My trip to the hospital

This is a story from real life, about my experiences when I was admitted to the hospital, on suspicion of an infection, after I had had leg surgery.

Around this time last year (January 6th to be exact), I had a bone growth operated out of my left leg. After the surgery my parents let me stay with them, until I was able to get around on my own again. That of course meant that I didn’t have any opportunity to use diapers, even though that would probably have been easier on me, and my leg.

About a week after the surgery, I woke up with a fever and pains in the leg, so my mom took me to their doctor (My old doctor from when I was a child), who checked my infection count. It wasn’t very high, but high enough that he recommended I go to the emergency room to get it checked out. So my mom and I went home first and I packed my backpack quickly, and then we were off to the hospital, which was about an hour’s drive away.

When we arrived, I registered and shortly thereafter I got taken into an examination room and put on a bed. The nurse asked a lot of questions and got in contact with the hospital I had had the surgery at, to get my journal sent over. After that another nurse came and checked my pulse, blood pressure and blood oxidation levels, and took a bunch of blood samples. Shortly after, I got moved to another examination room, as the one I was in was needed for another patient.

Then a doctor came in and talked a bit with me, then took the bandages off the surgery wound and looked at it. But he wasn’t immediately able to see anything wrong, so he sent me up to get it x-rayed. So I got wheeled up to a cold hallway outside the room where the x-ray machine was, where I then spent the next half hour talking with my mom and chatting on my iPad, keeping my friends updated on the situation.

Finally, I got in to get the x-ray pictures taken. Afterwards, I got wheeled back down to the ER and was put a tiny room, which seemed like a spare room, as the examination room I was previously in, was now occupied as well. While I waited for the doctor to come back, a nurse came in and asked if I needed anything. I asked for some food, as I hadn’t had any breakfast, and it was past noon by now. The only thing they could offer was some yoghurt, which I accepted as it was better than nothing. My dad also arrived with some stuff I had asked him to bring (Headphones or something like that, I don’t remember).

Then the doctor came back and said that he couldn’t see much, but just to be sure, and from what data they already had, he recommended they kept me overnight and put me on antibiotics via IV drop. Shortly thereafter, a nurse came in to put the IV drop in and start the treatment. She had to put the drop in my right hand, as I had a huge blue mark on my left hand from the drop for the surgery the week before. It took a couple of tries, but she finally got it. Then she had to clean it with a small syringe with salt water, which felt really odd, and hurt a little bit, but she was quite gentle with it. Then she plugged in the bag with the antibiotic, which would take half an hour to empty.

While we waited, my parents and I talked a bit and I chatted a bit more on my iPad. When the bag was empty the tube to the IV was removed and it was cleaned again. Then I got wheeled up to a room in the ward where I would be living during my stay. My parents helped me “move in” (Hooking up power for my phone charger and laptop, pillow to support my leg, etc.) then they went home. I ordered dinner and drinks (I think it was Bolognese with rice and strips, with two glasses of water and a glass of fruit juice) from the menu, which I ate while watching some TV. After that I had dessert, which came with another glass of water and a glass of orange juice.

Meanwhile, I watched some more TV, while chatting and surfing on my laptop, as well as getting another dose of antibiotics. At some point I had to use the bathroom, which meant walking about 50 metres down the hallway to the bathroom, on crutches, which I had not yet gotten used to, which was quite painful. At some point a nurse came and checked my vitals, and I was asked to check my temperature, using an rectal thermometer. Luckily, I was allowed to do it myself, while she left the room. It turned out to be about 40°C.

When it came around to bedtime, a nurse came in and gave me a urinal flask, if I needed to pee during the night. It took me a while to work up the courage, but finally, as the nurse was on her way out, I mentioned that it was quite embarrassing, but I had issues keeping dry at night (Not quite true, but I needed the comfort of a diaper to sleep, so it was only a little white lie). She was very nice and said that it wasn’t embarrassing at all, and asked what I usually use. I said that I use tape diapers, so she went out and came back with a Tena Super medium, as well as some pull-up diaper. She asked me which one I’d prefer, and if I needed help putting it on. I chose the tape diaper, and said that I could handle it myself. Then she asked whether I needed to be checked during the night, which I also said no to.

After she left, I put on the diaper and watched some more TV, and drank one of the two glasses of water I had gotten for the night. During this time I wet the diaper a bit, as I didn’t want to go through the trouble of taking it off to use the flask.

