A Different Kind of Adventure

You just never know… Yesterday David decided he was gonna have an adventure all of his own! Well his back decided!

As many of you know David has periodic “episodes” with his back. There is no rhyme or reason to “if” and “when” it will happen. He will do things that you think…His back is gonna give him problems because of that and it doesn’t. But a simple thing as bending down to tie his shoes will sometimes put him on his back for a few days!

Well yesterday morning, mid morning, I got a call from David. He was in an ambulance on his way to Samer Hospital here in Resende. Apparently, he had an “episode” at work ( probably bending over or under some equipment) and actually blacked out. The spasms of pain get so bad sometimes that he does that. Brian also called from work to make sure I knew what was going on and I am sure he wondered why I wasn’t in panic mode. It isn’t a HUGE shock to me to get a phone call…I am used to it after almost 27 years of marriage! Now, the FIRST time it happened THAT was a different story.

So Brian sent Philippe ( one of the Brazilian guys that speaks great English) to the hospital with him to translate. The hospital wanted xrays done and gave him some pain medication through IV( actually morphine, which he has never had before) Philippe went back to work and Hector came and stayed with him. The xray came back that two vertebrae were rubbing and the Dr. wanted a neurosurgeon to look at the xray . Well the neurosurgeon was in surgery in a different hospital and they weren’t sure if he would be back to Samer later in the day or not. The Dr. was quite insistent that David spend the night so they could keep him on morphine drip!! He was still in a lot of pain and the morphine didn’t seem to be helping much.( We found out later they were only giving him 3ml. Our son Andrew got 15ml when he broke his wrist) They were worried he might black out again. Ughhh! Overnight! It is so hard to know if his back is getting a bit worse or if this is just Brazil’s way of dealing with things! When we were home living in Canada, he’s never stayed overnight in hospital because of his back , EVEN when it was at it’s worst!!

All of this time I am home at our apartment waiting…waiting for texts and phone calls with all this information from David. I have been sick with a bad cold, coughing and sore throat all week. Should I go to the hospital? Should I stay home? I would have to get a taxi or walk because I do not drive in Brazil. David says stay at the apartment because he’s fine and there is nothing I can do there…besides I probably shouldn’t be at the hospital where I am sick…so wait! They decided they wanted to do a Tomography. What in the world is that? Had to look it up. Oh, CT Scan, that is more familiar. So they have Xrays and a CT scan and said the neurosurgeon would be in tomorrow ( that is today). I should mention that all this stuff at the hospital is difficult because they ONLY speak Portuguese and David’s medical vocabulary is not great. We are so thankful for friends…Philippe and Hector who can translate this medical stuff!

Today, I was awake really early. Well I didn’t sleep much anyway, packed a bag and walked to the hospital. David looked so much better after his face was washed and hair combed. At about 8am the clinical Dr. came in and said that he had inflammation and that they were gonna discharge him within a half hour. He could go home and rest with a prescription of pain meds. This is the procedure we are used to. But what happened to HAVING to stay the night because he HAS to see the neurosurgeon. I helped David get dressed and up and about to see if he was mobile enough to get home, and we called Hector for his help with translation to discharge, and in the meantime a nurse came in and said the neurosurgeon would be in today sometime that we needed to wait! Why the confusion? So…we waited! And David slept. Too many muscle relaxers just makes him dopey!

So the neurosurgeon came around noon and said what we figured and know from history, that the muscles in his lower back is inflamed and that he will have to be on his back and take physio. I just wish there was a osteopath here because history has proven that works better for his situation. In the meantime, I think the nurses forgot about David because they didn’t give him anything for pain since before 7am this morning and when he went to the bathroom he felt faint and dizzy. We had to call the nurse and explain the situation and she eventually came with a needle with some pain meds. It’s so frustrating because we don’t know EXACTLY what they are giving him, and one minute he’s getting it every hour and the next it’s 5 hours and we had to ask!! I think everyone assumes that the pain is gone BUT he will need regular medication for the next few days and then as needed after that! We KNOW how this works!!! To make a long story short, we needed to wait a little longer to be discharged and get this…they wouldn’t take out the IV in his arm until he paid his hospital bill. Hector was there to help with the discharge and to drive us home and help get David in his bed and Brian popped over tonight to make sure things were ok. We are so VERY thankful for friends here Philippe, Brian, and especially Hector ( & Marcella). You were there for us when we needed it the most and we appreciate it so much.

So…tonight as I am writing this, David is home and doing so much better already, had 2 good meals, medication and has been up and walking a little bit. So improvement already. HOWEVER, one thing we learned from the consultation with the neurosurgeon is that his new found love of running MUST COME TO AN END! The specialist said it was definitely not good for him with a back like his. So when he is mobile again he will have to find a new sport for his exercise program!

I tease David and say he just wanted the WHOLE Brazil medical experience~ an ambulance ride and to spend a night in a hospital in Brazil, Johnny shirt and all! Haha 🙂

See…we have adventure of ALL kinds!

Here are a few pics of the adventure 🙂

Ready for a CT scan
Ready for a CT scan
Hospital for the night
Hospital for the night
IV medication
IV medication
First thing this morning at the hospital
First thing this morning at the hospital
Looks so much better, washed and dressed. :)
Looks so much better, washed and dressed. 🙂
Lunch...not so great!
Lunch…not so great!
Discharged :)
Discharged 🙂
A rough trip home- so thankful for Hector's help!!
A rough trip home- so thankful for Hector’s help!!

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Adventure For Two

I am from Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, Canada and I'm back from traveling with my husband on an expat assignment to foreign lands. 2011-2012 we were in Shenyang, China. Spring 2012- Spring 2013 we were in Resende,RJ Brazil then back to Shenyang, China in July 2013 until the end of July 2014. Expat life WAS amazing! Adventure abounds no matter where we travel to. We really enjoyed the amazing opportunity to live and experience culture and tradition in these places. BUT now we are finished and adjusting to life in our small town in Canada. Our days of travel and adventure are not over.

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