Hospitals 101: Explain Again Why I’m Here?

Back to me, me me and my boring health crap. See if you can follow this…

The condition I have can either be primary or secondary. Mine is primary, and causes heart failure. But you could also have heart failure that causes the lung disease (PH). In order to diagnose the thing, one is subjected to a right heart catheter, which I wrote about many moons ago.

Last spring, my new doctors decided to repeat my right heart cath because they were bored and it’s funny to see me helpless on an operating table. Or maybe there was a real reason, but whatever. The heart cath showed that I was in heart failure. Duuuh. When Carefirst saw the bill, some clerk somewhere decided that they shouldn’t be paying for a bunch of expensive PH drugs when in fact I was in heart failure. They cut off my PH meds which has a tendency to cut off my breathing. So we had to prove that my PH is primary, and the way to do that is to admit me to the hospital, drain off every excess ounce of fluid around my heart and lungs, and repeat the heart cath.


The hospital stay is memorable for so many reasons…

  1. The patient must output significantly more fluid than what she consumes. So the goal is to pee like a maniac all day via the magic of IV diuretics, and yet be a camel and plod through with no water
  2. When patient consumes little water but pees like a maniac, the kidneys become unhappy. The kidneys shut down in protest
  3. The doctors ask the patient why she is in kidney failure and the patient, who is a smart ass, says “because I was getting bored with heart failure and wanted a change of pace”
  4. The doctors work every day to find the exact balance between heart failure and kidney failure, which must be terribly abstract unless your very own organs include said heart, and said kidneys
  5. Kidney sounds funny if you say it over and over again
  6. The nurses inform the patient that she is in the same room Dick Cheney occupied when he had his heart surgery. The patient immediately begins burning sage and chanting soothing prayers
  7. The lovely gentleman from food services is very concerned that the patient orders meals without any beverage. Offers to bring soup. Patient declines. Offers to bring coffee. Patient declines. Offers to bring lemonade, iced tea, root beer, mango smoothie. Patient, with her dry throat cracking, declines.
  8. Patient notices that days and days have gone by with no glimpse of release. Patient despairs and gnaws on chocolate bar to make up for the lack of Jello, which is considered a liquid. Patient realizes ice cream is a liquid and puts down spoon.
  9. In a fit of boredom, patient quietly joins gaggle of residents as they make their rounds, until someone notices and yells at her to go back to her room. Patient pouts.
  10. Patient wonders if gaggle is the correct term for a flock of residents. Wait…is it flock or gaggle?

That’s enough hospital talk for one day! Hospitals 201 coming in my next post…whether you want it or not…

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12 Responses to Hospitals 101: Explain Again Why I’m Here?

  1. val says:

    well I have missed you…..

  2. Pam Waits says:

    Uffda! You have been through so much already. I’m inspired by your ability to find humor in any situation.

  3. Carol Ferenc says:

    I’ve never understood how doctors expect the patient to pee out more than she’s consumed. Guess you need a PhD to figure out those mysteries. Great post! I’m pretty sure your sense of humor will get you through most anything, Jill.

  4. Betsey says:

    You are so funny! Bored with heart failure. ..

  5. Dick Cheney? That’s scary! Also I thought you die if you don’t liquids or is that only margaritas?

    • Jill Foer Hirsch says:

      Dick Cheney is the scariest disease ever! Yes, you have to drink to stay alive. I was allotted 1 liter per day, 33 ozs for 24 hours. The goal was for me to eliminate 1.5-2 liters per day. So, net net, I was super thirsty. And my kidneys were unhappy. And I was cranky and whiny. And cranky. I’m still cranky because I’m only allowed to drink 1.5 liters per day. Forever. Bah. No more coffee, ice cream, soup…basically if it doesn’t quench my thirst I can’t be wasting my fluid allotment on it.

      • Carol says:

        Holy Moly Captain Marvel! You are a walking, I’m going to assume you are walking, medical experiment. I’ll bet the nurses love having you on their floor and their shift because I’m sure they’ve never met someone as funny and amazing as you. I wish you only the best my funny friend. Live, Harold

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