I have ignored posting because things went haywire on Sunday…
By 3:00 PM, Sue was in bitter and remorseless pain in her abdomen. She couldn’t keep food down and she was having severe pain in her right side. She had a hysterectomy on Oct. 5 and so all of the markers pointed to some kind of post-operative infection. But that turned out not to be the case.
We got home from the hospital at 9:00 PM on Sunday and she survived Monday as best she could. To bed early on Monday night but by 4:00 AM Tuesday morning, Sue was in the same pain, vomiting and getting worse. Back to the hospital.
They medicated her, ran an ultrasound for the second time and found nothing. They ran a CT scan and found nothing. By this time, our Doctor was awake and on the case. He admitted her to the hospital reasoning that we could either drive her in her discomfort around town to different specialists or we could just put all together here in the hospital and get it done more comfortably for her. I didn’t want her admitted–I agree with the ER nurse, Richard–a really great guy and a true caring professional. “You don’t want to be admitted here. It’s full of nothin’ but sick people.” Well–I guess Sue was one of them.
She spent all day Monday in the hospital and they medicated her and got Dr. Rotenburg, a gastroenterologist to come and see her. He too was a good dude and he did a pretty thorough examination and investigation. He said, “I had a great teacher at UCLA-an old school diagnostician and he used to say, ‘sometimes, it’s better to not do anything and stand there. Particularly when it comes to the g.i. system.'” In other words-we’d run a battery of tests, all of them were negative-blood tests looked fine and there was nothing leading us anywhere. “You’re here in the hospital, if you get worse in the next 8-12 hours, that will lead us somewhere. If you get better, well–that too will lead us. Let’s let that happen because right now-we’ve done enough tests to rule out some pretty major assumptions.”
So, that’s what we did. This morning, Sue said she was no better and Dr. Rotenburg’s partner, Dr. Sanchez, came in ordered a nuclear scan in which dye is injected to the patient and a large x-ray type machine scans the internal organs and intestines. The hope was to catch her g.i. system in the act of malfunctioning. If that would happen, they could pinpoint the symptoms and nail them right to the problem–and act to treat it.
But, you guessed it–the scan was negative. So, by this afternoon, we’d done blood tests, ultrasound, CT scan and the hide-a-scan and enough poking, prodding and palpating to tenderize meat–and the result was—nothing.
That led us back to Dr. Rotenburg’s original diagnosis–a virus of some sort. “And the thing about viruses is, they tend to be self-limiting. That is, it’ll go away when it’s ready to do that.”
Sue started to feel better, though, by sometime just before the hide-a-scan. Her pain level was going down and her nausea was intermittent allowing her to take a good 4 hour nap this morning. Dr. Fung, our family physician, after consulting with the other two docs, said that if Sue could keep a liquid lunch (though, not that kind of liquid lunch) and a light dinner down, he’d release her to come home. The results of all tests were negative and by then Sue was headed toward feeling better, so if she could do those things, out she’d go….
And she did them–she ate her lunch of jello and broth, water and tea and she ate a light supper of pork loin and fruit, a bit of potato and veg and she felt better. So at 7:00 O’clock, I went and got her and brought her home. As I write this, she is sound asleep upstairs with Peanut in the room with her sleeping soundly. The hospital was under swine flu protocol and no one under the age of 16 was allowed to visit patients. So, really Peanut had not seen mom since Monday night. They missed each other pretty badly. To alleviate the problem, I carried my SVP flip camera with me with a video message from Peanut to her mom each day and night–and then I’d record Sue’s message back to Peanut and they communicated that way. It was kind of fun and I was going to post the videos here, but Sue has not given permission. If you saw her in full hospital regalia, you’d understand why. I just thought she was beautiful either way….she demured.
And that, gentles, is what I have been doing since Sunday. I apologize for not posting–but even some deadlines took a back seat. I simply wasn’t prepared to do anything other than focus on Peanut, the house and a couple of hours of work here and there.
Tonight, I am prayerfully thankful that God has watched out for all of us, especially Sue, and He has brought her home to us. We’re praying she is on the mend, feeling better and getting herself back to health again.
More posts to come. Happy Halloween Week.