Sunday, October 11, 2015

Debbie hospitalized in London

Just a quick blog to update everyone about Debbie.   She is currently in a hospital bed in London, England, recovering from a "urinary retention" problem.  Current problems have been resolved and long term solutions are still pending a doctor visit in Germany.  Please see details below:

Debbie has been having quite a bit of pain lately, we thought it was related to constipation.  We arrived in England on Monday and have been in meetings, traveling, missionary couple training, etc. all week.  We will update more on that in our next blog.  However, during the week she has suffered from constipation, which we felt was causing the pains that she was experiencing.  On Friday night we went to the London temple and Debbie was able to be pain free, a true tender mercy from the Lord.  However, after the temple, the pain began to intensify.

We arrived home late that night, close to midnight.  Debbie had been constipated all week and we thought her pain was related to that.  As the night progressed, her pain increased and she was unable to sleep at all.  Finally at 3:30 a.m. I went walking in my pajamas in London to find an all night pharmacy and buy suppositories and laxatives.  As I arrived back at our very tiny hotel room, we hoped that we had found the solution to her problems.

However, although there was temporary relief, Debbie continued to have pain.   A priesthood blessing helped for awhile.  Throughout the day on Saturday, she slept at the home of the missionary couple that we were visiting.  She did have some moments of relief and we felt that she was simply recovering.  She did not have enough strength to visit a self-reliance group that morning and also was not able to go to the theater showing of the Phantom of the Opera in London with myself and the missionary couple.  In these cases she stayed in the apartment and slept, with ups and down of pain.

By Saturday evening, Debbie was feeling quite well and we had hopes that she was recovering.  However, as soon as she started eating a little dinner, all the pains came back again, stronger than ever.  Finally we decided that we needed to head to a local emergency room, an A & E (Accident and Emergency).  We got there around 9:00 pm and began waiting.  While waiting Debbie went to the bathroom to urinate.  Soon after, she was called into the assessment room and about a half hour later, she was seen by a doctor.  He immediately asked for a urine sample and a blood test.  She was unable to furnish a urine sample.  As they felt her stomach, they immediately detected a severely enlarged bladder that was full.  Over the next few hours they were trying to get an I.V. on her, which is nearly impossible with her thin veins.  Finally, after poking both arms and hands several times, they were able to get an I.V. set up through her foot.   They advised us that she would be in the hospital for at least 24 hours.  They then started to put in a catheter to drain her bladder.  I was excused from the room during this effort, so I went home with Elder Baxter and got some things so that I could stay the night with her, which I was told was possible.

I then had Elder Baxter just drop me off with the idea that I would call sometime the next day to see how long I would stay at the hospital.  When I got back to the hospital, they were still finishing up with the catheter and had removed almost 2 liters of urine.  You must consider that a bladder is supposed to only hold 16 to 24 ounces of urine and they removed over 60 ounces.  They said her bladder was enlarged almost 5 times and this was causing the severe pain.   The medical terminology of the problem is "urinary retention".   The good news is that there was no infection in the urine.

With the urine removed, she was relieved of the pain and started immediately to feel better.  However, they noted that her kidney was in bad shape, based on the stress that the enlarged bladder had caused.  During the ensuing day, they had hoped that the health of the kidney would return, which appears to be happening.  

Finally about 2:30 am, Debbie was moved into a hospital ward, with 5 other ladies.  Each could have privacy with a curtain around the bed.  There was one chair next to the bed, so I decided that I would sleep on the chair, not very comfortable, but workable.  About 3:00 am I was awakened by a nurse who stated that I could not stay in the ward, since there were other women there and I would have to stay in the waiting room downstairs. We were on the 4th floor of the hospital.  So I went downstairs and found a few metal chairs without arms together so that I could lay down.  After a little while a security guard came and told me that I couldn't stay there.  I told him what I had been told and that I had no way to get back to the missionary home, since they were now fast asleep.  He showed me into a different waiting room with a soft bench and that was in the dark.  Perfect for sleeping.  Once again, I laid down.  After starting to dose off, I was awakened by a different guard who said that I could not sleep there, but would have to sit in the chairs by the front desk.  These were very uncomfortable and almost impossible to sleep in, so I finally called Elder Baxter back, waking him up and had him pick me up again so that I could sleep in their extra bed.

I chose to sleep for almost 6 hours before returning to the hospital.  When I arrived, around 11:00 am (three hours before visiting hours), Debbie had already been visited by several doctors and nurses, including those who wanted to see how we were going to pay for the hospital visit.  By the time that I had arrived, they had all left, being a Sunday.  So we spend several hours together, talking and studying the Infinite Atonement together.  I worked on as much as I could with the hospital, knowing that most would have to be taken care of the next morning.  Finally, I left the hospital at 4:30 to go to a training meeting that we had with stake self-reliance committees from 9 different stakes.  by 9:30 pm Elder Baxter and I were back in the hospital visiting with Debbie and giving her a priesthood blessing.

Now I am back in the home of Elder and Sister Baxter, updating this blog.  In the morning I will go back to the hospital to see how soon we can get her discharged.  It depends on blood tests, the condition of her kidney and keeping the catheter in until we meet with a doctor in Germany.  The bottom line is that they have solved the short term problem, but do not want to remove the catheter until we can identify the source of the problem.  We will need to reschedule our flight back to Germany, since we do not know when she will be discharged.

Once again, we can see the hand of the Lord in all of this.  This problem occurred while we had access to a wonderful missionary couple and an extra bedroom in their apartment.  It happened in a location with good medical care and the English language.  Things could have been much worse.  We also have identified a problem that has probably existed for some time.  We are thankful for His blessings and help during this difficult time.

For now, all is well.  We will update this blog as things progress.  The people at the hospital have been very helpful and kind.  We will leave London with memories different than we were expecting.  

1 comment:

  1. My love and concern goes to you both. Hope everything is doing so much better. Love, Mom