I have been undergoing a new experience for me. My body is retaining water and this is evident in my swollen legs. My doctor had prescribed a diuretic to deal with the leg swelling when he was first presented with my problem. When I returned for a followup visit, he saw that my legs were not improved and he immediately put me into the hospital. He said he wanted to “dry me out” and run some tests. I informed my son, who had brought me to the doctor’s office, that we were undergoing a change in plans; we were going to the Lakewood Medical Center and I was going to be admitted as a patient and I was going to be ‘dried out’. After a short drive to the medical center, and the signing of many, many consent and acknowledgement forms, I was reintroduced to the ‘hospital gown’ and its drawbacks (pun intended), the joy of trying to find, by trial and error, a suitable location for the IV needle, and a pee bottle to measure my ‘output’. I quickly learned that ‘diuretic by IVee’ plus a Pee bottle plus a hospital gown equals big mess. Ballet it is not, but I learned some new moves in a short time and managed to avoid any major spills in so doing. Soon after we began this ‘drying out’ process, I noticed that the IV pump was very frequently signaling its ‘displeasure’ with the status of the IVee line (flex tubing) by making a loud, periodic, and irritating noise. The noise seemed to be an alert , aimed at everyone in the vicinity of the IVee pump, that something was amiss and some action must be taken. The action finally taken was to relocate the IVee site to yet another place on my arm to minimize the chance of arm movement causing a IVee line kink and more alarms. Now I know why my wife Patty said she felt like a pin cushion when she was in the hospital.
While in the hospital I was put on a special diet that required low sodium food preparation. That, and my age related loss of my ability to properly taste my food, meant you could have fed me cardboard and I would have been just as satisfied. Take away taste and one is left with presentation and texture (mouth feel?) as the remaining factors that allow me some satisfaction in eating my food. The food that I was served at Lakewood Medical Center was uniformly good; I cleaned my plate at each meal even though I could taste very little of what I ate. Loss of appetite was not my problem. The quality and consistency of these two food factors are largely controlled by people and this demonstrates to me that LMC must have a very capable staff in their kitchen.
In the hospital I was bitten on the back of my left hand by some kind of insect. I first noticed the bite while I was washing my hands and I felt a sharp pain in my left hand. When I investigated I observed a rapidly increasing swelling on the back of my left hand. I showed my hand to the nurse and she drew a line round the area of the swelling with a felt pen. We watched in amazement as the swelling doubled in area as we watched. There was little pain. After a short while, my skin began to appear as though I had been bruised. Although several nurses were involved in the incident, no further mention of the bite was made by hospital personnel. Since I was experiencing no great discomfort, I did not pursue the matter and I was discharged from the Hospital. Since that time the discoloration has almost gone away and there has been no new swelling or pain. There is however a hard lump at the original site of the swelling. I do not know what I will do at this point except I will mention the episode to my doctor when I see him on Monday. I am moderately concerned about the possibility of future problems such as Lyme’s disease.