Monday, November 5, 2007

CBC with a Chem-7, STAT!

When I used to watch the show E.R. pretty regularly, it seemed every patient through the doors needed a CBC, most of them needed the additional, mysterious Chem-7, and all of them needed it STAT! I marvelled at the medical jargon, and left each show with a new vocabulary word for the week.

This weekend, Matt got very sick. We weren't in the ER, but we were in our clinic Friday, Saturday, and Sunday - and I heard the words CBC and Chem-7 - not in conjunction with an abstract patient on a TV show, but about my husband. An entirely different feeling, let me tell you.

Apparently, either a staph or strep infection found it's way into a cut on Matt's hand, and decided to just make itself at home in what is presumed to be a weak spot in his left elbow. Thursday night, his elbow looked like it had a golf ball attached to the end of it, and was feeling kind of warm. Matt spent the evening trying to figure out if he had bonked it or something.

By Friday morning, he wasn't feeling too well, and decided to go in and see the doctor. Since he usually stays at home on Fridays, this meant finding last-minute daycare for Colton (have I mentioned lately that Tina is a saint?), and getting to work late. I will here and now admit that by the time I got to work, I may have uttered a few words about how wimpy guys are when they are sick, about how I still keep the kids at home when I'm sick, and how I couldn't believe we were paying for daycare on a Friday - not that I'm bitter or anything. Anyhow, I completely retracted all such statements later on Friday afternoon--after all the CBC, Chem-7, STAT jargon . . .

Now, back to our regularly scheduled story . . . . Matt called me at work to say he could not drive himself to the doctor, and could I come get him and take him in. Yes, yes, you evil people, I was still saying he was a wimp at this point - don't you think I feel guilty enough???? Anyway, I head home to taxi him into town, and found my poor, usually tough, macho man sicker than I'd ever, ever seen him before - including the great "Red Tide Seafood Incident" of 2000. It was at this point when the guilt from my sarcastic remarks hit me full force, and I turned into "turbo nurse" in less than 60 seconds. I think at that point I looked something like this . . .



We spent the better part of the day in the walk-in clinic, where some very competent nurses administered IV fluids, antibiotics, anti-nausea medicine, and just plain good care - albeit on a 4' medical table meant for 15 minute visits - Matt's 6'3" frame didn't fit too comfortably. When we were finished, it was off to Safeway to fill more antibiotic prescriptions, to the school to pick up the boys, and them home to the couch, with instructions to return in 24 hours for another round.

So, we all trudged through the next few days - monitoring temperatures (which ranged from 97 to 102.8!), pushing fluids, timing antibiotic doses, worrying, coaxing food, quieting boys, worrying, monitoring sleeping, getting little sleep, checking temperatures again, worrying, pushing more fluids, and taxiing to the doctor. By Sunday, I didn't even care to look like the above nurse, I had turned into this one . . .



Alas, on Sunday, I think we turned the corner. He still didn't feel great, but all that medicine was starting to do its job. His appetite was back, and he even changed his clothes to head into the doctor.

For the last 3 visits, he would sit on the bed, freezing as the cold IV made its way into his blood stream, trying unsuccessfully to spread the paper-thin, white, clinic issued blanket in such a way as to actually be conducive to warmth. All the time, his warm, soft blanket was in the car waiting for him. He had said it was hard enough to look tough walking into the clinic with his "puke bowl" each day - he just couldn't see carrying his "wubby" too!!

Well, my mom made Matt his "wubby" earlier this year. She also makes his favorite - Pecan Pie - pretty much every time we come visit. I told him if he was too proud to carry in his love-laden blanket, then I'd tell mom she just didn't need to ever make him anything again, including another pecan pie!

Either the threat worked, or he was just plain tired of shivering all the way through the IV antibiotic treatment, because by Sunday, he left the puke bowl in the car, and brought this in instead . . .


Isn't he cute?? I can say that now - since I know he isn't going to die - and he's still too weak to chase me down and beat me up ;-)

Thank you Lord, for giving us the strength to get through the weekend, for giving the doctors wisdom, and for healing Matt. Thank you friends, for all your prayers. Thank you, Darla, for driving all over the countryside and watching my boys. Thank you, mom, that Matt had a "wubby" to take to the Dr's office! It's been quite a weekend . . .

3 comments:

Darla said...

Oh my gosh... I love the post :)
I hope you can run... he's definately gonna chase you down & beat you up *lol*

You are so welcome about the boys... I know you would do the same for me :)

I'm so glad he's feeling beter...

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

Heather! How did I miss this post? I feel horrible. It must have been while I was in New York (of course it was now that I think about it). Oh, I feel terrible I didn't even ask you about it at the retreat. How scary.

I LOVE the way you wrote this post and weaved the history of the blanket in as well as the medical jargon. I loved your honest original thoughts, too.

Someday I hope we'll get to sit by each other at a retreat again. Remember clear back at Enzian? I've never forgotten pieces of our conversations.

So glad Matt is better. So glad.

Janice said...

Very glad to hear that Matt is feeling better. I couldn't help it though, I had to show Rod the wubby picture! Hmm...might make for interesting conversation at the Christmas Party. Although, Rod doesn't have much room to talk - he takes his "gooka" lots of places too!