One of my fave nurses from my last visit poked her head in to say hi yesterday. She’s one of my faves and she definitely has that quality that I talked about in a previous post that the best nurses have, and I’ve now got a name for it, which my aunt (who also used to be a nurse) came up with – the essence of nursing. And my nurse Luisa has that in swathes. She’s one of the gems who treats the human, not the numbers. And the nurses and docs that do, really stand out. I’ve already come across quite a few of them in this visit already.
She came and looked at my IV and said ‘Oh Tazocin, no it’s Meropenem you need.’
Aha! And just off the top of her head, she answered the question of which antibiotic had been the one that worked last time! Now to just find a doctor to tell. I was so impressed and heartened that so quickly, she’d been able to recall that information about a patient she’d treated weeks ago. The essence, you see?
Sure enough, a few minutes later, the doctor of the day walked in. They were planning on giving me two packets of blood, as my haemoglobin has been dropping, as expected. Platelets are low too, but those transfusions aren’t actually that helpful because the body can’t retain foreign platelets for more than a couple of days. So for now, just the red stuff. Yum. With Luisa by my side, we were able to give the doctor the information and ask if we could please move to the Meropenem next. It was so good to have her there for that conversation. So hopefully that’s the backup I needed to get switched to it next.`
There’s been a student nurse in who has been doing things like Obs. For some reason she’s been very interested in monitoring my breathing each time she takes my blood pressure, pulse, temp etc. She keeps wanting to see how many times I breathe a minute. I’ve done a fair bit of research (and practice) in the area of the breath. Did you know the ideal is around 5 breaths per minute? That’s a lot less than our stressful lives have made us do. Somewhere along the way, we started taking lots of shallow breaths and it’s just not great for us. So I’ve trained myself to do the optimum 5. It took a while to realise my very intentioned breathing was causing them to worry.
‘It might be a problem if your blood oxygen levels were low, but it seems OK,’ she said.
‘Well yes, it’s how we should be breathing…’
Too nerdy perhaps, Jen.
Anyway, my nurse said she was going to do a few things and then go get me my blood, so as it was my last opportunity for a while of not being connected to anything, Clarence and I went and had a dance at the window. We like a good dance when we’re in hospital, what else is there to do?
I’ve got quite a nice office set up here actually. Standing desk with a view looking out over a very sparkly London. A window bed is certainly not wasted on me.
Got another visit from the night doctor this morning, when the nurses called him because gasp, I had a temperature. He came in and was like ‘well… here we are again.’
Yes, I said, we’ll keep being here until you finally switch me to Meropenem. I felt proud that I had a name for him this time.
He told me that the Meropenem was their last option, the strongest one, and if that doesn’t work, they have no other options. So they really need to exhaust all other options before going straight to that. I told him I understood that, but since we’re pretty sure it’s the one that’s going to work, wouldn’t it make sense to just go straight to it? My mouth has swollen to the point that I can’t really eat anymore and I told him I just don’t think I can do another two days of another antibiotic that probably won’t work, when we’ve got one that probably does.
Anyway, he said he’d talk to the day doc about it, who I’m sure I’ll get a visit from at some point today, so we’ll see how we go there. I’ve reached the 48 hour mark where they switch antibiotics from the first line ones they start in A&E. We are at a juncture, so let’s see where we go. We’ve all got our reasons, but I’m hoping they come around to my way of thinking. Clarence is on my side too and who can say no to such a cute little cow.
Hilariously, this morning my nurse said ‘we’ll organise another scan soon, but as it’s Sunday, it might not be today.’ Scan? There are literally no more scans that are useful. What are you even going to be scanning for? If we go back into this ‘let’s see if the swelling is an abscess we need to drain’ business, I’m putting my foot down. I think once again, he was assuming I was here because I had a swollen face, not because I’m literally neutropenic and have a temperature. Lol.
They’ve also decided ‘why not’ just make me start monitoring all my liquid input and output just in case a Doctor decides they want that information at some later point. Which is all good and easy for them to just ask me to do, but is actually a massive pain to do, and really unnecessary. I’ve got really good at estimating pretty accurately, over the years of having to do it, I’m not saying that’s what I’m doing but… let’s just say it’s a real faff to monitor all your liquids input and output, and I’m a problem solver.
In other exciting news, my neutrophils are actually starting to go back up again which seems quicker than normal so that’s exciting. Go lil body.