Tuesday, September 27, 2011

the Journey of 2011..................... Settling in????

Part 1

The first ward I hit in the hospital was oncology. If there was any denial on my part about cancer, it was gone the instant I saw that sign. For a brief moment I felt sick to my stomach but by the time we hit my room it was gone. Funny thing though, I can still see that sign as clearly as I saw it that first day. I'm pretty sure it's etched in my mind for the duration.

Getting me into the bed was tricky. The room was small and there was a patient in the far bed. The curtain between the two beds was drawn but there was extra equipment visible at the toe end of that patient's bed. It looked like there was hardly room enough to have a second bed in that room. That meant getting the gurney right next to the bed and scooting me over wasn't going to work. I was going to have to get to my feet in the hallway and "walk" in even if I couldn't hold myself up.

I don't remember where my IV went in this process but Dave was one one side of me and my new nurse on the other. Maybe the woman who brought me there carried my IV behind us but I don't really know for sure. Mostly what I remember was my body felt like a wet noodle that didn't want to conform. It hurt a lot to move and from the gurney in the hall to my bed in the room I took maybe four steps. If it was actually more steps than that, they must have dragged me the rest of them because I'm pretty sure my feet only shuffled along those two steps apiece.

The next obstacle was there was no IV pole available in the room and Dave couldn't keep up with that function. He needed to get home. My new nurse "formally" introduced herself and then headed off looking for a proper device so Dave could leave. It didn't take but a couple of minutes and she was back.

Just as quickly Dave was gone and, to be honest, his hasty departure caught me off guard. I got a peck on the check but someone was talking to me, I think it was the anesthesiologist or a PA of some kind, so I didn't really get a chance to really say goodbye. As the person talking to me rambled on, I was only half listening, instead I was thinking about Dave's leaving. I felt a sick empty feeling in my stomach. What if that goodbye was it?

I knew Dave really had to leave. Lindsay was home by herself with all those horses. The close friends I've made over the years that would be the kind to help in such circumstances are currently sick themselves or too far away. There was no one who could take his place so he could stay there with me.

I couldn't allow myself to think about it and fortunately something on the wall at the end of my bed screamed for attention. I don't recall if it was big black or white board but it was fixed up like a chart and had all kinds of what looked like useful information on it.

I had never seen anything quite like it actually in a patient's room. On the wall at a nurse's station or something like that maybe, but here it was right at the foot of my bed calling out to me.

Besides patients names for bed one and bed two, there were the names of doctors, nurses, aids, etc assigned to each patient. But the thing that caught my attention was a section across the bottom that explained how to describe pain. I remember being grateful to see that section because I was already frustrated at some of the questions I'd been asked in reference to my pain level. I figured with one of these boards in my room I might have a chance at effectively describing what was happening to me. Little did I know how much I was going to need such a board or that I wouldn't see another one after I left this room.

Shortly after Dave left my new nurse came in briefly to let me know the shift change was about to begin so I wouldn't be seeing her again. She did tell me the first name of the nurse that would be taking over my care but it meant nothing to me. The nurse also told me it would probably be a good half hour before their transition was complete so most likely I wouldn't see my "new" nurse until sometime after that.

Shortly after that I was having blood drawn or dealing with some other medical procedure getting me ready for surgery, I heard this voice say, "I'll be right back, MiKael." as the person owning the voice tossed something onto the chair just inside the door.

As I heard the sound of my name, I tried to see who was talking to me but I didn't get any kind of glimpse that would help me identify her. All I saw was part of her arm and her hand but the thing that got me was she had not only pronounced my name correctly (the only one to do so) but she did so with a tone of conviction. Along with that, there was something about her voice that I thought I recognized.

Things were happening too quickly to focus on the mystery voice. I think I was being asked for the umpteenth time about my medical history, allergies, current symptoms and all of that stuff. Then I was whisked off to have another CT scan. This time with contrast but I couldn't help but wonder who that had been pronouncing my name not only correctly but with such confidence. That just never happens to me unless it's someone I know.

To be continued.............................

Getting through Protocol.........

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  1. I'll bet it felt good to finally get a room. Wonder who the mystery nurse will turn out to be.

  2. You write so well, you know just where to leave off to peak our interest. Do you write books? Because you should.

  3. I agree with Shirley, your writing is as always captivating

  4. How do you pronounce your name? I read it as Mick-ale (long a).

  5. Wonder who the mystery was. Now you can get settled, finally got a room.

  6. I hope this return to cliff hangers means you're feeling much better.

    I, too, am curious as to the correct pronunciation of your name. I've always thought of it as My-Kale. I mispronounce most words, however, so I'm sure I've got this wrong also.

  7. Alene, yes, I thought it was going to feel good to be in a room but I wasn't there long enough that it ever felt like my room. The mystery nurse was definitely a surprise to me.

    Shirley, Thanks for the vote of confidence. I have never had a book published but I have had a couple of articles published in the AHA magazine. They are just not the same thing. I have a book started but I am dragging my feet about resuming work on it. Maybe this winter since I'm going to be coped up.

    FV, thanks to you as well. We talked a little bit about publishing when you were here. That conversation and an article I read make me think maybe I should give it a try. I find it pops into my head pretty regularly these days maybe that means I'm headed that way. Hard to tell with me these days.

    Tammy, I know the way my name is written, with the K a capital letter, throws people off but even when the letter is not capitalized people still don't get it right. It's pronounced just like the man's name, Michael. Nothing fancy, no funny punctuation. Just the ordinary old way, it's the spelling and capital that are funky. LOL

    Crystal, ya, I thought the same thing, with a room I'd be settled. Especially once the mystery was solved, I really wanted to stay in that room.

    Ms Martyr, I think cliffhangers are in my blood. Not sure it has anything to do with how I feel but the fact I am actually writing them instead of laying on the couch thinking them in my head does speak to the fact I am feeling better.

    I have good days and bad days though and that sure sucks. Even the good ones are not good enough to resume my life with the horses as it was before. I sure how that's not as far off as the doctor claims. I'm not sure I can hold out that long.

    A lot of people try pronouncing my name that way but there's always a funny little question mark hanging in the voice.

  8. I can admit to having mispronounced it time and again, until you left me a voicemail, stating it and identifying yourself. Otherwise I would still be screwing it up! In email though, we can all look like geniuses! lol

    Glad you are back to posting. Even if you do leave us hanging and wondering who? What the? Or how in the world???

  9. So glad you are feeling well enough to post!

    I too thought your name was pronounced Mick-ale. Just seems more fitting than Michael.

  10. reading here know its been a while but we want to know whats going on sorry its been so long

  11. I always pronounced it Mi-kel. Just thought that was the way it was spelled. Turns out I was right!!

  12. I'm finally getting caught up on the whole ordeal and these posts are making my heart break for you.