Saturday, January 12, 2013

A little bit about my hospital stay, a couple of new experiences, Nurse Ratchet is challenged, and where we are staying.

As the title implies, this will probably be a rather long post.  First of all, I would like to thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers, words of encouragement, and concern.  The number of comments and emails I have received has been overwhelming.  What a great blogging community we have.

I was in the Mayo hospital for almost three days.  There’s not much I remember about that first surgery day.  I was pretty much out of it all day.  I was the first person in the operating room, and we had to leave the rig at 4:30 a.m. to get there!  The only thing I really remember is having to use a bed pan, and it overflowing several times.  (TMI?)

Wednesday, they got me out of bed so I could start to learn how to walk again.  Painful?  YES!, but the morphine helped zonk me out after each physical therapy session.  They had me take some pills to help with constipation, and also milk of magnesia.  Let’s just say that they more than worked, but at least I could use an elevated portable toilet rather than the bedpan.  The problem was I wasn’t very quick at getting out of bed in time.  I think I may have set a record for having the sheets changed more frequently than any other patient on record!  I was also cut off from the morphine since it plummeted my BP to very low levels.  Sad smile

By Thursday, I was ready to get out of Dodge!  I spoke to the Doctor about it, and he said it would depend on what the Physical Therapist had to say about my progress.  You can bet I did my best to impress her with my progress.  I had shown her the pictures of the stairs into the rig so we practiced stairs, and I passed!   A bit after 5:30 in the evening, I was released, and we boogied out of there for home.

On Friday, we had to drive to Kingsland to get three prescriptions filled.  One for pain, one for nausea from the pain meds, and one to help prevent blood clots.  First stop was Walgreen’s.  I used my handicapped tag for the first time, and we parked right next to the door.  Thank Goodness!  I used my walker to get inside the store, and as usual the prescription department was in the far back corner.  Kurt went ahead to give them the prescriptions while it took me about ten minutes to get there. 

They didn’t have the blood clot one, but called the CVS in town, and transferred the prescription there since I had to have it that day.  By the time I walked back out to the car, I was about done in.  We stopped at the Publix for a few things, and I had my first experience using one of those handicapped carts.  After Walgreens, Kurt had to go get it for me so I could drive from the car to the store and back.  As we approached the CVS, it dawned on me that these pharmacies have drive up windows.  Duh!  Why hadn’t I thought of that for Walgreens??

It turned out that the blood clot prescription was an injection!  Nurse Ratchet was a little nonplussed, as he had never given an injection before.  We read the directions a couple of times, and things went off without a hitch.  I think it was the least painful shot I’ve ever had!  He has nine more days to practice that skill on me.  Winking smile

I have been religiously doing my exercises every day since I’ve been home, and am impressed with my progress.  Getting in and out of the rig on those stairs is easier than walking, if you can believe that.  So I still get to sit outside whenever I want since we’re experiencing fantastically warm weather near 80*.

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At the beginning of the entrance road to Okefenokee NWR, there is a campground on the opposite side of the highway.  It is Okefenokee Pastimes.  The owners are a little different, but I eventually persuaded them to allow me to stay for the duration of my recovery.


It is small, quiet, and very clean.  The workampers, C and Shawn, here are wonderful and very helpful.  Before I took Emma to the kennel, C came by a time or two each day to walk Emma for me.  As we pulled in from the hospital on Thursday night, they both came over to be of help getting me into the rig. 


I’m able to do my walking exercises each day around the campground, and got this shot of my site, under Kurt’s watchful eye last night.  I have been blessed with my nurse, friends, and folks here at the campground to help boost my recovery.  It’s no wonder I haven’t needed any of the pain meds since arriving home.  ‘In rig’ visits from Charlton county home nursing will begin next week for further PT.  I’m maintaining my positive attitude and can envision being back on the trails in the not too distant future.

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy