Thursday, January 3, 2019

Starting with a Bang

The new year is starting out on an interesting note.

Ned went home in the middle of the day, he had been here 2 days and his plan was to go home and stay for the night and then return at some point today.

As they are fond of saying in A.A. "If you want to see God laugh, tell her your plans."

Around 3:45 Walt came in with a thermometer in his hand and told me that his fever was 102.  Given that his normal temperature is 96, 102 is very high.  I'm sorry that I didn't look at the thermometer to see if it was really that high.  But his post-op instructions said that if his temp got to 100, he needed to see the doctor, so I called the Kaiser advice nurse.

I got the nurse screening person, who passed me on to the nurse, who went to check with the doctor about what to do and all agreed that he should go the the Emergency Room immediately.  Kaiser is 20 miles away on Hwy 80 and I had not yet driven on the freeway since I started driving again, so I was a tad nervous.  I also knew that since he was the point person on Walt's health, I had to call Ned, though I felt so guilty doing so.  He needed a break.

But he got into his car and I got into our car and braved the freeway.  Not only was it (a) the freeway, (b) rush hour, and (c) at sunset with the sun in my face the entire way, I managed not to kill anybody and arrived at Kaiser, where I dropped him off and went to find parking, realizing that I had forgotten to bring any walking assistance ... no walker, no cane.  I managed to find a spot that was close and I could hang on to the other parked cars until I got to the hospital, then I took a wheelchair to push and use as a walker.

We sat and waited awhile and Walt finally got up to go to the bathroom.  Wouldn't you knw that within 2 minutes they called him and I had to go to the men's bathroom to call out to him.  They took him right into the ER and first thing they wanted was a urine sample, which he had just left in the public bathroom.  They postponed that until later.

The plan was to test everything.  I don't think there is a single part of his body that was not tested.  He had blood tests, urine tests, fecal tests, CT scan, ultrasound.  if there was a test they could do, they did it.  Ironically, they had to catheterize him to get urine and then found his bladder empty....this from the man whose main problem lately is incontinence!

In addition to test, we had a surgical physician's assistant, a surgeon, and a couple of ER doctors checking in on him and lots of nurses.   And of course, everything done took time for the results to come in.

At 10, our primary nurse, Nichole, came in to introduce us to the nurse who would "take care of us" for the hour she was at lunch.  Groan.  That put our potential departure at 11 p.m.  She was back at 11 p.m., but there was still the CT scan to get.
Ned couldn't resist the availability of a white board and felt pen to draw his famous "guy."

They finally decided he probably had a UTI (urinary tract infection) and gave him an IV antibiotic and a prescription for oral antibiotic to take over the next two days.

He also needs to see his two surgeons -- the guy who did the hernia surgery and the guy who did the prostate surgery, to make sure everything is OK.  Today he had an eye appointment, which he had to cancel.

Dr. Kim, the primary ER doctor, came in to explain what they discovered which is here:

Got that?

It was 2 a.m. when we got home and all 3 of us collapsed.  I wasn't even aware when Walt finally climbed into the recliner and I didn't see any of the night-long golf on the TV.

Now we have to see if any of what they did was significant and if it helps.  And if with all this closeness and not much escape, Ned, Walt and I can keep from killing each other.  I have 3 shows to review this weekend and that should help.  Fortunately, all 3 are in Davis, so I don't have to drive on the freeway.

My poor mother.  I haven't been to Atria in a week and the last two times I saw her she was sound asleep.

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