A very tired hello to everyone!
I truly think it is harder on the person who VISITS the patient than the actual patient who gets to lay in those comfy cozy hospital beds....LOL! Today marks the third full day of Frankie's post-op recovery. He's had his ups and downs. At one point, they had him so on cloud nine, if you know what I mean, that not only could he reach for the stars, but he could actually sit on a star! He was on a dilaudid pain pump for awhile and they took it away this morning. He was more alert this afternoon, not so doped up, that he could take a walk around the nurse's station which was the farthest he's gone to date. Then we get back to his room and he always fights with the nurse about wanting to go back to bed and they want him up in the chair. So I chip in and side with the nurse (it's for his own good!) and he sits up in this recliner that's near his bed. I sit in that recliner when he is in bed. For a chair, it's OK. Not the most comfortable I've ever sat in, but I'm not complaining. I can have my feet elevated AND visit with my husband whom I miss very much. It's so quiet at nights without him. And I have so much room in the bed....I'm not used to that! And our kitty baby, Jack lays on Frankie's pillows. I think he misses Frankie, too. I can't wait until he comes home! This trekking out into the 110 degree heat and profuse sweating is for the birds. Next time, I'm going to INSIST that Frankie only have his surgeries in the winter!!
Frankie had to have a blood transfusion today because his hemoglobin went down to the 6 range. This makes his 16th blood transfusion in his life. I kid you not. When he was first diagnosed in 2003, he had 14 units then because he was bleeding faster than what they could put it in. Now, I think it dropped because yesterday they were having some problems with bleeding at the bottom of his incision, near his naval. That has always been a problematic site, especially when he had his last surgery in La Jolla, CA. He was bending over to put on his sneakers and the bottom of the incision split open. We were just packing it with saline gauze and taping a big dressing over it. That is what the nurses are doing right now. His incision line is even longer now, from just below his breastbone all the way down to his naval.
No matter how much I planned things out, by getting sleep and eating right and doing everything I should be doing to prevent a flare-up, I am so neck deep in one right now it's not even funny! My muscles in my right leg (unfortunately I have to drive with that leg and it just kills me to keep my foot on the brake pedal at a stop light) are in an almost constant state of spasm. It hurts so bad it feels like the muscle in my calf are turning upside down in my leg, if that makes any sense. Sometimes it's just my calf, other times it goes into my thigh. I've upped my magnesium intake, as I've heard that helps with fibro spasms so we shall see if that helps. So far, everything I've done for it just isn't enough. I've massaged it, put my myoflex cream on it, taken my pain meds and it's just being stubborn!! It really is hard for me to walk with Frankie because that damn muscle keeps going into spasm. But I paste a smile on my face and off we go around the nurse's station. Frankie and I could do walker races....we look really cute with our walkers, side by side. Quite the couple, he and I! And then when we get back to his room, I coach him on his incentive spirometer and to cough and deep breathe. He always gives me this look that says, "OK, you can leave now" when I turn into "Nurse Ratchett." But I tell him, "hey, you don't want to live here, do you?" The only way out is by walking and preventing pneumonia or some other hospital based infection. And we are still waiting for his colon to wake up and start doing its job. His bowel sounds are very slow right now and he still hasn't passed any gas. Figures! He had NO problem with that at home!!! But now that they have backed off on the narcotics, his colon should come alive. Narcotics can actually make your colon SLOW down and he doesn't need help with that! But you don't want him in so much pain that he can't walk, either. It's such a delicate balance!!!
Today he was pretty good with pain. In fact, he slept so deeply, it was hard to get him awake to do the walks. And then he had some crazy dream of buying a car for $20,000 and only getting a $20.00 rebate! Isn't that nuts? I came home early tonight because when I looked over at him in the hospital bed, sawing some major zzzz's, I thought to myself, "I can sit here in this uncomfortable chair and read my book and watch him sleep, OR I can go home and take a nice shower and eat and get all cozy in my night shirt and stretch out on the bed." Guess what won out? I kissed his check and said good night and he was back asleep within seconds. My poor baby!
I've been feeling a little blue lately. I want to return to work so badly, but I know my body would rebel against me. It's so hard watching the nurses take care of Frankie and doing all that I used to do with such ease. Like changing IV sites or programming the IV pumps and passing out medications. I even miss the charting aspect of the job!!! I can think of all the times when I was working I took it so for granted and thought I'd love it if I could just shuck it all and become a nomad!!! Now I'd give my eyeteeth to be a nurse again. I studied so hard for it and for so long, I can't believe that all I got from my career was 14 lousy years! I HATE all that has happened to me. Yes, I did gain a lot of weight over the years that didn't help my joints or legs, but not all of it was my fault. The fibro and RA have minds of their own. And my back....I could write a hundred years on that and still not have said all I need to say about it! I wish I had a little magic wand to wave over myself and be healed. I'd heal whoever wanted it! Well, anyway, I just have been depressed over seeing all these nice nurses doing a job I loved and here I am, not being able to do it because of my legs and I can't stand for more than five minutes! Will it always be like this? I hope not! I've renewed my nursing license and will have to take a refresher course if I've not worked as a nurse for five years. So I've got three more years to go and I don't want to take a refresher course. So when Frankie is all recovered, I'm going to go in for the bariatric assessment and lap-band procedure (if my insurance will cover it!) and lose so much weight that it will magically take the pressure off the lumbar discs and my nerve roots for each leg and make it so they aren't compressing anything and I can get off some of the medications and go back to work. How's that for a plan? Hopefully it will work!!!
OK, I'm gonna close and go to bed, so I can get up and start all over again. I feel like I live at that hospital! Get well soon, Frankie, before they really do start putting me to work there....bad back or not!!
God bless you all!
Until next post,
FibromyWHAT? by Melissa Schranz is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.