I began to notice Wednesday afternoon that something was wrong with Jimmie so I called the oncology nurse and then William Howard (a dear friend) to help me. The ER was packed but Jimmie was back in a room within minutes. The decision to admit him was also quick due to two unrelated problems:
- he was having a severe reaction to the newest medication he had just started for the hiccups
- he was bleeding internally somewhere because his hemoglobin was 6.0
The drug reaction began to clear as the medicine left Jimmie's system, possibly sped up because of the 7 units of blood they pumped into him over the next two days. Poor Jimmie had so many holes poked into him that I would wince when they arrived with another needle. They also scanned and imaged him from "top to bottomous" as Jimmie likes to quote the Cowardly Lion. And the verdict was that the blood was coming from his lungs somehow - possibly swallowing it instead of coughing it up - so they really had no way to halt it. All chemo was stopped and Hospice was called. Yesterday Jimmie came home by ambulance.
But the good news is that he is feeling better since returning to the land of no-IVs and Western movies. Of course, visits from loved ones have given his spirit a boost as well. Jimmie was pleased to see brethren at the hospital, many from the area he had not seen for a while, but he was kept fairly sedated there so chatting was more difficult. All of his siblings have been here this weekend - a planned visit that did not turn out quite as planned. Some very dear friends, Kieth and Ann Fields, drove up from Florida despite the fact that Kieth is in a neck brace following surgery and was restricted from traveling. My sister and brother-in-law, Carolyn and Joe Segler, were more than 2,000 miles away at the Glacier National Park when things worsened, but they loaded their RV and are on their way, scheduled to arrive tomorrow. But probably the biggest boost is knowing that Julie, Cole and Jasper will be arriving tonight. Getting to see his grandsons is no doubt the best gift Jimmie could receive, because today is his 59th birthday.