Friday, September 27, 2013

Tied Up in Bed

Have you ever been tied up in bed? Wait...I didn't really mean it that way. I mean, I WAS trying to get your attention, but I'm not an adults-only blog. What I'm trying to say is: have you ever been tethered in bed by so much medical equipment that you can't really move so sleeping is elusive?

That happens in hospitals, of course. IV, blood pressure cuff, blood ox monitor, those impossibly sticky things with buttons on them for the heart monitor wires to be connected, maybe you're even on oxygen. That scenario describes me last time I was hospitalized.

IF you can sleep (given enough drugs to counteract the other strong drugs that make you hyper like crazy) then you still have to deal with them coming to check your vitals every half hour. Um, aren't you CONSTANTLY checking my vitals with all that equipment? Oh, you have to make patient contact. In the middle of the night. Thanks. Maybe you manage to go back to sleep for (at most half an hour) but you're still all hooked up and those cords and cuffs (might as well be handcuffs...) (nope, still not an adults-only blog) don't make it easy to find a comfortable position. It's maddening, especially since they tell you to “get lots of rest so you can heal.” Maybe if they cooperated...

I had to be tethered last night. I of course always have the ever so comfortable CPAP and its hose, which I have to tuck in just the right way behind my pillow so that I'm not strangled if I roll over. In addition, they need ANOTHER, as in I've been through this particular torture before, overnight oxygen study.

This means I have to have that clippy thing on my finger, which is attached to a box (supposed to be attached) that records the data. To get the clippy thing to stay on my finger, I have to wrap my hand with that self-sticking athletic tape-stuff. So there I am, connected to a hose connected to a machine on my bedside table, and my hand connected to another machine which is quite heavy so I put it under my pillow so it won't slide off the bed, make a big clunk, pull the clippy thing off my finger, and wake me up.

Forget rolling over. I'd have to loosen the pillow's grip on the hose, pick up the box, find a new place for it, re-tuck the CPAP hose, and try to find a comfortable spot for my hand, within reach of the box (about 10 inches). Not worth the trouble. So I make myself semi-comfortable, and will myself to both sleep and not move.

Doesn't work. I wake up around 3 am for a bathroom break and go to pick up the box to bring it with me (easier than having to re-wrap my hand, which I needed help for) but I can't find the box. Clippy thing still attached...but no box. I search. Still no box. I abandon search because I realize that they need at least 6 hours of data, and when I went to bed I was going to barely make it. Now I have no idea how long I've been unplugged, so the 6 hours is out. I'm mad. All that for nothing.

(clippy thing, cord, self-sticking athletic tape-stuff, still no box, I'd need to turn on the light and that would wake up The Engineer who is STILL sleeping, not that I resent that or anything...)


It also means that I get to do all of this again, tonight. If I can find the darn box...

Gots any good medical stories for me? Been tethered? How's your night-time blood oxygen?


~Tina

18 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm sorry! Maybe tonight you'll be so exhausted you'll sleep through it all.

JoJo said...

Wow. I would go stir crazy and rip the stuff off me. I was only in the hospital once overnight when I had my breast redux and it was horrible. I couldn't get comfortable b/c I'm a side sleeper and I NEED a pillow to hug. I was on my back in a slight recline, tethered to the IV on the back of my hand. I kept having to get up to pee every 15 minutes. When I finally dozed off the damn nurse woke me up to check my vitals. And my non-English speaking roommate snored so damn loud that I actually considered smothering her to death out of exhaustion and frustration. At first light I buzzed the nurse and said get my surgeon here now, I want outta here. NOW.

Jo said...

Only time that happened to me was at the sleep clinic. I was wearing a clippy thing and apparently it came off when I was asleep so they woke me in order to clip it back on. Seemed a bit counter productive to me. Hubby has worn blood pressure monitors all night. During the day they blow up every half hour, at night, every hour. I couldn't sleep through that, not sure he did either and he's done it at least twice. I still love my CPAP though.

Lucy said...

Only at the hospital, I hated all the 'taking my vitals' but they had to do what they had to do. I feel so bad for you, I am assuming you need these tests because you are struggling with sleep, hopefully there will be a light at the end of the tunnel :)

A Daft Scots Lass said...

There is nothing worse than sleep deprivation. Here's hoping you get much rest soon.

Suzanne Furness said...

Oh no how maddening! Hope you manage to find the box and collect your data this evening. Dare I wish you sweet dreams?!

Brian Miller said...

well you had me at the title...haha...no not with medical equipment...smiles....that does not sound fun at all....i hope you can get some rest...pretty bad when you have to get exhausted to get a decent nights sleep...

Jeremy [Retro] said...

you will sleep... you are getting sleepy... sleepy... you are a asleep.

you are the best, so stay the best!

DAVID WALSTON said...

I had a CPAP. I really should still be wearing it at night.
Now you made me feel guilty....
Actually it was my wife telling me to get back on it. Maybe it's Divine intervention that you posted this.
Good luck on getting good rest.

Andrew Leon said...

You don't want to hear my only really good medical story, because it is bad and it involves a lot of blood.

klahanie said...

Dear Tina,

What a time for you. Hardly fun. And that darned box. I do hope you get some decent sleep.

And yes, I'm been hooked up, wired up and tethered to a hospital bed. I almost started to enjoy it. Almost.

Wishing you a bit of rest and peace,

Gary

Chris said...

That sounds awful! I hope you got through it okay. Sleep deprivation is bad enough, but all those machines, wires, monitors... not fun. I've never gone through that myself but my wife has had major surgery and some fairly serious child birth issues. She's been on those things for days, getting an hour or two of sleep before being interrupted by either 1) the overnight nurse, 2) bathroom, or 3) vomit.

I hope you feel 110% better after this ordeal and that you're able to rest and enjoy part of your weekend :-)

Gina Gao said...

Really interesting title, haha. I'm sorry to hear about your sleep deprivation.

www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

Michael Di Gesu said...

I can SOOOO relate.... Not in the hospital, but at home...

WIth by unexpected mowing down by a cyclist last month, I was left with liaisons, swelling in my face and head, AND a broken wrist... Ever try to sleep with a splint attached to a bent arm? Not fun... I can't sleep on my back, so needless to say, I haven't slept well with the splint, then cast, and now splint again. THREE MORE WEEKS.... I'm beyond over it, BUT, I am alive and kicking. That is the most important thing.

My healing has been great, thank God, and my wrist is improving daily (I get to keep the splint off inside... until bedtime).

Sorry you have to do it all over again, Tina... is such a bummer... But at least it's only for one more night.

Happy weekend....

Milo James Fowler said...

Holy cow, that sounds awful. =[

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tina .. I think Milo says it all "Holy Cow" .. and sounds like the array and wires is not the most comfortable of situations - I know I wouldn't cope ... can't sleep still!

Many thoughts - and hope that by now it's the 30th you've managed to get the six hours of tests ..

Cheers Hilary

T.F. Walsh said...

Poor thing.. does not sound fun. Did you manage to get any sleep?

Tina said...

Thanks for your kind support, all of you. I did manage to complete the test on Friday night, though rather shallow sleep as I was so focused on not disconnecting that box...but I got my 6 hours. After 7, I ripped the thing off and then really slept another hour. Phewphth...
~Tina