Friday, November 13, 2009

update from the hospital

When I left Mom in her ER berth, her vitals were:

Pulse 83-- high for Mom.
Pulse Ox 98-- quite good.
BP 161/94-- high for Mom.
Resp 18-- high for Mom.

I talked with the nurse a bit, and gave her a vague sketch of Mom's history. Curiously, Mom's meds didn't show up on whatever screen the nurse was looking at-- a problem we've encountered before, because the hospital's various departments don't have a unified database. This boggles the mind.

Dad had given me his list of Mom's meds and had sent me in with Mom. This proved unwise, because Dad is able to quote chapter and verse about Mom's history-- her meds' respective dosages, frequencies, and purposes, etc. I can recite the dates of Mom's four surgeries, but quoting exact dates for things like her daptomycin regimen and her various visits to NCI (and to her other docs) is a more difficult task.

I'm not sure that Dad is convinced we should even be out here tonight, but I can't shake the feeling that Tuesday's day-long slumber was an ominous sign, and that Mom's reduced functionality since Wednesday morning does not bode well.

A doctor and a stroke nurse are both slated to see Mom. Dad's back in the ER berth with her now; Sean is waiting out front with me as I type this entry. The ER isn't allowing more than one visitor into the ER at a time. As I said to Sean, this is problematic: Dad's better at quoting Mom's history, but I'm better at asking the pertinent questions. He and I should be facing the docs together.

I'm hoping the stroke nurse will swoop in, do some neuro checks, and declare "It's not a stroke." It probably isn't a stroke: I'd associate a stroke with constantly deteriorating functionality, but in Mom's case, it seems more as if her functionality clunked down a distinct level, then immediately stabilized.

The problem these days is that it's hard to know what's going on in Mom's head. She's so uncommunicative that we have little choice but to examine her closely

Sean's got to wake up at 8AM, so he might not be able to hang around long.

Will write again when we know more.

UPDATE: Dad came out and Sean has gone in. David is on his way. Dad says the stroke nurse came by, and has ruled out stroke. This still leaves open the question of what might have caused the recent changes in Mom's behavior (e.g., digging through her soup with her fingers-- something she hasn't done in a while).

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