Monday, 24 September 2012

Feeling the love!

Isn't it lovely when you receive positive messages from folk?  Given my recent hospital stay, and my birthday, I am feeling somewhat overwhelmed by the good wishes I have recently received.

But, let me start from the beginning.

As you know, I had to go into hospital for an iron infusion last week.  For whatever reason, I was required to stay overnight.  Don't know why, it's a 3 hour procedure...  But, anyway, stay I did.

My wonderful friend Marg came to my aid again and dropped me off at Ashford hospital.  I bought her a birthday gift and left it in her car.  She is a mad tiger freak so I bought her a resin one, about 30cm long.  She phoned me the next day to tell me she loved it, and had named it, well, Fluffy's real name!  Sweet!

Anyway, I digress.  So, I got to the hospital, and was delighted after a phone call to find I didn't have to pay the $250 admission (my health fund declared I only have to pay it once a calendar year, and i had already paid it this year).  Nice.  I had not long sat down (after a loo visit) and was called through.  They have a couple of elderly ladies who volunteer their time, to assist patients to their rooms.  A lovely use of people, I feel.  I might look at this when I get a bit older.

The poor lady, though, dropped me off in a crowded room with people waiting for day procedures, then just as I got squished into a corner, came back to get me to take me up to the ward.  She had misread my paperwork.

Up we go, and I share a lift with an elderly lady in a wheel chair being pushed by a lady my age, and followed by an elderly gent.  We proceed down a hall and I glance into rooms which I think look rather nice.

Around the corner we pass the nurses station, and head for the room directly across the hall from their desk, the same room as the other occupants of the elevator are headed to.  Oh.  So much for a private room.  oh well.

I go sit on the bed, and eventually a nurse comes and checks I am who I should be, says she'll be back soon.  Ok.  I sit and twiddle my thumbs.  The room is  minuscule.  And drab.  And in need of some sprucing up.  Sigh.  the lady next door has a recliner beside her bed.  Nothing will fit beside my bed.  The bedside table is all.  A chair like the doctor's surgery waiting room type chairs, with wooden arms, is sitting at the end of my bed, but in direct view of the door.  So I sit, rather uncomfortably on the side of the bed.  I am not sure what I am supposed to do with anything, and there is no table across my bed i can pull up to read either.  So I just sit and wait.

Lunch arrives.  I had ordered fish, chips, pears and custard.  I got it.  The fish was dry and the chips soggy but I was hungry so I ate all the fish.  It would have been rather lovely were it not so dry.  Dessert was left (the dry fish was sticking around my band so I couldn't eat any  more).  The nurse later put it in the fridge for me.

Eventually someone comes along and takes my blood pressure.  It's high.  It always is in hospitals.  A lovely irish nurse comes to find a vein to insert the catheter for the IV.  Despite me drinking heaps of water before arriving, she can't find one.  She has a go in one elbow but is unsuccessful.  She goes off to find help.

More waiting.  I sit in the chair.  Put myself on view.  Get out my ipad and start reading.  Another nurse comes along and finds a vein in my right hand.  It'll hurt, says she, but it's the best we can do.  It doesn't really hurt.  But because they tape it up, I can't do much with that hand.  And I'm right handed.  Great.  I head to the loo and use one hand to pull the dacks down etc.  Lucky I wore jeans that are loose and stretchy... hmmm.

Back to the bed and wait a bit.  Eventually they come to get me started.  I ask if they can pull the table across my bed so I can read or do something.  I lift the head of the bed and try to get comfy.  I pull out the ipad and my crime book and settle in.

But they don't pull cross my table so I prop the ipad up in my lap.  The blood pressure cuff is put on one arm (bloody hell those things hurt) and the oxygen monitor clipped to my finger, and the IV is hooked up to my other hand.

I'm left helpless in the bed for 3 hours, without the table, with my ipad propped awkwardly in my lap.  Sigh.  Oh well, I settle in to watch Megamind.

That keeps me occupied.  I have to keep taking out an ear piece so they can take my temperature.  My blood pressure is still high, as is my temp.  No surprises there.  When the movie finishes I take out my crime magazine and try to read some of that.  And go of Facebook, and chat to SOL.  But it's hard to do anything without the use of my right hand.  So I lay back.

Eventually I need to pee. So I ask the nurse to give me a hand.  She has to take the IV machine off the bed pole and hook it up to a wheeled unit.  Takes a bit of untangling and stuff but we manage.  Off I go to the loo.  When I come back, the nurse brings me my pears and custard for afternoon tea.

Did I mention the old lady has a walking frame and is somewhat mobility limited.  Going to the loo for me means removing her commode seat and putting down the toilet set.  Great with one hand.  But I manage.

