Monday, September 5, 2011

Thank You

First of all, a great big thank you to Kim Daves from NJ who took Krystina and me to dinner tonight!  It was great getting out of the hospital and having some girl gossip.

And thank you to Anthony D'Agosto from the Essex County Health Commission and Cathy Cardio from LI, NY who sent me care packages!

Forgot to mention that Kevin's bother Keith was in town yesterday and came for a quick visit with Derek.  Kevin and Keith stayed a couple of hours with Derek.  Now it's down to Krystina and me.  With the start of school, Kiki will not be able to come as often, and neither will my kids, only about every other week. 
Not much on the medical front today.  Derek's white cell count is down slightly from 28.6 to 25.5.  Still too high, but at least it's better.  No fever, so that's good.

They had to go up on the CPAP overnight, but by morning it was back to 5/8.  The only not so good thing was the secretions were thicker and greener today then they have been.

The ortho doc explained that in the civilian world, the flap on the arm is either performed within the first week, but no later than six weeks.  We are now at six weeks since Derek's injury.  He told me that he has never done one this late, but another doctor he works with has, and it was successful.  They are hoping to do it next week, but the infections have to clear up a little more.  Come on, bugs!  Move on out!  Here's your eviction notice!

I was getting aggravated with the positioning when the leg was not put back in the right position.  It is very important to keep that leg pointing down.  For weeks it has been pointing out, and that constricts the muscles.  It has to point down so it can work with the prosthetics.

I had a bit of a panic today talking to the doctors about timing.  It is still a long road.  Thinking about how long I will still need to be here due to logistics, Derek's care, consents, etc.  It's overwhelming due to the sheer nature of having to support my children, pay my mortgage, etc. 

Friends and family have set up fund raisers (there will be one at the North Caldwell Fire Department I believe on October 16th - thanks, Tommy) and my firm, who has been absolutely wonderful through this entire thing, has set up the Friends of Derek McConnell fund with the North Caldwell Police Department for donations, but it is overwheming to think about it all.  I am a single mother.  I have done this on my own for so long.  How to accept help now and not work for it is beyond me.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the Derek McConnell fund in West Caldwell, who has prayed, who has sent good thoughts and kind words.  They mean so much and have helped hold me up with I feel weak.  this is a long, hard road.  Nothing prepared me for what I was facing.

I wish someone had told me to take that week Derek was traveling from Khadahar to Bethesda to settle up things and prepare to be away for anywhere from a couple of weeks to possibly months.  I had no idea.  We just completed Day 37 in the CCU at Bethesda, Day 44 since the injury.  We have seen many patients come in after us and leave the CCU, to graduate to the med/surg floor - the 4th floor.  After that, they become outpatients.  That could take only a couple of months, or depending on the injuries, it could be almost a year.  I cannot leave Derek until he is out of CCU and well on his way to recovery.  His condition is too severe.  I also cannot leave until Krystina is on orders, because she will have no place to stay.
This was an emotionally draining weekend.  I am exhausted.  But today there were funny times.  Derek is blossoming back into his old self.

I told him this morning that I received a facebook message from Sgt Keith and told him that Sgt Keith said he loved him and was sending him a hug.  I then said, "I totally love that kid."  Derek typed out on his pad, "Mom, he's thirty."  That's still a kid, to me.  I might be only 44, but anyone younger than 35 is a kid to me! 
Later in the day, Derek told me the doctors were trying to kill him with the shark bites.  They describe his arm injury as a shark bite.  I asked him if he had been dreaming, and he had been.  Although they cut back on the ketamin and it has helped with the bad dreams, they are not gone.  Derek asked Krystina when she walked in if she was taking her medication.  She asked why, and he said for her aids.  He had dreamt that she and I had aids.  This was after a visit from infection control and discussing the battle buddy blood.

Derek looked at his nails and was disgusted.  He told Krystina that they were gross and he begged her to clean them and do his eyebrows.

That's about it for today.  Thank you for being so supportive.  God bless.

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