Over the last few days, the doctors, nurses and case managers for my dad have been trying to work out where he should be sent for rehabilitation. Fortunately there are several good places that are all nearby so now they are waiting for availability and insurance to be settled and he will go there for the rest of his recovery. He was scheduled to get out of the hospital as soon as tomorrow. That was…until today.
I was not able to get there yesterday but on Sunday, while I was there, he seemed to be doing much better. He had walked a bit with the assistance of his walker and a physical therapist. He still can’t do stairs, (which is a big reason for him not going home,) and he is very slow moving, but those few steps were farther than he’d moved on his own in more than two weeks so it was definitely a step in the right direction.
When I got to his room, he was sitting in his chair, but didn’t look as good as he did on Sunday. I didn’t question it though. i just assumed he was tired. From what I had heard, he had slept most of the afternoon though and if he is getting better, I wasn’t sure why he was still so tired and sleeping so much. He told me that he had slept great the night before but he had a “crick” in his neck and he couldn’t lift it up very well. He had the tv on, but wasn’t watching it and when I asked him why, he said it took too much effort to lift it to watch. Again, a bit concerning. He was shivering, and although his room was cold, it wasn’t cold enough for shivering. I asked him if he wanted a blanket but he said he just wanted to get back in bed. I told him I would ask a nurse but he said it was quicker to push the call button, which he did. The nurse took his temperature after she got him into the bed and sure enough, he has a fever again.
Until tonight I had not spoken to his doctor. Dave and my aunt have been doing that but I decided to give him a call. He returned my call a short time after he was finished with his office hours. I told him that I did not exactly know how to explain my concerns, but told him what I had seen and how different he seemed since Sunday. Even the doctor, who had seen him in the morning, and thought he was showing signs of improvement seemed surprised with the decline. He canceled the discharge that had been planned and said he’d see him tomorrow but in the meantime, was calling the nurses and the infectious disease doctor to see if they could figure out what is going on.
I told him all of my concerns and even told him how silly I felt asking him if they checked for things like sepsis, or a staph infection. He was so nice and told me nothing was silly when advocating for someone else. He said dad had “very bad sepsis” when he came to the hospital and had a staph infection as well, but all of that seemed to have cleared up. Now they will change his antibiotic and see what happens. They gave him Percocet tonight for his pain and hopefully that will help him sleep.
His doctor said he was going to be at the hospital sometime in the afternoon tomorrow. I am going to try to be there when he gets there. Hopefully the changes in the medication will help. The worst part is not knowing where the fever is coming from. Somewhere in his body there is an infection, they just can’t find it. When they finally do, they’ll be able to treat it and he can move forward with his recovery.