Sunday, April 10, 2011

Never A Dull Moment

Yes, it's that same picture of Dammit.

At the request of the nurses, Dammit is making a visit to the nursing center tomorrow.  It should cheer up, D.  He really needs it.  Man, what a week.  I missed posting WIPW for the first time through all this, because quite frankly nobody would have wanted to read anything I would have typed.  It was a very bad day.

First of all, the call lights haven't worked since arrived last Friday.  They gave everyone these cowbells to ring. The rooms on either side of him are constant cowbell ringers, so the aides take their time about answering.  It sounds like a damn cow pasture, with all the cowbell ringing.  There is a respiratory tech, D and I go around saying, "We need some more cowbell."

So, Saturday through Tuesday he was gung ho.  Actually, thought he would be walking by the end of the week, he did.  I just shook my head and said, well, you go ahead and work for that.  Saturday, he could barely bend his knees or pull the blanket on and off.  I've been busy doing all the things for a person that can barely move.  The hospital just cold turkeyed him after having him on all those narcotics for all that time, dumped in the home with nothing.  That was fun, NOT.  After much yelling, we have him on a mild dose to keep him calm.

Tuesday night, he went without oxygen for almost 2 hrs.  The resp. tech was new and inexperienced somehow unplugged the cord and left him like that.  Wednesday morning, we had a care conference for going home planning and he threw a fit about it and that the call lights didn't work.  They worked on them from Wednesday afternoon and by Friday had them working for all of about 5 hrs.

Wednesday afternoon, he was a bear.  I was exhausted.  At one point, I was standing in the hall and a nurse asked me if I was ok and I burst into tears.  It just wasn't a good time.  That's why I didn't post.  He was snapping and I was snapping.  My worries were confirmed on Thursday.

He became listless and sleepy on Thursday, running a fever.  I kept bugging the nurse until she called the Dr. to order a chest x-ray.  That evening he desatted and the RN resp. tech and I worked on him for over 30 minutes suctioning.  The results came in that he had another small pneumo thorax on the right side and a new case of pneumonia.  There are other people on the hall that have pneumonia as well, and I let you draw from that what you will. Not saying much more.

The RN tech found the crispy cracklies up on his right shoulder and told me that was where it was and drew a circle.  She's really good and I trusted her so I went home at my regular time.  She writes both my numbers down on her daily sheet and promises to call, even at 3am if anything should happen, even an anxiety attack.

Friday morning I went in and everyone said, oh he's doing great, resting comfortably.  Then I saw him for myself.  The cracklies spread and he had a huge lump of mushy air under his right breast.  He calls it his man boob.  He was alert and joking around.  I think he was putting up a front so they wouldn't send him back to the hospital.  I pestered until they told me the Dr. would there in an hour to talk to me.

The Dr. was unconcerned and said he didn't need a chest tube, they would put him on antibiotics for the pneumonia.  On top of it, D was insisting he wanted to stay and not go to the hospital.  You know how I couldn't wait for him to be alert and making his own decisions?  At that moment, I wanted to knock him back out and tell them I insist he go back and get checked out.  But, I'm just the paper signer now.

We went from 95F on Monday to 45F and all day rain on Saturday.  My back has been killing me the past three days.  I've mentioned before how my sacral iliac joint is displaced.  The top left corner of bone sticks out a little bit and the right side is sunken in.  Tonight I put it back in place by helping to lift him up in bed.

Today, he just slept and didn't eat any breakfast or lunch.  I stopped Fry's on my way home and got the stuff to make my meatloaf.  He doesn't eat more than a few bites at each meal all week.  I joked with A of how I was going to work my butt of to make a meal he would only eat three bites of and be done.  He ate seven bites of meatloaf, three bites of mashed potatoes and a half of a baby carrot.  I meant to take pictures but I'm such a slacker. He says I make the best meatloaf, so I'll share the recipe.

2 lbs ground beef
1 can diced or stewed tomatoes
1 package Ritz crackers crushed
1/2 chopped onion
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp Coleman's dried mustard (that's the now not so secret ingredient)
dash garlic powder
dash of kosher salt
dash of freshly ground pepper
many strips of thickly sliced applewood smoked bacon

Mix all the above ingredients together except for the bacon.  Form a loaf shape in a baking pan. Arrange the bacon strips on top to cover to the loaf.  Bake at 350F for about 1/2 hours.

Tonight when I helped the aide lift him up in bed so I could feed him his dinner, the darn bed broke.  It was brand new bed.  I know this, because they kept telling me it was a brand new bed from the time we arrived. It was a comedy trying to fix the bed then find a new one.  Put him in a recliner, move the old bed out, the new one in.  That got him alert and amused.  He said it was the most fun and entertainment he's had since he's been there.  Weirdo.

