Hello everyone! Hope you are enjoying the beautiful weekend! I know I left everyone hanging with Part One of Scott’s story, so I didn’t want you to wait one. second. longer. Here is part two!
So, when we last spoke, Scott was finally sent to CAT scan at 2pm after arriving to the Jefferson ED at 10:30 that morning. The scan showed an 8cm abscess blocking his cecum (bowels). It was beyond frightening. The attending physician told us that they were awaiting consult from IR (Interventional radiology) who would surgically place a drain in the abscess so to allow it to drain. He would then be on a strong course of antibiotics via IV and then eventually PO (orally) when he returned home. We waited. And waited. The 5 o’clock our passed and it became abundantly clear that we were not going to be helped that evening. The communication was awful. I must have approached about 20 different people 20 times and asked what the hell was going on. Poor Scott was still in a very large amount of pain (only being managed with Tylenol now, as the his kidney numbers were jacked from the Torodol). It sucked.
He spent the entire night in the ED on a gurney with three towels as a pillow. They ran out of pillows. He apparently also had the TV on, as we got a pretty obnoxious bill from the cable company for it. Yes, I am serious. It is so concerning because Philadelphia is supposed to be the epicenter of excellent patient care and I would be lying to you if I told you we experienced this up to this point. We were literally relieved that we were not on a gurney in the hallway as many other patients were. Not a high bar being set…
Anyway, Scott spent a painful and restless evening in the ED on that gurney. At some point in the early hours of the morning they kindly gave him a hospital bed (which I am sure we got billed for of course LOL) but still no drainage of the abscess. I shook in fear of that abscess bursting and the love of my life becoming septic, but apparently “they were busy.” Sweet. First thing the next morning, I saw a man in a white coat that looked “important” (throw me a bone, it was a long night) with a bunch of people who I assume were residents, following him around. I approached him and embarrassingly gave him a piece of my mind. Scott calls me “Mama Bear.” He is generous 🙂 Turns out I picked the right person. It was THE head of the ED. He immediately pulled Scotts scans up on the computer and FLIPPED the F out. He could NOT believe the crappy patient care that we had received. He repeated over and over again that this was “just not right.” He ended up being our guardian angel. He made several calls, some screaming “I don’t care if you run out of beds, you put him in my OFFICE if you need to!” Boom! He booked us a room on the “VIP floor” and sent us immediately to IR where Scott was seen by 11am to have his drain surgically placed. It was brutal and I will save you the details. He emerged with a plastic tube exiting his gut and attached to a drainage bag that could be strapped to his knee. It was incredibly painful but we went home later that day with intense discharge instructions and an at-home nurse. Daily we would have to clean the drain, flush, empty and measure it. It was certainly frightening and overwhelming but we powered on. Scott took all of this better than I ever could have imagined. He handled it with grace and dignity even though he surely was dealt a crappy hand. To this day, I couldn’t be prouder. At this point, there were many weeks of follow-up appointments, MRIs, false hopes of “getting the drain pulled,” the discovery of a perforation in his bowels and general crappiness… Like too much to report or dwell on because we are all just finally emerging from what had become one of the scariest times in our lives. So many things could have gone wrong. So many things did. But in the end, Scott is safe and healthy now and we are more appreciative of him then ever. Thank you to all who asked, hoped, prayed and thought of us! Like always, thanks for reading!