Thursday, January 18, 2007

Thursday 13: The Hospital Edition

1. Today is the 1 year anniversary of Q's going into the hospital for adrenal surgery. Two additional surgeries soon followed.

2. His hospital stay was only supposed to be two days...three tops. It ended up lasting the better part of four months.

3. During the hospital stay, Q missed Luke's birthday, Valentine's Day, my birthday, and Easter. He came home for good on Mother's Day.

4. He went more than 6 weeks unable to eat a crumb of food--including the entire month of February. Since then, the longest he's gone without eating is maybe 6 hours.

5. After over a month and a half at the community hospital, and chewing through a truckload of red tape, Q was transferred to the Mayo Hospital in northeast Phoenix. I firmly believed that move saved his life.

6. During the earliest weeks of his hospital stay, Q was in ICU. After about the third week, one of the nurses bent the rules for us and give me permission to bring the boys in for a short visit. It was very difficult for the boys to see their dad in such a vulnerable position.

7. I think Q had more CT scans than most people have teeth.

8. I can't begin to count the number people who were on the business end of my temper. Most notable is the doctor who ordered Q have a catheter inserted when he clearly didn't need it. He claimed that he wanted his urine accurately measured. I assured him that Q may be sick, but he still has good aim. The graduated pee bottle will be just fine.

9. Q usually hates it when I act rude and talk down to people. But not that time. He thanked me for sparing him the pain of catheter insertion. ("Squeaky wheel, Honey. Squeaky wheel.")

10. Even after not being able to eat and having a feeding tube stuck down his nose for so long, Q was still very selective about which foods he would eat. He refused lemon jello. He hated the mushroom ravioli. He also told me that Mayo had the worst iced tea ever.

11. Apparently the bad iced tea at Mayo is well known. One of the nurses made Q some tea from her own personal stash.

12. The lady at the Mayo Hospital deli counter got to know me quite well. She knew I would order one of two sandwiches: egg salad on sourdough or roast beef on rye. And she never failed to ask about my husband.

13. Q has been out of the hospital for eight months. And not a day goes by where I don't think about some aspect of that whole experience. It's hard not to, considering that Arrowhead Hospital is located on the same main road that runs nearest to our house. I think about mundane things like waking Q up to give me his password to our mortgage account. I think about the vomit, the IVs, and the post-surgical bleeding. I think about the hospital volunteer who played piano in the atrium at Mayo (that guy was GOOD!).

January 18, 2006 has become a turning point, of sorts for our family. It's the reference point we use to measure when an event occurred (did that happen before or after the hospital?). It comes up in conversation at least once a day. I'm sure the Cushing's illness/hospital will wane in time. But it will take a LONG time. I'm sure of it. But in the meantime, I'm just glad it's all over.


Denise Price said...

It's called Post traumatic stress dear. I can fully sympathize with you on that one.
It's been 2 years since I broke my hip and had to have two operations and was partially immobilized for almost 4 months. I thought for a while I wasn't going to be able to walk. It truly traumitized me so whenever the anniversary comes around I panic. Unfortunately it was at Christmas so that kind of ruins it for me.
I guess as the saying goes, "Time heals all wounds" or something like that. I am glad that Q is getting better and your hidden wounds will get better too.
Here's a cyber hug from me.

Menchie said...

Your husband is so lucky to have a partner like you. Am just glad he is ok now.

Ms. Val said...

Denise, you're right. This was absolutely a long, difficult battle. It will take a long time to fully get over it. Thank you for your kind words.

Menchie, thank you. He just needs to be reminded of that fact.

Within Without said...

Thanks for opening up like this. It's been a long, arduous journey for you and I'm with Menchie -- Q's lucky to have you.

Is he out of the woods as far as his condition goes and will he recover fully?

Ms. Val said...

WW--Yes, Q is out of the woods. He's still taking cortisol supplements once a day. There is always the risk that another tumor could form and his symptoms could resurface at a later date. This is a possibility that we have to keep in the backs of our minds. When and if that does happen, we know what to look for.

Basically, if he starts gaining lots of weight in his face and belly, gets swollen feet, really bad acne, and insomnia, then we'll know it's Cushing's