Thursday, August 06, 2009

Scripture to Go! Part 1

She was "59.5 year old pleasant, obese female" admitted with severe left flank pain through emergency room To Brownwood Regional Medical Center. Patient is visiting here from Arkansas.

Written by the admitting physician Aug. 26, 1996, I was admitted to an unfamiliar hospital with unfamiliar medical personnel and physicians whom I was forced to trust without previous knowledge of their skills and reputations.

The sequence leading to this event was convoluted and tiring.

It was a long, exceedingly hot, dry summer in Arkansas, 1996.

For much of my 16 years in Arkansas I worked part-time in a Mountain Home pharmacy, a 32-mile round trip from home. I occasionally relieved other pharmacists in the surrounding area.

As years progressed I was cognizant of increasing age and diminishing stamina. Before moving to Arkansas I had serious liver surgery and after moving, I had a succession various surgeries, none of which were life threatening or surprising. I was overweight.

In early summer of '96 I agreed to an additional half-day weekly, working for a owner/pharmacist who wished to play golf. A respite from long, tedious hours, standing in one place, counting pills, and counseling sick people who understandably did not like paying good bucks to be sick, is not an unreasonable request.

Immediately it seemed I bit off more than I could chew. I became increasingly tired, morning and evening...tired beyond tired. Tired in a way I can now only describe as different from physical labor of spending a day raking leaves or gardening.

In August 1996, we decided to visit Dad in Texas for his 90th birthday. He was in a nursing home, against his will. When we siblings planned family events we checked him out of the nursing home, drove him around Brownwood, and had a special meal with him.

I dreaded starting the tiring over 1500 mile round trip. We spent one night in Wichita Falls. After checking in a motel, we selected a cafeteria for the evening meal. As we passed a hospital, I had the unusual, unexpected morbid thought, "I hope I don't have to go to that hospital." An omen? I don't know.

Arriving in Brownwood, we siblings celebrated Dad's birthday with a big meal. We drove him around his beloved home town, until he wearily asked to return to the nursing home. My husband and I made plans to eat dinner with him in the nursing home before we returned to Arkansas.

The trip was not alleviating my tiredness beyond tired. Since I was pushing myself to lose weight again, I gave my sister-in-law's treadmill a workout. In mid-workout I began to experience left flank pain.

I ceased exercising, but the colicky pain intensified along with unexpected nausea. It finally became overwhelming so we visited the emergency facility of the local hospital. A cursory exam with X-rays reveal nothing definitive, so I was discharged with prescriptions for pain and nausea.

After filling prescriptions, we went to my sister's home five miles outside town. Upon arrival I went to bed. Medications were not relieving pain and nausea. It became evident I had a serious problem with either bladder or kidneys when a trip to the bathroom to relieve bladder pressure revealed massive amounts of bleeding.

Arriving again at the emergency facility, physicians admitted me to the hospital. An urologist quickly popped in with a preliminary diagnosis of kidney stones.

The night was filled with indescribable pain. Morphine was not effectively relieving pain for the expected period of time.

The following morning my pain subsided and day of whirlwind tests and procedures began.

Little did I realize in less than 24 hours, this hospital admission, unlike so many previous ones, was to become a life altering event; dinner with Dad in the nursing home was summarily canceled.

PHOTOS: The evolutionary architecture of hospitals & medical services in one town in Texas. There were other small hospitals which dwindled to two units (the other -Medical Arts Hospital) in the 1940-1960s. Finally there was one, Brownwood Memorial Hospital, 0ut of which arose the Brownwood Regional Medical Center (BRMC) in a different location.

Part 2, soon.


Carol @ TheWritersPorch said...

i'm waiting with a bended ear for part 2!

Pat - Arkansas said...

Good gracious, Lucille! What a problem to hit you while you're away from home! I know, from talking to my stepson, who has suffered a kidney stone attack, that an occurrence is beyond painful!

I like your photos of the old medical facilities. Will be back for the next part!

Amber Star said...

So, what was the matter? Kidney stones? I've heard they are very painful..actually excruciating.

Some of my family used to live in Brownwood. Don't those old pictures look spooky! I'd not like to have had to be a patient in one of them. Then look at the date...1960s...oh my. Really not that long ago.

NitWit1 said...

The diagnosis was not kidney stones. However, the way it all ties to the title of the post, is interesting, at least to me!!

The second part is partially written.

In the meantime, those who read this postscript, mull this question?

When you receive shockingly, exceedingly ptentially fatal news, to what do you tie your proverbial knot to hang on?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Silver said...

i think i'll just wait for part 2. Idea from Carol. So Don't look at me...


NitWit1 said...

Blog comments: I received a comment from a Taiwan site in Chinese. I at first published it; then I put it through Google translator, to discover it was advertisement for "adult" entertainment, games and pornography, which I doubt any of you are interested in. So don't be alarmed, this is the first comment I have ever deleted. I can tolerate criticism, differences of opinion and some funny, off-color stuff but not outright advertising for hard core pornography.

Next time I will put through translater BEFORE approving it.