Saturday, December 29, 2007

Emergency Room Visit

Monkey woke up at about 8AM this morning. Well, more precisely, I woke her up, as I came down to check on her. She said her hands were hurting her, which we both knew, from the doctor's pre-discharge consultation, meant that her calcium level was low. This morning, however, there was the added wrinkle of muscle spasms. Her thumbs were bent in on her palms. She looked like she had a mean case of the Arthur-itis. This was not a good sign.

I convinced her to take a few Tums, hoping that maybe her level had just fallen overnight and that a couple of crunchy tabs of calcium goodness would make her hands feel better. After about an hour, it was clear that that was not going to be the case. She came upstairs to tell me that her hands hurt worse.

I called her surgeon, knowing that, on a Saturday, I was just going to listen to a recorded voice tell me to call another number. Which it did. Its first suggestion was 911. I figured that was probably too drastic. A moment later, after being told when regular office hours were, the voice told me the number to call "if you wish to speak to a doctor."

Of course, after calling the number, I strongly suspected that I was not talking to a doctor. However, the fellow I was talking to, after listening to my problem for a few minutes, asked me to hold on while he fetched a doctor. Now, it wasn't Monkey's surgeon, but, I was pretty sure he was more qualified than any person I had talked to or any recorded voice I had listened to at any point this morning.

His highly qualified opinion--low calcium level. His highly qualified suggestion--a trip to the emergency room to have Monkey's Ca level tested and, most likely, to get her a Ca infusion via IV.

After putting on our shoes and socks (Monkey stayed in her PJs), we were on our way to the hospital, again. Pulling into the ER parking area, it became clear that this was going to be a drop off procedure, since the lot was full. Monkey and her dad went into the ER while I swung around the corner to park in a patient/visitor parking garage. By the time I got back to the ER, Monkey was already in triage, getting her blood pressure checked and supplying the vital info (insurance policy number). In moments, she was off to get her test and IV. Monkey Dad and I found ourselves sitting in another waiting room. No free coffee, this time.

An hour passes as we wait. The waiting room distractor (also known as a TV) is tuned to the Spike Channel. We move from the end of some Hatfield v. McCoy-Patrick Swayze movie to a special on Ultimate Fighter Wanderlei "the Axe Murderer" Silva to Horse Power, a car show, on which the hosts install a $2000 electronic fuel injector into a 1966 Dodge Charger. I have signed another insurance form and been told that Monkey is "sleeping," but other than that, all I know is that I could easily install an EFI if I had an auto shop, a laptop, a 1966 Dodge Charger, and two thousand dollars.

At the conclusion of a second hour, after fighting with the vending machine and losing a dollar (at least we got a bag of potato skins out of it), a nurse brought us back to Monkey where she was receiving her IV.

Another hour and her IV was done, and, most importantly, she was feeling better. We go back to the surgeon on Monday to test our calcium again (it is an after-effect of disturbing the parathyroid). Until then, we are keeping our fingers crossed that Monkey doesn't wake up tomorrow morning with her fingers crossed.


Jami said...

Sending good thoughts from BoCoMo! Thank you so much Tony for keeping us posted on MM's progress/regress etc... I am thinking about you two and wishing there was something I could do. -Jami

La Fashionista said...

We're grateful for the updates and especially that Monkey is surrounded by attentive people who care for her *and* keep us posted. We're sending blessings and love!

Be well, Monkey.