"I should not talk so much about myself if there were any body else whom I knew as well."
-Henry David Thoreau

Thursday, December 11, 2014


Dad fell again yesterday.  His liver doctor had already suggested that we bring him to the hospital, considering his significant swelling, major weakness and recent falls.  We did not have to call the ambulance (something dad really really didn't want) because Kyle was at home with a sick Braeden and was able to come over and help get Dad up.  The fall did not cause any injuries, but it was proof that things were bad enough to head to the hospital.  We made it to the ER about 2pm.  Labs  were done and I was surprised to find that his ammonia levels were lower than they have been in the last year (still not awesome, but better than they have been).  That left the doctors unsure of why all of this is happening.  They ultimately decided to admit him, he was put in a room about 9:30 last night and I headed home to sleep.  (I had sent Kyle home already, knowing that his alarm would go off at 4am for work.)  I arrived back here about 8 this morning and the nurse said nothing much happened through the night.  Dad is sleeping now (between the multitude of people who, "Just need to _____, real quick!), they are calling for an ultrasound machine to try and find a vein to start an IV and I'm hoping the doctors make rounds soon so I have an idea of what the game plan is.  In addition to the swelling, weakness and falls, he's very foggy headed.  This is probably due to encephalopathy (when the blood ammonia levels affect his brain function).  (Side note: people with liver disease often experience high blood ammonia levels because the liver cannot process protiens as needed.)  I would liken his mental state to being awaked from a deep sleep and trying to immediately have a conversation.. not completely incoherent, but not totally making sense.  
As of last night, it was my understanding that they would be doing a series of tests to rule out secondary infections that could be causing these symptoms.  They did a chest xray to check for pneumonia and drew lots of blood for extensive lab work & blood cultures.  The cultures take 24-48 hours.  I don't know the results of the xray or other lab work yet.  I suspect the doctors will have more on that when they make rounds.  
So, that's the run down of things.  Since I'm sitting in a dimly lit hospital room with my iPad, how about a few other observations?  

-Hospital coffee.  It's not good coffee, but it's slightly better than no coffee at all.  Slightly.  
-Germs.  Many of my germ phobias disappeared when Alex died (giving me faith that they were rooted in reasonable fear), but being in a hosptial (particularly the ER) in December has rekindled a few of those icky feelings.  Example: on our way up to Dad's room last night, the guy pushing Dad's bed asked me to push the elevator button.  I did it, but I had about a million thoughts of how nasty and germy it was while I was doing it.  
-Doctors.  They  are sort of like the bride at a wedding.  Nothing can really happen until they show up.  Sure, if a bride was hours late to the wedding then people would be irritated and grumble about it, but it doesn't change the fact that the vows can't be said and papers can't be signed until the bride is present.  Likewise, there's only so much that can be done until the doctor shows up, tells you what needs to happen and signs the orders.  You are at their mercy.  Get used to it.  
-Nurses.  Many of them are younger than me.  I experienced this when we were in the PICU with Emma, and it seems that the older I get the younger the nurses get.  A year or two out of school?  That makes them, what?  22, 23?  Yeah, I could have babysat them and changed their diapers.  It's strange.  
-And Doctors.  Even some of the doctors are babies.  Okay, not babies, but definitely in my age group and I surely don't feel old enough to be in the grown up category.  It's more strange than infant nurses.  I mean, shouldn't the people in charge of our very lives be more mature than I am?  I'm all like, "Hey, check out my purple Converse,"  and they are all like, "I'm a doctor."  

I brought a book with me today, but I have a feeling I might spend more time semi-napping or playing Candy Crush on my iPad.  We shall see.  I will try to update on Dad as I know more, so check back often if that's the info you are looking for.  Prayers are appreciated, there simply can't be too many of those.  

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