After the past 48 hours, I have to take my hat off to the nurses and doctors of the world. Even after extensive training and years of school, I still don’t think that I could do the job that they do. The patience and attention to detail to make sure you get a proper diagnosis, that a patient’s life could be in your hands based on your diagnosis? I honestly don’t think that I could handle that much responsibility, that much pressure, on a daily basis, without snapping eventually.
My Man Thing has been extremely ill this weekend. It all started Friday evening when his blood pressure went up extremely high due to an injury … by Saturday when he woke up he was lethargic, slipping in and out of consciousness, and his pulse was faint and he was going under more and more often and I couldn’t rouse him. So I called 911 and they rushed him to the emergency room. After several tests, they determined that he had a recurring UTI (urinary tract infection) and that was what was causing the high fever and the hallucinations and him not being able to stay “coherent” if you will for long periods of time.
He was diagnosed with a UTI over a month ago, but did not take all of his medication as prescribed – forgot it for a few days and then continued until the Rx was finished. So they gave him plenty of IV liquids and antibiotics at the emergency room and finally allowed him to come home with me after about six hours in the emergency room. He was still weak, couldn’t walk on his own, so straight to bed he went when I got him home. Then followed about four hours worth of “Honey, can you get…” and “Honey, I need…” and the “I’m bored, come lay down with me,” (which I couldn’t do because I was in too much pain myself, every muscle in my body was screaming, and too much needed to be done in the house and dinner fixed, etc.) Finally after I got some dinner in him and gave him his evening meds he fell asleep. Apparently though (unbeknownst to me – who was dead asleep on my feet) he attempted to get up several times throughout the night, almost falling, and our 10 year son was there to help him steady himself and get to the bathroom and back to bed without falling. The little angel made himself a makeshift pallet at the foot of our bed, shut the bedroom door (so that dad couldn’t fall and hit the floor in the hallway – the door would stop him) and he spent the night watching over the both of us he said … because apparently I was talking in my sleep and doing nothing but tossing and turning and crying all night long he said.
The doctor told me that hubby’s condition was serious, and that he had to follow the prescription exactly in order to cure this UTI … otherwise it could lead to serious complications, even his passing, if the fever persisted and he did not get this infection cured.
So yes, I’ve been a bit wild and crazy the past 48 hours, watching over him like a hawk and analyzing every little action of his and how he’s responding to the medications. Naturally I’m annoying the hell out of the Man Thing … but oh well. My nurse’s cap is firmly in place and I’m going to do whatever is necessary to get him well again.
This patient I can handle … I think. I’ll make sure that he follows doctor’s orders and get him set up for a follow-up appointment with his primary care physician … but God help me if any of the kids or I get sick in the meantime. I’m a “one-patient-at-a-time-only” nurse!