One year ago today…

I finally got to leave my ICU room at Mayo Clinic hospital and go to the gift shop and courtyard.  I was finally awake from my coma and this is when the real struggles of all that my body had went through and would have to go through started becoming a reality to me.

At this point I was still being fed by TPN (IV nutrition) and still nothing by mouth because of the anastomotic leak that I had.  I was close to getting ice chips at this time.

Some cool things that they have available at the hospital that I was able to take advantage of when I was awake are massages.  I could order a massage and a lady would come in and turn my tv on to relaxing music and massage my feet and lower legs.  This was so calming as I was really struggling with anxiety and I was always asleep by the time she left.  This was definitely my most ordered therapy.

You can order pet visits.  There are volunteers that bring in animals.  I thought and still think this is the best thing ever.  An older gentlemen came to see me with a full size poodle.  I was able to ask it to get on my bed and it was so nice to have that pet visit when I was feeling so isolated.  Unfortunately for me, that is the only pet visit that I received because I developed resistant staph infection in my lungs and pets cannot visit if you are in isolation.  I did see a cocker spaniel and other pets in the hall.  I think this should be a service at any health care facility.

Acupuncture.  I was also able to order acupuncture.  I had never had acupuncture before but my nausea was terrible and very hard to control so an acupuncturist came in and did acupuncture to help relieve nausea and headaches that I was having.  I don’t know how much it helped at that point but the availability of these alternative therapies is awesome.

They truly care for you as a whole person and not just the part they are treating.  They went above and beyond to ensure my comfort when I was not an easy patient to deal with.  I tried to escape and face planted.  I was constantly trying to get my NG tube out and my ventilator off.  I was hot, I was cold, I needed to be moved in the bed, I needed a wash cloth on my head, I didn’t want anything to touch me.

Nurses are amazing people.  I have only had a handful in my lifetime that have not been a good nurse, in my opinion.  They get very little credit and do the bulk of the care and deal with the emotions and constant needs of some very complex patients.  I will blog more about nurses later because they really do deserve an entire post.

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