August 1st through 4th
NY Methodist Hospital
Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY
Since July 25th I’d been having troubles with my lungs and bronchial. At work around 4:30pm to 5pm I started to spit and cough up blood. Not a lot, but enough to alarm me. Did my volunteer duties [lightly though as I was feeling abit light headed] with City Harvest down at Union Square farmers market that evening. Next day nothing happened, but on Sunday I again spit up some blood. Didn’t sleep well that night and decided to take ½ a personal day on Monday, so I could see my doctor at neighborhood clinic. They also had me get a chest X-ray, plus take meds and afterwards I went in to work.
On Tuesday I worked half a day and took afternoon off as ½ a personal day. Went to meeting at City Councilmember Mendez office with Joe and Kevin [NYDoP CCR Committee members]. We had a great, productive meeting with the councilwoman, plus legislative aids from White and Dickens office. Five to ten minutes after the meeting, I had another “blood spitting” attack, so Joe drove me home to my apartment. So sweet of Joe to do that for me, he’s a great guy. Later that afternoon I had an appointment with my lung specialist at neighborhood clinic. He gave me new prescriptions and said I have Bronchiectasis. He also mentioned that if the spitting/coughing up of blood got worse, that I should check myself into a hospital.
Next day wasn’t so bad, but things started getting worse on Thursday and Friday, especially the latter. Around 3:30pm on August 1st the coughing up of blood and clots was on and off for an hour. I called my lung specialist and he strongly advised I check into emergency at New York Methodist Hospital, as he is affiliated with that place. I made phone calls to cancel plans I had for that evening; plus made calls to my friends Larry and Linda. The latter was available and said she’d pick me up at home to take me to hospital. So sweet and kind of her, at this point I was getting upset and wore my sunglasses all the way home to cover up the tears. I left the office at 5:30pm.
Got home just after 6pm; made more phone calls to cancel upcoming appts, packed my small backpack with necessary items for stay at hospital, fed the birds outside, had something light to eat, and took care of other things around the apartment. Linda showed up at 7pm and we talked for abit before heading off to the hospital. Found parking in Park Slope and went into emergency check-in area; filled out forms, went through Triage and registered by 9pmish. Then it was time to wait, along with others, to get “service” in ER. While waiting we watched TV and worked on a granny square crochet project. At one point a nice, young man joined us to figure out these two puzzling crochet patterns we were working on. Nice chatting with him and his partner. Apparently the delay for folk to get into ER was caused by injured firemen from a huge building fire near Lincoln Road, or was it Lincoln Street. During all this I got water from a fountain using a Styrofoam coffee cup. Plus purchased tasty crackers from the waiting area vending machine at 11pm and 2:30am [8/2/08], and from 12:30am on many folk in waiting room, including me, tried to sleep or nap. Linda stretched out on 3 chairs and I sat up with my head against the wall for support. The hospital staff provided many of us with sheets for cover, as the a/c was abit chilly. Let me tell you, try to nap there was not easy.
I finally got called into the ER at 3:30am, and before that I had coughed up more blood clots twice in the public bathroom. In ER a nurse and doctor saw me while I was comfortably placed on a gurney type bed. I took off my blouse and bra to put on a hospital gown which was abit itchy around the collar. I was taken to get a chest X-rays just before 6am [8/2/08]. Another doctor spoke to me at 7am and said they’d have to admit me due to visuals in my right lung. Linda headed home at 7:30am and will make calls to my Mom and Larry with news. In the meantime, more waiting and napping, spoke with another doctor about CT-Scan and a possible bronchoscopy. I hope the latter doesn’t need to be done, as the memories from July 2005 still upset me. At 10am I was still waiting to be taken up to my room. A nice orderly [Kevin] gave me a pillow and closed the curtains in my area. At least I had privacy, but no real quiet. Kind of difficult when in a busy ER, yah know. Dang, was it busy with patients moaning and groaning with pain all around. Abit unsettling to say the least.
