Yesterday was impossibly long, beginning when I went to sleep after midnight, awoke at 3:30, and then played out during a day that stretched out almost to midnight again.

My wife’s sister helped me get my wife to the nearby urgent care clinic, where the medical professionals judged their facility incapable of doing much for her swollen, purple leg that she injured when she tripped and fell on the hardwood floor. They suggested I take her to the emergency room at CHI St. Vincent Hospital in Hot Springs, which I did. We arrived at 10:30 a.m.; I left at 7:45 p.m., when they were readying my wife for transfer to the ICU, where a room had been assigned. They opted for the ICU because the hospitalist, Dr. Osborne, wanted to put her on a dopamine drip; apparently, that can be administered only in an ICU, for some reason.

During the course of the day in the ER, the doctors and nurses drew blood, took urine samples, X-rayed her leg, chest, and arm., fed her intravenous fluids, and administered various monitoring tests (e.g., EKG, blood pressure, respiration rate, heart rate, etc., etc.). While my wife’s blood pressure is historically low, yesterday it was extremely low, which was of concern to the medical professionals. Very early on, the nurses vocalized about the “rash” on my wife’s arms, upper chest, belly, and back; they called it petechiae (pronounced puh·TEE·kee·uh or puh·TEE·kee·ee, depending on where you look). The little red dots are caused, according to online sources I found, by intradermal hemorrhaging (bleeding into the skin) and may be attributable to any number of things including liver issues, use of anticoagulant drugs (like some my wife takes), and various other root causes. I found it interesting that, in a few seconds, these ER nurses diagnosed the “rash,” while the APRN at the dermatology clinic my wife had visited had no idea what they were. Maybe the ER nurses were wrong; I suspect we’ll know by the time my wife is released to return home (in a day or two, I suspect). Another diagnosis came during the afternoon; she has a urinary tract infection, which might be contributing to her weakness and some other symptoms she had displayed. For me, those findings alone justified spending some time in the hospital, versus getting piecemeal feedback from various doctors who may or may not be talking to one another.

On the way home last night, I received a text message that two items we had ordered from Best Buy had been delivered: a 43-inch television and a sound bar. I was surprised that two pieces of moderately pricey electronic equipment would have been left without even a signature as proof of delivery, but when I pulled into the driveway, there were two big boxes (with photos of their contents splashed all over the packaging) waiting at the front door. I hauled them inside and decided to leave them for setup another time. I was ravenous (I hadn’t eaten all day), so I fed on various foods in the refrigerator, finishing off a few remaining hot dogs and some Canadian bacon and munching on some raw cauliflower and drinking the two remaining cans of Dirt Surfer IPA beer. And then I did a couple of loads of laundry.

My wife called me last night, just before 11. During the course of our conversation, it became clear to me that she thought she had just awakened after sleeping until almost 11 in the morning. I told her she had slept no more than just under three hours, at most.  She mentioned a few things she wants me to bring to her. I was glad she was situated in her room and was being looked after by medical professionals instead of by me.

I watched a little television, beginning to watch an Australian TV series called Wanted. I was too tired to follow the action, so I finally went to bed just after midnight. I woke up almost seven hours later; I guess I needed that extra time in bed after a fairly stressful, sleep-deprived period.

More people I know than I thought read this blog, it seems. Several people reached out to me between the time I published the most recent post and yesterday afternoon. I can’t adequately express how extremely grateful I feel to have heard from people who wanted me to know they are available to me if I need help.

I’ve written a post here when I did not think I would. I’m off to take out the trash, make breakfast, and take a shower, not necessarily in that order.  So begins another day. I will be the sole visitor to my wife’s bedside a little later (she can have only one visitor per day while in ICU, and I have asserted that it will be me). I’m feeling much better about everything than I did yesterday at this time. And that, my friends, is an enormous relief.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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5 Responses to Relief

  1. Thanks, Pat. I appreciate you all, even though you’re off in the hinterlands. 😉 I will tell Janine of your words of support.

  2. Thank you, Robin and Linda, for your support and words of encouragement. I tried to reply directly from the post, but WordPress would not let me, so, back at the house, I log in to WP and reply away. The docs seem to be genuinely interested in figuring out the problems and returning Janine to complete health. That’s the objective.

  3. Pat Newcomb says:

    Hangin’ in there with you – even though we’re far away. All our best to Janine and a solid recovery.

  4. lindakblack says:

    Hey John, I’m so sorry hear that Janine is going through this. I hope things are going well right now, and I pray for complete healing for her. Take care of YOURSELF so you can take care of her when she comes home. I don’t know what I can do to help, but just know I am here to help if you need me. Please keep us posted, and let her know that we are thinking about her and praying for her.

  5. robin andrea says:

    I hope all goes well for your wife and that the docs find and resolve all the issues. Please tell her that we’re thinking of her and sending get well wishes from the far north coast of California. You take care too, and stay safe and healthy.
    I wanted to comment here yesterday, John, but I couldn’t remember my password. Oy, these aging brains in our aging bodies.

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