September 9, 2021

singingberthaGood afternoon.  Fall, my favourite time of year has finally arrived.  Hopefully I will regain some energy so that I can work on my many projects.  Actually I don’t have that many on the go.  Of course there is the big project at  Next is my blog which I am trying to add to more often.  The trouble is my life is not exciting enough to have enough material to write about.  Then there are the cross-stitch pictures and petite point pictures I want to finish in time for Christmas.  However, at the present time that does not seem to be a realistic goal.  I did accomplish two projects these past three weeks.  I finally got my Facebook Group called “World War 2 Conscientious Objectors” and my Facebook Group called “Memories of the Veseli Ukrainian Dance Ensemble” online.

Last week Tuesday, August 31st turned out quite differently than I had expected.  After my lunch which consisted of a bowl of soup I began to feel really weird.  Not much later I began to have what felt like severe stomach cramps.  By supper time I was experiencing nausea and absolutely debilitating pain.  I had this horrible premonition that pancreatitis was the culpert.

My husband took me to emergency later that evening and I met Dr. Sadistic.  As she walked into the consultation room in emergency she informed me that she was sure I did not have pancreatitis but that I was constipated.  She then proceeded to poke around my stomach with no regard to my pain.  Blood was drawn and I was left to wait.  I was finally moved to the observation room in emergency and an IV was inserted.  I was given a pain medication that did not work.  I waited for over 30 grueling minutes before I was asked by the nurse in charge if the medication had helped.  When I answered no she finally added morphine to the IV.  This finally made it possible for me to get some much needed sleep.  When I woke up on Wednesday morning I was greeted by Dr. Sadistic.  She informed me that I had been right and that my pancreatic enzymes showed that I had pancreatitis.  She however refused to take constipation out of the mix.  I was put on a clear fluid diet which consisted of some apple juice and water.

Dr. Sadistic told me that she was going to be away until Friday and I would be seen by one of her colleagues, Dr. G.  Dr. G was a gem and she listened to me.  I thought that maybe my hospital stay would not be a complete nightmare.  Then I met Nurse Ratchet.  Where do they find these women who obviously have a grudge against everything and everyone?  She arrived Wednesday morning and informed me that it was not time for my next dose of Morphine.  I was perfectly okay with that.  I asked her how my morphine had been prescribed.  The reason I wanted to know was so that I would not bug her if the time was not right. Nurse Ratchet told me in no uncertain terms that she was not there to keep track of my morphine needs or how my morphine was prescribed.  She told me that if the pain got bad enough I should ring the call button and she would come and check to see if I needed pain medication or not.  Needless to say this did not build my confidence in her methods of nursing.  Nurse Ratchet also told me that she had spoken to Dr. Sadistic and was told that I would not be admitted to the hospital.  Talk about escalating my anxiety!  How would I handle the pain if I was sent home?  I did not have access to IV pain medication.  Nurse Ratchet also told me that from then on I would have to bring in my own pain medications because the hospital could not access the ones I was taking.  My anxiety went up another notch.  I guess that is what she wanted.  It was not enough that I was very concerned about this pancreatic attack.  Just before she left the room she told me that my pain medication was due at 10:30 AM and that I should not ring the call button because she was quite capable of remembering when my medication was due.  Do you think she brought my pain medication at 10:30?  Of course not.  She finally brought it an hour later.  I guess she never learned that if you do not stay on top of pain it can quickly become harder to deal with.

Late Wednesday evening a wonderful nurse working in emergency told me and the other woman in the emergency observation area that there were two beds available on the ward.  She informed us that we could have them.  What a huge difference being able to sleep on a proper bed instead of what was like a stretcher in emergency.  That night I had another wonderful nurse take care of me.  He was genuinely interested in how I was feeling and concerned about my pain levels.  This nurse also brought me all the medication I needed from the hospital pharmacy.  I guess the hospital finally gained access to medication that Nurse Ratchet claimed they did not have.

When I woke up Thursday morning Dr. G came to see me.  Another angel.  She agreed that morphine was the best medication to control the pain from my pancreas and that I would not be going home for a few more days.  I was finally able to relax.  Why did Nurse Ratchet lie to me on so many occasions?

Friday morning dawned and with it the appearance of Dr. Sadistic and Nurse Ratchet.  Dr. Sadistic told us that she never prescribed opioid medication for any of her patients no matter what the reason.  She told us that she did not believe in opioid pain medication especially for older people.  According to her we older people were unable to maintain our sanity if given opioids.  She told me that she would give me tylenol or advil.  I had to remind her yet again that I could never take those medications because of my autoimmune liver disease.  Dr. Sadistic then told me that she would no longer continue the prescription of morphine by IV.  In its place she would prescribe two 10 mg morphine pills every two hours.  My husband and I decided that if my pain relief was of so little concern to Dr. Sadistic I might as well go home and take the medication I had at home.  Not only that but I could rest up in my own bed and continue with a clear fluid diet at home as well as I could in the hospital.  Another bonus was that I had my own personal nurse at home called Peter.  If the pain became unbearable I could always go to a different hospital.

Nurse Ratchet had not changed her attitude.  For some reason she felt I needed to be treated like some delinquent kid.  To make a long story short she again refused to bring my pain medication on time.  Every time she was my nurse she would delay my medication.  This time it was two hours late.  My husband was visiting and I mentioned to him that the pain was becoming unbearable and that Nurse Ratchet was two hours late with my medication.  My husband immediately headed to the nurses’ station to see what the holdup was.  Nurse Ratchet couldn’t keep her mouth shut and promptly antagonized him.  A shouting match occured.  I did however finally get my pain medication.  After Nurse Ratchet delivered my medication and left my room a security guard type person came to my room and told my husband that he had to leave.  When I asked why she said that he was only allowed to visit me for one hour which was another lie.  No other visitor was asked to leave and the hospital had a huge sign up at the entry door stating that visiting hours were from 2:00 to 8:00 PM.  After my husband left Nurse Ratchet asked me if my husband was really going to report her and again stated that she had done nothing wrong.  I did not bother to answer her.  Maybe it was time for her to experience some anxiety.

Saturday morning arrived and I woke up filled with worry and anxiety.  I finally got a meal that was not just clear fluids.  The nurse told me that if my stomach could tolerate the breakfast I might be able to go home.  I was absolutely over the moon at this news.  Around 9:00 AM a lovely older doctor came to see me.  He asked me how my stomach had tolerated breakfast and I told him all was well.  He than asked me if I would like to go home.  It did not take me long to get ready to leave.  My husband came to pick me up and I spent the rest of the long weekend at home with familiar surroundings resting in my own bed.  By Monday the pain was gone.  All that remains is fatigue.

This morning I had a telehealth appointment at the local hospital with my liver specialist, Dr. Steven Wong.  Dr. Wong is a wonderful doctor who cares about his patients and does not hestiate to show it.  He told me that all my liver function tests had come back normal which was a huge relief.  I will be having another ultra sound late December just to make sure that all has remained the same.  The spot that was first noticed on my liver has disappeared.  Fingers crossed that it does not re-appear.  I apparently have two enlarged lymph nodes in my abdomen but since they have been there for a long time they are not too worried about them.

Last week I was able to download the new book by Louise Penny called “The Madness of Crowds”.  It features the village of Three Pines and Armand Gamache.  This book explaines that the three pines trees planted in the middle of the village are said to have been a sign of sanctuary for British Loyalists fleeing the Anglo-American War.

It is bedtime. Please stay safe.  Goodnight.

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