To and Fro

Filed under: — lana @ 3:55 pm

Back and forth and up and down. Apparently the general vicinity of the pituitary gland is not something messed with lightly, and for the annoyance of all of this I can certainly see why.

They kept me in the hospital because my body said water wasn’t important enough to hold onto. They released me, finally, upon determining that I would at least probably not pass out on the way to and from the hotel when I came in for labs and follow-up appointments. They now find that my body doesn’t feel the need for salt. They actually predict it may swing back and forth like this a few times before it settles. In all honesty, I have no idea how people could be just that interested in various fluids that come out of the human body, but the analysis involved here has been an educational experience. I periodically have to go in for lab work while they get me into some sort of stable balance, which could take up to another week or longer, and even the professional lab technicians who spend all day drawing blood have had to stick me three times in one sitting just to find working veins. People have begun looking at my husband askance as they see the condition of my arms, what with a new bruise nearly every day. I’ve been in such a mood that they should really be more concerned about his welfare.

At least the deficiencies in hormones and various levels have been able to explain some of the interesting symptoms that, while not there while I had a tumor the size of an egg, now cause me to bump into walls and need to sit down after walking a few blocks. Hopefully that will improve in time; I really don’t need any more bumps.

What I have found, wandering around Walter Reed, is that for a hospital providing long term care for seriously wounded Soldiers the place isn’t as depressing as one would think. A friend of mine, who lost both his legs last January, met up with me a few days ago and I watched them make him a new leg as he explained that he intends to stay for a long time though he doesn’t really have to just because of the care he can get and the benefits, such as multiple legs for different activities. Most of the Soldiers seem to feel that way, which is good, as who knows what will happen once they leave this little enclave.

What I don’t understand, however, is the planning that seems to have gone into the main hotel on the hospital campus. I know that I cannot possibly be the only person here with a brain injury, so it makes me ponder why they would install carpeting with a pattern I am convinced is specifically designed to make one seasick. Even in the best of health I am not sure that I would be able to walk the hallway without needing a hand on the wall for support. Then again, while still in the neuroscience ward last week, there was a promotional event where a man dressed as Santa Claus came bumbling in handing out movies. He was also ringing a loud bell and yelling quite a bit. In the brain section. Good thinking. Really good. I, being attached to both incoming and outgoing tubes at the time, declined to go out, even to give him a piece of my mind, at least what I could still spare of it.

Overall the experience has been passable. My orders, as usual, are not correct, I have trouble getting to the main lobby without weaving, I am not allowed to go to the gym and my hormones are taking advantage, and my husband is bored which only makes him cranky. But educational and fun, just like the rest of my Army experience, and once they figure out how to stop my water and hormone levels from going back and forth, to and fro, up and down, I should be able to head out of here and enjoy what remains of my summer.

Until then, I think I hear the lab rats calling.


Xenu Remains

Filed under: — lana @ 7:49 am

I know the nurses are only doing their job. And I feel very bad for them that they have the job that they do when I walk through their doors.

My arms resemble those of a leper with a heroin problem who also has little to no upper body coordination, mostly because apparently my veins are the most difficult things to shove a needle into. Repeatedly. Every few hours or so. The tricky part is actually getting blood from me, because I am convinced that towards the end of day four I was actually running out which is why they were starting to stick me two or three times just to get one little vial of blood to send to the thirsties downstairs in labs. I never actually verified that the labs were downstairs; the nurses all talked about the labs like a place of desolation and frightening mole people whose sole concern was the amount of fluids going into and coming out of my body for nearly a week, so I avoided all floors below those upon which I was assigned. I had enough trouble where I was.

The surgery took place as hastily scheduled, the day after arrival to Walter Reed. They brought me in, hustled me to a flurry of doctors all over the hospital, and by 0530 the following morning I was in hospital pajamas getting a tube shoved into my arm and a vacuum crammed up my nose. Six or seven hours later, or so I am told, I was fighting with the doctors to take the tubes out of many places other than my arm and yelling at them to get my husband. And so began their fun week of having me as a very cranky patient. A day or so in the Intensive Care Unit and then off to the main ward where I could still complain about having both in and out tubes and wondering why my veins would only support an IV for a few hours before they would have to make a new orifice, which was a process that involved at least three nurses each sticking me twice until they could get something that would work for a few hours.

The overall surgery was mostly a success. Xenu found his way around a major artery, so the doctors opted not to vacuum around that area and just left him in. Something about the risk of cutting off the blood supply to the brain that they found daunting, and I was not going to argue. They punched a hole through the back of my nose, sucked out what they could get, and left me to dribble whatever else I could through various holes every time I have a significant change in elevation, such as standing up. I carry around a walking pharmacy and am still dealing with borderline diabetes caused by the impact of the surgery on the general brain vicinity, but really for having someone with a suction tube in the brain less than a week ago I am doing fairly well. My husband, who was let go early from Iraq to take care of me, has been very supportive, enough to yell at me to tell the doctors all of the issues, feed me my pills on time, and take care of me whenever I sneeze and lose a chunk of brain and cause massive headaches.

For now I have been released to medical wildlife preserve status, not yet ready for full tagged release into the wild. I stick around the Walter Reed area for about another week to see all of the doctors one or two last times before they can slap a tag on my ear for tracking and send me on leave for thirty days, after which it will be something of a catch-and-release program for awhile so they can continue monitoring. While Xenu continues to whisper in my ear, at least for right now they will let me sleep through the night without sampling fluids or putting tubes places that tubes really do not belong. Soon enough I can get back to general harassment of my Soldiers, but for now I would just like to blow my nose without losing some of my Master’s Degree.


