It is now around 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, Feb 3, Day 4 of the HospitVALzation. The day I am being released. I've had time to mull this over. I'm feeling better. The snow is supposed to stop by early afternoon. I've had breakfast. The new nurse came in.
"Hi. I'm Alex, your nurse."
"Wait. Did you just say your name is ALEX? My nurse last night was Alex."
"Uh huh! You're getting two-for-one. I'm also an Alex. I'm here with your Lovenox shot. I'm the fastest shot in the west. Don't worry, it'll be over in no time."
Indeed, the shot did not hurt. Those nurses were all good at it. Alex 2 also had my morning pills, and the dexamethasone to shoot into my arm needle, and a bag of the antibiotic levofloxacin to hang for 90 minutes.
"I'm taking a multivitamin. It has vitamin C, D, zinc, and quercetin. Do you think that helps any?"
"Yes. And elderberry! Try elderberry. It's an immune system booster. A lot of people use it."
"Okay. I've got my vitamin here to take with my other meds. I set one out last night when Alex brought me the bottle so I didn't forget it. I'm going home today."
"Oh! You took it now? I need to scan the bottle. To show what you're taking, in case you have a reaction to something, they'll know everything you took."
"It's right there in the cabinet, on the top of my bag."
Alex 2 got out the bottle and scanned the barcode the hospital pharmacy had put on the bag. He then tended to Miss Maisy, who was sleeping. He woke her and asked her to take medicine for him. She said, "No. No. No." Then she must have swallowed it, because Alex was offering her a drink of water. He asked her to take a bite and eat some breakfast, but Miss Maisy was having none of that. Alex called her doctor, who came in and said he guessed it was okay to keep taking her blood pressure in the ankle, due to her arm port thingies for dialysis in both arms. Not sure what else was determined in that visit, as I tried not to listen.
Dr. Debra came in shortly after 9:00. She assured me I was doing fine, and again emphasized the my oxygen WOULD go down when I went home.
"We'll send you with a prescription for oral antibiotics, and oral steroids. Get up and move around, and if you get breathless, take your time and BREATHE. If you get an infection, or can't breathe, come back. You need to follow up with your doctor within 10 days, and come back here for labs. I will get your discharge papers ready. Your pharmacy is the Backroads NearMin?"
"Yes, that's it. Thank you for explaining everything so well."
"We'll get you out of here!"
As soon as everybody was gone from my room, I called Hick about picking me up.
"The doctor was just here. Thinks I'll be able to go home around noon. Before you come, check the pharmacy to see if my prescriptions are in."
Hick seemed a bit preoccupied.
"Okay. I drove to town to see what the roads were like. Highways are covered but it's okay. Our road is the worst, but passable. And pick up donuts for me and The Pony. He called out of work because of the snow, and because he wants to be with me to pick you up."
"Gotta get me home!"
At 10:02, Hick texted if I was still getting out at noon.
"As far as I know. Did you find the pulse-ox I told you to look for? It was on the coffee table last time The Pony took it out of the box."
"No. We've been looking. But haven't found it. I can buy another one if we don't find it."
"It was RIGHT THERE! I'm going to need it."
By 10:23, Hick said they'd found the pulse-ox.
"That's a relief. I was getting shaky. Could be the steroid, though. Did you call the pharmacy?"
"I will. You have one prescription from Dr. Debra."
"I need TWO, she said. So you need to check again."
"Pony here. We're on the way to the pharmacy now."
A 10:50, I got a text from Hick that they had run off the road, and were stuck on a blacktop road not even to the main blacktop highway to town. And also found out from The Pony that Hick had put SilverRedO in a ditch by the mailboxes on his earlier trip to town, and it was still there. A neighbor had unsuccessfully tried to pull him out, and had given him a ride to the house.
Then it was pretty much a waiting game. Alex 2 brought my discharge papers and went over them when he came to unhook my antibiotic IV bag.
"I might have a problem getting picked up. My husband is stuck and waiting to be towed out."
"You are not technically discharged yet. If you need any meds, I can give them to you. But you will have to keep me posted on your ride. If he can't make it, I'll have to schedule hospital transport to take you home."
"Can they make it? Is it 4-wheel-drive? I live way out in the middle of nowhere. My husband has put our truck and our car in a ditch already this morning. We still have one vehicle left that he can go back and try."
"Oh, no! Don't use your last vehicle!"
"I'll just wait and see when he gets towed out."
"I'd be glad to keep you here if I could!"
At 11:13 the tow truck was on the way. At 11:38 Hick and The Pony were out of the snowdrift, and on the way to the pharmacy. Which had two prescriptions, but only two of the dexamethasone, which called for seven pills. They said they should have it the next day...
By 11:57, Hick and Pony were on their 20-mile way to the hospital. My lunch had arrived. Of all the times to not have a leisurely lunch!
I had roast beef, new potatoes, carrot medallions, a yeast roll, a jello salad, and LEMON MERINGUE PIE! I ate the roast beef. A couple potatoes. About half the roll, which was delicious but time-consuming. Not a carrot fan. And about 3/4 of the pie. It was spectacular! I had no desire to even open that jello salad.
I pushed the call button and said my ride was on the way. I got myself dressed in the tiny bathroom, since the window shade and curtain were still wide open, with a plow trying to clear the snow every 10 minutes. Very small bathroom! Just a toilet and wastebasket. About 3 feet wide. Of course my insurance card and ID fell out of my shirt pocket and behind the wastebasket. I got quite a head rush while bending to pick them up. It was hard balancing on one leg to get my pants on. I retrieved my shoes from under the sink. I'd packed up my phone charger the night before.
Exhausted, I pulled that plastic chair over by my bed, and sat down to wait. I had all my discharge papers, and my plastic breather contraption, in my bag, ready to go.
TO BE CONTINUED...