I am so pissed I can’t even see straight right now and since I’m an eternal attention whore and I have a blog, I am spewing my frustrations out into the internet. Feel free to skip this post and read one of my funny stories about how my children humiliate me by telling everybody at daycare that I’m pregnant or go look at cute pictures of my devil babies sweet angels. Feel free to stick around, just know that it’s going to get heated. And long. And I will probably swear (sorry Grandma). A lot. Consider yourself warned.
Two weeks ago, Greg was having abdominal pain that presented as classic appendicitis. Having had appendicitis myself, I knew the agony he was in for. I also knew that the only way to treat it was to have the appendix surgically removed. Because it was a weekend & I wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer from him, we went to the ER to be treated. Click here if you want to read the original story but the bottom line is that we were sent home with Vicodin (yay!) and a diagnosis of abdominal pain of undetermined origin (boo!).
Fast forward to the middle of this week. Remember when I got sick and infected my entire family? Yup. I’m an awesome mom & wife. The kids and I bounced back fairly quickly but Greg took it pretty hard. But he’s a man and I just chalked it up to him being a weenie. However, when he took Friday off work, I knew that he must have been feeling pretty lousy because his dad is in the middle of harvest season and Greg has been helping him. And harvest isn’t something that allows for room to be sick. If the weather is cooperating, you get out in the field and harvest those crops. Greg grew up living this life and he knows how important (and rare) good weather is this time of year.
Friday afternoon, the kids and I went to my former high school’s homecoming parade sans Greg because, obviously. The kids (read: Brock) decided they wanted to spend the night with my parents and since they had eaten their weight in parade candy (at the hands of my parents), I wasn’t opposed. When I got home around 6:00 that evening, Greg was still in bed and was writhing around complaining of belly pain. He told me that it was the worst pain he had ever experienced in his life & that he had been vomiting all afternoon. I harped at him for over an hour before he finally agreed to go to the ER.
The first time he went to the ER (2 weeks ago), his pain was in his right lower abdomen but they did a CT scan and his appendix looked normal.
On Friday night, his pain was in his right upper abdomen just below his ribs and was radiating outward in all directions.
I knew that he needed to be seen, but I also didn’t want to spend the entire night in the ER. Of course when we got there, we waited for what seemed like an eternity but it was actually about an hour. When the triage nurse called us back, she was very condescending and talking to us like we were too stupid to understand what was going on. Greg was outraged but I tried to keep him calm because I didn’t want them to make it take any longer because he was being an ass. However, when he told the nurse he felt like he was going to pass out and she replied with, “Well, what do you want me to do? I’m doing the best I can. You are just going to have to go back to the waiting room” I pretty much knew that was the end of Greg attempting to keep his cool.
Once we were placed in a room, labs were drawn & the physician’s assistant in the ER thought it was kidney stones based on his symptoms. She ordered another CT scan and it, again, came back normal. However, she did say that she saw “something hard” in his right lower abdomen near his appendix that looked like a stone. At this point, I suggested that it was his gallbladder. She said that the gallbladder looked normal on the CT but they would do an ultrasound just to be sure.
The ultrasound of his gallbladder showed several small stones and lots of “sludge” but it wasn’t anything that she felt was significant enough for surgery. We were sent home with a prescription for Vicodin (more yay!) for the pain and Zofran for the nausea.
Those two things would have worked had he not been throwing up already.
By 5:30 Saturday morning, he was vomiting again but wouldn’t let me take him back to the ER since we had just gotten home around 1:00am and he didn’t think they would do anything different. He decided that he would just try to rest and attempt to keep down the nausea medicine so I took the kids to a pumpkin patch like we had planned. Mom came by with the kids and we left to eat our kettle korn and buy some pumpkins. By the time we got home on Saturday (around 1pm), he wasn’t feeling any better but was determined to not waste anymore time in the ER if nothing was going to happen.
Of course, Saturday was a day that the kids both decided that they were too cool for naps and they were feeling extra wrestle-y which was full of the suck for Greg and his sore tummy.
