Sept 26 Thoracentesis Gone Bad

I was suppose to go to Mount Sinai on September 26 for a simple day surgery to drain my left lung as it was getting pretty filled up with fluid. It’s called a Thoracentesis. They freeze your back and stick a needle to aspirate the fluid in the pleural cavity. They can only take 1 -1 1/2 litres at a time. For me, even 500 ml causes me distress. My lungs have a hard time recovering when the airways in my lungs open up. I cough up slimy mucus for hours and it’s totally exhausting.

Unfortunately, after the procedure, I never left the hospital. I felt worse and was coughing up a storm. Vitals weren’t good so I ended up in the ER all night. Skipped the triage and went right to a special area for a nurse to keep an eye on me. I had a special oxygen mask that was hydrating saline and it was set at an oxygen level of 10. At home I had it at 2.

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The ER is never boring. The guy next to me ended up having some kind of infection and his family was all eating from the same food containers with him so they all got quarantined somewhere else.

Then a man with pancreatic cancer and his family were placed next to me. He passed away some time during the night. Part of his religion was that the doctors were to do 2 hours of CPR before they could declare him dead. Then they had to put his body on ice because he was suppose to be buried within an hour. Bobo said two men in black came to get him. There was a huge pile of water underneath the bed afterwards.

The next day I was transferred to the 10th Floor. I think it’s for Acute Care patients, internal medicine and there is a lock on the door to keep some of the patients in here because they have Alzheimer’s and tend to wander around.

I was put in Room 39 B but shortly after I got there the Italian woman next to me coded. She received lots of bags of plasma earlier; looked like transfusions. She didn’t want to use the bed pan and started walking to the washroom with her walker. On her way back she got into trouble. The nurse came in and said she should never have gotten out of bed. Her adult son and husband had her on the commode and tried to get her back on the bed but she passed out. The nurse started screaming, “Hurry, pick her up and put her in the bed”. They grabbed her by the knees and under her arms and by then twelve people started running into the room. Some of them were responsible for getting me out of there as fast as possible but I was hooked up to oxygen which made things more difficult. I was whisked into the hallway as bedlam took place behind me.

My friend Cathy and her sister-in-law Emily were with me that night and they recognized one of the nurses from a Greek wedding they went to in Montreal. Emily told her that I was a friend of hers and to take good care of me.

The oxygen tank didn’t have much air supply in it and I soon was running out of oxygen so they put me in a private room! Hurray! And I got to spend the night there for free! The next day they put me back in my old room but I got the window because the Italian lady went to ICU. They had to take her husband to emerg because I think he went into shock and I think her son almost passed out. We found out she was ok after all that.

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