Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The anticipated day . . . .

. . . has arrived, Monday. God has shown His splendor all around us as the sun shown brightly through the trees from the cloudless, brilliant sky. It has truly been a superb weekend for us; it was all I could have imagined or hoped for it to be. Little more could I have asked of it, except for it to have not come to an end. It was cold, down in the twenties, but since *I* didn’t have to get out in it, that did not affect me one little bit.

We had our *druthers* plans to leave fairly early, but poor Jim, alas, he was being pinned down by three of the babies, Anna Kay, Callie, and Missie…… all stretched out crosswise his legs, one right after the other. Now, there is no one who could disturb peace and comfort such as that. At least they better not in this household!

My case of nerves had hit me again, as before, and I was not putting it in high gear by any stretch of the imagination, actually being a bit laggardly. It still baffles me as to why I get this *nervous* feeling before leaving each time, for it *is* something I do look forward to, and am comfortable in doing.

We hit I-55 South by 10:30, after stopping for a couple of things, the latter being a Sprite for me at Mark’s. Had it not been for Jim’s Herculean might and speed, well, let’s just say about our Time of Departure - we did well again this time. Two months in a row!, and the Estimated Time of Arrival at St.
Francis Hospital – Bartlett, Memphis, was noonish…. That is *my* estimation which gives +/- leeway for me to be right regardless. Sneaky old woman.... LOL

BINGO! Just a few minutes before twelve noon, we make the exit, and cross back over I-40 on the Adrian Rodgers’ Memorial bridge, down to Stage, on to Kate Bond, and TA-DA! My home for the next four to five days. My next step on my Road to Remission. What awaits beyond? How much of past experiences will be replayed, or is that borrowing trouble when trouble does not exists? Let’s go see……

The parking lot is full, handicap places nearest the ER entrance are full, and as we drive along the front, we see plenty of empty, reserved doctor spaces…. For quick getaways from patients like me? Ha! As we come back around on the row behind, though, there are plenty of handicap spaces, and a van accessible
sized one at that, which makes getting into and out of my chair easier. The spot we snag faces the front door. I ask you…. how much better could that be? Though such a gloriously beautiful day, it *is* quite cold so the short ride to the inside is potentially welcomed. I get my heavy jacket on while Jim gets the chair out….. we meet up (sound passionate? Awwww so sweet).

Whenever I step out to get into my chair, there is a gentle breeze, just enough to go with the cloudless sky, and an urge to walk like I cannot remember having had in a long, long, time. I have the neatest pair of walking shoes, diabetic, none like I have ever had before – funny, huh? Why?– they are just so ever lovin’ comfortable, and feel just right for walking, OR for what I remember walking more than just a few yards to feel like. I wanna walk! I wanna run! I wanna skip! Honestly, it has been a really long time since I have had even a smidgen of that yearning as powerfully as this one today. I stood a moment in front of my chair before sitting down, seriously expressing this desire to walk to Jim, and he said, “Yes, and I’d be right behind you to pick you up!” Why does he always have to be so realistic, so right, so spot on? So funny - sometimes? At least he broke my unrealistic thought process I had drifted into.

Everything is not just from the beauty of the day. The wonderful *feel good* feeling of the weekend still prevails, even after topping off the packing, getting dressed, out the door, and on the way, which most often can be exhausting for me by now…… part of *MY* Myasthenia, and has been for lots of years. So. Put it altogether, and what do you have………. The commencing of a week of indescribable blessings – my Belief, all mine, my Hope, all mine; both of these I need as I *walk* down this Road to Remission.

We make our way to the ER for Direct Admit. Come along. This is part of the journey, too, you know.

What do you think? Do they have my doctor’s orders or not? Those who have been with me from the beginning know they have not had them more times than they have had them (not a scientific count ;). Jim stands closer to the desk as I roll up, and see the ER clerk thumbing through a thick sheaf of papers without apparent success of whatever it is she is seeking, putting 2 + 2 and coming up with my doctor’s orders. The hospital had made two telephone calls to us with my orders before them so at one time they *did* have them in this hospital. I know….. this must be some new game they have created, and they are trying it out on me to check. The big question is where are they now? Will they have to call and have them faxed over again as they did last month? I tug on Jim’s coat sleeve for his attention, and then give him the signal for him to keep his cool, and not get too upset – yet. After talking with a couple of ladies, and making a few phone calls, voila! There they are! Now, not so fast…. that is after them telling me I was coming and going at different times and places last week, I think maybe, the records simply being misplaced Is actually remarkable. It could have been worse.

As we were sitting waiting, a sudden realization came over me when I knew exactly where and why the *nerves* were coming from..... having to be separated from Jim. It was not until I was actually to be packing my bags that it would hit me, the reality of going off. That is why the same-day surgeries do not bother me, he is on the other side of the door, but these simple lying in the bed a few days with no trauma involved do. It was not a thing of not wanting him to have some free time, nor my being afraid of anything, and surely in the past 46 years, we have had plenty of times apart, but this seems so different now. We have grown into one, and as Dr. Liesl said tonight, he will be my greatest strength in the days to come, and the reverse be true of him, because that is all we have ever know is to depend on, and draw or strength from each other, and both of us draw our strength from the Lord. I remember one day while I was down here during a treatment, I do not recall exactly what we were talking about, but saying to Jim, that it was just "you and me," like always. We are never surprised at it being just him and me to work things out, and one way or another we've always gotten through the ordeals to the best of our knowledge whether it suited everyone or not. I love him.

