January 29 – February 4 – Antelope Valley Hospital, Lancaster California. Second Floor East.
This is the day I have dreaded. This is the blog where I will be ‘naked’. We will call the nurse tech in question ‘S’, so as not to use names. This blog, again, may have some TMI moments, so do not read if you cannot handle it.
And remember, “My tears are not a sign of weakness!”
She was wheeled back to her room in her bed and slid back into the bed 4 slot. Her minded raced as she knew she was going to have to go through the another Colonoscopy tomorrow morning at 8 am. She also knew this meant drinking more of the cleansing drink. Bed 4 was the first bed on the right as you walked into the room. No one was in the bed 2 slot, so she asked to be moved to there as it was by the window and had a bit more privacy. The commode could be put against the wall, not next to a person’s bed, and she would be far from the door there. The nurse checked and said they would move her. She asked for them to roll her bed to the spot. One of the nurses asked why she could not just walk to the bed there already!! OK, Really! What part of, ‘I have MS and am unable to walk’ haven’t you understood since I have been here 5.5 days already!! Needless to say, the rolled her bed from bed 4 to bed 2.
The nurses got her all set up and moved her things over to bed 2. Commode against the wall, far away from all. In the bed next to her was a pregnant woman, approx 34 weeks. This confused Tracy completely as the hospital had spent lots of money in the previous years for a fully equipped Maternity ward. Not enough room at the Inn, so they shove this poor girl in a ward with sick people. [Tracy still scratches her head over this today]
On her mind now was getting mentally ready for the ‘drink’. She told the nurses in no uncertain terms she would NOT drink the go lightly!! She wanted the sour tasting drink from the 1st night she had to cleanse. It was not much better, but it was less to drink and she could stomach it.
There was one amazing moment, when her husband brought her newly 16-year-old son to visit her. She was in the hospital on his birthday [Jan. 31] and they would not let him in as he had no ID saying he was 16. He’s only 6′ tall and looks every minute of 16. Somehow daddy got him on this night. Even sitting on the commode, covered up, her baby hugged his mommy and told her he loved her. This was the one light in her stay. They only stayed for about 10 minutes as it was getting late, but that 10 minutes was worth a lifetime!
She had drunk the drink a bit before her hubby and son had come. Her cleansing [she thought] was pretty much done. Strangely, she was still not running clear. For a moment she smiled and laughed to herself that when the next time someone told her she was ‘full of shit’, she could say ‘yup I was’!! 😛
Her neighbor across the way awoke and started vomiting, badly. She grabbed the call button and told them that the woman needed help now. After a few minutes, she hit the button again, this time not really needing it as she is sure the whole floor heard her. GET IN HERE NOW, SHE IS SICK AND SEEMS TO BE HAVING A HARD TIME BREATHING!!!!! They finally came and helped her. Tracy was pissed off and disgusted by the treatment she was receiving and the treatment of others. She heard a man’s cries almost everyday for help. Was she in a horror movie, where were the cameras?!
At this point she was exhausted and figured she could finally get off the commode and go to sleep until the next day. She cleaned herself, got into the bed, and fell asleep.
She awoke in complete terror and humiliation. She thinks it was around 1-1:30 am or so. She knew she could not clean herself this time. Tears streamed down her face. She knew she had to hit the call button, but how could she? She was horrified and shaking. How could this be happening to her? She slowly reached for the button and pushed. A voice asked her what she needed and she said she needed some help. She could feel the burning and finally S came in to the room, to her bed. She quietly told S that she thought there was a problem. As S removed the sheets and protector covers she knew there was by the sound from S. S would have to go and get some things to clean her. She heard S making a gagging noise and a eeech sound as she walked from the bed.
She tried to hold back the tears from flowing, but after that she was fighting a losing battle. She kept apologizing as she felt so de-humanized and humiliated by this person. S came back with a bucket of warm water and cleaning cloths. She haphazardly wiped Tracy down quickly to get her off the bed and back on the commode so she [S] could clean the bed. As she got on the commode she took off her gown and fumbled with the snaps on a clean gown so she could put the new one on. S was more concerned with getting the bed cleaned than getting Tracy cleaned.
Again, she apologized to S. The comment back stung in her ears, ‘Well there is still a lot more to clean!’ Tracy took some of the wipes she had and tried to wipe herself in the spot she knew S had missed and was not planning on re-doing. By now she knew she would not get back into that bed. The fear was too much for her to handle. Once S got the bed made she asked her to help set up her MAC on the bed so she could play games as she did not want to fall asleep again. S leaned over Tracy and they grabbed the MAC and set it all up. Tracy was not to see S again!
The next thing she remembers is waking up on the commode [3:45am approx], legs numb, pain in her back, and her game over. Her bottom was burning from the negligent cleaning S had done and she reached gently for the call button. S did not answer the call, but the RN did. She took one look at Tracy and went and got a new bucket of warm water, cloths and ointment. She gently helped her to her feet, leaning over the bed and thoroughly cleaned her. Her legs, her lower back, her bottom. Then she applied and ointment to the burning area. Tears fell from Tracy’s eyes, she felt dirty, De-humanized, humiliated. The RN’s were not supposed to do this, but S never returned. [probably better for S not to return!]
After she got her all cleaned up, the RN got her back in to the bed, and gave her something for her pain. She tried to fight sleep, but she could not.
She woke up to a new batch of nurses, shift change. The NT she liked, K was there. Again, still not running clear, so time for a fleet enema. K was caring and compassionate and helped her through it, and cleaned her when needed. They had postponed the procedure from 8am for about 30 mins or so. After the fleet and a warm water enema, she ran CLEAR!!
This time a gurney came for her. They asked her to scoot over to it… Really!! I’ve been here 6 days now and you still do not get I need help doing this. OMFG!! Finally, with help, they got her on the gurney and headed to the GI part of the hospital. The two amazing nurses she had the day before were not on her procedure. She was very sad by this. When they came in they change the chart so they would be in on her procedure. This made it things so much better.
The next thing she remembers is waking up and the GI nurse telling her it worked and all was good. She was so relieved! They came and took her back to her room. By now she was hurting and a bit thirsty and hungry. Almost directly after she got all settled in, her hubby got there the Nurse came in and said she was being released. Nothing for pain, no food…
**to be continued**
Blessings and Hope!