature of the illness/injury and other factors.

One weird irony is that when my mom was 43 her appendix ruptured, but she ended up in the hospital for a whole month because of it. I think I can thank improved surgical and antibiotic treatments for my much shorter hospital stay. Twenty-one years of medical advancements have made a lot of difference!

I'm sure the nurses hated me because I was very whiny and tearful. But I guess they are used to such things and don't think about it so much. Well, it really does suck to be in constant pain and have the other inconveniences and indignities one suffers when incapacitated in a hospital bed. My IV was in the crook of my right arm so that every time I bent my arm the IV machine beeped and beeped and beeped and beeped. Very annoying for us all, but apparently that was the best vein they could find for it. Both of my hands are bruised from where they played pin the needle to the vein to draw blood for testing white blood counts, etc. I have those 'rolling' veins that means one stick usually won't do the trick. Add to that the 30+ Demerol/Phenergan injections in my hips over the five days and it's enough to really call myself a human pin cushion. On Saturday my first IV finally blew so they had to put a new one in the soft underside of my forearm. Talk about painful! But at least I could move without that incessant beeping.

I had lots of weird dreams during my demerol daze and dozing. One was about a black hole sucking us all up and some others I just can't recall now. But they were weird for sure. At one point I was half awake and a nurse was there I and thought she was a zombie. Her hands were ice cold and smelled like a morgue, or at least what I thought a morgue would smell like. It could have been myself that I was smelling because it had been a few days since I'd had more than a slight sponge bath, but who knows? She also had on what I'd call zombie makeup: dark, exaggerated eyeliner and eye shadow. She was a fine nurse, I'm sure, but in my demerol daze she really did frighten me a little.

There are some other events that are just too graphic and gross to share. But I will say that my psyche is still somewhat bruised by that whole experience. However, I am extremely thankful for modern medicine that has saved my life again. If I were a cat, I'd have used up about half of my nine lives now. I'm also very thankful for my husband who apparently still loves me even though he's seen me at my absolute worst. I've been a lot of trouble for him over the years, but he doesn't seem fazed by it. Yet. I really hope not to ever put him through such things again.

So that's just a little summary of my last week. I hope everyone else's has been much less eventful and stressful. And let's all say a prayer of thanks for the modern technologies that we sometimes take for granted. The only worry now is how in the world are we going to pay for it? ;-)

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