A Nice Warm Day

Filed under: — lana @ 1:01 am

Well there certainly aren’t any snowballs sent astray from Hell these days. Just when I thought the Army might do something logical, they went and did the usual.

I asked the doctors to give me a stay of execution for about two weeks. Surprisingly, they said yes. They said sure, two weeks really doesn’t make a difference, you’ll be fine for that long, it will give your husband a chance to get home, your parents time to make arrangements to get to the hospital, and give you time to finish the course so you don’t have to stress about it.

Then twenty minutes later someone made another phone call.

The following morning I was pulled out of class for at least the second or third time that week and told I was being released from the course to head to the hospital for immediate treatment. I explained that the situation was all fixed. I explained the logic. Everyone got it. The devil got a slight chill and may have shown signs of a cold.

Then he took his medicine.

I found myself that afternoon sitting in the local clinic with the nice lady who arranges all coordination between various medical facilities as she tried to explain logic to people and for an entire afternoon it was stay, then go, then stay, then go. They settled on stay, with consent of all doctors involved.

By the next morning it was go. That would be this morning. All the doctors rehashed and changed their minds and then got together and set appointments for me on the other side of the country with nary a phone call to the patient. They did call the course Sergeant Major and a few others, though, so by 1000 I had been lectured, reprimanded, and told once again that my logic was no good here and to get on a plane. My books were turned in by 1030 and I was out of the course by 1100. The flight isn’t for a few days yet, but there would be no more fun for Xenu and I in the course.

The sun was out, the volleyball nets were up, and Hell was having a regular ol’ beach vacation in nice warm weather as the Army patiently ignored good sense once more and cut me some orders ten days before everything would have worked out just fine and just in time to screw up just about everything going on around me. I’m glad to know someone at least is having a lovely time…


Crafty Like a Fox

Filed under: — lana @ 8:52 pm

One would not think that one should have to be sneaky when it comes to two things: dedication to a job and general health and welfare.

On the contrary, sneaking about seems to be my standard lately for both my dedication to the job I am trying to learn and for my general health and welfare. While the doctor called my bluff last week, the stakes have now been upped and in order for me to ante my share I am pulling out whatever stops I can find. It is the all-or-nothing bid, and my crafty skills are being put to the test.

It is particularly challenging because at this point suspicion has been raised. The course managers are onto me, doctors here are onto me, doctors in Germany are onto me, I think even the clerk at the Walgreens down the street might have an inkling as to my general game.

All I need right now is two weeks. Two weeks in Arizona before flying to Walter Reed and I can go through an insanely hectic version of the end of the course and graduate to meet my career goals. Then I can head over to Washington and watch the doctors poke at my brain with sharp objects. The schemes have been initiated, so now all I have to do is wait. I am sure I can push out an appointment two weeks from now at Walter Reed, it is just getting the various other doctors on board so they don’t moan enough to move the appointment up at all.

I acknowledge that something should be done. Xenu is acting like a typical intergalactic battlelord and appears to want more space, presumably on the outside of my temple from the way I feel day to day. The endochronologist, who may well have the longest-spelled title in Doctor World, informed me this morning that the tumor hanging around atop my pituitary gland is probably the largest one she has seen in years and that, lucky me, it might be too large for them to remove through less-invasive cranial maneuvering. So overall, the general health and welfare part of the equation is fitting in a bit more than usual. While I tend to take care of myself, I admit that larger things such as gangrenous feet and intergalactic battlelords in the brain sometimes take a backseat when there is work to be done.

But all I ask for is two weeks. Enough time to get results from opthomology, which moves at the general southwestern pace of uberslow, enough time for my husband to get home through the early summer dust storms of the great Jihad, enough time for me to eat the groceries I just bought before the weekend, and enough time for me to wander out of here with a graduating certificate from this course, all while getting there in time for the neurosurgeon to pull the namesake of the worshiped being of Scientology out of my head and into a jar so he can get his name in a medical journal.

The gauntlet has been thrown, and the conniving has begun. Two weeks is the wager on the table, and a reasonable one it is, I think. Place all bets, the table closes tomorrow.


The Game is Up

Filed under: — lana @ 10:19 pm

The doctor is onto my game.

I went to the opthomologist the other day with the understanding that there was some sort of critical test that needed to be done to determine if I need surgery with some sort of urgency. Apparently back in Germany there is some disagreement on various issues regarding my budding relationship with Xenu, the alien egg hatching in my brain.

Well, the opthomologist office wasn’t conducting that test that day. They only conduct that test once a week or so, and that was not the right day. Naturally. Critical schmritical.

So they did the other parts of the exam and told me to come back, but from what the doctor could see it wasn’t an emergency. So they offered me a date about a week further but the course schedule suggested I find an alternate time. The next available appointment was two and a half weeks later, but the technician checked with the doctor and he said that shouldn’t be a problem. So I scheduled the appointment.

I have about eight weeks left of my course. Two and a half weeks would have put me over halfway through the course and well into the realm of finishing out everything with minimal complications and just some pesky headaches.

The next day I got a call from the doctor. She is onto my game. She gave one of the senior course instructors a bit of a talking to, and then when I got on the phone she was relatively adamant about things. The jig is up, reschedule the appointment for the earlier date. We came to the agreement that provided the appointment next week doesn’t show the need for speed, we can postpone further appointments as necessary and try alternate routes for the headaches.

But she is onto me. Tactics must be adapted…

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