Discharged From The Hospital – Day 8 at Tulane


12:00: I am just laying in bed, TV on in the background, playing some BlackJack on my phone.

1:00: Still playing BlackJack but the Ambien and the Vicodin are starting to kick in.  I am half on half off the bed, but very comfortable.

2:00: OK, with all those fluids pumping into me, time to go use the bathroom again.  After using the bathroom, I see that the scale to weigh myself is out in the hallway.  The nurse told me to tell him if I woke up any time early morning and he would take my weight then rather than waking me up at 4.  I don’t see him in site, I step into the hallway, turn on the scale, let it zero, and then get on.  My mom, who is spending the night, waits for the nurse and tells him my weight, meantime, I go lay back down in bed and as soon as I do, I am sleeping from the pills.

6:00: I wake up.  I know I got another hour to sleep, so I doze back off.

7:15: i wake up again, and this time I know breakfast is coming soon.  So I change the channel on the TV and wait.  I take my blood sugars as well and its 113.

7:30: Breakfast arrives.  It is actually semi warm this time!  I don’t care too much for what is in the large compartment which is oatmeal, but in the smaller compartment is a Muffin and in the other is Eggs and Bacon.  So I make me a hospital version of the McMuffin Sandwich.

7:45: I am done with Breakfast.

8:00: Back to playing with the rubric’s cube.

8:30: Dr. Ross greets me and says it looks like I may be going home today.  He get’s a phone call and needs to go talk to the group of doctor’s who oversee the Stem Cell Transfer/Bone Marrow Transfer patients to discuss me and the other patients under their care in the hospital today and for each their plans for the day.

9:30: Dr. John come’s back and says I am going home today and he is going to remove my Quinton/Tunneled Catheter line because I no longer need it since my stem cells have been collected.  Also since they are trying to rule out sources of infection it can go.  He gets a scalpel and cuts the stitches holding it in.  He then prepares me and tells me that he is going to pull it out with no numbing medication.  He then takes a hold of it, tells me to take a deep breath in and then yanks the foot and a half catheter line out of my chest.  This line goes into my chest up into my neck, down into the jugular, and then stops right by the heart for the best blood supply for the blood flow needed to for the Phresis machine to collect the stem cells.

9:45: I ask my nurse for a Vicodin for the pain that is left burning after the pull.

10:00: the nurse comes in and brings a student to watch her de-access my port.  She takes off the patch off over the needle.  She then proceeds to pull the needle out.  I don’t feel a thing, the needle coming out is always better than the needle going in.

10:05: I get up out the bed and grab a glove.  I put the lidocane cream on the port area to numb it up for the next needle stick.

10:15: I jump back in bed and watch TV while I wait for it to numb up.

11:30: The nurse comes back in and wipes of the cream.  She then preps the site and then she asks me what size needle I have, 1 inch or 1/2 inch.  She tries 1/2 inch, but that is too short, I tell her 1 inch will be too much, she goes and finds a 3/4 inch needle.  She preps the site again and puts the 3/4 inch without a problem.  She can push the saline flush into me, and then puts the patch over the needle to hold it in place.  She then test for blood return, and we get that too.  She then flushes the needle with saline and then heparin.

11:40: Dr. John pops back in and we ask him a few questions.  He goes through the whole transplant process with me and prepares me for the long challenging road ahead of me once the transplant process starts.  Too much for me to repeat right now, but definitely something I am not looking forward to.

12:00: Transport shows up and is ready to wheel me to the Saratoga Parking Garage.  I jump in the wheel chair eager to get out of here since I have been here for a whole week.  I take the 2 bags that are in the room and put them in my lap.  Transport then wheels me to the garage.

12:10: We arrive at the garage, my mom goes up a floor and grabs the car and brings it down to the valet parking area for me to get into the car, we head on home!

12:30: We get home. What a relief!

12:45: I am sitting in the lazy boy, just relaxing.  I get out my computers and start checking on everything that I had missed throughout the previous week and start lining up things for this week’s work.  I also turn the TV on in the background.

5:00: Still sitting in the lazy boy, watching TV now more than on the computer.

6:30: Dinner time.  We warm up some Spaghetti and Meatballs and Red Tomato Sauce that Mrs. Cindy, a good friend of ours, made for me last Thursday night, however, no one was planning on me being in the Hospital last Thursday night.  Oh well.  The meatballs are GREAT as always and her sauce over the spaghetti is just right with the cheese added on top!  YUMMY

7:30: I am done eating, and it was great!

8:00: I take out the medicine ball of vancomycin that I will have to start at 9:00.

8:55: I take out the alcohol preps and wipe down the cap of my catheter line.  I then  hook up a saline flush and push half the syringe into me.  I then pull back checking for a blood return which I get after some finagling.  I then push the rest of the syringe into me.  I then take the cap off the ball and test to make sure that the medicine is flowing properly from the ball, and it does with no issues.  I then unhook the syringe and hook the medicine ball line into it, making sure the cap does not come in contact with my skin or anything else during the change for sterility reasons.  I then open the clamp on the ball and let the medicine start flowing into me, back to watching TV…

10:00: The medicine ball is done pumping into me.  I unhook the line and then once again I take another alcohol wipe, and wipe down the cap to make sure it is sterile.  I take the saline syringe and flush the rest of the medicine in the line into me.  I then take the heparin and flush that into the line to make sure that nothing will clot my line.

10:10: Back to watching TV and working on my computer….

11:30: Time to put up for the night.  I am exhausted.

11:45: I am in bed.

11:59: ZzZzZ, sleeping away I am.  Another day over!

© Craig