"Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force, to some men at the expense of others." Ayn Rand

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Hospital...continued.

Sunday morning. Woke up at 7 and bolted out of bed, fed the animals, let them out and in, showered and headed for the hospital. Felt like I was late, but I wasn't...think it was the guilt talking. I felt horribly guilty about not staying overnight with Richard; my brain knew he was fine and in good hands, but my heart felt like I should have been there with him in case he woke up. He was heavily medicated and exhausted, but I didn't want him to wake up and look for me, and me not be there.

I got there and he was sleeping. He looked like absolute hell...black eye, stitches and dried blood on his face, his wrist bandaged and a semi-cast on it. He was absolutely grey, and so small in the bed. I couldn't even give him a hug or kiss, for fear of hurting him. He slept on, and I was grateful for the time to compose myself.

Day two at the hospital brought more unanticipated news from the doctors: Richard's bloodwork showed extremely abnormal kidney function. The doctors weren't sure what was causing it, but was definately a cause for concern.It also brought out the bruising and trauma from the fall...Richard looked and felt like he had been run over by several trucks. His eye was black and blue, his forehead was three shades of black and blue, and his body ached like he had fallen 20 feet. He couldn't stand because he resprained his right ankle. (The doctors had reviewed the xray again, and said that there were no broken bones).

They started tests on his kidney function, and they called in a kidney specialist. His kidneys were functioning at 30%, and were not filtering the protein out of his body. They thought it may be possibly linked to a premature birth, they thought it might be kidney disease. They were just guessing at this point. But with Richard not able to walk and with a definite kidney problem, he wasn't going anywhere. He wasn't happy about it, but he had to stay in the hospital.

Monday turned into Tuesday, and then Wednesday. Surgery on his wrist was scheduled for Friday, and we figured he'd be discharged, and then readmitted on Friday. We were wrong. This visit turned into a Pandora's Box, with each day bringing more problems. He wasn't able to walk. He couldn't pee. He was anemic. His pain was at a level that required morphine. His kidneys weren't functioning. We had doctor after doctor after doctor coming in, and we couldn't hardly keep them straight. Physical therapists came in to try and get him up and around; it was difficult using a walker with a broken wrist and a catheter. He couldn't keep food down, but it might have been from the pain medication. Plus, he wasn't getting any sleep. Everyone knows that you don't sleep in a hospital, but when he got a roomate on Tuesday night, the circus was brought right into his room. Just when he'd fall asleep, someone would have to come in to do something, turning on all the lights, rearranging all the furniture, taking blood pressure and temperature readings. And he couldn't have anything to help him sleep, due to the subdural hematoma.

So, we're there all week, with no difinitive answer on the kidney problem, but we have a new kidney specialist who wasn't happy with "we'll just watch it and see what happens". This guy wants to find out what is going on, and orders more tests and calls in yet another specialist. But speculating on what is wrong is silly, and until we have a diagnosis of anything, we're not going to dwell on it. We see Dr. Yu in January (he wanted to wait until Richard is well on the mend from this before he subjects him to more tests.)

In the interim, physical therapy people come in, and there's no way in hell he can stand. They came in with this fancy walker, with a shelf where his left hand would go; they get him out of bed and he can put zero weight on his feet. He took no steps, and was in incredible pain. This wasn't good. Did you know when a man doesn't stand, he usually cannot pee? (Men are so strange.) So, here comes mr. catheter. Lord Jesus, the end did justify the means (he finally could pee through the catheter, so he was more comfortable), but what a horrible means of torture for a man. So now he's tied even further to the bed by the catheter. He's on a liquid diet, and can hardly keep that down. This is a man who cannot afford to lose one pound, and I can see him wasting away in front of me. It was kind of a panicky feeling, constantly, that I was feeling. Richard's life was moving fast in front of me and there was nothing I could do to help.

Things continue to happen outside of these little crises that we have...the world continues to march forward. School continues to be in session. Dogs and cats continue to need food, and to be let out, petted and watered. Cat litter needed to be changed. Laundry needed to be done. How do you do these things when you are at the hospital for 14 hours a day? I found out how.

The kids rallied. They worked together, they worked separately. Cooking, cleaning, feeding animals. Laundry. They put all the Christmas decorations up. I walked into the house late Sunday night, and it was spotlessly clean and decorated. I looked at Max and just burst into tears. It was about 9:30 at night, I had been at the hospital since 8:30 that morning...and driving home I was thinking about how I needed to clean up the house when I got home. I was just so tired, and walking into the house and seeing it like that...wow. I am so grateful and so proud of both Maggie and Max for all that they did during this ordeal.

On the animal front, I had called Barbara, our regional manager for Guiding Eyes, and let her know what had happened. She sent out the call for help, and an outpouring of help came. The plan was for me to take Fina to Delmar where Robin, one of the sitters, would watch her for a few days. It was left open ended, because I didn't know what was happening when. When I took Fina, it was like a thousand pound weight was off my shoulders. It eliminated the "whatamigoingtodowhatamigoingtodowhatamigoingtodo" regarding my commitment to GEB. Mookie would be fine all day, but Fina is still a pup and needs walking, training, poo and pee time. I didn't have time to worry about it, and having her somewhere else eliminated my worry. Richard was very upset when I told him she was going to the sitters, but his anxiety was over the fact that it was because he had fallen that this had to happen. I told him to stop worrying about it, it had to happen, and that was that.

Now I've started to jump back and forth on time and stories...sorry about that. It's after the fact, and I wasn't a good blogger keeping up every night. But plow on I will...