Sunday, March 27, 2011

Terrible Tuesday, or Sweet Pea's ED Adventure

We stayed late at the hospital.  Finally the the Wife took the kiddos back to Mom and Dads house to get them tucked in.  I stayed around for a little while longer.  My brother arrived from St. Louis.  There was talking and wondering and worrying.  I honestly don't remember much of it.

I do remember thinking about what the next few days might hold.  There would be trying to get him off the vent and extubated.  If he woke up, there would be tests to see how much his mental status had been changed.  It could very well be that he would be a vegetable.  They had him on the hypothermia protocol.  Which means they had put a cooling blanket on him and were lowering him to around 33 degrees Celsius, or about 91 degrees Fahrenheit.  This was to help give his brain the best chance at survival.

I wondered how good the CPR had been.  Whether it had been enough.  I had more questions than answers, and all I could do was wait.  At some point I went and joined my wife and kids to get some sleep.  It did not come easy, nor was it of any quality.

The next morning as we were getting ready, our little Sweet Pea approached us and proudly said that she had taken her medicine.  This was slightly alarming since she was not on any medicine.  I asked her to show me where the medicine was.  She marched right into Grammy's room and handed me Grammy's morning pill box.  OK.  A little more alarming.  I had mom go through her meds and tell me if any were missing.  Everything was there, except for the Sunday section.  She couldn't remember if there was Clonadine or Bystolic in that part or not.  With this being unknown, the decision to take her to the ED for a check was not a hard one to make.

Honestly, I was not too concerned.  The kid won't chew anything that doesn't taste like chocolate, cheese or chicken.  Those pills would not have had that flavor.  But about half way to the hospital, she became very lethargic and sleepy, and sounded quite drunk when she talked.  I hit the hazard lights and ran the red lights the rest of the way there.

The doctor in the ED was the same one that had been on when Dad the Code came in yesterday, and our nurse was a high school classmate of mine.  After a brief check, it was decided to admit us to the children's floor for observation.  The medicines she may or may not have taken were for lowering blood pressure and heart rate.  So she spent the day sleeping and being drowsy.  But everything turned out well.  We had a room to crash in and still could go visit Dad.  He spent the day sedated and tubed and literally chilling.

I can't say that everything was rosy that day.  My father was still in rough shape, and I worried about losing him.  My daughter had taken Grammy's meds, and I was stressed about her.  By noon I was emotionally empty.  I rarely spend time thinking about what might have been, but now I was numb from the thoughts of "what if".  What if Dad had died.  What if Sweet Pea had taken more of those meds and coded or died.  The possibilities were miserable to think about, and I was too tired to shut them off.

My sister in law had mentioned to my brother that I seemed to be holding up really well.  I love her for thinking that, as I was apparently able to function.  In truth, in my head I was just in an endless fog where every turn led to unimaginable and horrific outcomes.  I was on autopilot, just hoping not to crash.

I don't even really remember the end to the day, other than Sweet Pea was fine and they were going to try a "weaning trial" with Dad in the morning.  They started by stopping the paralytic that was stopping his breathing so the vent could do it, and re-warming him to human temperature.  Later they would cut the sedative and see how he was when he "woke up".  We stayed until they stopped the Versed, a long acting sedative, and started him on propofol, which is much shorter acting.  They decided to keep him sedated until the morning to give him time to get the Versed out of his system, thereby making the wake up period a bit shorter.  I went back to the house and crashed, thankful that everyone had survived Tuesday.

More Later

1 comment:

Wendy said...

OMG! It just gets worse! Super scary that your girl took medication on top of all of the worry about your dad.