It's Sunday afternoon and I'm looking out at the Oakland hills from my hospital room at Alta Bates, awaiting a shot of dilaudid (a stronger form of Sister Mo) that will be coming my way in about 10 minutes.
I've been here since early Friday morning, when I went to the ER for pain control. The pain pills I had at home simply were not doing the job and I woke up just after midnight on Friday in pretty good pain. They checked me into the hospital in order to get me on a pain control protocol, so for the past three days, I've been on a combo of dilaudid shots, pills and now a patch attached to my skin that will gradually help get the pain under control in the next few days.
I'm not thrilled to be here, but aside from the absolute suckiness of the TV (unbelievably, they don't get ESPN, so I missed today's Italy-Spain soccer game -- although from everything I've read, I actually didn't miss much, as it was a dull game and Italy deserved to lose), things aren't that bad. I have my own room, the setup is reasonably comfortable, the view is nice, and most importantly, my stomach pain is being handled in a way that simply would be impossible if I was back at home. The fact is, the pain isn't excruciating, but it's bad enough that it needs more direct attention (as in, through direct injection) than I could get at home.
Also, while all my vitals are great, my white-cell count is running just a tad high, so they have me on antibiotics just in case I have a minor infection somewhere. From what I've been told, both the pain issue (obviously!) and the infection issue are not uncommon after major surgeries, so at the moment, the situation is not a cause for worry -- it's just an annoyance more than anything else.
So, it's been a long, lazy weekend and the doctors will re-assess my situation tomorrow. The initial guess from the on-call doc today was that it will be at least two or three days before I head home, so I can expect to be here until Tuesday if not later. If I was still sharing a room with someone at Stanford, this news would be very discouraging -- but the nurses here are far less intrusive (since they don't need to keep me under constant observation) and I'm not constantly being disturbed for pills and shots and other continual interruptions that keep a hospital patient from actually, you know, resting. Plus, the private room makes this stay a lot easier to bear, so I can deal with a few extra days in the hospital if it means keeping the pain to a minimum.
That's the scoop! I hope everyone had a great weekend and I'll check back tomorrow with the latest. Now it's time for another dilaudid shot and maybe a nap. Come to think of it, maybe this whole surgery thing ain't so bad after all...
With much love,