30 January 2009

Another visit to the ER

Mom called my cell around noon today to leave a voice mail telling me she was taking Dad to the ER again due to breathing troubles. Of course, because of the situation, I know have my cell phone on me all day every day. I answered and asked if she wanted me to meet her. No. Did she want me to call Jason and have him meet her there. No. I asked again if she wanted me to come...she hesitated and I said that I'd get the rest of my classes covered and be there as soon as I could.

I absolutely LOVE my department (big hugs to all of you!) because they volunteered to cover the rest of my classes for the day and even made in house calls to the main office to tell them I would be leaving and that my classes were covered (thanks Jeannette!). They made leaving so much easier!!!

When I got to the hospital (Jason and in-laws in tow), Dad was in a "room" in the ER and waiting to see a doctor. He had oxygen which was helping his breathing a bit, but it was still labored. When the ER doctor came in to listen to Dad's lungs even I could hear the distinct difference between the left and the right (the one causing all the trouble, which seems to be typical of the cancer). The doctor explained (drawing on the sheets...) how last week the sac was only 1/4 full but this week, it was 3/4 full. She also explained that Dad would be admitted and he would have the fluid removed as soon as possible.

About an hour later, Dad was taken up to the Oncology floor (he likes to call it the Penthouse since all but 4 rooms are singles and of course he's seen two of the four that are not singles!). There was a problem with the bed not locking into position and the nurse's assistant having to call maintenance. When the maintenance man shows up, the bed works properly. Go figure. The nurse on duty couldn't be found. (He apparently was hanging out on the first floor-we figured this out as we left for dinner.) Then the doctor who would be performing the procedure (a bit different from last week's...a catheter) came by and explained what would be happening and why. Very blunt man-first one that's ever called the cancerous object in Dad's right lung a "mass" rather than a "spot." Once the catheter was in, Dad was feeling a bit better but just wanted to rest, so we went to dinner where Chris and Tom joined us.

After dinner, Mom, Chris and Tom went back to the hospital and my crew headed home. Jason and I will be going back to the hospital tomorrow. As far as we know, Dad will be in the hospital until Monday when the thoracic surgeon comes in and will possibly have another procedure done where some sort of talc (?) is placed into the pleural sac so the fluid does not build up again. I'll keep everyone posted as things progress.

Keep the prayers and good thoughts coming...We all need them!!!

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