This is part 2 of the whole ‘hospital week’ ordeal. If you need to catch up, check out the first post here.
So, yesterday I left it that Andi was home resting on meds and I went home to sleep sure it would only be a matter of time before she was back to her old self again.
I was wrong.
I slept the day away and when Thursday came, I was not ready for it. My body just does not like it when I don’t get the right amount of sleep at the right time and even though I’d slept pretty much all of Wednesday away, I was still feeling pretty foggy. I didn’t want to get out of bed, let alone go to work. But, I did get up and headed into work and got what I needed to get accomplished done. Just slower than normal. “Email? What? Oh, yeah – click the thingie… make something something…”
I explained to a couple people from work what had happened and why I’d been out the day before / missed the company BBQ (d’oh). I kept up on Andi’s Twitter feed and texted her – she was still in pain. Said the meds weren’t doing much for her. She said she needed groceries, so we planned for me to come get her and we’d go together and get whatever she needed.
By the end of work Thursday, she wasn’t feeling up to going anywhere. It still hurt to move, to breathe and all she wanted to do was lay in bed. She suggested that she would make a list for me if I were willing to go and do the shopping for her – I agreed, then left work and headed out to her place.
On the drive, I called the ER at Exempla Lutheran again. I spoke to a nurse who was very kind. She put me on hold, got Andi’s chart and started going over it with me. I explained that she was still in a lot of pain and I was trying to decide whether or not to bring her back into the ER. The nurse said that ‘they’ (the ER folks from before), had done ‘extensive testing’ and it really was a urinary tract infection, which can be very painful. She said that we needed to give the antibiotics 48 hours to do their job. “If after 48 hours she is still in pain,” she said, “bring her back in.”
All right – I had medical advice on the subject and I took that advice to Andi. We agreed to wait it out and see if it got any better. I took her list and did her grocery shopping.
When I came back to her apartment, she ate a banana and drank some juice, which I took to be good signs. She still didn’t want to get out of bed though. I stayed late, played with her animals, walked the dog – basically gave them some human interaction since she wasn’t able to do much for them, and I noticed that the dog hadn’t been able to wait to go out – there were accidents. They needed to be cleaned up. I did a cursory clean up, but I needed stuff to do it right. Cleaning stuff. Pet odor type cleaning stuff. I put that on the mental clipboard for Friday. I left there late – I want to say midnightish?, went home and got some sleep. BTW, it didn’t occur to my brain to look around for cleaning stuff. This is the dork that I am when I’m not getting enough sleep.
Friday came way too fast. Again, I went into work. I texted throughout the day and the pain wasn’t any better, so we decided it was time to get her back to the ER – managed that around 5:30 Friday afternoon.
We were in the ER til 11:30 PM.
There was more testing, more taking of blood and urine, same as before. The difference is that I was able to go back with her right away so I could offer a hand to hold or claw, whichever was needed at the time. We had a better doctor this time around, and only the one – not two countermanding each other. He listened, he asked good questions and he decided to go ahead and do an ultrasound. He brought in a portable machine and decided that he saw something that warranted a ‘real’ ultrasound, so he ordered it. He also ordered more/better pain meds and an IV.
…and we waited.
I’ve come to the realization that nothing happens quickly in a hospital. Not unless you are bleeding out on the floor right in front of them, and even then they’ll take a moment to ask you your name, birth date and pain level. Twice.
The ‘real’ ultrasound… To say it was painful seems not to do it justice. My friend was in agony. All I could do was hold her hand. That was the bad. The good was that they found the source of her pain: her gallbladder. It was ‘full of stones’ and had to come out. But that’s an outpatient thing now – do the surgery, three dots and an incision, badda bing badda bang and you are home resting the same day.
Great! Fantastic! Let’s get r done!
…remember that bit about nothing happening in a hospital ‘quickly’ unless you’re bleeding out? Well, they could not remove her gallbladder that night; it would have to be first thing in the morning, so they were admitting her overnight.
This did not go over well.
As someone who has a lot of trouble sleeping in hotels when I travel, I completely understood Andi not feeling comfortable with the thought of spending the night in the hospital, but we really had no alternatives. In the hospital, they could give her pain meds and antibiotics and keep her hydrated, so they admitted her at 11:30 and we went up to her room, 566.
I waited around until she got settled in. I knew she wasn’t going to relax, so ‘settled’ was the best we could hope for. I made more phone calls throughout the evening, letting family know what was going on and what the plan was and eventually, how to call her directly on the room phone. I setup the room radio for 99.5 the Mountain so she had some tunes, then I left around 1:30 and headed back to her apartment. I bought a bottle of water from a vending machine on the way out because, like Andi, I hadn’t had anything to eat or drink since 5 pm; it was frozen solid. Epic fail and no more change/singles to try again. At her place, I guzzled water, took the dog for another walk, noticing more accidents, cleaned up what I could, then headed home.
I scarfed down 2 cold, meatloaf sandwiches around 2:15 with a glass of milk, then crashed again.
Saturday would be surgery and home. More on that tomorrow.