When they say ‘Hospital’ they do not mean ‘Hotel’.

I lived here for a month.

As everyone already knows I got sick as a dog recently. Before you ask what it is that I had let me recount the details of my adventure as a hospital guest.

First things first- I’d like to start by saying Thank You. If this post is too long, at least read this part. I’d like to start by thanking Hna. Torres who so kindly took me to the hospital, twice. A big gracias to Dave who tried to nurse me back to health via Pepto and Nyquil. I am forever indebted to Hna. Velarde who came every day, argued with doctors and was a warrior, guardian, friend, and surrogate mother- you are the biggest hero in this story. I owe my real mom my life already, but she literally saved my hide. Bless her. A big thank you to Hno. Gomez who came and gave me a blessing- it’s a touching gesture of the best kind from a most awesome institute teacher. Thank you to Lila for rubbing my feet amidst me going through one of my episodes. My heart is full of thanks to Irene for buying me water when I felt as if I was going to die- your gesture brought tears to my dehydrated eyes. Thanks to Paola for being an all around awesome friend, for bringing me candy, and card games, books and for taking part in what ended up being the funnest thing to happen to me in the hospital. Dr. Martha was the best Doctor in the world- the prescription for ‘more cowbell’ is what cured me for sure. Hna. Lopez, thank you- for bringing me things to read and for staying one hour, putting ice cold cloths along with my mother trying to bring my fever down.  My gratitude extends to Elder Rancho and Elder Poulson, who though impressionable, came to give me sacrament and a blessing. I’m sorry I was so pukey. Additionally, I would never have made it through my hospital stay without Elder Danielson, and Elder Evans, who gave me blessings (the first one while practically passed out in a car), came to give me some sacrament awesomeness and made me laugh like I hadn’t in months- your friendship brought me comfort in stressful times, and made my stay so much more bearable. I’m grateful to all the doctors, nurses and technicians who tried so hard to figure out what I had, and made sure that I at least survived it, even if I almost didn’t. Thank you. Mil gracias to all of you for your prayers, your patience and your friendship.  If there is anyone here that I forgot, it is a shortcoming of mine, and no reflection whatsoever on your awesomeness, and how thankful I am to have you all in my life.

Let us go on then, with a small summary of days.

Feb 15th: My first night with fever.
Feb 16th
: I called in to work, and figured I’d sleep it off. After waking up and realizing I was still feverish I called Sister Torres. She proceeds to check my throat. Not much going on in there.
Feb 17th
: After throwing up the contents of my very light breakfast and noticing small red marks all over my body, I call Sis. Torres again. She drives me to the ER of Licona Hospital. They say it’s a combination of small infections, and send me on my way with antibiotics.
Feb 18th
: Much like the Jonas Brother song, I was still Burnin’ Up…with fever. And throwing up everything. It is at this time that saltines and  a particular brand of yogurt are inducted into the “Things Azul Will Never Be Able to Eat Again” Hall Of Fame.
Feb 19th
: A mysterious rash decides to make like the conquistadors and claim my entire body. This is accompanied by mysterious swelling, dizziness, continuous vomiting, temperatures of 103/104 and me looking like a cast member of The Simpsons, sent forth to bring the plague of death upon everybody (or, I was yellow). I am taken to the General Hospital of Hermosillo, into ER, where they decide to keep me. My relationship with needles will never be the same.
Feb 20th- 21nd
: More fever. They begin to draw blood from my puny, feverish veins in an attempt to test it and figure out what the heezie is going on up in my body.
Feb 22nd
: They move me to Infectology, in an isolated room because they still have no clue what I have. Hepatitis and Salmonella are being explored as options. They start me on my second round of antibiotics.
Feb 23rd
: My swelling continues, and is getting increasingly worse. They perform a sonogram at some point in the last few days that reveals that the walls of my liver are thicker than they should be…and that I have liquid in one lung. A major case of what the H ensues amongst the doctors.
Feb 24th
: It is Mexican Flag Day. Mexican doctors take major (or any) holidays off, along with weekends. This leaves about 5 residents in charge of the entire hospital. Also, the peak of my swelling- I look like the fat guy in Mulan. I can’t even open my eyes all the way or move any of  joints because I’m so insanely swollen. And I still have a fever. I loose my sight at some point, call Sister Velarde, who then proceeds to freak out in part because of that and in part because the hospital was out of my fever medicine. She makes some calls and gets me moved to Women’s Medicine, where there are more people, and more nurses. This makes me believe I might have a fighting chance.
Feb 25th
: The doctors return with the official diagnosis of ‘we still don’t know what you have’.  More blood is taken out for more tests. The nurse in a move of extreme kindness, worthy of a Nobel Prize takes out my IV and lets me have my first night without any sort of needle in my arm. I sleep the sleep of the just.
Feb 26th
: Still feverish, and vomity and miserable and seriously considering if, like Mary Tyler Moore, I’m going to make it after all. Realize I don’t live in the 70s and am not white.  Still having blood drawn out of me daily for more tests. I hit the peak of my fever with a temperature of 105.7- and stay that way all night. After taking my fever medicine (and my fever not giving up one tenth of a degree) the nurse drapes me head to toe in wet, ice cold pieces of fabric , and since I still had 105.7 at 5 am, she gives me a shot. Dr. Beltran leaves orders to take me off IVs for good (and my heart rejoiced), and to just leave me on oral antibiotics
Feb 27th
: My mother arrives! It is a blessed, joyous moment in a way that few things are. I surrender to the feeling that if my mother is here I’m gonna get better and revert to being a small child being taken care of by her mommy.
Feb 28th
: I am eating very small amounts of food. This is a victory for all the sisters who were desperately trying to feed me. Since it’s the weekend nothing is getting done, but they’re keeping an eye out. I still have an insane fever.
March 1st
: I am thinking they are going to let me out. Instead Dr. Beltran notes that I’ve still had fevers. They begin my third round of antibiotics under the idea that it’s Rickettsia. There is still no diagnosis.
March 2nd
: Dr. Beltran says that he’ll probably let me out Wed. provided it is my mother who looks after me. I practically want to kiss his mustached face in gratitude but don’t because that’s weird. My mom and I are practically high fiving each other. My eyes become incredibly bloodshot.
March 3rd
: I can practically smell my freedom. A new Dr. comes by to check on me and proceeds to tell me that not only is he not letting me out, but also humiliates me in front of at least 8 interns. I end up in tears. Dr. Martha, showing he’s one big ball of awesome, comes over and offers a few words of encouragement. Dr. Beltran then comes over and says he’s letting me out. I change into civilian clothes faster than you can blink and am wheel chaired out of that place, while holding on to my pants (they were now way too big). Joyous things occur.
March 4th-8th:
Still feverish, but doing a few things. Eating meals that are healthy for me. We have a big, fat, ‘Azul is out of the hospital!’ dinner. My mom leaves on the 6th, which makes me cry and does not help my eyes which make me look like a demon (they are very blood shot).
March 9th:
We go to my scheduled doctors appointment, only to have Dr. Hernandez check on me a little and say that she was going to have me admitted again because my pressure was low, I was extremely pale, my eyes were very blood shot and I still had a fever. I despise her greatly.
March 10th-15th:
I’m put in my own private room because they don’t know what I have. This makes for a somewhat comfortable but very lonely experience. At this point they are still drawing blood and still coming up with nothing. They decide that it’d be a good idea to get a sample from my bone marrow. They put anesthesia on me, I cry a lot (because you can’t anesthetize a bone) and proceed to walk with a gimp for the next few days. The tests results for that also came back…negative. And the day after that final test from Satan is done, my fevers mysteriously disappear.
March 16th:
The heavens smile down upon me and in the greatest Birthday Miracle ever told, I am let out of the hospital in time to go celebrate Elder Danielson’s birthday with some banana cajeta cake.

