Sunday: started co-facilitating a workshop 'Uplift after Loss.' Participants -- all women this time -- are there for a variety of issues from health, death, job loss, and depression. Spent the first hour teary eyed and the last laughing.
As we leave, someone who overheard our laughter, said "This is a grief group?!" All agree this will be a profound experience.
Monday: Excy goes in for an arteriogram to determine the extent of the heart surgery he needs this spring. We wait from 11 a.m to 1 p.m. He's hungry. I'm sore from sitting so long. Test reveals everything's as expected -- no by-pass needed, just aortic valve replacement. At 4 p.m. they get him up to walk before we leave. He's been flat on his back all day. Feeding your husband like a baby is odd. Holding a jar while he pees even more so.
When he gets back they discover his hematoma. He is told to get back in bed another 2 hrs. They place a 10 lb. sandbag on his thigh. This hurts. At 6 p.m., nothing's changed. He has to stay overnight for observation. This is a day-care facility and he's been on a gurney too short for him all day. We're pretty much alone by now except for one beleaguered nurse and a near-useless, loud-mouthed nurse's aide. When his feet hurt from dangling off the edge of the gurney I push a cart underneath them. By 10 p.m. his pain is severe and I'm tired of not getting any answers to my questions. Excy's groin has been poked and prodded so many times he's accusing them of allowing people to come in off the street to torture him. My usually sweet man is very surly and pissed. Morphine doesn't touch the pain. At 11 p.m. he has a CT and ultrasound to reveal small bleeds but nothing critical, despite the pain. Nurse Ratched, despite all the charm weapons in my arsenal just hasn't 'come around.' (To give you an example of her empathy, when Excy told her I had cancer and was leaving for NIH Sunday to see about when I needed to have surgery and then dialysis and a kidney transplant, she peered at me, blinked balefully, and said in a monotone, "Hope you have good insurance." I considered the irony of a nurse getting her own hematoma from an angry person wielding a cane). Through Darvon and Ambien he got to sleep. By midnight I'm home giving an IV to our geriatric cat.
Tuesday: They will do a procedure to shut down the blood supply to the hematoma, but he's hurting so they decide to put him under. Because he ate breakfast, he must wait until 1 p.m. I race through chores to get there by 1 p.m. They move him to a hospital room. By 5 p.m we are still waiting. He hasn't had anything to eat or drink since 8 a.m. The hematoma is getting bigger and angrier. So am I. I'm concerned that by the time they get around to him, it'll have gotten so bad the simple procedure will be ineffective. That the day staff will leave and a less-competent night staff will take their place. That he will get a headache from not eating or drinking......after repeated calls to speak with the doctor and radiologist they take him in. They end up giving him a local, so he didn 't need to wait all day anyway. The procedure works well. He's back by 6 p.m. Has dinner, finally. I leave at 10 p.m for home. At midnight he's out of bed and on his feet for the first time in two days.
Wednesday: He's waiting for an ultrasound to make sure all is 'normal.' The dr tells him this can happen to 'tall, skinny people with strong pulses.' Why they didn't take precautions against it we have no idea. He has the ultrasound at 11 a.m and all is well. I tell him to call me when he's discharged and I'll pick him up, as we are leaving for my hospital trip Sunday and have loads to accomplish before then. We get home around 5 p.m. Excy looks like he's been in a car accident. I have had my share of hospital bruises, but never like this. He is literally black. By tomorrow he'll be able to lift more than 8 lbs, and the dr swears he'll have no problems flying out Sunday.....
Sigh. Hospital hell. What an ordeal. We scheduled his heart surgery for April 19.