Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Saga Continues

So, we waited in the trauma room until they got a room for him upstairs. Randy's sister arrived while we were waiting for a room. It wasn't long before they moved him, thank goodness.

He was alert enough by then to be complaining that he really wanted something to drink. However, because of his recent seizures, the doctor's orders were nothing to eat or drink for awhile. They did let me use some sponge swabs to moisten his mouth, which helped somewhat.

Randy's brother-in-law arrived and we filled him in on the happenings. While he and Randy's sister were there, I ran home to check on Meggie, take my medicine and eat a quick bite. I grabbed a few items I thought Randy might need in the next day or two and sent out a couple of quick e-mails.

It was 10:45 pm before the doctor came to see him in his room. That doctor confirmed the earlier diagnosis of cellulitis and amended the order to allow him to have food and drink. The nurse quickly brought him some ice and a Pepsi, along with his medication (which by this time, he hadn't had since breakfast). She also told him that a sub sandwich had been ordered and would be delivered "in a little while".

At midnight, the sub still hadn't arrived, so the nurse brought him some peanut butter on saltines to tide him over. The sub finally arrived at 1:00 am, by which time he really didn't care anymore. He nibbled a bit, and we settled down to try to sleep.

Ever try to sleep in a hospital? It's just ridiculous. You try to get adjusted to sleeping in a strange place; just as you doze off, someone comes in to check your blood pressure and temperature. They turn off the lights and leave; you doze off again and someone else comes in to draw blood. They turn off the lights and leave; you finally manage to doze off again and the IV thingee starts beeping because the fluid in it is running low and needs a new bag. Needless to say, it was a long night.

Because they were giving him antibiotics and medication to control his nausea, he was able to eat regular food all day Monday with no ill effects. He began to feel much better; the seizures did not return, thankfully. His leg still hurt if he put it over the side of the bed and was still red and warm to the touch. Otherwise, he seemed much improved. He was well enough, in fact, that I was comfortable leaving him alone in the hospital and going home to sleep that night.

I returned early Tuesday morning so that I could place the order for his meals for the day. He'd only had one big irritant during the night. His IV machine had started beeping in the wee hours, and the nurse didn't come to reset it for what seemed to be a very long time. The third time he hit the buzzer to ask them to come stop the beeping, he suggested that if they didn't come make it stop, he'd put it throught the window and they could go to the parking lot to reset it. That seemed to get their attention.

I ordered his meals and went to work. He called me several times during the day to report on his progress. They did a dopplar procedure on his leg to rule out blood clots, and all went well. At about 3:30 he called to tell me he was being released from the hospital. I left work at 4:00 and went to pick him up.

He was so happy to be getting out of the hospital; we went to Ryan's for dinner and he ate a good meal. I took him to my apartment so I could keep an eye on him; I actually felt they'd released him a little soon, but what do I know, right?

Sure enough, at midnight the vomiting began again. It continued nearly constantly until I decided at 1:00 am that we had to go back to the hospital. He was much too sick to get dressed, so I just put a robe over his pajamas and slippers on his feet and helped him to the car. I live less than 3 miles from the hospital, but Randy needed to use the small trash can we took with us before we arrived at the ER.

They put him in a trauma room, started an IV, and gave him nausea medication. They also gave him some more IV antibiotics. It was a ridiculously busy night in the ER, so it took a long time to get everything done. The doctor ordered blood and urine tests; when the results were back, he told me that he could put Randy back in the hospital or send him back home with nausea medication and let him rest there. I asked if it was safe for him to go home, and the doctor assured me that it would be fine.

We left the emergency room at 6:00 am Wednesday. I called in to the office to let Deb know what had happened. I took Randy back to my place and got him back in bed. I waited until Walgreen's opened at 8:00 and went to fill the prescriptions we'd received from the ER doctor. When I got back home, I began my day-long unsuccessful attempt to get some sleep.

It was just nuts. Before I tried to go to sleep, I made calls to Mom & Dad, to Randy's sister, and to the brothers I could reach. I told each of them that we'd had no sleep all night and were going to try to get some rest. All day long we'd no sooner doze off before someone would call. Around 2:00 pm I finally gave up. I told Randy that at 6:00 we were going to call everyone in his family and announce that we were turning off the phones at 8:00 pm. I told him that if there was an emergency, they could send someone to knock on my door.

It's amazing how great it can be to sleep all night long. Thursday morning I felt groggy because I'd slept so hard. However, I awoke to find Randy improved enough that I could go back to work. We talked several times during the day so that I could keep tabs on him, and other than being bored with the clear liquid diet, he was doing really well.

Friday dawned bright and beautiful. I had to run to the office to take care of a few things, but was back home before Randy was ready for breakfast. Even though the housework had really piled up that week, I suggested that we take the day and go to White Top Mountain. I did a few quick chores, and away we went. We stopped to pick up a box lunch in Damascus and drove to the top of the mountain. The photo on my Flickr site (see the box at the right) will show you just how gorgeous it was that day. What the photo doesn't show you is that on our way to the top of the mountain, we met one pickup truck and two vans coming off the mountain. However, once we got to the top, we didn't see a single human being there while we were having our lunch. The only sound was the buzzing of insects and the chirping of birds. It was just heavenly.

As we came off the mountain, we stopped at Beartree Campground for a quick tour. On the way back home, Randy suggested a stop by Dairy Queen, feeling the craving for a cone. We were tired when we got back home, but it had been a very lovely day.

Saturday was spent running errands and catching up a bit. Mom and Dad invited us to their house for a cookout on Father's Day. That, too, was a nice visit. All in all, we had a great weekend after a dreadful week.

Things seem to be looking up. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

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