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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Carl is home!

Carl came home from the hospital yesterday, Wednesday, January 26, 2010 at around 8:30 PM at night. My son Anthony and I went to pick him up and then I drove Carl home over the bumpy roads which caused pain at each bump. After Carl was tucked into bed at home, I went to fill prescriptions for him - the total bill for the prescriptions before insurance exceeded $1000. (It's a good thing I had the new prescription card with me. Insurance plans changed on January 1, and... lets just say I still had to pay WAY over $100.)

Carl was released about 48 hours after his neck surgery, and I personally think that was too early. He had barely eaten anything solid since the surgery, and the nurses had been giving him lots of drugs in the hospital. It throws a lot of responsibility on me be able to recognize problems.

Here is an example. On January 1, 2010 (one year ago) Carl went in to get chemotherapy. The night before he had been sick, it was the 4th day of a 5 day chemotherapy string, and I didn't know what to expect. All that I remember thinking was he was like a walking zombie. Carl never got chemotherapy that day, because pre-chemo blood work revealed his potassium level had crashed and so the nurses gave him IV fluids and potassium, etc., and sent him home. I now know (from this sample of 1) that "walking zombie" possibly means potassium is low. I have no idea what hi or low blood sugar, sodium, any of the other 30 things they check in a blood test would result in, so I happily only worry about potassium.

So yesterday I had the nurse check his blood test results before we left the hospital. Carl had his blood tested on Wednesday morning, Jan 26, 2011, and his potassium levels were only 'a little low'. How will I recognize (much less fix) a problem like this at home? Problems like this can only get worse then it probably would in the hospital, and then we would have to run back to the hospital to get it fixed.

That being said, if it were me in the hospital, I'd want to get out ASAP. (And Carl is the same way). In the hospital, people are always monitoring the patient, morning, noon, and night. Blood pressure, temperature, heart rate, blood oxygenation are checked often, 4x a day. They wake you up to check these things - day and night, they take blood tests, and more. You don't go to a hospital to get rest. And you don't get it either.

The fear of infection, usually highest at a hospital, is one of the main reasons medical personnel send post surgery patients like Carl home so quickly after a surgery. That, and Carl moaning "I just want to go home".

So, home he is. And since things seem to be going well, I am
very glad. Today I don't have to race over to the hospital, and that is a really nice relief. WHAT A TREAT. Carl slept well, he has had some food, and is getting lots of rest. I will keep you posted.

Thank you for your prayers. Keep them coming. What I am praying for now is that the neck tumor does not grow back, a very real possibility.


Bridget said...

He's home. yeah! If you have concerns about him, just keep calling the nurses and doctors. Whenever I'd get home after a surgery, the nursing staff would be calling to check on me and I always had a number to call with questions/concerns. If you don't have that, call and get it... I know you can make some noise! And I agree that he will probably recover faster at home with peace and quiet. You have that at your house, right? ;-P

Anonymous said...

We are so thankful that Carl is home and doing well! We have been praying and will continue to do so - for a quick recovery and NO MORE tumor growth! We love each of you. John and Ruthie King

Anonymous said...

Good that Carl is home with his family. Hopefully he will continue to get some rest and gain strenght. He is very blessed to have you taking care of him. We will continue to pray for all of you. Stay strong. Duran, Shirley and Family.