Monday, September 19, 2011

A Man and His Remote

Today was the first full day on the ward.  It's.... different.  I cannot say I don't like it.  It's just different.  I feel isolated from the rest of the world. 

In SICU, the door was glass and always open.  On the ward, due to droplet precaution, the wooden door must be kept closed.  In ICU, I always saw who was coming and going.  This did not provide privacy, unless the curtain was closed, but I felt like I was part of the world.  Now we are in our own little world with very little interaction with anyone else unless we leave Derek, which I do not want to do just to socialize.

Growing pains.

The nursing staff is very nice, but I miss Peter and Trista and Suzanne and so many of the others I came to know.  And I miss Dr. Dan.

Overnight Derek was sick to his stomach so the overnight doctor put in an order that he could take nothing by mouth until after surgery tomorrow.  I came in this morning to one very unhappy soldier.  He was cursing to beat the band.  I asked the nurse to call Dr. Perdue, whom I had just missed.  He was in Church but said I could call him.  I was not going to call a man in Church.

Dr. Bograd, a member of Derek's surgical team, walked in within minutes.  I discussed the problem with him, and he said he would take care of it, and at least get him back on liquids.  Within ten minutes the nurse came in and Derek was back on a full diet, but the g-tube was left open, which means his stomach was being drained.  It satisfied him.

Derek later told us that he was just nauseous and tried to tell the corpsman, but without the speaking valve in (he cannot sleep with it in), the corpsman thought he wanted to be suctioned, and it was the suctioning that made him throw up.  We discussed it tonight that the corpsman will be more careful and make sure what Derek wants before he tries to suction him.

His white count is back up a little to 17.  Will it ever just go back to normal?  So done with battling infections.  And they decided to start a tylenol drip to help with pain, so that will impact on fevers.  If he were to spike a fever, I am concerned that the tylenol will mask it.

I was advised today that he is the most critical patient on the ward.  Great.  He went from being the sickest patient in the hospital to the most critical patient on the ward.  Well, you know what we say to that?  Bring it!  Never give in... never give up!  Climb to glory, soldier!  To the top!  All the way!  The tougher the battle, the sweeter the victory!  God has a special plan for this kid or he never would have survived all that he has.  He will get through this.  He has two hard headed, stubborn women at his side who love him to bits and who will kick his ass if he tried to give up.

Derek and I did his OT together.

On the RT front today, the little miss who showed up yesterday and told me that there was a different team on the ward than in the ICU was obviously fibbing, but I knew that because I know Angela has patients on both.  The gentleman we had today was the same one we had yesterday morning in ICU.  When he came at 17:00 today, it was right after the dinner tray.  He said he would do his other patients and return when Derek had finished his dinner.  Just what she should have done last night instead of giving me attitude.
The best stories from yesterday that I forgot to mention, since I was so tired when I got to the room last night, had to do with the transfer to the ward.

It was a comedy getting Derek transferred.  Peter is a goofball.  He was running down the hall pushing Derek's bed with two corpsman.  He cracked jokes with Derek to keep his mind off the fact that they had to unplug his bed.  Derek has this awesome bed with sand that is blown to keep the patient from getting bedsores.  Since Derek had blast wounds that were made worse by his seeping wounds, they got him this special bed.  He loves it.  But when it is unplugged, it is hard as a rock.  Think about lying on the beach with an open sore on your back.  So they ran.

When they got to the elevators, Krystina and I couldn't fit with the wheelchair.  Peter leaned out and laughed at us in a sing song voice, "You have to wait!"

In the room, they were trying to get the TV to work.  They couldn't find a remote for the TV.  The nurse call button is supposed to work for the TV, too, but it wasn't.  They said they would call someone to work on it.  With that, Derek pulled out the remote from under his arm.  They asked him where he got it, and he said he took it from ICU and shrugged his shoulders.  It worked!  Go, Derek.  They let him keep it and said they have extras downstairs.  Don't try to take a man's remote!

We are getting used to the ward, and I am sure we will become comfortable.  I know four other families well, and once Derek gets off droplet and contact precautions and we can stop gowning up, or at least stop wearing the masks, it will be more comfortable.  When he is off contact, the doggies can visit!

Seventeen were medivac'd in tonight of the 70 that were injured on 9/11 in Afoolistan.  My heart and prayers are with them all

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