Monday, May 04, 2015

Titanic day 3?

On Saturday, I was expecting to come home from work, take a nap, change into work clothes, and go out and with a wheelbarrow and shovel, fill up my four raised beds with the soil that had been deposited on my driveway. Instead, Ann told me that she was worried and having a hard time breathing. We decided to go to Instacare to have her checked out.

The physician on staff at Instacare had xrays done and Ann had pneumonia. He sent us to the emergency room. It was reminiscent of the time seven years ago when she caught pneumonia the first time. That time, she'd been sick (diagnosed as bronchitis), her doctor had given her some antibiotics and said, "if you're not better in a week come back in". The week was on Friday and she wasn't better, but we had decided to wait until Monday. It was nearly a fatal mistake. On that Monday back in '08, I knew she was bad and I got her right in to Dr. Olsen. He hooked up an oxygen monitor and when he saw the readings, he got white as a sheet. "At this point," he'd said, "we usually call the paramedics."

She had been rushed to the hospital. Her lungs, were filled with pneumonia to the point where there were only a couple of small slits that were pneumonia-free. She ended up being in the ICU for eight days, went into cardiac arrest a couple of times, had to have her lungs physically scraped out (fully awake, no less), and finally kicked it and left the hospital eleven days later.

Her recovery at home was with a lot of oxygen tanks being dragged around, and it was at the end of this recovery that she contracted rheumatoid arthritis, a disease in which the treatments cause the body's immune system to be severely compromised.

Fast forward to now. We took her in on Saturday night. The lungs weren't nearly as saturated with pneumonia as they'd been seven years previous. But her immune system isn't strong now either. She's currently on seven liters of oxygen and they won't let her come home until she's down to around two.

Saturday night I had told her that I was having some trouble of my own--a bladder infection, I thought. I was having the same symptoms that I'd had a couple of weeks ago when I had self-diagnosed myself as having kidney stones. This time heeding advice, I wanted to get it checked out. On Sunday, I spent the first few hours with Ann, then at two o'clock, I drove to the nearest Instacare to have my supposed bladder infection diagnosed. The doctor said after checking me out that I didn't have a bladder infection and that it was either diverticulitis or appendicitis and that I'd need to go to the ER to get it checked out.

After six hours and a CT Scan, I was diagnosed with diverticulitis and given prescriptions for antibiotics and pain killers. I was relieved to finally be able to go up to Ann's room and see how she was doing.

Meanwhile, Ann had been nine floors above worrying about me. The nurse there tapped into my vital information on the computer. I guess she could get current stats from the monitors I was hooked to below. "Your husband has a heart rate of 52," she said to Ann. "He's one healthy dude."

I felt good about that, when Ann told me, but that's insignificant at the moment. At the moment, all I want is her well and home.

1 comment: said...

I write this comment from Abby's hospital room, thinking about how weirdly parallel our health situations are, yours and mine. Ann and Abby both nearly died from pneumonia in 2008. Both are hospitalized again, though Abby appears to have a septic kidney infection. And both you and I are sick - I've been nurturing a nasty strep infection for the past week.

I guess the good news is that we are all getting the care we need. Good luck to us all.