Friday, November 13, 2009


Asthma. So much simpler than, say, a staph infection in my brain, but I will tell you this:

This hospital stay is kicking my butt.

On top of the fact that I can't breathe very well, I have pain all over my back, shoulders, arms, and neck. This is something called "referred pain." The bottom of my right lung is partially collapsed due to the atalectasis, and it's pressing down on my diaphragm. The nerves around my diaphragm are irritated because of this and shooting pain all over my upper body. For the past three days, I've felt like a sumo wrestler was sitting on my right shoulder and collar bone. There's muscle spasms all over my back. Oh, and I have a killer headache, too. Not cool.

My oxygen sats are staying in the low 90s unless I'm on this high-tech nebulizer they have here. That's not good since they've been pumping me full of steroids and oxygen. I was even on a continuous nebulizer for most of last night and today, and my sats still won't go up.

Last night sucked. I was in searing pain all night long, and it really felt like I couldn't get the peds docs to listen to me. They kept sending me the same two medications over and over again even though my mom and I both told them that they weren't working. My pain level was at a 10 for four hours and I was sobbing for most of that time. Finally, my mom called a patient advocate, and they bugged the doctor into giving me the one pain killer that gave me any relief. Of course, it only took my pain down to an 8.5, but I was at least able to relax a little, but I still didn't fall asleep till 9something this morning. (My mom, on the other hand, just fell asleep about 3 hours ago. She was up all day talking to all the doctors that came in so I could rest. God Bless her.)

Today, though, we met a Godsend named Tom. He is from the Pain Team, and he spent a long time in my room this afternoon talking to us about ways to manage this pain without having to completely depend on the heavy narcotics because of the dangers the narcotics bring for respiratory supression. He was the first person I met that made me feel like he was really listening to me. He didn't just see me as a little kid who doesn't know what's going on with her body. (Because, let's face it, there's nothing little about me! haha) He changed a lot of my dosages and told the peds doctors that it's not smart to take away my Dilotid completely (the only medicine that was really helping last night). He told me he's been in a situation where he's had this referred pain, so he could really sympathize. Gosh, when he left, I felt a whole new sense of relief. He even told us that even though his work hours are 7-7 and he's off Sunday, we can page him anytime, day or night, if the doctors are not working with me, and he'll take care of it. Is that awesome or what?!

You wanna know a way to tell that you've been in the same hospital unit too long? When the nurses see your mom in the hallway getting ice and blankets and sigh, "Oh no! Poor girl, what is she in for now?" Or when they see your mom walking into a "staff only" area to see what's in there and don't do anything about it. 5300 is all too familiar to me. When they finally got me a bed on Wednesday, and they told my mom it was in 5100, my mom actually teared up because of all the new faces that we'd have to deal with, all the people who don't know me like the people who work in 5300. They moved me here to the pediatrics step-down unit yesterday so that I could be put on the continuous Albuterol. Granted, the step-down nurses and the 5300 floor nurses are two different groups, but I've still gotten visits and I have a nurse that I know from August tonight. That kind of helps with the mood.

I have no idea when I'm getting out of here. No freaking clue. And I'm trying really hard to trust God, but that's easier said than done when you're thrust into another crappy situation like this, isn't it?

A positive side, though, is that at least I'm getting a break from Chelsea. She's causing havoc while Mom's away, per usual. Holly came into town Tuesday night just hours before we left for Duke, and she ruined her phone at work on accident, so Mom told her to take her (Mom's) phone and get Holly's number put on it because Mom was planning on getting her and Chelsea new ones, anyway. Well, when Holly left to go back to Raleigh yesterday, Chelsea found an old phone in the house, invited a guy over, and used his phone to call Sprint and get Mom's number put on this old phone, after Mom specifically told her no. Of course! I guess she thought that Mom would be so wrapped up in taking care of me that she wouldn't bother doing anything about it till we get home...Then, she made the ever-so-stupid mistake of calling Holly, tipping her off that she had to have gotten a phone turned on. So Holly called my grandma and my grandma went over and found the guy hanging out in the living room, another rule broken. Holly called Mom and told her what happened, and Mom called Sprint today and got the phone number suspended and made it so that the number can only be reinstated "by the account holder in person with a Photo ID." Mwhahahahahahaha! It made me want to leave Chelsea a comment on Myspace and go "Mom's smarter than you are! Mom's smarter than you are!" But I didn't, because of course, I'm so much more mature than that. :)

Okay, that's about all I've got. I slept through all the important meetings today, so I don't really know how to explain the medical stuff any further, and besides, this post is long enough. Just know I'm hanging in there. I feel like crap, but I'm hanging in there.

Love and hugs.


  1. ((((((((((((((((( hugs )))))))))))))))))

    Sounds like you've been through the wringer too. I got an email devotional this morning that I'd love to share with you, it's helping me face my own storms right now, hoping it will help you.

    I love that you took the opportunity to share, and share much. You sound stronger today!

  2. I've got a TEENSY inkling about the referred pain business - from my shoulder surgery. I was, "why does my forearm hurt when it was my SHOULDER that had surgery." Referred pain. Duh.

    I really hope they get to the bottom of everything & you get to go home soon.