They have been worried during the day about dad’s “bradycardic” (who knows if the spelling is correct on that one) low heart rate, which seemed to get worse after his medications were administered. Dr. Conolly asked to review the med lists I brought and noted right away that metoprolol, which appeared incorrectly on the med list maintained by NU Cardiology, is not on the list reviewed by dad’s NorthShore primary care doc August 5th. They feel certain that the metoprolol which was administered with the rest of the meds they gave him this morning at 10 a.m. is behind the slowed heart rate. With that discovery, Connolly called in the cardiologist on call here at the hospital, who again asked about the history of dad’s symptoms. The story we are telling is that Dad was lethargic and sickish all day Saturday, so while today’s worsened lethargy is likely aggravated by the med error, it is not the root cause.
The rest of today is about administering glucagon, which is to counteract the metoprolol. It will take a while because of course he was given sustained-release version of metoprolol which will be acting on his system for 24 hours.
There will be an incident report about this. Dr. Connolly is being very transparent and professional, which we appreciate. He ordered that dad be moved from his current general care room to a “step-down” unit (which is a step down from ICU, and a step up from where he was, where the nurses only have 1 or 2 patients instead of the 4 or 5 they watch in a normal room) They want to monitor him carefully as they undo this error.
Katie came by today with Zach, and had a chance to talk to Dr. Connolly. She’s very impressed with him, too.
The new room has a WINDOW, and is about twice as big as the former broom closet, where dad was definitely feeling claustrophobic.
While they were ordering up the glucagon, Dr. Connolly asked Sheila and me to please try to keep dad awake, since his heart rate falls when he falls asleep. We laughed at this order to be ultra-annoying to our father and observed that we had decades of experience in this realm. But as you can imagine, it has been no fun at all to bug him in this way. Now that the glucagon is starting to do it’s work, we are allowed to let him sleep.
Mom got her booster, and has not called us. We have not called her because if she’s sleeping, we don’t want to interrupt that. She has our numbers and can call us when/if she wants a ride back for a while this evening.
So today we fix the first problem, tomorrow there will be additional testing to try to get to the bottom of what started all this fun.
Kate and Zach were kind enough to get sandwiches for sheila and me. For now, email is probably the best way to communicate as we’d rather not have the texts pinging while he’s finally asleep.
Dad’s thinking has sort of been in and out, but he totally aced the mental status exam, as he does every time his faculties are put to the test. One of the tests was a drawing which shows kids on a stool stealing cookies from a cookie jar, while their mom who must be on valium or something is washing dishes in an overflowing sink. Dad’s read: “The kids are stealing cookies. Their mother is trying to forget the whole sordid affair.”
So he’s hanging in there. And so are we.