Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Our Eight Hour Day

Our day was well planned - first the dentist, then the blood test, drop book at library, shop for a jet tub for our new condo, and maybe get lunch somewhere, and then go home and pack some dishes.

Day began at the dentist for the routine 6 month cleaning and check-up.  It was long - she numbed my gums - a new experience - and so the mouth felt weird through the whole thing.  But all is well and I don't go back for another 6 months.  It took one hour and ten minutes.

We were at Thirlby Clinic for a blood draw and a pneumonia shot for Dick.  All I did was to ask if Dr. Burke could fit me in sometime soon for a consultation about my recent elevated heart rate.  After a lengthy discussion with his nurse (Barb) she and Dick convinced me that I should go to the ER.  I kept repeatedly saying I don't want to do that, I really don't want to do that!  I remember going to the ER with Mom a couple of times and remember it being tiring, stressful, frustrating, and lengthy - especially lengthy.

To make a very long story very short, we went to the ER.  We were there for seven (7) (VII) hours!!  We saw Annie, Renee the nurse, Dr. Fowler (I really liked him), Sarah for blood draw, another Sarah for chest x-ray, Megan for another blood draw, Kelly for transport to nuclear med., Molly for the VQ test (?) - it's testing how efficiently your body is delivering oxygen or something - I have to look it up:

[The test is performed in the radiology department of a hospital or in an outpatient facility. You are asked to put on a hospital gown. Once you are ready, multiple pictures of your chest are taken from different angles, using a special camera that detects the radionuclide. For half of these pictures, you are asked to breathe from a tube that has a mixture of air, oxygen, and a slightly radioactive version of a gas called xenon, which can be detected by the camera, and which measures airflow in different parts of the lung. For the other half of the pictures, the camera tracks the injected radionuclide to determine blood flow in different parts of the lung.]

Dick is reading a great book with good stories about growing up in northern Michigan at the turn of the century and beyond.  He kept me entertained reading me some of the best ones.  He had his iPad and I had my phone, and of course there are also magazines around, but it all gets old quickly. Hours
of waiting - but even after infusing 2 liters of saline to increase fluid volume, my pulse was still jumping all around.  I felt fine - not dizzy, didn't feel sick at all - just tired of being there.

Dr. Fowler came in at last and summarized:  kidneys are working well, no pulmonary problems, heart rate is high because of low blood volume - heart has to work harder. Stop taking diuretics.  Drink plenty of fluids and call Dr. Burke in the morning.

Finally, we were free at last.  Had a late dinner at Rico's - we hadn't eaten since breakfast.  Have to check in with Dr. Burke in the morning.

To summarize, today I got 8 hours and ten minutes of medical attention, and all I got out of it was clean teeth.

The most impatient patient.

Dick patiently waiting with the patient who is not very patient!

Dick's reaction when we are finally set free!!!