Sometimes I feel like living in the hospital is like living on a TV show. This hospitalization has had nearly all the elements of a good medical drama episode:
The drama – emotional ups and downs, gossip at the nurse’s station, crazies on the elevator, orders being entered incorrectly (which results in all kinds of fun).
The mystery symptoms – nausea and vomiting, unexplained widespread pain, various body parts going completely numb, crippling pain in my hands.
The diagnosis – allergic reaction to the meds.
The heartache– in the short time that I’ve been here, two CF patients have tragically passed away; one during a double lung transplant and the other quite unexpectedly.
The little victories – my PFT’s are up, I took five flights of stairs twice today (only stopping to rest once each time), and I’ve gained back most of the weight I lost during the first week of this hospitalization.
The sexual trysts in empty on-call rooms – okay, so this one isn’t really happening but I certainly got your attention, didn’t I?
It’s been an interesting stay, to say the least. If you asked me last week, I’d have told you there had been a terrible mistake; I was supposed to get a room in Acute Internal Medicine, but somehow I wound up in Hell. Between the issues with my PICC lines, the nausea that prevented me from eating for three days and multiple allergic reactions to the medications, I was NOT a happy camper.
Fortunately, the meds are doing their job and even though I felt like last week wasn’t very productive, my lungs feel differently. Having surprisingly good PFT’s on Monday was exactly what I needed to snap me back into, well, back into being me. However, my own good news is thrown into sharp relief by the deaths of two members of the U of U CF family. I only had a couple brief encounters with one of them, and I never had the pleasure of meeting the other, but their deaths have greatly affected several people that I do know and love.
There has been a noticeable dark cloud hovering over the CF unit. Both the patients and staff are very shaken up over what has happened. I don’t think a lot of people understand the bonds that are formed in this type of hospital setting. I’m still fairly new to the scene and I spend a lot less time here than some of the other patients, but when you total it up, 2 of the last 13 months of my life have been spent in this hospital. In that time, I have formed true friendships with some of the nurses, respiratory therapists and members of the CF team. With each stay those friendships run deeper, those bonds become stronger. These people are absolutely heartbroken over the recent losses, and that makes my heart hurt. After learning of the second death since my arrival here, I had a moment of pure anger and frustration. Not for myself, but for the friends and family of these two individuals.
I’ll be going home Friday and I can’t even tell you how excited I am to sleep in my own bed and be home with my babies. Even though this hospital life is a little bit like an episode of Grey’s Anatomy (and we all know I love me some Grey’s) I’d MUCH rather be home, spending my evenings like this: