Saturday, May 12, 2007

Yesterday was a looong day.

My last "free" weekday before returning to work started at 5:45 a.m. I was on the road an hour later, on my way to the hospital for a nuclear stress test, which actually was very, very easy and kinda fun - the credit for the fun belongs to the very nice, professional and funny staff at the cardiac stress lab. The worst part was that it was a fasting test, nothing at all 4 hours before the test and no caffeine for 12 hour beforehand. 4 hours before an 8 a.m. test = no liquids after 4 a.m., so in reality I'd had nothing since about 10 the night before, and I arrived thirsty, caffeine-deprived and very tired. I nearly fell asleep during the resting portion of the test. By the time I got on the treadmill I felt really dehydrated, and my mouth was as dry as my poor yard, which made puffing along at a brisk pace up a steep incline a lot more challenging than it is at the gym. That first cup of water post-test was sooo good!

While I was in the post-test cooldown period the staff was talking about a patient who was brought down to the lab for a test even though her condition was such that it wasn't a good idea at that time. Comments were made about nurses who don't read charts. I snorted, because this brought back a memory of my memorable ICU stay - the nurses kept asking me what I was getting for pain! This struck me as kinda odd, I'm in the ICU with tubes running in and out of everywhere, I can't even see the IVs and machines positioned behind my head, which, excuse me, had just been cut open a couple of days earlier and they're asking me? Shouldn't they be looking in that phone book sized chart on the shelf over there? I still can't believe they were ready to take an ICU patient's word for it - it wasn't that they were testing me either, they expected me to know, and some acted a bit put out when I didn't, and sighed, "Never mind, I'll find out." Uh, yeah, isn't that your JOB? I mentioned this to the lab nurse and she just shook her head and sighed. Of course, that was just one of the many incidents that blew what was left of my mind - all I can say is, if you have a loved one in the hospital and that person is not lucid and able to speak up and defend him/herself, try to have someone with the patient as much as possible, because some of the things that happened were absolutely nuts. Funny in retrospect, only because I was lucid enough to deal with it, but appalling when you think about it. Someday I will tell the Story of the Bedside Commode - it has become an oft-repeated tale in these parts. I swear Cousin C has repeated it to the entire population of her active adult community where they are avid collectors of crazy hospital tales, because it's so bizarre and funny, but also truly awful. Let's just say I was strongly motivated to disobey orders and get up and toddle to the restroom on my walker. I think I made a remarkably fast recovery because I HAD to.

The middle of the day was mostly spent on the phone, discussing various work-related issues, my re-entry is going to be interesting. So many personnel changes have taken place and so much has happened while I was out, it will be almost like starting a new job, except I already know it's going to be insane.

Then, the gym - I've started adding weights to my workouts, which means I'm cutting back on the cardio time just a bit to make time for both. I have already done 76 miles of Runagogo's 100 miles by the 4th of July, but between returning to work and adding weights, I will not be racking up the miles as I was. I am determined to stay with a 4x a week gym schedule after returning to work, it is the best stress reliever I know, and I do feel much healthier post Brain Thang than before any of this happened.

Then home, feed critters, take a shower and out for the evening with a group of friends I hadn't seen since Before Brain Thang. Much fun, stayed out later than I'd expected, came home to find two anxious little doggie faces watching at the sidelight window by the front door - but Dudley was good, no shoes or other innocent objects died for my evening. Maybe they are getting used to the idea that both Mommy and Grandma can go out at night and we will come back and the dogs have not been abandoned and will not have to pay the mortgage. They worry.

Knitting: I've made great progress on the Argosy Wrap, I'm about halfway through it, and it has awakened my cravings for more colorful handpainted yarn, which makes me want to Buy Yarn. But I will be strong and resolute and work my way through my stash. Yes, I will. Photos of Wrap Progress later.


Bess said...

Been thinking of you as you prepare to re-enter the World-0-Work. Here are blessings and wishes that it be an easy week of getting to know the new folk in your cupcake free environment.

hope you get in some quality Zen time this weekend.


Catherine said...

There are no new folk. There are only Old Folk doing multiple jobs, like our nine person land department that is now five bodies but only three people who know anything about land. It's going to be Interesting.

geogrrl said...

I was wondering when you'd have to go back to work.

Well, put up with it as long as you have to and try not to pull out any of that newly-grown hair in frustration.

I'm pulling for you to find something less insanity-inducing.

Amie said...

Ugh. When I was in the hospital, everyone was incredibly kind, but apparently didn't realize there were such things as "charts" or "other employees". I had surgery on my throat, you may recall, and each and every person that came in had a different idea of what I should be allowed, swearing it was "doctor's orders". Because of this I wasn't allowed any food or drink, not even water, and had to beg (sobbing) for ice chips). So almost no liquid on a scarred throat that had been held open for over six hours. And when the doc finally came in for the final check before release, she said "no, you had no special orders, they should have brought you dinner, breakfast, and any liquids you wanted."

I sometimes wonder if those first hours are why it took me about three times as long to recover my voice as was the average (and it's still not the same as pre-surgery)

Catherine said...

That's awful, and particularly awful because we are in two different parts of the country. I know the nurses are spread too thin and are under a lot of pressure, but Reading (the F-ing CHART!) is Fundamental! I had patient care techs get bitchy with me for not being the patient they expected, because they were in the wrong room. By the time I begged Dr. SL to get me the hell out of there I was sleeping with one eye open. I'll have to tell the Tale of the Bedside Commode, because it's so damn funny, in an "OhMYGAWD!" way - but seriously, if I had suffered the side effects of surgery that were expected, it would not have been funny at all.

sallyjo said...

You guys are making me thankful I have asthma, because most of the nursing staff around here has asthma for some reason, and you can count on them to keep you alive even when the doctors apparently don't want that outcome.