By Saturday evening, I decided that Greg was going back to the ER. Our discharge instructions from our Friday night visit were to return if his symptoms persisted or got worse and, obviously they were getting worse. The minute he put something in his stomach (even his anti-nausea meds), he would throw up. His pain was beginning to spread down & into the middle of his abdomen. I called mom and she and dad came by to pick up the kids so we could get to the hospital. Mom & Dad took the kids to dinner & apparently the kids were angels despite the fact that they hadn’t napped. Which is both awesome & annoying at the same time.
We got to the ER on Saturday night around 6:00 and we made it just in time to sit in the waiting room while the staff tending to a handful of drunk football fans that got into a fight. Apparently, one of them took a baseball bat to the head. But the waiting room was packed full of people that were STILL fighting with each other despite the fact that there were at least 3 police officers there taking statements.
If there is one thing I hate more than wasting my entire weekend in a hospital, it is wasting my entire weekend in a hospital being surround by fighting drunks.
And lima beans. Hate ’em.
Once we got into a room in the ER, we went through everything with the staff again and, of course, we waited.
For 9 hours.
That’s right! N-I-N-E flipping hours.
I totally understand that the hospital that we went to is a Trauma Center and obviously traumas are a higher priority than belly pain. But, at 3:00am when the nurse came into the room starting with, “Oh, a thousand apologies. This room is just kind of stuck back here and . . .”
That’s right. For the last 2 hours when we were in the ER and Greg was waiting for pain medicine, we were sitting in a room being forgotten. When I asked if Greg could get some pain medicine before he went upstairs she said, “Well, I’m just going to let them handle that upstairs. They can take care of you.”
Awesome. We waited for 2 hours and then she pushed us off on the floor staff. I told the new nurse what happened as soon as we got up to Greg’s room and she told me that it would take about an hour to get some pain medicine for him because the order hadn’t been put in by the admitting doctor. Then it had to be verified and approved by the pharmacist. Then it had to be made available in the Pyxis. Then there was this. Then there was that. And on and on and on.
By 3:30 am I decided it was time to go home and try to get a little sleep. I was going to stay in the waiting room but Greg wouldn’t let me. He said that at least one of us should get a decent night’s sleep and it obviously wasn’t going to be him.
I was in bed & asleep by about 4am and was woken up by 9am with a phone call from Greg asking if i was coming to the hospital. I had just missed the doctors making their morning rounds which is precisely the reason that I didn’t want to leave the hospital! He also told me that they had cancelled the HIDA scan that they had ordered in the ER and decided to do . . . wait for it . . . another ultrasound of his gallbladder. The HIDA scan shows a more precise image of the anatomy of the gallbladder and shows the functionality of the ducts connecting to the liver. But apparently the doctor thought that was unnecessary.
Hmmmmmmmm . . . I wonder if he was right? Here’s a hint: he wasn’t.
Okay, so where are we on the time line now? Sunday morning. Right.
We were told that they were going to repeat the ultrasound sometime in the morning and they would let us know the results ASAP so we could move forward.
The morning came and went and we hadn’t heard a word about the ultrasound. When we asked the nurse about it, he told us that the ultrasound tech wasn’t even in the hospital yet. This was 4-5 hours after the doctor had ordered the test & allegedly paged the ultrasound tech. Which is really strange because when I’m on-call, it’s a requirement that I’m within 30 minutes of the hospital.
They finally got the ultrasound done around 2:00 and the tech told us that it didn’t look much different from the one that was done on Friday night. Still has sludge & stones. Which is exactly what I expected. It had only been 36 hours later! Why would it have been different?!
That’s about the time I totally lost my mind. The doctor came back into Greg’s room and told us that the ultrasound was normal and that they were thinking about sending us home with pain medication.
::another deep breath::
REALLY?! I mean . . . REALLY?! Why the hell was he even admitted?
When I asked why he was going to be sent home and nothing had been done besides pump him full of IV pain medication (that was barely working), he said, “Well, surgery isn’t indicated in his case.”
And then I died.
Well, it’s not really the end but I’m tired of re-hashing this out right now and I will post the rest of this tomorrow.
If you made it this far, you deserve a drink. Come over and I’ll whip up some margaritas.