He'll be reading this at some point.  I told him how I've been blogging this whole time.  He didn't have a problem with it and was glad I was keeping it documented for him to read later.  Quite upset about losing over 45 days of his life, says he doesn't even remember being.  Had me take a picture for him, so he could have a before and after picture.  I'll let him post that.  Then he asked me if I took a picture of him in the ICU.  Weirdo. I said, no, I was afraid it would freak out the nurses if I had.   He doesn't need to see that anyway, it'll just scare him.  Hell, it scared me every day I went in.

He's really working at his dexterity, wants to play the guitar again.  Grateful that I was exercising his hands while he was sedated. He's planning his guest blog post. Well, he's giving his website to everyone who will listen, so I'll post it here. Planet Moderan  Go take a look, he'll appreciate it.  The music he made himself and there is his stories and recipes.

Since this is supposed to be a fiber arts blog, there has been some knitting through all of this week, believe it or not.  I know, I'm amazed too. Had to have some knitting just for insanities sake.  I would be further along, but I went to far on the foot and had to rip back a couple inches and re-start the heel.  I'm using the heel from this pattern. (Rav link)

It's April 10th and I'm just starting to take April pictures.  I'm such a slacker lately, somebody should come beat me. This is my TUSAL picture, it's a week late.  Hopefully they don't hold it against, considering, you know.  No threads added.  I do find a few skeins of floss here and there that Butterscotch finds to play with.  I just pick them and sigh.  How I would love a quite afternoon in my chair to stitch.

If you don't have a sense of humor, stop reading any further.  I probably shouldn't write this as someone could take it the wrong way, but seriously if you can't take a joke......

Wednesday when I had my breakdown, the nurse told me to spend more time at home to rest.  It will harder when he comes home, she said. You don't think it will, but it will.  Saturday, when it was so cold and rainy and I just didn't want to go back out for my evening shift, I thought about what she said. Then I thought, no, it would be nice if he were home and I didn't have to go back out.  Just send him home with the same narcotics they are using. When he gets all antsy, I can just say, "Here honey, have some butterscotch pudding."
Him: "No, I don't want pudding. I want ...... (name it)"
Me: "But I made it, just especially for you." (said sweetly)
Him: "No, I don't want it."
Me: "Just eat the damn pudding."

On that note, I'm taking my sore, aching back to bed. It's supposed to warm back to the 80's tomorrow, I can't wait.  Yes, I'm fitting in the eating, drinking and sleeping thing in.  I am tempted to just take my dinner to bed and let the cats feed me while I sleep, they would eat it though.


turtlegirl76 said...

The nurse is right. Don't forget about yourself through all this. You need to take care of yourself so the stress of it all doesn't break you. Hang in there.

melbatoast68 said...

Slowly but surely, things are improving. Just keep repeating that and it might help.....maybe. The nurse is right, you do need a little you time, so you don't go stark raving mad and I know that D will understand. You two are always in my thoughts and prayers. Much love coming your way!

Julie said...

Yes, i agree, remember to take time for you now that he is more alert, you'll need your strength and be well for when he comes home. xxx

Rudee said...

I agree wholeheartedly with the advice on taking care of the caretaker. It's crucial.

I understand his desire to come home, but it has to be when he has maximized his rehab potential.

Love the sock--Wendy's patterns are awesome!

Now...does he have a subcutaneous emphysema? Perhaps it needs to be investigated further for the source. Keep an eye on it! (like you don't have enough to do)

Daffycat said...

I am impressed with the size of that ORT pile! A week late is no biggie!

Take care of you or things really will fall apart. *hugs*

by Teresa said...

Hey there, what a story! I hope he's doing better now - sounds like his sense of humor is fully active! :-)

I've been super busy with my volunteer activities and the kids and grandkids.. finally a warm day here.

Hang in there, kiddo!

Hugs -- Teresa :-)

Marushka C. said...

Good luck with everything! I hope he continues improving and that you get a chance to rest in between all the caretaking you are doing.

Carol said...

So, 2 steps forward, one back and a skip to the right just for kicks, eh? Did the nurse who told you it would be hard with him home know you are a nurse too? And frankly, I think that it might be easier at home if only cause you could feed him his 3 bite meals regularly and without hauling it all back and forth! And having your own things around both of you is always comforting. Hugs

Melissa P said...

Hang in there. One day you will arrive at the place where the ups and downs are more like blips than mountains. I'm hoping that is sooner rather than later.