Monday, January 7, 2008

No more hospitals!

I have an announcement: If you're a friend or related to me, you're not allowed to be admitted to the hospital this week. Thank you.

Why the bossiness, you ask? Well, first, my friend Janet's lung collapsed last Thursday, and she's been in the hospital since, getting transfusions and God knows what-all, and bless her heart, she's been freaking me out. Her pitiful little voice on the phone makes me want to cry. Second, after having Daniel home for almost a month, I had to take him back to school yesterday, and the combination of saying good-bye and spending $400 on his books did have me in tears. (OK, that event has nothing to do with a hospital, except that my wallet might need to be put in the ICU.)

Then this morning, my mom called at 8:00. That's early for her to call, so I knew something was up. And it was something, all right: My dad almost died yesterday afternoon. He's been on a slew of medications for his kidneys and blood pressure and has had several spells of dizziness and weakness the past few months. He had another one yesterday afternoon, but he passed out and stopped breathing. My mom had already called 911 and still had the operator on the phone, so she yanked him out of his recliner, got him down on the floor, took his top teeth out, and gave him mouth-to-mouth. My frail, weak, full-of-aches-and-pains mom! She said, "Lisa, you know how bad my knees are--I haven't kneeled on the floor in 10 years. But I got down on the floor to give him CPR, and in between breaths, I kept screaming at him that he's NOT ALLOWED to die on me now." Only my mother could boss someone back to life, I swear.

He started having a seizure while my mom was giving him CPR, but she said his eyes were wide-open the entire time, which scared the crap out of her. Right as the EMTs got there, he started coughing a little, so she figured he was breathing again. However, his blood pressure wasn't even registering, and his heart rate was down to 25. After they got him to the hospital, the doctor had to put a temporary pacemaker in. I don't know yet whether he'll need a permanent one. If his medications get adjusted better, he might be able to avoid that. One medication he's on, Coreg (I think), does tend to slow the heart rate; it's helped quite a bit to control his blood pressure, but its side effects seem too strong for him.

I talked to him this morning for a few minutes, and he's already feeling well enough to grumble about going home. He thinks he's just fine, and everyone's overreacting. Oy. I didn't have the heart to tell him that the doctor is probably going to keep him there at least another night. I did tell him I have the number to the nurses' station (which I do), and if he gives them a hard time, they have my permission to duct-tape him to the bed. It made him laugh, but I was only half-kidding. He's a sweetheart, but I know he's going to pester those nurses to death about going home. Actually, I wouldn't put it past him to get up and try to get dressed and walk out of there. He's just that stubborn. Good thing I didn't inherit that quality, right? I'd appreciate any good thoughts you can send his way (perhaps thoughts about the value of patience!)--and maybe a few for my mom in dealing with him.