Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Maybe not the perfect patient


This is turning out to be one of my installment posts. This is the 4th. day I am still poking away at it. I suppose it could be confusing doing it this way, as at times I refer to yesterday, well that actually could be anyone of the past 4 days. Oh well, I have never done any editing so I am not going to start now, plus feel to lazy.

Yesterday I had one of those warm snuggly days. You know when you just lay in bed, half asleep’ half awake sort of dozing in and out. Now I know my family will be thinking geesh half asleep isn’t that your normal state. Chest is feeling fine. The groin area is good but gives me a little jab if I move the wrong way.

Now, a few days ago, I wrote of how I was the model patient at the hospital. Now to save myself embarrassment I should likely just let it go at that. I was the most wonderful cooperative patient the hospital has ever seen. Now I could try to leave it at that, but then who knows, one of the nurses or someone may sign in and leave their side of the story. Hmm, was I that wonderful when looked at from the other side. Yikes, could that be a different version of the same events? There are always 2 ways to look at everything, 2 sides to every coin. Now could there have been times when I may well have been considered a pain in the…. er, uhh,  neck.

Hey, I have it, the brain tumor is causing me problems with understanding the English language.lol. Example, we seemed to have different understandings of the term, “total bed rest”. Nurses, bless their kind hearts take that term literally. Possibly it is the male genes in my body, my understanding seemed to be. Stay in bed most of the time, except for the occasional walk. I was hooked to a lot of machines etc. and my walks were limited to just one or 2 steps the length of my teether. Hey, I am feeling fine and what harm could one or two steps cause. I was chased back to bed “several” times. Now I always have and always will give nurses a tremendous amount of credit for all the skills they have. One thing I have never credited them for is the fact they can see through walls. Now it is either that or all the heart monitors etc. that I was hooked up to must have showed increased activity or something. To explain, I get a sore back when I just lay around to much. Just standing up and stretching it a little makes it much better. No sooner did my feet hit the floor and a nurse was coming through the door. They do have this magical power to see through walls.

At the time I didn’t realize it but I did seem to allow this to become a bit of a pattern. Day by day there is a protical for what a patient can and can’t do after a heart attack. I “may” have been a nurses worst nightmare by continually trying to push those boundaries just a little or at least what I did think was just a little. I suppose that was the problem I wasn’t really thinking. I was bored, restless and feeling fine by that time. If anyone should know you would think it would be me. You can’t judge the damage to the heart and the healing time required by how you are feeling at the moment.

As I think of it now I realize how I cause the wonderful nurses extra work and bother with my constant pestering them with requests to walk just a little further. I do apologize.

I am going to relay on shall we say hypothetical situation that may have occurred at some point. Now to protect the identity of the really really stupid we shall change his identity and refer to him as oh say “Dill”.

Now, as it goes Dill had an agio plasty done. One day soon I will do a post on what it is like as a patient to have that procedure.

Anyway, the procedure is done and every thing is fine. Dill knows he will have to lie absolutely still for at least several hours. In the procedure they cut into a major artery or vein in the groin area to gain access directly to the heart. After the procedure the doctor comes to explain it all to Dill. Dill asks how long he will have to remain still. The doctor explains he has put in a stitch to seal the wound and 2 hours should be enough time. Dill is very happy to hear that as he knows he gets a sore back if laying still to long, PLUS, Dill now realizes he has to take a poop. The thought of a bed pan just doesn’t sit well with him at all. But, he knows he can wait a couple of hours.

Back to the ward he goes, where the nurse then tells him, their policy is,  he will have to lie still for 4 hours. Dill’s reaction is “4 hours the doctor just told me 2 hours, I want to be up in 2 hours like he said.” Now he is not going to tell the nurse he has to poop or he knows out will come the bedpan, not an option in his mind.

Now as it turns out Dill has been taking blood thinning medication due to an existing heart condition. He ends up laying motionless on his back for 9 hours. The incision just will not stop bleeding. It reaches the point where sand bags are place on him for constant pressure on the cut. Eventually, it is about 9 hours later and the bleeding does seem to be stopped. By this time his back is extremely sore. It is getting on into the evening and he is given a couple of tylonol or something together with a sedative of some sort to put him to sleep. He is told sternly sleep on your back. He tells them, I never sleep on my back, once I am asleep I may turn on my side which is how I normally sleep.

Several hours later Dill wakes up, on his side. The uncomfortable urge to poop being really strong. Out of bed he gets to go to the washroom about 10 steps away. Once out of bed he realizes, it is obvious the incision has reopened as there is a good deal of blood everywhere in the bed and on his hospital gown. Well Dill quickly thinks to himself, well it is obvious it is bleeding again. If I keep pressure on the site, maybe I can take about a one minute break in the wash room before I call the nurse. Any damage that can be done would seem to have already been done to the incision, I might as well relieve myself. Remember the nurses that can see through walls. Well he was caught only several steps from his bed and this time angrily ushered back to bed. Sensing the anger he tried to explain it away, “I needed to poop”.

Imagine anyone being that silly. The thing is you don’t realize at the time how silly or even annoying you may be to others who are trying to do their jobs.

I did send flowers to the nurses after my release, they were wonderful. As was the entire staff.

I realize it is a team effort that makes a hospital ward or anywhere function properly. As I was leaving the hospital, I thanked the cleaning lady. She seemed shocked and very surprised that I would thank her, but she is part of that team that cared so well for me.

I accept nurses know much more about how to care for me than I do myself. I will remember that as I hope everyone does.

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5 Responses to Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Maybe not the perfect patient

  1. dave carn says:

    im one of the many unnamed readers you must have who never posts but reads and reflects on what you have written . im so happy that you are getting better . you take care of yourself and dont overdo it . take care and my thoughts and prayers are with you .

  2. Mel says:

    OH my gosh.

    My friend who just had the angioplasty was in Canada?!?!

    I believe they train nurses for folks like you……and him…….and Dill….

    Poor things..LOL

  3. Irene says:

    Dear Bill,
    I figure that ICU’s and most wards in any hospital are much like a ballet. Everyone knows what everyone else is doing and what they ought to be doing (patients and staff included). So when I’m a patient there, I try as best as I can, not to ruin the “dance”. It doesn’t always work, but it helps.
    Glad to see and hear that you’re feeling better, Wiseman.
    Irene

  4. Jo Hart says:

    Ah Bill, I can so relate to this story or should I say (Dill’s story). Had a similar problem when I had my c section with my first child. They fill your tummy full of gas. Of course I don’t poop in public, so silly me, hang on to it. Until I was in so much bloody pain, that when I actually came out of the bathroom, my husband was rolling laughing, as the whole hospital had heard me…. When you gotta poop, you gotta poop, even if it makes a bed pan.

  5. Nurse Scrubs says:

    I know it can be time-consuming to update your blog but thank you for keeping me informed and entertained!

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