On Thursday I was having a great day. I began my day by sharing an hour with my friend and co-worker “three of three” The middle portion of my day was spent learning coding. A chore which I am told I am learing quite efficiently, thus the manager has decided that it is going to be her champion cause to “steal” me. While I am flattered horror stories of her management style and rapid over turn make me leary of such a theft. When I returned to my office and found myself chatting with three of three again I never would have anticipated that my day was about to take a drastic change. “Susan, Jake is on the phone” one of our secretaries informed me. I found this odd since Jacob never calls me at the office number, but always on my cell. Odder still was the fact that we had chatted briefly over lunch and all was well.
In my heart I knew something was off. “Whats wrong” I said in leu of a hello. “I think I am bleeding again” He tells me matter of factedly. Immediately I went into over protective, neurotic, out my mind mode. Do you need to go to the ER? He assured me that he didn’t. He wasn’t vomitting, but was experiencing another tell tale sign of a bleeding ulcer. When I was re-assured that he wasn’t in any immediate danger I changed modes into that of scolding mother. “This is why you shouldn’t have taken yourself off the N e X i yum” or “I have known for DAYS that you haven’t been feeling well. I knew something was off, but every time I asked you told me nothing” On and on this went as I searched for his PCP’s phone number. All the while as I thought of that night in May I could feel my own blood pressure rising.
When I hung up with him I contacted Dr. H’s office only to be informed that she wasn’t available. Instead they could schedule him with Dr. P. Fine, we will take it. The receptionist advised that if they symptoms increased that we should immediately go to the nearest ER. I called Jacob back and relayed time, date, doctor and most importantly the ER directive. I then took the time again to remind him exactly how close I came to becoming a widow in May. All evening every move he made was capped with “whats wrong?” or “where are you going?” Sleep did not come easy to either of us as we were both awake long before our alarm clock warrented.
Hours later we found ourselves in the doctors office. I gave Jacob the option of me waiting or coming back wih him. He chose the later which was wise as he “forgot” that he is to have Augmentin listed as an allergy on his chart. When the doctor came in he immediately reviewed his chart and began asking the usual questions. As Jacob answered him the doctor looked at me and I said “before you ask, I have already done the preaching” Dr. P nodded and pointedly asked Jacob the following “Do you understand that you under went an emergency scope in the ER, that you spent two days in the ICU, and that you were transfused?” Jacob looked at him almost blankly, but nodded in either agreement or abject terror that it was an MD preaching instead of me. “Mr. L they don’t do emergency endoscopes unless you are critical. They do not send you to ICU if there isn’t a risk that you could die. They do not transfuse you when your blood volume is normal” All of this followed a no answer to “did you get your repeat blood work? did you get your repeat scope”
Finally a look of resignation came over Jacob’s face. No longer do I believe that I will have to remind him how close I came to loosing him. Unfortunately his veins weren’t as cooperative. The MA tried twice, and a phlebotomist tried once to get a CBC, fasting blood sugar and a hemocrit but all they successfully did was almost cause him to pass out. As such there would be no scope today. Instead we are scheduled for next Friday, after he has been on his new medication for one week. Once again we are on pins and needles. This is exactly how his symptoms began in May he recalled. Dark BM, a perfectly normal day on Memorial Monday followed by a 2 a.m. ride to the ER after he began vomitting blood. The good news is bleeding ulcers are common, the amount of his bleeding was not. So while this is dejavu all over again at least we are on high alert and know what to look for…