342) Saturday: Discharge Day?

March 14, 2009

NAMC: Had a better night... less back pain, but more painful catheter. Every once in awhile the pain is so great It makes me want to jump and dance. Not being able to do that just yet, I am constrained to sitting up, standing up, swaying to the music and then moving to the bathroom to bet those bowels to let loose. By the thurd time I produce my first bowel movement at 3:30 am...(Hahn thought my problem from yesterday was my bowels pressing on the back of my my pee system and causing the pain. As Hahn said yesterday, even though it hurts it will be better after I have a bowel movement. Increasing number of farts says I am getting there and every time they listen to my bowels they hear them rumbling, which is good.) This is a relief and I am now without that level of dance pain.

This morning at 6 Hahn comes in and tells me about how she is gonna pull my catheter. Yikes. "Is it gonna hurt?" I inquire like a 12 year old. She arches her eyebrows and nods: "It will a little..." And then she explains as she prepares to yank it out, "first I am going to deflate the balloon..." she attaches a syringe (Pulling a Catheter) to one of the Y ports at the end of the catheter and pulls back and I feel an immediate decrease of tension in there. Then, quickly and slickly she gently pulls the thing out! Zip Zap I am free to pee... with very little pain... actually no real pain to speak of... so I won't
. What a relief. Hahn smiles that I feel good.

<--- Liz Working]

Liz gets some time in on work stuff. Now we are awaiting the Doctor to give us the Green Light!

Hahn and Lanette (the Tech) move on and the nurses for today are Barb the Nurse and Sabrina the Tech. These two are a hoot. Barb is like this Army Nurse, with a directive ordering facade and Sabrina walks around singing phrases of old country western
songs as she does her work. Sabrina is from Oklahoma... an Okie country lovin' Gal. Barb has interesting persona... a personal and funny person, without getting personal... if you know what I mean.

Bernadette today come to say there is a good chance I might be discharged today. The doc has to see me to make that determination. Bernadette recalls that when they first started the transplant center all the new nurses were freaked out about how excited the transplant team gets over PEE... "Wow! Look how much you peed!" It is because peeing and creatinine are the two things that indicate positive progress of the transplant and so are very exciting. For example, the first two days AT (after transplant) I peed out about 8 pounds... which is a very good amount. Now the $N staff has caught the excitement about peeing and only the new nurses are weird about it. Bernadette has to talk to me one last time to set up my meds for the first week and she asks Liz to clean the table top with disinfectant in preparation for the pill box filling. I ask her what is the difference between T-cells
and White cells and she explains that some mature white cells (called lymphocytes) become specialize T-cells... and they are like soldiers who search out and destroy the targeted invaders, like My Mordechai. She also says that today is the day for Liz to shoot over to the pharmacy to pick up my supply of meds for us to box later today.

Things that today is full of:

  • A little later Barb and I go for a longer walk... around three pods and back to my room.
  • Rosanna the Diabetes Woman comes by bringing more info on diabetes for us to put in our Info Library and wish us the best.
  • Barb pulls off the leads on my chest to unhook the monitor in the Nurse's Station.
  • Barb pulls my IV and pulls the leads into my neck where they have been giving my all my IV meds, etc.
  • Since pulling the catheter I have pooped one more time and da peeing eet is easy.
At around the crack of noon, young Dr. Sankar (from Madras, India). This doc is very pleasing to talk to. He removes my dressing and says I don't need one so the incision can breathe more I can take a shower without covering the incision, and that it looks very good. He listens to my lungs and heart, asks a few questions about pain and says you can leave today after talking to Bernadette. I inquired about Dr. Sankar's being in Austin and he replied that he came specifically to study under Dr. Lewis because he is such a good doc and because there aren't that many docs out there anymore that have the experience of Lewis (Dr. Lewis has over 800 transplants under his belt). Most of the transplant docs that have his experience have retired so Sankar finds it very fortunate that Lewis took him on. I thanked Dr. Sankar for his exam and discharge and he smiled and said it was nice meeting us.

I immediately take a shower and it feels so good...

Bernadette calls several times saying she is on her highest priority task right
now is to find recipients for two kidneys and it is taking lots of phone time. She promises to get to us just as soon as she can. We are getting antsy. Liz reads most of our handout literature. Finally she starts packing, packing, packing... well... actually Liz is doing all the packing and I am consulting with her... not really a good thing.
[Liz reviewing literature --->

Finally Bernadette gets up here at 8:30 and we load up the pill box and she educates us a little more and continues to apologize and we are so happy to go home that we just tell her it is fine and we like her
lots enough to forgive her anything she might do. She finishes by reminding us of our lab and clinic appointments next week.

Hahn and Lanette are back on duty by now and they help us thru the maze... Hahn pushing me and Liz off to get the car, and Lanette being something of a porter with a cart of our stuff. We load up say a heart felt goodbye and drive off into the night, me hoping we can make it home before I have to pee again, and Liz just happy to being going home. After all, Home is where the Heart is.

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