I told you all earlier in the month that my singer partner/sister/cousin's husband, Randy, had ALL....it has been tough on them since the beginning of this saga in their lives....but Friday began a whirlwind nightmare for them. I wanted to share a bit from Randy's Caring Bridge site what they have been going through. Understand as you read that Amanda is a nurse...and a good one. But even the strong can only withstand so much....that is why I am so glad we have a great and powerful God to lean on. From yesterday's journal (after they had been at the hospital since 11:00) she wrote, "Today's been a tough one and I'm glad it will soon be over. We were taken up to our room a little after 10 pm, so I missed my estimate by over an hour. Ramona and Dustin got here about 9 pm on their way up from Florida, kept us company while we were waiting to leave the ER and stayed with us until about 10:45. It was so good to see them. Randy's temp has been up and down, but I seem to be the only one worried about checking it. After he got checked in at the triage desk in ER, no one else checked it all day, except me. It came down to 99 in the middle of the afternoon, but just before we left the ER, it had crept back up to 100.9. When I told the ER nurse about it, he just kind of looked at me and said something like, "the doctor has Tylenol ordered if it gets above 101." I think they could tell how frustrated I was about having to wait nearly 12 hours in the ER, at least 10 of that after we were told he would be admitted, and no one who seemed to understand why I was concerned about his temp. I know long waits in the ER are not uncommon. What gets to me is how healthcare works (or doesn't sometimes). When the ER doctor called the oncologist on call (who wasn't the regular doctor), this doctor said he didn't know anything about Randy's case and to have his medical doctor admit him (yet another doctor) and the oncologist will consult on the case, if needed (if needed???). So the ER doctor contacted the doctor's office in the afternoon and was told the doctor on call for regular doctorwas yet another doctor, (who also doesn't know anything about Randy) would be over to admit him (after he finished in the office, of course!). So doctor number 3 came in about 6:30 and wrote admission orders and was truly very nice. He listened to our concerns and was agreeable to Randy taking his medicines that I had brought from home. We weren't sure the pharmacy would even have some of these meds and I knew he would need them. Of course, the day shift is not going to admit a patient at the end of the shift, so we waited for night shift to come on at seven pm. Eight pm came, then nine and still no word about when he would go to a room. I finally asked the nurse for a time estimate. He was apologetic, saying he had tried to call report on Randy to the floor nurse but the floor nurse couldn't take the report just then because she had just gotten a patient back from surgery. We would have to wait (again) until someone else's time table accommodated us.
About 10:15, we finally left the ER and got to the room and got all the questions answered (you know how the admission process goes). The tech said his temp was 99.6 and Randy said he was feeling ok. No headache, no bone pain. But, about 20 minutes after we got to the room, Randy got nauseated and so I gave him some of his Compazine from home. I went out in the hall to find some washcloths and towels (there weren't any in the bathroom) so I could put a cold compress on his throat and none of the staff were anywhere to be seen. They were all in patient rooms, so I know they are busy. The clerk, who remembered me, got me the washcloths and towels. I guess we didn't get the Compazine in soon enough, because when I got back in the room, he threw up a bit. Ramona and Dustin left about then and the nurse came in fairly quickly. She took his temp again (at my request) and it was 101.1. Time for more Tylenol. The nurse has been very attentive, but I know she's busy. They should be coming around soon for midnight vital signs and we'll check his temp again. He doesn't feel too warm. It's about 12:30 and he's sleeping now, but I can't. I'll keep vigil here through the night and try to nap some. He doesn't have any IV fluids going and he's not due for any more IV antibiotics until tomorrow. He did get his Cipro and Penicillin from his home meds just before he got nauseated, but I think he may have lost some of that when he got sick. Please pray with me that God will keep him safe through the night and that he will get whatever he needs to keep any lurking infection under control. It's going to be a long night"....and it was. Saturday did not start out any better and so her Saturday post was...."I've been too upset to post anything today, but I know a lot of you are wondering about Randy. The good news is that he is sleeping right now and we are being transferred to Atlanta. He hasn't thrown up any more since last night and he gotten some sleep. His PICC line has clotted off. I've asked them to call the PICC line nurse and have her look at it and see if it can be salvaged. If it can't, he will have to have the line pulled and a new access inserted (more exposure to potential infection, not to mention the pain of insertion...all unnecessary). He can't get the IV antibiotics until he has a patent IV line. The doctor ordered some cath flow be put in it to try to open it up, but you can see by the time of this posting nothing has been done yet. The doctor has agreed to transfer him to Atlanta and we've been waiting on a bed. I've just been told that Emory is contacting the case manager here about our transfer. Please pray for the staff here. They obviously have a lot going on out there and I know the ER was packed yesterday with stretchers filled with patients lining the hall ways. I ran into the person on call for administration here at the nurses station a few minutes ago. She usually isn't here on the weekends, but she's here today. The house supervisor is out there, too. That tells me something isn't right out there today (besides Randy). There are about 28 beds on this floor. I don't think they had any empty beds when the day shift got here today. Our tech is one of only two on duty today. Two techs. Fourteen sick patients each. They've done their best to be nice and see that we have what we need, but they are overwhelmed. The staff here need your prayers. I know what it's like to work in these conditions, how terrible you feel and how stressed it makes you when you just can't give enough to meet the need. The staff really want to do a good job, but they can't control a lot of these things. I've been so focused on our situation that I really haven't taken a step back to look at what else is going on here and to think of someone besides Randy. We're not the only patient here and in the big scheme of things, we will get to where we need to be and get the care Randy needs. It's 2:20 pm and the PICC nurse just came in and got Randy's lines to flush. The PICC line is working. Thanks for your prayers. Thank you, Lord, for taking care of us. We don't have to go by ambulance. I will be taking him in the car." When Randy called with the news that they were on their way to Atlanta...it was like relief. We all had been working in their yard today....and worried when we heard nothing. I truly believe God is in control. If you are a praying person...consider this a call for all Prayer Warriors. We need prayers. We need this to just be a bump in the road. We need Amanda to rest. Won't you pray with me for these things?
I am a woman who wears many hats and loves them all. I am a singer - I sing with the group Still Magnolias. I was part of the original First United Methodist Church Arbor Praise Team until we moved. After 24+ years of teaching English 11 and Spanish I - II at Benjamin Russell High School I decided to take a job closer to home. I now teach Spanish I & 2 at Randolph Co. High School and Wadley. I thought I was getting close to retirement and looking forward to it, but decided to move my cheese and try something different. I am a preacher's wife and a preacher myself. My husband Frank is the pastor at Rock Mills United Methodist Church and I am the pastor at Midway (Wedowee). It has made our conversations interesting, to say the least.