Saturday, November 5, 2011

Revolving Door

The hospital is no place to get some rest.  Derek's day started with a trip to radiology for an ultrasound on his liver due to high liver enzymes.  He, thankfully, slept through the entire trip down, procedure and trip back.

Diego is growing on me.  He might be able to reach the bar set by Obi and raised by Bograd by the time Derek is released to the pmnr team next week, but I like him.  He came in this morning, and rather than wake Derek, we stepped outside to talk.  He told me not to listen to the other docs if they showed up and used scary words like "dangerously high levels," because we had not yet established a baseline from which to determine that.  The scan came back fine, so we are back to watching diet and checking blood levels periodically.  Another team is going to be consulted.

And that revolving door went on all day.

Who comes in and out?

First of all the nurses are the most frequent visitors.  They not only tend to the IVs - fluids, any medications that have to be given, any problems WITHT HE IVs, etc., but they tend to the patients needs, as well.  On that same line, you have corpsmen and LPNs who take vitals and assist the patient.  We also have student nurses and nurses on orientation.

Then you have the doctors.  Derek has several different teams, and each team has an attending physician, a resident and an intern.  Some of the teams only come in once a day, but some of them need to come in a couple of times a day, or as in the case of his primary team 9trauma), several times a day.  Just rattling them off the top of my head, Derek has trauma, neuro-pysche, orthopedics, plastics, internal medicine, encrinology, and urology.  We were told today that the gastrointerologists will be consulted.

Then you have the providers.  The ones that Derek has at present are Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and wound care.  He used to have respiratory, but thankfully, no more trach, no more oxygen, and no more breathing problems!

You also have the military connection - WTB, AW2, finance, SFAC, social workers, liaison, squad leader, nurse case manager, etc.  Some visit daily, some weekly, all very much necessary.  i have a little beef with finance right now, which I found out is not germane to me.  I filled out my voucher for a direct deposit.  They mailed the check for my daily allowance to my home.  Doesn't do me a whole lot of good when I am here and not there.  Thank you for that. 

After that you have the regular volunteers who offer things to the patient and families.  The organizations that help out and are actually allowed in are wonderful.  They do so much good.  But, I'm sorry.  If i say I do not want something off the cart, i really do not want something off of the cart.  I do not need you to pick up the basket and come into the room when Derek is sleeping, resting, or just does not want to be disturbed and shove it under my nose and insist that i take something.  I know you are only being helpful, but it is really okay to accept my "no" as "no" and go to the next room.  And the different volunteers come by about 5 or 6 times a day.  I love seeing them around the hospital, but some of them need to accept "no, thank you."

And here are some awesome volunteers:

But it should be a little easier to get in.  I know of some volunteer organizations having a harder time getting in.  I also have private individuals who want to help, like sending care packages to different guys who might have nothing, but the approval process for that is impossible!  It should be easier.  The best I can say is send it to me at the address to the right with a note to share the love, and I will do so.

You also have the visitors for the patients.  These include not only the VIPs who arrange their visits and come around prearranged, but the brass who visit while on R&R.  Chaplain Kim from Ft. Drum visited Derek today, and we are expecting the owner of one of the sports teams sometime soon.

Then there are the musicians, poets, artists, etc. that come at night to "entertain."  At the end of the day, after all of the foregoing, we just want to relax, watch TV, and enjoy each others company, not paint a bird house or be interrupted by someone asking us to paint a bird house.  And we do not want to close the door, because it is too claustrophobic.  But that's just us.  Others might love it and welcome to interaction.  Everyone is different.  So, what if the nurse, at the start of the night shift, asked if the patient would like a visit from the Music Man?  Then when he arrived, he could be given a list.  Problem solved?

So, that's our revolving door.  The worst is when a group of them all show up at once.  I stand at the door feeling like an executive assistant at a busy office!  I can fit you in at 3.  Would you care to wait?

It seems as if we are well on our way now, though.  Derek has his first workout in the inpatient physical therapy room.  He wasn't so thrilled about the 2 lb pink weights when he used to bench press 250 lbs, but he has made such wonderful progress.

God bless and climb to glory!

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