Another town, another ER

Philosophizing, looking at the broad picture, planning for the future – all those things have temporarily gone by the wayside, thanks to another bump (well, more like a major pothole) in the road.

For some days, Peter has been favoring his left leg, and having some motor issues with it.  So on Friday, after an uncertain trip down the stairs, Peter said he thought he needed to be looked at.   So, in my usual manner, I got on the phone, hassled all sorts of people, left a variety of messages, and finally got the triage folks at Dan George’s practice at Duke, and they said – surprise – go to the ER.  (well, ‘finally’ was more like 10-15 minutes, but of course I left messages saying it had been far too long, etc.).

We arrived at about 3.30 pm on 11 January, and I’m writing this blog around midday on Saturday, 12 January, after a long long night in the ER, a wide variety of tests, an MRI, and the result being spinal incursion at T5 and T3.   Peter was given a massive shot of decadron, and slept and awoke refreshed, actually hungry, and pain free for the first time in many weeks.

For various reasons he’ll be in Duke University Hospital until Monday afternoon, after his first of 10 radiation sessions.   Same procedure as last time, 3000 miles away, slight variations, but overall the same.   If Peter develops further weakness in his left thigh, or elsewhere, then there’ll be immediate emergency radiation.

We didn’t expect this – who does – but I’ve been very concerned for some time, and clearly the concerns were justified.    So, we’re navigating through another really bumpy patch, but the good news is that Peter actually feels ok, and can sleep well for the first time in many weeks.

And the message in all this?   Pay extremely close attention to your body, or your partner’s body – watch for any signs, investigate, and don’t let things go on for very long, no matter what docs, other medical professionals, or even the patient, says.   In fact, in my experience, the patient often wants to believe other than that a downhill slide may be in progress, but persist, and with luck and good sense, a greater crisis can be averted.

I jump on the Internet, avoiding (I hope and usually succeed in so doing) the crap sites, of which there are vast numbers, and try to find explanations for whatever symptoms or oddities are happening.   It could be just a hint of something different; everything, and I repeat EVERYTHING, needs to be investigated, thought about, researched, and action taken.

And now I need to try to get into the Zen of hospitals – which mainly means waiting, and then more waiting.   Followed by a bit of action, and then waiting again.   More in a couple of days, unless I’m too into the Zen zone to do anything – not at all likely!


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