Saturday, September 8, 2012

part 3 ... finally

So, it's midnight.  And because we had all gotten up so early (well, we meant to get up early), we had all headed to bed around 10:30 or 11:00.  Unusual for me, but I was tired from the events of the day.

So, it's midnight.  And I'm dead to the world at that point.  My phone wasn't though.  It was still interested in partying and living la vida loca, I guess.  Because right at midnight... I began to hear voices in my house.  LOUD voices in my house.  Frantic voices in my house.  It turns out it was only one voice... but it was panicked.  And the voice, named Elizabeth Kahle, came sprinting into my bedroom, with my phone in her hand, yelling into it, "Calm down! Daddy, it's okay!  Calm down!"

Great.  Just great.  Been there, done that before.  Don't really want to do it again.  Trust me.

Rick was definitely on the other end of my phone, panicked beyond all panic and angry beyond all angry, that we were not at the hospital with him right then and there... like we apparently had promised him we would be... and he was mad.  Really, Rick?  At midnight?

Liz managed to get him calmed down... and off the phone.  Then she called the nurse's station and asked them what the heck was going on.  They were working on their end to calm him down, too.

Fast forward to 4:00 am.  I had finally fallen back to sleep.  But Rick had not.  He was worse at 4:00 am than he had been when he first called.  Apparently, it seems, it was all because of the Benadryl.  The morphine Rick had been given during the surgery had caused an allergic reaction and Benadryl was what the hospital used to counteract that reaction.  Rick is allergic to all decongestants but since I hadn't specifically said "Benadryl", he was given that.  And react he did.  A typical reaction to a decongestant for Rick is confusion and thrashing.  Bingo.

But here's the fun part.  They first asked Rick if he wanted Benadryl.  He said yes, naturally.  He wasn't thinking clearly.  AND... he told them that he normally takes Benadryl every night before bed.

So not true.  And why on earth would you ask a patient who's already confused, if they want some medicine... and why on earth would you listen to such a patient, who tells you they take something every night... even though no one would normally take something like that every night...?  Hmmmm?


Another phone call came at 6:00 am, from the nurse on duty.  Things were no better.  I calmed everyone down, enough that I could go to work and Rick could finally get some rest.  I expected that Rick would be sleeping this one off for an entire day and so I went to work as scheduled. 

I headed over to visit him at noon and, as expected, Rick was having a very sleepy day.  (I was, too, but that's beside the point.)

So, at noon, I headed to the hospital to have lunch with Rick.  Of course, he had no recollection of his antics the night before.  Of course not.  I wish I had just dreamed it all...  Anyway, sleepy or not, Rick was in better shape.  I met up with his nurse, Edna, and pulled her aside for a chat.

I had (or so I thought I had) ordered the morphine and Benadryl stopped and asked only for Hydrocodone (his normal pain medicine) to be given to him. I was met with the oddest response from his nurse.

"He's not on morphine. He takes no morphine. Only Bendadryl," said Nurse Edna. "He has a button to push when he wants morphine and it will drip into him, but he hasn't pushed it."

"Um, yes, he's on morphine now... and he doesn't know about the little button to push... and I want the whole thing removed. Period." I insisted.

"Ma'am, he doesn't take morphine. I don't think he's even had any morphine," Edna insisted.

"Edna... he DID have morphine. He had it during his surgery. And I can tell that he's still on a pain medicine. And something he's on isn't agreeing with him, so I'd like those two meds stopped." I said.

Edna calmly explained again that Rick was not on morphine. Kris not-so-calmly explained again, that he was. Edna and Kris went back and forth.  Edna convinced me that she would only give him Hydrocodone.  Edna was just appeasing me, I would find out later.

Edna also gave me another interesting bit to chew on.  "What do you want me to do for his pneumonia?"

"Say what?  When did he develop pneumonia?"

"There's fluid in his lungs... that's pneumonia."  I was stunned.  Why was this the first I was hearing of this?

Fast forward to that night.  Wednesday night.  Rick's sister, Linda, Elizabeth and I had planned to visit Rick in the hospital and then all go out to dinner together.  We met at the hospital and visited a bit with Rick.  He was doing much better.  And when Rick's doctor happened to appear for a visit, Linda, who had not been present for the surgery, decided to have a little chat with Dr. Arrogant.  Linda had about an hour long chat with the good doc.  We almost missed our dinner.

Linda asked Dr. Awful when Rick had developed pneumonia and why hadn't we known about this.  Dr. A was shocked.  "Who told you he had pneumonia?  He doesn't have pneumonia."  Linda told him that I had told her.  Great.  Dr. A now thinks I'm a delirious.  Linda and Dr. A also discussed pain meds.  The doctor had no knowledge that I had wanted anything stopped, nor that there was even a problem.  HE then ordered all pain meds stopped... and, get this, all narcotics stopped.

Excuse me?  Odd choice of words, Doc.

Because of the previous night's episode, the good doc also ordered everyone out of the room so that Rick could sleep.  Sleep it off.  And we all agreed and headed out to dinner.  Rick was exhasted anyway.  We all said our goodbyes and met up at Applebees for a quiet (yeah, right) dinner with Linda, Liz and our friend Kyndra.  After dinner, Linda got in her mind that she wanted to peek in at Rick one more time.  So, against the good doc's orders, we all tiptoed back up to Rick's room and peeked in. 

Guess what we saw?

* * * * to be continued * * * *

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