The past couple of months have been such a roller coaster ride. More horrific than I'd like to remember. What started out as a bad case of flu progressed to the point where I walked into the living room and found my room mate on the floor, unable to get up, throwing up.
I've been a nurse for twelve years, and I have always prided myself on my ability to handle stressful situations. I've been in too many code blues to count, and I can only think of one or two situations where I hesitated in doing what I've been trained to do, based on the horrific scene. But after a few seconds, the algorithms and training set in, more folks arrive, and we do what we do.
But that day, walking into the room and finding a loved one on the floor... I couldn't remember anything. Somehow, I got him back on the couch. It took a few minutes to register -- vitals! I need vitals! But he was too low for me to hear with my stethoscope, pulse thready and weak.
We made it to the ER. Too sick to come home. In fact, he'd end up on the intensive care unit, multiple IV fluid boluses, IV antibiotics, pain medications. A week sleeping on the reclining chair, forgetting to eat for almost three days, going home for a couple of hours to feed the cats, all while working my usual shifts.
My co-workers were there, taking good care of him. They supported me in my time of need. No idea how many shoulders I cried on, so deep was my worry. The parade of specialists -- pulmonology, infectious disease, hematology-oncology. Every day wondering if that was the day the axe would fall on all of our hopes and dreams. Every doctor couching every statement with the worst case scenario, even the C word was bounced around for a few days. It was terrible.
After a week of telling them all that he couldn't eat because of his sore throat, the sore throat that always came back as tonsillitis, after a week of that, a CT showed that it really was tonsillitis. He felt better within an hour of the first IV dose of prednisone (which we asked for the night he came throught the ER). He was home two days later.
It's now been a couple of months, and things have returned to normal. Insurance thankfully covered just about everything, and he's eating and drinking as usual.
We have a lot to be thankful for.