Sunday, October 14, 2007
No more hospital
It's been a while since my last post - but we've had our hands full around here.
On Tuesday, Danny went to see his doctor and was prescribed medication for high blood pressure. His doc said that he wasn't sure whether or not he needed the meds, but said to try them and come back on Friday to follow up on some blood work. Danny took the first dose on Tuesday and the second on Wednesday. Throughout Wednesday, Danny noticed that he wasn't feeling great. When I came home from work, we looked at the info printed on the meds' insert and it said that a little light headedness at first was normal. Danny decided he felt well enough to continue with his traditional Wednesday (D's Friday) night plans - out for drinks with the boys.
Around 11:00, one of Danny's brothers, Patrick, and a friend, Angie, showed up at our house with a stumbling, out of it Danny in tow. Danny made his way upstairs and I helped him settle into bed in the guest room. I wondered what was going on - it's not like Danny to get plastered, which is how he appeared. Pat & Angie explained that Danny had something like a seizure while they were out and so they took him home. They hadn't seen it, but another friend said that Danny was sitting on a bar stool and suddenly his head tilted back, he made a snoring sound, and his arm shook at his side. Danny's eyes were half closed and he was unresponsive to voices or touch. After about a minute, he snapped out of it but broke into a heavy, cold sweat.
I called the local nurse emergency line to ask about the meds and tell them what had happened and they said to get to an ER right away. When I told Danny we were going to head to the hospital, he refused to go. This is not unlike him, as he's not crazy about doctors. But he wasn't speaking clearly and he was definitely not himself. So then I called 911 and paramedics arrived in about five minutes. They checked his blood pressure and saw that it was running pretty low (about 90/50) then ran an EKG. It was so surreal - all of this going on right in our bedroom.
The EKG results didn't show anything unusual, but the paramedics still said he needed to get to the ER. Once again, Danny said he didn't want to go. But they insisted, and after a while Danny finally agreed. He didn't take the ambulance, though - I drove. Pat met us at the hospital, which was nice.
In the ER, they ran another EKG with similar results. Danny was hooked up to BP, pulse, and oxygen monitors and had an IV site put in to draw several vials of blood. He was able to talk with the doctors and nurses, but Pat and I filled in a lot of missing information since he wasn't always making sense. The ER doc ordered a chest x-ray to see what might be going on with his heart. Danny was wheeled down to radiology on a gurney but during the x-ray he had to stand up. The wooziness came back and Danny blacked out again, this time falling onto the floor.
They quickly brought Danny back to the ER and hooked him back up to the monitors. What followed was the scariest time of my life. The new BP reading was even lower, and dropping. They hooked up a sugar drip to his IV and told me to keep him awake. Danny was unresponsive to all of my talking and poking. After a few minutes, an alarm went off on the BP monitor. Pat grabbed one of the nurses, who set the machine to continuous BP readings. The lowest reading was 66/34. They increased the IV drip and fluttered around the bed, adjusting wires and checking the monitors. They adjusted the bed to drop Danny's head below his heart.
Finally, after a long half hour, Danny's BP came back up. He was able to make eye contact again and then able to talk. While his pressure still wasn't ideal, it was stable and rising. The doctor came back in with results from the blood work and x-ray. Everything looked fine, so our likely culprit, the BP medication, was blamed. We were sent home at 5am with orders to take it slow for a while and watch for more dizziness.
I held it together at the hospital - it was like I was with one of my clients. I've done the medical emergency thing before with work, but never like this. On our way home, I cried a little with relief. On the phone with Mom the next day, I lost it. I hate to even think about how scary and unreal the whole thing was.
Danny still felt lousy on Thursday. I stayed home from work to be with him and we had visitors all day who had heard what happened and wanted to stop by. He slept a lot and barely ate, still feeling woozy.
On Friday, we both had doc appointments that had already been scheduled. Mine was back at the hospital for a pelvic ultrasound and a 2 hour fasting/glucose round of blood & urine tests. During the ultrasound the main findings were that I definitely have ovarian cysts (lots of them) and that my right ovary is much larger than my left. I'll learn more about all that in my next doc appt, at the end of this month. When I looked up 'enlarged ovary' online, all I found was awful stuff, so I'm done with that research.
Danny saw his doc (the one who'd prescribed the bad news meds)and told him what had happened. We expected an apology or something, but that wasn't going to happen. The doc did agree to take Danny off the prescription (we had already thrown it out, of course). Danny has another appointment coming up with a podiatrist to check out his foot, which has been causing him pain for years.
Well - after all that, we sure didn't feel like returning to the hospital. But we did. Tonight. When Danny blacked out and fell at the ER, he tweaked out his knee. He called the hospital tonight to let them know, and they asked him to come back in. So, back to the ER we went for more x-rays. They told him he has water on the knee and to take ibuprofen. We wanted to be on the safe side, and especially wanted to let them know he'd been hurt while under their care. Why did they make him stand when he was in there for blacking out? He could have at least leaned against something. Anyway, we're Hoping the hospital will spring for the second visit.
And I'm still not smoking.