Sunday, September 4, 2011

I Torpedoed the Boat

Like I said, Derek really did not want to be in a boat so he did not join the Navy.  The boat bed was a bust.  After looking at it, the doctor said no way.  And the charge nurse (I love this guy!) Dixon said the whole point of a wound care bed is circulation and keeping sweat, fluids, etc. away from the body.  He said this bed does not seem designed for that, and he was not happy with it, either.

The boat bed does not have a mechanism that allows it to incline and recline.  Due to his lung condition coupled with the wounds on Derek's lower back, he needs to be constantly changed from sitting up to lying down.  The boat bed uses foam wedges.  In order to change his position, the nurse would have to have him sit all the way up and take one or more out to get the right height, instead of simply pushing a button.  Derek cannot sit all the way up because of the pelvic fixator.

But also, how exactly does lying with foam behind the head, shoulders and upper back keep the circulation going? 

So, I was asked to decide whether I wanted boat bed for the couple of days it will take to get the new bed or whether to keep him in his bed now.  Weighing the options and Derek's preferences, we sunk boat bed.  His nurses have been awesome with the wound care, and they said that until the new bed arrives they will turn him even more than they have been.

We had Tom Diggs as his nurse again today, and I do really like him. He is very attentive, not only to Derek, but to me.  He is always asking if I am alright and if I need anything.  I appreciate it.
Not much medically today.  White cell went down a little to 28.6, but fever spiked to 102.1.  Dixson's Pillow of Destiny helped bring that down to normal.  If the fevers continue, the CT will be done tomorrow and they will not wait until Monday.

We got CPAP support on the vent down to 5 and 8, so hopefully the trach collar will work tomorrow.
I forgot this yesterday....  Derek asked Krystina to kiss him.  Begged her.  She said she couldn't, because they would kick her out!  (He is still on droplet precaution.)  He then settled for chapstick.  Today he asked for a hug.  With his abdominal wounds and pelvic fixator that could seriously injure him, and that close contact could transfer infections from our clothes to his, so she said she would love to, but couldn't just yet.  Instead she squeezed his shoulders and held his hand.  My poor boy.  When asked what he wanted for his birthday....  "to go home."  His birthday is in October.  He won't be home by then, but maybe he will be up and about.  We can hope and pray.

Sean left today with Kellina and Kiki (my sister Yvette).  It's strange not having him here.  He has been here since day one.  Our comic relief has left us.  We will have to rely on Derekisms alone now.
It was said to Krystina and me today that it is unknown how we sit here everyday, all day, making the difficult decisions and pushing him to do what he has to do.  It's not hard.  I am only doing what I have to do to get him better.  For 36 days now I have sat by his side.  I am up at 5:30 a.m. on surgery days, 7:00 a.m. on non-surgery days.  We sit in the hospital, most of the time in his room and sometimes in the day room, until between 7 and 10 at night.  I've read six books.  This is life right now.  This is what Derek needs. 

There are days that I spend little time in his room because the doctors and nurses are so busy with him.  Those days I sit in the day room and catch a few minutes when I can.  I do not dare leave the hospital, because if Derek needs me, I want to be there.

I did ask the doctors about taking the kids to DC for a few hours, but they said it would not be a good idea right now to be more than 10-20 minutes from the hospital.  They will be back during the school year and DC will still be there.  I cannot leave his side right now.  If because of surgery, procedures, doctors, nurses, etc. I only get a few minutes with him, then that is what I get.  This is where I need to be.
As for the decisions and pushing him?  They aren't hard when they are what is best.  It's called being a parent.  For Krystina, it's called being a loving girlfriend/fiance/wife (pick one).

We will get Derek through this.  Krystina and I are in this for the long haul.  He is so much better than he was, but he is not out of the woods and he has a long way to go!  Unfortunately, Krystina and I will be away from home for a while.  C'est la vie.  I worry, but I have a wonderful family at home who will hold it together until I get back.

Love does great things.  It gives you strength when you feel like you will shatter.

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