It is not me that writes today. It is only discipline. I can barely see the words, I’ve been sitting up and working from bed since shortly after 7 AM.
The day is almost a blur of phone calls, research and contemplation of the state of affairs.
Yesterday the plan was for discharge today to a skilled nursing facility. On interviewing the director there this morning I learned a puzzling “fact?“.
A year ago during my hospitalization at this very facility for pneumothorax, the nursing staff was able to help with my bowel care regimen, which involves digital stimulation of the rectum.
During this visit I learned about the nursing staff is now by policy, protocol, or regulation, somehow disallowed from participating in this way in my care.
In essence, each day that I’m here, I require a doctors assistance to poop.
It seems I have learned in my conversation today that this prohibition extends also to the nursing staff of skilled facilities.
This is a very interesting roadblock to discharge and care.
Given my condition, the absence of digital stimulation of the bowel means two things. number one is that The time to empty the bowels is substantially increased, which in turn increases the duress on my physical form. The second is that The completion of emptying cannot be verified, increasing the likelihood of “accident“ either in bed or in clothing.
The former decreases daily vitality, cumulatively overtime, while the latter threatens to produce additional skin breakdown, or in the case of existing breakdown, possible, and even life-threatening, infection.
The nurse just gave me the evening dose of anabiotic and as I was swallowing and I realized my stomach was mostly empty so we just scrambled some graham crackers and peanut butter. Antibiotics on an empty stomach are a very unpleasant experience.
The new information about bowel management regulation seems to stymie the obvious path out of the hospital. More research has been begun, more will be needed.
Meanwhile I managed to have a number of good connections with doctors, nurses, support staff, and even a few good friends and family far away.
The evening drifts on. The latest drama, the magnesium that was ordered for me last night for sleep was apparently not a standing order but a one time order. This means I’m now starting just after 9 PM, not quite from scratch, but to get the necessary sleep aids on the book so that as this week begins I have some rest behind me and precious to engage.
Now at least the discipline has carried me through the words and I can focus on the steps to retirement.
Sent from my iPhone
God gets to know things, we just get to ask questions…