Friday, September 23, 2011

VIPs, Idiots, and The Dance Continues

When I left to come down here, I said I would be home well in time to attend the retirement party of Judge Thomas Zampino.  The party was tonight.  That was my intention.  I had no idea what I was facing.  No one did.  I never expected not to be there for my kids when they went back to school.  I never expected to be gone so long.

Derek still has a long road ahead.  We talked to Dr. Perdue today about Polytrauma Rehab before he goes to Amp-Rehab to get his prosthetics.  He may not be well enough once the surgeries are completed to get right into having the prosthetics fitted and starting daily rehab.  He might still need time to heal.  They only do that at four facilities in the country - Palo Alto (CA), San Antonio (TX), Richmond (VA) and Tampa (FL). 

Derek said he does not want to leave Bethesda and will be ready.  He said he will "improve faster than anyone with these injuries."

Dr. Perdue told us we still have weeks before the surgeries are complete so he has time, but it is something for us to start thinking about.  Richmond is the closest to home, so that is where he will go if the need arises.  I would hate for Derek to leave Dr. Perdue, Dr. West and the rest of the staff here in Bethesda.  He has come so far because of them, including back from the brink of leaving of us forever.
White count was slightly up today, which is not unusual after surgery.  It was 13.7 yesterday afternoon and 12.3 this morning.  He was started on the Fentanyl patch for pain at 25 mg on Tuesday, and they upped it to 50 today.  This gives him a basil rate so he does not have to push his happy button as often.  Dr. Randy Mielky is on the pain service now (he was previously on the ICU team).  He came to see Derek the other day and when he left Derek said, "He came back.  They always say they will come back and never do.  He did."

Derek received a visit today from General Raymond Odierno, Chief of Staff, US Army.  His wife has a therapy dog, Tootsie.  We met her the other day.  Derek was honored by the visit.  He said he got to talk to the most important person in the Army and it was the highlight of his day.

For lunch, Derek wanted vanilla pudding.  I called and ordered it for him at 11:30.  He then asked me for a strawberry milkshake from McDonald's, because he thinks the hospital milkshakes are awful.  Their food overall is not that bad, but their milkshakes need help.

Derek is only allowed liquids because his stomach is not processing food, and whenever he has solids, he gets sick.  They are going to give him arythromiacin (sp?) to help his stomach mobility.  I got his milkshake, and the pudding did not arrive.  I called again, and it still did not come.  Derek slept and had a busy day.  He really did not look for it until 16:00.  I called them at that time for the third time.  They told me they were on break and to send a nurse down to get it.  Seriously?  Are they kidding?  The nurses have nothing better to do then to run down there and pick up a pudding they were too lazy to deliver for over four hours?  I asked for a supervisor and the pudding was delivered within 15 minutes..... twice.  We got a vanilla and chocolate pudding the first delivery and a chocolate pudding and milkshake the second delivery.  Idiots.  You can't fix stupid.

Derek's arm was hurting him earlier, so Krystina asked him a couple of times if it was sore.  He said, "If I get a massage, then yes it is sore."  He is such a brat.

Derek realized today that he had nothing on the left side and was concerned.  Krystina is so amazing.  She told him she loves his little nub on the right and thinks it is cute, and that the left is no big deal.  She explained to him in detail what the doctors have been telling us about how prosthetics can be built for hip disarticulations, and that he can walk again.  It is not as easy as if he had something there, but that it is possible.  She is such an amazing young woman.  Love can do wonderful things. 

So many wives, mothers, girlfriends, etc. leave for much less, but this amazing young woman is standing by Derek no matter what.  She catches little cat naps in uncomfortable chairs and helps Derek with his OT and PT every day.  She makes sure that he is comfortable, gets him his ice packs, calls for the nurses, listens intently to the doctors and nurses, and keeps me sane (well, the jury is still out on that one).  I couldn't do this without her, and neither could Derek.

I had a migraine today, and I used one of Derek's ice packs.  The nurse said they would get us more and to use whatever I needed.  Derek is using a lot of ice packs because he is sweating profusely.  His fan is not helping, so he has not been using it.  Didn't even ask for it until today as an aside to see if it helped.  But when I took an ice pack he said, "I'm watching you, Mommy.  You better replace it!"  Brat!  I did go out and hunt down the pain in the ass corpsman, Brian Allen, the Peter of this floor with a sense of humor to beat the band, to get me some more.

Dr. West walked in to me with an ice pack on my head and my headband holding it in place.  The look on his face.  Krystina and I dissolved into hysterics.  Derek said we were weird, and he agreed!  I'll go curl up in the corner and cry, now.  *sob!*  Okay, I'll go quietly.  Let me just run out the backdoor first to avoid the restraint team!  But he said he didn't need the show of force, yet.  Psst!  If you see them coming.... let me know so I can hide!

Dr. West, keep teasing me and I have two words for you.... bunny hats.
Derek got into his wheelchair again today and he is getting better at driving it.  He helped pull himself over when they changed the sheets!  He got Krystina to work his arms for his OT and they are getting stronger!

He also had a hearing test today.  They found a little blood in one ear, but no holes.  His hearing is a little diminished, but that could be because the bed and oxygen are so loud.  The recommendation is to repeat the test in the quiet of the lab.  As it is, he can hear fine when anyone speaks to him, so we are not worried at this time.  As long as there are no holes and no obvious sign of injury or hearing loss, we can await a formal test.

So, overall a good and productive day.  We had a lot of laughs, Derek made good progress, I avoided the restraint team, and we moved forward.  The dance is going forward.  The steps backward are getting smaller.  As long as this continues, we will be on the road to recovery and out of the those woods in no time.

For everyone who is a little stressed, I am passing this little tidbit on, because it definitely worked for me today, and we all could use more calm in our lives. I looked around the kitchen of the Fisher House tonight when I came in to see things the other families and I had started and hadn't finished, so I have managed to finish off a bottle of Merlot, a bottle of Chardonnay, bodle of Baileys, a butle of wum, the mainder of my Valiuminun scriptins, an a box a chocletz. Yu haf no idr how bludy fablus I feel rite now. Gud nit.  eye blody luv u!

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