The Changing of the Guard (and Surgery)
Citizen of the World

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Vernon’s normal ambulance was waiting outside the Dialysis center when i arrived this morning. I could see he was still inside it so I knew it would be a late start. But when I walked up to the open back doors, the EMT still sitting inside with an oxygen-masked Vernon, I was told that his blood pressure was very low and that they’d already called 911.

I’m ashamed of my initial reaction, which was: “Really? You sure? Is that really an emergency? He had low blood pressure earlier this week and they cannula-ed him with oxygen. It was fine. Anyway, can’t you take him? The response of the fire department and their ambulance will cost me at least $400!” (I’ve learned this a few times before, you see…)

I guess it come down to a matter of logistics and whether his scheduled ambulance drivers are picking up on a doctor’s orders or not. In this case, for some reason (though they’ve dropped him at the ER twice before on their own call, I remember) it had to be the city. And though Vernon’s blood pressure had gone up from 78/52 to 110/62 by the time he was checked in the new ambulance. A fireman asked me: “Want him to stay for dialysis or shall they take him?” I didn’t know…I told him I’d prefer dialysis of course, but I’d need another opinion. So we marched inside and requested the third opinion from a nurse, Thomas. When he got checked him, he got 90/60, and decided it was too low and erratic for dialysis today. I couldn’t argue then.

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So he was taken to the ER at Hoag Newport. And after having  a chest x-ray and some blood tested, he was declared clear and healthy.

After watching Vernon smacking his dry mouth for a couple of hours, I asked: “Could this in anyway be due to dehydration? I know he’s given water, but I never see it happening. I don’t think he gets enough.” The doctor ordered fluids, but by then I had to leave. I was informed he was sent back home this afternoon.

Vernon has to be screened and treated for his history of MRSA before he is able to go into surgery next week. The doctor had hoped things would be speedier, but by the time that was cleared, he started his Independence weekend holiday. So Vernon is booked for surgery one day earlier than originally planned—Wednesday, July 6th. I am really looking forward to that, as his arm seems to have gotten worse…and though it doesn’t seem to bother him, it makes me nervous.

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The Changing of the Guard (and Surgery)
Citizen of the World