A Cultured Life…

…stumbling through life with two beautiful daughters – often tripping, sometimes running!!

Day 129, D15

on August 21, 2021

What a day!!

The day began ordinarily, still waiting for the CT scan. With the food restriction in mind, Swati had Boost and since the tiredness continued, she was in bed, mostly. By 7 am her morning labs came back with a platelet count of 3 and we pretty much knew that she would get Platelets today. Of course things being as they are, the nurses told us it would be more likely noon by the time the platelets got to the floor. Once it got to the floor, they would premedicate with Benadryl. If you recollect, we are not entirely certain about the origin of the shivering which manifested during the platelets transfusion.

I was worried about how we would manage the Benadryl, the platelets, the CT all al the same time because Swati would go to sleep after Benadryl. They said the platelets would take first preference and if the CT call came, then we would tell them of the platelet timelines.

1130am CST

The platelets are here and the nurse are in the process off verifying and hanging the bag up. They are almost done and the doctors enter the room on rounds. The first words out of the Attending’s mouth are “your intake was very low yesterday.”

Of course!! She has not eaten anything because we were told “NPO” – nil per os, Latin meaning Nothing by Mouth
The next question they are asking themselves is why a chest scan should be NPO. Swati was upset speechless already and I told we have been waiting almost 24 hours for the scan and the IV line for contrast was put in last night…..

I was interrupted mid-sentence and they ask me why contrast. Incredulous, I said you tell me. By now, my Mama Bear instincts were out in full force and it was clear that something was very wrong. A simple mistake but the waiting and the unnecessary needle poke and the IV and the tears last night – I was on a war path. Swati cried tears of frustration. I was angry. I had ordered lunch but Swati only managed a banana. My goal was to get the IV out of her arm.

The attending was very apologetic, said they would investigate where the miscommunication happened, etc. The Physician Assistant told us that he would put in a stat order for the CT. The doctors left and I kept reminding the nurses about the IV. The nurse went out to check if the IV could be removed (for what ever reason).

The Physician Assistant came into the room to tell us that it was his fault. Inadvertently he coded this as “with contrast and that kicked in the NPO order. He asked if we requested a change in time and that got my hackles up. I said we asked for last possible time when they might call us for a CT. Midnight? 2am?

He left the room and soon enough the transporters were at the door to take her to Radiology. However, no one is addressing the IV. The nurse tried to tell me that it could be removed after the CT, the transporters are already here, the CT team is waiting and such

I put my foot down.

I said we have had an unnecessary IV for 18 hours and it would not stay in a minute longer.

She removed the IV and covered up with a band-aid. Then they helped Swati into a PPE and onto the gurney for transport. It was 15 minutes by the time the IV tubing was properly arranged for them to navigate. Swati pointed out her arm and the PPE gown was lightly stained pink (PPE is liquid-proof, unless torn). The nurse realized it was blood and immediate held on to her arm. We did not look inside. Swati was digging her fingers, tearing a hole in the sleeve and the blood was seeping out of her jacket. The nurse was asking any one passing by for the crepe bandage and the one passing by took some time to understand what was needed. She was calmly explaining was was needed, all the while pressing a wad off gauze on Swati’s hand to stem the flow.

What a perfect storm!!

Swati’s platelets are low, she is getting platelets and her clotting function is delayed.

Finally another nurse came with the bandage and she wrapped Swati up. All of us – our two nurses, one transporter trainer, two trainees, myself and Swati trudged down the hallway to Radiology on the 3rd floor.

The scan itself took under an hour and we we were back in the room by 315pm. I gave Swati and apple juice and yoghurt and convinced her to rest an hour or so. Because the evening promised a silver lining to the day.

Swati’s boyfriend Ansh came back from his trip home, presented the negative Covid test, and was coming to see her. With Dinner!!!

It is now 10pm and we are settled in for a quiet night.

2 responses to “Day 129, D15

  1. Bhagwati Goenka says:

    Hi Anuradha. I am so sorry to see what you and your family are going through. The miscommunication / blunder involving the IV and NPO are inexcusable. Also, horrified to hear about the bleeding. Praying that Swati recovers soon.


    • runneranu says:

      Bhagavati, i am grateful this turned out to be a non-event. Taking this wad of bandage was a challenge. Some sort of super glue surgical tape! I guess this was necessary to stem the bleeding. If I dwell on this and the suffering swati is undergoing patiently and with such equanimity I will break down. I am not allowing myself the luxury yet.


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