Sunday, February 8, 2009

Air Handling

So here's another one. Bob, my beloved geek of a husband, starts roaming around the room with a strip of toilet paper, testing the breeze, shortly after we moved into this special isolation room on Thursday. He determines that the airflow in the room is negative (sucking air in from the hall), when for an immunosuppressed patient, it should be positive, with the air blowing out when you open the door to keep the germs in the hall. OK, so it seems wrong, so he asks about it and is told, "that is the way it always is." Not a good answer to give Bob. So, long story, but this gets elevated to the level of a hospital policy issue. And, the idiots, believe it or not, on Friday, came and reversed the air flow WHILE WE WERE IN THE ROOM. So the dust in the ducts from 3 years of sick, isolated patients was blown in on us. Another scene for SCRUBS. We have not yet come down with any detectable diseases.

Dr. Blume, who now I think of as Wonder Woman, breezes in here yesterday morning with a box of Dunkin Donuts. The woman is a treasure beyond measure. I only wish someday I could get her to sit still long enough to have a cup of coffee an chat. So we asked her if the air handling issue got up to her, and she lauighed and said, "Are you kidding, it was almost the only thing I did all day yesterday." And she said what the take home lesson is, is that when she is pushing us to leave this place we should listen. She is more worried about Emily getting sick here in this loony bin, than sending her out of here with us.

So at first I had a panic attack (mild) when it was suggested we should be discharged soon (Thursday or Friday or Wednesday or Monday, depending on who you talk to) . Now I understand why Dr. Blume wants us out of here. All we are doing now is adjusting meds, and we can do that out patient. There is a GI bug going around the hospital. The staff are back on precautions with Emily, and wear gloves and gowns in the room (like our photos from the ICU). Bob and I are wearing gloves outside the room.

The problem is that Emily is still adjusting to the meds. Her stomach did not take to the meds this morning and her blood pressure is up and a headache is back. These are normal hiccups in trying to adjust meds post-transplant, but very unpleasant none-the-less. At least the air is blowing in the right direction now. It also helps block out the hall noise.

11 comments:

Bob Singer said...

In defense of geekdom...

If you design stuff, or fix stuff, you are an engineer or a mechanic. If you just want to know how stuff works you are a geek. Why does "geek" have negative connotations and the other labels do not?

"Question authority" is just a good defense, and I've worked with engineers long enough to know that dumb mistakes happen. I reviewed a drainage plan for a project once and saw that the stormwater drains were designed to slope uphill. The engineers argued with me for a minute on that one, so having a nurse tell me that the room was supposed to suck instead of blow was enough to make me want to not just blow, but explode!

So geeks everywhere, unite!

I think if we live in this hospital much longer we might be transferred to the psychiatric ward. The next installment of "Scrubs" scripts might be about the baby next door who has a full-time guard (must have been a very bad baby), or us playing hide and seek in the hall with cousin Steve, or Emily practicing her "silly walks" as the nursing students walked by, or doctor jumpy pants, or...

Coach Kristi said...

OK, now you have sparked my interest. We'll need some photos of the "silly walks" and some elaboration on Dr. Jumpy Pants.

I too am a geek, and am not afraid to confess that I am proud of it! Emily can more than vouch for my geekness. Borders on dweebness.....

Bob Singer said...

Kristi (and others),

Nobody can really understand Emily without seeing some of the Monty Python classics. Here's a link to the Ministry of Silly Walks. Emily was walking down the hall doing silly walks as a gaggle of young nursing students walked by and tried not to laugh while bumping into each other. Their leader had her back turned and Emily stopped when she turned around. One needs to be silly sometimes.

Bob Singer said...

Here's the link I referred to above:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqhlQfXUk7w

If you can't navigate through this link just google monty python ministry of silly walks.

Bonan said...

Bob,
I believe the term geek is very high priase,as I have no doubt been one all of my life and belive my self to be very very cool.(Is that an oxymoron cool geek?) anyway it is no doubt a badge of honor to wear proudly, as Deb actually sounded very proud of you in her post. Once again great job advocating for your daughter, which is the bottom line here, and of course by questioning authority, which all of us good children of the 60 and 70 learned to do, will benefit many others as well as Emily.
Em, good luck with all that med adustments. I am parying for your discharge soon for you all.
May you all hang on to your sanity when needed and loose it a litte also as need. Always thinking of you, Martha

Coach Kristi said...

Bob - I'm typing as I try to stop laughing. I don't know the current state of your finances, but I'm pretty sure we could make you a mint if you are willing to videotape Emily doing these antics in the hospital. As I watched the Utube video and imagined Emily in her hospital gown and her pigtails, doing those walks up and down the halls - let's just say I have a cramp from laughing so hard. And at the end of it all - turned to my husband and said "I shouldn't be surprised - that's Emily all right!"

Kate Lusenhop said...

While we're on the subject of geekdom (or is the proper term geekiness?), I'd like clarification on the difference between a geek and a dork. While geek can certainly be a good thing to be (that's my story and I'm sticking to it!), can a dork ever be a positive?

And by the way, where does nerd fit in? Or do nerds never fit in?

(you know those security words they make you type before they post your comment? Mine currently looks like 'horseshit' but I think it's probably something similar...what is hordosit anyway?)

Jolene said...

Emily - You gotta get them out of there!

Clarks5 said...

We've been following Emily's progress through the Blog daily and thinking of everyone. We are thrilled at how well it sounds she is doing. Keep up the great work! Love, The Clark's

e-Patient Dave said...

Holy crap! Cindy (my boss) just told me about these adventures. Yeah, indeed, time to get outa there!

UNCLE LARRY said...

great post. having spent 34 years working in hospitals, none of this comes as any surprise.

and you should look up the geek vs nerd literature. quite fascinating.

i have always encouraged geek pride however.