Friday, March 13, 2015

Friday the 13th.......

At about 3:30 AM the coughing had been going on steadily for about three hours.  It didn't really matter much:  Sleep wasn't on my list anyway, apparently.  I finally got up an rummaged through my purse for my inhaler and made Babygirl use it.  Half an hour later she finally quieted, and we slept.

At 6 we got up, packed our bags, loaded the car and started for Philly.  Yesterday we left five minutes too late and took an extra forty minutes in traffic, so I made sure to leave on time, but....the police barricade between us and our on-ramp was problematic.  You see, I know exactly ONE way to get where I am going and I have a dumb phone and no GPS.  So I did the next best thing:  I followed the rest of the folks making U-turns and prayed they were going the same way I was.  They led me to the next on-ramp, bless them.  Getting back home was more complex and required directions from a group of Korean mechanics with map ap on their iPad.

We got in, had breakfast, got blood work and left.  We could have had the blood drawn at our appointment with neurology, but it was in the afternoon and 20 miles off campus, so the results wouldn't be available until evening.  If they're better, we want to be home by then, right?

Back at my Sis-in-law's, Babygirl took a nap while I went to work remotely, something I can't do while at CHOP because I have no secure line.  While I was working the calls started rolling in:  Mom's doctor's nurse, re- rescheduling her appointment to see him.  Home health nurses.  Pharmacies.  Seriously folks, I can only do one medical crisis at a time.  Hubby's number given to all.  Then the call from CHOP:  "Her creatinine went UP more to 1.7.  We're scheduling  biopsy for later today. Don't let her eat or drink anything." 


I awaken Babygirl with the news and clamber back into the car to head to the off-campus appointment in King of Prussia:  "It's easy to find - it's across from the mall!".  Well.  The KOP Mall is the second largest mall in America so you can imagine that there is about 10 miles of "across the street" involved in that. While I was struggling to find it the phone calls keep coming in:  "She's too sick because of her cold to do the biopsy under sedation.  We may have to admit her for  a few days to make her better first."  "Ignore that.  They'll do it under general anesthesia."   By the time I arrived I was swearing (and crying behind my sunglasses), but still a good 40 minutes early.  I pulled myself together and went in, to be informed that our appointment was ON campus.  The receptionist offered to call and cancel for us since we "clearly weren't going to make it."  Oh, HELL, no. I'll make it. And we did.  I just drove down the Sure-Kill expressway like a Boston Driver through the Big Dig.  We were on time for our 1 PM appointment.  And we waited 45 minutes for the NP to come in. 

While we waited the phone calls came in:  Mom's doctor's office confirming the new location of her prescriptions.  Nephrology, wanting to know when we anticipated arriving 'on campus' - good news - we're here!  Anesthesiology wanting to see Babygirl before the procedure which is, as you know, any minute now and could you go and FIND the NP and tell her to get her ass in gear?  Somewhere along in the middle of all this the building caught fire.  Not near us, certainly, but a real fire one floor up, so the alarms and, OMGoodness, the flashingflashingflashing lights....the worst possible thing on a Neuro floor.

I can feel my blood pressure rising as I search an unfamiliar area for someone I've never met before.

When the neurology NP finally arrived, she called the nephrology fellow and spoke to her.  She smiled at me and said, "Breaking news!  They think Babygirl has a urinary tract infection, so no biopsy today!  Just report for admission and antibiotics when we are done here."  The visit went well, except for the phone calls:  "Could you give us your mother's Medicare number?" and texts:  "We've cancelled Monday's patients - keep us posted."  Finally finished, we head for bed-and-board to get a room assignment. 

While they are verifying addresses, phone numbers and insurance, the phone rings.  It's nephrology, wondering where we are.  Our NP comes over, fills us in on the plan, and then tells us that before we can go to our room we STILL have to see anesthesiology because they MIGHT still do the biopsy on Monday, and they'd rather be ready than scramble.  Hmm.  You mean, like the last 10 hours? 

Neurology and anesthesia are in the same building.  Bed-and-board is a block away.  We hike back. 

Did I mention that Babygirl is actually ill?  Ill enough to be admitted to the best children's hospital in the country? Putting 100 miles of ugly traffic and 2 miles of hiking under a kid this sick just seems mean. 

The anesthesiologist was nice.  It almost didn't feel like a strain to go through Babygirl's incredibly long medication list one pill at a time for the 4th (and not final) time.  She gave pre-op instructions for if we are still here, and for if we are discharged and come back for the biopsy ("Make sure they put THESE stickers on her blood the day before or we'll have to it again" like I'll remember?). 

Back to bed-and-board.  Up to a room.  Six doctors and an ultrasound later, we're still waiting for her 7 PM medications at 10 PM.  I'm too tired to get mad. 

Maybe tomorrow I'll work up the energy to pitch a fit or something.

Oh, and guess what room we're in?  13.  At least it's only the 5th floor.


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