Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Day Twenty-One - Part B, In Which I Am NOT Hospitalized

Thanksgiving is tomorrow. The celebration will be at my nephew's home.

My hallway remains unpapered. Funny, for some strange reason I actually thought I might get it done this vacation. Silly me.

I went back to the Friendly Physician today, and we decided it was best to stick my behind in the hospital for 24 hours or so. The coughing and the hacking and the wheezing and the general inability to breathe was wearing me down. The antibiotics and steriods didn't seem to be doing their job, and I've been, for the most part, miserable. The short stay would allow them to hang a constant IV drip of steroids and antibiotics, as well as supply me with some oxygen to ease the work my lungs are having to do now. I'd also get a chest x-ray, some bloodwork done, and a hefty dose of cough syrup.

I was all for it.

My doc said she'd call the hospital and make the arrangements. All I needed to do was go home, pack a few things and show up to be admitted. So that's exactly what I did.

Only that's not exactly how it went.

When I got to the hospital it was after normal admitting hours since I had a late appointment with my doctor. I went to the ER desk and told them I was there to be admitted, only to be met by a blank stare.

"We don't have any orders from your doctor."

"Well, did my doctor call the ER doctor, perhaps?"

"No, we have no record of that."

"Well, could you call my doctor and verify that I'm supposed to be here? The wrong hospital might have been called..."

"You'll have to be seen by the ER doctor, and he'll call your doctor if he feels it's necessary."


In the meantime, I'm coughing and hacking and having a gay old time. I fill out the paperwork, go and sit in the waiting room, and am called by the triage nurse. She takes the temp, blood pressure, etc. and hands me a mask to wear so that I won't infect anyone else. Except I've been on antibiotics for three days and I'm not supposed to be contagious. Only she doesn't know that, so I just put on the mask and wear it without a fight. I'm too tired.

Half an hour later I get called back to the ER. I explain all over again to the doctor that I was supposed to have been admitted, and if he'll just call my doctor to verify the whole thing I can get settled in my room and we'll all be happier.

No dice.

He listens to my heart and lungs, poo-poos the idea about bloodwork, says I do need a chest x-ray but I most certainly do NOT need to be admitted.

Apparently MY doctor is a jackass, according to him. Of course. But he won't bother to call to actually see what the plan of action was supposed to be, because he has his own ideas.

I'm given a chest x-ray (clear) and a breathing treatment (something I've been doing at home anyway). He gives me more oral steroids and a different cough syrup, tells me to keep taking the antibiotics I'm on now, then sends me on my way.

So I'm back home.

I still feel like the gum stuck to the bottom of your shoe, and I'm still having problems breathing. I probably won't go to the Thanksgiving celebration at the nephew's house tomorrow, because (1) even if I'm supposedly not contagious I don't want to risk it, and (2) I really don't feel up to it unless the Mighty Medicine Man's Great White Magic works some real wonders.

Yeah, I'm more than a little ticked. And tired. Very, very tired.

The thankful part? I can sleep in a t-shirt tonight instead of jammies, in my own bed. I can get up and go to the bathroom without dragging an IV along with me. I can eat real food instead of hospital slop. I don't have to wake up when someone comes in every half hour to take my vitals. I have my family, my dog, my computer, and a really good doctor - no matter what the ER creep thinks.

And believe it or not, I'm thankful for all of it, ER creep included.

Because in case I didn't tell you, he was easy on the eyes. Very easy.

And that more than made up for his bedside manner.

Heh heh heh.....


Linds said...

I have to say that I start hyperventilating when the word "hospital" appears on my screen. Please tell me you called your doctor and told him what was happening?? Make sure you rest and let your family look after you, my friend.

martha said...

I got so aggravated just reading your post. Good grief! I'm relieved you're enjoying your own bed and tshirt, but hey - you can't get intravenous meds in your own bed. As you already know. I echo the previous comment, please tell us you called your doctor and got everything straightened out. What on earth was his anwer? I guess this Thanksgiving will certainly go down in your family's history as a humdinger!