Back to bed I trundle.  Eventually the machine starts beeping.  And beeping.  And beeping.  After a few minutes one of the aids follows the beeping and rescues me.  It's stopped so she unplugs it and unhooks it from my catheter.  Free!  But my fingers are still taped up somewhat.  Not too bad though.  But the tape across the top holding the end of the catheter still is wrapped around my hand.  One of the side effects of the infusion seemed to be, cold clammy hands and feet.  Or maybe it was just me.  Anyway, that meant the tape came unstuck.  But because it was stuck to the clear tape patch they put over the needle site, I can't take it off.  The ends flap annoyingly.  Sigh.

Well, now what do I do?  It's four thirty.  Boring.  Once I have finished my treatment, I am left alone.  The lady next door's visitors leave, and she falls asleep so it's deathly quiet.  I read.  I sit back in my chair for a while just to move about.

Later it's dinner time.  The lady's daughter comes back up to visit.  The neighbour gets her dinner.  She's scottish I think.  The daughter is Australian.  I am sitting back on the bed, and they are watching TV.  The daughter asks a question I know the answer to, so I poke my head around and tell her.  She invites me to sit with them for a bit, so I pull my chair over.  We have a chat for a bit.  My dinner arrives.  We giggle - I ordered caesar salad.  I also ordered some mashed potato.  A small serve I say.  Well, I got a small serve alright.

Now, I don't know about  you, but I thought caesar salad was lettuce, egg, chicken and bacon... with dressing.  The white at the top left of the plate is potato salad.  The grey on the top right is chicken thigh meat, full of gristle, with a few shreds of bacon through it.  There is cucumber, carrot, and a wedge of tomato.  A square or two of dried bread for croutons.  With a dollop of warm mashed potato on top.  Served on a small bread and butter plate.  That was dinner.  I was a good girl and at it, except for the chicken.  The fruit salad was nice, and it came with a chocolate milk.  And a little tub of ice-cream, like the old Dixie Cups we used to get as kids.  That was the nicest part.

After dinner I decide to go put my jammies on.  Didn't bother with a shower, I didn't have a towel and her shower chair was taking up all the tiny cubicle so I just didn't bother.  Felt better to be in my jammies.  The daughter left and the old lady settled back into bed to watch some TV.  I sat on my bed.  And read some more.  My how time goes slow when you're flat out.  I found the only draw back to wasting the day as such, is my heel spur seized up.  Well, the tendon area puffed up because I just wasn't using it at all.  Very painful it became.

Later, after waiting till about 8pm, I decided to watch Mulan.  Just to kill time.  I settled in.  The domestic came in and offered me tea.  Heck yeah!  with two  little shortbread biscuits.  Yummy.

Eventually I turned off the ipad and put the magazine away.  Just before ten I thought I may as well go to sleep.  But my pillow was uncomfortable.  And my back was aching.  And the nurses were talking outside at the station.  But I dozed off.

Ten minutes later the old girl got out of bed, and wandered around to my bed.  She was confused.  She didn't know who I was and was quite surprised to find a stranger in her room.  I told her gently she should go back to bed.  She did.

Then, for the rest of the night, just as I dozed off she's start yelling for someone to come and tell her what's going on.  Why weren't they going down to get her husband from downstairs?  He'll be wanting his supper.  Someone should come help her get his supper.  Several times a night nurse had to put her back to bed.  Or bring her a bedpan (because they raised the rails on her bed, which really miffed her because she couldn't get out of bed).  She didn't use the buzzer, she didn't have to.  They heard her.  And I heard her.  When it wasn't her it was the nurses laughing at the desk.  Sigh.  At around 3 someone actually stuck their head around the curtain and saw I was awake so took my blood pressure.  But other than that they never once came to check on or look in on me.  From when they took the IV off me, that was it.  Their job with me was done.  I was so stiff in the neck and had a headache.  But I found that if I elevated the head of the bed just a fraction it helped.  Dunno why I didn't think of that in the first place.  Du-uh!

I gave up trying to sleep around 5.  The nurse noticed I was awake and asked me if I had slept.  Don't be silly said I.  She said sorry, but even when I said half the problem was the nurses at the desk she didn't seem to grasp I was saying THEY were as bad as the old girl.  I couldn't blame her, she wasn't herself, so she can't be aware she was keeping everyone awake.  But the nurses should have had more respect.  Anyway, I had a headache and felt like death warmed over.  But what could I do?  I just sat and read.

The old lady woke up, and they tended to her.  Breakfast eventually came around 7.30 or something.  By then I was sitting in the chair on public view.  I was sick of lying in bed reading.   So I was sitting in the chair reading.  Resting my poor head.  The old girl came and sat in the chair next to me.  She was saying she wanted a longer gown to wear.  The hospital one was open at the back and left her butt exposed.  She was wearing a pair of Depends, and the lining was hanging out.  Poor love, I felt so bad for her.  So I got her long dressing gown for her, and she was very happy with that.  I tried to look after her as much as I could.  I even got her to drink some water - she was very stubborn in that nature!

