Friday, January 17, 2014

Welcome To St. Mary's...again.

I fell off the face of the planet for a few weeks. I got lost in the forest of my own thoughts, phrases in multiple languages and musical notes that I seemed to forget...

Holy crap I've gotten really bloody ill

I was admitted to the hospital, and now once again have a J tube in addition to the G tube. The G tube was moved due to it being so high in the fundus. It is now below my ribs. This was done in an open procedure, and the G tube had to be placed twice, because in my Dilaudid induced confusion (doses they typically cannot give due to respiratory crisis) I managed to displace it

That was some fun I'd prefer not to have again

I thought this may be an interesting post...about what a typical hospitalization (this was only slightly atypical) looks like for me in a few pictures.

When I'm admitted, there is a reason. It usually isn't my choice to go, but rather a direct order. This particular direct order I chose to ignore for about a week and I messed myself up.

Note to self: practice what I preach...

My primary, thankfully, has admitting rights. And she's extremely dedicated, sweet, and knows her stuff, so I know I will always get good care. The first thing is blood work. The blood work dictates what went wrong this time. In this case, at risk for scarier forms of malnutrition, she assailed the arsenal: TPN with a ton of additives, D10. I was on antibiotics IV this time as well which may be hanging, and in this photo we were able to use my gut so there is my tube feeding formula that now goes through the J tube only for motility, nutritional, and safety reasons

Ha ha, the picture I had was so cluttered since at times nurses do not take down the empty bags after use right away, and I don't want to scare the crap out of you, so here is one that looks a little less insane. This picture I took from the lovely Geri-Chair, which is what we call the recliners. Part of physical therapy is getting out of bed. I cannot walk, but they did still move my joints in ways I cannot myself. While in the Geri-Chair, I took the chance to snap a picture of what is typically used for me in lieu of an IV since I no longer have an indwelling port or Hickman catheter, casualties of life threatening septic shock and severe blood bactremia

We do not use PICC lines for me anymore, as they are too easily infected. This is a tunneled vascular catheter, or TVC line. It doesn't hurt, though it does leave a mark. It is stitched in with a few sutchers, right into the jugular vein. The pad around it is called a Bio Patch, and it keeps the nasties anything that could go in and hope on a boat ride to my blood stream and have fun crashing my whole system. Unfortunately, this is a time where I did go septic from line. This is why I cannot have a port or other long term line. It will kill me.

Now I am home, and recovering well. This whole admission was just shy of a month, and I cannot remember about a week of it. I always really love my hospital, the unique thing about it is that a lot of the nurses know one another or are related. There are mothers and daughters, siblings, cousins, &c that all have chosen the same profession and made the same commitment to quality care. It's impossible to mimic or copyright that. And maybe that sort of true heart to heart care for patients is not FDA approved the better outcomes, St. Mary's does rank in the top 10% nationally for overall quality achievement, which a lot of bigger conglomerate hospitals cannot do no matter how hard they try. With the hospital being so small, it's a deserved honor. Maybe it's contributed to the whole Thriving Anyway theme for how the whole adventure is playing out. Or maybe it's because I've been in a lot of other places and would refuse the hospital in my state that is in the top ten over and over again in favor of this place. I've gotten some awesome hand made quilts from the auxillary

I have five different ones in different methods of creation.

So all in all, I would not chosen this way to start off 2014. But I must say I still think things can and will improve in their own way.

And hey...when I'm feeling better, I like like to think I can hide the fact I've been so ill pretty well

Taken this morning.

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