Friday, November 02, 2007

Home Is Usually Better Anyway

When I visited Walter on Halloween, the *transportation* lady who pushed my wheelchair had serious trouble finding him. He was supposed to be in Room 210 Bed 1. We went all the way up and back and up and back the looooong hallway, and I can bear witness to the fact that Room 210 does not exist.

However, some large areas with incongruous 4-digit room numbers were there. When Ms. Transportation Witch - an absolutely stunningly beautiful young woman in a witch costume that was only scary due to excess loveliness - did the female thing and asked for directions, we were sent into one of those large areas off the main hallway.

Holy Cross has an odd mix of fabulous modern ER downstairs, and decrepit old rooms and old-time institutional canned green beans type service upstairs. I found that out when I was inpatient with the lung infection last spring.

This area was a sort of cardiac intermediate-intensive unit. Ms. Bewitching was directed by the nurse at a desk to the end of the hall. She wheeled me past a series of little bed areas on our right, closed off by curtains on a ceiling track like in many ER's.

See the #1 up top in the pic? That's for Bed 1.

We got to the last one, and the curtain was pulled. The #1 wasn't directly above it - it was off to the left, above a narrow door, where you'd have to wind around past some storage shelves with bags hanging off them in order to go through that door.

We thought the last bed on our right MUST be the one. Surely.

*Walter?* we asked softly. Ms. Bewitching finally pulled the curtain aside - and we found we'd awoken a young and pretty cardiac patient. Crap!

Okay. We hobgoblinned our way around the shelving clutter and through the narrow door. We ended up in a sort of little foyer or vestibule, with more shelvy equipment hanging around.

To the right, though, was a cubby hole of a room. It had real glass and a real door.

The glass to the right of the door was taped in a star pattern. It looked exactly like the totally ineffective hurricane taping that some silly folks still do.

Maybe this room used to be a balcony? And they closed it in like some folks do with a porch?

Ah! YES! There's my guy! All tied up in bed with the billions of tubes and IV's and monitor leads sticking out of him. What a sight for sore eyes.

These old icky rooms, though? They are NOT a sight for sore eyes. Not good for the kinds of emotional states people feel when they're stuck in a hospital room.

Especially not when you realize the curtained windows would look into that young lady's cubbyhole. Or when you realize there's a permanent spy camera pointed at you.

Home is definitely better.
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Marian said...

Hope you hubby will get to go home soon. My hubby has heart problems also and he had back in July heart stint No. 4 put in heart stint No. 3. Heart stint No. 3 was put in in Jan. of this year and was already block 70%. They just cleaned it out and shoved it in. I have never heard of such a thing before. It is amazing what they can do now. Will keep you all in my prayers....Mr. Dazd sent me over to check on you! :)

betsye said...

saturday morning...waking up together, PRICELESS....
'hope you are both rested and feeling 'sturdier'


Nancy said...

welcome home Walter!!!

k said...

marian, welcome! I never heard of such a thing. Except I did hear, on the news, that some of the stents were sort of clogging up.

When they did Walter's triple bypass - I mean, when they realized it was too full of gook to use stents - I was relieved. I didn't know why, it just seemed good to use his own other blood vessels.

The news about the stents sometimes clogging came about about a week or so after that. WHEW!

But you're the first person I've *talked* to who actually experienced it. I'm glad they fixed it up. It really is amazing, what they do these days.

betsye, nancy - Yes. Definitely better. Calmer. Home is SO good.

prettylady said...

Good heavens. I take one week off from blogging, and Walter's heart acts up AGAIN. What did the two of you sign up for, there in that between-life karma office? Don't you think you were being a bit hard on yourselves? Have you never heard of 'take it easy'? Pacing yourselves? Y'all must be going for Elderhood right quick!

Very glad to hear that Walter is coming home and taking a bit more time off, now. I wish they would let me in to redecorate those hospitals. All of them. It's a disgrace.

Desert Cat said...

There's supposed to be newer types of stents that are permanently impregnated with drugs that prevent them from re-coating with cholesterol deposits. Maybe those aren't foolproof either.

Marian said...

k - I never heard about the stents clogging up...anyway, my husband also had a triple-bypass back in May of 92'. In just the last two years he has been having problems and has had to have stents. He also has 50% blockage of an artery from the triple bypass now. He would be a poor risk for another bypass because he had a stroke in Sept. 95'.
desert cat - I guess nothing is foolproof anymore.

k said...

Pretty Lady, that old saying goes: If it weren't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all.

But the funniest thing of all is this: While we both keep turning up with these *bad* shockers, we've each had superfluities of GOOD luck all our lives, too. That saying? It simply doesn't apply to us.

Which, during the bad episodes, keeps us full up on both hope and humor.

And if you were to redecorate the hospitals, I suspect a whole lot of people would stave off impending heart attacks, cancer, PE's - what have you - much better. It's such a disincentive to Catch it Early, knowing what ick you'll have to stare at on those four walls.

That, my friend, is one more example of why you are a born Healer.

DC, those were mentioned in the news reports about the *cloggers.* I'm assuming most stents are now the no-stick variety, but I'm not sure.

I mean, look at Marian's guy. His #3 was done in JANUARY only! And it was 70% clogged in perhaps half a year! Ouch.

Marian, just when you were commenting about his bypass vessel closing up, Walter's doc was telling him about the exact same risk. He said the risk factor's around 10%.

Not sure why that shocked me so much. After all, it makes sense: his vessels were clogging up just fine before the surgery. That's why he had a heart attack in the first place. So when you use one's own vessels in the bypass, why should I expect they won't eventually clog up, too?

I'm so sorry to hear your guy had a stroke - that's always a hard one - and that he isn't a good surgery candidate any more. Most bypass patients I know were much better after the surgery. I hope that at least the stents are helping. And that they did something like spray #4 with Pam cooking oil. Or use some nice Teflon. Make it no-stick.

Poor guy needs some peace and quiet by now, I bet.