An ER Visit During Corona Mania

An ER Visit During Corona Mania

I fully expected the Coronavirus to have a profound effect on us, especially with Brian’s cancer. Well, Brian is in ICU. 

We are not exactly sure what is causing his labored breathing. We have three possibilities:

  • Pneumonia 
  • Coronavirus 
  • Cancer

Nothing is ruled out yet. We are waiting for corona results to narrow it down, but they are relatively confident it’s an infection. Time will tell. 

This all started with Brian having painful breathing all night, culminating with us driving to UTSW at 5:30 in the morning. The on-call oncologist wanted us to go to the cancer ER. 

Now let’s talk about Corona Land, where people are presumed to have corona until it’s ruled out, cancer patients.

Before a nurse ever came into our room, based on the initial intake, we watched someone write this on our frosted glass door, of course we saw the reverse.

In case you’re wondering, this does not give off a positive vibe. Next, a nurse in a space suit walked in and began hooking Brian up to machines, taking blood and asking more questions. For the duration, she was the only one allowed in the room besides a quick visit by the X-ray tech. 

Then, when I asked directions to the restroom, I was told we were in quarantine. YAY! The nurse kindly brought me a port-a-potty bedpan and for Brian, a rather large plastic jug. 

This, friends, is getting truly close in a marriage. 

Then we spoke with the doctor apparently on Zoom or GoToMeeting via iPad because 30 minutes after ending any conversation with said doctor, the iPad would say that only one party was in the meeting, so they were closing it. Interestingly, even though the doctor was speaking to us virtually, he was still wearing a mask. After a couple conversations it was clear he was at the front desk 50 feet down the hall. 

As the day progressed, they felt his oxygen levels were off so they put the oxygen tubes around his face, in his nose. Brian looked quite handsome. 

The X-rays showed something new in his right lung so he was wheeled out for a CT scan. The scan had both good and bad news. Good news: the original tumor is about 1/3 of it’s original size. Bad news: there definitely is something new in his chest. 

It’s going to take a bit before we know exactly what it is. They did rule out blood clots. A corona test was given (they stick that swab way up the nostril). We originally were told we’d have the results by now. Hopefully we’ll have them tomorrow. 

I expected to get Brian settled in his room and head back to Saginaw, but we found out at the last minute, in the hallway with three people in space suits, that I wasn’t allowed. He can’t have visitors in ICU during Corona Mania. So with both of us having masks on to protect everyone else from us, there was no kiss on the head. I reached for his hand, hidden beneath his special, blue don’t-give-others-corona gown, and squeezed. 

The doctor began an IV of antibiotics, so if it’s pneumonia, they are attacking. If after a few days things don’t clear and the corona test is negative, they will look at testing for new cancer. However, they are leaning towards infection.

While it’s common for a cancer patient to have an ER visit, I was hoping it would be outside Corona Mania. So I’m tired and still working from home. Ella is concerned, and bored being home. This would be a nice time to have a routine. Hopefully soon.

One Reply to “An ER Visit During Corona Mania”

  1. Thank you for the update, Tori. I’m glad to hear an additional ER visit is not unusual although obviously not the best thing regardless. Give Brian a hard time for me, and then crack a real eye-roller of a Dad joke.

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