Tag Archives: hospitals

Another Suitcase in Another Hall

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When I selected “capacity” as my word for 2014, I didn’t mean it as a challenge to the universe. Evidently I was wrong.

Last I wrote in January, my husband was hospitalized for a week to have some minor surgery and a bone biopsy. Writing on Saturday, he was to be released the next Monday. He was, indeed, released, but the fun was just beginning.

Biopsy results were mixed, so he was put on 2 IV antibiotics and sent home with a PICC line. I had a crash course in administering the IVs and line care, and poof – we were on our own. Within 48 hours, I knew something was up, as I recognized the early stages/symptoms of the problems that started all of this last June. A consult with his home care RN and off to the emergency room we went on Thursday.

Once at the ER, the naive young nurse suggested this was something easy, a quick temporary fix and off home again he could send us. The attending physician was the same one who saw him when he came into the ER in June — he remembered him coding. He ordered a few more labs, and once the numbers started rolling in, admittance was a sure thing.

One of the antibiotics had caused a violent reaction, which damaged and subsequently shut down his kidney function. Completely. New antibiotics, a reaction to the second one, and a long wait for “normal” began. I kept commenting to doctors and nurses that it seemed like he was building up a LOT of fluid, but the party line was to wait. Interesting choice.

He was admitted on Thursday. The following Wednesday so much fluid had accumulated that he went into severe respiratory distress and ended up in coronary care on a ventilator for 2 days. Then they decided perhaps the fluid buildup was a problem and started medication — he lost 60 POUNDS of fluid in the next 8 days!

He has worked his way back, somehow amazingly retaining his sense of humor and unflagging patience. Tomorrow he gets transferred back to the rehab hospital where he spent last fall. This time we are hoping for a shorter stay amongst familiar faces.

Another weekend, another hospital room. I’m grateful to family and friends who have supported us on this incredibly long journey, to (most of) the doctors and nurses who have eased the path.

And with the recent snowfall adding to the winter fun, I wait for Spring.

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Saturday Night Live

Time is a figure eight, at its center the city of Deja Vu. ~ Robert Brault

Somewhere in the middle of the night last night, I dreamt that my mother and my mother-in-law were having coffee together. I’m not sure what prompted it, but I awoke with a feeling of warmth and comfort, as though they hugged me on the way out the door. I miss those hugs. It’s been only seven weeks since my mother-in-law passed away, nearly two decades since I lost my mother. Although they never met, I can certainly picture the conversations they were having in my dream, how talk of music and dancing and, of course, their children filled the time.

As I spend another Saturday night in a hospital, the sense of déjà vu cycles around again. My husband was readmitted on Monday and had (minor) surgery on Wednesday. Word from the doctor is that he should get to come home on Monday. So here I am, after many hours at his side, now watching him peacefully sleep the evening away, his gentle snoring comforting in its regularity. And on the television is Lawrence Welk.

Mom and I spent many hours watching the Lawrence Welk Show, both when I was a child and later, when my hospital hours were spent at her bedside those last two years she was alive. Familiar and harkening to happy times, the show brought her comfort and moments where she felt like “her old self,” as she would call it.

Tonight I feel that comfort, that sentimental familiarity cloak me for the hour of the show. Past and present, then and now tied up in a knot of the present. Another hospital, another Saturday night watching over someone I love. Another wunnerful, wunnerful Saturday night.

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