Wednesday, January 21, 2015

5 Days in St. Paul’s Hospital

Every year I try to convince myself to make a resolution to draw a page-a-day in my sketchbook (and weekly post highlights on the blog!). It rarely lasts all that long… or even gets started. Well I’m off to an okay start this week (two weeks late) I managed at least a page-a-day for the last week. Of course five of those days I was in St. Paul’s Hospital… and it’s easy to find time to draw when you have to lie in a bed and do nothing else all day…

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

Waiting room at the dentist.

It actually all started at the dentist. I was there to get a crown and they usually give me a sedative because I’m super gaggy… They used to just give me a $10 sedative and that was that… but now they got this whole protocol involving hooking me up to a blood pressure thing…? I think it’s just an excuse to charge MORE money… Anyway, they hooked me up and my blood pressure was “ a bit high” (190-something over 98…? I knew little about what those numbers meant at the time).

They decided the machine wasn’t working.

They tried another one.


They suggested they might not be able to work on me… Then decided to give me another dose of sedative and “see what that does”. After 20 minutes it had dropped to 176/96 so they decided to go ahead with the crown and filling – but suggested I might want to check with my family physician about my blood pressure.

Didn’t sound all that urgent… So I didn’t think too much on it.

Then I got home and got busy with other things and later I looked up those numbers… It suddenly seemed a bit more urgent than they made it out to be! I borrowed a blood pressure from my folks (190+/90+).

Getting an appointment with my family physician is always a bit of a hassle – usually a 3-4 week wait (by which time I’m usually over whatever it is I wanted to see her about) so I wandered down the street to a local physician I hadn’t seen before. He took my blood pressure. Twice. (200+/100+)

He suggested I should really be in Emergency…

Friday Night – ER waiting room. 3 hour wait.

Friday night In ER – view of the Nurses Station from my bed.

I did not sleep Friday night. Hourly blood pressure checks and periodic doses of meds to try and bring it down. Wheeled out at some point in the evening for a chest x-ray.

Nurses station at Observation 5A

Ended up in observation Saturday morning. I had hoped I’d be in and out (with a prescription for some drugs) and maybe even make it to my friend’s game day on Saturday. This apparently was not in the cards. More regular blood pressure checks and more doses of stuff to drop blood pressure.

The doctor that ended up overseeing me was awesome - and a total comic geek! 

One of my neighbors in OBS 5A. Still waiting for pressure to come down and took some more tests

Another neighbor in OBS 5A.Still waiting for pressure to come down…

 After supper I was not to eat any more solid food until my kidney ultrasound.. on WEDNESDAY!?

In the wee hours of Tuesday morning I was moved to another room (501). Blood pressure finally coming down a bit – mostly waiting on one more test.

My bed in 501…. Blood pressure a bit better… final test and released in the afternoon.

I walked home. Probably wasn’t the best idea considering I hadn’t eaten any food for 60+ hours and then had a tiny white bread and hummus hospital sandwich for lunch…

Lacking access to the internet or a phone (am I the last person on earth over the age of 10 without a smartphone…?) I had no way of really letting people know I was there – but one of Amanda’s co-workers is married to a guy that plays games with a couple of my friends… so Gary and Rick stopped by for a visit today – which was nice.

This is the reason why I didn’t do MORE drawing (and part of the reason why these aren’t the best drawing I ever did) I had an IV thingie in my right hand and it was irritating to try and write or draw.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Steve - I'm doing pretty good. I never really ever felt that bad - despite the occasional throbbing in the head and chest paint (which I usually attributed to stress or anxiety) - because it probably slowly built up over years and I just got used to it! But the blood pressure is down and it doesn't seem there was any permanent damage done and I've got some meds to keep it under control.

  2. Nothing like enforced captivity to get one cracking on drawing and writing.

    1. Indeed! I seem to recall I got a bit of reading done. Or maybe it was listening to Audiobooks...?