Best Show You Don't Know About

Best Show You Don't Know About
Leverage

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Long story long- part 1

About a week ago, I made a facebook post and said- Long Story short- now, here's the long story long:

On Monday, March 2nd, my parents left Hurricane, Utah for a 6 week long trip. They were planning on taking their sweet time to get to Atlanta, GA and get back home. They were going to travel until they wanted to stop and see something or until they were done travelling for the day. They have made a vow to never be stressed and rush to get someplace again. I had been calling them every night until Thursday when I had a weekly movie night that lasted until a late time and I was sure they would already be asleep.
Friday came and, after staying late at work and some traffic issues and errands that needed to be taken care of as soon as I got home, and, again, I felt they would be asleep, so I would call them on Saturday.
On Saturday, March 27th, Aleisha and I had a busy morning and afternoon planned, so I was going to call them in the late afternoon. We took one of our cats, Harry to the vet to get an anal issue taken care of (not the reason for this post, so I will skip that). Then, we returned from the vet and went immediately to a bowling birthday family for several of our nieces and nephews (Aleisha's blog has more on that). While bowling, one of my eyeglass screws came out and we lost it.
My phone was charging and so I did not get the two messages they left for me until we returned from the bowling party. Instead of listening to the messages, I just called them immediately back to hear about their vacation since Wednesday night.
My Mom asked me if I had listened to the messages and I said no, so she told me that they were in San Antonio at the University Hospital. On Friday night, they had gone to the San Antonio Riverwalk, eaten good food, including a batch of onion rings, and had returned to their room.
My dad loves Onion rings, even though they make him bloat and very gaseous, but, as my doctor had once told me, if the consequences are worth it, do the thing that you love. My dad loves onion rings and was ready for the bloating and pain.
Only the pain and the bloating made it so he could not sleep on Friday night. He was writhing in pain most of the night with a dull ache on his right side. Saturday morning came and he went to the bathroom and proceeded to vomit blood. A lot of it. Because my dad is a man who likes to have things clean (while not a neat freak, he loves order more than chaos), he proceeded to clean up the blood which had splattered on the walls and the floor before he woke up my mom. (I just hope that no murder is committed in that room any time soon). He then woke up my mom. They decided to get him to the hospital since blood vomiting is always a sign of something wrong (or at least it is on the TV show House).
They were lucky to find themselves only about a mile away from the hospital complex in San Antonio. I say hospital complex because that's what it is. There are 4 hospitals all in the same area. They are back-to-back-to-back-to back encompassing a square chunk in the Northwest part of the city. There is the Baptist hospital, the Methodist hospital (heaven forbid these two faiths should have to help the other religion's sick and infirm), the VA hospital, and the University hospital. My parents chose the University hospital and went to the ER.
While waiting in the ER, they heard that several people had been waiting for over 24 hours. They heard several interesting stories (a pregnant teen who had been beaten in the face with a pipe and a young woman who was mentally unstable and told the nurses 5 different stories of why she was there were just 2 of them). After talking to some of the nurses and a doctor, they were told that it is possible to "bleed out" from the inside and it was very dangerous. My dad had a bowel movement and there was a lot of blood in there as well.
My mom then found out that one gentleman in the ER had been there for 36 hours. She went to the desk and told them that they were on vacation and she could drive my dad home in 36 hours if they had to wait that long, which got my dad in and got him a room, eventually.
During this time, I called and got to hear my dad's health issues. My mom said he was extremely weak and that, as soon as he got released from the hospital, they were ending their vacation and going home. However, the part about bleeding out scared them both and they were concerned for everyone's safety. So, they asked if I would mind going to San Antonio to help with the return trip.
After a quick bit of schedule planning, I got a ticket for Sunday morning that would get me to San Antonio Sunday afternoon. (Thanks to Steve Z. for giving us the info for his travel agent to make this quick flight out request.)
There were a few airport and airplane issues(long security checkpoint lines, a carryon bag that would not fit in the jammed overhead compartments), but I got on my way.
The flight was excellent, but I was concerned about how to get to the hospital from the airport. I have never taken a taxi and, since we had spent a large portion of our available funds to take our cat to the vet, I only had $40 dollars to take on the trip with me.
