Monday, October 15, 2012

Short Hospital Stay of Caregiver

I had a short hospital stay Friday morning through Sunday afternoon. It certainly wasn't planned that I be taken to the hospital and leave my caregiving responsibilities.

So what happened to me you ask? Hubby is still able to stay home by himself and I set out Friday to substitute teach. On the way I realized very suddenly that I needed to vomit. I pulled over to a Ford dealership and upchucked, hoping that was the end of it. Not to be. I arrived at the school and vomited in the parking lot. I got up a little strength to walk with my purse into the office and say I was sick and couldn't sub. I headed for the staff women's bathroom. My stay in that bathroom included vomiting and passing out. I found myself on the floor with a headache and realized I might have a concusion. I got myself up and the room was spinning. After a bit I opened the door and said I needed a nurse. The nurse called 911 and I was on my way to the hospital in an ambulance. Needless to say, I didn't care at all whether school kept of not! But I did care about my husband and in my weakened state told people "I am an Alzheimer's caregiver". By Friday afternoon I was out of ER, had a room and Friday night I knew I was on my way to recovery, including eating dinner. Nurse assistant DaDine thoughtfully gets an iPhone charger for my cell while I slept Friday night; this had to be borrowed from staff who worked at night and loaned it to me for several hours.

I had not purchased a bracelet that says I am an Alzheimer's caregiver.  (I have seen these, but hadn't gotten around to ordering one). My husband has one that says he has memory issues and he wears it all the time.

HUGE THANKS to family. Hubby stayed with his daughter. The step-daughter, her husband and daughter graciously took on caregiving responsibilities including hosting both hubby and the dog during my hospital stay of over two days. Our car was retrieved from school.  Naughty dog Ziggy, however, taught the host dog how to chase their cat while he stayed there. 

Hubby's cell phone is misplaced again in the last 12 hours and he notices it early this morning.  He did use it to call me on my cell at the hospital. After the stabilizing me in ER, I went to a room where I was able to use my new iPhone to call him. Somehow he got through the short-term memory problem and was able to visit me in the hospital on Friday thanks to his ex taking him there. Saturday morning he woke me up at 6:15 AM on my recharged cell:  

Where are you?

At the hospital, Sweetheart!

Oh that's right!

Hubby had forgotten that he had seen me in the hospital on Friday. Our routines were disrupted. He called often during Saturday saying he missed me. I realize again how important that caregiver (me) is to the loved one. You are the one, even with other family around.

This morning early his cell phone is missing. He is very discombobulated that his cell phone is missing and wants to go get another one ASAP. This morning he is going over and over his loss and asking how many cell phones he has lost. How many cell phones has Ziggy taken? he asks. Coping is hard for the Alzheimer's loved one who is trying to hold on to reality.  That cell phone is a big issue this morning. I have him wait until 7 AM to call his daughter. Sure enough it was in a box with the dog food just where she said it was last night. I had not seen it the first time I unpacked his things.

So glad I can stay home today to get us both back to "normal" or "the new normal". But I do know that life will never be normal again. Just so thankful to the LORD that we are both home.  

Get those shots. Saturday night in the hospital I had my yearly influenza shot and got my pneumonia shot that all of us over 65 need to get. Perhaps my trip to the hospital could have been avoided had I received those shots. Why knows!  

Cuddos to Lakeland Regional Medical Center where my treatment was so excellent--doctors and nurses. I had a SYNCOPE and a SYNCOPE HYPOTHERMIA along with the vomiting. I was cold in ER! My white blood cells were elevated from vomiting and I was fighting something. Scans  revealed that there was no internal brain injury from the fall and no heart issues. My electrolites were off. I thought I had avoided treatment for GERD by watching what I ate carefully. But now I have a prescription for OMEPRAZOLE  to be taken for 30 days and I will take it. People with GERD should not be vomiting at all. It throws us off completely.   

Boredom sets in Saturday and Sunday. I was better. My charged cell phone helped entertain me on Saturday and dutifully I stayed in my room and interacted with my roommate. The sign on the TV said:
Thank you for remaining my your clinical area during your stay at Lakeland Regional, and allowing your health care providers to monitor your care and recovery. Leaving your clinical area for reasons outside your treatment is considered against medical advice and you may be discharged. Please help us to provide you with the best health care experience possible. Thank you.
I became stir crazy and wanted to get back to my husband and get him home. I walked the halls in "my clinical area". Through my iPhone I posted updates on my Facebook LIKE page for this blog during the day Saturday.  I entertained the troops with the two raps "Get Me Out of Class [the hospital]" and "Boredom Games" I deliver for good classes when I substitute teach.  I promised a few staff that  I would post those raps here and I dedicate them to those wonderful staff at the hospital we put smiles on each other's faces.
"Get Me Out of Class"
[the hospital]
Get me out of class
Gotta get a pass
I’m a student you can trust
Getting me out of class I must.
Let me get some water
I’m not your son or daughter
But I will be your teacher’s pet
I’ll always help you out
—you can bet
It’s right outside the class
Don’t have to write a pass
So let me get some water
(I will roam the school halls
Or maybe the nearby malls.)
But, oh no!
You don’t give water passes?

Hmm . . .
I have to pee can’t you see
But so much liquid I just bloat
And I have a doctor’s note
So much pee I may float.
I have to be a finder
I left my school binder
I left my purse
I have to see the nurse
Can I go to my locker?
(Really I want to play soccer
I want to go find that jerk)
Please --it’s just a little perk!

Get me out of class
Gotta get a pass!

"Boredom Games"
Paper toys
Boredom ploys
Sunflower seeds
Don’t want to read
Don’t want to heed
Or do a good deed
But a boredom game
May get me fame
Or bring me shame
Those boredom games.
Let me make a popper
Lots of ploys in the hopper
Shooting rubber bands
Making beats with hands
Let’s play football
Make it out of paper
Or fly a plane
Just a little caper
Chewing gum
Think I’ll hum
Or twiddle my thumb
Have a little gas
I can fart for a laugh
I’m not the only one
Who has to have a little fun
And my work is done
A boredom game
Won’t get me fame
Might bring me shame
Those boredom games.

God is good. Now where did I put MY glasses! Might be at Denny's where we had supper last night!


  1. Hurray! Glasses found. Looking forward to getting back to de-cluttering room by room with hopes that there will be a place for everything and everything in its place. Hubby is helped by knowing where everything is and so am I! He said that his cell phone needs to be either on his belt or on his charger.

  2. So glad everything is okay! That had to be frightening. Glad all missing things are turning up, too. Are you feeling 100% already? We've had a couple of stomach issues in our house in the past week, too, but nothing serious, thankfully!

  3. SOooo glad you are ok and all is returning to your normal.
    What a scary thing to go through!

    God is certainly good in providing you with the necessary people to step in when needed, yet you still see how important you are.

    Hubby and I will get our flu shots next week!

    Continuing to pray for you :)

  4. Wow Carol! What an experience. I'm so glad you recovered quickly and that hubby was well taken care of. I like your raps. :-)

  5. That was frightening, wasn't it.