That’s the Name of the Stay part 1

Well, in the past few months I have spent quite a lot of time at the hospital. Some for appointments and some as an inpatient. Space put it well when she reminded me that after 6 months since I decided I needed to move back up to the Philly area I have spent 3 months in the hospital. The hardest part was that I did not have a lot of chances to run and I hated to walk in the hallways with that damnable IV pole. In any case, when Space and I would discuss the what had happened and when. That was when we started naming each stay so we could keep up with the details. And this is how it all went down in what ever order I choose.
None of the names have been changed to protect the innocent.

The Vanderbilt Stay:
It was a Monday evening in September and I was feeling rather warm. Sure, it was early September in middle Tennessee which meant still hot but I was inside where I keep the air conditioning set at walk-in freezer. I really did not think so much of it but I had just received my first cycle of R-ICE the previous week and the medical persons had warned that I should look out for fevers. Evidently, they indicated some form of infection. We called in to the hotline; after some discussion Space and I hightailed it out to the Vandy ER. The ER experience was really good: they triaged me quickly, Took blood and saw that my counts were down then proceeded to admit me. The only bad part was getting a room. Poor Space was stuck in a very uncomfortable chair till very early in the morning when I was finally transported up to the room. Here comes the worst part.
Really, they could find no infection therefore no reason for the fevers. But that did not stop the fevers. I spiked at least one a day perhaps even two. We were trying to move at the time. This was to be my last week in Tennesee but my mother was there everyday till she had to fly off to Texas. My man Sumo Joe from V&C came to visit which was real cool and he even brought a big bag of mints. Eventually, the move occurred. Jen and I had given up the keys to our home and we were essentially homeless. The best part of this was that I had Space with me 24 hours a day.
I was having a problem where I was getting IV lines in both arms and blood drawn several times a day. Eventually, my veins started to collapse and hide. There were times when the nurses missed a lot and had to give up. The end solution was a PICC line. Though not the most pleasant procedure in the world where they stuck a tube in the side of my arm and sent lines down my vein to just above my heart. My fevers finally subsided for 48 hours in a row. Space rocketed out of there at the speed of light with me at the navigators position.

The Long Stay:
I know, I know. The long stay sounds long and we all know I am rather long winded any way. How on earth can it be described in a short manner. IT CAN’T. Plus it is hard to type contractions in all caps. It wasn’t till I got to the second “T” that I should have used the caps lock button. So here it goes, the long stay.
We were up in Philly and had already met the deity in his own eyes, Dr. Weis. The plan was to go in for three days of R-ICE. At TJUH it was an inpatient procedure. If I remember correctly the first two nights went okay it was the third night that went all to hell. I went through what they were calling a mental status change. I obviously went from Duff to sane in the speed of Usain Bolt. According to reports I was answering questions that were not asked. This really meant that the right questions were not being asked. Some other shit happened where my stats went haywire. What I remember was that they woke me up in the middle of the night and a bunch of people were all around me doing stuff. I was pissed that they were waking me up in the middle of the night, again. Then they moved me to some room on the 5th floor. I was on the 3rd floor. They told me that I would be there till they could get me a room back on the 3rd floor. I informed them that if they hadn’t panicked like a bunch of frightened children I would not be waiting for a room, the one I had was perfectly fine till they took me out of it. I eventually made it back down to the 3rd floor and they put me on telemetry. This is basically an alarm system that only alarms when one of the sensors with crappy adhesive comes loose. The nursing staff tend to ignore this until a critical mass (usually 2 or more) have removed themselves from my skin. I think at one point I was tired of having to lay down the way they wanted me to and took them off. This freaked them out. It turns out I actually have a drug allergy: phenergen. I am sure Space could tell you but I have no idea what it does and why they gave it to me but it was the start of all that was unholy in my body. It wasn’t long before the R-ICE started really kicking my ass.
The fevers were coming on, the fluid and drugs were being pumped in and the nauseousness was just starting to ramp up. For some reason people were coming in at way to early in the morning and bothering me with useless questions. There a couple of particularly dumb ones like do I know what date it was and have I had a mental status change. The days had started to blend in and I had no idea it was for a bit I tried to remember what yesterday was and add one. Usually I was wrong but close. I started looking at them with as much vile and hate in my eyes as I could and said “no.” After enough time they realized it was a useless question and stopped.
With the mental status change I eventually asked how on earth I would know. It is like the shrink asking the patient if he was crazy. That reminds me because of the aforementioned mental status change I had a consult from those clowns from psyche. The real funny part is that they made Space leave the room, so as not to influence my answers, and asked me idiot questions like if I was suicidal or if I was feeling happy. My responses came in the form of high brow insults flung at them and mostly “what the hell are you talking about it effing idiots” type of looks. They spoke to Space and thought I was yessing them to death and was I always that way. You jerks can’t get into my head. 😛
The nauseousness was really taking over and I was vomiting all over the place. I eventually stopped eating and that concerned everybody. All I wanted to do was roll on my side and sleep. But know everyone said get up and walk around and eat. That crap wasn’t happening. I had a spinal tap done to spread some chemo to my brain and later that night they tapped my back to drain some fluid around my lungs. It hurt but that still did not get me going. The problem was that I was missing so much fuel that I was burning through the fat quick and then I started eating away at my muscles. I saw how it was affecting my legs but I was still not going to eat. It finally took some begging from a cutie of a Nurse Practitioner,Tina and a well deserved tongue lashing from Space reminding me, because I had forgotten, that I had more responsibility to keep up with and that was taking care of myself and eating. It was harsh and at the time kind of mean but I deserved and needed it. I started eating even though I was not eating on the hospital schedule. I tended to eat dinner at around midnight and everything started shifting from their.
There was a lot more to that stay like a couple of procedures that in my lungs and a misfire with the CT scan contrast stuff. A total resistance to anesthesia and some other nightmares that went on but that can wait till part 2 of “The Name of the Stay” 35 days later I got out of the hospital that was only supposed to last three to four days. Stay tuned.

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