(And why, if I am very productive, you might want to let me know to stop it. :-P )
I was in the hospital recently.
[Photo description: Me in a hospital gown in a hospital bed, with a hospital-green wall behind me, and a bunch of assorted cables and stuff behind me.]
Yet another intestinal blockage. Will not give excessive details on that area, since most people have no real desire to hear about crap and lack thereof. May also have had some kind of infection, as my white count was high.
The problem with communicating largely by typing (and using the Internet rather than the phone) is that Skype keeps logs of things you say when you’re delirious, and your friends can torture you with it later. Apparently, among other things, I start randomly advertising for Turpenoid (which I haven’t seen or used since I was about 8 years old). And that’s after I was well enough to start typing things to friends (I’ve got three days before that that have gone almost completely missing, no memory at all other than an all-too-vivid memory of an over-the-top medical procedure, and another of something that had to be a hallucination, and I sent no emails or Skype chats in that time).
Also — hospitals have to be one of the worst places to be delirious. There are too many weird sounds, sights, and smells that don’t exist practically anywhere else, and there’s an overall intensity to the place due to the amount of intense things that happen there. Once I do start remembering things, I start remembering these things:
[Photo shows a blue plastic robot-like thing with red numbers on the front, next to a table.]
Which I could swear are alive. And which make the most unearthly series of bleeping noises — and when you can hear them going off all over the ward, it’s just not a great way to get a grip on reality. (Even the nurses have problems hearing it over and over.)
For the most part, the care I got was excellent, which is good because I really wasn’t in much state to fight them. (Although in the one instance when they did something I didn’t approve of — a nasogastric tube — I was apparently very adamant that they stop it no later than NOW. Which doesn’t surprise me, I have such a strong objection to things going into various orifices that I can barely give myself treatment for yeast infections, and am shocked — but glad — that I didn’t just yank the tube out. It wasn’t necessary anyway, they managed to clear the blockage through much less invasive means that I won’t go into detail about. The tube is also the only clear memory I have of the first few days, so apparently it made a strong impression.)
So I pretty much couldn’t wait to get home, was even willing to put up with a drive home without a headrest:
[Photo description: Me in a wheelchair van, with my chin resting on my chest because I’d been sitting up too long waiting for discharge.]
When I got in the door, I heard something a lot like this (this was actually taken later, after going out for something and then coming back in again, so her reaction was much stronger than this initially):
[I don’t have the video captioned, but basically the only sound in the video is my cat making a rather intense and raspy meowing noise over and over, and me doing a mrrrrr? sound back sometimes. The video part is basically just me coming in a door and then it getting really dark.]
This, too, is not right after I got home, but is the first time I got on the bed:
[The only real sound in the video is me yelling “EYYY!” when she bites me. The video itself involves Fey walking back and forth over my lap and rubbing my arms and face over and over. And then eventually biting, because she does the rub-purr-rub-purr-CHOMP maneuver when she’s glad I’m home but mad I left in the first place.]
She didn’t take her eyes off me for days:
[Photo description: Fey staring at me. There’s an air conditioner duct that she’s got her head poking over the top of, and her paws on either side of her face, Kilroy-style.]
So… basically, my bowels are doing much better. But I’m experiencing alarmingly similar symptoms to the ones I did last time I got out of the hospital for something like this. Which involve painful lymph glands, a mild sore throat, and total exhaustion. Which is why it’s taken me so long to write anything. And now I’m mostly writing it so that I have a way to explain the fact that I might not be up to a whole lot lately. Last time this happened, I paid no attention to what my body needed, proceeded to wear myself out several times over, and ended up with a health crash I’ve never fully gotten over since then (and which during the actual crash itself, involved the inability to turn over in bed without help). Needless to say, while I could survive such a thing again, I’m not anxious to try, so I’m obeying all my worried friends and resting.
Plus, this recent hospitalization brought home exactly how much my own carelessness about my health (I got into this by forgetting laxative several days in a row when I already knew I was dealing with a potential blockage) affects other people, not just me. So I’m not willing to continue to be as careless as I used to be. I had a lot of people worried, and one friend seriously freaking out the whole time, and for good reason — the last hospitalization for a blockage was bad, but this one was nearly twice as long, and the amount of time I couldn’t remember this time is equal to the amount of time of my entire hospital stay last time. So I’m trying to be a hell of a lot more careful, for other people’s sake as much as my own. It’s weird how it’s easier to do something for other people than for oneself.
So anyway, if I am not doing as much, that’s why. I feel pretty much like every particle in my body is individually trying to lie down and go to sleep (or to get me to do the same). And this time I’m going to listen, instead of trying to get involved in fifty projects at once, which (I’m told) is apparently my usual reaction to situations like this. And that goes for whether this is my body’s response to getting seriously ill, or whether it’s some bug I picked up in the hospital. (My best guess is it’s a reaction to something about the blockage, since it’s so identical to last time, but I’m being tested for everything under the sun just in case, since it’d be bad to miss an infection or something, and I already had four kinds of infections this summer. Yeah it’s been one of those few months.)
Oh and since most people have trouble not confusing illness with unhappiness, I’m actually fairly happy, I’m just physically exhausted. So don’t worry about me on that count.