Saturday, August 10, 2013

Bumpy Ride Part 3

The transplant ward was quite nice. I was place in a private room right by the Nurses Station. I was still in a lot of pain. The nurses seemed to know what they were doing though. They were used to dealing with transplant patients so none of my issues were new to them. 

I was still in a lot of pain. And I didn't have the strength to walk on my own. I couldn't even walk to the bathroom. 

The beds in the transplant ward caused me some issues. They were not designed for someone under five feet. The nurse would have to help me scoot to the edge of the bed and then help me "jump" down. They didn't have any steeping stools for me to use. Since I so light, we ended up using a garbage can as a stool. 

I wish I could say, I did a lot of resting but the doctors were pretty much shoving me out of bed the moment I woke from surgery. Just to get them to stop nagging I tried standing (with a nurse holding my hands). I almost passed out. My legs were so weak. It was like I had no muscle left. I pretty much didn't. I weighed less than 75 lbs. 

On the ward I would try to walk little bits. Sometimes, just to get to the commode was exhausting. I had very limited mobility with my arms so I needed a lot of help from the nurses. 

I was also very thirsty and very hungry. I gnawed on ice a lot. I wasn't allowed to eat or drink until a swallowing specialist cleared me. It took a couple of attempts before I was allowed to eat solid food. 

The pain seemed to go on forever. I couldn't a get comfortable enough to sleep. And when Imdid reach a point when the pain seemed bearable, the doctors old switch up my meds and I had to start all over. Sometimes the pain would be so bad I was in tears. One night I called SB at would because I was in so much pain. I needed a distraction. 

I was averaging about 3 hours of sleep per day.

The high doses of steroids didn't help much either. I had a hard time falling asleep and then I couldn't stay asleep. Most nights I'd wake up in a panic and couldn't go back to sleep. It got so bad that the doctors put me on melatonin to help me fall asleep and Xanax to help with the anxiety. 

During the day, I had a different set of problems. I've always been claustaphobic when it comes to masks and here I needed to wear a mask every time I left my room. It was torture. The nurses were really patient with me. They would hook me up to a pulse ox and show me that my levels were fine. They also let me lug my teddy bear around (a gift from SB). I'm sure they've seen more unusual things than a 31 year old carrying a teddy bear everywhere. 

Because of the surgery and my limited mobility and having gone through surgery, the doctors order Heparin shots three times daily. To say these shots hurt is an understatement. It was like being injected with liquid fire. The stuff burned. I just wanted to scream. A couple of times I did. The nurses felt bad every time they had to give me the shot.