We’re home from the hospital. Getting in the house was a pretty hairy adventure. Turned out that I didn’t have all that much energy. As a result, my body started shaking and collapsing as I walked past my home office door. Fortunately, Mrs. Lion was able to get my desk chair under me and I managed to roll into the bedroom and then roll myself onto the bed. It wasn’t the graceful sort of entrance I would’ve liked to make.
After resting a few minutes we attempted the next Herculean task: urination. In the hospital, no less than three poorly trained staffers pushed and pulled me until I was standing in my walker. This effort exhausted all of us. When Mrs. Lion got involved I suggested that the minions back off to give her a chance to learn how to handle me, things went much smoother. Mrs. Lion understands the principles needed to get me from a sitting to lying position on the bed to a sitting position at the end of the bed, and then finally standing in the walker.
She did it very easily and advised the astounded flunkies that she was just “lucky”. These people made a great effort to let us know they had received special training on how to move patients. Apparently that training didn’t include some basic physics. For example if you’d like me to stand up and move to my right the people helping me should be providing upward support and allow me to get into position. That never occurred to them. It was as though I they were carrying a 240 pound bag of marbles.
Once standing comfortably in the walker, Mrs. Lion placed the urinal in the appropriate location and let me know I could go. I think she said, “fire when ready.” I did and the urinal did its job and captured my outflow.
The hospital is very proud of the fact that they have automated systems supporting the nursing staff. For example to determine if it’s time for me to take a specific drug, the nurse frantically types for four or five minutes, carefully reading information being delivered, before finally saying, “yes, it’s time.”
Some of the more subversive, intelligent nurses indicate pill times on a whiteboard at the front of the room. This easily-affordable system is fast and far more accurate than monkeys typing on the computer keyboard.
To his credit, my surgeon made an in-person visit every single day I was in the hospital. Good job! He was very satisfied with the healing at the wound site and with my progress taking back my bodily functions.
Before being allowed to check out of a hospital, most of the time the patient has to eat and drink and pee and poop. These basic dietary activities are considered a good indication of improving health. In my case, I was good to go in almost every respect the same day I was operated on. The poop column didn’t get checked until Friday night. There are many other items on the checkout checklist, including wound cleanup etc. that also had to be met. The nursing staff was as anxious to get rid of me as I was to go.
I can’t imagine why. I made every effort to be charming and sweet. A couple, even brought me outside treats. I take that as a strong sign of commitment between a staffer and the patient.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but apparently I was in a special unit. I was of one of three patients being handled by four nurses and health aides. This is a very intense staff to patient ratio. Yet despite that, I routinely had to wait between 30 minutes and an hour for even minor attention. I guess the other two patients were much sicker.
Somehow, I made it through. Mrs. Lion told me that the staff had bought a sheet cake decorated with flowers and a candle for each day I was in the hospital. How thoughtful I thought. I asked Mrs. Lion how I would get my piece. She responded that the cake wasn’t for us it was for them celebrating the fact that I was finally out of the place.
Now that I’ve been home more than 24 hours, I’m more comfortable and much happier with the company. It’s clear that I can’t really take care of myself yet. I can’t get from the bed to the walker on my own. I can’t feed myself or use the toilet on my own.
To top all this off, we’ve ordered a wheelchair. I never used a wheelchair. I never wanted to. But, it looks like it’s a good idea right now. Another “good” idea those nursing morons hadwas to take me to a nursing home for “rehabilitation”.
Are they kidding? No, not this lion.
I figure that it’s going to take some time for me to recover enough to cut back on the pain medication. When that happens, I should be able to better coordinate my movements. I think my current feebleness is due to the medication I’m taking.
My first night home I got a lot of sleep. That was great. Mrs. Lion got sleep too. We were both worried. We do better when we can touch one another. Now that we are in the same bed in our usual home things will begin getting easier. And, of course, I’m not allowed to growl at Mrs. Lion. There was no rule about that protecting the untrained nursing staff. I’ll try to get another post in tomorrow and let you know what’s happening in our bed.