Whew, yesterday was exhausting!
My husband woke me up around 10:30 am, 3 hours early. He said he needed me to take him to the emergency room. Talk about waking up with a bang!
I had told him just the day before that I wanted him to start using the pulse oximeter when he felt bad. At the time, I kinda felt like he was blowing me off. But to my surprise, he actually had used it—and was very alarmed when his pulse rate was 220.
So we went to the ER, me not even changing out of my pajamas (a t-shirt and sweatpants.) When we got there, they took him back to a room right away.
At first, they thought he might have sepsis because his lactic acid levels were high. But finally, after doing a CT scan of his chest, they diagnosed him with pneumonia. (And they repeated the lactic acid test and were able to rule out sepsis, thank god.)
He got supplemental oxygen and morphine, in addition to antibiotics for the pneumonia. And within just a few hours, he seemed so much better. With his pain well-controlled, he was actually able to eat a full dinner (including dessert!), which he hasn’t been able to do in months.
His pain has been grossly undertreated. I’ve tried talking to him about getting hooked up with palliative care services (which is not the same as hospice) so his pain could be more adequately treated. He finally told me that I could mention it to my social worker/therapist, who always asks if either of us need resources from UTSW. Fortunately, I’m seeing her tomorrow.
Just seeing how much better he was doing with adequate pain meds and oxygen was like setting his condition back to what it was a few months ago, when he was doing better. It actually gave me a lot of hope, a lot more than I’ve had in recent weeks. He no longer seems like he might die in a couple months. Granted, I’m still not optimistic that he’ll even make it another year, but at least it looks possible now.
He very adamantly sent me home tonight instead of letting me stay in his room, so that I could get some rest and take care of myself, too. It was hard for me to do. But I also reluctantly knew he was right, as if I push myself too much, I could very well end up in the hospital, too.
So I came home and talked with all the kids (Amy had come over with her boyfriend and got pizza for all of us.) I was able to give them the good news about J, which we talked about for a bit.
Then we moved on to talking about other stuff unrelated to J’s health. There was just this collective sense that we needed a mental break from his illness and that was good.
They left around 9 and I took a 2-hour nap. And when I woke up, I talked with Dylan for a couple hours. It was good. And he also expressed a willingness to move out of the country with me at some future date, so now I’m at two out of three on that one. I don’t know if Amy would be willing to go but she might be.
I wrote an article for Medium about the fact that all my adult kids are willing to look out for me and for each other and how I think we cultivated that. I do think it’s pretty rare. But especially when things look kinda scary, I’m also very grateful for it.