Sunday, February 24, 2013

The day everything started to change, part 2

You may want to read part 1 first.

Today's update: Gery is having trouble maintaining his blood pressure and respiratory rate.  He has pulmonary embolisms and is on blood thinners, which carries a risk of more bleeding in his brain, but his lungs need to be functional to make his brain functional.  Gery is DEFINITELY more awake and aware, and he has the capacity to move his right side.  Yesterday, when I walked around to his right hand, it was laying on the pillow, clenched in a fist with only his middle finger extended.  He is unhappy, and while I don't want him unhappy, I am so glad to see that my stubborn fighter of a husband is there.  He calms down when I sit with him, and I'm just waiting to be allowed back in now - the nurses usually ask me to leave for shift change.

Saturday, January 26, 2013, continued

As the ambulance arrived, so did our friends who were picking Sarah up, so I took her over to their car with her car seat and coat, and wished my friends luck.  As it turned out, Sarah was totally happy and fine with them until my brothers got to the Children's Museum to be with them, and once they were there, she had a blast.

Gery, on the other hand, was agitated and frustrated and starting to become a little defiant to the paramedics.  Since he was conscious and capable of moving, they wanted him to stand up out of the car.  He seemed to think he was being pulled over, and kept saying, "I already gave it to you," and "I'm not getting out for any f***ing Australians."  I finally said to him, "You're not in trouble, they just need to see what's underneath you," and he stood up.  I've never seen two men move so quickly - they had Gery on the stretcher and restrained in seconds.  I know it was for his own protection, in case he had another seizure or were to become physically aggressive. 

The ambulance then sat there for about 15 minutes.  During that time, an emergency response truck from the ambulance service came, too, driven by my brother's boss.  My brother is an EMT in Erie, though he wasn't working that day.  My brother's boss explained that even though we were a few blocks from the hospital, they were giving Gery some Ativan and assessing his mental state.  Later I was told that he gave the correct latitude and longitude for Erie in response to the wrong question (he didn't answer "Do you know where you are?" with that).  He says he doesn't know the latitude and longitude for Erie. 

Finally, the ambulance moved and when I started following it, I thought the car was shaking really badly.  I was sure I needed a tire and an alignment.  The car turned out to be fine and I was the one shaking.  When I arrived at the hospital, of course, I couldn't just go in with Gery.  I had to do his registration paperwork and wait for him to be settled into a room.  My brother (the EMT) arrived at the hospital to be with me at about the same time my other two brothers were arriving at the Children's Museum to be with Sarah, and while I was waiting to be let in to Gery's room, I called his parents' house to let them know. 

At this point, I was certain that he had diabetes and had a seizure related to blood sugar.  He's a big guy, diabetes runs in his family, and he had been irritable and complaining of short term headaches that were intense and didn't respond to anything but went away in seconds to minutes.  Diabetes totally made sense.  But my first question to the ER doctor was, "What's his blood sugar?" and when she told me, it wasn't high or low enough to have caused a seizure.  I said that, and she said, "That's why he's going to CT next."  (This is a trend that has continued.  I am always a step or two ahead, mentally, than the doctors are telling me to be.  Gery's neurosurgeon laughs at me a little bit but humors me, and I appreciate it.)

After Gery's CT, the ER doctor came in and said that there was something "interesting" (a word I have come to hate) on the films and that neurosurgery and neurology would be in to talk to us, but he would be admitted to the hospital for the night and we would be "sent to Pittsburgh," which made me laugh and say, "I do want to go home, so that's good!"

Gery remembers none of this.  He remembers the odd smell and then he was in the regular room at the hospital.  Nothing of the ambulance or ER, and most of the hospital is fuzzy and vague for him. 

TO BE CONTINUED (again)... I get to go in with Gery now!


Erin Bailey said...

Thanks for sharing this, Heather...I'm thinking about you guys every day. You'll have a package coming in the next week or so :-)

JessiDay said...

Oh, sweet heather. I hope this is helpful for you. I laughed a little at the f---ing Australians. I hope he improves.

bw said...

Thanks for sharing your story. Great blog. I'm the creator of a site for those interested in becoming EMTs. Keep up the good work.