Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Part 1: What’s in a hospital day?

Have I mentioned that I’ve never stayed overnight in a hospital before? This is all new for me. Today I think I’ll share some observations, maybe a little about what my days look like.

- Every morning, they come in at some too early hour, turn on a super bright light, poke me with a needle and take a few vials of blood. I always check what time the guy leaves. Today it was 4:44AM. I try to go back to sleep but they have me on a ridiculous amount of steroids to get the swelling in my kidneys and lungs to go down, and one of the (many) side effects is sleeplessness. So I lay there and think, pray, sometimes cry, until I eventually commit to being awake.

- Around 6ish, the nurse comes to start giving me Nexium through the i.v., which they learned after the first day needs to come before breakfast, or the breakfast will be in my lap shortly after I eat it. (Nexium helps with the nausea.)

- The steroids and things are still making my blood pressure really high so I sleep with the i.v. in my left hand, the blood pressure arm band around my arm (which blows up every hour) and a little sensor thing on my finger that tells my heart beat and oxygenation levels. These machines get mad at me sometimes and start beeping loudly. At first it wasn’t so bad, but after 6 days, it gets a little irritating. If I bend my wrist, the i.v doesn’t flow as well and the machine starts beeping. If my oxygen level gets to 90 or below, the machine gets mad at me. The sensor seems to be happier on my toe, so I move it there during the day. Gotta please the machines, somehow. (I was a people pleaser before, I guess it carries over with machines?)

- Breakfast usually comes around 7, and I am always starving at that point. Shortly after comes the needle to the stomach to prevent thrombosis. I have a very nice collection of purple polka dotted bruises around my belly button, and this is certainly the worst part of the day.

- Blood pressure machine just blew up, and it’s 151/95. This will probably mean that they will make me stick this terrible pill under my tongue and let it dissolve to try to lower it quickly. It tastes, well, not good at all.

This post is already long and I’m only up to about 8:00am and I’m hungrily awaiting my breakfast! I think I will turn it into a few posts, so check back later if you care to learn what happens after that!


  1. Julie, we got home late last night from NY and one of the first things we did was plug in OR's laptop to see any updates on you (and Kristina) that might have happened while in transit. It's so good to see a positive report of steady improvement and the insurance (medi-share) question answered that was weighing on your minds. We are sad that you will be in the hospital a bit longer than expected. The good part is that you and Kristina will be in the same hosptital for several days together--not that you will be room mates or anything. Perhaps you can get the nurses to pass notes back and forth. I guess there is a better technological answer to that, though.

    We love you and are in constant prayer for you.

    New nephew coming today? Yes that is my prediction in writing for the other Russells.


  2. Just wanted you to know that we're praying for you and checking on your updates/talking to Nicole a lot. Glad things are slowly getting better. And... I HATED the stupid blood pressure cuff when I was in the hospital with Caleb. Seriously- people in the hospital are sick/tired from giving birth. They need sleep! They should come up with some way to alert the nurses/check vitals that don't wake the patient! haha. Enjoy the a/c and cable!

  3. With apologies I must say that this post caused me to chuckle several times, as I recalled how much all hospitals must be alike--good ones, at least. They are certainly no place to catch up on your sleep, and now I see that you have gotten to the point that you actually look forward to the hospital food coming. Have they awakened you yet to give you a sleeping pill? If you complain about not sleeping, they're liable to do that. I think the bright lights before 5 a.m. may be the worst, although I wouldn't want anyone trying to find a vein in the dark. Know you are loved and prayed for! Keep the posts coming. I love reading them.

  4. This is actually from Gabby; Casey was the one with the account that let me post:)

    I can sympathize with you--in some aspects. When I had Mallie my doctor came in to see me around 6 am. This after delivering a baby and my only sleeping a cummulative 4 hours in two days. Needless to say, I wasn't the most friendly patient. I could barely open my eyes. And they sure wouldn't stay opened. I was soooo ready to get out of there and can only imagine how ready you are for the hospital days to end! We're praying strength and healing over you.


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