Than another orderly [Troy] came at 11:15am with a wheelchair to take me to 7N, Room 7063, bed B. So far I have the room to myself, and near the window. Spoke with Nurse Fraser, a dietitian and a doctor, whose name I can’t seem to recall. Drinking water and making phone calls while waiting for my lunch to be delivered. Checked at nurse’s station at 1:30pm and again at 2:15pm. I was feeling so hungry and lightheaded at that point. Last time I’d eaten anything was around 2:30am and that consisted of a few crackers with peanut butter. While waiting for lunch I read, washed up and walked around 7N. Nurse Fraser found my lunch and brought it in at 2:30pm. The lunch consisted of a plain turkey sandwich on whole wheat, diced peaches, apple juice and tea. Took my time eating it all, as Mom urged me to do for nourishment, afterwards I felt so much better. Shortly after this another doctor came in to see me about my upcoming CT-Scan of chest area. Plus he asked me questions and I signed a form. Nurses made up the other bed area in the room and brought in a Caribbean woman, with her two daughters, around 3:45pm. So much for going solo and then the doctor came back for further questions on my medical background. The other patient didn’t stay in the room long and was moved to a different section of the floor an hour or so later. So back to being in room solo, not sure how long that’ll last.
After that I briefly called Mom and Dad to give them an update, and then the new patient in the room was moved to a new location. The nurse came around to set me up with IV meds. I napped for awhile, had another “coughing up blood” attack and before dinner was brought I developed an allergic reaction to the meds. My scalp and eyes felt like they were on fire, a red rash formed on my stomach and I felt chilly all over. I immediately called the nurse and she stopped the IV and called the doctor. He explained that the allergic reaction I has was common and would try a different variation. While all this was going on my dinner was brought and I slowly polished it off. It consisted of baked chicken leg, rice, broccoli, tea, cranberry juice, slice of whole wheat bread and apple sauce. Only thing I didn’t like nor finish was the white rice. Also, my sister-in-law called to see how I was doing and I told her the whole story. She’ll call tomorrow to follow up.
Not sure if the CT-Scan will happen today. Watched some TV for abit, as each patient has their own and doesn’t have to share. Changed into the nightgown and bathrobe I’d brought from home. Gave a nurse the hospital gown … good riddance to the itchiness. While calling my friend Nancie in VA another patient [woman in her 60s] was brought in around 8pm and put in bed next to me. Nurse Denny came in to give me new meds via IV around 9pm, so there goes my chance for early bedtime. Sigh! I’m feeling so very tired, like I haven’t slept for days. Watched a movie [Nanny McPhee] while dealing with the IV, plus napped abit, plus brought up abit more blood. No CT-Scan tonight and most likely on Sunday, August 3rd. Watched abit of the movie “Titanic” before the meds finished and finally allowed to get some sleep after midnight. Throughout that Saturday evening the new patient had “issues” with nurses, meds, made calls and her telly was on too loud, but got it all sorted in the end.
Next thing I knew a doctor came in at 6am on Sunday morning to give me a shot, something about determining if I had TB. Went back to sleep after he left. Woken up by Nurse Denny at 7:10am and asked to give a urine sample, then a male nurse stopped in to take two vials of blood for more tests. I was told that breakfast would be delivered around 8:30am. Before breakfast was delivered I utilized the bathroom to wash up, apply abit of makeup and change my undergarments. Nurse Kathleen took my vitals, which were normal, and then served breakfast. The meal consisted of tea, apple juice, cereal, soymilk, whole wheat toast, jam, plus I had abit of the fruit cup left over from day before. Felt good after eating and gazing out the window it’s a sunny day with blue skies. I’d love to be outside right now in the sun and walk around Park Slope. Constantly sitting in a hospital bed is boring, so around 9:15am I took a walk around the 7N floor and spoke with a few nurses.
