The Inpatient: 6 Things I Learned from My Hospital Admission
By Michelle | @EhMichelle | January 17, 2019
DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis) can happen in a split second. I was admitted to the hospital in DKA with a goal of getting me out of DKA, and figuring out the cause for the horrendous headaches and nausea that I've been dealing with for the last month. The stay turned out to be 11 days long, and although we didn't get very far in regards to answers, I did learn some other things.
1. Patience. If patience is a virtue anywhere, it's in the hospital. Things happen at a snail's pace. And there really isn't a thing you can do about it. So patience is forced on you. I happen to be the one of least patient people, so this isn't necessarily a bad thing, because I can always learn some patience.
2. Worrying doesn’t change or solve anything.
While you're stuck doing all this waiting, you're generally also doing all this worrying. "Will this consult go through?" "Will this doctor help me?" "Will this test be scheduled while I'm inpatient or outpatient?" I can go on and on, but the truth is, you don't have all the power while you're in the hospital. There are rules, protocols, and logistics in place, and they are what they are. Worrying about them won't change them. What's going to happen will happen, and you have to try not to torture yourself while you're waiting for it! Note to self.
3. Nurses are the best.
During this stay, I had the most special nurse. She took the time to come into my room, sit in a chair and genuinely ask how I'm doing. We had a long talk, and by the end she decided she wanted to advocate for me. She did what she could to get me the help I needed while I was in there without me even asking - that meant the world to me. It meant the world to me the next day when I was sobbing after a bad consultation. She came in and said, "Talk to your Aunt Maggie" while she comforted me and encouraged me. As you can see from one of my last posts, I have a huge appreciation for nurses. This was one of the most incredible nurses I've ever met.
4. Good veins are hard to find.
As a pale, young woman, I should have good veins. I should have great veins. However, I just don't. They are thin and they slip and slide when you try to get them. They have no blood return. Nurses hate taking blood from me and they especially hate inserting IVs. My first IV was hard enough to get in that they had to bring a guy in with a special ultrasound-like machine to find my veins. It was super cool and worked like a charm. However, while I was there, my doctors wanted at least 2 blood tests a day. The nurses were not very happy about this, because for some of them, I'm an impossible stick. They would ask the doctors repeatedly, "Are you sure we really need 2 blood tests a day?", because it seemed that this was torturous to them. Needless to say, my arms are black and blue everywhere.
5. Canned peaches are really good.
Not much else to say here. The rest of the food is nothing to write home about.
6. These are the times when you find out who really loves you.
Being in the hospital sucks. It's scary, it's frustrating, and it's boring. Your friends and family who check in on you are your world.
Michelle was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of 12. After being stuck in the nightmare of being a mystery for several years, she is now finally being treated for a rare neuromuscular disease called Stiff Person Syndrome. This blogger also lives with Dysautonomia, Endometriosis, and a few more, and loves raising awareness. Co-founding Chronic Love Club with Derek has been the highlight of her year, and she truly believes that we’re better when we stick together.