Sunday, July 4, 2010

Hospital Observations...(yes, I'm still here).

It's interesting. Being in a hospital for an extended amount of time, yet feeling totally normal. And why am I writing about the hospital when I was supposed to be released this morning?

Because I'm still here.

Apparently, I'm the FIRST patient my doctor has ever worked with, whose INR number didn't keep rising the way it was supposed to. I stalled at 1.9 for a second day. Double shit. My parents always told me I was *special*. This wasn't the sort of example I was hoping for.

But that's okay - because I'm exactly where I need to be, getting the necessary treatment. The plan is to up the Coumadin and continue with the Lovenox shots. Yes, I HTFU and give myself the shots. Twice daily. To the abdomen. But trust me when I say that there are plenty of love-handles to inject the medicine into.

...Speaking of love-handles, I've got a theory about why it's so difficult for my INR number to respond to the Coumadin. And it actually has to do with Vitamin K, a fat soluble vitamin. Ready?

Are you sure??

It's nothing special, except that I try to eat SUPER HEALTHY greens, get my daily dose of veggies, and supplement my diet with a multivitamin - my Vitamin K stores are extremely high... and a week's worth of hospital food, will not decrease the Vitamin K deposits in my body. Or any deposits for that matter, but that's a different story.

But the great news - is once we get this last bit of information figured out, I'll be free and clear to GO HOME. HOME! With NATHANIEL! With HOUSE MONSTERS!! With my MOM - who flew into ON HER BIRTHDAY!!! And my DAD - who is flying in LATER THIS WEEK!

And more great news? Can you handle it?

I'm not positive for Factor V. - which means that (knock on wood - EVERYONE, because there are no guarantees ever) I won't be a lifer on Coumadin. But like I said - there are no guarantees. Did you get that? No guarantees.

Tonight I spent some time wandering the halls of the hospital. There were lots of visitors in the morning, many people wearing their patriotic reds, whites, and blues. I could hear happy chatter and laughter down the corridor, instead of the usual shuffle of nurses or beeping of patient's machines. It was - for the first time since I've been here (all 7 days) - a happy sound. The sound of life; the sound of hope.

Later, after the visitors left, I checked in at the nurses station to let them know I would be taking a walk throughout the hospital. After my heart rate dipped into the 40s a few nights ago and I was greeted with the frantic sight of my nurse (checking to make sure I hadn't passed out in the East Garden), I figured I should let them know where I was going.

It's interesting - walking the cooridors of a nearly empty hospital. Hand painted pictures of hearts adorned the walls near the Physical Therapy and Training Rooms. Brightly painted, each heart was unique and probably as different as the artists who painted them.

I also found a Zen Garden. Although the no eating and no drinking didn't seem very zen-like to me. On the flip side, when patients braving chemotherapy and other procedures that prohibit them from drinking and eating, it's wonderful to have an outdoor place to visit and not worry about feeling ill due to someone else's Pimento Bean Soup.

I don't even feel sick, yet the thought of Pimento Bean Soup makes me queasy.

It was interesting - walking around dressed in normal clothes (jeans + shirt = bliss), sans hospital gown. Yes, I have a hospital band on one arm (SORT of like the band race directors attach to your wrist when you're racing...), and IV in the other, and a portable EKG. But after one, two, three, four, and then five groups of people gave me wide berths and funny looks, I started to wonder what was going on.

Me: normal looking, not sick bracelet...iv in arm...and ekg machine in the shape of a box.

And then it hit me: either they though I was on house arrest and some drug addict in the hospital with my gps tracker in my hads which kept track of my whereabouts at ALL times... OR... that I wasn an escaped mental patient, roaming the halls.

Yikes! Neither sounded good, so I quickly made my way back up to my room. Yeah.

And now... well... now I wait. I just finished my non-hospital dinner (which was the same as my non-hospital lunch). Thank you to Jaime and Meredith - real food never tasted so good. Nathaniel and I both enjoyed the fish and kalamata olives..but that chocolate brownie thingy was the BEST baked good that I've had in a long time. I think I moaned a little - so did Nate. And I figure the extra healthy stuff is good for me in the long run, even if my INR levels don't appreciate it. But more about that later.

Mom will be arriving soon, and even though Nathaniel and everyone has been wonderful out here - there's nothing like having your Mom at your side...It makes all the difference in the world.

Fingers crossed - tomorrow at this time I'll be home... cracking jokes with the family, petting the House Monsters, and watching trash TV. In my own bed.

It's the little things my friends - the little things that make all the difference. Icing on that proverbial sheet cake. Or, in this case, baked good.

Let's keep on keepin' on....

And one last VERY important note: Happy Birthday America! Cheers! Salute! And THANK YOU to all the men and women in uniform - past and present - whose love for this country helped make it what it is today. (And the families that supported them!)

Oops - even more important... HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM! This is the second time I've been in the hospital on your birthday...Fingers crossed it's the last. But at least we get to see each other - yea!


Steve said...

You really are a positive person!! Sounds like you are on the fast track to recovery. That is great!!! :)

MaineSport said...

I hope the INR comes up. I understand how frustrating it can be to hear flat numbers. Take it easy when you get home- more than you might be inclined to be. And keep up the positive attitude- it's inspiring.

Beth said...

Darn INR!! Sometimes they can be buggers - but hopefully yours will relent and rise soon. :) And so great to hear that your mom is coming to visit! You are right - nothing like having your mom around... Thinking of you guys and hope that you are in the comfort of your own home soon!

Midwestern Dot said...

Having mom around when you're sick makes such a huge difference!
Glad to hear you're released from the mental ward!

ADC said...

Hopefully by the time I write this you will be at home.

Angela and David Kidd said...

I never even knew the term INR before your hospital stay and now I feel I can use it in casual conversation. And, you really are special!

Glad you are staying so positive but hopefully you get out of there soon.

m said...

I hope you get out of there soon!

Teresa said...

You need a real vacation after this time away from home. Hurry and get out of there! tn

Bob Mitera said...

Hope you're home VERY soon. Having a puppy has been the ultimate health helper.

Rebecca DeWire said...

Good job with self administering the Lovenox! And I hope that you get to go home soon. One thing I thought of asking you is if your doctors are having you take extra calcium? Previous doctors I saw told me that Lovenox interferes with calcium absorption so they had me take a supplement. But my new doctors never mentioned anything about it which I thought was strange (but I do take the calcium since my previous doctors were better versed on anticoagulation). I was just curious what your experience was. Way to stay positive through all of this!

Melissa said...

Marit - you have such a great attitude. I really hope you get to go home tomorrow. Yeah for not being Factor V positive, that's very good news!

Nicole @ Geek Turned Athlete said...

Positive vibes, positive vibes!! I hope you get to go home tomorrow. ;)

Jennifer Yake Neuschwander said... life long coumadin! I've been working a bunch and thinking of you. I told all my nurse friends your story and we are jealous we didn't get to take care of you. Glad though your closer to home in Encinitas. I am not a bit suprised the nurses were finaggling you a private room. You are special.

Kim said...

let's go INR! get up there! hoping you get to go VERY VERY soon!

Dan said...

Hope you're out soon and on the road to recovery! Good luck!

Trigirlpink said...

I'm thinkin' you are out by now, eh?? Enjoy having your mom around. I'm sure the kitties will be like Velcro when you get home.