Friday, May 24, 2013

Won't Go Until...

If you've been reading Life with Lynnie (LwL) recently, you'll be aware that I was hospitalized for 15 days.  And, due to this, I wasn't able to write/publish any LwL entries.  Today's entry, is the last entry I have written to fill in the time gap, from when I couldn't post here. 

On May 23rd, the day I was to leave hospital, my daughter P came to drive me home.

Originally, my nurse thought I'd be gone first thing in the morning.  It didn't work out this way.

Much to everyone's surprise, I didn't leave until mid-afternoon.

You see, as I wrote in yesterday's LwL entry, I had trouble with the drainage tube that was supposed to drain fluid from around the mesh inside me, into a bag attached to the drainage tubing. 

Please don't think that my nurse didn't know about the problem, because she and the nurses on other shifts knew.  And, my surgeon/doctor knew.  Even so, no one did anything about it.

To me, it was as if they didn't care.

But, the major reason I didn't leave the hospital first thing in the morning was due to my PICC line not functioning properly.  Once again, this was something my nurses had known about, yet no one did anything about it.

For days, I didn't understand why when the intravenous (IV) antibiotics were given me, it seemed that the pump didn't finish using up all the medications.  Over and over again, the machine had to be set for more time.

The evening prior to me going home from hospital, my nurse tried to flush both attachments (catheters) as they normally would.  However, she could hardly even get half (1/2) of the syringe filled with saline solution, to enter each of the lines.

In addition, she could not draw blood back through the lines.  Had the PICC line been working properly, this would have happened.

So, it's not like the hospital didn't know that there were problems that needed to be dealt with.

When my nurse came in to say 'bye' and let me know she'd have the form ready shortly, I let her know that I wouldn't be leaving until someone fixed the PICC line.  And, I mentioned the fact that my drainage tube set up wasn't working properly, either.

She didn't seem thrilled.

I made it clear that it was bad enough that all my nurses and my surgeon/doctor knew that the drainage tube from my gut wasn't working properly.  But, knowing that the only method of receiving the SUPER-antibiotics was intravenously, I knew that it had to work right.

If it didn't work properly, I would definitely have a problem, at home.

And then, to me it would be even worse than having nurses in hospital upset with me.  After all, if I had to return to hospital to have the PICC line looked at, I would probably have to wait hours in the waiting area of the emergency room (ER) once again, amidst sick people that I would be at risk being around, if they were contagious.

So, I refused to leave.  Until it was fixed.

A woman came to check it out from the department that handles PICC lines.  She tried to flush both tubes.  Didn't work.

She tried to draw blood up through the lines.  Didn't work.

Then, she admitted there was definitely a problem with the PICC line.  I was grateful that finally, there was someone who didn't think the problem was all in my head, because the problem was real!

This woman told my daughter P and I, that she would flush the lines with medication that they usually use for people with blood clots.

She explained that as the tubes get used, the intravenous antibiotics coat the interior of the lines, and cause a build-up that eventually leads to the lines being clogged.  She also let us know it would take an hour or two (2) before we'd know if the lines were cleared.

P and I were informed that I would have an ultrasound test done.

While I was waiting to be taken for the ultrasound test, my nurse brought in my discharge form.  And, thinking that both problems they knew needed fixing were being looked into, I signed it, at her request.  She said she was rather busy, and it would save everyone time. 

Later, I wished I had not signed the form ahead of time.  In fact, that is something I will never again, do.

When I had been told I was having the ultrasound test done, I thought she was referring to an ultrasound test being done on my gut.  After all, everyone knew the drainage tube wasn't working properly, either.

After waiting in the hallway for over an hour, I was finally taken into the room for the ultrasound test.

To my surprise, it wasn't being done on my gut.  Instead, the ultrasound technician did the test on my neck, left side of my chest, my shoulder, and my upper left arm.

This was done to ensure that I didn't have a blood clot that could clog up the PICC line.  The end result was, that I was fine.

Once upstairs again, the PICC line woman returned.  She used more medication to flush, again.  After a while, my PICC line began to work, better.

For this I praised God!  Thank You, Lord!

Believe me when I say that all this stress of having medical care with treatment equipment that hadn't worked properly for days, was upsetting to me.  What was even more upsetting was the fact that in my opinion, no one had seemed to care.

I felt like some people were only there to do the minimum required of them, and collect their paycheques.  Not really caring to doing anything about the problems I had been enduring.

Feeling like this through the night, before getting ready to leave for home, I found myself crying.  And, feeling rather sad, with much frustration.

After having my PICC line fixed, I felt somewhat relieved.  But, still rather upset due to the fact that I had been led to believe that the ultrasound was to check on the drainage tube and not the PICC line.

Thinking about all the tears I had shed, brought to mind Psalm 126:5, "They that sow in tears shall reap in joy."

Just as Jesus would have me do, I took it upon myself to forgive those who had not been very loving towards me, and my needs. 

Before leaving the hospital, I hugged my nurse and let her know I was grateful to her for the help she had given me.

And, I prayed.  Not just for the nursing staff and other medical people.  But, also for the patients, because in my mind, some of them might be suffering the way I had been.

I must admit that I felt badly that my daughter P had wasted the better part of the day waiting for me to be ready to leave the hospital.  And, even though I knew my gut drainage system wasn't working properly, I felt relieved knowing my PICC line was once again, working.

The thing I felt joyful about, was the fact that my Great Physician, Jesus Christ, was in control.  Of everything.  Including my healing, that I am trusting Him for.

Until next time...

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