Thursday, September 24, 2009

Tuesday September 15, ICU Recovery

Before I went into the hospital, I made sure I had some notebooks and my voice recorder with me so I could make note of what was going on at any given time. I knew the day of my surgery would be a write-off, but the rest of my time in the hospital I could document. Yah right!! More on this later.

I remember very little about Tuesday. The most prevalent memory is the pain! Now I did have the analgesic PCA pump at my side ready to deliver that shot of pain medication at the press of a button.....but I guess 'my' system didn't like it. Needless to say, my pain pump was set to flow rather than to inject.

""Patient controlled analgesia, (PCA) is a method of pain control that gives the patient the power to control their pain. In PCA, a computerized pump called the patient controlled analgesia pump -- that contains a syringe of pain medication as prescribed by a doctor is connected directly to a patients intravenous (IV) line.
In some cases, the pump is set to deliver a small, constant flow of pain medication. Additional doses of medication can be self-administered as needed by the having the patient press a button. Other times, a patient can control when he or she receives pain medication and does not receive a constant flow.""

Another thing I remember, was a constant stream of ice chips being fed to me. I couldn't drink or eat anything, but I remember them giving me ice refreshingly cool! I'm also reminded of the 'Lip Balm' incident. Apparently I was so out of it that while trying to apply lip balm to my cracked and sore lips, I put on quite a show to every ones may even have been taped!

I like to think I was very aware of what was going on around me, I just didn't have the faculties to respond or make note of them. I know I kept looking down at my chest because it felt like it was on frickin' fire! I kept looking at my watch for the time, but of course it wasn't on my wrist. I was also introduced to a nurse named Marc who was pretty cool. He seemed to be there every time I woke up and was helping me to do things I tried to do, before I even started doing them! I know that doesn't make much sense, but it's the only way I can describe him. This was a guy who either knew his job that well, or my mind was just that hammered.

At one point, I was sat up so they could do an x-ray. As I was being shifted to what I thought was another bed, I got my first glimpse of the thin orange hose snaking it's way from my wiener! Gaaaa!!! Not cool, not cool at all! My catheter!! As I studied it, I noticed it was attached to a transparent hose that was taped to my thigh. The very instant I saw it, I was very aware of it. I wanted to touch it, but was afraid to for fear it would I just starred at it, marveling at how it got there, why it got there, how much do you pay a guy to put it there? I poked at it, I made my wiener move just to see if the cathter would move....and it did! I pointed at it and showed it to Marc. I was fascinated! Marc's reply? 'Good for you" I looked at Marc and said 'Guess what, I'm peeing'. He gave me a look like I was new, shifted his gaze to the urine bag attached at the base of the bed and said, 'No your not, it just feels like you are.'The one thing I feared the very most, and it turned out to be the coolest part of my day!! After the x-ray was taken, I was reclined again and dozed off.

Shortly after, one of my buddies from work dropped by. I greeted him, but let him know I wouldn't be too chatty. He didn't stay long but I appreciated the visit as I listened to him talk of his vacation plans. It was very strange because as I was watching him, sound started to echo in my head and it appeared foggy. Next thing I knew he was gone. In talking to him later, he told me he knew I was gooned-out, so he wasn't offended. I never showed him the catheter though. LOL!

At some point, it felt as if I was on the move. I could feel my bed moving, but had no idea who was pushing it, or where I was going. Doors opened and I was wheeled through a waiting room.....wait a second, I know this place. I was in the medical imaging unit of the hospital. That however, is all I remember! The next thing I knew I was back in my old room and Marc was fussing with one of the monitors I was hooked up to. He got it working OK and I remember being wheeled out again.

Every time they would wheel me somewhere, it would make me feel nauseated. Not sure why, but it would. This time they put me on an elevator which only made it worse. Turns out I was wheeled to another room on the seventh floor. This would be my last room change, and what a room it was! Very spacious and it had a huge bathroom!! They positioned my bed, set up all my monitors and someone gave me my glasses!! This place was very quiet and I fell asleep fast....then the music started.

Stupid monitors, when they malfunction, they make this a 3 or 4 note tune that drives you crazy!!! It never just happens once either, one will start a tune and then two more start, then one from a room down the hall starts and it goes on and on!! I know one of mine was making such a racket I finally turned it off. A nurse checking my vitals later that night just about shit her pants when she noticed my monitor was turned off. She really laid into me for it too! Sheesh!! I guess they had to restart a whole new line and everything because I turned it off. It was also at this point, I noticed my catheter...was gone!!! I checked the sheets to make sure it didn't fall out, but yup. It was gone. As this new team of angry nurses worked around me, I realized I wouldn't see Marc anymore. I'm so tired all I can think is how am I gonna get to sleep.

""Come sweet slumber enshroud me in thy purple cloak""
~Max Headroom~

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