Sunday, October 3, 2010
Mama's in the hospital.
Here she is in August, 2009.
Y'all know that she's had two blood transfusions this year, one in January and one in June. On Sept. 21 her rheumatologist who is treating her for the Sjogren's said he wanted her to go to a hematologist to see if that doc could figure out why/where she keeps losing blood. That appointment was Friday, and he wants her to go to a GI doc for tests, plus he said she needed another blood transfusion which he scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday.
Leland took us there on Saturday and picked us up at 4:30 p.m. after she had two bags of blood transfused. About 2:30 p.m., well into the 2nd bag and after a short walk to the bathroom, she became somewhat short of breath which we attributed to her lack of oxygen brought about the lack of blood--we felt that this would soon not be happening to her, this shortness of breath, once the blood transfusion was ended and began to make a difference in the oxygen available to her muscles.
Anyway, she made it home OK, took a long nap in her recliner and ate a little supper. By 9:30 p.m., we decided it was time to hit the hay. At 1 a.m. Sunday, she woke me from a sound sleep, saying "I can't breathe! My stomach's so swollen, too." Well, she could breathe, but with great difficulty. I went to the bathroom, threw on my clothes and called 911, in that order because they get here so fast that I was afraid I'd not be ready for them otherwise. The two guys checked her out, put her on the stretcher and somehow got it and the two of them into our 1920's era elevator. I walked down to the first floor and rode in the passenger seat to the hospital. On the way she had a breathing treatment and some nitro and lasix. In the ER at Oregon Health and Sciences University (a new hospital to us but the best one that time of the night for what was going on with her the EMT said), she had more help for the breathing, was x-rayed chest and abdomen, had blood drawn for numerous tests including cultures to check for pneumonia. The ER docs knew she had lots of fluid around her lungs and wondered if she had pneumonia but couldn't tell from the x-ray because the fluid was in the way. So they started antibiotics and continued with breathing help using some sort of mask that pushed oxygen in more forcefully than the normal cannula set up does.
Needless to say, we were both exhausted as time passed, her trying to doze on the bed, me in a chair. At 6 a.m. I got directions to food, found out it was on the 3rd floor and that we were on the 8th floor in the ER. 8th floor! We had come from the ambulance on the street straight into the ER and we were on the 8th floor? That gives you an idea just how steep Marquam Hill is--that's the name of the geographical area where OHSU is, itself a massive campus of hospitals, offices, teaching buildings, you name it. So I went to get some breakfast which was decent, thank goodness. Then I came back to the ER where we waited some more, trying to rest, as the docs decided which sort of room to send her to--one with lots of monitoring or one without it. Since her EKGs did not show heart attack and she was improving somewhat, we ended up in a part of the hospital called 5A Medical Unit.
The nurses and aides are nice. The hospitalist doctor is nice. He explained that the main thing he wants to do is find out what caused the sudden onset of the fluid. There's even some in her abdomen. Maybe it was connected to the blood transfusion which of course adds fluid to the system. Maybe her lungs were adversely impacted by the blood transfusion which happens some times and usually rights itself in four to five days, he said.
After we had been in the room for a couple of hours, she got breakfast, more like at lunch time. She managed to eat some of it OK, she got some Bumex intravenously--it's a diuretic. She was on oxygen just like she is at home. I was having more and more trouble staying awake and knew that I needed to head home soon. Both Lamont and Leland had to work on Sunday--Lamont at his usual 11 to 12 hour Sunday at 3 Doors Down Cafe, Leland at Provvista's customer appreciation warehouse open house--so I left around noon to find the bus stop and get a ride home. By 1 p.m. I was here, able to eat lunch and take a nap.
After sleeping for a few hours, I've talked to Mama on the phone, and she still sounds a little short of breath, she was able to eat some of her supper and she's getting lots of fluid off by heading to the bathroom often, with the help of a nurse or an aide. I will go to work on Monday if nothing big happens tonight. I want to save my time off for the day she comes home and probably the day after. She agreed that made more sense than having me take time off to sit in the hospital room.
Anyway, I'm going to go now and eat some supper and wait about an hour before I go back to sleep.
It will be tomorrow evening before I write again unless something really changes.
Y'all pray for us, please.
Thank you. Love you.