I went to sleep around 11pm, but a bit later – probably around 2am or 3am – I woke with a start, perhaps due to a bad dream, or due to my fever, so I was quite bewildered and dazed. I noticed my diaper had gotten wetter since I fell asleep, and felt I needed to pee, so I did. This put the diaper close to leaking point, so I pulled the string to call the nurse. When she came, I managed to explain that my diaper needed changing, so she fetched a Tena Super large and asked whether I needed help. Due to my feverish and dazed state, I said yes, so she proceeded to take off my wet diaper, and tape on the new one. To be quite honest, she did a terrible job of taping it on, so much that after she left, I redid it myself, as to not risk leaking. Then I went back to sleep.

I awoke again probably around 6am because I felt someone touching my hand. It turned out to be the same nurse who had changed my diaper earlier. She was there to give me another dose of antibiotics. I decided to just pretend I was sleeping, hoping I would be able to go back to sleep faster when she’d gone. That plan was smashed when she cleaned the IV with a hard push on the syringe with salt water. It hurt like hell! However, when she was done, I fell back asleep pretty quickly. Pretty much the same thing happened half an hour later, when she came back when the bag of antibiotics was empty.

I woke up again around 8am, I quickly realised that I needed to get to the sink fast, so I pulled the call string, then hopped out of bed and managed to half-way leap to the sink, where I threw up. After what felt like several minutes, but probably was more like half a minute, I got impatient, so I reached and pressed the call button next to the sink several times. What I didn’t know, is that pressing/pulling twice in a row, triggers an alarm, so probably 5 or 6 nurses came running to the room, where I was hanging over the sink, only clad in a wet diaper. Embarrassing! But I didn’t worry about it, as I had other problems at the time. After seeing that nothing was too bad, most of the nurses left, but two of them stayed and helped me clean up and get back in bed.

Afterwards, one of the nurses brought equipment to check my vitals, as well as a tray, some wet wipes and a roll of plastic bags, if I needed to throw up again. Again, I was asked to check my temperature, so she went outside the door, and I un-taped one side of the diaper and checked it. It showed that I still had a fever, which wasn’t much of a surprise. She also offered me breakfast, but she were quite understanding when I declined. After they were gone, I wet my diaper a bit more and went back to sleep.

I woke back up around 11am and started watching some TV. After a bit of time, I took off my wet diaper and used the wet wipes to clean myself, then threw it all in a plastic bag, which I tied up and threw in the trash bin next to the door (Bullseye!). When the cleaning lady came a bit later to clean and empty the trash bin, she gave me a look when she noticed the diaper, I just smiled at her and didn’t let it bother me, despite it being a bit embarrassing.

Around noon I had lunch, and about an hour later a doctor came in and told me that the blood samples from yesterday, didn’t show any signs of an infection, so I probably just had the flu. So he said that I could go home after I had another set of blood samples taken. I called my parents with the good news and they said it would be a couple of hours until they could come and pick me up. A nurse came in a bit later and checked my vitals, and took the blood samples.

Around 4pm my parents came and picked me up, and I went back home to them.

I stayed with my parents for another week, at which point I was able to get around by myself on the crutches. So my parents drove me home, and my mom left a bunch of frozen food in my fridge, for me to heat up (Mothers think of everything, don’t they? :slight_smile: ). After about a week I went to my GP to get the stitches taken out by a nurse, which went smoothly, although she did put some plasters over a couple of points to prevent them from opening up. A couple of days later I was able to go back to work, still on crutches. After about one and a half month I could get around without the crutches.

Today my leg is doing just fine, except for pain once in a while, if the weather is cold or I’ve walked a lot on stairs, or been sitting wrong.

This evening, prompted by a thread on a forum, I checked my medical journal online, and found this in the notes from my stay at the hospital.

14-01-2012 - Nursing Memo - … bed wetter. Got tape diaper. Does NOT want night nurse to change during night, is embarrassed about it

14-01-2012 - Nursing Memo - diaper change, was very wet.

I asked an AB/DL friend of mine – who is a radiologist (A person who operates the different kinds of x-ray machines and scanners at a hospital) – if those notes would be read, and acted upon if I got admitted to a hospital again. He said that they would.

So the next time I’m put in the hospital overnight (Which hope wont happen, but it probably will), I might end up in diapers again.

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