So Round 2 in the hospital.....this time, a little shorter stay and a little much easier time.
As Mom posted on Friday, I spiked a fever on Thursday and my oncologist was worried about my WBC count dropping, so she wanted me admitted to find the cause of the infection. Turns out it was just a sinus infection. So I basically spent 4 days in the hospital because of sinusitis. They did have to run a ton of blood cultures to make sure that I didn't have any blood infections or anything more serious. And my oncologists wanted to watch those blood cultures for at least 48 hours to make sure everything was negative.
Well, that is great and all, but let me tell you a funny little story about what happens when they are waiting for "possible infectious" blood cultures to come back from the lab. They place these bright orange and green signs on the outside of your door warning people, including staff and visitors, that you "may possibly" have something contagious. That's fine, whatever, hospital procedure, I get it. But the one catch is that they should probably tell the patient this when they place these "warning" signs on the patients door. So here is how the story unfolds and the hints I should have taken or someone should have given:
- I am being finally being admitted at midnight Thursday night after spending 7 hours in the ER. (Part of this long stay in the ER
could have been that it was premiere night for the new drama series BOSTON MED and they all wanted to watch it because it
takes place at the Brigham, Mass General and Children's Hospital here in the fine city of Boston.....I didn't really care if I
watched it, I was LIVING it!)
- I get to my room, same floor as when I was admitted to in May, but bigger room. Ok, good.
- As the nurse is getting me settled into the room, there is an electrician standing in the hall looking at the "nurse call" light
outside my room. (Hint #1 in hindsight)
- Get all settled and Mom leaves to go home.
- Nurse asks if ok for electrician for to look at electrical box, which ironically enough, was in the shower in the bathroom. (Hint
#2, why is there an ELECTRICAL box in the SHOWER!?!?!)
- Fine. What the hell, I am awake anyway!
- So the VERY nice nurse gets my hydration started and my meds going and we're chatting and getting all settled in, when the
electrician comes out of the bathroom and says he can't fix it, they have to call "someone special" in. (Hint #3, someone
special?? At now 12:30am?? Hmmmmm......)
- So the nurse and I kind of giggle when he leaves about the someone special comment and she gets my vital signs and turns
the lights off so I can try to get some sleep.
- Well.....about 1 am, the door opens and the nurse comes in and says the "someone special" is here to fix the box in the
shower. This has now turned into a comedy routine and the nurse and I are laughing almost out loud.
- The very "someone special" comes in the door. I honestly can say I was not exactly sure WHO was going to walk in the door,
but low and behold, it was.........drumroll, please......ANOTHER ELECTRICIAN!!! WHOOOOOOOOO!! (Hint #4, first guy was
either not capable or scared to death of working with an ELECTRICAL BOX IN THE SHOWER!)
- So anyway, I'll get to my point.....this "special someone" didn't finish fixing the thing in the shower until 3am! This mysterious
"electrical box" ended up being the nurse pull cord in the shower.
- I FINALLY get to sleep about 3:30am, only to hear the door open....I look at the clock....6:30am.....I turn my head the other
way to see a nurse's assistant in a SURGICAL MASK and a special protective BRIGHT YELLOW gown there to check my vitals!
- Don't read the next line if you are easily offended.......
- My first thought........WHAT THE FUCK DO I HAVE!?!?! (This is where warning the patient before placing signs on their door
would have come in handy!)
- So as I begin to hyperventilate, the nurse calmly tells me that I do not have TB or anything like that. (Gee, thanks!) All of my
blood cultures were not back yet, so even though they did not think I had anything contagious, they had to care for me as if I
did until all tests came back negative.
- Last HINT....this one is for the hospital......Please inform your patients of precautions and hospital procedures before you scare
the shit out of them!!
So other than that, my stay was pretty uneventful. They finally decided that I had a sinus infection which was causing my fever and as long as I didn't spike another fever and all the cultures came back ok, I could go home. My own oncologist came over on Friday afternoon to see me and we discussed that it was the best place for them to keep a close eye on me and monitor everything and also keep me hydrated. She thought I could go home Sunday as long as I didn't have any more fevers. She then took my cell phone number to call me over the weekend as she was driving to New York where her husband is still completing his residency in a New York hospital. And damn if she didn't call me Sunday morning to make sure I was comfortable going home before she talked to the resident in charge of me to discharge me. She is just so caring and understanding. I am so lucky to have her as my primary oncologist.
I did end up having another blood transfusion on Saturday night because my hematocrit dropped to 24.9 and my oncologist doesn't like it to go below 27. But other than that, I never had another fever, my WBC was good, my congestion cleared up, my mouth sore healed and well....looks like I am on my way to feeling good and FINALLY enjoying some well deserved relaxation, if I don't say so myself!!
Thanks for all the well wishes......and keep 'em coming!!
Love to all!!