Wednesday, July 30, 2014

There's No Place Like… the Hospital

I'm pretty sure I should have just stayed in bed yesterday.  It didn't begin particularly well, and it ended… well, it hasn't ended yet.  Technically, I suppose it has, but it certainly hasn't seemed like it.

I could get into all the ugly details of everything that happened before Tuesday evening, but I won't.  Suffice it to say that while some parts of the day were good - visiting a friend in the hospital with ongoing issues and hanging with another friend at the pool while the kids played in the water - other bits were not so great, like losing the car in the massive hospital parking garage and causing the pool to be shut down because Doodlebug accidentally kicked Boo square in the nose and caused blood to gush everywhere.

Anyway, the real fun started after the kids went to bed.  A few days ago - I remember it being Saturday - Oz mentioned that he was having fairly strong stomach cramps.  Since his digestive system is temperamental at the best of times, he chalked it up to either something he'd eaten or some supplements that weren't agreeing with him.  So he stopped taking the supplements and assumed it would go away.

It didn't.

By Sunday evening, he was taking painkillers for the issue, and then… then on Monday evening, the pain began to change.  He didn't say anything to me, but the pain began to move and localize… in - where else? - the right lower quadrant of his abdomen.

On Tuesday evening, he admitted the movement and localization of the pain to me, and he didn't seem particularly well.  His appetite had been affected for several days, and he'd lost 10 pounds, though since it had been a couple of weeks since he'd weighed himself and he had been going to the gym, we're not sure how quickly that had come off.  Anyway, I insisted that he take his temperature, and while it was only 98.8, I know that to him that's at least a full degree of fever.  I had him take it again throughout the evening, and it rose to just under 100 degrees and stayed there.  The pain level rose with it, and by the time it was 11:30 and he went to brush his teeth and take a shower, nausea had appeared as well.

Shortly thereafter, he told me he wanted to go to the ER to get checked out.  So at 11:48 p.m. I began calling people looking for childcare.  Oz drove himself to the hospital, and once I was able to find someone whose phone rings after certain hours in the evening - mine doesn't, so I certainly understand -  I woke the kids and piled them in the car and sped across town to drop them off with an incredibly wonderful family.  (And yes, they went back to sleep once they got there and slept till sometime around 8, which is excellent!)  Then I took off to the ER after Oz.

By the time I got to the hospital he'd been triaged and had blood work drawn, and shortly after my arrival he had a CT scan of his abdomen.  And then we waited.  And waited.  And waited.  And about the time that I was about to lose my mind because it was 4 a.m. and there were two televisions playing two different channels and small children crying and people talking and I just needed peace and quiet and Oz was about to send me home to sleep until something happened, he got a room.  And 15 minutes after that, the PA on call came in, listened to him, and said (and I paraphrase), "Yup.  It's your appendix.  The doctor will be in shortly."  And he was, and he'd seen the CT scan results and said (and I paraphrase), "Yup.  It's your appendix.  And it's ugly, so I'm getting the trauma surgeon on call to come and tell you what the plan will be, but likely surgery and likely first thing in the morning."  And by the time the trauma surgeon came in and confirmed everything and gave us a tentative surgery time of 7:15, it was 5:15, and there was no point in going home, was there?

Things moved reasonably quickly after that.  Oz had a chest x-ray and an EKG, and as the EKG was being done someone came to schlep us to an actual private room, and so about 5:50 a.m., approximately 22 hours after I had awakened, we finally arrived in a room.  It was glorious.  I'm not sure how we scored the giant room that we did, and I'm sure that will show up reflected on the hospital bill later, but I was not an am not arguing.  I settled into the first comfortable chair of the night and answered questions about Oz's health (because all the gods love the man, he didn't even contemplate sleep apnea and his CPAP as being a health issue and couldn't remember his blood type and couldn't remember how high his temperature had risen throughout the evening) while half asleep.  And the nurse tech brought in pillows and blankets, and when they came to get Oz for surgery at 6:40 a.m., I was tucked in.

Of course, that meant that at 6:45 a.m., just as I was drifting off to sleep, the texts began.  I had been updating Facebook throughout the course of the night to let people know what had been happening, and some of my friends are early risers.  They were all well meaning and wanting to help, but I couldn't help wanting to chunk the phone into the wall when it buzzed.  I didn't, though, and responded to them all, grateful for such a wonderful group of friends who were willing to help.  Most of them offered to take the kids or run errands or visit or just do absolutely anything that I needed.  I could never say thank you to them all properly - I have so many favors to return as it is!  I did doze, though, and shortly before 9 a.m., the doctor who performed the surgery came in to let me know what had happened with Oz.

Oz is fine.  I'll say that first.  But the surgery was, in the surgeon's words, "a tough case."  Oz's appendix had indeed perforated and was releasing infection into his abdomen, and that all had to be suctioned out before anything else could be done.  After that, the appendix itself had to be removed, and it was "stuck" inside some inflammation and the end of it was abscessed to begin with, so that took time.  And then the whole abdominal area had to be flushed.  At this point the plan is IV antibiotics today, another round tomorrow, and we'll see how his white blood cell count and fever stands after that.  I suspect he'll be fine and ready to go home on Friday morning, but we shall see.  I'm hopeful.

I spent the day organizing places for the kids to go; actually, that's not quite true. I have two amazing friends who conspired together and commandeered my children, so all I had to do was pack bags for them and they organized all the transportation themselves.  I did talk to the kids and let them know that Daddy is okay, but I haven't seen them since midnight and it's starting to wear on me a little, mostly due to my own fatigue, I'm sure.  Anyway, I got them sorted and packed a bag for Oz to have at the hospital and spent most of the afternoon there before coming back home.

It's now 8:24 p.m., and I'm just a tad tired, as you can imagine.  I've run to the store, the animals are fed, I am fed, Oz is in good hands (and has had two bouquets delivered as well as several visitors throughout the evening), and the children are in good places.  It won't be long now before I let the dog out for the night and tuck myself into an actual bed for a good, long night's sleep.

I'll pick the kids up and let them see Daddy tomorrow, and then… well, I suppose it'll depend on what the doctor says.

I'm glad I can be there for Oz.  And I'm still so glad that I have such an amazing village of people willing to drop their own concerns and worries and rearrange schedules to help us out.  I'm so lucky.  And given the fact that Oz's issues could have been so much worse, I think he feels the same.

But I do believe I'm rather tired of hospitals for a while now…

2 comments:

Common Household Mom said...

Yikes! What a nightmare! I hope you can get some sleep. Also hoping for quick healing for the patient.

Gillian said...

Holy crap! Just reading that made me feel exhausted. I truly hope you are getting some rest now, and that your husband heals quickly.