Friday, October 7, 2011

Noisiest Room on the Ward

When the patient, family, corpsman and nursing student all notice how inept a nurse is, you know it's bad.  I don't mind answering questions about my son.  I don't mind answering questions about when he last received a certain medication or if I knew about a certain medication or when a certain procedure was completed to save time in looking through the entire record.  But when a nurse asks me to explain something as complex as a J/G tube?  That's bad.  When a nurse has to go out and get a corpsman and other nurses to come in and explain most of the procedures to her the entire day?  When a nurse allows the tube feeds to run out?  That doesn't give me much confidence, especially when my son is a hands on patient.  She was wearing purple scrubs, so all I said all day was "crush the grape."  I DC'd the nurse.  We will not have her again.

I got the only complaint of the day out of the way early.  Because besides the inept nurse, who was obviously too new at her job to be given such a complex patient, we had a really good day.
During a conversation with one of the night nurses and a nursing student, she laughed and said we have the noisiest room on the ward!  He (the student) pointed at me, which earned him a slap.  Between the bed (it runs on electricity to keep the air flow through the sand), the oxygen, the TV loud to be heard over the latter two, me yelling at the Yankees tonight, Derek and Kyrstina laughing, the three of us usually laughing, the constant stream of doctors, therapists, visitors, etc., the room is quite active.  Derek has become quite popular among the doctors and nurses, and they often stop in to see him, even when not treating him.  His room is always busy.

Today we had visits from Master Sgt Bell, as usual, the infectious disease team, ortho, the pain team, Dr. Bograd, Dr. Perdue, Dr. Goodlett, Dr. Howard and team, WTB, AWB, Sam (OT), and MJ (PT).
In addition, Team Allen came by!  We love when they visit.  Chaz always lifts Derek's spirits.  He was where Derek is now several months ago, so he gives Derek hope.

After Team Allen, Joseph Westphal, the Under Secretary of the Army and Joseph Bowser, his staff assistant and an amputee, paid a visit.  What gentlemen.  They seemed genuinely interested in Derek's story and asked several questions about what happened to him, how his treatment has been, what the doctors have been saying, how long they think he will be in the hospital, how long we have been with him, etc.  They read several of the entries on Derek's flag, looked at the pictures of the family, and spent a long time visiting with us. 

Derek goes back to the OR tomorrow for a dressing change on his flap.  They usually do that in the PACU, but given his tendancy to drop his stats, they feels more comfortable having the entire anesthesia team on hand.  I agree with them erring on the side of caution.  He is second case tomorrow, so I don't have to be there at 05:30. 

If his stats stay up tomorrow, they might remove the trach tomorrow.  Dr. Howard isn't sure about that because of the constant trips to the OR he will need to work on the arm, and he will talk to the trauma team, but just the thought of it means he is getting better.  They made the breathing treatments PRN, meaning we call for them if needed, they are no longer scheduled on a regular basis.  That caused a little problem for us today when we called for a treatment and they said we had none scheduled, but Dr. Goodlett got it straightened out.

When MJ from PT came today, she removed the wrap from Derek's leg to put a stocking like thing around it in preparation for his prosthetics.  It revealed a nasty looking sore from where the wrap had been a little too tight.  Dr. Bograd will dress it in the OR tomorrow when he dresses the other wounds.  And Sam told us that they no longer necessarily send patients to Richmond for polytrauma because since the integration they now have the facilities at the new Walter Reed.  I need to discuss this with Dr. Perdue because it is Derek's wish to stay right where he is.

Tonight I went for a walk to give Derek and Krystina some alone time.  I was walking down the hall and could hear them laughing.  The night nurse called me over and told me not to go in the room because they were having a good time.  She told me they were so cute together and asked me where we ever found her because she was a true gem.  She really is.  Derek is lucky to have found such a wonderful woman.  He is really blessed.

So, tomorrow is 70 days in Bethesda.  We have come a long way.  Derek has a poster in his room - Celebrate your successes, big and small.  That is what we do.  We have been concentrating on the postive with Derek since we arrived.  We talk about positives in his room.  If there is negative information, we talk about it outside and then put a positive spin on it before bringing it to him.  He has a very postive attitude.  When talking to any of the brass or VIPs who come to visit, he is always so postive.

Tomorrow is going to be a busy day.  Derek has a lot of company coming for his birthday this weekend.  My car is fixed (defective battery), so I have to find a ride to the Ford Dealership.

P.S.  Yankees - I'm mad at you.  Jeter, you're fired.  A-Rod, you too.  Bases loaded?  Are you kidding me?

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