April 9th, 2018


Catching Up aka another Hospital visit- Saturday

Friday I wasn't feeling up to going out, and then the art show director ended up in the hospital, so I followed plan A and stayed home.

Saturday morning when I went to the bathroom, my knees gave out from under me and I had to crawl over to the bathtub and leverage myself up. Stumbled to the corner of the bedroom and took out my folding cane, which I had not needed for years (since my last torn meniscus).

My BP was low, so was my pulse. I took it easy all morning, skipped the shower and getting dressed. When things didn't improve in the afternoon I called a taxi* and checked into the ER.

*Not a real taxi - it was a Prius late model, the driver was constantly on his phone - holding it in his hand, ignoring the fact that the car has BT and GPS (the display was off). Speaking in a language which sounded African. There was a taxi seal on the bottom of the steering column, but no driver ID. I'll have to send a nastygram to BBB.

It was a long wait, standing in line, hard to stay upright. You would think they would have a bench or something.

Finally a second nurse took me out of line and checked me in. Same guy who checked me in last time.

Sent to an exam room, vitals taken, EKG, all the usual questions.

Moved to an ER observation room, same as a hospital room except no toilet. And I'm on a gurney.

eventually a finance dweeb rolled in his laptop and told me my co-pay was $80, wanted me to pay it right then, just like last time. I told him to bill me, like last time. Last time I was never billed**.

Portable chest x-ray, and then rolled to the next building for the mother of all CT scans. Head and then full body.

So far all my nurses are male, but the one taking me to CT is a woman named Alma. I told her there was a song about her, and gave her enough Tom Lehrer info to find it. She was jazzed to find that out.

Unlike last time, the longer I was there, the prettier the nurses and doctors became. Karma?

The heart rate monitor showed low and irregular pulse. They tried to find a Boston Scientific pacemaker interrogator, and found one after a while but couldn't figure out how to work it. They phoned Boston Scientific, which sent a rep with the right machine in about 90 minutes.

He was stumped.

After talking to my ER doc, who called a cardiologist,Boston rep upped the low pulse threshold from 50 bps to 60.

Doc was going on the theory that the walking problem was due to oxygen starvation, and upping my pulse rate should fix that.

They kept me overnight. But first, the Medicare financial woman rolled in her laptop, explained:
**there was no co-pay for the ER,
I had been admitted to the hospital, but since I was still in the ER it was free
If they moved me to the hospital,it would cost $285/day up to 7 days.
Since I have been admitted to the hospital, they will replace the gurney with a hospital bed.

1:30 am, two orderlies wheeled in a hospital bed, and wheeled out the gurney. It was a challenge transferring.

Catching Up 2- Sunday

Feeling better little by little. No food in case they needed to do a "procedure" and they had a chemically induced heart stress test scheduled for 10:30.

Nurse Ping managed to get me some graham crackers & a box of apple juice. at 8:30 (heart test needed no food for 2 hours). She was amused that Ping means toasted in Thai, and when I said k'nome pong ping was "sweet bread toasted"she said pong is also bread in Mandarin. Learn something new...

I lied. Nurse Alma put me in a wheelchair and pushed me next door to have the heart exam-stress test -heart exam. Nurse Micah (male) rolled my gurney to the CT scan yesterday.

The heart machine is a huge contraption which rotates slowly around my body. IV radiation dye inserted first.

Stress test on a gurney in another room, by the heart scan tech plus the heart stress tech.  Heart stress tech said she was teaching the class I'm in Tuesday.

Back to the heart scan for two after-stress passes, one on my back and one on my tummy.

Micah wheeled me back to the ER room.

New doc (redhead) Holmes, eventually came in and said all my tests were ok, had me walk with Micah down the hall & back, which I was able to do holding the cane but not using it.

Having done that, she signed my release papers after I decided I'd rather go home than wait for food.

Wheeled to the ER waiting room, the admin called a taxi. After 15 minutes I walked out to the pickup area. After 30 minutes I hobbled back inside, she called again. Back outside, 10 minutes later cab arrived, a real taxi this time, with all the right electronics & papers.

Home, he misunderstood and dropped me at the front steps, I wanted the carport (easier climb). Fell twice on the way to the door.

Delivered were two windshield wiper blades, in separate different-sized boxes. WTF? Ordered the same time.

It's about 5 pm.

Still using the cane, poured chicken stock & water into a pan, added won tons & small pieces of breaded chicken & egg whites.

Feeling exhausted, went to bed at 8.

Woke up at 9, thinking it was 9 am Monday and I was late for work.

Theo was a PIA all night. He kept jumping on top of me, and when I set him to the side and turned my back, he swatted with claws out a mole on my back. Had to throw him off the bed. But he was back in a few seconds.

Plans for Monday:
If I can walk, go to work
If not, call in old


Was able to navigate the bathroom, take a much needed shower and get dressed (slowly).

Took meds, packed a lunch, made it down the carport steps, unplugged the car and drove to work. Traffic was almost speed limit all the way.

Break room was a long, slow slog, but there were bananas, eggs, mandarins, gold diet cokes and kind bars. And French dark chocolate cookies.

To the hole, I'm the first one there.

Nothing to do all day, the test machine I bricked on Friday never got fixed. Something was wrong with the build download, not my fault. Watched a lot of antenna TV and YouTube.

Lunch was broccoli beef and two of the alleged chocolate pudding cups from the fridge.

Back to the hole, helped by one of the Chinese engineers, who took pity on the old man with a cane.

Messaged Boss that I had a 2 pm class tomorrow at Kaiser, so I won't be at our afternoon sync. She rescheduled it for 12:30.

5:30, home. Back roads because 101 was a mess.

Laptop again, caught up on email. 8TB drive copy had finished on Sunday but no time or energy to make the swap.

Theo has kept me company on the recliner when he isn't playing with a rubber band or fighting Spook.

Dinner was reheated turkey leg with bell peppers garlic & onion. And a piece of rye bread.

Earlier I refilled 6 sodastream bottles. 2 soda, 2 gold cola, 1 orange, 1 ginger ale.

Called middle sister, using the fancy BT headphones. She is visiting 1st week of May.

Hauled the shirts/sox from the dryer to the bed. May put them away tonight. Maybe.

The kitchen floor needs swiffering, the litterboxes need changing, but I have no strength.

Plans for tomorrow:
pacemaker class