Tag Archives: surgery

Life in Memorial Medical Center

We have had a busy and tumultuous last ten days or so, and it continues.

Writer Princess spent two weekends ago in the hospital receiving IV antibiotics for an infection. She was released to recover at home, but she was right back last Saturday for full abdominal surgery to clean out an abscess. So Mrs. Poolman and I have been splitting up the hospital duty with Son-In-Law for the past four days. Never a dull moment.

I have not been a hospital patient myself since I had my tonsils removed when I was five years old. I barely remember that. Just as well. My experience with hospitalized family since then has me convinced the best thing you can do with a hospital stay is to avoid it.

I spent last night on the overnight shift with WP. I thought sleep and rest were supposed to be great healers? If so, why don’t hospital staffs let their patients sleep? I don’t think we went more than 20 minutes between people coming in and out of the room for one reason or another.  I certainly understand the need to bathe patients, but at five o’clock in the morning? Seriously?

Until late last night, WP was in an intermediate care unit with restricted visitors. So she has not been deluged by friends and other family. That was not the case last weekend. Why don’t people understand — with the possible exception of new mothers, people are in the hospital because they are sick or injured, not because they feel like hosting a party. If you visit, stay a few minutes and then LEAVE. It is not appropriate to pull up a chair, turn on the TV and order a pizza. (OK, I’m exaggerating a little here…about the pizza, that is.) At one point last weekend, I counted eight visitors in WP’s hospital room at one time. That is too much. (Mea culpa – Mrs. P and I should have done a better job at crowd control.) Note to hospital visitors – show the patient you care about them by visiting, and then show it even more by going home.

Catchin’ up

We have been busy for the past couple of weeks.

Our CCD class came to an end a few weeks ago. Mrs. R, my co-teacher and I bought pizzas for the kids and one of the parents provided the drinks. It is always funny when we do this on the last class. You would think the 5th graders had never seen pizza before. We finished off with a “quiz bowl” on all the material we had covered throughout the year. Good news and bad news. The bad news – some of the kids clearly were mentally AWOL during the year, or maybe the pizza caused their tiny brains to shut down. For example, the major theme of the year was the seven Sacraments. You would think that three students, working together could name all seven. No such luck. The one they missed? Reconciliation, which they received during our CCD class just a couple of weeks earlier. Duh?

On the other hand, one of the girls, who was usually an attention-seeking wild child, was knocking down the answers like a pro. We always knew she was there; we just weren’t certain she was listening.

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Mrs. Poolman had two cataract surgeries this month. For obvious reasons, they don’t do both eyes at the same time. Both were fairly non-eventful. Mrs. P has been all excited about it because the doc used some new multi-focus lens. It means that for the first time in her entire life, Mrs. P can see clearly without heavy-duty glasses or contacts. Yea!

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I also had a minor procedure this month. My dermatologist diagnosed a lump on my face as a basal cell carcinoma. That’s the kind of skin cancer that is annoying, but not fatal. Thank you. So we scheduled an appointment to have it removed. Dr. Y has an interesting bed-side manner. When I sat on the examining table, I asked him “So, what are we going to be doing here?”

I was thinking, “Are we going to freeze it, burn it, electrocute it, cut it, or whatever?”

His response, “Well if you’ll just lie back, I’m going to WACK IT OFF!”

And that’s what he did.

The whole procedure probably took 5 minutes. No big deal. The only “weird” part came when it cauterized the cut. Since it was right next to my nose, I not only felt the heat, but also smelled the smoke. Very strange.

So I've been wearing a band aid for the past week and a half.

So I’ve been wearing a band aid for the past week and a half.

This is rich!

I ran across this little news tidbit earlier today. It seems a state prisoner in Virginia has filed a lawsuit to force the state to pay for a sex change operation. This comes after he/she tried to perform the surgery him/herself with a pair of scissors.

I guess he/she must be motivated. According to the article…

“By 17, she was robbing banks with the hopes of getting enough money to have a sex change operation. By 18, she was in prison, sentenced to more than 70 years for robbery, drugs, weapons and other charges.”

Seems to me that if he/she had gone out and gotten a job rather than robbing banks and getting thrown into prison, he/she could have paid for the operation him/herself.

Bad choices. Too bad.

Happy Thanksgiving!

We’ve been off of work for two days and it’s been busy.

Wednesday was mostly filled with preps for having a house full of folks for Thanksgiving the next day.

It works!

One project on my list was to repair our front post lamp. As I have mentioned before, I am not the handiest of homeowners. (I could really have used “More Than an Electrician” for this.)  Anyway, I figured if I could take it apart, I could see what was broken, buy a part and put it back together the way I found it. Well, it wasn’t as easy as that, but I got it to work all the same. The connections to the ceramic “socket” were rusted out and came disconnected. It wasn’t helped by the fact that the “floor” of the lamp housing was full of the remnants of about a zillion dead gnats, mosquitoes and other bugs. There is no need for a blow by blow description of the project. Suffice it to say, that courtesy of the guy at Ace Hardware, I found a replacement part, although not the exact same thing, and with a little improvisation, I managed to put it back together. When I turned on the power, the bulb lit up and it didn’t smoke, spark or catch fire. I call that a success.

Late in the afternoon, we took our lab to the vet.

Casey the Lab

He is getting older, although since he was a rescue adoption, we don’t know exactly how old he is. He has been moving very stiffly, and in the past day has seriously favored his back right leg. The vet reported he probably has arthritis, but he also has a torn ligament in the knee of his back leg. We are faced with a tough decision. There is surgery available to repair the ligament, but it is very involved, would be very painful for the dog, not to mention quite expensive. Given his age, I think we are going to treat the arthritis with medication and see how he does with the leg. We had a similar experience with our previous lab, and were very unhappy about the outcome. We allowed her to be opened up to remove a tumor. It turned out she had extensive cancer. They just closed her back up and sent her home. She died a few weeks later, but it would have been much more comfortable for her, if she hadn’t also had to recover from a major surgical incision.

Thursday dawned bright and sunny. I got up and went to 9 am mass. We have so many blessings, I really felt the need to give thanks “in person.”

After mass, I cleaned up the back yard, since I knew our Thanksgiving gathering would overflow to the courtyard and patio.

The courtyard

The patio

Mrs. Poolman did most of the cooking for this event. It is unusual for me not to be more involved, but I was occupied with the back yard, vacuuming the house, and so on.

The official “kick off” was to be at 4 pm, but our son and girlfriend (Poolboy and GF), and daughter and husband (Writer Princess and SIL) came a little early. We were joined by our friends/neighbors the W’s, Fran who works with Mrs. P, and SIL’s brother and wife who were holiday orphaned this year. We had one “holiday widower” in the group. Mark’s wife is a nurse who works with Mrs. P. She had the holiday duty, so Mark came over with their adult daughter. All told, we had 15 people for dinner. We almost always have a joint holiday celebration with the W’s. They contributed a fried turkey and various side dishes to the menu, to go along with our roasted turkey, baked ham and about a ton of other stuff.

The "spread"

As expected, we had more food than you could say grace over, and everyone seemed to have a good time. At least, if they didn’t enjoy it, they faked it real well.

It was a good day and I suspect we’ll be eating leftovers for awhile. Love those turkey sandwiches!