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» Sunday, January 26, 2020That Was the Week That Was - A Medical Review
Yeah, I just had to go open my yap on the 19th about how quiet January had been. Never open your big mouth about this kind of thing. Next thing we knew poor James was in the hospital for two days, precipitated by chest pain about 4:10 on Monday morning the 20th. He took two nitroglycerin and the pain lessened, but didn't go away, so we hotfooted it over to Emory St. Joseph (our first time there since Kaiser changed hospitals) and they did a battery of tests which indicated negative for a heart attack, but they admitted him anyhow, and did more tests. By the time rush hour started on the freeway (which was in eyeshot), the pain was gone and he was hungry and thirsty. He also had an x-ray and other things, and the Kaiser hospital doctor was all for rushing him into the cath lab and fixing that last capillary, but James demurred: the last thing he wants to do is go back on kidney dialysis and the contrast dye could easily push them over the edge. He told them to contact his cardiologist: if he wanted it done, James would willingly have the cath. So we had to wait for Tuesday for the verdict (the cardiologist was off for MLK Day). In the meantime we cooled our heels in the hospital, where everyone was super nice, especially the nurses Jasmine, Martha, and Lorrie, plus anyone who came to draw blood. Unlike at Piedmont, where we never saw any doctors and hardly any nurses, and the cleaning staff was surly, we saw two or three every day, from various departments, including the cardiologist.
(The only fly in the ointment in the entire stay was when I ran home after they admitted him to get his C-PAP machine. I'd left my two tablets in a carry case in the room because I saw no need to carry them home just to bring them back. While I was at home, the toilet in James' room flooded. They couldn't clear it, so they moved him to another room. About the time I was packing up to go home for the night, I asked about my carry case and my tablets. James said "Oh, we moved everything," and we started going through the stuff on the shelves in the cupboard. No carry case. Martha asked us what was wrong, and when we told her, she said, "Well, they've cleaned that room. If they found anything they should have turned it in, but I'll go check," and she came back with the case with my tablets. It was sitting in the chair where I left it; they'd cleared the toilet and "cleaned" the room and no one apparently noticed it. 😒 )
They finally decided to send James home Tuesday afternoon—by then his creatitine had climbed to 2.8 where it has held steady at 2.3-2.4 for months; they thought it was because he was dehydrated (well, of course, you nitwits: they only give you ice in the hospital now, not water, and they don't have pantries like Northside, where I could go get him a drink when he needed it). So they took him off his furosimide [diuretic] until he could see his GP and have his blood retested on Friday; it was permissible for him to start re-taking it if (1) he gained a great deal of weight immediately, (2) got short of breath, (3) started showing signs of edema, or (4) blisters on his legs.
Incidentally, on my hospital cafeteria ratings, this one gets a mediocre C. Now I admit I never did see it in complete action on Tuesday; it shuts down on weekends (which is bizarre; isn't that when people visit???) and seemed to be at half-operational status on the holiday. The food I had was okay, but I freaking object to paying $14 for two meals that consisted of a hamburger on a bun, a bag of Doritos, a pint of milk, and a pint of milk, a dozen cucumber slices, and a chicken leg quarter that looked like it came off a robin. (Let's not even mention $6/parking! If you are tending a person in the hospital, you should be able to park for free. I never heard of hospitals charging parking until I was an adult.)
So, Tuesday afternoon James finally got some sleep, with a very insecure Tucker tucked between his legs as he zoned out on the recliner. Next morning he was back to work, and he worked Thursday, and most of the day Friday, until he lost only 3 1/2 hours from the whole thing, and ended up with only a one-day weekend. I have to hand it to James: most guys would have said screw it, I want at least two days for my weekend, but he soldiered through, and he was massively busy all three days.
Friday we went to see James' GP. He was seen an hour and a half late and the first thing the doctor said was "I see you talked them out of the cath" and frankly, I wanted to belt him one. No, James didn't "talk them out" of anything. We both clearly said, several times, that if his very own cardiologist, the one who removed a couple of liters of fluid from around his heart in March of 2018 and who knows the kidney situation more than anyone except his nephrologist, wanted him to have the cath, he would have had the cath.
Anyway, the doctor told James to hold off on the furosimide until the blood test results were back. They came in Friday night and his creatitine was down to 2.1. I daresay if he could stay off the furosimide totally it might go lower. But from Sunday through Saturday James had gained eight pounds, he was puffing a little coming up the stairs where he hadn't before, and Friday night he had two small blisters on his left leg. So we made an executive decision based on what the hospital told us: he took two furosimide Saturday afternoon, and two more Sunday morning, and he's now down four pounds. Hoping he can stay on the dose of two rather than the four he was taking previously as it is better than his kidneys. His weight and his legs will keep us apprised of the situation.
We spent Saturday morning at Publix and went to Hobby Lobby as a treat, but otherwise relaxing was the theme of the day, and James was back to work yesterday.
Just keep still, Linda. Just keep still.