|Waiting To Exhale|
Wednesday, September 01, 2010
Tubes and inspiration
Right now, I feel surrounded by tubes. Kept alive pretty much by tubes.
Tubes to feed me oxygen, tubes to feed inhaled medication, tubes for fluids and IV medication, tubes to feed oral medication. Tubes tubes tubes. I think the hardest thing about tubes is that it is pretty much impossible to feel anywhere normal whilst surrounded by them. Going the toilet? Dont forget to take your drip stand stand with you. HEadache getting to much, put your oxygen back on, chest to dry, pass the nebulizers, medication time and still not able to take oral meds, put it down the stomach tube. Airway not holding open, lets stick a tube in it.
Tubes can be a god send, but at the same time a restriction. They remind you that things are not as they same, they keep you tied down.
My arms are bruised from yesterdays attempts at drawing blood. Today in theatre, they poked and proded and had a couple of attempts to get an IV in, with not much luck. Eventually decided to use gas to put me to sleep. I awoke with an IV running, back of my right hand, not the most comfortable place, but its in. Its also starting to block, but it has been well used. Hartmens, glucose, potassium, saline, morphine, ondanstaron, paracetamol to name but a few.
I have to admit I was slightly disapointed coming around after surgery. I came around shivering like mad, but thats not unusal. Coughing my head off, again normal, and struggling to breathe again normal, but not what I had hoped for. I knew things wouldnt be brilliant right away and yet I still hoped. The machnies kept beeping and my oxygen got turned up. After the initial I feel crap put me back to sleep feeling you always get when you first come around, I settled, until another need made itself known. A need that would cause great pain. I needed to wee. I assume they had pushed a ton of fluid into me and my bladder was busting. I was not doing the whole bed pan thing in recovery, so I grin and bared it.
They wanted to sit me up to help my sats, but there was no way I could bend in the middle. I hoped to go back to my ward soon. As soon as I got back to the ward, I rolled out of bed, again not able to stand upright and dashed to the loo. wow it felt good. what a relief. Then my breathing came back to the forefront of my mind as I realized I couldnt do it to easily. Snuggled back into bed with some oxygen pushing my sats back up from the 88% mark.
Doctor came to see me later on. He tried covering the tube, I managed about 4 breaths before I started to struggle. Hopefully it is still swollen. Tomorrow, I am down for a tube change to a fenestrated tube (hole in the top) and then see if I can cope with that covered.
Fingers crossed again.
I think I might be able to tomorrow. I am already getting a little more voice out.
Its strange though, its as if I can breathe in two differnt ways. The way that feels natural, but leaves me breathless, I assume through the tube. And the way that feels alkward and takes concentration but leaves me able to breathe better, I assume through my mouth. Tomorrow will tell when the easy way gets blocked.
Also I wasnt meant to have a NG (tube in my nose to tummy) but I am still nil by mouth until I get a swallow assesment and as I have night time medication that can not be missed (anti rejection) they had to put it down. Which I hate and cant wait to get out haha. In the mean time I get to look cool with a yellow tube hanging out my nose.
Through all of this, I dont feel as bad as I thought I would. I guess it could be many things, the support of my friends and family, the drugs or even the fact that I seem to be drawing strength from those around me.
I was going to orginally make a post about how I wish people would quit with shoving things up my nose, tubes, cameras etc. But then the lady in the bed opposite me came back from theatre. She obviously has a lot going on cancer wise. She was in theatre for at least 6 hours (eek) looks rough and has tons of tubes. Yet her family came in and though she is obviously in pain (I can see her monitors) she was smiling and making jokes. You could literally feel the love radiating from her area. Kinda humbling really.
I have also been thinking a lot about a lady I heard about in the news the other day. She has 2 kids and CF. She needed a lung transplant, but struggled to get one. Bascially she has lived in the ICU since April this year on a vent. Seeing her child twice a week, waiting to exhale as she put it. She died the other day. Its such a shame. Everything she has been through and for what? All the time waiting and hoping, the family holding on by their finger tips clutching at straws and jumping at every phone call. Only to lose her anyway. Again, you can see the love around the family and my thoughts go out to them right now.