Monday, February 6, 2012

Super Super Bowl

Yesterday's Super Bowl was not only wonderful because it was an exciting and close game down to the last second, and because the Giants pulled it out (my sister and nephew are huge fans), but because it was an all around awesome day.

There was a Super Bowl party in Building 62, the outpatient residence facility.  Before we went over, we were asked if John Voight could visit with us.
What a nice guy!  He stayed until the end of the game.  He sat outside the room signing autographs, talking to the guys and families, and posing for pictures.  He even called me awesome.  He was really personable and cared about the warriors.  I was told that he was at the old Walter Reed last year and did the same thing.  I like to see celebrities and politicians putting aside their agendas and their personal needs and wants and actually caring about the real heroes..... our warriors.

We were also visited by a former Patriot and Super Bowl winner, Joe Andruzzi.  He let Derek wear his Super Bowl rings.  I told him, "Go Giants."  When he showed us the rings, I said, "So, that's the type of ring the Giants will win today?"  He laughed and knew I was only busting on him.
At 62, they had music and a huge television screen.  I asked someone who was running the party to help us find a table, since most of them were already full, and he led us to a table right up front.  We later found out that the tables towards the front were supposed to be the "Beer Garden," for people who were drinking.  Oh well.  We didn't drink, but we needed a big table because we were joined by friends.

It was wonderful seeing Derek interact and socialize with the other WW.  These are his peers, and these are the guys who support each other and help each other adjust to this new normal.  Most of them are wonderful guys with great attitudes.

The food they offered left a lot to be desired.  It was pretty ick.  But the company was great, and the game was exciting. 

Derek was playing around with our friends' daughter, and they were chucking Skittles at each other.  She stuck a balloon hat on his head, and he rocked it!
While there, Derek was presented with a signed Giants football, a fathead of Eli Manning, and a first edition Purple Heart stamp.

We were also treated to a live show by Scott LoBaido.  Scott is going across the country and painting flags on roof tops in all fifty states.  He painted us a flag while we watched. He is amazing.

One annoying thing was getting snubbed by a slut.  The cheerleaders who were there were going from table to table, signing pictures and posing for photos.  When the group came up to Derek, one said, "Oh we saw him before," and turned and walked away.  The other cheerleaders tried to talk to Derek, but she walked away, so they followed.  Are you kidding me?  When that one saw him last, he was really sick.  The human thing to do would have been to tell him how much better he looked.  I was not there at the time, or I would have said something. 

So, except for the food and the snotty cheerleader, we had a great time.  Derek didn't let the cheerleader bring him down.  He doesn't care about them.  He had Krystina, he had me, and he had all of his new friends.  He also had an exciting game!

We got back to the hospital at 2200 (10 pm), so today he is sleeping.  Out cold.  Had his PT kept her word on Friday and not pushed him when he told her he was tired, we might arrange to go later today when he wakes up. 

The plan for today is an ultrasound on the liver, sleep and finding out what's going on with the Nurse Case Manager.

Derek's liver enzymes were elevated.  They are now sloping down, but GI wants an ultrasound to see if the liver is enlarged.

When Derek first arrived, we met his NCM.  This is the person who follows his progress and manages him when he is outpatient.  Mike was awesome.  He visited every week, and he kept up with Derek's progress.  Three weeks ago, Mike finished his time here and went home.  We have not met the new one.  The resident said that is his fault because he told her not to push us so we don't feel like we are being rushed into outpatient, but that is so not the point.  She should have come over and met us.  She should have introduced herself.  We need confidence in the NCM, and we have none.  He is supposed to take care of this today.

This is marathon of hills and valleys.  We are charging up that mountain, and we are almost to the top.  Derek is getting better and improving so much.  Dr. West used to give him short term goals that helped him feel like he accomplished something.  For example, he told him to strive to be off the vent for two hours and not worry about being off the vent completely.  This way, when Derek actually made it off the vent three hours he felt as if he accomplished a major goal.  We are doing that now.  Staying in his chair for the entire party was an awesome goal.  It may have worn him out so that he sleeps all day today, but the point is.... he did it!  Next goal is getting off the IV pain meds.  He has cut down dramatically.  Another goal is getting the safety eval in 62.  This is where they take him to what should be his room when he is an outpatient and have him go through the motions of a normal day.  This way they can make adjustments to the room so that it is the best possible environment for him.  Once he sees the room and sees that he can manage it, it will give him encouragement.

There is no timeline in which he has to be released.  Derek is in control.  When he can meet his goals, we will move on to the next stage of this journey.

Climb to glory.  All the way.  To the top.  When we get there, let's party!

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