Friday, April 15, 2016

Out on Parole

They let me out of the hospital on parole a couple of days ago.  I learned two things from this release process. (1) It is a lot easier to get into a hospital than it is to get out. and (2) Rumors of impending release are often greatly exaggerated.

They had actually been talking about letting my go home "in a couple of days" since the first day I spent there. They were all set to let me go on Tuesday. I had just called Barbara and told her that I wold be out in a half hour and that she could come get me. Then, not 60 seconds later, a doctor walked in and said, "We have decided it would be good to give you some immunoglobulin. We will give it to you overnight, so you can leave in the morning." After an hour or so, they changed their minds again and decided to give me the "IVIG" during the next day, so I would be there for nearly another 24 hours.

So, Barbara drove into Boston to fetch me back to back to Fox Hill Village on Wednesday. This time they actually let me go. It might have had more to do with my increasing orneriness than the state of my health.

Yesterday, we were both in pretty rough shape. I had a bad headache and was really tired, so I spent a lot of time sleeping. The cats where a big help here as role models. Meanwhile, Barbara has a really bad cold. Between the two of use, we did a lot of stereo coughing and we are going around trying to avoid infecting each other.

I feel better today than I did yesterday, but I still have the bad headache and a sort of messed-up stomach. I also still have the very bad cough, as does Barbara. We made it down to the Friday Lunch Buffet today and while I did not manage to stuff myself with my usual quantities of food, I did manage to eat enough to not be embarrassed. Funny that nobody wanted to sit with us as we were coughing away at each other.

I am still on  IV antibiotics. Before I left the hospital, they installed something called a "PICC Line" (Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter). Ultimately, I should be able to give myself the IVs, but for a few days, they send a visiting nurse to train me and make sure I can do this by myself. Today, I played pretty stupid, because the nurse they sent was really cute and I am hoping that if she thinks I am really helpless, she will figure that she has to come back.

I also had another great idea. I figure that I have this IV line and it should be good for something. I also have these big hypos filled with antibiotic juice that I "push" into the IV line and that are then empty. I am wondering why I couldn't just refill the antibiotic hypo with some Jack Daniels or whatever. Pretty clever, huh? Barbara does not think this would be a good idea, but I would be curious as to what the rest of you think.

Monday, April 11, 2016


Incarcerated. That's right, they have me locked up in Brigham & Woman's Hospital in Boston because of a fever. I have been here since Tuesday.

I have had a cough since January. It has varied from a small, barely noticeable thing to one that is quite substantial. And then chemo during treatment a week and a half ago, my temperature was slightly elevated. It kept going up until last Tuesday, it was 103.6 and they decided to commit me.

Apparently, I have some sort of bacterial infection, the source of which continues to be a mystery. They are giving me a series of IV antibiotics. These have lowered my temperature to just under a hundred or so. They are still not satisfied.

So, here I sit, waiting for my temperature to go down. It is not bad really. I have a very nice room with a little fridge and a private bathroom. I can pick up the phone, place an order, and people bring me "breakfast in bed" or any other meal that I want. I could get used to this. In fact, I think I already have.

The down side is that people come in for other reasons. One of the more frequent is "vitals" during which they measure blood pressure, and temperature. It is not what they do. It is when they do it. Often, this is in the middle of the night - just after I have managed to get to sleep. They show up again at 5:00 AM.

They are not as bad as the "labs" people who show up at 5:30 AM with needles that they want to stick into me. Some insist on two separate stabbings. "Good Morning, Mr. Clark. I am here to stick needles into you." The woman who does this is very nice, but has an Eastern European accent. This morning, I worked up the nerve to ask her where she was from. I was relieved to hear "Albania". I was afraid she would say, "Transylvania". I asked the doctors if they had ever figured out how much blood they took from their patients and whether or not this was more or less than the Medieval Physicians took when the "bled" their patients.(I wonder if it is the bleeding that really cures us?)

They have done lots of other tests as well including many x-rays - of my chest and head, an EKG, a CT Scan, an echo-cardiogram, many blood cultures, and other stuff that I have probably forgotten about. They have another thing scheduled for tomorrow where they stick an ultrasound thing down my throat for some sort of special echo-cardiogram. I can hardly wait.

And really, I feel pretty good. I am quite comfortable here. And while the "stabbings" give me something to complain about in this blog, they really don't bother me at all. The people are great. Barbara has been terrific about visiting me daily. I am not going "stir-crazy". I have started dressing in civilian clothes every day and leaving my room for a while to go out and explore the hospital - mostly just to get come exercise. And I have been doing a lot of reading.

 So, it appears that everything seems to be on track toward some sort of parole within a few days. I will probably put out another blog before then.

Until then, I remain,

Yours truly,

Warren, the human pincushion.