Sunday, March 24, 2013

Romy's Appendix Ruptures: Day Two

Once Nicole and Marcel left last night, another patient was rolled in and took the other bed spot in the two-bed room. He was an old guy who had a ruptured hernia after it was supposedly fixed two years ago. Over night, the nurses kept coming in to check on Romy's antibiotics, IV, and his vital signs like temperature, and blood pressure. The pain medication wore off, it seemed before any of the nurses would come with more. I kept asking them when Romy would be scheduled for more pain killers, and they always reported a time. However, it seemed like we always had to buzz the nurse to actually get it. It was only until 6am or so this morning that one of the better nurses told us that the pain medication is by request only, and it is not given automatically like the IV or antibiotics. I wish somebody would have said that earlier! By morning, Romy was feeling a lot better, and his fever went away. However, Romy could not eat or drink anything, so no breakfast tray came for him.

A doctor that Romy nicknamed the "douche" came in (yet another different doctor) mid-morning (or yesterday? I can't remember) and asked Romy to recount his version of what happened. They do this to check if you are ok, I guess. So Romy said the whole story about how the first doctor ordered appendix removal surgery based on the wrong CAT scan, and then a second doctor changed the plan due to the misread CAT scan. This new doctor tried to cover for the other doctors saying that nobody misread anything. This just seems hard to believe. How do you decide to drain pus from a clear abscess, but then get another doctor to say that its totally too messed up to drain anything? At this point its very confusing. It seems like the doctors are going back on what they said, and trying to save their own ass because they totally didn't realize they were looking at the wrong CAT scan at first.

Romy in Hospital Room
Romy felt a lot better this morning after sleeping and getting drugged up on pain medication.

The day progressed kind of slow. Romy was just resting and sleeping. The nurses were monitoring his urine and it seemed to be very dark. The nurse kept saying, "Oh that's dark, let me check if you can drink anything." But then they never came back with an answer if Romy could drink anything. Another doctor came in and he was the infectious disease specialist. He just asked a bunch of questions to determine if Romy was at high risk of begin infected with something already prior to entering the hospital. He determined no, and then left. He also said he would check to see if Romy could drink fluids, but never came back. Then we asked the nurse aid if Romy could drink fluids because we felt he might be getting dehydrated. She was very helpful. She was one of the only nurses (even though she was "only an aid") that we felt did her job properly. She told us to be demanding and keep bothering the nurses if we felt something wasn't right. She said a lot of them are bad nurses and they don't care. She said if we felt we were being ignored, to call the charge nurse (the one in charge of all nurses). So that's what we did. We called the charge nurse and 45 minutes later he came in. We asked about the fluids and the dark pee and told him how we've been asking all morning multiple times and nobody gave us any answer. He said he would ask the doctor and get it taken care of. Almost immediately, (he must of yelled at Romy's nurse) the nurse came in and told us the doctor said that now he could drink clear fluids and eat things like jello only. The nurse bought in cranberry juice and water. Romy drank it and his pee wasn't as dark anymore. Things were starting to get better.

IV and Antibiotics Day2
The I.V. is constantly dripping, giving Romy fluids and antibiotics.

Also at some point today, the nurse brought in these inflatable pads that wrap around Romy's calves. They hook up to a machine that automatically inflates them in a pattern that massages his legs to keep blood flowing around in his veins. This is supposed to prevent blood clotting since he is laying in bed all day. I think they are good. I tried them today, and I liked them, but Romy thinks they are annoying.

Leg Balloons
The nurse brought Romy some air balloons that wrap around his calves and automatically inflate and massage his legs to prevent blood clots.

Also at some point, a PICC-line specialist came in, who was ordered by one of the doctors that wandered in today. He wanted to replace the IV in Romy's hand with a catheter that goes up Romy's bicep and up the arm, stopping right outside of the heart. This just seemed a bit unnecessary at this point. We said that we would rather not have that done, and the PICC-line specialist agreed, but said he was order by one of the doctors (we nick-named this doctor the douche doctor). So that was held off for now.

By the end of the afternoon, we gathered enough information about who Romy's doctors actually were (there were so many, it seemed, in the beginning). There were three in the end today (two in the ER, and a third that appeared today). There was the old guy (Dr. Fowler), who was the one to admit to us in the ER that the February CAT scan was mis-read, then the douche doctor, which might be the one who mis-read the CAT scan (the one who today denied any CAT scan was misread), and then the third woman doctor (Dr. Westergard) who wandered in after the PICC-line specialist. She also agreed that the PICC-line was unnecessary. She then told us that she was going to take over the douche doctor. So I guess now Romy has two doctors - the old dude and the woman doctor. We are okay with that so far. The PICC-line guy was held off, and there was also the infectious disease specialist who is analyzing Romy's blood samples everyday he will be here to monitor.

We found out that the old man in the other bed was a veterinarian doctor. He operates on dogs and cats. He was released later this afternoon and his semi annoying wife came to pick him up. Nobody was assigned to the other bed for the rest of the evening. Yay!


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