It's Friday 13th. And it started early.
The nurse woke me at 12:45 because Maggie's sats(oxygen saturation levels) were dropping and she was needing more and more oxygen. We got her stabilized and she fell asleep. I decided to wait on the ER because she needed the rest. She was stable and we were dong everything they would do at the hospital. Things are just easier in the cool light of morning. I came back down around 5:45 and she was still needing a ton of oxygen.
I called the pulmonologist. He does't know Maggie - never seen her. I talked to him the other day after the xray which he called "equivocal". He gave me some attitude immediately and put the hair on the back of my neck at attention. Not a good idea. he said, "Recall I suggested we see her yesterday." I responded with "yes, that's Right, doctor and she wasn't that sick then. TODAY she is sicker and I'm wondering if I should bring her to the ER." pause, "Well I certainly would." A little jab, but I ignored it.
Ok. We go to the ER, she has another chest xray and a ton of lab work. She has a very high heart rate (like 140) and low sats (like 83) and needs a ton of O2. The also give her a litre of fluids because she's dehydrated. We are doing great in the ER and then this same doc from the phone call comes down with a sort of "I don't know why you are here" attitude.
Really, dude? You guilt me for not coming, and then question why I've come. Even the ER doc and nurse called him on that. I wanted to say "Pick a side and stay there - don't just be opposite of me. It's not a fun place to be." - but I didn't.
He figured it out soon enough.
I got a little snippy with him and insisted we have a game plan. He threatened admission. I said "do you think she needs that" He said No, I said "then why are you suggesting it? don't think that's what I want. I just want to know when I should be worried enough to come back." He said come back if she needs increased oxygen and has a high heart rate. I looked at Steve and at the ER doc incredulously and said, "you mean like NOW?" He said I guess I mean higher than this. What's the highest O2 need she's ever had? I said "this is it." He said. ok, if it gets any higher.
He wasn't making any sense, but I discerned it isn't an obvious bacterial issue and the drugs she is on should be ok. Or it's viral and they won't help and neither will any other drug. I can handle this at home, but I don't want to be stupid or cavalier about when we should go.
When he left the room I looked at Steve and shook my head. I said "that was unnecessarily difficult. Steve just smiled wanly and said, "he was teetering on the brink." I said "Brink of what" Steve just paused and said "we both know." I smiled because I did know. I was snippy, but I didn't take his head off like I can and will if I have to. But he WAS on the brink of that. I'm getting better in my old age.
So we are home and hoping two things. 1) this starts to go in a positive direction or 2) that's he's not on call this weekend. I need someone I can work with and he aint' it. The ER doc and nurse kept telling me NOT TO HESITATE TO RETURN.
We left there with a dx of "presumptive viral pneumonia" and told "to get plenty of rest and fluids." After all tht it sounded like a commercial for Bayer aspirin.
Apparently Maggie's only olympic event was rapid breathing. She medaled.
Everyone's a winner