Thursday, March 19, 2015

Rob's Hospital Visit, The Whole Story

Nearly one week later and we're finally to a point where I can tell the story of Rob's most recent hospital stay. 
On Friday morning he was having chest pain that was more severe than his normal chest pain. He decided it was time to go to the ER, so we went to the small ER here in Benson. 
They evaluated him and decided with his extensive history they should transfer him to a larger hospital in Tucson about 50 miles away. They actually didn't have a cardiologist on staff. 
Rob was taken by ambulance to Tucson Medical Center. His doctors did many, many tests. He had CT scans, and echocardiogram, EKGs, and hundreds of lab tests but the one test that would probably give the best information is exceedingly dangerous for Rob. He is in stage four kidney failure. That is the stage before dialysis. Rob needed to have an angiogram so the doctors could view his heart function but that test is done with dye and dye is very hard on your kidneys. 

The doctors decided to give Rob IV fluids in an attempt to get his kidney function to improve so they could use the dye to do his angiogram. The IVs ran for four days while they watched his kidneys. He also had a nitroglycerin drip for the chest pain.

This is how it feels to be in Rob's hospital room. Wires, tubes and machines everywhere.

Each morning a heard of 7 or 8 doctors, some medial students, would come into his room and go over his case and examine him. Just like an episode of Grey's Anatomy. 

On Tuesday morning all of the fluid they had been pumping into Rob for days and days finally pushed him over the edge into congestive heart failure. When that happens he feels like he's drowning. They say it is a terrifying feeling. He had a chest x-ray and did have fluid in his lungs. The doctors were reluctant to do anything to get the fluid out of his system because they didn't want to ruin the progress they had made with his kidneys but they eventually had to stop the IVs and give him something to help move the fluid out of his system. Tuesday was a long and rough day. 
By Wednesday morning he was better and they were able to take him to the cath lab and do his angiogram. The results were basically the same as the last one he had a few years ago. There was nothing for them to fix and his heart function is only slightly reduced from the last angiogram. That is good news. It means his chest pain is most likely being caused by the part of his heart that is already damaged and is not causing further damage.
The plan now is to watch his kidneys to make sure they continue to function adequately while they process the IV dye out of his system.
Hopefully his heart and kidneys can play nicely together and he can come home soon.

7 comments:

  1. This seems like what happens way too many times; a crises created by the doctors and then fixed by the doctors. Dang, I feel sorry for Rob. Sure hope he gets out of that hospital and away from doctors just as soon as he can.

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    1. Thanks Dizzy! Rob is much better today both physically and mentally. Hope it stays that way and he can come home tomorrow.

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  2. Oh gheez...the worse part of living on the road. I hate the unfamiliarity of docs and hospitals. I hope things take an upturn...we can only hope some one is in our court. We in the midst of tests, and tests, and no answers on lab results...ugh! "Office closed"....whatever! Hang in there....good times right around the bend is all we can hope!

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    1. Thanks for your positive thoughts. It's not an entirely bad thing this time that we were with unfamiliar doctors. We belong to an HMO and sometimes I feel like they are too concerned with their costs. These doctors didn't have that on their minds and were very thorough. It made me feel better. I'm glad we are nearing the end of this. It wears me out !

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  3. Oh gheez...the worse part of living on the road. I hate the unfamiliarity of docs and hospitals. I hope things take an upturn...we can only hope some one is in our court. We in the midst of tests, and tests, and no answers on lab results...ugh! "Office closed"....whatever! Hang in there....good times right around the bend is all we can hope!

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  4. I'm very sorry for your rough week, but glad some of the tests came back with good news. Hope they can have him on the mend and you two back on the road soon.

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    1. Donna, you were so right about the hospital. We have been in many but this is without question the best hospital we have experienced. The staff are great, doctors are wonderful and I felt comfortable leaving at the end of the day because I knew he'd be well taken care of.

      We're really excited to see some of this area so we'll be staying longer to rest and see the sights.

      Thanks for you well wishes.
      Juley

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