So, there I was, juggling more balls than I ever had before (more even than college when I could get just two hours of sleep and still do anything the next day). I was a mom, a wife, a step mom, a special education teacher, a friend, a daughter, an active member of my church community and a caregiver. Only one of those jobs pays anything and unfortunately it isn’t the one that was top priority at that time. I tried so hard to keep things separate; to isolate and to be fair to everybody who needed me when they needed me. Ya’know what? It didn’t work.
Honey was still on his oral chemo. He was still having what appeared to be mild physical side effects. He had broken a tooth, I thought that was related to chemo weakening his marrow. I was probably wrong about the cause of the broken tooth – but this will be significant later. (You just need to remember that he has a broken tooth; but it is kinda in the back so his red neck doesn’t show all that much.)
We had made it just about a month without any incidents of the Blob variety. We weren’t expecting any big deals for the weekend. T was getting picked up at childcare for his weekend with his dad. Honey wasn’t driving anymore, so I was responsible for picking the boys up around dinner time and bringing them to our house for the weekend. First though, I came home for some critical down time prior to my next chauffeuring job.
I did say “critical downtime,” right? Guess what? Umhmm. Exactly.
I walked in the front door, said, “hey” to Honey and didn’t even get to sit down before we were discussing the seizures he had experienced that day. He said they were minor and that he wanted to just wait and see how they played out. We had done this before, I was not going to be vilified or classified as a poor excuse for a caregiver again because he was choosing to make light of the situation. One of the sister-wives (the three friends to whom I normally turn to when in a bind) came over to help get Honey into the car because he again had no control over his left side and could not walk on his own.
We finally got him out to the car by pushing him in the only wheel chair available, the rolling desk chair. Truly not one of our finer moments. For ingenuity we scored about 8.5; for practicality and ease of use, only 4.2.
Honey refused to go back to the hospital he was at the month prior because he found their food to be sub-par. As I was driving this time rather than the EMTs, we were not limited to the nearest hospital and instead chose the Episcopal hospital five minutes further down the way. For those of you who live near us – I would strongly recommend staying at L’hotel Ste Luc rather than the Memorial Suites.
ER staff wasted no time getting Honey into a real wheel chair and pushing him through triage. The nursing staff was fantastic, the ER doc great and the business lady was totally inoffensive. I was surprisingly less tense and irritated by this experience than I was the last time. Not sure if this was because L’hotel is more calming or because I was getting used to the process. I imagine it was more the former than the latter.
We were in our very own room in the short-term care area for a very long time. L’hotel Ste Luc wanted Honey to be transferred to M.D. Anderson
Cancer Center; they however, had no available beds. Our choices were to admit close to home or continue to wait for something to open up down town. Let me point out that it only takes 7 minutes to get from the hospital to our home (20 minutes in the opposite direction – but only 7 on the way home) and MDA is at least 40 minutes away if one drives in the middle of the night to avoid the slightest hint of a possibility that there may be other cars sharing the road, delaying your drive time. You should also know that MD Anderson is a teaching hospital, not so much so a treatment facility AND that it has an outreach care center at L’hotel Ste Luc. We had hit the trifecta on good reasons to stay close to home. Not at all a difficult decision. Really. So, at about 11:30 PM Honey was admitted and assigned a private room.
*Thankfully, I had remembered to call G & C’s mom to let her know that I wouldn’t be picking the kids up that evening.
Because Honey’s seizures present as stroke, he was again assigned to the ICU. He was taken down for an MRI, and I went home to feed the animals. I returned an hour later and was just barely able to get into Honey’s room as the ICU was not open for visitors. However, because he was holding court with the ICU staff, they took pity on me and allowed my entrance. This time I was not making the same mistake regarding sleeping arrangements. The recliner at L’hotel was seriously not designed for sleeping and we were still newly weds. It was brought to my attention the next morning that ICU staff are not accustomed to finding two people in bed when they come for morning check ins. Then again, I don’t think they are accustomed to having someone not needing critical care in their ICU either.
Honey’s first trip to ICU was only two days long. I expected pretty much the same with this visit. (Have you noticed that my expectations never come to fruition?) The plan was that Honey could come home as soon as he went 24 hours without having a seizure. We enjoyed our stay at L’hotel Ste Luc for five nights. Whenever I left for errands, food, anything, Honey would have another seizure. Now, I am neither exaggerating nor inflating my importance in Honey’s illness. Just sayin’ EVERY time I left for the first 72 hours, EVERY time, Honey would have another seizure. After five nights and four days, three uppings of the dosage of one anti-seizure med and the addition of a second anti-seizure medicine Honey was finally regaianed use of his left side and was released from ICU.