Yet Another Journal

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cute budgie stories, cute terrier stories, and anything else I can think of.

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» Monday, August 15, 2022
Hell in a Handbasket
Sunday night James had to send another note to his urologist: he was showing signs of a UTI again, and we had noticed that his urine output had been halved. He also had a low-grade fever all weekend, but it never got over 100℉ and the oral surgeon and the pain clinic both said what he had done could cause a fever. This is getting so frustrating. He does not want to go to Urgent Care; they'll just keep him there for hours and send him home with antibiotics and won't let me come in the back. So I spent Monday morning on the phone with Kaiser, and finally the urologist said to go give a urine sample. He worked a full shift and then we went racing to Town Center to make it before the lab closed at 8 p.m.

That should have been that.

So I sleep in on Tuesday and wander out to the land of the living to ask James, "Good morning, how are you?"

And he says, "I'm having trouble breathing."

Oh, why, oh, why, didn't you wake me up earlier?

He was so distressed I packed everything; if he was having trouble breathing I was sure they would keep him at the hospital, so I packed up the C-PAP and his pillow, and we went to the emergency room instead of Urgent Care. It cost more, but they let me go in the back. He had pulmonary edema, his creatitine was way up in the high fours, and all his blood values were crazy. Yes, of course they kept him, although he didn't get a room until almost midnight and it was a stuffy little triangle of a room; it looked like they kept junk stuff in there.

To sum up, he was in the hospital through Monday (the 15th, the Assumption, which would have been my mother's "name day"), infused with liquid furosimide and stuck with a Foley catheter. The infection in his bladder was e-coli and the nurses had to all gown up any time they came in the room. They stabilized him and got his creatitine down to 3.7 before they released him (although the first day they had him on so much diuretic that his creatitine went back up the next day!). He had prostatitis again, which was blocking his urethra and of course his bladder was backing up into his kidneys again and screwing up his creatitine and his GFR, but thankfully the IV antibiotics did not make him have breathing problems like the month of ciproflaxin did a few months ago. By the time Friday came he was tired of the hospital bed, bored out of his mind, and by Sunday I was so stir-crazy I was in tears. The Kaiser doctor said James couldn't go home without a PICC line to completely wipe out the e-coli, but they never put it in on Friday so we had to twiddle our thumbs over the weekend. After my meltdown I tried to put on a better face but it was really hard sitting around all day Monday first waiting for the PICC insertion and then waiting for the discharge papers.

In the meantime he couldn't take the second step post-oral surgery; he'd had five days of only rinsing his mouth out with salt water, now he was supposed to be irrigating the gaps where they pulled his teeth. I finally just got him a cup and salt from the cafeteria and he rinsed his mouth twice a day at least, but he confessed his gums were really hurting and we finally had to ask the meal clerk to send him meals that were easy to chew, as dry chicken breast just wasn't doing it.

The other problem was that he was so wobbly when they brought him in they put him as a fall risk and put an alarm on the bed and the chair they finally let him sit in and he got pissed because he couldn't move around. James is not used to being still and having to sit in a bed or, later, in the chair next to the bed, is anathema to him. Supposedly he was supposed to get physical therapy; he only got it one day, and one night he didn't get his Ambien and couldn't sleep—the whole thing was a mess.

The nurses were fab, the doctors were good, but the hospital still sucks and the cafeteria still has crap. I ate at Hibachi Grill one day and from Lidl the next, but got a couple of meals down there. The fried shrimp was okay, but it was fried, and one day they either had alfredo chicken breast (barf-o'-matic for both the breast and alfredo, neither which is edible) or something spicy, so I ended up having a hamburger with brown gravy over it. The menu posted on the front of the cafeteria wasn't what they served, and everything's overpriced.

Plus by the time they discharged him on Monday it was too late to go to Kaiser to pick up his meds. Sigh.

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