The female [Susan] patient in the room is abit loud on the phone and with the TV. After 9:30am Dr Sood came to check up on me, talk about meds for future, the scheduled CT-Scan and the next IV meds this AM. My brother called at 10am and we talked abit until a nurse came in to change my IV from right to left arm, then I walked the halls until Nurse Fraser came to say IV meds time. Back at my room Nurse Kathleen was changing my bed linens and Nurse Fraser hooked me up to Mr. IV. Around 11:15am I called Anni to talk and she’ll stop by to see me at hospital, plus bring some magazines. Today is her 10th wedding anniversary. At 11:30am the orderly [Milton] showed up to take me to CT-Scan on 1st floor. It didn’t take long and I was back in my room by 12:10pm. While waiting for the CT-Scan I was told a man was in there with his 2 year old son, who was being examined and the poor little boy was screaming. Later learned the boy was very scared and father was trying to comfort him. The CT-Scan was quick, painless and over quickly. Fortunately I had no coughing fits.
Back at my room I was brought lunch at 12:30pm and it consisted of baked chicken breast, brown rice, collard greens, apricots, whole wheat bread, jam, tea and soymilk. The chicken was good and very tasty. I was brought the wrong soup [split pea], so I passed on that, as I don’t care for it. Then my good friend Katherine called and we talked for abit. Good to hear her voice. Then the patient next to me started to cough and vomit. I had to abruptly end call with Katherine and go get help at the nurse’s station for Susan. I then walked around the 7th floor to get the blood circulating in my system and out of the bed. Plus look out the windows to see the daily activity in Park Slope. Today looks like such a nice day outside with sunny skies and some clouds. Anni showed up at 2:15pm for a visit. It’s great seeing her and so sweet of her to visit me, plus she brought me some magazines and tasty oatmeal/raisin cookies. Then Dr Sood showed up to give me results of the CT-Scan and he mentioned Bronchiectasis, plus nodules in my right lung. I’ll need to be on meds for awhile after I leave the hospital. After he left Anni’s husband called, they are going out that evening to celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary. After Anni left at 3:25pm I looked over the magazines and then took a nap. My friend Linda called at 5pm and we talked abit. She’s heading back to Brooklyn from northern Westchester County.
Rested abit and then called Jay in Florida to chitchat. While speaking with Jay my dinner was brought in and they messed up again. I asked for pasta, not mashed potatoes. The gist of the menu was pineapple juice, baked Tilapia, peas/carrots, whole wheat bread, apple sauce, tea and soymilk. Enjoyed the call with Jay and he was also checking out online about Bronchiectasis, plus reading it to me over the phone. Mom and Dad phoned me at about 7pm to hear about the CT-Scan results. Took another stroll around the 7th floor before heading back to bed and read some of the magazines. Then I nodded off for abit and when I woke up Linda was standing there, which startled me abit. It was abit after 8pm and good to see her. She’d found a better pattern to crochet granny squares and show me the gist of it. Definitely easier to understand and work with the yarn. We chatted while crocheting and she left at 9:20pm. Washed up, back into bed and getting more IV treatment at 10pm for a few hours. Watched some telly and read more of the magazines. The nurses took more darn blood before and after I received the IV. While I was receiving the IV I would try to sleep or nap. Not sure when all was said and done, but I’m sure it was after midnight. Was woken up around 4am when a nurse came in to administer treatment for patient in the other bed. This happened again at 5am. Went back to sleep for another 1 ½ hours and then up again to utilize the bathroom. Sponge bathed myself, brush teeth, wash the face, put on clean undergarments, and applied some makeup.
