One day, the doctor had said in passing: The nursing homes want us to ship everybody out on Fridays. I start realizing that means only four days in the hospital! There must be some mistake. Four days? I can't even sit up to eat. I haven't been to the bathroom--I'm sure it's around here somewhere.
What I have now is an ancient and home-made looking portable potty chair (hospitals call them commodes) that is too tall for me. There is a sofa in my room. It's the second or third night. I'm sitting on this commode, and the nurse is sitting on the sofa behind me. I feel like it's hard to breathe. I say: It feels hard to breathe..it feels stuffy in here. She says nothing. I say I'm having trouble breathing. . .
I wake up back on the bed with seven pairs of eyes staring down at me. I had fainted. I don't feel any new pains, so I guess somehow she got up and caught me before I hit the floor. I am not pleased that she had not replied when I said it was hard to breathe. Maybe I need to be more forceful? Or louder? Other than that, she's a kind person and the other nurses seem to admire her.
Now they take my blood pressure early and often, especially when I stand up. The horrible white anti-blood-clot stockings from the day of surgery are painful; the nurse will order bigger ones -- they keep the blood from running to my feet. There is also a machine they fasten to my feet and legs that vibrates; that also is supposed to keep my blood circulating to places like my head. Let's hope so.
I get a pain pill before my physical therapy one morning--doctor's orders. predictably, I later start getting the heaves and need the sputum basin. It becomes my companion.
Friday is coming closer, and I can't imagine being popped out of here. I remember meeting a nurse a few weeks agowho asked why I wouldn't be going to physical rehab. The doctor had said something about MediCare taking rehab away from us. I decide to ask again, since no one has come to talk to me about my nursing homes list. I'm told that there is rehab connected to this hospital. The rehab doctor arrives with the speed of sound, talks.
At night, I try to read with the reading light my friend brought me, but the ceilinglight is in my eyes. I go to sleep holding the sputum basin.