It has been a L-O-N-G day. It started at 2 a.m. when Carroll told me he needed to go to the hospital. He called EMS and was transported to Summerville Medical Center (SMC) with me following in the car.
In the emergency room, Dr. Greaves told us it might be congestive heart failure, but he later ruled that out. After some tests and phone calls with Carroll's primary physician, Dr. Bolster, it was decided that Carroll should be transported to MUSC's Critical Care Unit. By this time, it was about 4 a.m., I think. It really scared the fool out of me when I was asked if I knew - just in case anything went wrong - if Carroll wanted to be kept alive by a ventilator! Well, I knew what he and I have talked about, but I didn't want to be the only one to make that decision, nor should I have been. I called Carroll's son and daughter-in-law -- Vic and Edie. Soon, they and their daughter, Courtney, were at SMC also.
We all left SMC around 5:30-ish a.m., with Carroll being transported by the Critical Care ambulance. Vic rode in the front.
I'm not saying any of us drive fast, but Edie, Courtney and I all beat the ambulance to MUSC.
Because Carroll was put in CCU, we had a long, anxious wait before we could see him. Around 8:30 or so, we got to take turns seeing him. By that time, Carroll's grandson, Jeffrey, was also there.
The CCU unit is what we just left a few days ago following his valvoplasty.
It was later in the morning when we learned that Carroll has a pulmonary embolism, or blood clot in his lungs. Because of several other problems, surgery was not an option. He was put on blood thinner to prevent the clot from getting bigger and with the hopes that it will dissolve.
At SMC, Carroll had a couple of things happen that he couldn't stand. For example, an ABG test was done. This is where they test the arterial blood gases or something like that. I can't remember exactly but I've had it done once and I don't ever, ever, ever want to have it done again. It is the most painful thing I know of. I'd rather have 20 children at one time than to have that done again. It's awful. He hated it -- and they had already given him morphine when he had this done.
He was also catheterized. I don't have to tell you whether or not he liked that!
He had a CAT scan at SMC and a chest x-ray at MUSC. He was hooked up to all kinds of tubes and machinery.
After hearing from the doctors, including Drs. Powers, Townsend, Schreiner and Jenkins, I made a quick trip back to Summerville for a shower and to pack clothes for several days and nights at the hospital.
When I returned, I walked in with Pastor Briner from our church, St. Luke's. We had a nice chat while waiting for about 20 minutes to get to see Carroll.
Not long after she left, Carroll had more visitors, limited to two at a time in CCU: Lisa, Susan, Joanne, Kelly, Pam and Chelsey.
Dr. Steinberg came by in the afternoon, as did Dr. Townsend and Dr. Schreiner. They have all conferred with each other and with the oncologists to see what treatment is next.
Surprisingly, one of them told me they are considering letting Carroll go home tomorrow (Wednesday,) That was another shock!!!! The doc said they feel that Carroll will improve within 12 - 24 hours and then stabilize. They will likely keep him on blood thinner for several weeks and have PT at home.
Isn't it wonderful that he might be able to come home so quickly? The biggest problem will be making sure that he doesn't get worn out by phone calls and/or visitors. He will need lots of rest.
He has also suffered a minor vision problem and the cause has not yet been determined. It may be something that resolves on its own.
It's now 9 p.m. They said they would probably give Carroll Benadryl to help him sleep. They must have, because he fell asleep during the Braves game!!!
(PS - If you see a few typos in this post, I'm surprised that there are only a few! I'm only half-awake.)