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» Sunday, July 31, 2016The Rest of the Story
It took James' kidneys five, count 'em, five, days to recover from being stripped of fluid by the stupid "MoviPrep." One day was very bad because there is just so much time you can stay staring at a television with about ten decent channels, and then the channels don't offer anything good. I remember when you could count on the History Channel for good documentaries and the Discovery Channel would have something science-related or other interesting program. Now History seems to be American Pickers, Pawn Stars, or Mountain Men, and Discovery has endless reality series, especially the dreadful Naked and Afraid. We tried to play a game and got interrupted by the vitals squad, the vampire squad, and countless other hospitaly things. We tried to watch Murdoch Mysteries on Acorn TV and the program stalled out after eight minutes (the wifi is good enough for Facebook, but not for streaming). Even our books had lost their charm.
Finally in the morning the creatitine was down to 3.5, so they scheduled the stent for Friday at two. I had Aubrey Spivey do "reveille" with the fids so I could be there all morning. Finally they came and got him—and I had to stay behind because the stress flipped out my digestive system. I finally got downstairs a half hour later, to be set waiting in a plush little waiting room that looked like a doctor's office. Finally I got to go stand in a bleak hallway where James was wheeled out from the procedure room, looking a bit spacy, but not from being put out; he watched the whole thing and said it looked like a giant spider was attacking his heart.
The next few hours were really hard. His legs were involuntarily twitching from the restless leg syndrome and he had to keep the right leg still because they went into his heart through the femoral artery rather than through his wrist as in the original catherization. So I basically sat at the side of the bed holding his right knee down while he had these terrible leg cramps. They gave him some oxycodone for his back pain, which came back stronger than ever while lying flat, but it helped the leg cramps. He also had a small, localized pain in the chest area, and they called the doctor for it, but apparently this is common: the artery reacts to being stretched by the stent. It went away in a half hour, his blood chemistries remained the same, and his EKG was fine.
After almost four hours, a team came to remove the catheter from his leg. They had to pull it out and then one person had to keep pressure on it for thirty minutes. I was watching her and I did not see much blood, so they did a really good job! Then when they finished, he had to lie flat at least until after 10 p.m.!
I ran home to tend to the fids and take a shower during this time, and rushed right back. They let him stand up, finally, a little before 11 p.m. and he got a little dizzy, but we were told that was normal. I noticed that his blood pressure was very low (his systolic under 100) while the catheter was in, but the moment they took it out, he returned to normal.
Saturday was kind of a coasting day. The creatitine numbers were great; he had only gone up a tenth of a percent after the procedure (they used a minimum amount of dye, something like 15 percent rather than 55), and they asked that we wait one more day to make sure he didn't have a delayed reaction. I had brought James' colored pencils and an aircraft coloring book, and that's how he occupied most of the day and night while I divided my time between Two Crowns for America, a book of Doctor Who essays, and magazines on my tablet. The cafeteria actually had something decent for lunch, so I had that, and brought back tuna salad for a supper sandwich, which I made with part of the baguette I picked up at Publix yesterday when I bought milk.
I slept at home last night because the unfolding (and unyeilding) chair that becomes a bed has been doing absolutely rotten things to my back, not to mention the hard foam pillows vs. the arthritis in my neck. Of course, I ended up not sleeping well at all, including having a bizarre dream of having a kid take our vacuum cleaner and sell the parts to buy a video game. Er, what?
But, happily this morning, first one doctor came in and said James could go home, and then finally the other did, but he came so late that James had already ordered lunch. So we packed up slowly, and he took a long luxurious shower, and I went down to Au Bon Pain and had a last bowl of chicken noodle soup (I have had it up to here with soup and rotten salty food), and he ate lunch, and finally I went off to the car with the little shopping cart (which has already earned its keep) and picked up James at the back door.
This was around one o'clock, but we didn't get home until almost suppertime. First we decided to stop at Kroger with James' big new stack of prescriptions to see if any of them qualified for their $4/$10 prescriptions, only to be told they don't do that anymore! Well, this explains what happened with my own prescriptions, but why didn't they tell me they didn't do the program anymore? They only told me my two prescriptions didn't qualify anymore. While we were there we bought juice, Crystal Lite, and sugarless cookies for James and a few other things.
Then, in order to get the prescriptions filled, we had to truck all the way up to Town Center to the closest Kaiser office open on weekends. We got everything—of course the new heart medication is the most expensive!—except for the iron supplement they want him to take. They don't carry it. Walgreens doesn't either, but we can get it at CVS, for twice the price it is online. ::sigh::
If I was tired before, I was exhausted now, and it was already four o'clock. For a quick but not too salty dinner, we stopped at the closest Kentucky Fried Chicken to get some baked chicken. They were having trouble at the window and ended up basically ignoring it. I got in a snit and we tried instead to find a rotisserie chicken at the Kroger up the street, but of course at this hour they were all gone. So we slunk back to KFC, got the last six pieces of baked chicken (two miniature legs and four equally miniature wings). As James came back out with it, it started to pour and we had a nice brisk rainstorm and thunderstorm.
So, at quarter to five, we finally, finally got home.
I'd rather be sleeping, but we're watching television (with more channels, there's still nothing good on) and I'm washing my blanket for tonight.
Needless to say, Tucker is very happy to see his daddy, and Snowy has sung him a long complicated budgie epic.