teal's Blog

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setback and moving forward



ok, you've waited long enough.... ultrasound results were that i'd developed a clot in my left leg, so i got started on coumadin and iv heperin and taken off the pt rotation, i hated that part, how would i get better ? well, the heperin was an interesting experience... i was all excited when it replaced the fluids iv id been on because the bag lasted longer so way fewer instances of being woken up by the "beep beep beep"... of course they set it up so it still ran out at 3 am, and they didn't warn me about the blood draw every 6 hours!!! of course i got back at the nurses in my own way.... by now id discovered that i had one very good vein;but the rest weren't so hot, the lab folks hated when my iv was in a position where it kept them from using "fred" (so i named my vein, i've got an excuse, strokes cause brain damage,age, right ? ok, thats what i'll tell people....) and the iv people always took forever and a few tries to get the line in (i still don't even want to think of the one who insisted on putting the line in my wrist...of my good hand!!! how did they expect me to eat ? or more importantly, get online ??? ) once they did get iv lines in, they never lasted more that 48 hours max;but now that i've lost you all in my setup..... the result of popping an iv line when you're on iv heperin is a lot of blood on the tape,arm,blanket whatever, it really freaks the nurse when they answer the page, although they're probably used to the patients being freaked too, rather than calmly asking "can i have a towel?... oh, and i think i need a new iv"... i evidently looked so pitiful when my pt came to visit that he went to the dr on my behalf and got permission to continue pt;but not too vigorously... how vigorous can you get when you cant move ?... meanwhile i continued my parlor trick rehearsals... i had one of those beds with the frame up top, and i used to rig the remote through it so it hung down over my head, that way i knew where it was and could reach it with the good hand.... well, dangling like that, it made a good target to try and reach for with the bad (ok,ok,the rest of you have rehab staff that jump on you for calling your limbs "bad" and insist you use "weak" instead ?) so the day i got off the heperin iv, i'm laying there trying to grab the remote with my weak hand;but succeeding only in batting at it;but it was movement, and in walks the rehab drs again... they said they'd never had so many people bugging them pulling for a patient before, that they didn't think i was strong enough to handle three hours a day of therapy;but the pts, ots and drs working with me then seemed to think i could, so they retested my movement and strength and quizzed me on my plans for where id live at discharge (so i made "who the hell knows" sound like a possible place with a few alternate contingency plans, sue me) and i was told, finally, that id be transferred downstairs... so, on halloween, 2003, five weeks and two days after my stroke, i was finally admitted to the tbi rehab unit at scvmc - 2-center, just one floor down in the hospital;but a whole other world of experiences,hope, and healing.... (and, in my case, thing to laugh and joke about)


next: life on 2-center


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