Quotes I live by:

"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity"~Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King

"Not to know is bad. Not to want to know is worse. Not to hope is unthinkable. Not to care is unforgivable"~Nigerian saying

"I don't want you to do it because you're weak, I want you to do it because you know I'm right"~Dabney Coleman as Mark Winslow in the film Modern Problems

Monday, February 1, 2010

*UPDATE* to Last Post Re: My Husband in the Hospital

I received calls this past Friday morning from both my US Representative's and Senator's offices. I now know I was feverish and quite possibly riding a wave of delirium when I composed my previous entry, with my high temperature peaking Thursday night after I posted it and went to bed. It still hovered around 100 degrees after waking up and I hope I sounded coherent on the phone. The fever lasted through Saturday, and with the big storm leaving me still snowed in, I haven't been able to see my husband in several days.

The original addressee forwarded the above in it's entirety to the offices in an email, 7 pages, and they must think I'm a loon, but they asked me to send them my mother-in-law's info, saying they would contact the US Consulate in Mexico to try and help us obtain an expedited appointment to apply for an emergency visitor Visa. The American wife of my brother-in-law was directly involved with helping his and my husband's mom the first time, and still has some of the documentation and information from before, so I've asked her to take over this appeal to the Consulate.

In the meantime, my husband is worse. Whether it was missed the first time last week or developed after hospital admission, he's now diagnosed with severe pancreatitis -- pancreatic necrosis with fluid around it, which has a mortality rate of 10-30%. Many medical websites I've read on this advanced stage of the condition state "patients with severe acute pancreatitis...should be...in ICU" (as quoted from two sites I linked earlier, but will repeat HERE and HERE), but this hospital just has him in a regular room. His blood pressure and white blood counts are still high, and we've been told he also has non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, pleurisy of the left lung, and has tipped over into full-blown diabetes, of which there is an increased risk after an acute pancreatitis attack. We're waiting on tests to confirm or rule out a kidney infection, which is another related complication, as is kidney failure.

His feet are swollen so it's difficult for him to walk, but they've put him back on button-pump pain med, so he's a little more comfortable and can sleep some. They stopped giving him a clear liquid diet and put him back on IV only, but the doctors still don't know the original cause. His job is physically demanding, and he's always been muscular, strong superman that could handle anything. We don't eat much in the way of processed or "junk" food, more fresh basic ingredients, especially because he likes to cook and makes authentic Mexican food with corn tortillas, fresh produce, and lean meats, not Americanized glop covered in sour cream and melted cheese.

Earlier in the week, the nurse mentioned plans to do a MRCP test (referred to in original post), used to discover the source of a blockage when ultrasound and CT scans don't show gallstones (that's when I first heard about it and did a web search to find out what it was), but when I asked a doctor later he said they probably wouldn't do it, because it was expensive and they know he doesn't have insurance. So when I found out yesterday that he had gotten much worse, and the cause was still unknown, I asked about it again, including "how expensive?" and a different doctor (on the weekend shift) said around $2000. I told my mom, and she is going to tell them she'll pay for the test out of her retirement savings.

The doctor had also said my husband will need to stay on an IV and have regular home visits by a nurse for a couple months after being discharged, which we would have no way to pay for, so he planned to speak to the hospital office people (don't know their title) to see if my husband might qualify for some sort of program like Medicaid. But I doubt it, because it usually doesn't cover non-citizens unless they have some sort of refugee/asylum status, or are elderly and/or totally and permanently disabled, and have been here a very long time, qualifying for Social Security. Luckily my husband has a couple weeks paid vacation time stored because he almost never takes off, he's hardly ever sick, so I can keep bills paid this month. The tax refund will keep us floating a little while longer, but I don't know what happens next. Right now I just hope he makes it home.

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