Beep. Beep. Beeeeeeep. During my hospitalizations, I am completely dependent on machines. One "machine" tracks my blood pressure, heart rate and rhythm, respiratory rate and the oxygen content of my blood. If any one of the those numbers gets outside of the set range during the course of my treatments, the monitor will blare incessantly. This is a frequent occurrence, but this is the one I don't mind as much, because this the machine that will alert the nurses that there is a problem if my heart starts beating too slow, my blood pressure gets too low, or I stop breathing.
Then there is my tunneled epidural catheter infusion. This takes two pumps to run, because I often need two pumps to break my severe contractures. This one usually only alarms when the medication cassette is empty. It can beep for hours, so this one gets on my nerves easily.
The fourth machine is the pump that runs my fluids through my PICC line. Whenever the line kinks, my PICC manages to get blocked or stop working completely, or I run out of fluids, the pump screams. This is the pump that goes off the most often. It always seems to be the most temperamental pump.
Last but not least, the fifth machine is my ketamine pump that runs my pain relieving medication that my battered body so desperately needs. This pump cries once every 8 hours until the nurses change the cassette.
My dad, being a doctor,has always said that my pumps "sing". I always laughed and played along with him until the pumps blared for what seems like hours in the middle of the night. It wakes me up and probably managing to disturb half of the floor. I have always whined and complained about my cranky pumps, until I realized one thing. These pumps are literally lifesavers. I wouldn't be here without them and they allow me to get back to my life outside the hospital walls. I am forced to fight my hardest inside the four walls of the ER, the operating room, the recovery room, and the room on the regular floor. So when the pumps "sing", that song is my fight song and the pumps are cheering me on!
I am a 20 year old junior at the college of my dreams. I am studying Emergency Medicine and Communication Rhetoric and minoring in the Administration of Justice and National Preparedness and Emergency Management certificate. At some point, I want to go and get my paramedic certification when my health allows. I have several chronic illnesses and this blog and website serves as a place for me to share my journey fighting CRPS and my other conditions. I hope that this blog can also serve as an outlet for raising awareness for rare diseases. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy! Feel free to comment; I'd love to know what you think!