With COVID-19 everything is a bit different including hospital experiences. For most 22-year-olds it is normal to go to the hospital by yourself but when you require assistance for nearly everything you are not used to being alone. I’m always ready for a new experience so here went my first hospital experience on my own.
3:45 am the alarm went off and it was time to head to the hospital. I had packed a bag the night before but was just a day procedure so didn’t need to much stuff. If you know me then you know that I went to the hospital in my pj’s. I arrived at the hospital, got screened, and went through to admissions. The hospital was like a ghost town at that time. The admin lady was extremely helpful and efficient. she got my ID out my bag, scanned all the documents. I then signed what felt like 100 documents. For me, there is always someone who does the signing and knows all my information so it was definitely a learning experience. The admin lady walked me to the pediatric ward as the hospital was full and the nurses are more attentive in peds.
Peds was pretty quiet, I got taken to a room where the nurse blankly stares at me waiting for a direction of what to do. I calmly say please could you get an extra sheet for turning and a leg pillow. I also said we going to need two people to lift. With people that are in wheelchairs, they all have very different levels of ability, this makes it difficult for people to understand what I might need specifically. I’m not great at explaining exactly how I should be lifted but I did try my best. I nearly did not make it onto the bed and it was definitely not seamless. I truly believe that hospital staff needs more training around people with disabilities!
It’s really difficult for me to do anything once I am lying down. So the nurse had to fill out the other forms then I had to try to sign while lying down. I realize how much information I do not know off by heart. Then I lay there for a while, luckily I was one of the first patients in so it was not a long wait. They took my blood pressure and sugar. They put me into my gorgeous gown and off we went.
I believe that I am quite a calm person and that I’m pretty used to hospitals but there is something about theater that is just really intimidating. The transfer from the bed to the table was a lot better. they place aboard and a sheet under you then just pull you across. Now it’s my worst part, its time to find a vein. After a couple of attempts, there is a mention of a vein finder. WHAT? Why don’t we always use this? They found a vein and then there was this awful burning pain rushing down my arm. A few deep breaths and I was asleep.
Due to my procedure being so early I came out to a new round of nurses which made me quite anxious. The day nurses were incredibly helpful and friendly. I am unable to press the call button so they ensured that they check on me regularly. We all know the requirement to leave involves eating (the not so delicious) hospital food. The very kind nurse helped me to eat, drink and take some pain killers. I luckily remembered my own straw as drinking while lying down is always interesting.
They informed me that I could leave so helped me into my chair and I went home. I went straight to bed, I seemed to be recovering quite well over the weekend then on Monday my blood pressure shot up and I thought I was going to faint. I spent the day in bed trying to hydrate as much as possible! Slowly feeling better and I’m learning to give my body time to recover.