10.29.2008

Close to Home, pt.2

I can see the concern on our nurse's face when he hears my report. I sound less like a family member, and more like an EMT.

"Seventy nine year old female presented with sudden slurred speech. Cincinnati Stroke Scale wasn't exactly passed, but wasn't exactly failed either. No other complaints, other than excessive thirst. No history of diabetes. Some left sided facial droop. She's just acting...strangely."
"Good catch," he says as he puts his hand on my shoulder.
"Thanks."
"Whatever happens, you did a good job."

I just nod as I go into my grandma's room. I watch the tech start a great IV, and sit down in the corner. The doctor comes in, starts talking, and before I know it, she's in the CT scan. I am exceedingly tired, and I try not to take a little nap.

"When can we go," I hear my grandma say as she's wheeled back in the room.
"I don't know, Grandma. We have to get you checked out and make sure you're okay."
"Then we can go to New York?"

I look to my mom and she just sighs.

"I don't know, Grandma," I say again.
"What do you mean?"
"Well we'll just have to see what happens, okay?"
"Okay."

Time passes and my vision starts to blur. I work so hard to keep my eyes open, but every now and again I let them shut. I drift off for a few minutes, but when I open my eyes, I see the doctor.

"Everything looks fine, Mrs. Montgomery. I think you had a TIA, but I feel comfortable discharging you with a prescription for Plavix. Now if you need anything don't hesitate to come back here, okay?"
"Okay," she says, "now how about New York?"
"G...grandma," I pause, "I don't think we're going to New York."
"What? Why? Of course we are."
"I just don't feel comfortable driving all the way up there with you having just had a TIA."
"But we have to go! Let's just go now and we an get there early in the morning, okay?"
"No, we're going to get something to eat and then go back home."
"Fine," she sighs, "whatever you think is best."

I feel so bad, but I know it's what's best for her. I help her to the bathroom one more time, and on the way she stumbles over nothing, catching my arm. Once in the bathroom, she falls and I catch her before she can hit the ground.

"Hey, Doc, I don't know about taking her home. She just fell in the bathroom and tripped in the hall...I just don't know."
"I say just take her home, and then have her see her doc there. Maybe he can direct admit her to the hospital there."
"Yeah...uhhh...okay."

We find a place to eat in this military school town, and I eat quickly. I just want to get home so we can get her taken care of, but time seems to be moving so slowly. I get up to take her to the bathroom again, and two military guys eye me hungrily. I sigh heavily and help her into the bathroom.

"I don't feel so good," she says.
"How so?"
"Just don't feel so good."
"Okay, let's get you out of here, alright?"
"Okay."

We go back to the table to get the check, and she reiterates this sentiment to my mom. Mom looks at me, I look at the car, and she nods.

"Pop-pop," I say sort of quietly, "we're going to go back to the hospital."
"Why?"
"She's not getting any better, and now she's saying that she feels bad. Mom and I just don't feel comfortable taking her home."
"Well okay then."

So we start the trip back.

An MRI and carotid doppler later, they decide to admit her--finally. Mom and I manage to snag the last available hotel room in the city and collapse onto the beds tiredly.

The phone rings.

"Hey honey," I hear my mom say, and I laugh as I realize Dad's calling from Antarctica.

I roll over sleepily, and mom starts the story.

"So you'll never believe what happened today."

9 comments:

Jeff Deutsch said...

Hello Sam,

Please give your grandmother - and the rest of your family - my best wishes for her rapid recovery. I know how it must be for you, and I'm sure it's no different for her other close family members.

Jeff Deutsch

Epijunky said...

Sam...

My prayers and positive thoughts are coming your way. For you, your Grandma, and your entire family.

Powerful stuff, Girl. I felt like I was right there with you. Your words took my breath away.

Love ya hon.

Michael Morse said...

I hope it all works out, sounds like you averted a possible disaster!

MedicThree said...

The hard part about having any experience in this life that is EMS or healthcare in general is that you know the reality of a situation.

When it comes to family you have to learn to Know reality and at the same time let reality go.

Before my grandfather passed away last year everyone thought he was going to get out of the hospital. I did everything I could to prepare my cousins and my mother for what I KNEW was to come. I KNEW that people in his health don't get pneumonia and walk out of the hospital a few days later.

I guess that is how it goes in this "life" we have chosen. Unlike so many careers, you can't just check it at the door when you leave the station.

As always my prayers go out to you and yours. Keep your chin up, your eyes open, and your spirits up.

You have started the tugging of the heart strings, once again...

Jedi Master Daryl said...

Yeah, that sucks. The doc should have just admitted her.

I'm glad she is in the best place for care now, and you did a good job.

Did I miss something? Is your dad exploring in Antarctica?

Evil Transport Lady said...

Even though I'm just in transport, I find myself looking at my parents differently. I see so much age related crap, that I watch more closely then I did before.

Great catch Sam, I hope she gets better fast!

Lodo Grdzak said...

I like the way Grandma still wanted to go to New York. Sounds like a cool lady.

marcia said...

Hope your grandmother's recovering well. She was lucky to have you there.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully, everything will turn out fine in the long run. Stay blessed...thank you for sharing your stories with us...thanks.