This is the kind of news I hate reporting. When I arrived at St. Mary’s Hospital this morning around 10:30 after my endovascular appointment, Don’s room was empty. I had thought it a little strange that I hadn’t heard from him because he usually calls me in the morning. I hesitate to call him, because I never know if he can reach his phone. When I didn’t find him, I thought perhaps he had been moved to the rehab unit.
I checked with the clerk down the hall and she told me he was in ICU! When I saw one of his nurses back down the hall, I asked her what happened. She was appalled that no one had called me, and said she would report that to her manager. Evidently the liquid they gave him for constipation had come back up and he had aspirated and now has some fluid in his left lung.
Dr. Coaker arrived in ICU about the same time I did, and Don was just coming back from having a CT scan of his abdomen. The doc wasn’t too concerned about the lung because the amount of fluid is minimal, and although Don’s now on a somewhat higher level of oxygen, that had come down as well. There is no blockage in his intestines; the main problem now is the constipation.
After trying several means of ending the problem, the next step was to give him Go Lightly, which is a misnomer because that’s what you take to prepare for a colonoscopy. After two doses, Don became very sleepy and told me to go home as I couldn’t do anything to help, and he wanted to rest.
Even through all this, Don’s spirit is good, he hasn’t lost his sense of humor, and he keeps saying he’s not giving up, fighting each new challenge.
And the speech therapist came by and said they’re keeping his spot warm in the hospital’s rehab unit. Hurray for that!
It turns out that the ICU nurse Shannon DID try to call me, but the hospital’s records show Don’s phone number for both of us. This, in spite of the fact that we filled out every form with MY number as the one to call regarding his condition! I’m guessing some admissions clerk wasn’t careful when entering the info into the computer.
So it’s been a frustrating day, but hopefully just a minor hiccup in the overall picture.