Saga of 2009 - Part I

On Tues., 4/28, I was measured for custom-made compression stockings. Over $300!! Nothing notable about my feet. On Wed., 4/29, I had a follow-up appointment in the wound clinic at St. Luke’s for lymphedema. I was expecting to be “demoted” to tubigrip instead of the more constricting wraps. The moment they removed the tubigrip from my left foot, I saw that it was way swollen and beet red. Then they saw the wound on the bottom of the foot (which I didn’t feel) and called the DR in. He took one look and said that I had to be admitted for IV antibiotics and a CAT scan. (They wanted to do an MRI but, because of the pain stimulator implanted in my back, I cannot have one.) They wanted to make sure the infection didn’t make it to the bone. If it had, I would probably ended up losing a foot or part of a leg. I told them I couldn’t possibly go now that I had to take care of my fishies and pack a few things for the stay. They reluctantly agreed and got a room for me. I was supposed to be back by 3p.m.

Hospitalization #1

Since I took the county bus there, I ventured back out to the bus stop. The bus was already there and I waived him down. He stopped and let down the ramp. I noticed that one end of the ramp was not firmly seated on the curb and a little voice said not to go up. But I did anyway. I was almost to the top of the ramp with my front wheel when I started to tip. I grabbed the rail on the door and screamed bloody murder!! Down I went, over sideways. My back hit the cement and my head too. Two people from St. Luke’s helped me up, someone righted my scooter (which had come down on my feet), and sat me down on it. A passenger on the bus flagged down the cops, the cops called the fire department and everyone got down on me to go to the hospital. I had a bitty bump on the back of the head and an abrasion. So a couple of people walked me across the street and down the block to the ER. Before I even checked in the ER, the county transit supervisor was right there!!

Five and a half hours in the ER. CAT scan on the head which turned out OK and x-rays on my ankles because the scooter came down on them. They didn’t find any cats in my head! Now I 'm really late checking in and call them. (The message didn’t get down the line and I had the hospital looking for me later!) I had to practically swear on a Bible to the ER doc that I was going to come back to get out of the ER . They didn’t want to release me but my fishies come first!

I came home via Transit Express and they said they would wait for me to return to the hospital for 1/2 hour. Now, as a diabetic, I hadn’t eaten since 8:30 a.m. I was sweating and shaking and could hardly move about. Then, 20 minutes into it, they started ringing my buzzer. The dispatcher was bugging them to get me going and leave. OR leave me behind!! I had another 10 minutes left. In the excitement, I rammed a glass display case with my scooter and the shelves and everything on them came crashing down. Glass everywhere! All my crystal angels, purple vases … gone!! I had to ride over that mess to get more of what I needed for the hospital. (As it turned out, I was so stressed that I forgot some very important things … like my insulin. The hospital doesn’t carry U500.) Well, the dispatcher tried calling my house and I couldn’t get to it because of the glass. Then she called on my cell phone and proceeded to harrass me. THEN I hit my floor lamp and brought that crashing down!! Glass is now clear up to the front door! In the process of trying to get out of the house, I got stuck. Back and forth, back and forth, etc. Finally able to get out of the house, I broke down in tears. The neighbors had come running to see what the matter was. Somehow, I got down the hall and part way out of the outer door, and then the scooter stopped! I got off and the van driver tipped it over a bit and found a 6x6x6 crystal glass block tealight holder wedged under the carriage!! That gone and done, I proceeded to the hospital … no thanks to the nagging of the dispatcher!! What a BI**H!!

The hospital kept me in isolation because the thought I might have MRSA (methacyllin resistant stapholococcus aurieus (spelling?) (The “Super Bug.”) I t turns out that I do have a staph infection, but not MRSA. I don’t know the how and why of it, but that’s the scoop.

When it came to discharging me, they got into a pi**ing contest over what antibiotic to send me home on because of my drug allergies. They proposed a new drug that the insurnace wasn’t going to pay for. Over $2,800 for 14 days!! NO WAY! Then they said it would need to be preauthorized. That was turned down because they said an infectious disease DR had to prescribe it. By then, they told me it was too late and I had to stay another night!! The new DR then came in the next day and they ended up prescribing a common antibiotic called Bactrim!! Finally, OUT!!

BTW, when I went home to pack, I found out that the DR had to do more paperwork for my power chair and then a few hours later, they called to tell me that he did his stuff and Medicare had actually reviewed and authorized a power chair on the spot!! They wanted to deliver it to me the next day. Since I was in the process of going to the hospital, they wouldn’t deliver it there.

Remember my hand problems? The awful swelling and pain? The endo they brought in didn’t like the looks of the skin on my legs and the unusual swelling of the hands. He ran all sorts of tests to rule out all manner of things. They even did an echocariogram to see if a past condition had caused heart problems. No luck on any diagnosis.

Back to the power chair. I AM NOW THE PROUD OWNER OF A CANDY APPLE RED POWER CHAIR. I feel like a drunken sailor steering that thing around. I never played video games with a joy stick when I was younger, so I just don’t know how to do it. I am so afraid I’m going to fall off the ramp again. So, I go slow!!! Despite all the attempts of Renee to undermine my driving abilities, I can only say that it takes a LOT of talent to fall off a ramp without hurting the scooter!!!