Monday, March 14, 2011

Color Me Gobsmacked

Butterscotch, I wonder when Pop is coming back.

I had a few titles for this but I forgot them, I'm so excited.  But I'll get to that later.  I didn't post yesterday, because frankly I'm tired.  Bootsie is having a hard time.  She ripped the toilet paper to shreds in the few hours I was away Saturday.  I told D, I'm going to pack her in her carrier and bring her up there.

Saturday was dialysis.  Dialysis days are always hard.  Some crap happened with a tech and a nurse but I don't feel like talking about it.  He had a good run and that's all that counts.

The state lab tests came back officially negative for all strains of Hantavirus.  All the tests they did for everything under the sun came back negative.  The attending said, sometimes it happens that someone gets a virus that everyone else has, but this one person's body has a violent auto-immune response and attacks itself.  I said, that's scarier than Hantavirus.   So color me gobsmacked.

When I came back Saturday afternoon, he had the tv on, watching it and was in cheerful spirits.  Since he's been alert he hasn't had much interest in anything.  That made me feel better.  The nurse said while I was gone he told her he wanted to go home.  She told him he had to work at moving his arms and legs so he could come home.  He can move both arms up off the pillow a few inches, now. First thing he showed me when I came in.  We've had her for three days in a row.  She's a real sweetheart.  But now she needs time off, the nurses only work three days a week.

Today, was great and bad.  I'll vent about the bad first.  Please note I'm venting, that no techs or nurses were harmed today.  They are lucky it was Sunday and the nurse manager wasn't on.  If I call up in the morning and today (Sunday) nurse has him, I'm calling the nurse manager tuit de suite.

She is really young, so I don't know if she's a recent grad, but she was argumentative with every thing I suggested.  She took off the leg squeeze things that prevent clots (don't know the technical name) because she said, he wanted them off.  However, when I said he didn't like to be positioned in the high turns they were putting him in, she argued with me he had to be in that position for something that was more convenient for them (let's leave it at that.)  So, then I said, he has to be in an uncomfortable position for hours because of ......  She said, Oh he'll adjust.

I don't know what she did during his oral care, but he flinched and winced and now he won't let anyone near his mouth.  Two things pissed me off the most, well three.  First, they boosted him up so high in bed the tops of his shoulders were above the mattress edge and they left his head hanging.  Well, not hanging, because he was visibly struggling to hold his head up, while the nurse was messing around with something else on the bed and the tech was putting a pillowcase on.  The tech argued with me about leaving his head like that, uncomfortable and struggling.  I couldn't get around to the head of the bed to hold it for him.  The tech finally puts a pillow behind his head.  I suggest that it's only going to fall off like it always does.

Though, uneasy, I went home for a few hours to get things done.  Mostly, just close my eyes and vegetate.  Three and half hours later, I come back.  He's in the same position, they're supposed to turn him every two.  The bottom sheet out from under him, skin against the mattress cover,  the pillow on the floor and him sound asleep with his glasses off.

After fifteen minutes, the nurse comes in and I ask if he's been in that same position the whole time.  No, no, we turned him twice.  Bullshit, BULLSHIT!!!  (didn't say it out loud)  She goes up, whips his head up and shoves the pillow under, abruptly waking him out of a sound sleep.  After arguing with me about him needing his glasses to see, she gets the tech to turn him.  Um, if they had turned him twice while I was away, why does he need turned again, so soon?  Just saying.

They get him settled.  All of a sudden she's concerned about the noise he's making in his throat that I asked her about that morning and she waved me off.  The respiratory tech, (the one I was upset with a couple weekends ago) comes in.  Checks for a cuff leak in the trach, puts in too much air and hurts him.  So then she immediately removes all the air and freaks him right out.  Put's more air back in.  Then tries to suction him.

He was so upset, he yelled at her over the trach.  He freaking talked, full voice over the damn trach.  I freaked out.  He's telling her to stop, go away, eyes bulged out.  She tells me the cuff leak is positional, meaning the position he is in and that they had him in the same position for hours while I was gone.

