Sunday, June 1, 2008

Same stuff, different day

This makes hospitalization number 4 since February 18 - two foot surgeries, two episodes of congestive heart failure, and one episode of kidney failure (got to have this one in conjunction with his first trip to the hospital).

Since Ron's been on this new antibiotic he's had a few problems including some elevated blood pressure and some tightness in his throat after he takes it. He got sick enough the week before Memorial Day that we even stopped the medication for a few days. I started him back on it last Sunday. By Thursday he was feeling bad again and his blood pressure was creeping up. Friday he felt OK but not good. He didn't say anything to his visiting nurse so she didn't make any notations. Saturday morning he was very nauseated so he took some Pepto Bismal (that would make me hurl just because it's so nasty). A few minutes later that came right back up.

After a while he said he was feeling a bit better so he took his morning pills except for the Zyvox. About 15 minutes later he was vomiting again so I'm not sure how much stayed in his system. His blood pressure was 205/98 or something else equally disturbing. He ended up just going back to bed. Our little town was having their annual spring festival and he wanted me to go enjoy the afternoon so he didn't really tell me how badly he felt. I was gone about five hours and when I got home I could tell he was quite a bit sicker.

He said he'd called our family doctor and talked to the on-call doctor earlier. I said I was calling the kidney doctor instead. Of course, his was not on-call but the doctor who took my call said to take him to the ER to be checked out. Ron did not really want to go but I insisted that he at least go to be checked. By the time we got there he was pretty sick. We got into a room by about 6:50 and they started drawing blood, taking a urine sample, and chest x-rays. About 9:00 the ER physician's assistance came in to talk to us and examine Ron. She said she was going to consult with the ER doctor and they'd be back. A little bit later, he comes in and says that Ron is in heart failure again and that they're going to admit him.

We finally got to a room about midnight and poor Ron was really sick. The nurse on the floor was very compassionate and called the doctor (our family on-call doctor again) and got orders. One of the things they decided was to start a catheter (ouch) and give him Phenergan for the nausea. Man, within five minutes it was lights out for him! I'm so glad because it helped him not remember the catheter part of the night.

I left and got to bed about 1:30 this morning. At 6:30 this morning my phone rang and it was his nurse. She said Ron's heart rhythm had changed about 5:00 am and that she'd called the cardiologist again. The cardio doc said nothing by mouth until he was examined. They were thinking that Ron would have to have some kind of heart procedure today, and after I got there I discovered they were considering a pacemaker.

The cardiologist on-call was not from Ron’s doctor’s group so when she came in to see him she decided that she wanted to do a more conservative treatment and let his own doctor decide tomorrow what to do with him. She said his sinus arrhythmia could have been caused by a number of things, infection in his foot being a primary concern. She did not want to rush into putting in a pacemaker today if the cause of the problem was something other than a true heart problem. She also said that because his platelet count is low he might have trouble clotting and the infection in his blood stream could deposit an infection at the pacemaker site. Also, he’s anemic and that’s another concern. She had the lab do some more blood work and determined he did not have a heart attack during the night, as was the initial concern. She’s also ordered some testing on his thyroid as that can also cause irregular heart beat. Finally, since he’s not getting enough oxygen (as another possibility) she put him on oxygen today.

The heart doctor, infection doctor, and foot doctor should all come to see him tomorrow. I plan on going in as early as I can drag my tired rear out of bed and into the hospital. I stayed until a little after 9:00 tonight and then had to get gas on the way home. I didn’t want to have to do it in the morning when I know I’ll already be rushing.

This is sure tiring. I honestly don’t know where I’d be without my faith. I am physically just drained and not sure how much more in my own self I could take. If I had no responsibilities I think I’d be tempted to just get in my car and run away. But I love my family and I would miss them, so I wouldn’t do that.

The financial aspect is another thing that just goes through my head over and over. If he does this, I can do that; if he has to do this, I'll have to do that. What can I pay this on, who do I owe that to, etc. It's not something that I'm worried about or stressing over, but it's something that I have to be totally aware of and in control of all the time. I just can't let it get ahead of me or I'll get behind on things and totally lose sight of how to survive all this.

Keith was in the room this morning when the doctor was asking questions and talking about different things. After she left he asked me how I possibly keep all those details of what, when, where, and how straight in my mind. I don’t know – the grace of God I suppose. I just rattle off the facts.

I’d like to go to bed right now but I know I’m still not relaxed enough to sleep. I don’t dare take anything because I have to get up by 5:00 so I can get to the hospital by 6:00. I need to try and get to work by 9:00 so I can leave by 5:00 to go back to the hospital. My SIL said it sure was nice that my work was able to “give” me so much time off. LOL, it’s not like they’re “giving” me anything. I’m taking leave without pay for every hour I’m off with him. I don’t know what she thought I’ve been doing for nearly four months – playing tiddly-winks or what. Stupid woman. LOL, I mean that with all the love in my heart that I can muster tonight.

I think I'm just really tired. I'm tired of having to think so much and having to keep track of so much. I don't want my kids to think I'm dumping on them (and I know at least two of them read this) so I'm really not complaining.

So, that's all the wonderful news from our household. Maybe I'll get to post something more positive tomorrow. We can always pray so.

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