Another nurse came to my bed to take more blood. My arms and right hand will be sore, plus black & blue for days because of this. I just want to go home at this point and waiting for the “green light” from Sood and Challapalli. Around 8:15am on August 4th, the doctor stopped by to say he’ll consult with Challapalli after more tests are done. I may be going home today or tomorrow. With this news I called the office and learned Claire was on vacation, so I spoke with Ginger instead and explained the situation. She’ll inform co-workers in my department that I’ll be out for a few days. My breakfast was delivered by a volunteer and I noshed on apple juice, Cheerios, bran muffin, jelly, soymilk and an herbal tea. Tried to call Mom and left a voicemail. Then Nurse Kathleen came in to check my vitals, which were normal. Around 9:30am I took a long stroll around the floor for 15 t6o 30 minutes, while other patient [Susan] in the room was being attended to by nurses. Also, there is a cop sitting out in the hallway since 8am this morning. From what I learned there is an ill “prisoner” in the room across the hall from me. The cop is a nice, pleasant fella who is probably 30 something. I called Mom and Dad around 10:30am to update them on latest developments.
Afterwards I washed my dirty undergarments and placed them over a towel draped on a chair to dry. After a bathroom break I again strolled around the 7th floor for abit. I further learned that there is not one, but two ill “prisoners” on the 7th floor. One across the hall and one next door, plus the female patient in my room is going through some serious issues, both health and otherwise. Dear lord, please don’t let me get like that when I’m elderly. Its very unsettling and abit scary. About 11:30am Nurse Sanduson came in to set up my IV meds and this will probably last an hour or so. Called Dee at EY to touch base, talk and see how things were at work. While waiting for lunch to be delivered at 12:30pm I read some of the magazines. There were brought by Anni yesterday:Stampington & Co Hand-Crafted Vol 4
Better Homes & Gardens
For lunch I had broth, roast fresh turkey, French cut beans, apple sauce, crackers, tea and soymilk. Turkey was tasty and tender, plus it feels like I’ve lost a wee bit of weight over past 4 days. After lunch I took a nap until 1:30pm when Dr Sood showed up and we talked about my health situation. I’m hoping I can go home tonight and he’ll see what can be done. Need a break away from the other patient, as her phone calls and demands on staff are unsettling. So I went for another walk at 2:10pm, and this time I brought along Mr. IV along around 7th floor. I looked out the windows on a nice, sunny day. Back at the room they came to take patient [Susan] for some X-rays and I was left with a quiet room, so I took a one hour nap. My sister-in-law called at 3:30pm to chat and see how I was getting on. [BTW, the meds are Vancomycin and Detrose plus Benadril to counter the allergic reaction to Vancomycin.] Dr. Sood showed up around 4:20pm with another doctor to check my breathing and ask more questions. After a brief consultation they said I could go home this evening. Hurray! Great news! Dr. Sood will give me prescription for meds and I need to do a follow up visit with Challapalli. I’ll call to make an appt tomorrow with my clinic.
I called Linda to see if she can drive me home and she said yes, will be here around 7pm. I called Mom with the news and will phone them as soon as I arrive home. Also called Ginger at EY with the news and she said take off Tuesday as a sick day to recover. The other patient in the room was brought back from tests around this time. I went for a walk around the 7th floor one last time and say goodbye to some of the nurses. Nurse Sanduson said I couldn’t be discharged until Dr Sood put the info into the computer. So I head back to my room and called him ASAP. He was still doing “rounds” and would take care of it shortly. In the meantime, I washed up, got my things packed and ate dinner at 6pm. My last meal at the hospital consisted of cranberry juice, Salmon, broccoli, fruit cup, crackers, tea and soymilk. After that I dressed in my street clothes and finished organizing my things, waited for Linda, plus the nurse to remove that darn IV. Talked with Susan for abit to kill time, and Linda arrived at 7:30pm and we talked about stuff.
Nurse Sanduson arrived with paperwork shortly after 8pm, which I had to sign, plus 2 prescriptions and a final report. Apparently I had Hemoptysis and I knew about the Bronchiectasis. Then Nurse Sanduson removed the IV, cleaned the area and put a bandage on it. I was free to go home. Hurray! Said goodbye to Susan, the nurses and got on the elevator with Linda. Her car was across the street and it felt good to be outdoors once again. Arrived at my apartment around 9pm, got my mail, turned on the a/c and called Mom. Took a long bubble bath in my tub and was in bed by 10:30pm. Amen!