[Continued from 06/24/2014] I drove to our newest medical center emergency department, gave the clerk all of Harry’s information and he was called to the treatment area in less than fifteen minutes. I was told to wait, I don’t remember the reason, especially since I am actually writing this in December of 2014 but back-dating it to when this occurred in June of 2014.
After Harry’s initial assessment and being settled into a bed, I was allowed in his room. I was very impressed with the design of the emergency department. The rooms were in a circular layout with what I refer to as the “command center” in the middle of the department. Someone gave tremendous thought to the function and accessibility of this area. All of the rooms were behind glass walls with patio-sized sliding doors, just like in the t.v. show, House, sliding curtains provided privacy in each room.
When I was shown to Harry’s room, he was already in the bed and a nurse was keying information into the computer system. I do not recall if the doctor had seen Harry yet. I do not recall most of the particulars other than when I met the doctor, he explained they were going to do several tests, the first being Cat Scratch Fever. Yes, there really is a medical condition with that name and a laboratory test to confirm if one is actually stricken with it. My memory is insisting that the results of the test for this disease are not immediate but take a day or two or more. I do not recall, but some sort of test was being done which needed to grow in a Petri dish and would take at least twenty-four hours before results could be read.
Meanwhile, actually several hours later, the doctor told us that he was going to admit Harry to the hospital with a diagnosis of sepsis, a serious condition, here is how Mayo Clinic describes symptoms and the criteria required for a medical diagnosis of sepsis.
A nurse told us that Harry would be transported to the hospital via ambulance and she gave me his room number. I don’t know what took so long, but it was at least another hour or longer before the ambulance arrived to transport Harry. He had been given pain medication and was quite comfortable while I was starving. I think it was around 3 o’clock in the afternoon when the ambulance arrived and he was finally on his way to the hospital. I told him that I would see him at the hospital later, I needed to grab some fast food first.
The first thing I noticed while walking to Harry’s room on the tenth floor was an armed police officer sitting in a chair at the end of the hallway, next to an Exit doorway to the stairs. I was most curious about that and although I was tempted to approach him and ask nosy questions, I decided against it and merely assumed a criminal must be in that hospital room, handcuffed to the bed.
Harry’s room was comfortable and clean although he complained about it being hot because the setting sun heated the room through the window. When he complained enough, a maintenance man came to check out the heat/air conditioning unit in the room. While taking it apart, the maintenance man used some sort of air compressor to blow out the unit. Dust and dirt went flying throughout the room! Harry was livid, “Can you just imagine what kind of germs were floating around in there? What kind of people were in that bed before me? What kind of germs were they spitting or coughing out?” That was a disturbing thought indeed.
At some point in the three days Harry was hospitalized, the results of the Cat Scratch Fever test came back negative. That was a good thing, but, we still did not know what he had done to his hand to end up with sepsis. It must have been scraped while on a call to a customer’s home to work on a gas appliance or furnace.
Some of the homes Harry goes into need to be condemned for filth and risk of diseases, honestly! He told me a story of entering a home where an elderly man was lying on a small bed in the living room, soiled with urine and feces, calling for his son who would not come to help the old man or clean him up. There were cock roaches crawling on the walls. Another customer had so many dogs and a pet pig kept indoors, wallowing in their own filth. Some people actually live like this. These stories remind me of A&E’s show, Hoarding and Animal Planet’s show about police who have to go into homes where animals are hoarded and not cared for properly. Sick stuff, no wonder he ended up with sepsis.
I have digressed. Back at the hospital, Harry had been connected to heavy doses of antibiotics intravenously and the criteria for releasing him was to have his fever reduced below a certain number as well as his blood count, I think it was white blood cells, to also be lower than a certain number. Finally, on day three, Harry’s numbers were at an acceptable range for his release. The photo at left is how his hand looked on the day of release, still fairly swollen but much improved.
The month of June closed pretty much like it had begun, Vayda still had incontinence and my eye was still in bad shape but had, at some point during the month of June, seen the eye surgeon and would have corrective macular surgery in July. For now, bye bye, good riddance June.