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Danger noodles and the ER


Last updated 6/3/2020 at 3:42pm

Yup! I'm back. I have missed writing these past couple weeks.

My husband had his surgery, and we did the whole wait in the car and find things to do whilst he was in surgery because we could not go in with him. Once the surgeon called and said he was fine, and things looked good, we went home and prepared things for Old Man to recuperate there.

He came home wearing a hard-plastic neck brace and experiencing plenty of pain. The meds they gave him for pain were strong, but the pain seemed to be getting worse rather than better, and the swelling was getting bigger. I called the surgeon when the swelling began cutting off my husband's breathing and swallowing on the fourth day of recovery. The advice I got was simply so I could convince the Old Man that I was right! It was time for the ER. So, off we went on his birthday to the Emergency Room. (That was a mess due to COVID-19.) They checked him for heart attack and ran CT Scans and X-rays to see what was going on. The results were: some bleeding in his incision site. They consulted his surgeon and admitted him. They gave him IV steroids overnight, and by morning, the swelling had gone down significantly and his breathing was getting better. He ate a hearty hospital breakfast and I brought him home that afternoon.

I was getting my husband settled into his recliner and lining up his meds and preparing some dinner when our big baby dog, Atticus, started loudly talking in the backyard. I do mean talking, not barking. When he came in, he continued to talk; it quickly turned into whining and howling. We struggled to see what was hurting him, including my husband. There I was, trying to control the dog and stop my husband from crawling on the floor, trying to help my daughter and I examine the dog. We figured out that he began to swell in his face, assumed he had been bit by something and realized that it's rattlesnake season.

With dinner half cooked, we took Atticus to an animal hospital. They found the bite and tested him. He had been bitten by a rattlesnake right on the nose and upper lip. You know exactly how that happened: that warning rattle made Atticus curious and he had to go try to play with that noodle. The vet had no antivenom and gave him doses of pain meds and a Benadryl to get him to the next pet hospital in town where they had the antivenom. He was as limp as could be when we carried him to the door and they took him from us. The first place called them and gave the whole lowdown on what they had done. They had us fill out paperwork in the parking lot and leave him. So hard. The Old Man was overdue for meds, and trying to assist with the dog did him no good. Home to bed.

Atticus spent two nights in the hospital. Old Man was uncomfortable and still could not talk well; there was still so much pain ... and so grumpy! Oh my word!

We got the call that they felt Atticus could now come home; he was out of immediate danger, and his regular vet had been notified of all that had happened and to follow up with them. Atticus also had some meds to continue for pain, swelling and infection. His head was round and his neck looked like he swallowed a basketball. So, I had two patients and two sets of meds to monitor and control. I figured if Old Man started scratching his ear and barking that I had mixed up someplace.

The day we got Atticus home, Old Man was swelling again, not feeling better and the breathing was being cut off... so guess what kind of field trip we went on? Yup, back to the ER. Left Atticus with our daughter to love on him, and away we went. Again, they did the CT Scan and X-rays and checked for heart attack. Consulted with the surgeon and again Old Man was admitted to the hospital. It felt like we were on a really bad amusement park ride that just would not stop no matter how many times we threw up!

The next morning, the surgeon came in and said, "Gotta open you up and clean that out." They did the "surgery" and he was feeling better almost immediately after. He had to stay another night for observation and came home the next day.

I am still wincing at everything because it seems like we just keep getting hit with stuff... I am really tired of it, to be honest.

When Old Man came home, Atticus was doing better and the swelling in him had gone way down. The two of them now sit quietly outside and watch the birds. Atticus is still not out of the woods, as his red blood cells have not gone back to normal, so they are monitoring him very closely. I hope he stays away from those Danger Noodles from now on.

On a very happy note: Our daughter graduated! On Sunday the 31st, we sat outside the football field on the side of the road with no view at all and watched a livestream, sort of, with a really sketchy signal. Afterwards, the community out here lined the road and had the graduating seniors ride and drive as the crowds yelled congrats, tooted horns and revved engines on motorcycles in honor of their accomplishments. Sixty kids could not have felt more honored than they were on that stretch of highway.

I think I may have developed a twitch, but we have a graduate and two healing boys and a huge vet bill and an even huger hospital bill... Yeah, life is... meh.

You can contact Alice at [email protected]


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