Sunday, February 13, 2022

The HospitVALzation: Part 9, Recovery

Back at home on Thursday, Feb 3, I was shaky and weak. I did my breather thingy every half hour as instructed. Mainly sat on the short couch a while, then at the kitchen table on HIPPIE. My oxygen stayed between 95 and 99, depending on my level of activity. I had two days of oral antibiotics to finish, and seven days of oral dexamethasone, the steroid. Which was a bit of a problem.

When Hick picked up my prescriptions from the pharmacy before liberating me from the hospital, the pharmacy was short on dexamethasone. They only gave TWO pills instead of SEVEN. With a note to pick up the rest the next day.

Friday afternoon, Hick went to get the rest of the dexamethasone.

"Oh, we don't have that."

"You said it would be here today."

"We are out. It may come in tomorrow."

"And if it doesn't, my wife will be out! She just got out of the hospital. She HAS TO HAVE IT."

Here's the good thing about WHO YOU KNOW. The pharmacist there is a 30-something brother of two of my former students. He knows me on sight, and by name. He told Hick he would call around to find those five pills. He found some at a pharmacy over by Sis-Town.

"Okay, then I'll just drive out there and get them."

"No. We can't let you do that. We'll have to send someone to bring them here."

And they did. Sent their delivery driver to get my five remaining pills, and gave them to Hick on Friday afternoon. If I didn't know anyone at the pharmacy, do you think I would have gotten those pills? I don't. So once again, things worked out for Val.
On Wednesday, Feb 9, I had a follow-up appointment with my nurse practitioner, and some bloodwork for the hospital lab and Dr. Debra. I was worried about getting in and out of the facility. Still shaky. No visitors allowed, so Hick couldn't go in with me. He dropped me off at the door. I put on my mask, but the greeter gal said everybody had to wear THEIR mask now. Which was just a paper version, nothing special.
"Have you been exposed to THE VIRUS? Do you have any symptoms?"
"I just got out of the hospital with it last week. I'm here for a follow-up appointment."
"Oh, congratulations on surviving!"
Well. That was a bit off-putting. Here I was, feeling like I was on the road to recovery, like maybe the ordeal had been blown out of proportion. And she was telling me I should have died! I was shaky-legged waiting for one of the two elevators to come down and take me to the second floor. That's the only way to get there. Not that I could have walked up steps anyway.
I waited 25 minutes to be called in for my appointment. It was kind of stressful, not feeling my best, all alone, sitting. They called me back, put me on the scale, and Mr. NP showed up behind me.

"Well! You were quite a popular gal last week!"

"Believe me, I didn't want to be."

They put me in an exam room, and a nurse came in to question me and take vitals.

"Do you smoke or vape?"


"That's what kept you from dying. Over the past two weeks, have you felt depressed?"

"No more than you would from ALMOST DYING."

"Fair enough."

Sheesh! If everyone was going to point out how I was almost a goner, I might as well go along with it!

"Do you want a VIRUS shot?"

"No. I think I'll use my natural immunity."

"Well, I couldn't give you one anyway. Because you just had THE VIRUS. But I always ask everyone, just to see their answer. Some say, 'HELL NO!" and others say, 'No thank you.'"

That seemed like some kind of perverse game to me, but weirdos are gonna weirdo, and they're gonna be attracted to Val.

Mr. NP came in and discussed my situation. Listened to my lungs. 

"When I saw your name come across our list, I told everyone, 'I do NOT want this for this lady!' You are moving air well. We'll do an x-ray in one month, and some bloodwork. The order you have is from Dr. Debra, so that will be separate. I will get the results, and one of my girls will call you with it by tomorrow."

I made my next appointment, and went up to the lab, only to be told that I had to go downstairs to the hospital lab because Dr. Debra was on the hospital staff, not the clinic staff. This was becoming quite an ordeal. Hick had dropped me off at 2:15, and it was now after 3:30. I made two trips by the bathroom on the third floor. I couldn't see my feet under that giant paper mask that kept creeping up toward my eyes. I had to wait to be called to the admitting desk in order to get approval for the bloodwork. Then walked past the lab to a cubicle, and back to the lab to a row of curtained blood-drawing chairs. Gave my sample, and made my way out to the lobby to text Hick to pick me up. It was taxing.

I still have trouble sleeping, but it's getting easier to breathe. Dizziness comes and goes, not sure what it's from. Saturday was my first trip out, to Country Mart, with Hick as my companion in case I felt faint. I made it okay.


  1. I think I speak for all of your friends when I say we're glad you didn't die!

    1. Thanks! I'm kind of happy about that myself!

  2. It does sound a taxing way to spend an afternoon, but it also sounds like they are taking very good care of you. The sleeping will come back with time. Naps during the day should help keep you rested.

    1. I sometimes nod off while sitting on the short couch. It's quite refreshing to have a 30-minute surprise nap.

  3. Some nurses are just say tone deaf things. They cannot read the room. I usually call them on it. When I go to the doctor, I alert them I will need a wheel chair. Then, when I get there, I call and ask someone to bring me a wheel chair. They do it after quizzing me if someone with me cannot push me to the office. Then, they push me from lab to lab. I cannot wheel my own chair because of torn rotator cuffs and wrist and hand problems. I know you don't have those problems, but take advantage of a wheel chair. At the grocery I use an electric cart. One of those will keep you from getting exhausted or falling. You can get your exercise in the comfort of your home walking in the hall or wherever. Take care of yourself.

    1. I was wishing I had taken it, after going back and forth from lab to lab, and waiting to be called in. I was not as ready to be out as they thought I was, I guess. I would have been awkward pushing it, since Hick was not allowed to come in with me.

      My trip to the store three days later was better. I'm trying to work back up to my previous level.

  4. The steroids are keeping you awake. I want to crawl out of my skin when I take them. I was so worried about you when I saw no posts and I knew why! Maybe it gave the men in your life a good jolt and they will appreciate you. Well, for a litte while, anyway!

    1. Now that I'm off them, I'm sleeping better. It was a rough two days adjusting when they stopped. Hick and The Pony were very worried about me. They could hardly eat their Chinese food they picked up on Tuesday!