The path to the Critical Decision Unit
Yesterday’s first episode of Gourmet: Mechanical Soft Menu left the story-teller in the Stanford ER waiting for a space-aged camera to arrive and look inside the sick story-teller’s pharynx—there is that word again. (see yesterday Wiki notes.)
This posting will try to be more to the point than yesterday, but no guarantees. Remember, I’m still sick and must focus on getting better and on following Dr’s orders.
I promised a Mechanical Menu, but the hospital one won’t turn up in the story until latter—not this posting, sorry. But, here is a Home Mechanical Soft Breakfast modeled after one of the best I got in hospital.
1 Organic Ranch Egg Scrambled (1/2t. Butter, salt, no pepper, parsley)
1 slice 7-grain bread, cut in half, dry not toasted
1 Tsp. Bonne Maman Cherry Preserves (French, made with sugar, not corn-sweetened)
Oatmeal (microwave) ¼ cup Original Quaker Oats, ¼ cup Water, and ¼ cup 1% Milk, 2 Tbs. California Raisins)
After: 6oz French Press Colombian Roast Organic Coffee, 1 Tbs. Milk, A little Organic Honey to sweeten.
Remember: this is after my release from hospital; I was recovering.
We pick up the story in the Stanford ER acute care area; this area is all business and the business is a lot about not having any new accidents. As the action reopens, the sick person is sitting on a gurney (hospital talk for a rolling bed).
In the author’s words:
A white lab coat appeared in front of me and took charge of the situation. She was a consulting Ear, Nose, Throat Surgeon and it was her word that everyone was waiting for. She had the special camera and knew how to read and interpret the images; wow.
She numbed my nasal passages by squirting some unpleasant liquid into my nose—she did it nicely, of course, after some booger trouble. (You have no secrets here in ER world.)
Then she inserted the long plastic tube down my nasal passage and announced that she had a good picture. She kept the results to herself, however, and left to go think, analyze, attend another problem, travel in space; who knows? She said she would return and explain, and she did.
“There is internal swelling, but I want a CT Scan verification”, she said. Patient says: “ A what?” (Remember: it’s now 2 am and I’m sick; don’t expect rationality.) She explained and I nodded.
After a short wait, I was rolled in my gurney to a special scanner room and a really great guy wrapped me up in his machine, put a collar around my neck, and covered me with a heavy protective lap pad; then he told me to relax. Right, remember to keep smiling and relax; they need to feel confident that you won’t come unhinged and mess things up.
That test done: I’m rolled back to the Critical Care Area to wait, and soon, the Doc in white reappeared and said words to the effect that I wasn’t going home right now. The ER people would discuss treatment options with me and my spokesperson in a while. More waiting.
Decisions were made about 4am: I was no longer critical, but I needed a treatment plan. I would be advanced out of Critical Care to the Critical Decision Area in my gurney, but that would have to wait for a bed.
My able helper and spokesperson, however, could now go home. She got to bed at 5:30am, what a trooper!
I got to the CDR about 6am. It’s a little more like a hospital here, but scrubs are the uniform, and they are all ER trained. I’m still in ER, but closer to the door. My treatment may begin here; who knows?
Expecting a call from my support person after breakfast, if there is a breakfast. (I will discover that my hunger is not high on ER action list.)
TBC: Tomorrow, “What is the Critical Decision?” will be taken up in the next posting. Will I go home or to the hospital; who knows?
Have a good day anyone reading this post. Seniors, keep smiling and exercising, I’ll have a poem for you tomorrow (a cheery one).
Day 2 of Mechanical Soft Menu, Autobiographical Story, 2011