Saturday, July 9, 2011

Three Guesses and the first 2 don't count

Guess who I spent the second to the last day of vacation with in the emergency room?

I swear, if it's not one thing with that man, it's another, and how in the world did I think I'd make it through a summer with him without a visit to the ER? He's been showing signs of decline recently, but because I don't see him as often as my husband and son, they didn't really notice the exaggerated weight loss and pallor. I noticed on Father's Day and again on the Fourth. This morning, the doctor called me with results of his labs drawn yesterday, and for some reason, he's losing blood. This afternoon, he had every orifice checked and one was positive for blood. Tomorrow he sees the GI doc, and Monday they'll do the colonoscopy. Now if he doesn't like the clear liquid diet, which he assured me loudly that he did not, how do you think he'll do with the prep? Oy! I refuse to be the one to explain it to him.

Still, though I joke about him a lot, and I wouldn't wish him on anyone else in the world, I still feel a duty to the father of my husband and could never bear the thought that he should face bad news or a health crisis alone. While I knit and kept him company, there was another man his age alone in the ER and most assuredly suffering a mental health breakdown. I felt so sorry for him and wondered why he was so alone in this world. I hope for my sake that I've paid it forward enough that when it's my turn, and even if it's my mind that's failed me, my family won't desert me.

And now, on to my second patient of the day...

After close to seven hours waiting for a bed (much shawl knitting accomplished) in the overcrowded hospital, I finally made it home to give the other beast in my life a bath. It was then I noticed that poor Leotus had a giant abscess under his collar. When I grabbed the scruff on the under side of his neck, the damned thing popped. Well, in the world of infectious disease, that's a good thing: better out, than in. This thing kept pouring pus and at the end, several hairs. I think they were all ingrown hairs hiding under the skin and irritated by his collar to the point he developed an infection.

So tonight, he's pus free, clean as a whistle, loaded with neosporin ointment and out for a blow dry (walk in the neighborhood). We'll call the vet Monday for antibiotics. Poor guy, I never even knew it was there. Do you think it's because I see him all of the time? That sore was enormous--at least the size of a walnut. It must have been a relief to him that I cleaned it out because he never squirmed, budged, yipped or cried. I imagine a sore that big had to hurt.

So once again, though I'm not working, technically I'm working. Do career nurses ever really get to look away when the sh*t, or pus, hits the fan? I don't think so.

News on the shawl? Only 32 rows to go and already I'm imagining the next project to knit. Lifelines first!

15 comments:

sapphireblue said...

Ouch!! Hope Leo is on the mend now. Ingrown hairs are no fun.

As for father-in-law, completely understand dealing with one of those crabbies in poor health.

The Bug said...

You're such a good person. And the answer is no - as a career nurse you'll never have the luxury of looking away :) I know that I ALWAYS ask my pharmacist brother a drug question when I see him. THEN I'll talk about family stuff.

The Bug said...

P.S. I need to look up that stuff you mentioned. My hair does pretty well on Day 2 - it's like sleeping on it acts as a giant flat iron so I get that look from it. But it would nice to see some body in there sometimes!

Alice said...

Nursing is my second career, so one of the questions brought up in Ethics, was why we were in Nursing school. My answer was "I've nursed birds, dogs, plants, and people since I could walk . . . where else should I be.

Sigh, it's what we do and do and do.

Hang tough, one foot in front of the other, and Leo loves you cuz you made it better . . . and feed him, and look past his bad habits, and that's probably some of the reasons your FIL loves you too, (whether he shows it or not).

Brenda said...

My Dad used to loose blood and they performed every test they had available to try and figure out where it was going. They never did figure it out. A 7 hour wait is a really long time. Glad you were able to get so much knitting done. Soon we will see pictures. Poor Leo. He must have loved you dearly when you helped him feel better.

Miss 376 said...

Oh, I do hope you get them both sorted soon. Mothers and nurses never switch off

Gail said...

Yes, what goes around, comes around. There will be kindness and love when you are in need.

When you return to work, you will have tales to tell. No one will line for vacation for fear of having a fun time like you have had!!

Rose said...

Yuck, that sounds like a tough day. Hope both Leo and your FIL are okay now. By the way, Euripides (your quote) probably wasn't a knitter! :)

Finding Pam said...

I hope your FIL gets through the prep for the test. Glad you had something to do while waiting. I can't wait to see the finished shawl.

Poor Leo...we had a cat that had a big icky cyst on her throat only to find out it was a larvea from a big horse fly. I still remember that image as a little kid, it totally grossed me out. I hope Leo is all better now.

Being a mom was as close to being a nurse as I wanted to be. Lots of accidents when our kids were little. I don't know how you do it.

Let's hope it doesn't come in threes for your sake.

Of course your kindness and compassion will come back to you seven fold.

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

whoa doggies, i sure wish i'd read this AFTER breakfast instead of during! ha ha ha best wishes to both patients though...

hugs, bee
xoxoxoxoox

ari_1965 said...

Oh, poor Leo.

Stephanie V said...

Poor Leo. I had one of those ingrown hairs once and I can assure you that it does hurt. A lot. That he let you clean it is a testament to your skill and his trust in you.
Re FIL, somewhere, there's a crown for you filling up with jewels.

Mimi said...

Can't wait to see the shawl.
No, Rudee, career nurses are never off-duty, at least my Mom never was! But she loved it!

distracted by shiny objects said...

Versed will be his new BFF. :>)

Denise said...

Nurses never get to look away, even after retirement or extended leave of absence.

You are a saint.

Poor Leo. Wonder if this is the week for sick pets?