Monday, June 23, 2014

When CF clinic goes horribly wrong

I knew things had been going well.  Too well.  We had so much good news within one week and we're so excited about moving and having renters for our current house.  In my mind, I knew that all that goodness couldn't continue.  I can be a bit pessimistic (or maybe realistic?) and I just had a feeling that bad news was on the way.

A had his usual CF clinic visit last Tuesday (6/17).  He goes to clinic every 3 months.  I always try to go with him, but this time I had a business trip planned for the following day and was trying to catch up on some work.  I knew the clinic visit was not going to go very well because A had been battling a virus for a long time.  His weight was down and he was having a harder time breathing.  I knew all this, but expected that A would be put on a stronger antibiotic and told to eat more and that would be that.  Imagine my shock when I received a text from A saying that his doctor wanted to admit him to the hospital.  At first I didn't believe it.  The news didn't register.  I expected another text saying the doctor was overreacting and that A was on his way home.  So when the next text indicated that A would be heading to the hospital that night, I burst in to tears.

I tried to tell my boss what was going on.  No one at work knows about A's CF, but I wanted to explain that I was leaving the office because A was being admitted to the hospital.  I don't think any of my words made sense, but my boss is wonderful and offered to drive me.  I said it wasn't necessary and headed home as fast as I could.

I waited for A.  He arrived after picking up W.  He grabbed a few essentials and we said our goodbyes.  I think I cried the entire time and the whole situation just didn't seem real.   I realize A is lucky - and I'm lucky he's never been hospitalized the entire time I've known him.  But that also made this hard.  I wasn't expecting it and hadn't experienced it and I didn't know what to do.

I still had a business trip scheduled for Wednesday and I wasn't sure if I should go.  It was only supposed to be overnight and I was scheduled to return home by 5 the next day.  I asked A if I should go and he said it was fine.  We arranged for our parents to care for W and Addie to go to doggy day care.  I felt incredibly guilty about going, but I knew that although A wasn't feeling great, he wasn't totally miserable.  We had just gone out for lunch the day prior.

The business trip was a complete nightmare.  I was delayed going (4 hours) and delayed returning (7 hours).  I totally regret going.  Not because of the 11 hours in delays.  That was awful.  But I hated being away from my family.  I should've been with A and W.  I should have visited A in the hospital.  I should have been with him while he was undergoing tests and procedures.  I feel like I chose work over my family and I'll never do that again.  I also know that if the roles were reversed, I would expect A to stay with me.  I would've been extremely upset had he gone on a business trip.  I'm still mad at myself.

I wasn't happy with the care A received.  His picc line wasn't even inserted until Wednesday evening.  He wasn't given the proper amount of enzymes.  His meals looked horrible.  He didn't receive what he ordered.  I should've been there to advocate and ask questions.

A and I both returned home Thursday night.  Well, technically, I returned Friday morning - at 1:30 am thanks to my horrible delays.  A will have the picc line until Sunday.  He's been administering his own IV treatments every 6 hours.  We've had nurses to the house quite a bit.  Things have been tough on both of us.  Because of the treatments and limited mobility of his arm, A hasn't been able to help with W very much.  I feel like a single mom lately and have mad respect for single parents.  I can't wait for things to return to normal again.  This has definitely been one of the toughest weeks I've experienced (probably A too, but I can't speak for him).  I really hope these iv antibiotics work and A's lung function improves.  This experience has really given me a glimpse at how devastating CF can be.  It really scared me.

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