Pop says it best: “Mom had me for two weeks, and now I’m back here.”
‘Here’ is the hospital; the same one we just left. What happened to get him here is clear. Why he’s still here is not (at least to me).
Very early Thursday morning, Pop began to feel queasy. His temp was okay though. Later, he threw up his breakfast and had several bouts of diarrhea. His temp kept rising, too, and when it reached 102.6, the Piedmont Place medical team pulled the trigger.
I was called and told that Pop would be transported immediately to the hospital. They didn’t even want to wait for me to transport him myself. The urgency is that he has only one kidney, and they don’t want to take any chances while waiting for labs.
I arrived at the hospital two minutes after he did. When I walked into Triage, a doctor and nurse were already well into their examination. His chest was x-rayed, and he was quickly isolated to a private ER holding room.
We have a history of long waiting times at this hospital. Early in the proceedings, Pop wisecracked, “I won’t get a room for at least six or seven hours.” I countered with a bet…that we’d be upstairs within six.
Pop asked about the market. After a bit of digging on my smartphone, I reported that the Dow was up 273 points at the close. He responded by throwing up.
Blood, urine and other labs were taken and Pop was examined several times always with the same questions: “Are you coughing more than usual? Are you coughing up anything? What color is it?” The answers were consistently, “no,” “a little,” and “white.” His skin was clammy and his temp was 101.
The operating theory was that we were dealing with pneumonia. By the time the admission papers were drawn, the official diagnosis had become bronchitis. I’m no doctor – and that likely plays into my lack of clarity – but I don’t think there’s enough evidence to support either diagnosis.
Nevertheless, two antibiotics and fluids were administered intravenously, and gowns, gloves and masks became necessary for everyone including me. C.diff could be active again, but those test results won’t be known till late today.
By the way…I won yesterday’s bet by three minutes.
Pop did not have a good night. He was up every hour with diarrhea. With IV’s in his arm and an oxygen cannula in his nose, getting out of bed every hour was an ordeal usually involving two nurses. He’s had a fairly quiet morning and is resting comfortably. He ate very little breakfast. Lunch consisted of mashed food-like substances which were eaten with his usual relish. Pop’s demeanor is good, and he is relatively engaged.
I challenged the hospital doctor a short while ago to reconcile the diagnosis ambiguity. He said that, in broad terms, Pop has an upper respiratory infection. The specific treatment is as if he has pneumonia; continued IV antibiotics and fluids. If Pop’s white cell count comes down tomorrow, he could be released. Sunday seems a stronger probability, though.
Gloves and gowns are still necessary. Masks are not. Whew! Have you ever tried sleeping with one on?
There shouldn’t be any further news today. My plan is to take care of some personal business this afternoon before returning for the night. Don’t want to miss doctor’s rounds in the morning.
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