Husband's last camping trip

Husband's last camping trip

Friday, October 19, 2012

Twisted Slings

I had an interesting day yesterday.  As I mentioned earlier, husband took a bad fall Tuesday morning.  By yesterday morning, he could not lift his right arm.  I told him that was it, I was taking him in.  So, around 10:30 AM, off we went to University Hospital of New Mexico.  Instead of the ER, I took him to the Adult Urgent Care, located near the ER.  I had no wish to spend at least 12 hours in the ER.  I opted to spend 5 hours in Urgent Care.

Once I got him settled in the waiting room, he had to go to the bathroom.  Luckily, the bathroom is handicapped equipped, so it was an easy feat.  We waited about 30 minutes before they called his name.  As the nurse took hold of his wheelchair, she said, "No, you can stay here, I've got him, I'm only going to do vitals and bring him back out here."  I said, "Ma'am, he has Alzheimer's."  Nurse, eyes wide, said, "Oh, well, follow me."  I gave her the low down on why we were there, gave him his weight and height.

Back out in the lobby we went.  After about an hours wait time, a girl came in.  The receptionist asked her why she was there.  She said she had been puking since Tuesday, could not hold anything down.  She got checked in and during this time, I said a silent prayer that she would not sit next to me, as (1) I don't handle puke well and (2) I didn't want to catch what she had.  Of course, she sat right behind me, in perfect line for her to puke all over me.  Lo and behold, just then, they called husband's name.

Another hour of waiting when finally, the Dr came in.  She was very nice, examined husband, asked him all kinds of questions to which husband nodded his head (you know, the sign that he does not understand anything) which was my cue to announce who I was and that husband "has Alzheimer's".  She looks immediately at husband's eyes, (she knows her stuff) and turns to me to finish off her round of questions.   She says the shoulder may be fractured, it's swollen, or the collar bone.  Or, it could be that he dislocated the shoulder.  She orders X-rays.

We didn't have to wait long, so, during our wait, I had to go to the bathroom.  When I got out, I saw a nurse wheeling husband down the hallway to X-ray.  I offered to come along, but, she said she could handle it.  I sat back down in the exam room and, as she was wheeling husband, she asked what is name was.  He told her.  Then, she asked his birth date.  Proudly, I heard husband speak loud and clear his birth date.  Once that was done, I heard him say, "I know my name and birth date", like a child.  I got a twinge of sadness, yet had to chuckle about it at the same time.

Making this long story short, no fractures, no dislocations, just a severe contusion to the shoulder.  They put him in a sling, told me to apply ice for 20 minutes several times a day and keep it elevated.  Because he is on some high powered drugs, they could not prescribe any pain med.    We were set free.

By the time I got him to the curb to park, so I could take the shuttle to my car, then back up to get husband, he had somehow got the sling twisted up around his neck, his arm hanging at his side.  What a sight.  I started laughing, trying to fix him up.  Got the shuttle, threatening husband to "stay right here", remembering he couldn't use his arm to roll the wheelchair anywhere anyway.  Once I got back up, he had that sling twisted up again.  Stop to fix again.  We left to start our way back home, just in time for rush hour traffic to begin.

I will say, husband is the worst patient ever.  I took the sling off of him, elevated his arm and iced it.  He ate dinner and finally fell asleep.  What a day.  Of course, as the story of my life goes, I always gotta have a funny to go along with a serious event!!

By the way, once we get back from San Antonio there will be some serious pictures here!!

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