Monday, February 2, 2009

It Was Mr.W, In the Bedroom, With a Ham & Cheese Sandwich

I can't tell you how much it means to me to know that there are people out there who care. The outpouring of support has been humbling, even a bit overwhelming. I can't adequately thank you. Just know that I do.

To give you a wrap-up, I went into the hospital at 6am Thursday morning. I insisted Mr.W go to work (since he had taken so much time off the previous two days, and I would need him more when I got home), so he saw me settled in my room before heading off, safe in the care of a teddy-bear of a nurse in a very, VERY warmly heated room.

Seriously. It was dang hot, people. Like hot flash hot. Like night sweats hot. So. Unbelievably. Hot.

So hot, in fact, that it caused me to pale and grow faint when she tried to insert the IV. But after calling in another teddy bear and turning on a fan (Thank You, Jesus, for fans in hospital rooms), they got the IV in and my woozyness went away. Is woozyness even a word?

For some reason in my memory there were balloons tied to my chair. That must have been the drugs they gave me. Pretty, pretty mylar balloon drugs floating over the back of my wheelchair. Whee!

I shook hands with a man in a blue paper cap. I got on a bed. They wheeled me in another few rooms. Someone said I wouldn't remember this conversation later. Huh? And who wants to remember a conversation when there are balloons to admire floating overhead?

Then I woke up and could only keep one eye open. Someone was talking about goat meat, and where could one buy it locally?

How did they know that would get my attention in the recovery room? Seriously? Goat meat?

The balloons were gone. I got my other eye open in no time. Progress!

The nurses took me to a room that I shared with a woman a little younger than me who had an almost-emergency appendectomy. I had expected to go home later that day, but I stayed overnight after all.

The worst suffering, by far, was the hospital food.

It sounds like a cliche, I know, but this cannot go without being said. It wasn't the flavor or quality of the food, however. I expected it to be bland and unexciting, low-to-no-salt and somewhat lackluster. What I didn't expect was the sheer idiocy of the dietitian who decided a nutritionally-appropriate meal for a diabetic includes the following: a hamburger patty on a bun, 1/2 cup creamy mashed potatoes, (over)cooked asparagus, a cup of canned sugar-free pear slices, 8 ounces pineapple juice and hot coffee.

Dinner was a chicken breast with white rice (about 1/2 cup, steamed), mixed veg (about 1 cup, corn, peas, carrots & green beans), cream of (over)cooked asparagus soup, apple juice and hot coffee--and for dessert, about 1/2 cup of stewed prunes. They were delicious.

Obviously I didn't actually EAT all of these things--I know better. But this is what hospital nutritionists are telling diabetic patients to eat? Good God, no wonder diabetes is on the rise!

Other than the food, my hospital stay was uneventful: walking around, drinking lots of water, lots of meds, lots of vitals checks, and so forth. But what I found the most surprising was how much muscle pain I was in--and how it affected my ability to breathe. I was visited often by the respiratory specialist who had me breathe through a tube that measured my intake capacity.

Friday morning I was visited by my surgeon, who said it was a good thing we went ahead with the surgery right away. If I had waited even a week, it would have become a much bigger affair. I had been headed toward an infected gall bladder.

Discharged to the care of my husband, I returned home to my Pickle and Thundercat, who were thoroughly discombobulated. I spent the weekend in bed, with meals delivered to me by my husband.

I was ordered a low-fat diet for the time being. Evidently the gall bladder is something of a fat-filter. So Mr.W found me some low-fat, super low-net-carb oatmeal bread. Placed around low-fat american cheese and reduced-fat boiled sliced ham and voila! Ham and cheese half-sammies became my mainstay.

Now with all the drugs and onslaught by disgusting hospital food, my senses of taste and smell were way off. I really didn't know what I was eating or drinking until sometime late Saturday afternoon.

It was my regular meal of a ham & cheese sandwich. An alarm somewhere in the back of my head went off. Something was very wrong.

"Did you taste this?"


"Hon, did you taste the ham and cheese you bought?"

"I tasted the ham. It's a little salty."

"Did you taste the cheese?"

"No. I don't eat low-fat cheese."

"Does it smell bad?"

"Yes." He admitted it. He was trying to poison me. Poison me with bad cheese.

Mr.W is no longer allowed to feed me. My mother has been here daily. Mom is a terrible cook. She is the very reason I learned how to cook at age 7.

If you love me at all, if you ever cared for me even a little bit, please. Send food.*

*joking, joking! I have food, and I'm able to get up & around to take care of myself now. The cheese story is not fictionalized. Mr.W is banned from any & all grocery shopping and/or preparing food and drinks for me in any way.

This is my attempt at humor. Forgive me. It's the Darvocet talking--er, typing.


Dragon said...

I'm glad you're feeling better and you have someone taking care of you. :)

Kathy said...

Oh I feel your pain on the horrendous hospital food. I experienced the worst last summer and could hardly believe that a hospital was serving such bad stuff. The thing that sticks in my mind most was the grade D turkey slice with instant mashed potatoes and that fake yellow-ish congealed gravy on top. Gag.

Vanessa Cole said...

What an experience; I will keep you in my prayers.

Here's to good health and good food!


Sam said...

Wow, I'm sorry I missed your first post about this Amanda, I hope you get well soon and make a quick recovery.

Amanda said...

Dragon--thank you! I am truly a lucky gal.

Kathy--mmm, jiggly gravy. Makes me hungry just thinking about it.

Vanessa--thank you. I appreciate very much the prayer support.

Sam--it's okay! I bet you were wondering where all my clever comments had gone! :) I'm certain I'm on the mend.

Michele@FineFuriousLife said...

Sorry, I have been totally AWOL and missed the beginning of this saga. I was amused by you perking up at a discussion of goat meat procurement. I hope you continue to feel better.

Lulu said...

Wow...see? This is what happens when I'm off the blogging circuit for over a month. I'm so sorry about your surgery and icky hospital food experience; but I am soooo glad that you are on the road to recovery!!

Amanda said...

Michele--no worries! Thank you for the well-wishes.

Lulu--where have you been, girl? I've missed your fun blog posts. Thanks for stopping by... I am indeed speeding toward recovery and feeling much better.

I guess now I have to start cooking again. *sigh*

Mary said...

I'm glad you're feeling better! I haven't been reading any blogs lately and finally got around to catching up! I'm sorry to hear about your gall bladder!

Amanda said...

Mary--I say good riddance to gall bladders! The surgeon actually said that it was amazing I'd had no previous symptoms and a good thing we had the surgery right away. The thing was BAD. If I had waited even a week I would have had a much scarier surgery (not laproscopic). So I feel very, very blessed... and to top it off I'm recovering super-speedy-quick! How great is that? I had a doc appointment today and they are amazed at my energy and ability to do everything as if I didn't have major surgery less than a month ago.

But I'm with you, too--I'm very much behind on my blog reading & commenting. Plus I'm not cooking much that's very exciting... I have to watch the fat still for a while (boo!). Lots of soup for me!

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