I Once Shot a Man in Reno…

… just to watch him get trapped in a Sisyphean cycle of medical department posturing and endless hospitalizations.

In case it’s not obvious, I’m still stuck at Stanford. I’m less angry about it, but that’s mostly the Benedryl.

Anyway, when last we left our handsome hero, he was left twisting in the wind by both his Docs and The Dept., with neither group seemingly having any plan for his discharge or even his well-being. As of Monday… nothing changed. My mom and I spent the day waiting and waiting before finally rounding up a couple nurses onto our team and pestering the shit out of both departments until someone finally talked to us. Only The Dept. did, and that was an on-call guy who had no idea of the situation at 8:30 p.m. What he did tell us was that the metrics they were using to determine my discharge status — how much fluid I was draining out — were complete bullshit, numbers picked entirely at the whim of whichever doctor answered the phone that day. I told him that was dumb, he agreed, and, after some pressing, I got him to agree to try and get all the doctors in The Dept. to meet and come up with some kind of consensus as to what constituted “healthy” in cases like mine.

Surprisingly enough, that actually happened. A different doctor (Dr. Tall) from The Dept. came in Tuesday morning and explained that they were going to cap the tubes but keep me for observation, taking an x-ray after 24 and 48 hours to see if any fluid re-accumulated. Awesome. We finally had a plan.

This being a hospital, though, it did not go off as planned. After waiting most of a day again, the nurse paged The Dept. to find out when they were coming to cap the tubes. The Dept. said they weren’t, the nurses should just clamp the tubes and send me home with drainage suitcases attached, to come back on Thursday. This, of course, made no sense. There was a lot of back and forth on the phone, but ultimately one of the nurses on the floor capped the tubes herself because The Dept. steadfastly refused to show up. And by “herself,” I mean my nurse didn’t know what the fuck was going on, called the charge nurse, and then I had to point out to both of them that there were stopcocks on either tube that could be easily capped. But, hey, it was done. And to Dr. Tall’s credit, he did show up at 9:30 p.m. to check in and see if everything was done. Better late than never, I guess? I mean, at least he came by. Docs Transplant wrote me off sometime last week. I haven’t seen them for more than 30 seconds a day.

Anyway, today should have been easy enough. Just sitting around and waiting, sure, but I was no longer chained to fluid collection bins. I could actually move around like a human again. Plus, I had another thing already scheduled at the hospital for today, so I could rock that out while I waited. Of course, that was all presupposed on my not having an allergic reaction to the antibiotics they’ve left me on for over a week. The rash I broke out in a few hours ago had different ideas. Turns out that while the tubes are in, or really any kind of invasive instrument, a certain kind of IV is given to keep shit from getting wonky. This is usually only meant for a few days at a time, but, lucky me, I’m over a week now, so it’s fucking up everything. I’m itchy as hell, I’ve forgotten what solid poop looks like, and they keep having to put in new IVs because this fucking drug is chewing my veins up too.

So, yeah. Everyone says the x-rays look good, and as long as that doesn’t change, I’m out of here tomorrow. Once the tubes are pulled, the antibiotics stop, and I can get back to where I was two God damn weeks ago when this all started.

On the plus side, this is my two month transplantiversary, so there’s that. Also, the hospital-grade Benedryl. I guess it could be worse.