Monday, February 1, 2010

Blog Candy and Hospital Bits

There is a lot of gorgeous blog candy being offered by those near and dear to me. I've been remiss in sharing the good news. Forgive me, sleep and basic tasks have taken precedence over internet fun.

Papergrace, a truly top drawer, lovely lady is celebrating her birthday with a gorgeous giveaway. CLICK HERE for all the details. Here's a peek:

My fellow Bombshell, Gabby, is also celebrating her birthday with a giveaway. You can read about it HERE. You only have until tomorrow though so hurry on over there :-) Did you see, she's giving away Bombshell Stamps. Yippee!


As for me, I'm recovering, slowly. Some missteps have really put me in my place. For example, I was sitting on the couch feeling pretty good and I decided to get myself a cup of coffee. I walked over, noticed no spoons in the drawer and bent to pick up a teaspoon. Then I spent the next ten minutes in a weepy, writhing puddle on the floor. Sad. Yesterday I read that Plaid had screen printing ink. Since I've been needing some for a project I'm desperate to do I thought we'd "zip" into JoAnn and pick some up. Fun little outing. I felt strong and left the wheelchair in the car. The fabric paint aisle is two in from the door and the trip reduced me to a sobbing mess and 18 hours later I'm still feeling it. Not so nice. So when Dr. Awesome says "rest" he wasn't just talking about the wimpy people.

A few more bits from the hospital, on day one I had some major irregular heart beat issues. As a person with a heart condition it was unsettling. I had them again a few days ago. This is the push we needed to get me back to a cardiologist and possibly have my heart repaired. The days of saying, " it's no biggie. Who cares." are behind me now. I also failed a bunch of the neuro tests where you follow the nurses finger with your eyes. Instead of smooth motion my eye jerks in several steps to the finger. It comes and goes and it's been annoying me at home. I have a lazy eye (it focuses slower than the other) and I think it's shorting out from all the spinal cord trauma.

Speaking of nurses... why are they so mean? I have nurse friends who are nice... but not so much at the hospital. My recovery guy said I was going to have to be assertive about meds as I was on a lot before being admitted and they would have a bias against me. No kidding. Before the surgery I was taking 10 mgs of a med every 4 hours. In the hospital I was offered 7mg every 6 hours - for surgical pain. I explained very politely the situation and they said, " That's what happens. If you weren't making yourself so "comfortable" (said sarcastically) at home then you wouldn't be so uncomfortable here." I heard similar quotes from almost all my nurses. One said, "serves me right for taking so much pain meds at home and I wouldn't be suffering after surgery if I had used less." That really bugged me.

Also, watch out if a nurse says, " We're giving you something for your stomach." I expected Zantac or Tums. Instead they pulled up my gown and rammed a needle in my stomach. Twice a day, for clots. And I mean rammed. I have six purple and dark green biscuit size bruises with big black centers where the needle went in and it's been ten days. When I got home I held a heating pad to my belly as it is so sore. Each needle made a spasmy knot. OW.

Other than those blips, I did really well at the hospital. Everyone was surprised by my mobility, my drive to get up and go home and how polite I was. I'll cherish that always.

Home has been tough, I have a lot of headaches and I really can't do anything. We rented a wheelchair and it has been the best thing ever. Not having cabin fever makes this all so much better. Two days ago they took me for a walk in the park along a river. Here's some pics. The angles are a bit off as I was sitting but at least you can see us :-)

Love, love, love and more love to all of you. Sorry I've been really slow replying to comments. I'll get there :-)


Brittany Bellows said...

My dad had the shots for clots a few weeks ago during his hospital stay. He kept saying that was the worst part of it all and I believe him. Sorry you had to have them too. Not cool.

Jenna Bayley-Burke said...

Oh! You got to get outside! That's fantastic. I knew your guys would take better care of you than any hospital.

My brother had surgery a few weeks ago and ran into some of the same pain management issues. It drove my s-i-l (a labor & delivery nurse who is on a floor that emphasizes patient comfort) crazy! But, he's nearly off all the meds now. A miracle considering where he was pre-surgery.

Tara said...

First, I am SO VERY glad to hear you are on the mend. I'm sure its tough for a do-er to be so still, but I'm hoping you're (better than) your old self very soon!

Secondly, I LOVE those photos! I don't think the angle is off at all. When we first got our dogs, someone told us to always get down on the floor with them to take photos so we'd be more at their level, and darn if they weren't right. I think having you sitting for these shots makes for some beautiful (almost) eye level shots. I just can't believe how BIG those boys are getting!

Hang in there my friend, I hope you are having a good day!

Rach said...

So good that you can get out and about. x

Gabby said...

Oh my dear dear Nicole! HUN...when they say REST...the mean REST! I wish I was near to try to help in whatever I helping you reach So rest up K?

