Our RV Travels

Updates on our Full-Time RV'ing lifestyle. Feel free to add your comments, replies and stories of your own.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Inova Fair Oaks Hospital - Fairfax, VA

Well, things sure have been busy lately. The Home Health therapists and Visiting Nurse all signed Loretta off as no longer in need of their services. She has been getting around very well and only uses a cane for stability at times. Of course she still has to be careful of the new hip to prevent damage until completely healed. On Tuesday, she saw the surgeon Dr. Wade for final follow-up. He was satisified with the hip and felt that gout had been the problem with her ankle and was now under control, and we would be ready to travel. So we wound up all necessary errands, etc. in Columbia and had supper at O'Charley's

On Wednesday, we got secured, hooked up and ready to travel. After a short visit and farewell to Cliff, we got under way at about 1030. We made several rest stops to avoid Loretta having to sit in one position too long and drove almost 300 miles to Greenville, TN where we had supper and spent the night in the parking lot at a TA Truckstop. I took a quick look at the map and estimated we were about half way to our first visit with Al and Chris Anderson in Centreville, VA. However on Thursday after getting under way, I discovered that I had figured one leg to I-64 instead of I-66 (almost 100 mile error). So even though we got underway at an earlier hour and made shorter stops, it was about 1830 by time we arrived. Of course making an exit at Rt 29, instead of Rt 28 requiring a few U-turns and backtracking in heavy traffic didn't help any. I realized I had made wrong exit as soon as we got on the exit ramp but then it was too late.

After a short visit and some refreshments, we got parked in Al's driveway and hooked up to power. We then went out for spaghetti supper at Olive Garden. I visited with Al till almost midnight before going to our RV to go to bed. I found Loretta in a lot of pain in her stomach area, and suggested a trip to the ER. But after throwing up, she said she felt better so I finally went to sleep. She thought that perhaps the sauce had been too spicy for her. Friday morning she said she felt fine even though sleeping had been rough due to not enough electric to keep the Air Conditioner on. I spent the morning catching up on computer records and some email using Al's WiFi connection. I also tried to locate an AC outlet that would support the AC current. Al had been out on some duties all morning and when he returned we tried a couple more circuits, but he had nothing outside that would handle more than 20amps. Finally I unplugged the charger for the RV batteries and we plugged that into an available 15amp circuit. By using 2 circuits, the AC would now stay on without tripping any circuit breakers. We then went out for dinner at Bob Evans and had a light meal.

Friday evening I again spent a lot of time in Al's home office talking old times, Ham Radio, etc. So it was late again when I returned home. I found Loretta in more pain than the night before and again suggested a trip to the ER. Could not blame food this time as she had only had a small Chicken Pot Pie to eat all day. She did NOT want to go to a hospital or doctor here and wanted to return to Columbia, TN (18 hour drive). I got rather upset, and told her to get dressed and we would head right out. I went to tell Al and have him move his pickup so we could exit his driveway but found he had gone to bed. I returned to the trailer to find Loretta still in bed, so I went to sleep.

Yesterday morning I woke at 0530 to find her still in pain. She now suggested a trip to an Emergency Room (must have been really hurting). I cleaned up, dressed and woke Al who said I could use his pickup as we had not unhooked our rig. When Loretta got ready, Al then said he would bring us to the hospital which wasn't very far away. Tests in the ER revealed a HOT Gall Bladder. The ER doctor said surgery could not be done that day and antibiotics would be needed. These and pain medication were started through an IV and she was admitted to a room. Dr. Dekker the surgeon came in to talk to us and said that he could do the surgery, except she is on Coumadin and her blood was too thin. She was put on a diet high in Vitamin K to thicken the blood so she could have surgery. In the evening, I returned home to spend the night and an evening socializing with Al and several friends.

Loretta called to say that the doctor wanted her to have a transfusion of blood plasma during the night to help thicken blood as apparently the blood test still wasn't good enough. Then later she called again to tell me that she would like me to return to the hospital as she was frightened. I took the pickup and came here to help assure her that she had nothing to worry about but she still could not go to sleep till after they started the transfusion after midnight. I slept in a chair in her room and had a rough night, but she did sleep quite well.

Apparently the blood test this morning still wasn't quite what the surgeon wanted and he ordered 2 more units of Plasma. As it takes some time to get the blood, they said they would hang the bag here in the room before she went to Pre-Op and the 2nd one in surgery. However, the blood did not arrive before the transport to Pre-Op. So we went there where they got her ready and when the blood arrived pushed it as fast as possible. The surgeon and his assistant came and talked to us before she was moved to surgery. This was the first time I had ever been allowed to go to Pre-Op except for myself and I was surprised at the size of the facility. They have 17 stations and 10 operating rooms which if needed can be used 7d ays a week 24 hours a day.

After Loretta was taken to Surgery, I returned home to shower and change as I was told I would have about 1.5 hours and it wasn't that far. She was taken in at ab out 1110, and I was in the waiting room by about 1230 to wait for Dr. Dekker. When he hadn't appeared by 1300, I phoned the Recovery Room to find that she had just returned from surgery. It was about another half hour or more before Dr. Dekker came out to tell me all had gone well but taken longer than expected. There was a bit of bleeding so there is a drainage tube in place. She will stay here at least another day, but he indicated we may be able to travel again soon after she is discharged. I then grabbed a cup of Starbucks Coffee in the Cafe' and came up to her room to work on this. As of now - 1445, she has not been returned to the room.

Al arrived and told me that Loretta was on the way to her room at a bit after 1500. We came up to be with her and found she was in a lot of pain. The nurse came in to give her pain medication, but there was a problem with her IV. So they put another one in, but by then the other was working OK so she is still hooked up to that one with new one as backup. The pain medication was administered and shortly she went to sleep. However when another nurse came a bit later, she couldn't get Loretta to respond well. So Al and I left the room while a team including the surgeon gathered to undo the pain medication and then a different medication was applied. Apparently either too strong or too much had been given before. Loretta soon went to sleep so Al and I went to eat. When we returned, she had eaten most of her supper, was in good spirits and little pain. Dr. Dekker said the tube was the cause of the pain, but he wants it in place for a while.

I am happy to report that now she is doing well and resting with little pain.

We do want to thank all who have been praying for Loretta.
GOD Bless
Andy and Loretta


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