Sunday, January 6, 2013

October 9, 2012 - The Decision

The last post, covering October 8, 2012, was a bit of a cliffhanger since we all went to bed wondering what Mom would decide to do the next day. Peritoneal or hemo? Peritoneal or hemo? Peritoneal or hemo? Today had less activity than yesterday, with only 8 text messages and 90 minutes of phone calls (compared to 15 and 180 yesterday.)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I called Mom at 8:13 AM after she sent me a text message to call her. She’s feeling slightly better, but she has decided to do hemodialysis. [And there was much rejoicing.She’ll call the PD clinic at 9:00 AM to find out what to do next. I let Laura and Amy know the good news. 

At 9:28 AM I received a phone call from the nephrologist at the PD clinic, Dr. S. He explained hospital options, checking in today vs. tomorrow, and in which hospital she could be seen by Dr. V, her original nephrologist. I then called Mom and she decided to go today to the hospital where she would be seen by Dr. V. I was hoping she would at least be admitted to a hospital today, so maybe dialysis could start tomorrow. I didn't want her to be admitted tomorrow, and then we'd possibly lose another day before dialysis starts.

At 10:07 AM I called Dr. S and told him Mom would like to go to Presbyterian Hospital in Plano today. He said he would contact the clinic and Dr. V’s office, and someone from Dr. V’s office would call me back. Mom called me at 11:26 AM and said the PD clinic had called her and told her to go to the emergency room at Presbyterian Plano.

Dr. V called me at 11:29 AM. She asked a little about the history and how Mom’s doing now. She said she would contact the ER doc at Presby Plano and let them know to expect Mom, ask them to do some initial bloodwork, etc. She explained that tomorrow morning they’ll likely insert the temporary catheter for hemodialysis in her neck and start dialysis. Hopefully before she is discharged in two to three days they’ll insert the permanent fistula for hemodialysis and remove the PD catheter from her abdomen. I then called Mom and relayed all that to her.

I then arranged to have Laura take Mom to the hospital. Laura took Mom and called me at 2:52 PM. She said Mom was being seen in the emergency room. They took a chest x-ray, and they had a hard time drawing blood because she’s so dehydrated. Laura says Mom is very out of it, and simply exhausted. Laura called me again at 4:22 PM. Dr. V had come in for awhile and Mom perked up while talking to her. Dr. V talked about inserting the catheter tomorrow morning and starting hemodialysis. She’ll talk to the surgeon about removing the PD catheter and inserting the fistula for hemodialysis, but some vein mapping has to be done first. She talked to Mom about doing hemodialysis after she gets out of the hospital. It will be three times per week, 3.5 hours each time.

As of 6:00 PM they had completed the hospital admissions process, so now they are waiting on a room to become available. On my way to the hospital a little after 7:00 PM I found out she was told she might not get a room at all tonight. Wouldn't that be wonderful?

I arrived around 7:30 PM and found Mom and Laura in the ER. A nurse came in and tried to draw blood from her right arm, but gave up on getting enough. Before that nurse left, another nurse and a woman wearing a red shirt came in. Laura told me the woman in the red shirt was the leader of the red team. She came in talking on a cell phone, with quite a sense of urgency about her. She started relaying Mom’s vital signs to whoever she was talking to, and she said “family at bed side” at one point. I didn’t know what was going on, but it was as if Mom suddenly became a critical patient and got a lot of attention. The red shirt lady was talking to the people in the lab and told them they would have to go up to Mom’s room to draw blood, because she needs this room. I also heard her say something about an ambulance waiting.

They got Mom prepped to roll very quickly and moved her upstairs to her room. She got settled in just before 8:00 PM. Laura left soon after that and I stayed there until 9:40 PM. She was watching TV when I left, but she was definitely tired.

As you can imagine, it was a huge relief to finally have Mom in a hospital to get hemodialysis started. Hopefully the next blog post can cover more than one calendar day, because at this rate we'll never catch up to real time.

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