Friday, September 17, 2010

Living in Luxury …. In a Hospital?

Well, if it didn’t have a hospital bed and all the associated medical technology, my room could well be in a resort in Bali. HUGE bathroom, a fridge (for which, unfortunately, I have no use), a private balcony and an assortment of chairs for visitors, including a recliner. This, by the way, is not the usual room – I just got lucky!

When I was admitted I was in a standard single room in a general ward because the oncology ward was full. That was very pleasant but when I was moved to oncology the first room I was given definitely was not. There had been an accident a couple of days before with a colostomy bag and despite the carpet having been scrubbed four times, the room STANK! Despite my usual reluctance to cause waves, I couldn’t stand it – I felt sick for the first time in days. They attempted to disguise the smell by burning some essential oil of lavender in a burner. Better, until it was so strong it almost smelt worse than the previous/still present odour. The next morning I was moved to this room, and the carpet in the previous one was pulled up and removed. One of the nurses thanked me. She said that while they had complained, maintenance said that cleaning would be sufficient, while they knew it was not. So I felt relieved that I had helped others not to have to put up with a problem.

Today is Friday, the eighth day I have been here in hospital. I have had four different cannula insertions, each of which eventually failed because the veins collapsed due to the dehydration. I have been drinking litres of various liquids, but have had no solid food since last Thursday. I stopped vomiting after two days, but have continued to have bad diarrhea, which of course negates the liquid I am swallowing and having infused. I had an X-Ray which confirmed that I had a bowel infection (it was almost impossible to get a stool sample of course). I had a CT scan on Tuesday, and late Wednesday I got another PICC line inserted because of the problems with my veins. I didn’t want this – I had hated the previous line – but there was no choice, not only because of the collapsing veins, but because I could not tolerate the potassium mixture that I need being infused directly. It was awful – like fire in all the veins of my arm.

So this is the update. As you can tell, I am feeling much better. I am concentrating on doing as much as I can to get rid of the diarrhea and bowel infection so I can go home. And the CT scan results? Not good – the tumours in my liver are worsening. We will have some heavy decisions to make soon.


  1. Oh dear. So sorry to hear what you've been going through. You're definately in my prayers tonight. Glad you are feeling a little better, tho'.

  2. Sorry to hear you're in hospital Joan - glad you have a nice room but I hope you're soon feeling well enough to go home.