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Cut Steve's Blatherings

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Flashback: Wednesday

      On Wednesday morning, the pressure to get me up began again, which I resisted again by demanding my clothing bags.  People looked around; they called down to post-op, which had signed them out to a nurse on my floor; finally, the day nurse found them -- in my room.

      That sounds worse than it is.  Someone put them on my electric-adjustable bed, which raises/lowers, tilts/flattens, lowers/raises the foot portion, and raises/lowers the head.  They were placed under my head, and unless the head of the bed is raised, it's not obvious how much room there is under there.

      By the time they found them, K. was here, and we went walking together.  For me, more like shambling, holding a death-grip on my IV pump's pole.  I was weak and dizzy, worried I'd fall, and had the foley catheter and hemovac wound drainage bag dangling from me.  The multiple line leading to my IV line had to be managed, and my naso-gastric tube was still in place.  Somehow, they resisted the urge to have an oxygen tank dragged around after me.  I was back in bed in minutes, very tired.

      If my first walk or two was no fun, I did have a delightful encounter with a person.  My nursing assistant on Wens. and Thurs. was I. D., and marvelous Ethiopian-American lady.  We talked about her, immigrants, the U.S. in general.  She's a great patriot, pleased and grateful this country is so blessed, and that she was allowed to come here and live in freedom.  The freedom was emphasized by her.  She said her family was prosperous enough in Ethiopia, and she'd had a job as a nurse there.  But escaping oppression was worse huge amount.

      The big medical question was, when would my bowels move?  Until they did, I had to leave the naso-gastric tube in, and couldn't drink anything.  If you've never had an n-g tube, be grateful.  Every time you swallow, your palate rubs against the tube, gradually getting incredibly sore.  When you aren't swallowing, it's because your mouth is incredibly dry.  I alternated these discomforts for about a century after my motorcycle accident, though in retrospect, it was more likely a week.  The time would likely be much shorter this time.  But how long?

      I'd also noticed the computer in the room, and the fact that it had an internet connection, but Wednesday I was just too tired to attempt using it.  I also needed permission from my nurse, who technically is not supposed to grant it.  But she didn't care, as long as it wasn't needed for other things, and neither has any other nurse cared.

      Hmmm, by now I've stolen perhaps a dime's worth of electricity.  Bad patient, no biscuit.





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