She leaves.  Then the nurse walks right in and grabs the tube, she's going to suction him.  He yells, stop, go away.  She freaks out.  He talked.  (I giggle to myself.)  Leave me alone, he says.  So then she says, well, I'll turn off the tv, shut the blinds and turn off all the lights.  I'm thinking, you're freaking going to punish him because he wants to be left alone.  She leaves. Another tech had to come in and reflate the cuff because he wasn't letting the other two touch him.

The night nurse turned on his fentynal drip on low so he could sleep as he was having trach pain.  The day nurse left the drip on higher than nights, so he slept all day.  The attending asked me about why he was so sleepy today compared to the past two days, he's been alert.  So I told her.  She said she was going to check about that. He has a bruise on his right heel that wasn't there yesterday.  The attending said it looks like his foot was caught between the mattress and the bed frame.

Anyhow, the great news.  His O2 is down to 40% on the vent.  He should be off the nitrous oxide by morning.  His sats are between 95 and 98.  After that they will try taking him off the vent for an hour at a time to see how he does.

After he fell back to sleep, I went for a much needed cigarette relief to keep from chewing a few people a new one.  I stayed polite the whole time.  A bloody miracle.  Anyway, I get downstairs, light my cigarette and it hits me.  He got angry and stood up for himself.  He's back!!  HE'S BACK!!!!!  He does NOT suffer fools easily. He has no patience for hospitals.  If some of them think they can just flip him around like a sack of potatoes, they've got another thing coming.  I know he's going to be working hard to come home, now.

Because he slept the whole time I was up there, I have only a few more rows of lace then the seed stitch border.  I think I'll do a repeat of the lace on the bottom of the sleeve then the border.  It's going to be short sleeved.

Anyway, did I happen to mention my grumpy guy is BACK!!!!

P.s.  I'm copy writing the name "color me gobsmacked"  for a future colorway I might dye.


CraftyCripple said...

Oh sweetie I am soooo happy that he's back. What a relief. He is going to fight alongside you now to get himself home. I am appalled at the treatment he has received over the weekend. It seems that when there is no one in charge the staff get away with murder. On a selfish note that's me a teensy bit more scared about my op as 1 day after my op there us the Easter Weekend. ie a four day weekend before I am strong enough to stand up for myself. I just hope that OH can be as strong as you have been.

nursenikkiknits said...

When (if?) you speak to the nurse manager tomorrow it might be with asking if they are willing to consider primary nursing for D. Some places (like the 2 I have worked) will try to provide a little continuity of care for patients that have been there for while. Generally you can't pick which nurses are on the list, but it tends to work out that the nurses that sign up are ones you prefer. I've only worked with kids, so I'm not sure how feasible it is in the adult world. And of course, once the vent is off, hopefully D can get the heck out if the ICU anyways!

I love that grumpiness is a good sign : ) Go D!

Rudee said...

Perhaps that doctor will convert the fentanyl to transdermal and begin weaning it now with an ORDER not to increase. Damn...can't believe they're sedating him for convenience.

Sounds like the new nurse is a snot. It happens. Empathy takes years to cultivate, and for some, it never happens.

The good news is he's in there and sounds intact. THat's worth celebrating!

Daniele said...

That is so awesome! Now let them try to mess him around when you're not there!!!

As for the Hantavirus, I guess little mousies are okay again?? :D Glad it wasn't that!

melbatoast68 said...

Oh Honey! I'm so thrilled that your man is back!!!! Doing the Snoopy "Happy Dance" right now. I look totally ridiculous! Yea!!! This news has made my day! I hope he continues to improve and gives those idiots what for.

I'm sorry you've had to deal with incompetence. I know how frustrating this can be. I know you don't want to complain, but you have to as his advocate. You have to keep him "human" for them and not just some "thing." Hang tough!

Dina said...

YAY! So glad he's back!

Tami Klockau said...

YAYAYAYAY!!!!!! I'm so happy to hear he's starting to act like himself! That is so exciting! Here's to hoping your next post is just as exciting as far as his improvement is concerned. :)

Carol said...

GRUMPY GUY IS BACK! That is fabulous! *waves pom poms does cartwheel, tangles feet, stumbles across room, bounces off wall and yells "I'm OK!* and he will be too!!!!

Julie said...

Catchin gup with blog reading and it's lovely to read your recent posts Denise, i'm so pleased that D is making progress and he is determined to let them know how he feels

Take care of yourself xx