I'm back from hospital adventures. Way sooner than expected which can only be described as wonderful. The surgery went well, the stay in the hospital itself was fine, and tiring, but without event. And now, thankfully, I'm home. As of Thursday, resting, sleeping, moving slowly but still happy as a clam because I'm in my own house, bed and routine. It was a beautiful, crisp, sunny, winter day when I got home and Pearl, my skittish kitty, sat on the bed with me, in the sun. I don't know if I can remember being more content. Honestly. I think it takes stepping out of my day to day life sometimes, to remember all that I have. Things are very good here.
It was quite an adventure in the hospital "diabetes-wise". They debated as to whether I could have my pump on during surgery. They decided yes, because the doctor's wanted it that way. The policy about no pumps for diabetic patients, was a nurses rule and so the surgery itself was not in their purview. But once I was out and back in my room, the nurses rules came into play. Apparently, a couple of years ago, a patient on a pump went into a serious low and there were (legal?) ramifications. So without consulting the diabetes center or my doctor who heads it up, the nursing staff, unilaterally put a rule into place, that no diabetics could wear their pumps during a hospital stay. Done. The law. So it's taken my doctor and his colleagues a number of years to get the rule changed. Which it has been, but is still awaiting official implementation. Which is supposed to happen next month. Which didn't help me particularly, because I was in the hospital THIS month while the old rule was still in place. So off came my pump once I got into my room. Hour after hour they checked my bloodsugar, all through the night. They worried, they tweaked, they consulted my doctor. Luckily, the next morning they said I could go home if I wanted to, to which I immediately said yes please. I realized that I had been carrying the burden of trying to remain vigilant throughout the process, with the many different players who didn't know as much about my diabetes as I did, and I needed a break. Nurses, doctors, hospital policies, schedules, miscommunications all swirling around my diabetes care. Going home meant taking back the control, getting some uninterupted rest and returning to a routine that let me bloodsugars settle down. Yes, I said, I'd like to go home, now please.
As I was awaiting the paper work to be finalized for my release, the nurses did one last bloodsugar. It was 230 and they freaked. I said that it made sense to me since I'd been lying in a bed for 24 hours, no exercise, no control of my insulin. By then I was back on my pump and I said I'd just bolus to correct the high bs. They were skeptical and said they'd have to talk to my doctor. Argh! So close and yet so far away. I decided to take action, so I paged my doctor directly. He phoned a couple of minutes later, I put the nurse on, and voila, I was sprung. I heard the nurse say "I know she's an expert at this. We just wanted to be safe." Which I believe is the truth. All of the rules, the worry, is in the spirit of safety. It's not like anyone is trying to take control away from me for fun. They have so much that they are responsible for and diabetes adds one more variable to the pile. I said to the nurse that what was frustrating for me was that I'm expected to do this disease 24/7 and then suddenly, I'm expected to hand it over to countless people who don't get it as well as I do. And she said she understood that. And then she said something that helped me understand a whole lot better, the situation from their perspective. She said "but you see, you are the exception. You take care of yourself. Most people that we see here with diabetes, well, they just don't." I just sat there for a minute and then I said, "but my health is my responsibility. I have the tools and it's my responsibility to use them." And she said, "you'd be amazed at how many people don't feel that way." And she was right. I was amazed.
But for now, it's all good. I'm home. Resting, recuperating, relaxing. We've got the entire 2 seasons of Grey's Anatomy to watch over the next week. Miss Marple on dvd. The New York Times, "Year in Ideas" to read in its entirity. There's blogging and napping and eating and walking ahead. Slow but sure. Much to celebrate. Much to be grateful for. For kind husbands, great friends and family, skittish Pearl and wacky pups, attentive doctors and nurses, insulin, the pump and choices, the amazing OC and everyone's wonderful support and friendship. Yes, life is very, very good.