Jim was released from the "step-down" unit at Duke University Hospital on August 14th, and taken by ambulance to The Brian Center in Durham, a rehabilitation center, about which we had heard good things, plus it is closer to our home.
That evening, my daughter and I went to see him, and he seemed to be settling in, although complaining about meals being late and staff not quickly responding to calls for help. We asked about his evening medications and the lady who was dispensing pills to residents didn't know he required evening pills. Had we not asked about them, he would not have had them. Grrrr. We left to go home about 9 am and he appeared to be going to sleep.
The next morning, my daughter took him a biscuit and coffee about 7 am. He had not slept a wink; the bed hurt his back and the patient "call bells" rang all night long. Our daughter noticed that his color was bad (very pale) and weak, so she insisted they call EMS. It is a good thing she did, as he had internal bleeding and might have died without intervention. She asked them to take his blood pressure before dispensing his morning meds, and they reading was so low that they took it again. I don't think they ever got a good reading.
EMS took him back to Duke ER and they moved him into their "critical care" unit pronto.
Meanwhile, I was at the UNC dental urgent care in Chapel Hill, to get care for a broken crown. When I was done there, our son took me to Duke......yet again.....where I was ushered into the critical care unit. Our other daughter drove up from the Pinehurst area, and it is always good to have a nurse as an advocate when you are in a hospital!
He got lots more tests, cat scans, ultrasounds, etc. and they knew he was bleeding from somewhere. It was decided to to a gastric scope to see if that was the source of the bleed. They also wanted to remove a portion of his colon, where the original abcess was.
So he was taken to ICU in preparation for surgery. They found a gastric ulcer; the source of the blood loss, and they removed 8" of his colon. He seemed to be doing well after that, although groggy from the anesthesia.
Yesterday, they told us he had formed clots due to A-fib, and since they cannot give him blood thinners until they are sure he won't bleed any more, it is a wait and see proposition. Last night, they put a filter in a vein in his leg where he had a clot. So......more anesthesia. I don't know how much a 79 year old sedentary man can take - but he is still breathing on his own. I thank God for His strength and Jim's. If you are a person who prays, please say a few for Jim. We are not ready to let him go yet.