Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Once more into the hospital, dear friends.

Kevin here.

Mike is in the hospital again. He went in under his own power yesterday. His oncologist called Tuesday afternoon, after reviewing some of the bloodwork from the infusion session on Monday, with concerns on high levels of creatinine. This indicates some kind of kidney problem -- as Mike says, "one of the few organs not already involved with the cancer" -- and is worth looking into.

So, to the hospital, for some additional scans of the kidney, and as long as he's there, how about some scans of the chest and an EKG. Waiting for the results and monitoring him means he is (was) there overnight at least. Which is good, because he's really short of breath, and bad, because hospitals are not restful places to be.

I got there about 8pm, as he was off for scans, accompanied by Mom. He eventually made it back to the room, and then Jen showed up and we had a little hangout party until about 11pm when Mike's eyes were starting to droop, and then we sent Jen and Mom home. I stuck around for a while. He was tired but not asleep, and we were waiting for the middle-of-the-night scans recommended by the hospitalist, so I figured some company wouldn't hurt.

Hospitalist is an interesting word. Wikipedia tells me that it dates back to 1996, and is used to describe doctors whose professional focus is on a location of care (hospitals) rather than an organ (podiatrists), a disease (oncologists) or the patient's age (pediatricians). Man, healthcare is complicated.

The hospitalist in question was very nice. She'd clearly read through Mike's charts and background information, and followed up on the specifics of why he was in and the chest pain he had reported to the staff while he was being transported to and from radiology. After some thought (and some medical poking and prodding) she offered a preliminary diagnosis of musculoskeletal pain, caused by his heart working overtime to get oxygen to his body with his low hemoglobin counts. The other options, for those keeping score at home, are heart attack (not likely because of the location and symptoms) or pulmonary embolism (not likely because of the symptoms and the sound of his lungs).

The night nurse, Rosalinda, is really nice. I sometimes wonder why people chose nursing as a profession, but it's clear that she chose it because it means she gets to take care of people. She was even doing it to me. I was fine up until that point, but I started crying after they took him off for scans about 12:30 am and she told me I could listen to him (and go home) or stay if I wanted.

More when we know more.

- Kevin


Anna B said...

Hospital nurses and night nurses especially are a special breed, I think. The memorable people from my dad's hospital stays were the nurses - especially the one who knew my brother and I needed a little care, too, along with my dad (pretty sure my mom got much the same treatment from her). Truly people who understand the "mitzvah."

Kelly McCullough said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kelly McCullough said...

Trying that again, now with editing. Give him a hug from me when you get the chance, and give yourself one too. Hell, here's one for everybody. You all need them.

Taymara said...

What Kelly said. And thankfully, there's enough love to go around for seconds.

lsikora said...

Thanks for the update Kevin, and yes, hugs, definitely hugs for all!!!

Chad said...

Is there anything that Mike or his family needs at this time?

Eclector2 said...

I hope you listened to Michael and went home, but only after composing yourself. I've learned that driving while crying can be rather dangerous. Keep the vigil tonight with Jen. Love to you all. Mom

Eclector2 said...

To Chad:
Things we need, some one to clean my house and Michael's house, an electrician to fix Michael's basement lighting, a wheelchair for Michael, home baked desserts for all of us, hopeful thoughts, and, of course, hugs. Thanks for asking.

Chad said...


I'm so sorry that you, Michael, and the rest of your family are having to walk this difficult road, but please know that there are people out there who care.

Please help clarify the items needed:

(1) House Cleaning: we have a wonderful person who cleans our home; very trustworthy. She is currently on-call for jury duty so would not be able to tackle your homes until the following week. Please let me know if this would work for you and where you live (feel free to shoot this to my personal email if you have any concerns about privacy:

(2) Electrical work: do you know what exactly needs to be done?

(3) Wheelchair: please describe the exact type of chair Michael needs.

(4) Desserts: any preferences, i.e. cookies, cakes, bars??

I'm going to cover the cost of the house cleaning, and depending on where the wheelchair and electrical work come in as far as price, possibly tackle that as well or seek contributions from others to help alleviate the expense.

Wendy said...

Marilyn - would a baby visit & dessert be welcome? You can hold Jack while I do a chore or two.


Eclector2 said...

Chad, I'm not sure how you know MIchael.

Chad said...


I briefly met Michael through mutual friends Matt and Tiff Ogden at a casual jam session at a coffee house. Michael was one of the band members. The Ogdens, long-time friends, were responsible for informing my wife and I that Michael was struggling with cancer. My wife over the last year has also experienced some pretty heavy medical issues, so I can understand on some level what you, Michael, and the rest of your family/friends are going through.

We already have committments from friends, including Tiff, to whip-up some neat desserts and my professional cleaning lady can tackle one of your homes on Monday.

Please let me know if you would still like assistance.



Chad said...


We met Michael through our mutual friends, Matt and Tiff Ogden. Matt and Michael periodically play together in a band.

Please let me know if you would like assistance. We already have people lined up to whip-up some desserts and someone to perform the house cleaning.



Post a Comment