Hospital Visit

People, thanks for all the good wishes on my health this weekend.  Guess what?  I really was sick.  By Sunday afternoon I was so weak that breathing felt strenuous.  I called a friend and went to the emergency room at Big Teaching Hospital.  Among local hospitals, BTH is my heart.  It’s the place I go when I need someone who can make a diagnosis.  Other hospitals may be satisfactory when I am already sure what’s going on, but BTH is the place to get a smart doc who will answer some questions and the technology and staff to take care of anything, including brain surgery.  I had not been hospitalized since I was diagnosed with lupus, so if I was going to break that record I needed to break it in the most productive way possible. 

As it turned out, I didn’t need brain surgery.  I was dehydrated.  I still can’t explain it from the meds I was on and my activities last week.  Tomorrow I’ll tote all my labwork to my rheumatologist and ask some questions.  Since kidneys are a large part of the fluid balance control system, and kidneys are frequently damaged by lupus, I need to put this before my lupus doc immediately. 

I got lots of IV fluids in the hospital.  In addition, they fed me bland food and took blood every four (!) hours.  The food was a big disapointment.  I think the hospital is the perfect place to introduce people to a new, healthy way of eating.  It’s an opportunity that is unparalleled, because your people are a captive audience and sick enough to pay attention.  After all, they don’t want to die, and they like knowing there’s some aspect of their care they can control.  To my mind, that means you want to put your best foot waaaay forward in presenting an attractive, flavorful, healthy meal.  My BTH failed this miserably.  I was fed a “cardiac diet” of unseasoned, fiberless, unimaginatively prepared food.  There were items such as greens and sliced peaches that I’m sure came from preservative-packed cans.  Too much refined sugar was in evidence, as were sugar substitutes. 

The friend who took me to the hospital loves to be in hospitals.  She is excellent company, as she enjoys that socializing-while-waiting game.  Because she and I have long histories with BTH, hers from parents being treated there repeatedly, mine from being on staff there and having the family history as well, we ran into plenty of employees that we knew.  Time passed pretty easily. 

I took the knitting bag with the red alpaca sweater to  the hospital with me.  It was not a strongly conscious choice.  The bag was already packed and in view.  I was so weak that I forgot many items I thought I might need, including Wicked.  No worry.  Once I was in a room in the emergency room, I had knitting time and even the inclination.  I put many rows on my sweater in my room on the 9th floor after I arrived there, too. 

I only slept two hours last night.  I was all tied up with my IV, pulse oxygen sensor, and ECG leads.  I’m going to make up for that immediately.



7 Responses

  1. I’m so sorry you have been under the weather. Sending prayers your way.

  2. Bless your little heart!

  3. I’m really sorry about the hospital admission. I hope you’re feeling much better! Stay out of hospitals. They’re bad for you. 😉

  4. I hope you and your specialist sort through all this and you find yourself on the correct course of action right away! goodness gracious.

  5. I’m SO sorry, but isn’t it grand that BTH is in our neighborhood.

    I spent yesterday in MDAnderson from 2 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. with my cousin, with various appointments, ending up with his first chemo treatment. He did beautifully – and that is an amazing place. I should be coming home over the weekend sometime.

    I hope you get some quality rest time.

  6. After all the commotion I rewarded myself with an overdue visit to the Y and the whirlpool. All this diet & nutrition talk has inspired me to really take notes and be serious about it, so I gingerly stepped up on the scale for a ‘starting point’ and Whoop Dee Do I get to “Start” ten pounds down from where I thought I was! Wheee!

  7. Gosh, Essie, I am sorry you had to go to the hospital…I will be sending feel good vibes your way…I have been traveling and away from my puter…

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