Home for Now

Writing from me own bed, yay! I checked out against medical advice because my body was telling me it would conspire with the bacteria to murder me if I didn’t get real sleep. You cannot do that in a hospital, especially when they spend half the night fast-pushing fluids to try to raise your blood pressure. I’m not kidding when I tell you I’m carrying an extra 20 pounds or so of liquid under my skin. I’m swollen all over and my poor lungs have limited room to work, so I sound like a Victorian woman in an extra-tight corset when I talk or breathe. I can’t crouch down to get thing without my legs feeling like they’re gonna pop like water balloons. Luckily, my kidneys are functioning fine and doing their best to deal with the situation.

And the best-worst thing is, I suspect it was all over nothing. I run low anyway, but I’m usually not tested after I’ve been lying down for hours. It’s usually shortly after I’ve had some ordinary but briskish activity, and then I clock in somewhere between 100-110 over something I can never remember. I had absolutely no other signs of too-low pressure. I wasn’t faint, light-headed, dizzy, or tunnel visioning my way to a blackout. I was merrily popping to the potty whenever, and the only difficulty unplugging and plugging in the IV pump came from excess fluid making it hard to bend, and muscle weakness from so much inactivity. But that improved plenty with all the lovely electrolytes, so my muscles are much more inclined to stay cheerful.

My morning bloodwork (taken at 4:48 in the ay-em, people – after the nurses had been dicking around with fluid pushes until after midnight, and then I had to wait for my main nurse to catch a break in her duties so we could go walkies, because all that fluid pressure pressed on nerves that made my legs do the St. Vitus’ Dance) came back with good results: all the numbers, including white cell count, were in acceptable ranges. The kidney ultrasound showed both working as advertised. The doctor was mainly concerned with the low pressure, which is NEVER going to go back up to where she wants it if I don’t get out of bed more) and my heart rate, which stayed fast. Well, the poor thing has an extra 20lbs of fluid to push around now. And they’ve checked my concern, which is the shallow rapid breathing, and aren’t too worried. The fluids aren’t leaking where they shouldn’t, and my oxygen sat is awesome as always. It’s all, “Medical crisis? What medical crisis?” We don’t have the blood cultures back saying fer sure that my blood’s actually infected. So I decided to risk going home, with the promise that I’ll be back in a jiffy if the cultures show a blood infection, or if I take a turn for the worse.

I spiked a fever this evening, which the charge nurse familiar with my situation said was normal and just come back in the morning if it was high, or earlier if other scary stuff happened. B did my laundry, kept watch over me while I slept, and only left when my fever went way down and I was able to watch teevee and joke a while. He’s got his phone by his ear just in case. I’ve started oral antibiotics, my appetite’s improving, and I haven’t had any nausea. I’m able to stay hydrated with water and Gatorade, plus the immense quanties of IV fluid my poor kidneys are frantically trying to process right now. Everything’s right as it can be, and disaster plans in place just in case.

Ima go take care of my poor, swollen legs for a bit, then get some more sleep, and we’ll see what the bloodwork tells us tomorrow. Here’s hoping that, even if the infection is in my blood, I can just do outpatient infusions rather than having to go back to constant insomnia… but we got the bags packed just in case.

Thank you again for all your patience and well-wishes. Not sure yet when I’ll be back to full Dana capacity, but hopefully soon. And really, despite my caretakers’ obsession with blood pressure numbers that I suspect don’t fit me, they’ve been amazing, and I know they’ll make sure I’ve got the the knowledge and resources I need to make the prudent decisions. Not to mention, if it wasn’t for the lack-of-sleep issue, I totally would’ve stayed for the food. Amazing good food, people. And best nurses ever.

We’re on a bumpy road, but at least all the signs say we’re on our way to recovery!

Gray kitten in scrubs walking toward right, caption says, "Dr. Tinycat to the OR, STAT!"













Home for Now
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6 thoughts on “Home for Now

  1. rq

    So glad you’re on the mend, and home – hopefully no sudden rushing back to the hospital. :P Blood pressure can be a weird thing, I had like ideal BP during pregnancy, but it turns out that, contrary to popular belief, my blood pressure is actually lower when not pregnant. Also, you can measure two different BPs for yourself depending on which arm you use. This is pointless trivia, I know.

    As for the excessive fluid, I think you should ask B for a massage – that will certainly help push excess fluid out… right? :P But it might still be nice.
    Anyway! Enough of the ramble. Keep mending, glad the kidneys are back in proper action, and get all the rest that you need! ♥

  2. 2

    Glad you’re resting at home. Still sorry you have to go through this!

    Hope you’re feeling much better, and that your extremities return to their normal size and shape, very soon.

  3. 3

    Wow, Dana. Someone who pays careful attention to the facts, and then makes a careful, informed decision. You are obviously not qualified to run for Congress.

    Take care, get better soonest, and don’t try too hard to keep the blog alive. We can wait.

  4. 5

    Oh, I’m glad you’re home, and I hope you get to stay there. The low blood pressure does worry people, doesn’t it? My whole family runs low, and when I was a young person like yourself, it was pretty common for me to ring in at 70/40. It was kind of funny, ‘cos they’d take my blood pressure, then look at me, then look at their machine (I’ve had ’em leave the room to get a different cuff), then take it again, then look at me really hard, then ask if it was always this low. I learned to answer very firmly, “Yes”.

    So my advice is that if you know it’s in your normal range, just keep telling them that a million times until they get used to it. And, they could pump you with fluids from now to kingdom come, but they won’t get much of a rise if you run that low anyway — it’s just how your system works.

    Do feel better, and I hope they won’t have to stick any more needles in you, and you’re already feeling less like a Ball Park frank. Sleep in own bed is good.

  5. 6

    I once spent a night in a CCU on a cardiac monitor, and it was interesting watching the nurses RUN into my room every time I dozed off. Because my resting heart rate is about 40…which obviously sets off the alarms.

    After about the fourth time, I think they adjusted the alarm settings to 35. That’ll fix me.

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