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Showing posts with label hospital. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hospital. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Hospital Hospitality and Home Again


Green space in courtyard, Methodist Hospital, Sugar Land


I am a retired registered nurse. I do not say an inactive nurse and although I may occasionally say "I have not worked in years," that is not really true.  I always thought my nursing education and experience provided great preparation for taking care of 3 boys, These served me well in caring for others, including my mother who died in 2006. I have had a great deal of opportunity to call on basic patient care skills in the past few years during many surgeries for my husband.  But in all 51 years of marriage, the many hospitalizations for Joe and all the years of emergency room visits for stitches and casts with little boys, I had never called 911 for a medical emergency and we never had as many as 9 days of hospitalization for any one incident. On June 3, an insect (mosquito or spider, we are unsure which) changed that record. 

While working for a few minutes in the garden that morning, Joe got a bite on his right elbow. We thought it was a mosquito because they have been numerous and hungry since all the rains and flooding Memorial Day week. After sleeping a long time, he began having  chills and rising fever.  Within a couple of hours I had gone from considering going to choir practice to calling 911 and riding in the ambulance with him to the E.R., followed by a hospital admission. His white blood cell count was high, his temperature was high. Cultures were started. He was treated with IV antibiotics and supporting therapy for what turned out to be septic bursitis.  The villain was beta hemolytic strep. He did not respond as quickly as expected to the antibiotic therapy or needle aspiration of the offending fluid in the bursa. But after a number of different antibiotics, he began to improve and finally was discharged a few days ago. 

His IV medication continues at home, we are working out new pain management schedules, chipping away at followup appointments, and loving being back at home. The fact that our first tropical storm of the season, Bill, decided to try to come this way also is another story. I am thankful for Joe's recovery, thankful for our sweet family's caring response, our dear church's concern and prayers, and for a staff of excellent physicians and nurses as well as other employees at Methodist Hospital Sugar Land. 

 I commend this hospital's administration and staff for their smiles and professional care, including everyone from housekeeping to each specialist. I did not encounter anyone who did not seem genuinely interested and supportive. They are a caring community who come alongside when some of us have a health burden. Even though I have been in their shoes I sadly do not always remember names, but this time a long list of names comes to mind as I include them in my gratitude list. I am also grateful for the planning of the facility, the architecture, the provisions not only for patient safety and comfort but also for those who are visitors.

During my days of staying with Joe, I took some long walks in the halls.  I didn't have time to take as many pictures as I had moments of appreciation, but here are a few.

I had an aerial view standing in front of the bank of windows on the North side of our 6th floor of the main hospital.

Viewing 69/59 Northbound and Southbound, Sugar Land stretching beyond. The chairs placed by the windows were usually occupied by visiting family members and those waiting for good news or bad. As I looked out across the busy freeway, I thought how many times I pass by this spot.

At the end of our hall, a window wall looked toward First Colony Mall, the clock tower in Sugar Land Town Center, and beyond to the cityscape of Houston. 

Most of my walks were indoor walks but once I visited the small courtyard near the hospital's front entrance where there were lush green plants like the one pictured at the top of the page, inviting benches, and water flowing in a fountain.

Sean, Teion, Lauren, and Skye drove behind us in the ambulance. When they all left, Lauren made a special trip back to the hospital to bring me sandwiches, yogurt, and water bottles since I was there for the night with no dinner. 

Skye visited her Papa on her way to dress dance recital rehearsal.  Lauren added her name to his care giving bulletin board..."I love you, Papa, Lauren"  Appropriate, since the love of his family boosted his recovery just as his caregivers did.

IV in one arm and the other swollen and painful, he still enjoyed hanging on to the phone for calls from our friends, sons, daughters in law, and grandchildren.

Maddie saved her PF Chang fortune cookie to switch out with a fortune message just for Papa.  "You will feel better."

Jordann cut out a peace symbol for him.

Jeremy drove from Fort Worth with the girls for a get well visit.

And finally, home again!  Nora waves get well fairy dust over Papa Joe.  Ben and Kristen brought him Chik Fil A breakfast!

Sean worked on the Koi pond twice so far which is such a tremendous help. Teion ran errands, helped talk to medical staff, and checked on him every day. I always feel the love and support of our family, but they all deserve a blue ribbon for taking care of the parental unit, as we are fondly referred to! 

So, home to hospital to home again, we have had an adventure I hope is not repeated, but I once again realize we have blessings that are priceless!  I am grateful.