As we were getting ready to land, I asked my seat partener how far University hospital was from the airport. He said about 8 miles. I asked him if a taxi was the best way, and he said that there was an airport to hospital bus route that was actually better, but, being a Sunday, he wasn't sure how often they ran. I asked him how much the taxi rate was and he said that he didn't live far from the hospital and, if I could pay $20 to help pay for his $40 long term parking rate, he would be glad to take me to the hospital. I gladly took him up on his offer.
He took me straight to the hospital and, as we pulled up, I saw my mom waiting just outside the entrance. I thanked my partner for the ride and followed my mom to my dad's room.
My father is a retired cop, and it shows. He is 6'2 and very strong. I couldn't even venture to guess weight, but he has always been a thick, strong individual. When you saw him in his uniform with his gun drawn, he scared you. This time, however, he scared me in a different way. As he reached up to hug me, his arms felt very weak and he looked very pale. This is how I know I will eventually see him on a regular basis- I just hope it takes another 15 or so years.
My dad has had a disease for the last 25 years or so called Barret's disease. Basically, it is extremely strong acid reflux disease which has eaten away his valve seperating his stomach from his esophagos, and now he has an endoscopy every year to make sure that the disease is not progressing to its next phase- cancer.
The doctors were sure the blood came from an inflammation of his Barret's disease, but they needed to do an endoscopy on Monday to see how inflamed it was. On Sunday, my dad's roommates were a crazy guy whose liver was already damaged beyond repair and his kidneys were shutting down (but his wife told him to get some rest and everything would be fine) who called the nurses about 50 times an hour, a 56 year old man whose large family had come to see him, and an 81 year old man who was headed to physical rehab to learn how to walk again. My dad's nurse saw that my dad's IV was causing an irritation so she tried to redo the IV in a different area and nded up making 4 different holes in my dad's arms to get a good spot. I have sucha large hatred of needles, I ahd to walk out of the room and read all of the employee boards about how to do 24 hour urine collections (wow, did that bring back memories) and the ability to get 2 hours PTO and a $10 Whataburger Gift Certificate (Whataburger is much better than In-N-Out burger if you ask me) if you were an employee who donated blood.
My mom and I got a room at a Courtyard Marriott near the hospital, went to eat at the Riverwalk (at my dad's insistence) and stayed with my dad until visiting hours were over. I then did some work from my laptop and caught up on emails that I had missed and reviewed some ongoing cases. Since I do not eat very quickly, I took most of my dinner back to the room, but discovered that we had no plastic silverware to eat it with. So, at 11 pm, I started a journey to find some silverware. All of the stores and gas stations in the area were closed, so I went to a bar to score some plastic forks and knives. There was a band playing there that was really good, so, in order to think about something other the humanity of my dad, I stayed and listened for almost 2 hours. By the time I returned to the motel, it was 2 am. I then reheated my food and ate, so I didn't get to bed until 3am.
We got up early the next day and saw my dad before they took him to do the endoscopy. As they took him, my m om and I decided to go to Target (which I had seen closed the night before) to get my glasses fixed. The optical guy fixed my glasses (and continually apologized for using a gold screw instead of a silver screw) and tightened them beautifully. We also happened to stumble onto a theater which showed independent films which was close and nice since we decided to see a movie or two if they decided to keep my dad in the hospital for a few more days.
We returned to the hospital about 15 minutes before my dad returned from the endoscopy.He came back and they brought the pictures from the endoscopy. There was a large mass in one picture and an ulcer in another.
My dad had not had much sleep since Thursday night so he was determined to be released that day. The doctor eventually came. He looked like a younger version of Robert Sean Leonard who plays 'Wilson' on House. He explained that the mass had been biopsied and they would be glad to take care of my father for a few more days until the biopsy came back,but then took my dad's information when it was explained that I was there to drive them back and ensure they made it home safely. The doctor made me promise to get my dad as fast as possible to the nearest ER if he started throwing up blood again. I promised and they released my dad.
Because of the irritation on his arm from the IV, the doctor also gave him 2 antibiotics to fill to make sure that the infection on his arm would clear up.
Siince he hadnt slept or showered in 4 days, we took him back to the motel to do so while we went to Target again to get his prescriptions. It took a long time to fill his prescriptions, but while we were waiting, we looked through the Easter Cady and found chocolate crosses which read Happy Easter. I had to pick up one for Aleisha since, they dont really sell those in Utah.


It is now really late and I am exhausted so more of this posting tomorrow.

2 fabulous links

one- an april fool's joke one of Aleisha's friends played on the missionaries in her ward:

http://ccrobinson.blogspot.com/2010/04/happy-april-fools-day.html


two- Peeps diorama gallery- http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/gallery/2010/03/29/GA2010032903934.html