Friday, November 4, 2011


Derek waited until the third month mark and then started making progress.  Last week, the flap was taken down, he was taken off of oxygen, and he was decanulated.  This week, the pelvic x-fixes were removed today, the last wound vac was removed, he was turned over to the wound care team, and they started to talk about turning him over from the trauma service to the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Team!  All of this is major progress.

On Sunday we will have been here 100 days.  Most of the patients are outpatients by this time.  We have watched many come and go.  Could it really be our turn?  Could we really be outpatients by Christmas?

It seems almost too good to be real.  Dere3k still has some issues with his lab work.  He needed some magnesium replaced today.  And they are doing an ultrasound of his liver due to high tryglicerides. They changed his diet to a heart healthy diet.  I looked at the doctor and asked him when that happened and if they were going to tell us about it.  He smiled with his cute dimples and said it just happened!

Had "fun' in the PACU today with a "wonderful" nurse.  I asked her name and she would not give it to me.  She told me she did not have to.  They were coming to do x-rays.  I told her to have a push ready.  She told me that he had his PCA to which I replied that it was not sufficient.  Why do I have to argue with a nurse about pain meds?  she told me it was sufficient.  I told her it had been reduced and pushes and oxy was ordered to get him off the pca, and then she tested me on the dosaged amounts!  She then asked Derek!  He had been asleep during our discourse. I had told her that he always needed a push during x-rays, turned and movement, and she said, "Derek, your MOTHER, seems to think you ALWAYS need a push during x-rays."  He nodded and said, "I do."  I then said, "just have it in your pocket in case he needs it so it is ready, please."  She told me his respirations were too slow and would not support a push at that time.  i told her then the x-rays would wait until they were ready because the wounds on his back were too raw to do the x-rays without the push.  She questioned me about them!  Seriously?!  I advised her that he had a stage one pressure ulcer and a sacral wound with stitches that were extremely painful hence the specialized bed.  During the x-rays Derek yelled out in pain.  Oh, she was such a joy.

Thank the Lord he does not have to have surgery again for a long time.

Yes, that's right.  No surgery for a while!  The next surgery will be to replace the spacer in his arm, and that is a ways from now.  He will have the hand rewired in a couple of months, if it does not come back on his own in PT and OT.  We have an awesome team for OT and PT, so if it can be done, it will be.

So, next week, Derek will be turned over to the PMNR team, hopefully, although I love our docs, and the supra pubic catheter will be removed.

Less of a patient, more of a person.  I really need to order that as a shirt for Dr. West!

And we have a real children's TV show going in our room.  We have Clifford the Big Red Dog with his adorable dimples and Go, Diego, Go!  With their baby faces, that really adds to the whole children's theme, but at least they don't look like they are 12 like some of the interns running around.  I do miss Bograd.  He would walk in and light up when he saw how much Derek was improving.  The look on his face when he saw Derek sitting in the daw room talking to another wounded warrior will be with me forever.  There was genuine joy in his eyes that day.  And the way Obi asked about Derek's progress when he was away?  They don't teach that level of caring. 

That's right.  I haven't said that we have our Obi back!  He is not on our rotation (major sad face), but he is back in Bethesda and paid us a visit the other night.  I admit that I was a little over excited when i saw him and pushed Krystina out of the way to hug him.  Sorry, honey.  I had waited too long since Derek released him from his shackles.  I do love him.

That's all for tonight.  Hopefully this weekend will be rest, relaxtion, progress, healing, and milestones.  Derek's first real shower in months is on the agenda for tomorrow!  I'd say his first shower in the 15 weeks since his injury, but he hadn't had a REAL shower since long before that!!  This is going to feel like heaven to him. 

Something so simple, so mundane, something we take for granted every single day, is going to be heaven for him.

In this season of Thanksgiving, I am thankful for all of the progress that Derek has made, continues to make, and will continue to make over the next several weeks, months, years.  God bless you, all.

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