Saturday, October 27, 2007

2nd Hurdle: Crossed. (grudgingly)

For those still hanging in there with us, nothing bad has still not happened yet, unless you count the pinch-sized bruises on our arms that we keep giving each other to check our state of reality.

Yesterday, they rousted her out of bed for not one, but two 'walks' down the hall. I used the word "walk" as it is what you call human ambulation, but I suspect "totter under duress and possibly gunpoint" would be a better term. As one who is not used to illness, Lilian is like most of us and does not enjoy what having one's body fail entails.

In short, she does not enjoy ill health.

She has had her share of horrors the first 24 hours after leaving the ICU, including the really, REALLY cranky old man in a motorized scooter who repeatedly kept banging into her bed right after they moved her to the regular cardiac ward, despite our saying, "HEY! Please watch what you're doing." He was apparently married to her roommate, who was loud, but soon discharged. As he scooted past us, he glared his gloweriest at us, apparently for not allowing him to continue to ram the bed of a woman 16 hours post bypass surgery, bloody chest tube and multiple IV drips, not to mention various other catheters emerging from her bruised person.

May he have a long, miserable stay in the level of hell populated with all the others of his kind. They can all be horrifically rude to each other and at least deserve their glowers.

Then they gave her a new roommate, a 96-year-old lady, who, according to Lilian, "looked 96 years old," (her way of disparaging someone). She apparently was moved after a solid hour of screaming, yelling and hollering about this and that. I don't know if she was intentionally doing this or just really confused (imagine that in a scary hospital), but given her prior roommate, maybe Lilian is just unlucky in attracting the only horrible people in Wisconsin. (State motto: We're really cold but really nice.)

Then the meatloaf was horrible. (As a confirmed hater of meatloaf, I found this hardly surprising.)

Then they started having her get up and around by sitting in a chair and by the previously mentioned totters down the hall. She also spent time with the social worker and the physical therapist. No rest for the weary.

So that's where we are in all this. She looks beaten but she's got a glint in her eye that she didn't have in the days leading up to all this. She seems to be mentating better than she has for the past several weeks. She has the strength to resent what's happening to her and more power to her. No one should have to endure hospital meatloaf, even if of one's own choosing.



Blogger Udge said...

I'm very glad to hear such a positive progress-report (leaving aside the room-mates. Hell is indeed other people). Crossed fingers and best wishes to you all.

2:44 PM  
Blogger moegirl said...

Meatloaf hours after surgery? Aren't you supposed to have, like, chicken broth and jello after surgery?

Can't believe the guy in the motorized scooter! I know its hard to yell at older folks, but I don't know that I could have contained saying, "Hey, asshat, quit ramming the bed with your scooter!"

The fact that Lillian has endured meatloaf, insane room-mates and getting up and being a bit ambulatory is a good sign. Hope she gets some nicer food and room-mates.

3:04 PM  
Blogger Cagey said...

Down to the meatloaf!

Up to the recovery!

4:40 PM  
Blogger The Rotten Correspondent said...

You'll know she's completely herself when she pushes cranky old men types off of their scooter and shoves meatloaf in their face.

The mere fact that she's expressing displeasure is a huge relief, don't you think?

And it is true about hospitals. They're a lot easier to handle when you feel well.

4:52 PM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

Isn't that amazing/unsettling how quickly they start having bypass patients walking the halls? They did the same thing w. my dad. Is it perhaps to discourage the formation of blood clots or to get the blood used to the "new route?" I really don't know. You probably do.

Anyway, I'm glad there's a glint in Lilian's eye. I suspect that all the bad roommate (and bad food) experiences are providing extra motivation and energy needed to speed recovery.

9:40 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Now you've got ME laughing about the mealoaf! Horrors! I actually liked a lot of hospital food I've experienced, but some of that ws in my little town where I was asking for the diabetic dessert recipes!

I'm glad she has a glint in her eye and has the strength to resent what's happening to her. I never thought of it that way. She must be in extreme good health besides the obvious. Hope this all continues...and MY meatloaf is really good! If I lived nearby, I'd send some up to her!!

6:44 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Udge- Thanks. Those good wishes really do help a lot.

Stace- Actually, the meatloaf was the 2nd day after surgery. The first day was broth and, for dinner, gruel. Mmmmmm. They are dubbed "The Greatest Generation" for good reason.

Cagey- Amen, sistah!!

Julie- I would have loved to see that, sadly, she didn't even seem to notice the ramming of the bed that first day. The second day, I'd hope she'd have thrown the meatloaf at him.

Rozanne- It's for a variety of reasons. The sooner you are up and moving, the less strength you lose, the fewer your complications (like blood clots, pneumonia and other infections), the better your bowels work (NEVER underestimate the importance of a good poop to an elderly patient!!!) and the sooner you can get the hell out of there.

Ruth- Actually, my experience with the two times I've been a patient in hospitals has been like yours. Not exactly asking for the recipes but finding the food quite edible. I think she's got one of the rare hospitals that live up to the stereotype. The vegetable soup last night was not to be believed.

7:02 AM  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

The real question is was the meatloaf Ponderosa bad?

Glad she's doing better. And I would probably bop that guy over the head and steal his cart. That would be fun!

11:21 AM  
Blogger PixelPi said...

My sister's mother-in-law had fallen and broken her femur in more than 3 places, which was fixed with special ordered parts from the Pep Boys, and her ortho guy set her up for rehab because she was under threat of amputation, exposure to Ebola, and nothing but gruel and meatloaf if she so much as attempted to bear any weight, including little toe, before 60 days.

The doc leaves. The nurse comes in with a big needle of morphine, pokes a generous dose into Maxine, and says, "Now we're going for our walkies."

My sister said, "No, we're not going for walkies" and told the nurse why not. (I know. All you medical professionals are cursing patient relatives everywhere now).

Nurse said, "That's okay. We'll use a wheeled walker and she can hop on one leg." She forgot the massive dose of morphine just now taking effect, which we knew when Maxine informed us out of the blue that all Lutherans are white, everybody knows that.

Nurse checked with doctor. Doctor said "NO WAY. Read the chart." Maxine did not go walkies that day. But she did the next day.

4:49 PM  

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