Sunday, March 21, 2010

Back to the Melodrama...

Oh, look! Another hospital story!! Let’s see…where’d I leave off on this series… oh yeah, March 10th with the pain management appt… so, on Monday night I was bandaging Duke’s foot and it looked WAY worse, as in red, infected, and downright scary. Tuesday morning Margo drove us over to Santa Barbara as I was a complete basket case with intermittent pounding heart and less than normal breathing issues. Duke's primary care doctor sent him packing across the street to the Cottage Hospital emergency room. They started IV’s to pump him full of antibiotics, and after about an hour or so, Duke, being the “fun” patient, asked the nurse “could I get a grilled cheese sandwich?” Huh? Who knew you could do that in the Emergency Room? Well, apparently you can, he did, and he got it! Finally got him into a room, Margo and I hit the road, and we were home by about 1:30 Wednesday morning. Lisa drove up that day and checked into a hotel, I still had to get myself recuperated and organized, and I headed back over on Thursday. I stopped by my favorite computer expert on the way through Bakersfield and he spent a couple hours getting my new netbook all properly set up. Very happy with it, one of my smarter purchases! So nice to be away from home and still in touch with everyone and everything, and not on a dinky little phone screen! Duke had offered to get me an iPhone and I declined ‘cause there’s just not a single thing I want to do on a screen that small.

Anyway, Duke was in non-stop vomiting mode Tuesday night and all day Wednesday, but they finally got that under control. Now he’s in leg spasm hell. Thought they were easing up, but they're every 12-15 seconds and they can't seem to get them under control. During the couple days I was there, they asked me, "has he tried Ativan? Baclofen? Celebrex? Cymbalta? Darvocet? Dilaudid? Flexeril? Lidocaine? Lyrica? Neurontin? OxyContin? Paxil? Ryzolt? Savella? Skelaxin? Valium? Zanaflex?" Sigh. Yes, yes, yes to all and no they didn't work, or not for very long. Hence, the referral to the epidural approach and possible subsequent implant, which we'll have to postpone until he's off the antibiotics. I should be bringing him home on Tuesday, if he can walk, which is scary, because right now he can't walk on that left foot, and the right leg is no sure thing either because of the new twice-dislocated hip which is missing LOTS of physical therapy appointments! Sure glad I bought that nice new wheelchair on eBay… and I still plan on dragging him down to Camp Pendleton for our “sisters and misters” camping trip. Have I mentioned that I need a vacation??? We have, in addition to the campsite, reserved a two-bedroom handicapped-equipped cottage right on the beach, so we should be MORE than good to go, right?? Don’t be surprised if you hear a Sig Alert about a crazy woman headed south on the I-5 hauling a beat up old travel trailer and gurney with some poor retired Marine duct taped to it… there’s a visual for you!

The high points of his stay besides the exceptional care are 1) that he somehow scored a very pretty, private, frou-frou “movie star” room with lovely hardwood floors, highly upgraded guest furniture, and a wall of glass complete with sliding doors out to a private balcony with, if you look between the trees, a view of the ocean. I told Margo that we should have brought a blender and some little paper cocktail umbrellas! And 2) all the visits from the therapy dogs!! So far he’s seen Diamond the Dalmatian (see her on Facebook!) BB King the Australian Shepherd, Buddy the German Shepherd, and a Sheltie whose name I did not get.

Lisa working on her needlepoint...

You can just barely see the ocean through the coastal fog... very low between the trees... honest, it's there!

Lisa and I did get out for a break on Friday – went down and walked along the beach, the pier, and then had Clam Chowder and Fish and Chips at Brophy’s.

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