I'm a big freakin' chicken. I'm suppose to have back surgery but there's a 50/50 chance of me ending up in a wheelchair permanently...being I'm the one in charge at home with minor help from hubby...I said I'd rather take the back pain...and you better than anyone knows how that's like. You my dear friend are brave and I commend you...but then again you have an amazing hubby and amazing kiddos to help get you through this! LOVE YA BABE! You better rest or Gabby's gonna have to take a little trip and smack you silly! :P Glad you are out and about...just take it easy hun!

Ashley Nguyen Newell said...

Oh Nicole! I wanna go kick those nurses in the shins for you! What MEANIES! :( I'd love to be able to give you a giant hug. But yay for your family being so wonderful! I love the pictures you took of the boys, I think that the chair gives a GREAT angle so that the sky is so vast in the pictures. I'll think lots of healing thoughts for you!

Tiff said...

Wow...I'm so sorry to hear about your nurses. I wish people would keep their attitudes to themselves...sigh* BIG gentle hugs to you and I hope you're able to get in with cardio soon! Thanks for the update and enjoy the great outdoors :)

MaryC said...

haven't you learned anything from me? Stop trying to do stuff. Let yourself heal. JoAnn's will still be there tomorrow.
I am glad you are doing well but wish you would take it EASY!
Praying for you.
Love and Hugs,

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Maggi said...

I'm so glad you got a chance to get outside! I hope you get all rested up and more comfortable soon!

Courtney Baker said...

Keep resting girl! I hope you continue to improve but no more ink from JoAnn's :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Nicole, so pleased you have been able to get outside and those are great shots, the angle seems great to me :-)

Keep resting and hope those bruises fade real soon.

See you on facebook . . . Sue N :-)

Mima said...

My hospital stay was almost the exact opposite, on admission the docs didn't prescribe any of my pain meds at all, and I was too unwell to realise, it wasn't until I was going into withdrawal the next day (full on shakes etc) that I started protesting, and eventually it was the nurses who pushed the docs to get things sorted out for me. I have both MS and ME (or CFIDS I think in the States), half the docs don't believe in it, and I think they thought I was drug seeking. I went through absolute hell either because some doc thought he knew better than my Pain Consultant, or because he was slack about writing everything down. I was doled out two paracetamol every 6 hours like I should be grateful, and a one point they gave me 1 tablet of codeine phosphate and told "that should make you sleep now" - doesn't even touch the sides. If it wasn't for the nurses I think I would have gone insane, they were really kind & looked out for me. The doctors in admitting on the other hand are a bunch of ********.

Laura O'Donnell said...

thanks for checking in and letting us know how you're doing. sorry about the spoons, and Joanns. I'm thinking of you!

Amy Wing said...

Ah... nurses. :) The problem is you never know which type you'll get...there are plenty who should be doing a different job. And there are plenty of good ones - unfortunately, most medical people (docs included) understand little to nothing about chronic pain management. If they would just go back to their basic physiology (the whole tolerance bit - you can't give LESS meds after surgery than a person was getting BEFORE and expect the pain to be managed) and take a freakin' ETHICS refresher, maybe they'd clean up their holier-than-thou attitudes. Pain should be TREATED if at all possible. One of the things that bugs me most about chronic pain management is that MOST medical folks don't understand the difference between dependence and addiction... and the DEA has nearly all prescribers running scared.

But I'll get off that soapbox for now. Thank god I'm supported in treating pain where I work, but then, it causes its own problems. I have a patient right now who requires pain management, but he has super nasty swallowing problems AND problems with instability and falling - both of which get worse when he's on pain meds. Oh, and his pain and anxiety problems are linked... so he really needs some anxiolytic meds along with the pain meds (or the pain meds just don't work as well)... AND he's post eye surgery. *sigh*

Honey, be looking for a sweet package from me and the Gauche Alchemy girls. I have finally collected all the pretty pieces and hope to get it in the mail to you tomorrow. Stop bending down to pick things up, my friend!! (I've got a solution for that in the package - heh heh...)

Anonymous said...

Hey. I don't normally leave comments, but I just wanted to say thanks for the great information. I have a blog too, though
I don't write as good as you do, but if you want to check it out here it is. Thanks again and have a great day!

World of Warcraft Hunter Pets

Laila said...

Meet my new love Zantac! hahahha...
It cures all the stomach acidity and reflux when I was pregnant. Got it at ZANTAC my friend, ZANTAC! It works wonders and always keep it handy at all times.

Carmen said...

Oh my word! I can't even imagine how horrendous that main must have been, it sets my teeth on edge just thinking about it. The nurses that dealt with my Mum were amazing and it was the doctors who were complete eejits. If it wasn't for the nurses I dread to think what further pain she would have endured until the end.

So glad to see you out and about and smiling. Gorgeous photos. Don't worry about replying to comments just get better :)

Lori said...

Sorry about your clotshots. If I was there, I'da.....well, you know the rest of THAT. Thanks for sharing the pics! Beautiful boys, all 4 of them!