Monday, May 4, 2009
Because of abdominal pain and bloating, Maura went to the E.R. at M.D. Anderson on Sunday afternoon. She was on the verge of being discharged after a diagnosis of a severe infection when her blood pressure plummeted to a level that didn't worry us much (we've seen a lot worse), but did worry the ER doc. So he transferred her to the Intensive Care Unit at about 2 a.m. this morning. what a strange place the ICU is. The large rooms are utilitarian without any of the decorative flourishes that you see in other hospital rooms that desperately try to make you feel less sick through interior design. Five team members received Maura into the room, hooking her up to a heart monitor, an IV, and a pulse/ox monitor, changing her gown in one semi-fluid movement, getting her chart up and running on the computer, placing orders for various and assorted antibiotics, tests, and patient supplies. Sleep is apparently not one of the components of "care" in the Intensive Care Unit. Despite the hour, the nurse would wake her up to ask questions for the chart, and she received visits from the x-ray tech, the respiratory therapist, the phlebotomist, the IV therapist , the lab, again, an ICU doctor, another ICU doctor, the EKG tech, the nursing care assistant, the lab again...No, sleep was not on their agenda. But they took good care of Maura. Thankfully, Maura does not need to stay here tonight. She will be transferred to a regular room as soon as a bed opens up. That means she really isn't in critical condition and that we can sleep better tonight.