After Two Months In The Hospital.
After two months in the hospital, I could go back home again.
The people around me or who follow me on Facebook, know what I have been going thru for two months. Right now, I am still trying to recover from that period. My idea is, to write more about what happened and how everything went, at that time. I will keep it short and try to tell more about my thoughts and fear.
How I Ended Up In The Hospital.
At the end of December 2022, my wife and I were both sick. Colds. At the beginning of January, I was really not feeling well. On January 2, I slept most of the time during the day and had a fever.
January 3, when I woke up, felt good and had some energy to do many things that day. At least, that was the plan. During those days, I also was coughing a lot. But mid-afternoon, I suddenly felt pain in my left side and back. It got worse when I had to cough.
After dinner, it felt like the pain was getting more and more. At that point, my wife insisted that I would call the doctor. In the evening, the doctor’s office is not open anymore and you have to call an office in the hospital. I explained everything that was going on and after they had checked my medical record, she advised me to come to the hospital so she could have a look at me.
At The Hospital.
Once in the hospital, the doctor that was on duty checked me out. My coughing was getting worse and I was not able to talk normally. Also, the pain was getting worse. She advised me to go to the Emergency Post. She would request an X-Ray of my lungs. The Emergency Post was just a few steps away.
While waiting in the waiting room, the pain got even worse. I could hardly stand or sit and talking was almost impossible. The pain was terrible.
After the X-Ray, I was placed in an Emergency Room and an IV was placed. Just in case. Because of the pain, I was given a very strong painkiller. This only worked for a short while. The next painkiller did not work at all, so they had to inject something.
Then I got the news that I had to stay. I had a very complex and aggressive pneumonia. My infection values were really high. (Several days later, I heard that they were even worried if I would survive this. It’s lucky that I did not hear that at that time. I have no idea how I would react then.)
Two Months Later.
Many things happened during my two months in the hospital. But I will tell more about it in upcoming posts.
At first, I had no idea how long I had to stay in the hospital. One thing was for sure, I did not expect to stay there for two months. Think about it. Two months. Two months of not really knowing what is going on outside. Of course, you have a tv and you can look outside, or you hear things from visitors, but it is different than being outside yourself.
Also, when you come home again, everything looks different. It looks a little bit strange.
Two months of being in the hospital has its toll on your body and mind. Mentally it was a difficult time. Recovering from health problems takes time. At this moment, I am home now for two weeks but I notice, that I am not fully recovered yet. I am still tired quickly and I need to take my moments to just relax. I cannot just go thru the whole day without taking a short rest/sleep somewhere mid-day. If I don’t do that, then at the end of the day I am broken.
During my stay in the hospital, I also was talking to a social worker.
At one point I got suddenly very down. Just thinking about how I ended up in the hospital and all the things that were happening to me and around me, it all got too much. One of the nurses saw that I had it difficult. She just sat down next to me and asked me how I am. That was the time I broke. Just trying to explain my thoughts and feelings. She tried to comfort me and asked me if I wanted a social worker to just talk to. Maybe it could help. I accepted the offer and the next day the social worker already passed by.
To my surprise, it was the same social worker I was seeing 10 years ago. She was still there. (As a side note, also some of the physiotherapists I knew from 10 years ago, or from a recent cardiac rehabilitation I did. Some of them also knew me. It was a little funny.)
Just talking to the social worker helped me a lot. She came 2-3 times a week. Just talk or share my thoughts. Sometimes she also gave some advice.
During one of my talks with the social worker, she mentioned “Would you maybe be better off in a two-person room? You are already here for several weeks and have no idea when you can go home. In this four-person room, maybe there are too many incentives.“
And maybe it was true. The whole day you hear so many stories from the other people in the room, I sometimes wanted just to shut them out. At those moments I would just turn on the TV and put on the headset.
The modest person I am, I just told her that this is fine for me. There are other people that need the rest and attention more than me.
One or two days later, one of the other people in the room was very noisy. Making strange noises, mumbling, and complaining. During the day it already started to bother me.
In the evening, this just continued. The rest of the room, including me, tried to sleep, but that was impossible because of that one person.
One of the nurses later passed by and handed out earplugs. I tried them for maybe one hour but it started to hurt in my ear, and I was still able to hear him. So I just placed my own headset on and started to play music on my phone. Even this did not really help. I did not sleep the whole night. I was awake for 24 hours.
The next morning I just told one of the nurses “You know me a little by now and you know that I am not complaining, but this is not done. In a room with so many people, you also need to think of others. I did not sleep for 24 hours, I cannot handle this anymore. I am really sorry“. She was very understanding. One hour later she came back and told me that they would move me to a different room. A two-person room.
