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» Wednesday, March 21, 2018The Rest of the Medical Saga
So we cooled our heels in the hospital all weekend, with a welcome visit from the Spiveys on Sunday. Picked up some barbecue pork for myself at Publix on Friday with a cheap bottle of sauce so I could have a decent dinner for three nights. Sure better than the peppered meats downstairs.
Monday I was at Northside early so that I could be there when James went down for his permcath. He was out of the room for almost two hours, although he said the actual procedure took no time at all. Then he could finally have some lunch and then later he went downstairs for dialysis for the first time since last Monday. I read Space Helmet for a Cow, volume 2, and dozed off and woke up, and read some more.
And after that they let us go home. Yes, at night.
This wasn't without its peculiarities. He had the Foley catheter removed on Sunday. Unfortunately, since that time he had not made any water at all, so the Kaiser liaison doctor was very firm that he would have to have another put in before he left. This didn't make him very happy, but she was worried about urine buildup in the bladder again, which seems to be what caused this whole debacle, so I wasn't going to argue with that and neither was he. However, they had his discharge papers all made out when he got back from dialysis, and there were no orders for a catheter before he left. When we mentioned this to the nurse, she said she had orders just to do a bladder scan, which she did, and this revealed his bladder was empty. If bladder was empty, no catheter.
I had packed up most of the stuff while he was downstairs, so we managed to beat the rainstorm pending all day, but, alas for Tucker, not for his walk. We got very wet, and he pee'd and dragged me back inside. Anyway, James and I weren't up very long—just long enough for Snowy to get some attention and Tucker to attach himself to James. I took a shower and James had a sponge bath, and we collapsed in a nice comfortable bed and slept with no bonging IV drip alarms and people waking you up at 3 a.m to see how you are doing.
James was exhausted when he got up Tuesday and this made him very apprehensive. Except for Friday and Saturday, he hadn't felt that bad the whole time he was in the hospital. Now, basically to get him out of there before the storm broke—and what a storm! the damage reports on television looked like the aftermath of a battle in some places—he had decided to skip eating the supper they brought for him. We had no dish to put it in, and took it home in the plastic drinking tumbler they give everyone, but he didn't want it when we got home, just to go to bed. He hasn't been able to get around much, not like the last two times he was in the hospital and we would go walking the halls, because his knees are very bad now, so we'd only gone for a short walk around the corner to the elevator twice, and a couple of days when he was using the toilet, so he'd pretty much been in bed a solid eleven days. The stairs alone knackered him.
But he'd expected to wake up a little more refreshed and he wasn't, and unfortunately we had errands to run. We had to stop at Kaiser for his new prescription, something to rid his body of phosporus while he is on dialysis, then we went up to the dialysis clinic to scope it out and ended up filling out the endless forms, and finally we stopped at Publix to pick up a couple of things. He had eggs for breakfast, and a little less than half of his supper from last night for lunch, and we had pork chops for supper, and as the day went on, he felt better, until he was pretty much his old self by nightfall, cheered up by two episodes of Forged in Fire that he hadn't seen. I am guessing he was weak from lack of nutrition.
Through the entire day we were waiting for the Mythical Visiting Nurse. You see, the Kaiser doctor from Northside called this morning, annoyed as hell that he had not gotten the catheter. She talked to us, then called around, and a visiting nurse was supposed to come by and fit him for one, and we basically worked all our errands listed in the paragraph above around waiting for the call that this nurse was on her way. Well, we got called by the visiting nurse supervisor, but we never saw the nurse. First they were confirming our address, then they asked if we had any supplies (James told them that up-front no, that we had no supplies), and finally it was like 5:30 and the Kaiser doctor was back on the phone, frustrated—I guess the nurses don't come that late. But instead she had made us an appointment with a urologist tomorrow morning at 9:15. He would do the job, which I preferred anyway, since the original one hadn't worked out so well. In the meantime, James had been urinating all day. Granted, not a lot, but he was going on his own. We both couldn't help thinking it was a shame to ruin it.
So this meant we had to get up this morning at o'dark thirty (since some moron messed with the clocks last week and now it's pitch dark practically until eight) so we could have breakfast and walk Tucker before driving across town in rush hour traffic for the appointment, since it was at Glenlake, probably the worst-placed Kaiser location ever, next to Atlanta's infamous state route 400, the "GA 400" which is a whole lot slower than the Indy 500.
Well, turns out when we got there we did not see the doctor, but the nurse, who said that before any catheter would be inserted, he would take a bladder scan to see if there was an excess of liquid in it. This was the same scan the nurse did on James Monday night. The nurse found only 14ml of liquid in his bladder, and since James was offloading urine on his own, the urologist said the only reason that they would put one in would be if he had more than 150ml there. So, no catheter.
Plus when we got home we got a call from the clinic: did James want to come in earlier, like 2:30? Sure. We abandoned our plan to eat dinner—we are planning to eat dinners in the afternoon on dialysis days so we will not have to digest heavy food at nine p.m.—and he went off taking the bag they provided for him: comes with a travel pillow, blanket, and a set of headphones (not earbuds, real headphones) and his baby laptop and a book.
And so here I am catching up. We took something out of the freezer (can't tell if it's chicken or pork) and I'll make it with some mushroom rice, because that goes with everything. 😀 An hour ago I went to Kroger to get milk.
And I'm still wondering if Kaiser doctor from Northside is going to call back fretting about the catheter...