Monday, December 24, 2007

Visit to north north California: Code Blue

My brother who lives in Burney, California, in the far northeast part of California
got pneumonia so was taken to Mayers Hospital, a small hospital in Fall River Mills.
There they diagnosed him with something else and we about to operate on his non-
existent condition but he asked to be flown by helicopter to Mercy Medical Center in Redding, which they did. At Mercy he was correctly diagnosed with pneumonia.

The weekend this happened I was going into finals week where I had to give and
grade three finals. Also, I had jury duty on Monday, and my mom's home had
two furnaces not working, so on Sunday I arranged for a furnace repair company
to replace her two furnaces. I kept on calling my brother who was in Intensive Care
Unit (ICU) at Mercy. Luckily my jury duty was only one day on Monday the same
day the furnaces were successfully put in. I gave and grade my three finals, and flew to my
brother in Redding on Saturday.

Redding is in the Central Valley of California, the biggest city between the Sacramento
and the Oregon border, but it has a small airport. After I got a car, I drove to the
hospital where my brother at last was out of ICU and in the intermediate ward. Driving
I had to cross the Sacramento River and Interstate 5, but it wasn't far.

My brother who has had parkinson's for many years was on oxygen and making a slow
recovery from the pneumonia. That evening he sat up for the first time to have dinner
with me in his hospital room--we both ate from the trays. That was a good sign. My brother
had a roommate who seemed very ill.

Monday my third day there I was walking to my brother's room to again eat dinner with
my brother when I was all these nurses rushing to my brother's room yelling "Code Blue."
I stuck my head into the room to see my brother quietly sitting up in front of his food
tray, so the Code Blue was for his roommate. I said, "I'll see you later" and left as more
medical people were running into the room.

My brother had been eating and talking to his roommate who must have had a seizure,
choked on some food, and went quiet, so my brother hit the emergency button and yelled
out for the nurse who came running into the room to start the Code Blue. I stayed out a
half hour, and when I returned the staff had gotten the roommate breathing, had taken
his X-ray, and were wheeling him out to ICU. The nursing supervisor was talking to my
brother and said to me, "Thanks to your brother for hitting the alarm. If I were in the
hospital, I'd want your brother for a roommate." Other nurses that evening thanked my
brother for being so alert as to call an emergency.

I sat down across from my brother and ate my dinner.

The roommate did recover in ICU.

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