Saturday morning my job was to wait. Notice I’ve had that job a lot this summer? I have. Not always my best skill – but hey – I’m learning. So – Saturday I had an 11:00 am date with the interventional radiologist in the CT lab. He’s the guy who takes the big needle and puts it through my abdominal wall to suck up some of the goo from the abscess.
So, while I waited I read and answered some email. I updated my Facebook status. I waited for my IV antibiotics to finish their drips. Because all of a sudden it was 10:30 and I really wanted a shower before going to my date! So my fabulous nurse Meggan came and got my PICC all taped up so it wouldn’t get wet, and I very quickly got showered and changed into my new clean gown.
John showed up just as transportation arrived to take me away. We waved at each other, blew kisses, and off I went.
Last time I went to interventional radiology – in July – they gave me Versed and Fentanyl and I was O-U-T. Slept through the whole thing – have no memory of it. Got back to my room and slept it off.
This time when I went to interventional radiology they gave me Versed and Fentanyl – and I was wide awake. Hmmm…. That’s weird! So they gave me some more. And I was still wide awake – I mean I knew it was on board – but I wasn’t asleep by any definition of the word. I would probably have been worried if I hadn’t been so stoned! But I pretty much just hung out while they numbed up the spot where they were going to stick the needle through. They avoid my mesh, of course, so they go in kind of close to my rib cage, adjacent to my left breast. I watched – I WATCHED (meaning I must have been REALLY stoned!) – while the radiologist marked the spot and then I had the sense to look away while he put the big huge herking needle in to reach the abscess.
It’s actually pretty cool how they do this – and no, I’m not still stoned – they take CT images and they keep you in the CT tube and have a “live” image as they guide the needle in just too where it needs to go. So he did just that and was able to pull only 1 cc of fluid out – but it was enough.
They bandaged me up, flushed the PICC, and off I went back to my room – where I proceeded to pretty much pass O-U-T. Well, I would have slept deeply if my stinking pulse hadn’t decreased so much. My normal resting pulse is in the 60’s. Of course, they had me on blood pressure cuff and pulse oximeter to monitor my oxygen saturation rate (to make sure I was breathing deeply enough), and pulse. The stinking pulse monitor pretty much went off non-stop – my pulse was right around the 35 to 40 range for the most part. When they would make me wake up it would go up to 45 – still low enough to make the alarm go off, but I couldn’t stay awake! I’d had double doses of Versed and Fentanyl!!!
Poor John finally left around 2pm. The alarms had to be driving him totally nuts – they were me and I was essentially asleep! I remember feeling sorry for the two elderly ladies who have rooms in closest proximity to me. Of course, any time a nurse or CNA came anywhere near my room they’d make a beeline right for my room to see what was going on – so there was a pretty steady stream of traffic going in and out!
They finally made me sit up and worked pretty hard to keep me awake. It eventually worked.
Around 6pm Dr. Zelko ducked in. He told me that the tap had produced a positive indication that the bugs that we suspected might be taking a foothold had, indeed done just that. The culture would need at least 48 hours to get a complete snapshot, but hey – what else do I have to do but wait around, right?
He changed up one of my antibiotics – no more Cipro, there’s a new one that I can’t remember the name of and likely wouldn’t be able to spell even if I could.
We talked about best plans of action. He really wants Dr. Swanstrom to re-scope me to make sure those repairs that were done 2 weeks ago look good. So that will probably happen Tuesday or thereafter – given the Holiday weekend. So I’m here for a while.
And, he gave the go ahead for me to start eating and drinking again. I’d be more excited if it weren’t the food from this hospital, but I have to admit to being ready to eat!
So he said he’d see me later and to REST.
I was encouraged when the dietician phoned to see if she could help get food that would work for me ordered for my meals. She spent about 35 minutes on the phone with me going over the menu choices for me for dinner that evening and the meals for today (Sunday). And you know what? Dinner wasn’t too bad!
I will admit that my evening last evening was spent doing a lot of dozing. I had a really hard time staying awake for very long. I tried all kinds of diversions, but nothing worked for long. Consequently I had kind of a weird night of sleep. But I had a fabulous nurse (Lorna – who was my nurse when I was on this ward the first time) and she went out of her way to help get me comfortable.
I am having quite a bit of soreness where the tap was done in interventional radiology. Lorna brought hot packs to help with that during the night – wasn’t that nice? I finally gave in and accepted some dilaudid around 4am and that was quite helpful. I just don’t want to be stoned all day, you know?
One development during the later afternoon/early evening yesterday. Ugh. One of the lumens – there are two on the PICC line, so they can hook you up to two things if they need to, or draw blood from one and do meds or fluids on the other – has clotted off. That means they can’t get anything into it or out of it. Poop. Today they will be trying to inject TPA – a clot buster into it to clear the line. Being the wussy girl that I am I texted my brilliant niece, Dr. Dawn – who is doing her residency in Michigan – to ask if it would hurt. She said no. So I’ll be tough and pull up my big girl panties and trust that it will go just fine, thank you very much!
So today I’ll just hang out. Getting my clot buster some time today. Lots of different antibiotics, too, of course. And I’ll likely have a chat with the nice dietician again today so we can get meals for the coming couple of days ordered for me. And listening to good music – and trying not to focus on the fact that I haven’t been to church in a STINKING MONTH – and I miss it.
I am very aware of the fact that God is here with me – His presence is near and precious. But I’m missing hanging out with my brothers and sisters in Christ. I miss corporate worship. I miss the sermons – yeah, I’ll listen to them online – you can join me if you want – www.cmbc.org – they’re always great. But it’s not the same. See – that verse in Hebrews is right!
Heb 10:23-25 (NIV)
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another — and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
So that’s the plan for now. Updates as I have them! J