In this two-person room, there was also one older woman. Very quiet. It was nice. Some peace of mind for me.
A few days later, this person also was released and went home again. So a new person had come. Again an older woman. Also quiet. Nice.
One day, the nurse mentioned to me, if maybe I would like a single room. Because one was coming available. She also mentioned you are here now already for so long, maybe you want some privacy. I told her that this room was fine for me. The person is quiet and it is okay for me.
What do you think? The next day I was told that I had a resistant bacteria and that I had to go in isolation. My first thought was “Here we go again“. Why? Ten years ago, the same thing happened. I also had to go to a single room, in isolation.
In this situation, the advice was that if can, no visitors. Only close family. And if they left, they had to wash their hands. If the nurses came in, they had to wear protective clothes and gloves if they had to touch me. At first, this is not nice, but on the other side, peace.
My Thought On These Opportunities.
While I was in this room, a thought came to mind. If God closes one door, another will open. Two times I was offered a different room. Both times I refused. Two times I was “forced” to accept the offer. It is difficult for me to understand this.
In both cases, I think The Lord was trying to help or tell me something, thru other people. But both times I declined the offer. But somehow, The Lord made sure that I took the offer.
The difficulty for me was, to see and grabe the offer that was given to me. It was difficult for me to see that The Lord was offering something to me. The social worker told me, that I was too humble. I also had to think about myself. Maybe be a little more selfish.
But that is not me. But this shows me, that I need to pay more attention. In the back of my mind, it will still be difficult to see this. Maybe I need to listen and pay more attention. Maybe in prayers and quiet time, I need to listen better.
I can remember that in my prayers I was asking for help, guidance, and moral/mental support. Because things were not that easy. And maybe I need to be more open to expecting the unexpected. This whole experience was new for me and made me think a bit more.
During my time in the hospital, I had my fair share of fears. When you hear that they said that they hope I would get thru this. Not knowing what else they would discover. What new tests would show and what treatment they would have in mind?
Also not looking forward to some treatments. For example, when they told me that there was too much liquid behind my lung and that it had to be removed. This was a very painful treatment. And when it failed the first time, I was insistent that if they had to do it again, it would be under anesthesia. And it was done. Two times. After that, the fear is that you hope that the treatment was successful.
But I think there is one more fear that is still there. During this time, I was told also, that there were bacteria in my blood and that maybe the wires of the pacemaker, the heart valve, or another artificial object near my heart, that maybe the bacteria were growing on it. This was my biggest fear. If this was true, that meant another open heart operation. And this would be a very risky one.
After several scans and echoes, I was informed that to change was small. Not zero but small. That is why I have an antibiotic treatment I need to finish. Four weeks of tablets. At the end of this month, I hopefully hear more.
And there is one more fear. Ten years ago I was in the hospital for three months. Because there was a bacteria in my blood and it had grown on the artificial objects near my heart. And I had the have a big operation. Now ten years later, again there is a bacteria in my blood that could do the same thing.
My fear is now, this is already the second time. Maybe there also could be a third time? No one can tell me. How careful do I need to be? What things can I do to prevent something like this? Are there things I need to avoid?
This last fear made me think twice and be very careful.
it is impossible to prevent things from happening, but I can try to do my best to prevent it. But again, how careful do I need to be? The only safe way is to lock myself up. Don’t have physical contact with other people. But this is not the life you want to have.
What I understand from the doctors was, that first I had a virus. Maybe the one that gave me the cold. At that time, I was susceptible to any bacteria. And that could be the time the bacteria entered my body. The susceptible part is a big part of me. Already because of my heart condition(s), I am very susceptible. And there is not much you can do.
Right now at home, my wife makes sure that we eat and try to drink as much as healthily as possible. Every day I drink several fruit juices, we make ourselves. Many years ago we already had bought a juicer so we can make our own fresh juices. Now we had taken it out again, so it is easier and quicker to make some fresh juice again.
For the rest, the recovery goes very slowly. Just a 7-10 minute walk and I could already be tired. Walking up and down the stair, I am tired. Every afternoon I need to lie down in bed and have a short nap. In the evening, go to bed early. Try to plan different activities over the day and divide them. Not do too much at once.
Some around me say you are only home for two weeks. It takes time. It is difficult but I really need to listen to my body.
This is it for now. I am thinking of maybe writing more about my time in the hospital. But I am not sure when I will do this. So if you are interested, keep an eye on this blog.
And I want to close with, please be safe and take care. You never know what could happen.