Friday, February 26, 2010

The Week that Wasn't

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.

14 comments:

Jayne Martin said...

I'm so sorry. What an awful lot of crap to have hit you all at once. Big hugs... Jayne

Serendipity said...

Sounds like you are having a rough time of it, I hope you both feel better soon. Stopping by from SITS :)

ReformingGeek said...

Ick! Sorry to hear that your week was this frustrating. Take care.

Tam said...

What a horrible week you've had. I'm pulling for both of you to get better and be home together SOON!

Eva Gallant said...

Goodness. No one should have to go through all that. Hugs and prayers headed your way.

Chris said...

Sorry to hear you both had such a hard week. Good luck at NIH.

Debbie said...

Wow. You guys really had a tough week. I hope you don't mind if I put you both on my personal prayer list.

Come link your blog to our Arkansas Bloggers group that is forming. There are absolutely no obligations...just a way for us to be aware of others in Arkansas who are blogging. arkansasbloggers.blogspot.com

A 2 Z said...

Good grief! What a week! Where do you get your energy to blog or does blogging act as a "diary" maybe? Lots of hugs and tale care. You will be in my prayers!

zodiblog said...

That sounds like the week from hell. It’s only going to get better from here though. At least you got the better news and he doesn’t need bypass surgery!

You really have a cat on an IV?

e said...

Hugs to both of you...I hope NIH goes more smoothly. As for Nurse Ratchett, been there, seen that too many times to count! I hope she retires soon...

TraciLopez said...

Oh no! I am so sorry to hear that you guys are going through this. You both are in my prayers.

Thank you for taking time to comment on my blog, I see totally where you are coming from. You are so right, in the grand scheme of things who cares if we agree on tastes that change. Thank you for helping me to keep things in perspective.

Unknown Mami said...

That sounds awful. I'm sorry that the nurse was such a jerk! Sending you positive thoughts.

Tori Cooper said...

Wow... what a rough week. Sheesh, I hope everything goes well with your NIH visit this week! :-)

I wanted to comment about your first paragraph about your workshop- "Uplift after loss"- WAY COOL! I just recently joined a weekly group called "celebrate recovery" similar to the above- each person dealing with a different issue- all women! I never thought I would ever join a support group but I'm so glad I did and have a deeper respect for people who attend one or facilitate one! We usually do the same- cry then laugh! Anyhow, You go girl!

I really do enjoy reading your entries, I hope to hear more after you get back from your trip! Safe Travels! P.S. prayers sent out for you and Excy

Cheri Pryor said...

I've had so many horrible experiences with hospitals/doctors during the many visits there due to my husband's issues. After his last surgery I couldn't contain myself and was about to blow up at the next person who walked in the room. My husband sent me out to get him something to read just to get my mind off the HORRIBLE lack of attention we were receiving post-op. As in, none.

I constantly pray for patience and grace. The problem with that is you will receive many opportunities to practice both. lol!