Monday, August 29, 2011

Onward Bound

This morning I arrived to Ken, Derek's nurse, laughing hysterically beside Derek's bed.  Derek was begging to lift weights.  He doesn't have a working right hand, cannot sit up, cannot breathe on his own, but he wants to lift weights.  Oh, and everytime they sit him up so that he can breathe easier, it hurts his butt, but he wants to lift weights.  His butt has been giving him so much trouble.  He has sores on it, which they are now thinking are not bed sores but from the original blast.  The notes from the hospitals in Kandahar and Germany are not clear, so they do not know.  They were stage three, but now have been downgraded to stage two.

Derek had to be put on more pressure support on the vent, because he is still having so much trouble breathing.  He is still on CPAP, but the pressure was turned up.

Unfortunately, his white cell count jumped overnight to 30.1.  There is still no answer as to why his white cell count keeps jumping up.  He didn't have much of a fever today, just around 100.

He had bad phantom pains, so they upped the nuerontin, but because he has been unable to digest anything, they had to switch most of his medications to IV, instead of through the GI.  There is some talk about a JG tube for feeding purposes because he is having such problems.  They stopped the tube feedings during the week because he was having problems with them and now he has a drain.

His left leg (the one with the hip disarticulation) is all red, so they will look at it in the OR tomorrow.  We are really hoping they do not have to take any more because that would mean removing the pelvis.
All day he was just feeling bad and slept a lot.  We stayed quiet with him, rubbing lotion on his dry hands, exercising his right hand so that it does not freeze up, and holding his hand while he slept.  The pointer on his right hand is not extending all the way.  Hopefully that will rectify itself.

Just another day with Derek.  Some good news and some bad.  This roller coaster has to end some day. 
Christina Tavaras was an angel of mercy today.  She dropped off a home cooked dinner to us, our first in 30 days!  Christina and her brother James were our carpool in grade school and high school.  My Nana drove us to school and her mother drove us home.  Long time ago.  Dinner was so good.  Thank you, Christina!

But I am always amazed at the family dynamics I see around the floor.  Family members who cannot put aside their hatred for one another to assist a loved one through hell.  I see mothers and daughters-in-law who cannot be in the same room.  Parents who threaten to sue wives if they do not get information.  Mothers who scream at wives when they make decisions they do not like.  Security being called to the floor because of fights.  Wives walking out on husbands. 

I've listened to wives bad mouth their mothers-in-law to me and mothers bad mouth their daughters-in-law to me trying to find a sympathic ear.  I stay nuetral and try to remind them that they need to get along and keep a positive attitude for the wounded warrior's sake, who is the most important one right now. 
I had not seen my ex for 12 years before this happened.  Seeing him the night Derek was admitted was awkward!  It was even worse for my children.  But I had to set aside my feelings for Derek's sake.  I am not saying it was easy.  It was hell.  And we had a few not so friendly words, but this is about Derek, not us.  If Derek wants him here, then he will be here in whatever capacity Derek wants.

Surgery day tomorrow.  Surgery 18.  Hopefully we will make some progress on these infections.  Got to get ahead of them one day.

Good night, everyone.  God bless you.

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