They have here, before them, a patient *they* have told to come for direct admission. The St. Francis Hospital - Bartlett has had to create the Admin/Holding area where patients are taken to be in a more comfortable waiting environment, while waiting for their room to become available upstairs. This prevents we wittle patients from having to sit hour after hour in the ER waiting room – been there, done that at the beginning, ohhh, murderous, and a story worth digging from the Google archives of Alt Support Diabetes, and telling - allowing them to go on, and get into bed, and whatever treatment they need, to begin to be administered. All in all, a much more comfortable arrangement in a stressful situation for hospital and patient alike. I was the first patient they opened the extended area up for back in the summer. It has now become a full-functioning nursing unit, seemingly in use each time I have been admitted to the hospital, a new hospital already in need of expanding!

Now what I am being told is that I will be going to Hall bed #7. Yep. I’m sure you are understanding it completely! No misunderstanding on your part. You are just as intelligent as you have thought you were. I’m gong to hang out in the hallway, here to wait for a bed just to get into the ER area…… not even to the Admit/Holding area! Ohhhh…. Owwww…. Ewwww! Now what could this be compared to? One thing for sure, I stay in my jeans and sweatshirt (*I shiver, as this feels strange*), and stay in my chair for now (security). Though I’ve gotten *un-used* to it for just sitting in for long periods of time, it still is better right now than getting up on Hall bed #7. Besides, I need a table to eat my lunch that Sweetie Jim has gone to the cafeteria to get me, and the height of the bed is just perfect for my chair height.

Gobble, gobble, gobble….. food, food, food! I am so hungry. Billie, just how hungry are you? Hungry enough that it felt like I was inhaling my food directly into my blood stream, by-passing the digestive process...…. could that help me with my blood glucose control if it went straight to my blood stream, bypassing my digestive system – I think so…. no, just joking.... they were such good vegetables; he made good choices, but not *nearly* as good as those my sweetie chef makes at home, especially the squash!

Jennifer, my cute little nurse, who is our granddaughter Jennifer’s age, came to get my IV line started so that whenever the pharmacy gets my bag of immunoglobulin buddies ready, I’d be ready for go with it, and invite them into my veins. We also thought it was a good idea to go on and get into my jammies at the same time, saving me effort on my body later.

I finally had just about all of sitting in my chair that I could take, plus I was beginning to have computer withdrawal – no Internet until in my room - because I kept seeing things I wanted to write down, or look up, or this to make note of, or, golly gee, just whatever, the feel of the laptop on my legs, and the mouse in my hand. I see me now, “Hello, my name is Billie, and I am a computer moue addict. I go into convulsions whenever I have to go without a mouse within my hand for more than two hours, or if it is apparent one is not readily available.” Jim noted an outlet behind my Hall bed 7, and we decided for me to go on and get up on my bed, hook up my computer, and get down right comfy. We had packed an overnight bag for the ER that contained computer, mouse, and jammies. It was getting late in the afternoon, and this would also make it easier for Jim to gather his little self (he’s lost a bunch of weight) up, and get on his way home….. via Senatobia to see Jimbo’s new office, then chugalugging it on up Blytheville way before it got too late. It would have been a long day for him by that time, neither of us take the long days as well as we used to do.

Meanwhile, back at the *hospital ranch* on Kate Bond……. I finally got moved from the hallway into a room *of sorts* still in the ER area, and hey! get this…… There is a real live wooden door to it, a bathroom, a sink….. not bad for an ER cubicle. One thing was missing, though…. one very vital thing for someone in the hospital – a nurse’s call button, and I needed a nurse in the worst kinda way! I had fallen asleep, waking only at 12:30 a.m., when Amy was hanging my IVIg bag. Once tethered, to the IV pole, it is hard to maneuver around since I need to hold on to something or someone for my own stability during a short walk such as that would be.

That private bath was doing me no good if I couldn’t get to it. Know what I mean? The pressure was mounting minute by minute. Each time someone passed my open door, I tried to get their attention, but have you ever tried to yell, “Hey, you!” at 2:00 a.m. and there was a sick person (well, I guess they were sick, they were in a Hall bed in front of my door ;). F-I-n-a-l-l-y Amy walked into my room, and was I ever so happy to see her. I could have hugged her neck! Instead, we got me out of bed, walked me to the private room, then she led me to my chair once again. “Mrs. Wages, you’re moving once again. This time over into our Holding area.” Ahhhh yes, I’m very familiar with that!

Over in the Holding area, I meet a new nurse, Joyce. When she checks me in, about the first thing she finds is an infiltrated site, looking mean and red, really ugly. No doubt it has to come out. But it was so hard to find, so hard to hit in the first place. How much is it going to take for that guy Arron to find oil because Joyce didn’t even make a first attempt at my poor little arms. They look so beat and roughed, no longer the smooth arms of days gone by, now with wrinkles and crinkles all up and down. Here comes Arron to the rescue, though. A look here, a look there, ahhhh…..here we go, slide right in…..BINGO, we’re in! Hold that canula in place….we’re set to go whenever those little globulins are prepared and brought from the pharmacy.

Three o’clock has brought a wealth of treatment – a new IV site, ouch-a growing headache, a percocet – settle down now. It’s been a very long day.

Striving for a world without Myasthenia Gravis

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