"Meg" is Derek's OT, the OT whom we have dubbed Meg (as in Family Guy) because he is part of the family now, but he is SO negative. We do love him, but he told Derek today he only made it three days, because two of the days he came at 1300, instead of his usual time of 1000. Really, Meg?
Derek walked three days this week. Dr. Kim and the pups were on hand to watch him today.
Derek's balance has also improved so much! He is almost completely steady on his new legs. He is still in the parallel bars, but I see him in the harness and walking the track in the near future!
What is also in the near future is our first overnight pass. That's right! Guess who is going to be an outpatient soon? This guy!
Look, Ma! No hands!
It is within two weeks! Felt like it would never come. Now we are on the eve of moving out of the Fisher House and into Building 62!
Also, yesterday I went to pick up a copy of my orders. I was met with a nasty lecture. Seriously? He told me that he wasn't going to renew my orders because I did not go to see him every week for the past six months. He told me that when he briefed me, he told me I had to sign in every week. First of all, he didn't brief me. He took over in September. I arrived July 29th and was briefed the first week in August. Second of all, I did sign in every week. The sign in sheet was brought to us every Monday. He said that was for finance, not for him. And we were supposed to know this? Please, dude, give it up. So, that brings me to my "lastly." Lastly, we are living through hell. We DO NOT need your nasty attitude lecturing us.
Thankfully, his boss agreed with me. I met with his boss today, and he wants to use what happened to me as a catalyst to make changes. Yes! Kick that nasty attitude in the rump! Dump it in the trash! I am sorry, okay maybe I'm not, but anyway --- we have enough to deal with without having to deal with attitudes. As I've told people, there are only three attitudes allowed in Derek's room, and we are not allowed to take those attitudes with one another!
Medically Derek is improving. His cholesterol medication was increased, but his numbers dropped drastically. It is just preventative. The night time meds are not really working, so he is working on it. His pain is better controlled, so that makes us happy. Now that he is off the IV pain meds (yes, he went cold turkey against medical advice), he is brighter and has more energy. One problem is his pinky swelled up and turned black and blue and red and pink. Dr. Kim says it looks like cellulitis (???)(a skin infection), and she prescribed an antibiotic. Looking at it, it does remind me of what has happened to my fingers at times. The concern is that it is on his right hand, the one he has had all the surgeries on. So, we have to watch it carefully.
In August Derek developed a blood clot. They started giving him Lobanox twice a day. It is a terribly painful shot. Derek likes it when it is given fast. He has 10 more shots of this to go! When prescribed, they want to give it for six months. If the patient is released from the hospital before the six months, the NMA is required to give the shot. Derek's last day is Thursday, Feb. 23rd. Since he is having his first overnight pass on Wednesday, I asked if he could stop on Wednesday, so neither Krystina nor I would have to give that awful shot. Thankfully, they agreed. However, all the talk about it gave Derek an idea. Last night, he asked if he could do it himself. He did it. He stuck himself with that awful shot. He didn't do is 0600 dose, because he was asleep, but he did it again tonight. Go, Derek!
Tonight, as I write this, my sister, my brother-in-law, my three nephews, and my four kids are on their way! Yes! I miss them SO much! Tomorrow, we plan on hitting DC.
When I returned to the room tonight, I opened the "other" folder in my messages folder on facebook. I just heard about it recently, and tonight was the first night I checked it. There were so many wonderful messages in there from people I don't even know. When I add them to the comments I receive here and the many comments on Derek's support page, it truly humbles me and warms my heart. Our journey is touching so many people. Your kind words of encouragement and praise really do help. It also humbles me that some of the medical staff check in here. When I have a tough day, like I did this afternoon, your words help lift me up. This afternoon I slept in the chair due to another migaine.
This is a highly stressful situation, even though we are making progress. I've lost so much on the journey, and now that Derek is finally going outpatient, I have to fight to get it all back. It's tragic that we watch our loved ones suffer and fight for life, and then have to rebuild our own lives. One thing this journey shows us is who we can and cannot count on in our lives. Derek made some tough decisions to delete people from his facebook who have not supported him through this journey. I, too, know who has really been there for me and who gave me lip service. I know now who my true friends are.
I know I am not alone in this journey, as much as I feel I might be at times. I have my family, my friends, and all of you. And you are not alone either. Tragedy happens. Bad winds blow our way. How we handle them is up to us. We DO NOT have to let it get us down. We CAN climb to glory! All the way! To the top! Hey, I'll meet you there and we'll take a picture of the amazing view!