Smokey went to Minneapolis yesterday for a routine appointment with his nephrologist. I had opted to stay home rather than accompany him; usually we both go and make a fun day of it, but I am kinda sorta swamped with stuff that needs to be done by Saturday, so no fun day for me.
Workingworkingworking Phone rings noonish.
Smokey: Well, I am gonna be here awhile. Quite awhile. [He goes on to list a bunch of abnormal lab results, plus an alarming EKG.]
Me: Are they going to admit you?
Smokey: Yes. I’m not in my room yet but I should be by the time you get here. [He goes on with instructions as to how to get Younger Son’s Volvo, which has been sitting in our pole barn for several months, started and running. Smoke had taken my car, and that Volvo was my only option. Said instructions included a socket wrench with a 10mm socket.]
I packed an overnight bag, including knitting, told the dogs to be good, and headed out to the VA*. When I got there at about 3:30, he still was not in his room. The unit secretary knew he was coming but had no idea where he was nor why he wasn’t there yet.
Me, in my head: WTF? Did something else happen?
I waited around in a nearby lounge, and eventually got a call from Smoke.
Me: Where are you? What’s going on?
Smokey: I am in the emergency room…
Me, in my head: OMG, he had a heart attack/stroke/something horrible. [Never mind that he is actually talking to me, wide awake and apparently normal.]
Smokey, continuing: …because they didn’t have a bed available until someone is discharged.
A bit later he was wheeled up to the unit on a gurney. Younger Son arrived an hour or so later after work. We all hung out and chatted while various medical personnel stopped by to draw additional blood samples, inquire about his medications (pharmacy resident), his medical history (hospitalist), do another EKG (nursing assistant and someone else), talk about what he needed right then (nurse), weigh him (student nurse, who is a 40-something male Army vet who had done a pre-med major in college), do a routine nose swab for MRSA (nurse and nursing student), yada yada.
I had texted both sons earlier in the afternoon about Smoke’s admission and been on the phone with each of them as I learned more. Elder Son wanted to know certain of the lab values, which I got from the hospitalist when she stopped by. Earlier he had been able to tell me what was going on, based on what I remembered from my first conversation with Smoke. To simplify his explanation, one thing — enlarged prostate — had led to another thing, which led to something else, which eventually led to abnormal heart rhythms. Our bodies are a bunch of interrelated systems, doncha know.
I left about 7:30 to head home to the dogs, whom I found prancing about with their little legs crossed, doing the potty dance (but had not relieved themselves in the house during my absence, yay!).
Today’s email report from The Bear:
My labs are coming into normal ranges and I feel fine. Sleep was hard to achieve due to hospital routines, two roommates, no APAP, no dogs, and an uncomfortable mattress. No guesses as to causes of the problems or length of hospitalization. My EKGs were reviewed and judged normal. Minor annoyances abound, but the care is overall adequate.
Breakfast included limp toast, canned fruit, room temp milk, and a small scoop of scrambled eggs. The high point was the packet of grape jelly — so different from the excellent food at United [Hospital in St Paul, where he had his knees replaced last year] and not near your feast at Applebee’s [where I had stopped to eat on my way back to WI]. I tried to keep in mind that many in Syria would be grateful for my humble breakfast.
I was able to watch Rachel’s interview with Comey on MSNBC. Nothing new.
My nurse is Kathy.
I know this is a busy time for you so don’t worry a bit about not visiting. I’m fine, probably less stressed than you.
Dog treats — both canisters are almost empty. The bag for refills is on the wire shelves in the closet right outside our bedroom at about butt high.
See you soon (I hope!)’
…and back to work for me, with a measure of relief in my head.
* I stopped for gas on the way, and, because the car had been sitting for so long and I thought I had seen an oil slick on the garage floor after I backed it out, checked the oil. Oil level was fine — I had to call YS to find out how to open the hood — and I was once more on my way. Until a few hundred yards later, when the hood flew open, yikes. I was still in a 30mph zone coming up from the river valley, so it wasn’t as dangerous as it might have been. Pulled over, slammed the hood firmly shut, and drove on keeping my fingers crossed. No more problems with the hood, amen.