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2006-04-12 - 10:48 p.m.

Not for the Faint of Heart

We are finally are home from the Voodoo Village or PMC as it's known around these here parts. The roommate is doing okay now but it was rough for yesterday for a few minutes. .

Going to my class in the morning sucked. I was worried but I'm glad I did it. I handed back what papers I finished and answered questions. I was worried about being late but I wasn't because......

It took the hospital five hours to get him into the operating room. So we sat from 10-3PM. I think sitting and waiting around increased his anxiety and his dad's. Then the first IV they put in they tried another one. When he came back from the operating room he had yet another IV in a totally different location. Plus no food or water for over fifteen hours so of course he was dehydrated. They made him walk down to the operating suite. He had no slippers or robe. We were told not to bring that sort of stuff. I wish I had at least brought his slide shoes.

The roommate came out of the operating room in his own bed because they did a spinal on him. I knew he was okay when he demanded some food. He kept down some toast so then it was okay for the chicken enchiladas that the hospital served. I had to run out and do errands including getting his prescriptions. I like it better when they give you prescriptions and list of crap you need ahead of time so you aren't running around the day of the surgery hoping that it won't take forever to get the prescriptions.

The doctor said they scooped out more than a golf sized piece of tissue and it was good that we had it done now because it ran to his tailbone. The wound is deep, scary, looking thing with a drain hanging out of it in a very inconvenient place. Yucky.

The room we were in had one sort of comfortable chair and a non-cushioned crap chair that I had to sit in most of the day. The room next to us had recliners!!!! Next time we need the recliner room. I took a nap with my head on the bedside table while sitting on the crap chair because I was tired. His dad kept sitting in the better chair.

It took forever for the epidural to wear off. That's why we are home so late. About 10PM he could feel his toes but by then he had a bunch of pain. He waited till he was really uncomfortable to ask for pain meds. He kept asking me when are they coming with some medicine. That's when I almost lost it because I felt so terrible for him. The nurses were nice and managed to get his pain under control.

I was just happy that he seemed himself. Telling jokes...being sarcastic. We watched his favorite South Park episode.

He was finally able to walk around so we could go home. He seems okay but I am trying to keep on top of his pain meds and the drain. The roommate wants to stay up and he doesn't want me to go to work tomorrow. I don't think I will because there seems to be a bit more home care than what the outpatient coordinator described.

The nurse told us that when people use to have this surgery they wouldn't go home for at least 48 hours because of the drains and the type of care that the wounds need. Stupid managed care system. She also told me that sometimes people have a big drop in blood pressure because of the surgery and I should be careful to stick around while he is on the pain meds. I remember after my reconstruction surgery that Rude stayed with me because I was dizzy and vomiting. He's not doing that sort of stuff but the wound is pretty impressive. He seems okay but I still want to stick around because he's nervous about the drain and needs help to get in the bathroom.

I wonder though. I have what is called 'good insurance'. I pay about $350 a month and the college picks up the rest of the tab for it, I think it runs about $700 a month. I know that I will owe about 20% of whatever medical bills we incurred yesterday. I still owe about $400 from my gall bladder surgery after paying off about $1200 of it. It bothers me that despite paying over $700 a month for the insurance I still owe money when we have to use it. I am not sure that seems fair. I also wonder, what do families do that can't take the time off to be with someone when something like this happens? He can't be alone right now but I think he will be better tomorrow. If I were a minimum wage earner I would have taken two days off from work plus taken time during the pre-op appointments. How can anyone afford to be sick or injured?


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