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» Saturday, August 28, 2021The Hits Keep on Comin'
Well, it's been a week.
Sunday night as we were heading for bed, James admitted he was having a pulling pain across his chest. He tried lying down and it didn't feel better. We gave him a nitroglycerin and then a second one, but neither helped. Normally, at this point I would have been getting dressed to take him to the emergency room, but we'd read the report about the hospitals being at bursting point, and didn't know if we went to a hospital if we'd be turned away. So we ended up calling an ambulance, and they took him off to Kennestone Hospital. No visitors until they assigned him to an ER room.
From James' account:
The newly expanded Emergency Department at Kennestone Hospital was full to near bursting. It was a half hour before I could get off the gurney that I rode in the ambulance ride. I then was in a room labeled "Transfer Bed Storage" that was subdivided with portable screens for several hours. I was then moved into "EMS Receiving" (I think) before I was moved into a room in the "Clinical Decision Unit" in the hospital itself. Linda was waiting to see me in the ED waiting room, and was told she could see me once I had a room in the ED, but once I was moved into the main hospital, she couldn't come in due to CoVid restrictions.
I had a number of conversations with the nurses and orderlies I met during my movements and all were overworked and highly stressed as they were very shorthanded. Apparently people at all levels are leaving in droves. The orderly who moved me from the ED to the CDU said he had four people on his shift quit that day. They and the nurses were quitting because the hospital was mandating the CoVid vaccination a mandatory requirement of employment and they did not want to get the shot. This kind of boggled me since I told a little white lie to get the vaccination as early as I could.
While he was going without sleep and food, I got what little sleep I could, walked the dog, had something to eat, and went to the emergency room, which, as James recounted, was stocked full. While I was sitting there, a woman came in, with her left hand in bandages. Apparently she'd been in a car accident the day before and was now in great pain. When they told her how long the wait was, she burst out into tears. Another dude was hassling the check-in staff, and the security guard had to escort him out. After a while I was turned away, so came back home. James kept me posted on what was going on. I was worried he wasn't getting his medication, which was confirmed when they kept complaining about how high his blood pressure was, but he hadn't had any blood pressure meds since Sunday morning. They finally gave him the lisonipril, but wouldn't let him take the carvedelol because it might interfere with the stress test. At one point they told him he wasn't getting the stress test that day. So he took a nice big drink, and only then did someone walked in to tell him he was getting the stress test. Which came up with...almost nothing (but at least he finally got something to eat). He did have a value that was off. But he didn't have a heart attack. Or fluid on his lungs or heart. Or COVID. In fact, his creatitine was down to 2.15, and his A1C is 6.4! So they sent him home with orders to see his cardiologist and get another echocardiogram (although the one he had three weeks ago came out fine).
He's been having trouble with his allergy all year, waking up every so often sneezing copiously, eyes itchy, and stuffed up, and is now wondering if he's been sneezing so hard that is what caused the chest pain. (Tuesday I did a wholesale clean out of his C-PAP, scrubbing everything with soap and water, then alcohol, then a water rinse.)
And then he finally gets his shower Monday night, and...argh, another big blister on his left calf. So we're back to non-stick gauze and coban tape.
Monday I gave Tucker a bath. Tuesday I brought Tucker home from his walk limping again, this time on his left forefoot. This time when I washed and treated and bandaged it, I left off the Elizabethan collar and he restrained himself and managed not to gnaw at the foot until I took off the bandage before his nightly walk (at which time he was walking fine). But all day he waved the paw at me every time I looked at him. At times it was comical; I'd say "Hi, Tucker" and he would look up at me pathetically and wave the bandaged paw.
The weekend has been much calmer (well...I hope so, since the day's not over yet). Thursday we went to deposit a check at the bank and got James' truck inspected so he could renew his car registration. Only when we finished with that did we get to do the Lidl/Publix/Kroger hustle. I ended up getting milk at Kroger because one of the gallons of skim milk at Lidl was leaking and we couldn't tell which one. Well, I committed one hell of a boo-boo after this. Neither of us had slept well. We got home and schlepped all the groceries upstairs and got them put away, and then James, at the request of his boss, worked five hours because they were shorthanded. I fell asleep on the sofa.
At Kroger, on the manager's special shelf, I found a pound of ground beef for $3. It was 15 percent fat, but if we get one of those, James usually either cooks it and then drains it, or fortifies it with TVP (soya), which thins out the fat. Well, I had brought in the milk from Kroger in, but forgot the bag from Kroger. Only when I started prepping to make supper did I realize the yogurt wasn't upstairs, which meant neither was the ground beef. I had to throw the meat away. Wasted three dollars and good food. The yogurt was room temp when I brought it up. Don't know if it's still good or not.
Friday James had his every-so-many-weeks appointment at podiatry. He had two toenails that looked like they were becoming ingrown, so the nurse had to do a lot of work on him. I am back on "betadyne duty" for a week, making sure where she treated doesn't get infected. The podiatrist is worried about the little sore on his "ring toe" on his left foot, although he's had it for months. It looks a whole lot better than it did in the spring; it just won't dry up because it's between his toes. I've been ordered to put betadyne on that, too, and not cover it so it dries up. Odd that they didn't tell us that before.
We needed something from Costco, so made the trip; it wasn't there, but we picked up a few other things. Stopped at Barnes & Noble and I committed book: they have their Book Haul this month, and I found The Secret History of Home Economics at fifty percent off, and the same discount as well on Wintering, which caught my attention at the beginning of the year. It was one of the nominees for B&N's Book of the Year. On the way home we stopped at Publix for the eggs we'd forgotten.
This morning we skinned out of the house with minimum breakfast, in search of what we needed at the Kennesaw Costco. And there we did find it. Also found James some new almond-flour crackers that he can snack on without amping his carbs. Had some nice samples there as well, including organic lemonade, sundried tomatoes and cheese on crackers (which tasted like a mini-pizza), coconut-flavored dark chocolate covered almonds, and an outstanding piece of bratwurst that didn't come up on me.
As a replacement for missing breakfast we had lunch at Otter's Chicken (great wings there), and dropped in at Hobby Lobby to revel in all the autumn decorations. There's a light at the end of the smothering, stuffy, sweaty tunnel that is summer.
Spent the early evening watching horse racing from Saratoga, and then later Law & Order, because literally nothing else watchable was on.
Hey, all you people in New Orleans...be careful out there.