Monday, July 25, 2011

Tests, Tests, Tests At Heathcote Hospital and Prince William Hospital

Tests, Tests Tests At Heathcote Hospital and Prince William Hospital

Thursday, July 15 I had a sonogram at the Heathcote Hospital that is less than two miles from my
House. It was for checking on my leukemia status. Then on Tuesday, July 19 Jack and I made a trip to the Heathcote Hospital because I was having a terrible headache, pains on my heart and I was spitting up blood in my mucous. The doctor at Heathcote had me transferred by ambulance to the larger Prince William Hospital after blood work and a cat scan indicated that I had possibly had a heart attack and that it looked like I had bacterial pneumonia. I was admitted by a very nice doctor, Amitkumar Dave, who placed me the intensive care unit.

Beginning Tuesday afternoon I had nonstop medicals tests and nonstop visits from many medical personnel. Everyone who entered my room had to don a mask to keep from spreading germs to me and my weakened immune system. I finally was released from the hospital late Friday afternoon. While in the PW Hospital I had five cat scans that checked my head, chest and heart.
And I received three different antibiotics by infusion. I also received lots of steroids, drugs and platelet transfusions. Also during this time frame I had visits from the following people: the admitting doctor, two oncologists, a heart doctor, an infectious diseases doctor, an endocrine doctor, a dietitian, a physical therapist, a social worker and the local Catholic priest. Needless to say I was so busy that I didn't have time to rest until late Thursday night. Oh, and did I add that I got weighed, had three chest x-rays and an echocardiagram on my heart that indicated that I had fluid on my heart?

Now here is when things got really interesting. When a cat scan of my throat could not verify that I had some type of lesion on the left side of my throat an MRI test was ordered for my throat. Have you ever had an MRI test?

This test is where they put your entire body in a metal tube with a magnet to do magnetic imaging of the body. The noise from the machine is very loud so you wear earplugs and your face is covered with a cloth before they put a metal helmet on your head. The MRI tech person then leaves the room and the test begins with the tech calling out don't move and expect very loud noise for the next 45 minutes that is only broken up by quick breaks. So you lie there thinking of what can you relate to all this very loud noise. It sounded like guns and cannons going off so I tried relating it to the beginning 150'th anniversary celebration of the start of the Civil War which was being reenacted near Manassas. Now here is where I had a meltdown. Thursday evening when this MRI test was given the temperature in Manassas was 102 with a heat index of around 110 degrees outside but the air conditioning in the hospital lab was not working correctly so I'm lying in a metal tube and the magnets are getting hot and increasing
the temperature in that metal tube. The tech person had to stop the test twice to replace the cloth on my face because I was sweating so much that the cloth was getting wet and you can't do an MRI test with anything wet in the helmet which was inside the metal tube. Obviously I was not a very happy camper!

Then when I got back to my room close to 9:00 P.M. I was hoping to chill out by watching my favorite summer show, Big Brother. But I was told that I was going to have to move to my third
hospital room for the week. Now this is where things really got a little scary. When I got to my new room I discovered that there was a Prince William County Police officer wearing a gun who was there to guard a psychiatric? patient from the Prince William County Male Detection Center.

This fellow was not a happy patient and was throwing a fit or two. Holy Cow! At this point I thought to myself that if that police officer has to draw his gun and use it on this man and a bullet went thru the adjoining wall I might get hit with a bullet. I already had a plan if this happened. I was going to hop under the hospital bed even though I was hooked up to an IV for meds. Needless to say it was a night that I will never forget for many reasons. Oh, also during my four day hospital another test in the basement found me staring at two more police officers who were guarding another patient from the male detention center. I have never been so upclose and personal with police officers wearing guns,bullets and handcuffs before this past week.

I really received exceptionally good care at both hospitals although I got very tired of getting stuck for tons and tons of blood for my many tests to determine what was happening to my weakened immune system. I had my third and final chest x-ray right before I left the hospital. Let me tell you that it was so great to get home and chill out.


Denise said...

Good grief Joann, that's one heck of a trip to the hospital. Bet you were more than glad to get home from there. Thinking of you always.

Patty said...

I'm so sorry Joann for all the confusion and aggravation you had to go through with the police guarding those two patients. That would be scary enough. Don't they have an oncology department? Sounds like those two patients should have been in the psychiatric ward. I went with our one daughter for her MRI on Friday, since she sometimes has a reaction to the dye they put in. That way I could drive her to and from Sam North. They had her take predisone and allergy medicine to counter act the dye just in case. The last one my brother had done, he can't stand getting into the tube, they sent him to a place that has a larger tube, and I was allowed to set in the room with him. Every once in a while he would holler out, are you still there Patty and I would walk over to the tube/table, pat his leg and and reassure him I was. Sometimes all the testing can really be a hassle. Hope they soon figure out what's going on. Hang in there.

DragonQuilter said...

Well I had tired to post a long comment but it went where my mother's email seems to go...who knows where.
But great to know you are out and survived that adventure. And I know you must be okay because you are back to telling your wonderful stories about your adventure. We should get you to write a book about it!
No more hospitals okay!!

Patty said...

Hope by this evening you're feeling better.

Deb said...

I had a bad scene at a local hospital back in 2000. I never want to experience that again as you dont with yours. Think about you all the time and hope your at home time is more comfortable then the las few days. Love ya,your niece Deb in Ohio

June said...

Oh, Joann! I haven'e been keeping up with my blog because I am a little tired and discouraged and sleeping too much. Since you can write in such a funny and lovable way about sucha series of terrifying thrills, I've gotta feel like a lazy bounder! What an incredible story! Sending all my love once more, June

Melinda said...

wow I had no idea you have been through all that recently! I am happy to know now from your most recent post you are feeling much better. So sorry you had to go through all this...I am sure it could not be very relaxing and restful to you during that time at the hospital with all the tests, anxiousness, etc. Blessings to you Joann!