Dad has reached that point. He wants to leave the hospital. He is done and ready to go home…at least he feels that way. Unfortunately his doctors do not agree. He has gotten his hemoglobin levels to stay in the 9’s and that is okay but he has been attached to oxygen for the last few days and every time they take it off, his saturation levels drop too low for them to feel that he can leave safely.
He was not happy when I got there after school today. He wanted answers from his doctors! I was able to speak to two of them on the phone. Both were very helpful to me but when I relayed their information to my dad, he wasn’t satisfied. It doesn’t help that now he also has a stiff neck making him miserable. Not sure where this is coming from. Being in bed for a week? A symptom from something else?? I told him he must tell the doctors and nurses about it though because if he doesn’t tell them, hoping that it gets him released sooner, he’s just going to wind up back there again. I think he will listen…I hope he will!
One of his doctors was so incredibly kind to me on the phone. I told him how dad was at his wits end. The first week was honestly pretty smooth…very little complaints from him. He was following doctors and nurses orders doing everything EXCEPT for walking around. So now, his legs aren’t working well again. This was what has kept him in rehab from the last time he was in the hospital. Hopefully it won’t put him too far behind in his progress. The doctor told me to remind him that he has to walk. When he leaves, he will be going home with oxygen. He has to use it. If he doesn’t he will wind up back in the hospital. We have to keep reminding him of that.
I am keeping my fingers crossed that tomorrow we get good news and he is able to go home. If not, he will not be happy but they wouldn’t be keeping him there if there isn’t a reason for it. We just have to convince him of that!
Five days this week I have spent my afternoons at St. Barnabas Medical Center. This afternoon, I took Drew along with me when I went to visit my dad. He told me as he entered the building how much he hated it there. I don’t blame him. He watched my mom and Francine die there. He only has seen sickness when he goes. At least I can associate it with happiness as well because both of my boys were born there.
He also watches too much news because when he saw that my dad was wheezing and the first thing he became concerned with is the “new respiratory diesease” that is causing severe reactions in children. He was looking for a mask when we walked into dad’s room! My mom’s room had them outside of it while she was there, but she was in the ICU. Fortunately, all it took to perk him up a bit was seeing my dad’s new phone. He played with the ringtones for awhile and forgot about his fear of hospitals.
As for an update on my dad’s condition, he had two transfusions overnight. This helped bring his blood levels to 9.0 That is good news. No transfusions during the day today. Tonight while I was visiting, he seemed a bit out of sorts. He was almost, “loopy.” Although that probably isn’t the right word to describe it. He even told us he doesn’t understand why he was feeling so “spacey” tonight. He is wheezing and his nose was running like a faucet. It reminded me of his condition when we had to bring him to the hospital at the beginning of the summer. He had no fever this time but his blood pressure was a bit high.
When I left, I went to speak to his nurse. She was going to talk to the doctor to tell her his symptoms. Although he was wheezing, she said his lungs sounded clear. I told her that obviously I have no medical background, but would they please check his blood levels again because this confusion was so similar to earlier in the week when it was so low. She also told me she’d mention it to the doctor and perhaps they could recheck it tonight.
Drew and I left the hospital as my sister arrived. She sent me a text about an hour after I left telling me that the doctor had called saying that since his blood numbers were high enough, he could leave the hospital tonight if he felt that he was ready. I could not believe what I was hearing. After all the symptoms I had just discussed with the nurse, a doctor – who did not even see him tonight, was ready to release him without another blood test?? Thank goodness, my dad was thinking rationally and decided that it would be best to remain there for another night. I am crossing my fingers that when they check his blood levels again in the morning the numbers will still be steady. I am sure that the two transfusions from the night before gave him the elevated numbers from the bloodwork they took this morning. There has been no more bloodwork done today since the one done shortly after the transfusion. Maybe the numbers have dropped again?? I certainly hope that is not what it is, but I know him well enough to know that something is just not right. The last time he left the hospital too early led to a much more serious problem. Fortunately he realizes this and the weeks of recovery it has taken him to get back to normal, (and he’s still not there,) are enough to convince him to stay there at least one more night. I just got off the phone with his nurse who agrees and is going to keep an eye on the wheezing tonight and make sure nothing else changes. I am so grateful for the nurses there. It is a job I could never, ever do and I admire all of them!
So now, we will wait until tomorrow. Hopefully the blood numbers will have remained stable and he will feel well enough to go home. His birthday is Sunday and it would be the best present for him! At least we know that tonight he is in the right place and being watched over by an incredible group of nurses.