Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Worrisome Wednesday

...a continuation of the Ernst Chronicles...

It was a gorgeous day weather-wise, I will give it that. It made the parking process, the hustling into the ER and the numerous trips outside to make shaky voiced phone calls comfortable, if not exactly pleasant. When my neighbor Linda and I arrived, we joined our friends Jeff and Myra in the waiting room, waiting, of all things, for Ernst to get officially checked in and given a bed. Having Jeff, Myra and Linda there for support was like having the Royal Canadian Mounted Brigade of Calmness, Practicality and Organization, also known as the RCMBCPO. They had bags and pockets and hidden containers from which they would pull out incredibly useful items, such as hot tea, granola bars, and eventually our phone book from home. How the RCMBCPO pulled that one off is still a mystery, but they did and it was oh so useful. If you're going to switch phones, and your phone is going to suddenly stop cooperating and only allow you to text some of the people some of the time, try to not let this happen with a family member in the ER.

Ernst checked out fine in the hospital. EKG was normal. BP was normal. Heart rate, normal. Blood enzyme test showed no heart attack in the past day. Normal, normal, normal. Except that morphine was not touching the extreme discomfort in his chest. Second dose, the same. That is when they started talking heart procedures. Noooooooooo! This can't be his heart! It's just back pain. We are low-fat, plant-based, plant-centered, go hug your local piglet vegans!!! This can't be his heart. No!!! We pushed for less invasive tests, we knew there were less invasive tests. Each doctor that came in said, if this was happening to them, they would want the angiogram because if a problem is discovered, the problem can be fixed right then. It was all so maddening and unfair and scary. To top it all off, there was a guy retching in the waiting room and a woman down the hall needed two security guards because she was screaming obscenities at the medical personnel trying to assist her, and frankly all you need is a vomiting man and a violent, foul mouthed woman to make it extremely difficult to make a proper medical decision.

It finally came down to the pain, Ernst was exhausted and ready to find out if it really could be his heart after all. We talked it over with Team RCMBCPO, and the plan was set. Jeff would once again drive down to accompany Ernst, who of course would transfer to Kaiser South by ambulance. I would go back to the house and get out of the really awful choice of footwear I had on, take a quick shower and put on a better Meet the Doctor Who Will Send A Catheter Up My Husband's Heart outfit. Linda would race home to put more amazingly practical things in her bag of tricks, and Myra would go off to take care of her son while putting together a bag of food that ended up getting me through to the next day.

More to come...