Tuesday, February 22, 2011


1745, from Medical L., from Gk. stasis  "a standing still," related tostatos  "placed," verbal adj. of histemi  "cause to stand," from PIEbase *sta-  "to stand" (see stet).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper 

That's the word I thought of when I spoke to the Dr. today.  He's not improving, but he's finally not declining either.  It could take several days to weeks before we start to see an signs of improvement.  He's requiring so much support just to maintain, the least little thing could send him in backwards direction.  The Dr. told me again, he's glass half full kind of guy and that's how he is looking at things.  Thankful for a glass half full Dr.

He's receiving excellent care.  I'm really, really impressed and I'm not an easy one to impress, my standards are pretty high.  I had pretty high standards for myself when I worked as a nurse and I tend to judge by that same standard I set for myself.  I have to say, I'm just blown away by the care he's getting from the nurses.  Even myself.  The minute I get on the floor they get me a huge cup of ice water and ask me if there is anything I need, just ask.  The nurse got me a pillow to put behind my back today while I was sitting and reading to him.

My neighbors all told me, he was in the best place in the area.  Compared to the care he would have received back in Rochester, I can't imagine a better place in the country.  My mother who was at the U of R CCU a few years ago for a heart attack and quadruple by-pass is impressed by what I'm telling her.  Maybe just a bit envious of the care he's receiving in comparison.

They are bringing up a roto-bed for him today.  It sounds kind of like a space ship.  They will strap him with tons of padding and it tilts in different directions to drain his lungs.  So the fluid isn't just sitting there at his back.  They are turning him on his left side tilted down a bit and he does great like that, but when they put him on his right side it cuts off the right femoral artery where the dialysis catheter is and clots the machine.  So hopefully, this new bed will be able to help him.

I'm now having to look at the long haul.  His nurse said today,  she's going away until next Wednesday and she wouldn't be surprised if he is still there sedated on the ventilator.  That even if a miracle happened over night tonight, it would still several days to weeks to ween him off.  After that he will have to go to a rehab center to rebuild his muscles.

There is no cash public assistance down here.  I will get a partial weeks check this Friday, direct deposit into our account.  I'm going to have to look into finding some sort of job, very soon.  I know I can get help for one months rent and electric from the Catholic Diocese.  It's hard to get help from the state through the Salvation Army.  Both are a one time every twelve months sort of assistance.  Even still, I'm going to have look at needs like personal hygiene, cleaning supplies, pet supplies.  You know all those little things that add up on the grocery bill, that are not food.

I'm hoping he's on the mend before I have to go get a job.  Then I have to hope I can find someone to hire me.  I haven't worked since 2004 and I have been looking off and on.  It seems nobody wants to hire me as they see me as a liability with my medical history.  Everything is just so overwhelming right now.  I'm trying to take one day at a time, while also looking at the long term.

They did have a social worker come talk to me on Friday.  I haven't had much luck with social worker's in my life.  This one was really no help.  She said, I had more information about what was out than she had and she didn't seem to have any.  Basically, all she wanted was to listen.  Excuse me, I do have friends for that.  Even still I could any church and a minister would do that.  What I need is someone to listen to my needs and find out what resources are available to me that I may not already know about.  Tomorrow, I'm going to request to speak with a new one and the first is only there on Fridays.

Today, I took a five hour break at home this afternoon.  I had planned to do laundry, however, I was just so exhausted I took a two hour nap instead.  Started this blog post and A came to take me back up for an evening shift.  So, I'm trying to finish up.  So much runs through my mind during the day that I want to write about, I'm trying to remember it all, get my thoughts straight while not sounding like I'm rambling on.

The hardest part is at night.  We're not a chatty couple.  We are comfortable with the quiet spaces.  When he comes from work, he tells me about his day, and I tell him about mine and the furkids.  Then we have dinner and he goes off to office to do his and I stay in the living room to do mine.  Quite often, I jump up and go in there to tell him this little thing or that.  Make him roll his eyes at me.  The silence, it's so hard.

