Possibly, I have become an inchworm with my posting. I am sorry that I have concerned many of you. Fatigue has captured me, taken me by the throat and tried to strangle me. BUT! ! ! The fatigue is a result of no more heavy sedation.
As John began to come out of the sedation, my work began. He was so confused. Was not sure why he was there and had no memory of the past two and a half weeks. He did not want me out of his sight.
His eyes were clear and there was someone in there! Of course, with the trach, he was unable to speak. He would "talk" (moving his mouth), but we had no comprehension as to what he was saying. I could and still can just occasionally figure out what he is trying to say.
His sense of humor and gentle personality shines through his confusion. He cracks everyone up with his shrugs and facial expressions. But when people are gone there are tears and fear.
They performed a trach collar trial. He was able to breathe on his own for a short while then his heart rate went up as well as respirations and blood pressure. Immediately, he was returned to the ventilator, returned to bed to rest for the rest of the day and through the night only to awake with a temperature of 102. More antibiotics and rest and by the afternoon his temperature had returned to normal.
The day following his "awakening" the physical therapist came in and sat him on the side of the bed. John LOVED it. He did not want to get back in bed and sat in his chair for a short time.
When it came time for me to leave, John grew extremely agitated and let me know, even without words that he did not want me to leave. Again, I slept in a chair, wrapped in a blanket, head on pillow against the wall and my feet in his bed touching his feet. He continues to cough white watery secretions that need to constantly be suctioned. He does not get much sleep. I get none.
The next day he sat on the side of the bed, stood with considerable support from the physical therapist, turned and sat in his chair. He was scheduled to be moved to Kindred Hospital, a long term acute care hospital just ten minutes from our home. But that was not in God's plan book. John's white cell count sky rocketed, indicating an infection someplace in his body. The decision was made to remove the pick line from his right arm and to install a central line. This was accomplished with no complications.
John also had considerable swelling in his left arm and hand. Oh, oh. A blood clot? An ultrasound was scheduled on his arm and neck. This was all clear.
Feeling that John was very stable and I was a walking zombie, I told John that I had to go home to get some sleep. He again became agitated, but his nurse stepped in and assured John that she would be there for him all night. She told him that she had only two patients to care for. One was John and the other was in the next room and very stable, so she could spend quality time with him. Reluctantly, John said goodnight to me and I stumbled to the parking garage and home. I walked into the house, took the dogs out to take care of their business, crawled into bed and slept soundly, straight through to seven the next morning. When I awoke I was in a stupor for about three hours.
After a quick shower, "watering" the dogs, I was off to the hospital, I thought. First, I could not find my keys, then I remembered to get my wallet, then where were those keys????? Darn..... Oh, here they are! Off to the hospital.
The move to Kindred was rescheduled. Now he was to move Wednesday. Dr. Duncan did not like the events of the day and cancelled the transfer.
In the parking garage, I gather my wallet. Where is that wallet?????
I feel all around the seat, the floor, the console....no wallet. When trying to find the keys, I laid down the wallet. When I found the keys, I left for the hospital. Oh oh....
When exit time came, I was told to explain my plight to the cashier and he/she would give me an envelope to mail my fee. Not that simple.....nope.....the nasty lady was quite aggravated, told me to go park and she was calling the campus police! (Indiana University Medical Center and IUPUI).
I quietly slink over to an empty parking spot, get out my cell phone to text my plight to a friend and I wait, and wait. I wait until I am totally absorbed in my texting and I suddenly hear through my open window this deep voice behind me. I scream! (I am easily startled) I scream like a banshee! Scare the poor campus policeman and am totally embarrassed.
He says no problem. He fills out a couple of papers, taking my license plate number, asking for my drivers license number (who knows their drivers license number? Not me! And my license is in my wallet which is someplace at home where I laid it while looking for my "lost" keys. Do you get the mental status of this sleep deprived basket case? Ahhhh, he says, no problem. He takes the written information to the cashier, returns to my car, (I'm watching his movements so I do not repeat the screaming female act again) and tells me to go back to the exit and the cashier will let me through.
grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr and reluctantly allows me to leave if I will sign my life away and take an envelope to pay my pitiful parking fee of $5.00. Oh happy day!
Geezzzz, this is getting long!
Thursday morning I sleep in to the extremely late hour of 7:30. Upon awakening, I make the bed, straighten the bedroom, sweep all carpeting, dust all hardwood floors, water the dogs, take my shower, brush my teeth and answer my phone......John is being transferred today! Whew....I tell them to tell John that I will meet him at Kindred, his new place of residence and recovery.
I was able to tour Kindred prior to John's arrival, make a quick Starbucks run and return to the hospital in time to station myself at the back of Kindred, at the ambulance entrance to photograph John's arrival. I felt like a child waiting for Santa's sleigh to come into view! (I am so sure he is going to treasure my photo journaling his entire experience! eh hem!)
After he is in his room and we are just adjusting to the new place, John looks at me and says "what happened to me?" "Why am I here?" Oh my, what do I say..?????? He had no memory of two days prior to his respiratory failure..........two days......that is three weeks lost! I told him the truth....every stinking bit of the truth.
Then I told him about all the bloggers that were praying for him, the prayers of his / our family, friends and total strangers all over the world! God is so good to place you all to intercede for John and for me. Thank you, thank you from both of us.
When it was time for me to leave, again, John did not want me to go. I told him I just had to and finally he was kind of OK with the situation.
Today, I refreshed the house for "show and sell" and then returned to the hospital. Wow, a ten minute drive! That sure beats forty five minutes! I was able to return home for lunch! (money saved)
I took my spinning wheel and was able to spin as John tried to rest. Tried is the key word. He is very anxious. He is unable to sleep, to rest and is totally exhausted. And this is announcing my prayer request. Please pray that John sleeps soundly tonight and every night in the future. Also that he relaxes and is not so apprehensive.
All his physical, speech, occupational, respiratory therapies are a prayer concern. In order for him to eat real food and get that nasty tube out of his nose, he must pass his speech therapy tests/trials. He needs to be totally rested in order to have successful physical and occupational sessions on Monday. And to be able to breathe on his own, the clear secretions must dry up in order that he not cough so much. Those coughing times sap all of his strength.
Well, this brings you up to date. I am sure I have missed events. If so, and if they are important, I will blog them later. For now, I will "water" the dogs one more time, then head to bed. Tomorrow is another day to witness God's power in John life and health! To God be the glory for all He has done.
God bless you and keep you. May he put a hedge of his love around you and give each of you peace and strength.
We love you all!