Cruisin with the Real"s

Cruisin with the Real"s
Joe and Nancy Grand Cayman 10-07

Loma Linda Medical Center

Loma Linda Medical Center
Where the magic happens........

Monday, December 3, 2007

my hospital stay Friday - Sat.

I was thinking something on Friday morning at 5:30am in the shower...(way to early for me!) Before when people said they were going for some kind of medical test, something with a name I had heard of over and over and an endoscopy, or a CT scan, an MRI, a heart cath or angiogram. You know how it is...we hear the terms on TV, on the News, from friends and family, at the water-cooler...ya know???? For myself, I would hear the term and think I had an idea what it was and it was sort of in one ear and out the other, (unless it was someone close to me then I asked a few more questions, of course) BUT, we kind of take them for granted that they are standard, regular, test that happen all the time. And they ARE. Your Dr's and nurses think so, your friends and family think so and so do you.......Except when they are going to do one on YOU !!!!!


So, one thing I have learned is that when people tell me they are going to the Dr for this or that...I am not going to pretend I have any idea what they mean....and ask them, What is that, how do you feel? Because a quick, I hope it goes well may not be what they need. They very well may be scared!.......

Maybe all this that I am going through is to teach me some things like this........................

Just a thought..............................................

Okay, now onto my sleep over.

Mary and I arrive at the hospital to check in and head to unit 4100 per instructions. We have no idea what unit 4100 does and like most of the units...they don't have a name by the number so you still don't know....I knew it was across the hall from the cardiac unit I went to last Monday so I assumed it was a overnight cardiac unit so they could give me blood and monitor me before sending me home. Hopefully that night but possibly the next morning. I feel great. A little nervous but happier that they were going to give me blood *products* (new term for me) so I wasn't worried about having my femoral artery punctured any longer and I trust the procedure and Dr's....very good success rate and I was hoping they would find my heart and lungs in good enough shape for surgery. If they did look at my heart and see what they thought could be the problem, well, that would be very bad as it is irreversible and would keep me off the list permanently.

I get shown to my bed, given my gown for the stay, new slipper socks, they get me in bed and do vitals, they ask all the same questions they ask every damn time you meet someone new. I think it is a test to see if you are still giving them the same answers. Hook me up to all vital machines. The vampires come in to draw blood and put a catheter in. etc. etc.

Then something odd happens. A Dr pops in to say hi and see how I am am doing. We recognize each other. We met a couple of times during my stay the 1st of Sept. (unit 6200). :-)
His lab coat says something about being on the transplant team. Hmmmmmmmmmm, Did he just come in to check on me? I haven't seen him down at the transplant offices.....hmmmmmm.

Well, I asked the nice nurse, Sara, what unit this is...she tells me it is the transplant until and looks at me funny like I should know...... (I am NEW here.....remember?) That hit me as, hm, this is where I will be for a few weeks post transplant. These are the Dr's and nurses who will be taking care of me after I get out of ICU. It was sort of a weird revelation. As I stayed there it almost felt like home and I felt safe and understood as THESE Dr's and nurses only take care of transplant patients and know so much about the symptoms, how the bodies are acting and reacting. The drugs we are on and why...why we look and act the way we do. My room mate was there for a liver transplant. She was pre-transplant and going through dialysis waiting for a liver as her kidneys had failed and she was in pretty bad shape.

I was very impressed with the unit and the people that work there.......a preview of sorts.
I guess anytime I need to go into the hospital from now on, no matter what the reason that is where I will go.

I will speed things up.
I ended up getting 1 unit of platelets and 3 units of plasma but the timing had to be perfectly timed with when they would be ready for me in the cardiac unit. So I waited until late afternoon to get the blood *products* I just pretended they were my girlfriend Michelle's as she gave platelets in my name at the blood bank the day before.....


They wheeled me down the hall into a large room like on ER with *HAVE A HOLLY, JOLLY CHRISTMAS* playing....and Frosty, Rudolph and so forth to follow. How very festive. LOL

Scrub me, drape me, tie me down.....having fun so far...Then they tell me I am going to get some happy juice! Oh boy, sounds like a party to me...Then when I asked WHEN do I get my happy juice, as you are awake during this thing, they tell me, OH, we are so sorry, no happy juice for YOU...Your liver doesn't want any today. Shit, ok, it's white knuckles for me.

The surgeons and techs were all very nice, explained everything and went about their business.

If you want to know what they angiogram or heart cath...same thing...they did a left and a right heart cath on me. They numb up your groin area where they go in. They put in 2 catheters into my femoral artery and proceed to take this small tube with a hook at the end...(flexible, about 5 feet long) and thread it up your artery and into your heart for a look see.

It really was painless but if feels like a plumber doing rotor rooter on you. You know those snake things? They thread this thing up into your heart, shoot contrast through it and take pictures on the 4 TV monitors that you can is amazing actually, watching your own heart beat and when they shoot the dye in it illuminates all through your very own vessels... I guess the most uncomfortable thing was that I could feel it in my heart. The catheter. I could feel it. A bit uncomfortable and they didn't tell me that so I wasn't ready for it.

Then, POOF, they took it out and it was over! They plugged the artery with a self absorbing plug that seals it and told me not to move for 2 hours. They also said...

YOUR HEART LOOKS REALLY, REALLY GOOD!!! The pressures are good, etc. I asked..good enough to get me through the surgery? and the answer was a preliminary YES!!!!!!!!!!

We were sooooooooooooooooooooooo, happy.....finally some good news. I was starting to think that I hadn't gotten any *good* news since I entered the hospital 3 months ago. Which was true.

I got a good nights sleep and went home Sat afternoon. Rested most of the weekend..and was up and running this morning.

BTW, Mary stayed with me all week bless her heart and left Sunday morning to go home for a bit and get ready for Christmas.

Wow, that was a long story for a one night stay............................. I may miss a few days here and again but I make up for it...

Goodnight all !!! We are closer to the committee review/decision.

1 comment:

Sue Mullen said...

That's great news, Nancy! I was getting scared after reading your comment "no health heart -- no transplant."

Good Job, Nancy's Heart!!

How many more hurdles to you have to jump before you get on THE list?

Sending all my good thoughts.


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