Home Is Where the Pickles Are

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When I said last week I would write more about doctors, little did I know what was about to transpire. Flying to a major US city to attend a meeting, I told the flight attendant a couple of times I was having trouble breathing.

His reaction was along the lines of “Uh-huh.”

Then I remember a brief moment of moving and the word “ambulance.”

Nothing more until: “Do you know where you are? What’s the date? Who’s the vice president?”

And thus began my weeklong stay in a well-known east coast hospital. If it’s Tuesday, I’m probably still there. At any rate, I missed the meeting. And I met a lot of docs.

And, by the end of the week, I had questions of my own, such as: “They’re still using NPH? If I say I need to use the bathroom, why does it take seven hours to get a bedside potty there? Why isn’t there a bucket on it? Is the prisoner next door dangerous?” And last, but not least, “why do I never get the dill pickles I request for my hamburger?”

Or perhaps that should be, “Will I ever get out of here?” They may have figured out I have private insurance and wanted to keep me! They certainly put up enough hoops for me to jump through.

They took my insulin pump off in ICU. Hey, I can relate. I wasn’t exactly what you’d call “conscious.” From then until they handed it back over to me, I got injections of NPH. This was ordered by an endocrinologist. Then she messed around with my pump settings. I was not amused. I was running high.

Because my blood pressure dropped low, they messed with those meds. My blood pressure ran high.

Other meds I take on a regular basis just kind of…disappeared.

So what happened? First, you should know that I’m terrified of flying. However, I like to go places, so I take an anti-anxiety drug when I fly. Have been for decades.

This time, I’d been prescribed a new drug for phantom pain. I had taken that in addition to my usual “flying pill.” One doc noted the combination may have started events that led to my being hospitalized. And my carbon dioxide levels were too high.

So here I am. It’s Tuesday and I’ve been in here since last Tuesday. I’m supposed to be discharged today. It will be good to get back home, where the computer is familiar (I’m on my husband’s laptop), I can take my own meds, nobody is panicking if my glucose goes below 200 mg/dl, and I know where the pickles are.

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