for Pat Adair, and the people who love her...

Our beloved Pat got some shocking news recently, and we're off and running on a mysterious medical adventure. Not an adventure we would have picked, but we're off just the same... (If you're new to the blog, start here.)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Where everybody knows your name

It's almost 1 a.m., and I just got back from John Muir Hospital, where I had to take Mom this afternoon at four. After my last message she slept like a rock for three hours, but was just as confused when she woke up as she'd been before the nap. A few months ago she'd had an episode like that but had recovered from it after a sleep, so I was hoping for the same. But in spite of not having any temperature, she was very confused and antsy. After talking to the doctor who gave her the shot earlier in the day, I decided it was best to take her in, and if they just monitored her for a while and let her go, that would be fine.

I was able to get her into the car, so I didn't have to call an ambulance. On the way, though, she was really fidgety, and tried to open the door several times while we were driving. For a lot of the day she had kind of a nervous energy that was looking for something to do, but didn't know what to do with it. (In a funny and nice coincidence, the nurse that admitted us was a former neighbor of mine in Walnut Creek, and someone I hadn't seen in 15 years.)

We had the usual treatment in the emergency room: once they decide you're not going to die suddenly, you move way down the list and are lucky to get any attention. It actually makes sense, but it's frustrating. In past trips, Mom's confusion has gone away as soon as her temperature returned to normal. This time she didn't have a temperature, and her confusion just wasn't going away - and still hadn't by the time I left. She was feeling more calm, but still wasn't sure what year it was. The initial battery of tests all came back normal, except for a slightly elevated white blood count. That could indicate early stages of infection, but it was only 11,000, where normal is 10,000, and last time it was 20,000. The only plausible explanation, so far, is that it's a build-up of the pain meds. The problem with that explanation is that I can pinpoint the time she became confused within a few minutes. She just turned a corner somehow right after she got the injection this morning. That injection shouldn't cause that, and if it did have a reaction, it couldn't happen with minutes of receiving it. Could it? Oh, that's right - I don't know. And neither do the doctors.

Mom eventually got moved up to her favorite ward - 3 North. Where everybody knows your name, and they're always glad you came. Sort of.

I'm beat, so I'm going to bed. I'll keep you posted. Thanks everyone, for your love and good wishes, sent and unsent. I appreciate them all, although I do have a bias for the sent ones....



At June 23, 2008 8:29 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Dave!! My heart aches for you and my Aunt Pat. Such familiar scary feelings and anxiety. And I have an idea how you feel about needing to take care of yourself(with your eye surgery- which fo course you need to do). When my dad was so sick it was hard to leave him and go home to my family in Idaho that needed me. Oh man were they neglected. It was so hard being with him so much, to watch him suffer and he got pretty cranky those last months - insane amounts of pain will do that to a person. But I'm so happy that I have so many memories of me and my dad, taking care of him like parent and child. It really comforting to know that I did everything I could do to take care of him.
I guess what I'm trying to say is "hang in there, you'll be glad you did." The end comes too fast when it does, no matter how much you want it to come.
Please tell my Aunt Pat how much I love her. I love you too! And Mike and Dave and Courtney and Brooke too!
Keep posting Dave! We really appreciate it!!
Love, Liz


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