Tuesday afternoon Scot came home and said “I’m having chest pains.”
This is not a totally unknown thing for us. He’s had a few panic attacks that have landed us in the ER in this manner. So, while it was concerning, neither one of us were freaking out and calling 911. I had an appointment to get Liam to so we decided to go ahead and do that and then see where he was.
While I was gone, things did not improve. In fact, they got a bit worse. By the time I arrived home, my mother-in-law was at the house to watch the kids for us while I whisked Scot off to the ER.
After many hours, a full work up, and lots of tests his heart was deemed fine. They gave him some medicine for the pain through his IV and then sent us home. It was 11:30 pm. I was exhausted. I had been tired when Scot got home from work. The marathon ER session only inflicted more damage. I even tried to nap while we sat around in his ER room.
Wednesday morning I had to get up and be not only functional but decent looking. Jamie’s preschool class had a field trip to the Children’s Museum which I was required to transport him to and from. Scot worked from home on Wednesday (as that’s his usual day to do so) and also had a follow up appointment with his regular doctor. So, I got the kids ready for school, made myself look decent, packed up my schoolwork, and headed off to the North Side with Jamie. While he was in the museum, I sat in the cafe and worked on medical terminology for 2 hours.
Scot, meanwhile, attended the appointment with his PCP. During the appointment she said, “Did you know that you have gallstones? They found them on the CT scan they did last night.” The ER doc never mentioned this, probably because he was focused on heart issues, but the radiologist noted them, as did Scot’s doctor. She explained that this could have been the cause of all the issues he had the night before and ordered a sonogram for him.
He scheduled the sonogram for Thursday morning. Wednesday was festival of pain for him and it continued into Thursday. They’d given him nothing for pain relief and just told him to take ibuprofen (which did zero point squat for him). We knew that if he was having this much pain due to the gallstones that surgery was a likely prospect and both of us wanted to deal with it sooner rather than later given the amount of pain he was having.
After sending Jamie off with my mother-in-law for the day (Bless her!) on Thursday morning, I took Scot to his sonogram appointment where the tech unofficially confirmed that he did, in fact, have gallstones but then said, “You’ll hear something from your doctor on Monday or Tuesday of next week, once the radiologist reads the sonogram.”
Bull. Fucking. Shit.
Scot called his doctors office and explained this state of affairs to them. His regular doctor wasn’t in the office and they weren’t keen to try and track her down on an emergent basis. They basically said “Well, we can leave her a message which she won’t see until 6 pm and then talk to a nurse here in the office but otherwise we can’t do much.” No mention of giving him any kind of pain relief in the meantime.
I say again, Bull. Fucking. Shit.
We went to get some lunch and discussed all of this, looked up cholelithiasis, cholecystitis, and cholecystectomy, and came to the conclusion that with his symptoms, he really should be getting surgery. ASAP. Neither one of us was exactly pleased but we decided to wait it out until we heard from his doctor unless things got significantly worse.
During the afternoon, things got worse. He got a call from his doctor’s office and the CRNP read the sonogram, noted that the gallstones were sitting in the most painful place possible, and gave him the names and numbers for a surgeon for consult. He called immediately and the earliest appointment they had was the following week. He couldn’t wait 7 days; the pain was getting worse.
Once again, he called the doctor’s office back and explained the issue and asked what to do. They said they’d call back.
We proceeded to wait. He proceeded to be in increasing pain. I decided that if we hadn’t heard anything by 2 pm, I was taking him back to the ER and they could damn well do something about this because he could NOT continue to live in that kind of pain. Scot asked me to call back and prod his doctors for him, which I proceeded to do. Pointedly. This time they said they’d call back in 5-10 minutes. They did and they gave us the go ahead to go back to the hospital.
I texted my father-in-law and asked him to pick Liam up after school. No problem, he took care of it. My in-laws deserve a medal.
We got there and on a Thursday afternoon, the inn was full. No rooms available. They checked him in then sent us to wait in the waiting room until they could get a bed for him. About 30 minutes later they called us back and got him set up in a room. His pain was at least a 9 out of 10 by this point.
The doctor came in fairly quickly and said “Well, you have two options -”
“TAKE. IT. OUT,” we said.
“Alrighty then. Let me get you admitted and write orders for pain relief. Surgical consult should be down to see you soon.” God bless Dr. Shapiro.
By this time he had an IV so they pushed the happy meds.
Things started to move quickly at this point. The surgical PA came down and talked to us. They moved him up to a room on the observation floor. We met his nurses and nursing assistants. Then, about 30 min later, we were told “You’re going to surgery in 10 minutes or so.”
What now? We thought he’d wait until the morning but I guess the surgeons decided not to dawdle.
The next thing we know, he’s wheeled into pre-op and the nurses, anesthetists, and surgeons are all stopping by to chat and get him prepped. They kicked me out around 5:45. He was on the table by 6:00 or so. At a little after 7:00, I spoke with the surgeon – he was done, Scot did well, he was in recovery.
Scot spent a couple of hours in post-op and then was sent back up to his room on the observation floor. I waited until he got settled in there and was comfortable before heading home to relieve my mother-in-law of her babysitting duties. I didn’t get home until after 9:30. I was knackered. Ramfeezled, even.
I caught what sleep I could Thursday night then got up Friday morning to get the kids to school. I managed to stumble through that routine, though not without hiccups and forgotten items, and then went to the hospital. By the time I got there they’d started his discharge paperwork. We left around 10:20 and were home by 10:30.
Where we proceeded to collapse.
It’s been one hell of a week in this house. On Monday, I did not expect that by Friday I’d be taking care of a post-operative husband. He’s doing really well, though. They were able to do the procedure laparoscopically so he has 4 small incisions that were closed with glue. He’s still on medication for the pain so that’s making him a bit loopy but otherwise he’s recovering well. He’s also very happy to not be in pain from gallstones anymore.
Now, if life could just let up a wee bit, I’d appreciate it. I *REALLY* need to finish my classes!