Too much time in hospitals

I made a quick Facebook status update that I was spending too much time in hospitals and here’s my explanation.

Child Two has been suffering repeated bouts of cold-like illness over the last three weeks so Monday I took her to the clinic. The resident thought he heard some slight crackle in her lungs, so we crossed the street for an X-ray, then returned to the clinic to await the results.

There was some sort of technical-communications glitch that left us waiting for a while. Finally, the doctor who was waiting for the results told us to go home and he’d call if there were any signs of pneumonia.

I had been planning to get a follow-up on my broken finger. I’ve discarded the splint and there’s no pain, but it remains swollen and stiff and it tingles a bit. I was a bit paranoid I had compartment syndrome because the original doctor had told me my finger would heal in four weeks. Monday was four weeks and one day.

I had wanted to visit my GP but the hospital had not forwarded the records regarding my broken to his office, so that meant revisiting Emergency to get either a follow-up or the records which I could then relay to my GP with whom I could book an appointment in January. I Was at the hospital already with Child Two so I popped in to check on my options. The triage nurse told me that there wouldn’t be a long wait so I decided to stay.

Two hours later, I had to leave to do carpool for Child Three.

The staff told me to come back and they’d see me right away. Child Two was testy that she’d had to wait with me and now would have to tag along for carpool. Ingrate.

I returned to Emergency after carpool and, sure enough, a resident saw me right away. He suspected an infection, but there was no sign of one other than the swelling. The physician in charge explained to both of us that my finger was swollen because my body was resorbing the many fragments of pulverized bone. Once that was gone, the swelling and stiffness would decrease. So that’s where my finger is.

My next visit to a hospital was Thursday. OK, it’s not really a hospital but the long-term-care center that is hosting my father. Thursday is his physiotherapy day and I went to encourage him. Upon arriving, I learned that he had thrown up in the morning so the staff decided to keep him in bed.

He looked sick. He had facial twitches and a wet cough. He was on supplemental oxygen. He would open his eyes every once in a while but there was no indication he was looking at anything. He certainly didn’t acknowledge me. I stayed 90 minutes then left to do carpool again.

Elvi and I returned that night. My dad was feverish and diagnosed with a lung infection and a urinary tract infection. He seemed worse. Around 11:00 p.m., Child Two called us because she was in great pain around her eye. We left my dad and headed home.

What Child Two described sounded to me to be a migraine. I gave her one of my Maxalt – that would cure a migraine but not another sort of head pain. It helped her a bit and she was able to get to sleep. The next morning, yesterday, she had more pain. This time a Maxalt did not help. Neither was the acetaminophen or ibuprofen. I pulled out the heavy artillery and gave her one of my 1-mg Dilaudids, that got rid of her pain and knocked her out for the afternoon. Victory – or so I thought.

Elvi reached my toward the end of a hockey practice last night. She was taking Child Two to the emergency room at Montreal Children’s Hospital. I dropped Child Three off at his friend’s for a sleep-over then went to join them.

I was almost there when Elvi called to tell me that she had forgotten Child Two’s health insurance card, so I drove home, changed clothes, and picked up the card. I got to the hospital at 8:30 p.m. At 2:30 a.m., we got the diagnosis: Child Two probably has a sinus infection. We picked up anti-biotics at an all-night pharmacy and came home.

In the meantime, my dad has stabilized and appears to be out of the woods for now.

So, yeah – too much time in hospitals.

Bonus peace and quiet:

At least the dog has stopped his barking/moaning sessions.

One thought on “Too much time in hospitals

  1. My heartfelt condolences to you Elvi and the kids on your loss. I’ve been deeply moved reading about your dad’s end-of-life journey. Your frustration, confusion and profound devotion to him in unimaginably difficult times. Thanks for sharing it.

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