Friday, May 1, 2015

How Many Times Can One Person Get Poked For Bloodwork In One Day?

It's been one week since my surgery, so I thought I'd post about how I'm doing. The strides I've made, and the setbacks I've had since getting home. As you probably know, I was discharged home on Tuesday (and I promise to get to the second part of my hospital stay soon). I've had my ups and downs. Today has not been one of my better days, so let's rewind.

Wednesday, my dad went back home so he could work. I was doing well, and we would talk everyday so he could get updates. I sat down on the couch to enjoy my first cup of coffee since my surgery and to see what was on television during the weekdays.

(Coffee and Kelly & Michael - I could get used to this!)

My home visiting nurse came out for the first time to check my vitals and see how I was doing since getting home. She asked me a lot of questions, then she took my blood pressure both while sitting and standing. She also listened to my lungs and heart, and took my blood oxygen saturation and heart rate both at rest and after walking a few laps around the house. She also checked the site where my drain tubes were to make sure they looked good. Then we set up a time for her to come back this morning.

My brother left around noon on Wednesday to get back home so he could do a few things before going back to work on Wednesday. Mom and I sat out in the sun for a while, then decided to grab a bite to eat. Mom asked me what sounded good, and since my brother had warmed up left over Buffalo Wild Wings for his lunch, I wanted that. Mom took me to Buffalo Wild Wings, then we went to Wegmans to pick up some groceries, and some things I needed since getting home. By the time we got to Wegmans I was already pretty exhausted. I know I just had major surgery, but it was just so hard for me to grasp the idea that I used to run between 9-12 miles a week and now I couldn't even make it through the grocery store. Once we got home, I collapsed into my bed to watch Ellen, but that turned into an hour and a half nap. That night mom and I made dinner and then relaxed and watched television. We started to watch Last Man Standing on Netflix, and oh my gosh, the show is completely hysterical! I was laughing so hard, and it really hurt me to laugh.

Yesterday I took it easy because Wednesday seemed to wipe me out so easily. When I woke up it hurt to take deep breaths around the lower lobe of my right lung. Every time I would take a deep breath, it felt like my lung was rubbing against my ribs and cracking. Almost to the point where if I could take a deep breath, it might pop, and the pain would resolve - obviously this would not happen. I monitored it throughout the day, and noticed that it ached more when I either laid on my back, or laid on my right side. When I was up and moving or laying on my left side I did't seem to feel the ache as much. I took it easy most of the day. I relaxed on the back deck for a while in the sun, while mom did some cleaning around my house.

(Hanging in the sun with my Coco)

After lunch we decided to run into town so I could renew Coco's dog license, then I had to run to the bank to cash a few checks. Once we got home I laid on the couch for a few hours and watched a movie. Just as I was drifting off to sleep there was a knock at my front door. Mom answered the door and I over heard the man say he had a delivery for me. Mom signed for it, and the next thing I knew she was coming up the stairs with an Edible Arrangement! She set it on the kitchen table and I came over the check it out. It was so cute, the fruit bouquet was arranged in a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse dish, and attached was a Disney Princess balloon. The small card attached read "Happy Healing, Rockstar!" signed by the secretaries at work!

(How Sweet!)

(Some of the pineapple were even shaped like Mickey!)

When we sat down last evening to watch some television, and I could feel the aching in my lungs again. I ended up falling asleep on the couch last night, and woke up in a lot of pain, so I dragged myself to my bed. I woke up once around 6 am, then again around 8:30 am. I still noticed the pain while laying in bed, and decided to get up and get a cup of coffee. I knew the home visiting nurse would be out to see me soon, and I would mention the pain to her. Then I also had a one week follow-up with my primary late morning. The nurse came and took all my vitals and everything else she did Wednesday. Then she took her time and listened to my lungs, after that she called my primary to tell him that I had crackles in my right lung.

When I followed-up with with him a few hours later, he listened to me and was concerned it could be 3 different things (and here is where I lost my entire day). He was most concerned that I had a pulmonary embolism (blood clot in my lungs). So I had to run next door to the lab for STAT lab work, and then he scheduled a CT Angio to rule out the pulmonary embolism. I went next door to get the lab work, and I knew this was not going to be pretty. The nurses had problems when I was in the hospital. You may also recall that I mentioned that 2 of my IV's blew while I was in the hospital. The phlebotomist called me back, she poked me twice and nothing. Then she had the other phlebotomist try. She also poked me twice and nothing. I knew my veins were shot from being in the hospital. I went back into my primarys office to tell him, and tell him I would try again later. He told me to get something to drink, but to do it soon because I was not supposed to have anything to eat for the CT Angio.

Mom and I went to Tom Wahl's, she ordered lunch and I ordered a medium drink. After that we ran home to let Coco out, and then headed to the imaging office for my CT Angio. For the CT Angio, I needed to get an IV for contrast. Thankfully, the nurse was great, and was able to get the IV in one shot, and I barely felt her poke me. I was in there for the test for roughly 20 minutes, and then mom and I headed to the lab to try my blood work again. I checked in and sat down, and then I was called back to the desk. They said I had no orders in my chart. I explained to the woman that I was at the lab earlier that day and they were unsuccessful at drawing labs, but that the orders should be there. After much waiting, and being called back up to the desk a few different times, they finally got new orders in, and I was called back. The first girl poked me twice with nothing, again. Then someone else came in to try. She also poked me twice, but by some grace of god, the second time she poked me, she was able to get a blood return. I sat there with my fingers crossed that we would be able to draw all four tubes of blood that they needed, and thankfully, we were.

Nine pokes today. NINE. It was now 4:30 in the afternoon and I was completely exhausted from all the running around I was forced to do. However, I had made plans to meet with Nita to get pedicures at 5, and I still wanted to go. I figured that would be relaxing, sitting in a massage chair, while my legs and feet were massaged and my toes painted. Before meeting Nita, I really wanted a snack, so mom took me to Wendy's and I got a small chocolate Frosty and a small fries to dip in the Frosty. Not the most nutritious, but it did satisfy the hunger I had since I was not allowed to eat before my test. The pedicure felt nice, but I was still so tired that it was hard for me to completely enjoy it. Though it was nice to catch up with Nita before she heads out of town next week. And I have to admit, my toes do look pretty cute.

Once I got back into the car from my pedicure, I had a voicemail from my primary's office. They said I didn't have a pulmonary embolism (thank god!), but I do have fluid on my lungs. The fluid is only a small amount and it should resolve on its own. I need to monitor my breathing and temperature all weekend, and then call the office back on Monday. The home visiting nurse will be out to see me Monday as well. For now, the only plans I have for the weekend are rest and relaxation. I really need to slow down so I don't have any more set backs. The next could be worse.

1 comment:

  1. your toes are cute! so glad to read this update - rest up :)