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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Day 1 in the Hospital


I finally got to the ER and found Kev. Dr. Munson was much more helpful than the first Dr. Kev had seen in the ER and I was so relieved. We found out that normal hematocrit levels are 45 for males and Kev was at 15 at that time. He was operating on 1/3 of the blood the body needs to be functioning. He received three units of blood throughout the course of the day. His hemoglobin was a 5, with the normal being 13-17. Dr. Munson had talked with Kev about another CT, but when Kev said his abdominal pain had subsided somewhat, that scan was canceled. Who knows if that CT could have provided answers sooner... or at least ruled out things they ended up scoping for in the critical care unit?

Upon his arrival at the ER two hours prior to mine, he'd been unconscious. EMTs had a very hard time placing any lines in him during the ambulance ride, and he eventually had four IVs, one of which was a 16 gauge IN HIS BICEP. It provided endless amazement to all staff who encountered Kev during his hospital stay.

His first blood transfusion was started in the ER, and unfortunately there still wasn't access to the biopsies taken the week prior during his first colonoscopy. It was difficult to determine what direction his care should take without first being able to eliminate some probable causes of GI distress.

He was moved from ER to critical care about mid-day Wednesday the 13th, and was prepped for an endoscopy to see if the source of his internal bleeding could be determined. We met with a new GI, Dr. Trowbridge, and he put us at ease. We were really hopeful the endo would provide an answer. It didn't. About 7 hours later Kev had another colonoscopy (his third since Dr. Munson had also performed an exam in the ER) to see if the first one (the week prior) had created the bleeding (from a biopsy site).

That was inconclusive, and there was a lot of blood obstructing the GI's view. They talked of having Kev do an outpatient camera capsule to get 8 hours of video transmitted from his entire digestive tract. But that didn't sit well with us because they talked of discharging him without any answers. He received his third unit of blood in the CCU.

It was also while Kev was in the CCU that Seth arrived at the hospital. It was such a relief to have him with me in the waiting room since everything was all so overwhelming and I was relying heavily on nurses and doctors to keep me informed. I wasn't very proactive about Kevin's care at this time just because I was so blown away. Before going to the hospital, I'd done a little research online the night before about possible causes for Kev's discomfort. But we were looking at illnesses like Celiac's, Crohn's or even an infection like E. Coli. We just didn't have enough information. I had made him an appointment with a general practitioner for later in May so the GP could potentially get a thorough look at Kev's current medical state and offer suggestions for treatment from there. Bouncing around from one specialist to another didn't appeal to us since when one is done doing what they can, they don't really offer much more support. But other than that, we didn't have any leads for what landed him in the ER via ambulance.

He spent his first night in the CCU with our dear friend Matt by his side. That first day I was so wiped out. I had driven to Sandy in the afternoon to nurse Linc at Amanda's (after which he slept on a dog bed on the floor (HAHAHAHAHA)), then to my own house to finally shower and change out of my PJs. Seth was with Kevin at that time, which put me at ease. And it was so beyond helpful for Matt to spend the first night with Kev. Linc and Aspen both slept through the night at home with me, and I had a friend set up to babysit first thing in the morning so I could visit Kev again. So although we had no answers, we at least felt Kev was in good care in CCU. The nurse-to-patient ratio is excellent on that floor and they did more than just check Kev's vitals every four hours.

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