Monday, September 12, 2011

A Day of Remembrance, Hope and Moving Forward

Ten years ago our nation faced a horrible tragedy.  Almost 3,000 people lost their lives in one of the worst terrorist attacks on American soil.  Unfortunately, a family who is near and dear to my family was struck by that tragedy. 

Kevin James Hannaford, Sr. was in the North Tower when the first plane hit.  Eileen, his wife and a friend of mine from the Jimmy and Pat Friel School of Irish Step Dancing since I wa 9 years old was pregnant with their second child, Kevin, Jr.  Their son Patrick was two years old at the time.  I danced with Eileen and her brother Patrick for about 11 years.  Her mother, Mary McGinley was best friends with my mother, Noeline Fuller and my grandmother, Rosemary Delaney.

My love, heart and prayers are with the Hannaford/McGinley familes and all of the families and friends who were affected by this tragedy ten years ago today.

It is from this event that we are now involved in this war and from which I am now sitting in Bethesda, Maryland instead of at home in Parsippany, New Jersey.  Since this is not a political commentary, I will not discuss my own feelings and politcal beliefs about the war here.  Anyone who knows me personally or who is my friend on facebook is aware of where I stand on these issues. 

I will only say that I am proud of the son that I raised.  I am proud of the man that he has become.  He knew the risks that he was assuming when he enlisted during a time of war, and he freely and voluntarily put himself at risk so that we may live in a free country.  I raised a brave, strong and wonderful man.
Unfortunately, he is also a little boy who is fed up, ticked off and done.  Tonight he asked me to please sneak him in a candy bar.  I told him I would but it would choke him to death, so I could not.  Being a parent is hard sometimes.  I had to tell him "no."  I had to explain to him that he could aspirate and die because he cannot yet swallow, but that the swallow test is coming tomorrow or Tuesday.  All day he begged for peanut butter and jelly, orange juice and cereal.  It's heartbreaking.

On Sundays, the Marine Moms and other organizations come around and offer us lunch on the med/surg floor.  Today they had smoothies, fried chicken, meatballs, hot dogs, etc.  I felt so guilty going, but Krystina and I need to keep up our strength in order to give Derek the best care.  We were also able to get a massage.  That was heaven, especially since my shoulder is still hurting from Derek pulling me across the bed.

During rounds this morning, I was informed that Derek might be ready to graduate this week!  Could it be true?  He is still tachy, has a lot of infections, the J tube is giving him trouble, and I am concerned that he needed suctioning an increased amount today (trach size is still an 8 - has not been reduced). 

He has also slept for two days straight.  Until yesterday he had normal wake/sleep cycles.  I think the increase in the pain meds had an adverse effect on him and intend to discuss it during rounds tomorrow.
The J-tube has been a problem since insertion.  It causes him pain, often clogs, and makes him vomit if pushed too hard.  His tube feedings were turned off for the day because it was clogged.  They took an x-ray that did not show a problem, so they don't have any answers.

White cell count is down a little to 15 and there is no fever, although he was acting feverish - sweating, hot and flushed.

I gave Derek a shave today.  My first time ever shaving a man.  I'm not saying it was a good shave, but it passed a civilian test.  Won't pass military grade.

A concerning event was while the three of us were napping, Krystina and me in those "comfortable" chairs, Derek pulled his oxygen tube off and was starting to pull his trach from around his neck and was freaking out as to why there were two around his neck.  Thankfully Krystina jumped up and took care of it.  This is a concern because we are not with him all night, and if he graduates out of the ICU, the patient to nurse ratio is reduced.

We are still waiting on final word on the abscesses.  They are thinking they will probably resolve themselves, but they are still watching them.  I hate not knowing for sure.
Too many teams, too many doctors, too much balancing.  I think they are all working for the best for Derek, but they are playing a balancing game and if just ONE drops his side, the whole tower of cards will topple!  Derek is NOT out of the woods, and there is still a chance that he could go septic again.  All systems are working, although not all working correctly, and the numbers look okay, but because he went septic once, there is always a chance that he could go again.  He is still in a tenuous position.  It will be months before they clear him completely.  Krystina and I are in for a long, hard road.

No comments:

Post a Comment