Monday, March 9, 2009

Emergency Room 3/8/09

::Sigh:: I’m writing this from the Emergency Room of Highland Hospital at 4:24 pm, after yet another fun-filed day of 9-1-1 call, the fire department and an ambulance. Tuffy and I had spent a relaxed morning with the kids and had headed off to our local open-air mall to buy an Easter dress for Rorysaurus.

On our way home, we decided BY CHANCE, to take the route to the freeway past our apartment building. As we approached our building, I saw a firetruck and an ambulance parked outside. I parked, and asked Tuffy to go over and check to see who they were there for. No one was there, so he called Needlenoggin’s phone.

“Hey, we were driving by and saw a firetruck out here. Are you okay, dude?”
“That’s what they’re trying to figure out.”


I ran up to find 3 EMTs and 2 firefighters huddled around Needlenoggin in the hallway. Apparently, his blood-pressure had been dropping and spiking the hour we’d been gone, and his resting heart rate was down at 45 beats a minute (WAAAAY low). He had been feeling light-headed all evening, and in the morning, was REALLY out of it. He couldn’t reach us, so he called 9-1-1.

The EMTS were training, and one lady told me they wouldn’t take his chair to the ER or let me ride with him in the ambulance, or let him take his pain pills before he left. WTF? So, I went to get one of his RXs, and then headed to the hospital, where I was kept out of his room for nearly an hour.

When I finally got in, he was on O2, had some blood tests running, and there wasn’t much else they wanted to do except a chest Xray (to rule out a, as Christopher Titus would say, heart episode). I was getting ready to leave to go home and get ready to bring him his chair when the orderly showed up to talk about the xray.

“So, we’ll wheel you in there on the gurney. Can you stand up and walk over to the X ray table, then?” he asked, obviously worried about Needlenoggin’s light-headedness.

“Nope. Can’t walk to the table. I’m…” He was cut off.

“You don’t have to walk far!”


“I’m a paraplegic. I can’t walk to the table. Sort of by definition.”

“Not even a few steps?”

And people wonder why those with medical conditions hate hospitals!

A few hours later he was discharged with an official diagnosis of “::shrug:: No idea”, and told to come back if the symptoms returned. No infection, no potassium deficiency and no heart problems. Some of the symptoms seem to match the worries about his elavil/paxil mixing, though, so on Wednesday we’ll ask for a test on that from the neurosurgeons we’re going to go see.


Mara from Motherofalltrips said...

Oh man, he just can't get a break can he? That's a terrible story about them trying to get him to walk. You just wonder how many times they want to break his heart.

Peace to you all and I hope he feels better soon.

Erin said...

oh my dear lord.... what is WRONG with people?! I have so much distrust in the medicine industry lately... and this only proves WHY... ignorant... ugh. ugh. ugh.
I hope he is feeling better soon!

karen m said...

Holy mother of Bovines! I cannot believe what I am reading. I just can't. WTF?

I do however send you HUGE xoxoxoxox.

irlmumof2 said...

Odd question, does he have a foley that could have been kinked, or could he have been constipated? It may seem insignificant, but these two things are very dangerous for people with spinal cord damage. You probably already know this, but it is amazing how the "little things" you need to know about don't get mentioned.


Ms. Bar B: said...

I sooo don't understand why certain people are allowed to be in positions that have anything to do with caring/helping/saving the lives/etc for and of other people.


Glad to hear that he was able to call for help, even though it sounds like they shouldn't have been caring for anyone either!

Anonymous said...'s tjb22 from Mothertalkers. Just wandered over here and read your post. Have the doctor's used the term "autonomic dysreflexia"? It's not uncommon in those with spinal cord injuries. They will often have episodes like you describe. Here's a link:

Just mentioned it because this is very similar to what I have, although minus the spinal cord injury which makes me just plain old autonomic failure/dysfunction.

As someone else mentioned, this disregulation can be set off in those with spinal cord injuries by something as simple as a too-full bladder or bowel. Maybe recognizing the symptoms might go a long way in helping him (and you) deal with similar episodes in the future.

Take care, and we're always thinking of you and your family.