So we bundle carefully into the car- he is weak, ill-appearing, still having difficulty breathing- also, he now smells like a hospital- and we head to another emergency department- so, the overnight resident had assured me that the alleged receiving department “was aware.” Eh. They were not. But, in the course of my phone call to the nice, if tired staff, they became aware, and accordingly receptive.
Once ensconced in the waiting room, we were in fact ushered into the inner sanctum on a fairly timely basis; there was a bed, and we got it. After a time, he received fluids and some pain medication, and we set in for the long wait for the surgeon, as he was in the OR for the day. Day turned into evening, and I left a barely verbal but comfortable patient in order to attend to the near-forgotten kids. The staff was nice, as helpful as they could be, and we waited.
About 2200 I received a call from the surgeon, detailing his thoughts and plan. He had aspirated (sucked out) some of the fluid accessible near his incision, and sent it to the lab for a barrage of tests. He was to be set up for home IV antibiotics, and likely would be ready for discharge the following morning.
Indeed, I received the call, and collected the patient, now, remarkable, feeling a bit better- we walked to the bathroom in the hall- emergency department rooms do not generally have a private bathroom- in which we cleaned up best we could, put on some clothes that were not as compromised, and headed home. He was to get 5 days of twice-daily IV antibiotics, unless final lab results were available sooner and we were advised differently.
Sure enough, by late afternoon, a cold-packaged parcel was on the porch, and we spent the next several days as an impromptu health clinic. Now, the patient was still eating very little due to complete absence of appetite, and standing and walking resulted in immediate and, at times, pronounced shortness of breath. But, we thought, we hoped, that, finally, we were on the right path.