Below is another part of My AVM Story: the recounting of the discovery, removal, rehabilitation, and survival of an arteriovenus malformation. To read from the beginning of the story, click here.
Next Step: In-Patient Therapy
My healing is progressing nicely. I continue to have speech, occupational, and physical therapy twice a day. Dr. F. says I can leave the hospital. Yay! I’m not walking yet and have no movement in my left toes, arm, or hand, so they recommend in-patient therapy either at Mary Free Bed (MFB) or Spectrum Continuing Care. We’ve heard great things about MFB, so we choose to go there.
I’m no longer in need of the ICU facilities so they put my name in for a regular room. The hospital is full though so I have to wait it out in the ICU. Darn!
The hospital gets us all set up to go to MFB. They request a private room for me (Praise the Lord!), but MFB is very full too, so we don’t know if I’ll get one.
All the plans are set. I’m going to MFB on December 11, 2009. I had been admitted to the hospital on November 14, 2009. 28 days prior.
The Day in Which I Lose It
You may recall from earlier in this process me explaining my hatred for all things medical, doctor, blood, needle-related. I also have described the perfect peace I was in through the whole ordeal. I believe now more than ever that God’s strength is made perfect in my weakness.
In the effort to keep this chronicle as real-to-life as possible, my faith faltered, and I lost it on Thursday, December 10.
1. Since I could not walk yet, I had to get heparin shots every 8 hours to prevent blood clots. These are the worst shots I have ever had. I have a little experience now to add some weight to that statement. They are the worst.
2. I am still in the hospital so I must have an open IV port until I leave. December 10 is day three of my every third cycle. Even though I’m leaving the next day, I have to get it replaced.
3. The current location of my IV is my right hand. They used a very small IV, and it wasn’t put in very well. So it is constantly getting kinked. The nurse keeps messing with it, bending it, putting more tape on, more fiddling with it, etc. Now this site is bruised and painful.
I decide that I cannot take the painful IV port any more, and I request it moved now, since it will have to be done sooner or later anyway. Attempting to make the situation more successful, I ask for an experienced nurse as IVs are difficult to put in me with my thick skin and small veins.
It takes FOREVER to find an experienced nurse which gave me plenty of time to get myself all anxious inside.
I ask for my face to be covered, and they begin the procedure of removing the old and putting the new in.
“Experienced Nurse”: Ok, I’ve got a good vein. Are you ready?
“Experienced Nurse”: Ok, Big poke.
I brace myself.
BIG poke, I start to cry.
“Experienced Nurse”: Oh no.
I start to sob. She blew the vein. She’s going to have to start over in another spot.
“Experienced Nurse”: It’s ok, honey. I think we can still use this one.
Baloney. I’m pretty much hysterical at this point. I cannot stop crying.
“Experienced Nurse”: It’s fine now. The IV is in. We don’t have to poke you again.
They uncover my head as I’m still sobbing. My mom is wiping my face with a wash cloth to cool me off and try to get me to cool down. Then walks in my nurse with my next heparin shot.
If I wasn’t a basket-case before, I am now. I must have looked like a frightened, cornered animal. I don’t know if I howled audibly, but I sure did in my head.
She wisely says we have some more time, she’ll come back later.
I think they would have had to use restraints to get that shot in me at that moment. All peace and calm about my ordeal left for an hour or two, and I just cried. Crying can be cleansing though, and I think at that time I just need to let it all out.
Next: My AVM Story – Part 29
So traumatizing; it must have been 100x’s worse since you probably felt trapped, not being able to walk (or RUN) away! Needles are NOT fun; I am so glad you had understanding nurses throughout your ordeal. Love you, Em!