My breakfast was porridge, yoghurt, warm like, sugar, and tea.  I really did enjoy that.

While sitting there, I  noticed this sign at the end of the bed.  Rather made me laugh.  I can't imagine why anyone would be UNDER the bed... but obviously someone was at some time!

I go get changed and brush my hair and teeth.  Feels so much better.  Eventually they come to take out the catheter.  That's a relief.  Just a bruise around the knuckle to show for my effort.

I sit around and wait some more.  The young aide comes in about 9.40 and says whenever you're ready I'll take you down.  I laugh and say I was ready two hours ago.  Oh, she says, well lets go then.  As we are walking to the door Fluffy comes around the corner (flirting as he always does with the nurses.  Gosh he's a giggle).  He comes back down with the nurse and I and I am free.  He has dog hair on his shirt.  He says the dog we are babysitting, Ruby, had done a runner that morning and he had to chase her all down the street and through people's hards.  So glad I missed that.  Dobby had a friend over the the house was a pigsty.  She had not done the things Fluffy had asked.  Aah, don't you love coming home to such a situation?  I just wanted to go back!

Anyway, I got passed it.  The friend eventually left and I ducked out.  I went and bought crickets for my girls, and stopped in to find something to wear out to dinner for my birthday.  I found a rather nice little black dress, all pleats and hanging straight, and on special for $47.  I also found a silver and black long chunky necklace, $20, black earrings with diamonds, $10, and a silver small bag with a chain handle, reduced to $10.  Thank you I'll have that.  I also bought Dobby a lovely clutch for her new outfit.  I was feeling pretty chuffed with myself.

I spent the rest of the day tidying up and stuff.  I also made potato bake ready for a BBQ.  We went up to the other side of town and had a lovely evening with friends.   Great food, my potato bake was a hit, and we chilled out till around 10.30.  Fluffy had had a few drinks so I drove us home.  A pain killer (for my back and ankle and headache for me) and straight to bed.

Sunday I did some house work.  Dobby had been invited by friends to go to the movies.  I was going to drop her off.  But then she said one of them was at Castle Plaze (near home) so could she go now?  She walked down and I didn't have to go anywhere.  Suits me.  I told her to be home by 4 as we were going out.  At 3.40 she sent me a text - what time should she be home again?  Good grief.  I told her 4.  She said uh okay.  But she'd be a bit late.  Hmmm.  Eventually, just before 5 I asked her where she was.  Apparently they had missed the bus and walked!  It's over an hour's walk!  I told them I'd come pick her up but the others had to keep walking.  She apologised so I wasn't too hard on her.

We all got dressed to go out, and Dobby took a couple of photos of me and I of her.  I don't have them yet, they're still on the camera.  I'll put them up next time.

During the day the weather changed.  An awful icy breeze blew up.  I forgot we weren't going to be able to park close to the restaurant (which is beside the beach) and was so totally under dressed.  Luckily I had a black sequinned jacket, 3/4 sleeve, but it was still so cold I actually got chills.

Dinner was lovely.  The restaurant had a house special from a set menu, $36 for 4 courses.  Fluffy and I had that.  Dobby had an asian inspired beef (or was it lamb) salad.  The food was lovely and we shared with Dobby so we all had plenty to eat.  Even dessert.  It only cost us $128 including drinks.  We staggered back to the car (I did find out that those shoes I bought, while comfy, are not conducive to walking any distance, for me anyway.  Very painful on the balls of my feet).  But it was such a nice night.

So today, my birthday, I have been very spoiled.  Because I had already bought myself stuff, plus dinner, we didn't worry about something for me from the family.  But Mother sent me the Amy Winehouse biography and money.  Sister Tanya gave me money.  Wally gave me a lovely little coin holder money box shaped like a frog.  And some gold coins to get me started.  Then, at work, I was given a gift voucher from David Jones by my boss (he had hidden it behind my computer screen - if he hadn't told me it was there it could have been there years! lol!).  The new bosses in Sydney sent me flowers.

And my Facebook page has been inundated with messages.  It's so nice to have such wonderful messages sent to me.  Some made me feel very special indeed.  At work it was very quiet, and now I'm about to go home and cook some lamb chops.  Dobby doesn't have to go to guitar so I can kick back and do nothing.  My favourite!

Hope this wasn't too long and boring for you, or that I didn't sound like I was whinging too much.  That wasn't my intention, just trying to relay my experience.

Have a great week, folks.  Catch you next week. xx


JoeinVegas said...

I still don't see why you had to spend the night, and evidently you would have done better sleeping at home. Ah well, you're past it now. Happy Birthday!

SOL's view said...

The presents sound lovely. Glad the dinner went well. $128 wasn't too bad really, for the 3 of you. :)

Anonymous said...

love wally