An Unexpected Hospital Visit

Hill Country Memorial

This is not how I envisioned my weekend would go. Not that I had any stellar plans other than watching the parade and making barbecued ribs. I’m fine, thank God, but my sister isn’t. She was admitted to the E.R. Friday night and has been in isolation due to two contagious respiratory infections (including pneumonia), exhaustion and confusion. I’m not prepared to lose my sister but then I guess we’re never “prepared” for the loss of a loved one.

When I visited her yesterday I was shocked by her cognitive impairment and asked to speak to a doctor. I got the P.A. (Physicians Assistant), a very nice man who explained what they’ve been able to determine so far. A CT scan came back negative but her white blood count remains extremely high in spite of I.V. injected antibiotics. This morning they’re doing an MRI to get a better look at the brain.

This is not the “enemy attack” I feared in my dream a few days ago (which I had prior to her emergency admission or knowledge of any serious health developments) but it strikes at the core with much the same emotional impact. I’ll be back at the hospital today. Hopefully we’ll have more to celebrate than the Fourth of July, which of course is no small thing. It’s a good day to celebrate life and the ones we love.

UPDATE: My sister went home this afternoon. While I’m glad she’s feeling better it sure seems like a hasty departure. Patients can leave against medical advice (AMA) and I strongly suspect this was the case. There is a strong probability, in my opinion, she will need to be readmitted for the same problems.

Ultimately, everyone gets to make their own decisions. I’d better leave it there and mind my own business. Patients choosing to leave a hospital AMA is a troubling issue for doctors and the families of those patients.

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