Friday, March 14, 2008

Day four

It is now Friday, and we are becoming quite the regulars in the emergency department. Last night we received our first good news: the doctor looked at Greg’s leg and declared that he was not concerned. He saw that it was improving and felt it would improve at an increasingly rapid rate. Not that we could stop the IV antibiotics, but we were moving in the right direction.

Did I say something before about graduating to oral antibiotics? That still seems to be off in the future. Apparently you need to be sort of gradually weaned off the IV onto the pills. They don’t like to take chances. We are now hoping that by the end of the weekend we’ll be weaning off the IV.

The good news is that home health care has now been arranged to start Saturday morning at the house. Surprisingly, it’s cheaper to have someone come to your house than for you to go to the ER. The downside is that home health care won’t come after 8pm. We have been at the hospital since before 10 this morning and this dose (each dose now takes a full two hours to administer, Greg receives the benadryl in advance, every time, so gets incredibly groggy and can’t speak up for himself and can’t drive, requiring both of us to be here) is scheduled to be finished at about 3pm. It’s been a long day. Anyway, as the doses are supposed to come every 12 hours, 8pm is much too soon to begin the next dose.

So, the bad news is that we will be coming back to the ER tonight around midnight for what I sincerely hope is our last visit. The kids spent the night last night at the neighbors since we were in the ER from 5pm to past 10pm (and they were up at 5:30am when we dropped them off at the neighbors for the morning dose). I haven’t been able to regularly pick them up from school. Someone else will have to pick them up again today. We call Felicity about tonight and she plans to come and sleep over while we spend who knows how long in the ER on a rollicking Friday night.

It’s great to see Fe but I wish I could be more of a host. I am feeling exhausted. Up at 5am, 8hrs a day in the ER, in bed at 10 or 11. Tonight it will be get up again at 11:30. I would love to stay up and hang out with her, but think I should sleep until 11:30 instead. We have dinner around 7pm and at 8 I am ready to go to bed when Greg points out that the IV antibiotics for the weekend’s doses have yet to be delivered. I call to find out what the scoop on that is. The good news is that they will still be delivered, the bad news is that the driver won’t be able to get here until 10pm and that we have to sign for them. No problem, Fe can sign for them. But no, it has to be one of the “insureds” who signs for them. Why is it that the meds can be delivered at 10pm but no one can come administer them and we have to go to the ER anyway? Uggh, we have definitely moved now from the wait-and-see phase to a new phase where things are improving, but getting really annoying: the pain-in-the-butt phase.

So it looks like bed at 8, up again at 10, then to the ER again from 11:30 to 3. Then a doctor’s appointment at 9am with his regular doctor (who will be supervising the home care). I am realizing that the caregiver has to be extra careful to take care of themselves. Between all these appointments and the kid’s needs and schedules, I haven’t had much time to rest.

Several extremely annoying (to me) things then happen:

We were under the impression we would see Greg’s regular doctor on Friday morning at 9:30. Nope, the appointment was for Saturday, a fact that was obvious to the scheduler (as the doctor is not in on Friday or Sunday), but news to us. When we asked for an appointment on Friday, then were told the Doctor was not in on Friday or Sunday, then told to wait, then asked if we would like to come in at 9, 9:15, or 9:30, we didn’t realized she was talking about Saturday. That would have been a nice detail to confirm.

The ER does not have the medication ready on Friday night at midnight, even though I asked the nurse about 4 times that afternoon if it would be ready and she reassured me when we left that it was ready and waiting for our return that night, saving us about an hour of waiting. When we get to the ER, the new nurse can’t find it and has to reorder it. It only takes about 20 minutes this time, but so unnecessary! “If only we knew you were coming,” she says. They KNEW we were coming, someone blew it.

We return to our doctor’s appointment on Saturday, ready to finally graduate from the ER, wean off the IV antibiotics, and have someone––one person––who knows the whole history––follow the case from now on, only to be told that Greg’s regular doctor is out. Again. I am a weeping mess by this point. Another mess up. She is sick, but still, we have to start fresh yet again with a new person. Maybe we should have just seen this person on Friday in the first place. What is the value of a regular physician? When the chips are down, you really want to know there is someone there you can rely on. It’s not to be.

But on the positive side, things are looking up.

1 comment:

cda said...

Sending you ALL extremely BIG and SINCERE hugs. I hope things really are better now--are you in California for the surgery. Go, Greg! Go, Jen! With tons of love, Cathy