I turn on the tv, play cd's, talk to the fur and feather kids.  The tv is just a box, the cats meow, the bunnies grunt, the birds tweet, it's just not another human responding.  I'm looking forward to the day, I can go up and talk to him and get some response that he hears me and understands what I'm saying.  That is also the scary part, they are going to need to bring him conscious for awhile while he is on the ventilator.  I know that was what he was afraid of, is being brought back while still on the machine.  How disorienting and confusing it's going to be, he's lost five days of conscious awareness now as it is.

Believe it or not, this is still a fiber crafts blog and I have gotten some knitting done,  during the times I can't be in the room.  I'm using two circulars like straights and tried it on again and decided not to rip it back just yet.  For WIPW, I'll do one of the bad mirror try on pictures that is found on every other blog, and you can all take a look.  We'll decide from there.  The ribbing starts just about 3/4 of an inch below my breast, I'm just not sure if I like it there or want it higher just below where my breast line ends.  (Wonder how many Google hits I'll get for breast. LOL  They are all probably Googling boob or boobs more than breast.  Oooops.)(Grin)

I'm going to run away and get a load of laundry done so I don't have to go up there in smelly clothes.  I need to get some sort of routine going for the long haul.  So, I'll be coming around to reading all your blogs again very soon,  distracting my worries and keeping in touch with the world at large.  Thank you so much for continuing to read and keep in touch, it means the world to me that I have so many good friends that I have never met in person.


nursenikkiknits said...

Glad to hear that things have at least plateaued for now. All the things you have to think about sound very overwhelming. It's great to see you still have your sense of humour : ) Your strength is inspiring.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad things have stabilized. I know it means you open another set of problems, but it's still a better set. Can your family help? Still praying for you. Love from Shelagh

turtlegirl76 said...

Hopefully this new bed will help speed up his recovery. I'm so sorry you're having to face such challenges right now. (hugs)

Rudee said...

Designed by Johns Hopkins, and implemented by every Michigan ICU, a ventilator bundle for safety is crucial. It includes the following:

Elevation of head of bed > 30 degrees
Daily sedation vacation/holiday
Daily assessment of readiness for extubation
GI prophylaxis
DVT prophylaxis
Oral care

These are now national standards in preventing VAP (ventilator-associated pneumonia), which carries with it a heavy price tag for patients--literally--longer ICU stays, debility and even a high mortality rate.

While sedation wean may frighten you, it's important to see what's under the sedation. Also, it's hard for patients who are sedated to wean from the vent. A rotational bed is an excellent idea and so is proning (turning him on his abdomen) if he is a candidate. It sounds like they're doing everything they can to recruit alveoli and improve his lung function (and yes, people do recover from this type of illness).

While he has not achieved homeostasis, it sounds like the declines have stopped. The rest will come. Let's hope he is able to show the nurse who won't be back til next Wednesday, a thing or two about strength ;-).

Keep the faith.

Anonymous said...

best wishes and hugs xxx

Daniele said...

He's starting to get better! Thank goodness. I can understand on the silence. My husband and I are the same, but knowing he is there is what counts.

Anonymous said...

Stasis is better than down, that's for sure. I don't know how things like care and assistance work over with you so I'm afraid I can't offer any advice in that regard, but I hope you can find something.

CraftyCripple said...

I'm glad that the messages (and the crafting) are giving you some comfort. It's so hard to hear how things are going and not be able to do anything tangible to help. So I shall just be here, reading your posts and continuing to send you little messages to show that there are lots of us out here who are hoping (and probably praying) for good things to happen soon.

Cookie said...

Holding steady is nothing to sneeze at, ya know. And sometimes we have to take things one day at a time in order to survive. Hang on, sweetie.


by Teresa said...

Hi Denise, thanks for the update. It's good news that he's stablizing.. (sp?).. sorry you have so many worries. Poor baby. I was thinking of you both this morning before I got up and was hoping the news was good.

Thinking of you.. Teresa

Carol said...

I sending high-test mojo your way in a nice steady stream! I was working away today and thought to myself "I wonder how it's going there?" So the first thing I did when I came home was chck in with you. Hooray! He's holding. And here's some hugs for you....{{{{{{U}}}}}}