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6 Hours on Friday

February 25, 2009

Brian has this problem with his esophagus where it contracts and he can’t swallow. The episodes usually last anywhere from a few minutes to an hour. Except last week. He had an episode during dinner on Thurday and it never went away. Friday morning I took him to the ER. It was so bad he couldn’t even swallow. Poor guy.

When you’re at the hospital for any length of time there are lots of thing you see and hear. At one point I told Brian that I really should be taking notes for my blog. A little later I did actually start writing stuff down. :)

When we got to the ER it wasn’t crowded. There were at least 20 nurses just sitting around doing nothing. We were checked in and told to go back to room 16. A nurse named Bryan (with a “y”) soon came in to find out what was going on. There must have been a paper shortage that day as he wrote all his notes on a paper towel. He got what he needed and went on his way and we waited…and waited…and waited…and then waited some more. Finally a doctor came in and asked all the same questions Bryan had asked. He must not have seen the paper towel. He says we need a specialist and goes on his way. And we waited…and waited…and waited…and then waited some more.

I’m not sure what the nurses there would do if there was an urgent emergency. I could hear people asking to use the bathroom, throwing up, crying in pain, and no one bothered to check on them. We sat for hours before Bryan came back. He must have forgotten to grab a paper towel because this time he wrote his notes on a tissue.

I felt bad for the woman crying and insisting her nose was broken. It wasn’t. Or the older lady who was brought in and her daughter (at least I think it was her daughter) kept asking her what day it was. She didn’t know. Heck, if not knowing the day gets you admitted to the ER then I should have been admitted as well since earlier that morning I had no idea what the date was! Once they moved past the date the daughter starts telling her how she invited Vinnie and Donna for brunch. It’ll be good to see them and good for Vinnie & Donna to get out. He can just drop her off at the door. It’ll be good for them to get out. Vinnie and Donna must not get out much. Note to self: Use “inside voice” at the ER.

The t.v.’s in the entire hospital for off for the whole morning. Something about getting ready for the switch to digital t.v. Whatever. I kept myself busy with the games on Brian’s phone. And listening to all the interesting people. :)

After sitting for several hours I needed to pee. The bathroom was a very busy place but I finally noticed the door was open. Wouldn’t you know, someone had left one of those plastic “pee collectors” on the toilet. I figured since I was there…I left a urine sample. I’m still waiting for them to call with the results. LOL!

Finally they are able to move Brian to another department. Bryan comes in to get him ready for the move. He keeps calling Brian “chief”. And I’m pretty sure he called the other male nurse “Babe”. Okay…

They wheeled Brian and the entire bed to another area of the hospital. I’m directed to wait in a waiting room “all the way at the end of the hall” while they transfer him to another bed. This bed transer process must be a long and highly confidential operation. I sat there forever! Would you believe there wasn’t a People magazine to be found? I thought about reading the AARP magazine. After all, I will be 40 this year. I picked up Tucson Lifestyle. The only thing interesting was an ad for a resaurant called “Chopped”. They serve salads, sandwiches and paninis. We need one of those around here. Nothing like a good panini. Since I’ve been thinking about vacations I decided to look through the AAA Home & Away magazine. I’m seriously considering the “Tulip & Windmill Tour” in Amsterdam. It’s quite a bargain at only $3130 per person. Those must be some tulips!

I was finally called back to see Brian and discovered they were going to do a scope of his esophagus. The nurses in this department were so nice. They did wonder where his records from the ER were. Brian told them they would need to find the cocktail napkin they were written on. They thought he was joking. I had a mini-melt-down when I called my mother-in-law and told her what was going on. This entire thing came at then end of what had already been a stressful week with Nick’s health and Tay being sick. I didn’t mean to cry.

So, the time finally came for the proceedure and I was sent back to the waiting room. There was a sweet old man out there who would say “I hope I don’t run over your toes” every time he walked through with his walker. There was a very lively conversation taking place in spanish. I have no idea what they were talking about. Dr. Kuchamonga was paged about 23 times. Once more and I was going to go hunt him down myself.

Finally the “Start Family” was called. Hmmm…since I had seen them mess up almost every name they had called during my wait I was sure that was for me. I checked…did she mean “Starr”? Yes, she did. I’m put in another waiting room to talk to the doctor. He never came. While I was waiting I could hear them calling Brian’s name trying to get him to wake up. He doesn’t remember that. The nurse says the doctor must have gone into the next surgery and takes me back to see Brian. When he had the episode at dinner some food had gotten lodged in there. Pork roast. So much for the other white meat. Guess I won’t serve that again! The doctor comes in and tells us that he wants to see Brian this week to stretch his esophagus. Pray for him. He’s had this done before and it’s awful.

Anyhoo…after this LONG day we finally head home. Brian goes upstairs to try and get some sleep. I hadn’t had lunch…so I finished off the rest of the pork roast. :)

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