Monday, March 26, 2012
Perhaps I'll become a doctor?
I had a feeling that morning that something wasn’t right, I couldn’t quite put my finger on it though. Nate had a routine appointment at the VA for his blood pressure, we take it daily at home in 3 week increments and then take it to the doctor to see if anything needs to be adjusted. I normally go with him, but I figured its just a quick blood pressure evaluation , he was feeling good, so I just let him go alone.Not even an hour after he left the house I got a voicemail from his cell phone, it was his primary care doctor from the VA. It really caught me off guard first of all because she called from his phone, and second because she just left a voicemail and that was that. All it said was we are taking your husband to St. Lukes hospital. No details whatsoever. I got one more call after that from a nurse at the VA who said I needed to take his meds with me, again no real explanation of anything. I live about an hour from that hospital, and the whole way a million things ran through my head. Was he ok, what happened, what if he’s not ok, crap is there only one St. Lukes Hospital here? I have no idea and they didn’t tell me. When I got to the hospital, it was no longer St. Lukes so if it wasn’t for my facebook friends who acted in my moment of need I would have kept driving. I parked and ran through the parking lot with a giant bag of medications in my hand, I can only imagine the things people were thinking when they saw me. When I got inside I was both shocked and concerned at the fact that he was not there yet, the person at the front desk couldn’t tell me anything. I wanted to know how he was getting there, why he was there, why I beat him there, I got nothing. It could have been anything. A car accident, a PTSD episode, I had no idea. When I was finally able to go back they had him hooked to all sorts of things, heart monitors, and oxygen, IV fluids, they thought he was having a stroke, or a heart attack. After an entire afternoon in the ER they decided to go ahead and admit him because whatever was going on was still going on. His blood pressure dropped to 65/42, and his heart rate went through the roof. I initially thought that him being admitted was a good thing, and don’t get me wrong it was, but trying to explain 6 years worth of medical history is complicated. They decided against my say that it would be a good idea to take him off ALL his medications. They thought because he was on so many blood pressure medications that it was too much for his body, what they didn’t understand was that not all of those medications were primarily used for blood pressure, and it was a carefully formulated concoction that has taken 4 years to somewhat perfect. I had a perfect list printed out for them, what he took and when, the dosages, and what he used it for, but they could not seem to understand why someone would use a blood pressure medication for anything besides blood pressure. Oh Mylanta things were about to get really complicated. I had to leave him there at night and come home to be with my kids, he seemed to do ok, I talked to him most of the first night, he didn’t sleep, he doesn’t at home either, but he couldn’t even get comfortable enough to dose off even for a minute. The second day he really started to feel the effects of not having his meds, he kept getting really hot and nervous, and he said it felt like the walls were closing in on him, his startle reflex which is generally bad was way worse. We again asked if he could have his meds because I saw this going south real fast, and the doctor had put in the notes that he wasn’t allowed to have anything until he saw him. I understand that some things could be reacting negatively, but you CANNOT just pull a guy cold turkey off all the things he is on and expect it to be ok. Things got rough Sunday night his 3rd night there. Every night I ensured on my way out to make the new nurses aware of his situation, I get that maybe they read his chart but that does not mean that they know what kind of a state he is in. That particular night was really bad, he was seconds from ripping everything off and walking out. They had him on a restricted diet because of the concern for his heart, no medications AT ALL not even for pain, or anxiety, he was a ticking time bomb. I waited to leave as long as I could that night and like normal I spoke with the nurses on the way out, as nicely as I possibly could. It was a simple warning that he is now day 3 with no meds, he will startle easy, he is guaranteed to have nightmares and/or flashbacks, and I honestly do not know what will happen if things are not handled correctly, and the response I got was, “ Ma’am, we are perfectly aware of his condition.” Wow, it took all I had in me not to flip out. I waited until I got to the car, and bawled my eyes out. Part of me wanted to go back in and stay the night, but I knew my kids needed me just as much. Eventually the inevitable happened, a nurse thought he was asleep and just walked in, he jumped out of bed yanking all the things he was attached t around and scared the living heck out of the nurse. From that point on they sent a man nurse in, and even he barely opened the door and made sure to have like a 10 minute conversation with him before coming all the way in the room. What a mess. Finally on Monday afternoon someone came to their senses or feared for their safety and allowed him to have JUST his nighttime meds back. These people were seriously trying to give ME a heart attack. The doctor who came in Sunday finally thought to ask if he had any other health problems….ummm, WOW, read the flipping charts people, yes, he had low blood pressure, but you ARE NOT working with a guy who has just that! Finally on Monday the actual doctor who admitted him came in, and not just the weekend on-call people, and she was baffled as to why he wasn’t allowed to have meds because she never said that , so thankfully she put in the order for all his meds. Meanwhile they are still doing different tests to try to figure out what I already knew. He has been diagnosed with seizures in the past, the VA took him off the anti seizure because they said it was a headache medication, and that there was no record anywhere of him ever having seizures, and bam all this started happening again. I am no doctor but I know my husband, and I know what is happening to him is not normal, or a side effect of not sleeping because guess what? I don’t sleep either and this isn’t happening to me. The end result, the civilian doctor believes that he is indeed having a form of seizure, the best way it was described to me is that his brain in a way short circuits due to the scar tissue build up causing his body to not know how to react to the message it is trying to convey. Hes been out of the hospital about a week and we are just now starting to get back into a normal routine.