After an extremely long and frustrating day, The Squire is finally home.
Yesterday, he called me around 12:30 to say the nurse had told him the doctor would be in to see him in about 20 minutes, and they would discuss a possible discharge. It takes 15 minutes to get to the hospital, so I grabbed a bagel and drove his car down the road. (It is almost impossible for The Squire to fit into my Nissan; he has to ride in the KIA.) I arrived shortly before 1:00, bummed countless cups of coffee from the staff and got a bag of cheese crackers from the machine; that was my lunch. At 4:05 I slipped my purse over my shoulder and kissed him goodnight.
As I reached for the door the doctor walked in. We weren’t nasty, but we made it quite clear that this had been easily the longest 20 minutes on record. He did apologize, and said he’d had two admissions, ya-dah, ya-dah, but then told my husband that there were still some problems with his blood work and they wanted to do a stress test early this morning – NPO, of course. “We’ll make as early as possible, so you’ll be back in your room for breakfast.
I had asked my girlfriend if she wanted to meet me at IKEA for breakfast at 9:30, and then I’d go over to the hospital and she could do some shopping. Well, she couldn’t make it, and it was all for the best. I moseyed around here, running the vacuum, dusting, etc. and call The Squire’s room several times, beginning around 11:00. By 1:00 I was absolutely frantic, and could not find a phone number for the hospital. Whitepages.com is the most single useless piece of junk I have ever encountered. You look up one hospital and the first thing you get is a listing for another hospital entirely, and then two veterinarians, and finally six – six – listings for the hospital you want. Each one goes to a different department, but you don’t know it is until you call, and a sweet voice informs you that you have reached the Women’s Pavilion, Sport Medicine, Neuro and Pulmonology, and so forth. There was NO listing for the front desk.
Just as I was about to jump in the car and go down there, The Squire called from his room, sounding very, very tired. They had collected him at 11:00 (I probably just missed him) which doesn’t count as “first thing in the morning” in my book, and had brought him back up at 1:15. Because of his feet, he had to have a thallium stress test, which he passed with flying colors. Honestly, if I had gotten there at 10:30, fully expecting him to be back, when he hadn’t even left the room, there would have been Big Trouble. When I worked at Hopkins, thallium tests were very tightly scheduled; if you were told your test would be at 9:30, don’t show up at 9:32. They’d send you back home. I suppose in-patient testing is a little “looser” but it’s annoying to the patient and the family.
Anyway, two doctors came in around 3:30 and gave him the all-clear, and said he ought to have his discharge papers in hand by 5:00, so he called me to come get him. Yesterday we had discussed whether or not he would have been able to manage this at home, rather than my dragging him down to the ER. They both told him No. One doctor hung his elbow over the I.V. stand and said he didn’t think “you wife would be able to handle this” and the other looked up from a sheaf of papers and told my husband his electrolytes would have never gotten back on track by themselves. “Believe me, we don’t keep patients in the hospital for five days if they could get well at home”.
So, we walked out a little after 5:00, and came straight home. The Squire wanted to work on his genealogy stuff, but gave that up after about ten minutes. Right now he is watching TV, and I fully expect to find him sound asleep when I go up.