Well, at least today started off well. Bethany and I were both able to sleep in--she a little longer than me. In fact, I had a rather difficult time walking around the house, dealing with the dogs, and cleaning, while trying to be really quiet. Joy had already left for work at UT, and I was enjoying the peace and quiet.
Bethany had not felt well when she went to bed last night, and I consistently woke her during the night for her pain medications. Because she finished her steriods the day before, she has been able to finally get a good night's sleep. That's good. When Bethany finally awoke for the day, it was past 1:00 pm, and I made her some noodles and broth. She ate a bowl of that and returned to her slumber. Or so I thought. She was in so much pain, that she really couldn't sleep at all.
I covered her up, removed the dog from her bed, quietly closed the door and continued catching up on my stuff. Joy returned from work, and we chatted and reviewed some items on Pinterest, etc. I was just going in my room to take a nap when Joy said that Bethany was calling me. Sure enough, she was crying from the pain, and I could visibly see her back spasms. I took her temp and it was 101.89. I knew that wasn't good because Bethany usually has an extremely low body temperature.
Without alerting Bethany, I called the 5th floor, C-wing at St. Vincents and asked their advice. Of course, they said to come on in. It sounded as though she was experiencing the effects of the meningitis, and that she would need more antibiotics. No kidding. I had said that last weekend when the Infectious Disease doctor said that she needed the IV antibiotics through Tuesday. When the doctor's partner ordered to have the IV disconnected on Sunday and put her on pills, I mentioned it to the nurse. I also asked to have her regular doctor consulted.
When he arrived Sunday evening, he mentioned that although he had said that she should be on IV antiobiotics through Tuesday, the insurance would only cover through Monday, and it was OK that the other doctor discontinued them altogether on Sunday; she would be fine on oral medication. Bethany has been on oral antibiotics ever since.
Well, I quickly showered and gathered a few items, and them took the dreaded task of telling Bethany the plan. Wow! She was not happy and begged me to wait until her pain med had a chance to take effect. I waited about 30 minutes, and then we just had to go. That was around 4:30 pm.
We headed straight to the ER, pillow, blanket, laptop and all, and they graciously checked us in within about 10 minutes. Ten minutes seems like forever when you have a spinal headache and back spasms. Let's suffice it to say that our ER experience was far less than stellar. Far less than even remotely good. I will say, however, that everything got substantially better when the nurse, Jude, came on board in the ER.
She actually covered Bethany with a blanket (go figure), offered a pillow; yep, we'd been there over 2 1/2 hours without a pillow or blanket; she also just took a concerned interest in her. We had been extremely blessed to have run into Bethany's surgeon's former resident, Dr. McMaster, and he was very helpful. All of Dr. Healy's residents are on a new rotation, and thus, we have all different residents, doctors, etc. YUCK! I can't even begin to say that enough because that means we have to endure the entire medication issues all over again.
Dr. McMaster assessed Bethany (because he was the ER doctor) and said that he thought it was the bacterial meningitis and that she probably has an internal spinal fluid leak. Yuck. He also immediately ordered a large dosage of morphine to manage her pain. Great. The only problem is that the nurses didn't want to actually inject the dosage of morphene into her IV. Shocker! They said they would do it in little dosages and then, if and only if, she needed more, they would comply.
Yada, yada, yada, and so we were finally admitted to the ICU. We have an awesome nurse, however, another doctor (of course, one we haven't met, and I doubt has read her previous chart) has ordered 1 mg of dilatid every 4 hours. Right. Like that's gonna work. We've tried to say this, amongst Bethany's moaning and groaning, but to no avail. I really miss Dr. Healy and his staff. Anyway, I am so putting Joe to work bugging the nurses and doctors for more pain meds, because he's gonna leave soon, and then it will be up to me to keep on the staff.
Bethany is in ALOT of pain, and they are not really giving her hardly anything because her blood pressure is relatively low. This is not good. It's at 49. Yikes.
•The obvious: that she be totally, miraculously, supernaturally healed;
•that her pain totally subside, so that she can be comfortable and even sleep;
•that we get a doctor tomorrow that will actually read her chart and realize that this kid's body needs higher doses of pain meds because her body has a natural tolerance;
•that her blood pressure lowers;
•that her spirits don't crash;
•that I am able to retain my job due to some more time off work.
Thanks so much for your continued prayers. I am passing on your words of encouragement to Bethany. Everyone who enters the room has to don a face mask, as they don't want to contaminate Bethany's fragile body. It's not that she is contagious, rather her body is frail. Her family members do not need to wear masks, as she has been around us on a daily basis.
Thanks again, Love, Shari and Bethany