This is a summary of events (albeit a long one), but  its got details on the entire thing, so, you now have as much information as I do, without having to eat crappy food or have your blood pressure taken 15 times during the night. You’re welcome.

More Info For You
My official diagnosis:
Undiagnosed/ Unidentified Fever.
Time in the hospital:
1 month
Number of tests that were not blood tests:
2 ultra sound tests, one MRI, Numerous X-Rays and one bone marrow extraction.
Number of Doctors who came to see my case:
654641651313615651. At least it felt like it anyway.
Number of times I almost died:
Depending on who you speak with- 2 or 3.
Number of nights my mother spent sleeping on the hospital floor because Hna. Velarde was awesome about getting her to bed:
1
Highest fever:
105.7
Number of deaths witnessed:
2
Number of pounds lost:
Approximately 20.
Number of teenage girls I become friends with while in Womens Medicine: 2
Most hated words: Tepid shower.
Biggest portion of anything eaten: One bowl of Jell-O, grape flavored.

In conclusion: They still have no clue what I had. They had a meeting with all the doctors in the hospital at least twice to see if anyone could figure out any solutions. They do expect it to come back, and supposedly it will be more aggressive when it does; they came to this conclusion by the fact that my eyes were bloodshot for close to 3 weeks, which signaled to a chronic occurring. I have decided that if that is the case I am just going to fling myself off a building. Or, you know, go to the hospital again. After all, I do like the Jell-O.

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3 thoughts on “When they say ‘Hospital’ they do not mean ‘Hotel’.

  1. Dearest,

    I’ll write Dr. House. He’ll figure it out. Or, whilst I’m spending the next 2 years at UNC studying NursePractitioning, I’ll read about it in a book. Anywhooooo. I’m glad your well. Let me know if I need to fly down and kick some Dr. Butt.

    LOVEYOU

  2. And, as a comment to ‘hospital doesn’t mean hotel’ = I had a patient come in and ask me why they had such a small room and if they could get a bigger one. And I had a patient’s husband ask me where the recreation pool was for him to use….. No Joke. I think I managed to be polite… but I sure wasn’t polite in my comments in my mind. Something to the effect of “does this look like the concierge desk at the Hilton? I think not…”

    1. It is times like these that I wish more than anything I could just have you in my pocket (with your cute little hands and sassy attitude). You make my life!

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