Thursday, October 13, 2011

I killed Dr. Doom

Busy day!  Goodness that room needs a revolving door.  The visits do not stop some days.  Between different teams of doctors, nurses, Red Cross, OT, PT, AW2, SFAC, social workers, and the VIPs, etc., some days it just doesn't stop.  Today was a nonstop day.
Commander/Command Major/General/something high in the army (I cannot remember right now because I messed up and didn't write it down fast enough) Miller from the 10th Mountain Division came to visit in the morning.

CSM Sutton and Master Sgt VanGorder from Derek's Battalion came down from Fort Drum.  That visit did so much for Derek.  Chatting with the men who were with him in Afghanistan and knew what happened to him did so much for him.  We also learned that the soldier who was the LT Derek went in to get out that morning is doing great.

We were also advised that the floor was shut down again because of a big VIP.  When the deadly serious, young Marine was confirming who was in the room, he said, "Wife and Mom, right?"  And I said with a dead serious face, "Yeah.  Wife (and pointed at me) and Mom (and pointed at Krystina)."  He said okay and then turned to leave.  He turned back confused and said, "Wait.  What?!"  I repeated it, and he stared at us.  Then he laughed and walked out.

Jill Biden, the VP's wife, paid us a visit.  Mrs. Biden was wonderful.  I loved her purple dress and leopard print shoes!  Wow!  Stylish!  Okay, enough of being a woman, but for the last 75 days I have been in jeans or casual pants and t-shirts.  I miss dressing up!  Although, I have a bad back to begin with, and after 75 days in a hospital chair and no treatment, it's worse so I think heels are out for a while.

Back to the important stuff.  Mrs. Biden asked about Derek.  She spoke to Derek.  She interacted with Derek.  It was wonderful.

We were advised about a task force in which she is involved to get out to the American public the struggle of the wounded warrior and his family.  "Hi, my name is Siobhan, and I'm a wounded warrior Mom."  I will be contacting her assistant often about this to see if I can get any information and, if possible, get on that task force.

As I have said before , this is not a political blog.  We have been visited by republicans and democrats.  Both have appeared interested in Derek's story and very accomodating, bar one who was nervous and appeared out of his element, as discussed previously.  I just tell it like I see it.  We will see if any good comes out of the contacts I am making.  I am not going to make generalizations because of party affiliation.

On the medical front, the doctor who gave me trouble yesterday and told me I did not have a right to know everything, we nixed him.  He will not be returning.  His fellow will handle the case at bedside.  Bedside 101 should be a required course as well as a continuing education class.

When discussing this situation with Dr. Bograd, he said he remembered the last time I was in ICU and was going after a doctor who ticked me off.  It wasn't a pretty site, and he was getting out of there before the other team showed up!  I asked him if he remembered when I almost went across the bed and strangled him, and he doesn't, but it's okay because he has more than redeemed himself.

For example, Derek's wonderful nurse Katie told me today that when they turned him so that Dr. B could get a look at a wound on his back, he took it a step further and not only dressed and took care of the wound, but tended to and wiped down his entire back, something she rarely sees the doctors do.

Congratulations to Dr. Philip Perdue who was promoted to Chief of Surgery.  Well deserved honor.  Just make sure you continue to follow Derek and visit him daily.

Dr. Goodlett was late this morning because he had something to do.  He wore is fancy uniform instead of his usual scrubs, so we had to get a picture of him with Derek.

Heard upsetting news about Dr. Bograd.  He will be leaving us to go to Fort Belvoir on November 1st.  I told him I was going to shackle him in the basement.  I tried that with Dr. Ugo but Derek let him go.  He is due back on November 1st, but I don't know what service.  We will have to hunt him down!  Hand me the scope!  Get Sgt Archie to sniff him out!

Derek got into the wheelchair for a couple of hours today.  He went off to the day room to visit with another wounded warrior with two hip disarticulations and a one-sided pelvectomy.  It was great to see him up and interacting with another warrior. 

Dr. Bograd showed up at the door when the guys were talking and the look of warmth and geniune caring on his face brought a tear to my eye.

After chatting with his fellow warrior, Derek took a spin downstairs around the lobby!  It was great to get him off the ward!  We might try for outside this week!  While moving about in his wheelchair, he told Krystina to carry the oxygen tank, because she has to get used to carrying babies.

And, although it was a good thing, it could have been disasterous.  When we returned to the room, the oxygen was not hooked up.  Whether it just wasn't done or not done correctly and fell off, we do not know.  Dr. West told me after he left the room that for about two hours Derek was breathing without oxygen and his sat level was 94!  That's great and means he will probably do great when they want to decanulate him, but someone messed up.  When Dr. West told me, he said, "Do we need a pulse ox on you?"  I said, "And maybe a heart monitor and some of that happy medicine."  I was picturing drowning everyone involved today.

They probably will not decanulate tomorrow because Derek is going to the OR Friday.  He was supposed to go to the PACU for a dressing change but one of the wounds that had been closed is reopening and Dr. Bograd wants to address it in the OR on Friday.  In PACU, Derek would be sedated and not need to be intubated.  In the OR, I believe he would need intubation for which the trach is used.  I will check with Dr. G tomorrow.  If he will only be sedated, then maybe decanulation can proceed tomorrow!

And ortho continues to be an issue.  Communication.  Learn it.  They came around at 04:45.  They made a note.  They have not spoken to me or to Derek that he remembers or can relate to me since the x-rays.  We know they are planning to remove the x-fixes from the pelvis the first week in November, but then what?  I paged them today and the resident they send did not have any answers for me.  I sent him back to get me answers at around 16:00.  We will see how long it takes for someone to get back to me.  If I do not see anyone by 16:00 tomorrow, I will page the staff doctor.

Derek's personality is in full bloom.  He teases us, and we tease him.  The things that come out of his mouth has us in stitches.  "To the moon, Mom!" when I aggravate him.  "Smack the bitch" with a smirk when Krystina aggravates him.  Then he gives kissy faces and we all laugh.  We know he is only kidding because we know Derek.

It is aggravating and frustrating to him to just sit there in that bed, so getting out and into the chair for a couple of hours today was heaven.  He is going to be great.  He has the nurses, corpsman and doctors loving him.  One corpsman started off reserved and sort of bitchy and now she is warm, friendly and jokes with us.  Derek has that effect on people.  She is his favorite corpsman.

We are getting better in leaps and bounds.  We will get this thing licked in no time. 

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