Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Kidney Saga part 3

Once in my room, the staff asked if I had eaten anything. I hadn't - we'd booked it to the hospital as soon as the doctor told us to go. So they brought me a lunch, a giant salad. I realized hubby-Eric was not going to be helpful at this point, and perhaps would just spend too much time worrying. Since I knew I was in for at least one night, I sent him home.

The doctors came and went, a catheter was put in for convenience (after they consulted with me about possible risks) and I was poked and prodded and tested up to my neck. The doctors at Prosser were far more concerned with my heart than my kidneys, and declared I had Congestive Heart Failure. I had always assumed that heart failure was just that, complete stoppage. Death. Well, it's not. It's just a scary way of saying my heart isn't working right.

My lifeline to the world was my phone, which allowed me to get on Facebook and ask if I could be called a zombie now that I was dead from heart failure. I got some amusing responses that cheered me up, and enjoyed the good wishes and banter from people. I remember being in the hospital as a teenager for appendicitis and feeling so lonely and isolated. This time with the connection to everyone I felt much safer and happy. My only concern at that point was getting a charger before my power ran out.

My time was spent trying to sleep, getting my vitals checked, and being tested. I learned what a heart ultrasound feels like, and it feels surprisingly like Inkwell's recent purr therapies. I think the cat was trying to warn me that there was something wrong with my heart. The doctors at Prosser seemed conflicted. One was convinced it was just my heart, but the others were certain my kidneys were involved and wanted a biopsy. They told me I couldn't have that done at Prosser and would have to go to the larger regional hospital in the Tri-Cities, if it became needed.

The food at Prosser was incredible. I had been craving some good French Toast for ages, and guess what they served me for breakfast? I've also had a strong desire for a decent egg salad sandwich, so much so that I had been recently looking up recipes to try to make my own, and boom! Guess what they served me for lunch? And the servings were nice and large. I wonder how they knew?

Ah, catheters... I won't tell you how teenage me dealt with mine, since I'm still embarrassed about it (but, to be fair, I was very drugged at the time). Adult me took it in stride. Even when they told me they needed 24 hours of urine and so they put the bag on ice. It was... odd. I had some trouble relaxing, so I started singing "Let it Go" to myself when I felt like I was tensing too much. I doubt it did anything physical, but it made me feel a little more in control.

A night nurse came in on the fourth and took a look at my left hand and said, "We need to get your wedding ring off." She had seen some very bad instances of swelling and one instance of a lost finger to a ring. She said she only had to cut a wedding ring once, "It was heart-breaking, but better than losing the finger." It took nearly an hour to get the ring off. Lots of turning and lotions and careful pulling to not cause more damage. I was very relieved when it was off. Then came the question of where to put it safely. I use Chums on my glasses because I have a tendency to take my glasses off and set them down and lose them, so having a leash is useful. I suggested putting the ring on the Chums line, and that kept it safe until I got it home.

And then I slept, feeling safe and secure, if swollen and a little frightened of the future of my heart.