Thursday, January 21, 2021
I got over 4 hours of sleep last night – a couple of that on my side.
All of it after a seemingly-random respiratory guy decided to throw me a curveball and cut my oxygen to 1 liter just before I turned in. That could have derailed me, but just strengthened my resolve.
I had great vitals at midnight. BP of 136 / 95 – not ideal in normal times, but good for now. Pulse of 78. Oxygen of 97 (after touching 98 briefly), in spite of Mr. 1 Liter. I don’t think my temperature ever breached 98 degrees once I got to the hospital. For days at home prior, I couldn’t shake the low-grade (and a couple times pretty high) fever.
I can’t get out of here without expressing my heartfelt gratitude for the ladies and gentlemen who have worked for me, on me, and with me. I won’t be able to remember all their names. Some of them came in once during a night, others spent several hours with me in 15-minute bursts.
I’d say these people didn’t sign up for this duty. But, if I did, I’d be lying. Do you know what? They DID sign up for this. Incredibly. Most of them work other areas of the hospital – lots of day surgery nurses – given far less to do for all these months with the lack of optional surgeries happening. So they saw a need to do dangerous work to cover shifts, especially night shifts, for those who actually do this kind of thing for a living, and they rushed into the void.
They’re heroes. But don’t try to tell them that. They say things like, “you know, it takes all of us to pull together and help each other out.” Right. Because normal people do stuff like that.
Here’s to you Jonnie (from the first night – sorry your Ravens lost), Hannah?, Sheila (we had a lot of time together – not figuring out how to make that stupid hospital tray work), Diane, Milan (the big man with the big heart – talked me out of my stress about not sleeping enough), Rahab (gently waking me from rare moments of sleep to take vitals at midnight and 4 am), Beena (spent an hour just having a mundane conversation on my last night – I know you felt compelled after the day-shift forgot to unclamp that damn IV and caused me an extra 90 minutes chained to the bed), Mina, Aynur, Obayemi (I know how bad you felt when you had to stick me twice to draw blood – not your fault, my blood was super-thick at that point), Michele, Hanan, Crystal, Lori (used me as a training guinea pig that last morning) and the others. Yes, you ARE heroes.
And to the “Five Star Dining” team. I almost laughed the first time I heard that recording on your phone line say “Five Star Dining”. Man, was I wrong. The food here is awesome! My girls loved hearing the descriptions of the big lunches I ordered. When did hospitals start providing this service? I have no idea, but it sure is uplifting as a patient to get in a great meal. (Example: Pan Seared Beef Tenderloin with Burgundy Demi, Yukon Gold Whipped Potatoes and Asparagus, Orange Sorbet, Diet Dr. Pepper.)
Dr. Selim (the Hospitalist – I still don’t know what that means. I guess you’re a doctor who works in a hospital.)
Dr. Torten the Infectious Disease Doctor. I’m so glad there are people like you who took up this fight as a career years before a pandemic showed up.
OK, 3:49am. Rambling done. Maybe I’ll grab a few more minutes of sleep. Probably not. Should be heading home today and SO looking forward to that!
BTW – Just had a 98 oxygen reading. Also, sorry to go there, but no diarrhea in over 24 hours.
And an update at 5:15. Guys, I think I’m relearning to sleep. Had a couple snoozes. Interrupted by the pesky vital check at 4am, and the 5am blood-draw. (How is it that I forget that’s coming every morning?)
I can’t go without also thanking Team Yearsley. I will never, ever, ever, be able to express what pride, joy, and thankfulness fills me. I wouldn’t have made it without you. Nicole, my entertainment director. Raychel, my personal medical advisor. Lauren, my communications director. Speaking of rushing in to fill a void – damned amazing job, girls!
And Linda. My God, Linda. I never have deserved you.