Dane and I are hanging out together in 416, in the head trauma unit in the Tower building. We’ve been in four different rooms in this unit alone during the past year and we know about everyone who works here. I can say that Dane drew the best bed and I have a “roll-away” device that isn’t half bad. I’ve slept on much worse. There is a good shower and usually I can find a towel and wash cloth if I scavenge early enough in the day before they run out. I have some hiding places for them!
Dane is a little better today. He ate scoop of scrambled eggs, a couple bites of hash browns and a half slice of bacon. And juice and a little coffee. Lots of iced tea. That’s more than he has had in several weeks. He still feels “like crap”, he says and his pain level hovers around an 8 all the time even with the pain meds.
They took him down for another CAT scan of his this morning. They draw blood at 5 am (I know!), and do the other vital things and some meds at 6 am. So, any sleep we get is between 10 and 5, which should be enough if the traffic in and out our room wasn’t so heavy. I sit there in my raggedy green flannel jammies on the edge of my cot and chat with the young handsome/beautiful interns and doctors who comprise the intelligence of our surroundings. We’re very fortunate to continue to have the best.
The external shunt didn’t drain for 12 hours as they had it above his head and water doesn’t run uphill, so they were reminded a dozen times. It was a misunderstanding, everyone is trying after working with the devise all morning. Now they are getting output want.
Mackenzie has posted the correct schedule as we know it. He has a head and body full of staph. They need to have the drainage from his head to be free of that for testing, then they run tests every day for a week before they dare operate. They have to remove the shunt because it is contaminated and a new one will be inserted. They need to test the bone flap for infection and it is possible they may have to remove it as well. It is a challenging situation. That will cause disfigurement, but can be corrected later with a plastic flap. It is so much for him to endure. They may or may not have to remove the pseudo-cyst in his abdomen.
There is a constant flood of doctors and specialists and interns in his room all the time. He is getting very good attention, but they just don’t have time to do all the things for him that need doing. He needs me or someone here with him. Everyone needs an advocate. Questions need answering, things need to be explained so that we are clear about what needs to be done. And I’m an expert at making tea, scavenging food for him, finding things that help make him comfortable. And, I try to see that he gets what he wants when he needs it.
It’s time for his lunch and I need to be there to help him. He can’t sit up enough to feed himself, so that is something else that needs attention. I have trouble opening some of the “packets” of stuff and there is no way that he can with one hand.
Anyway, he doesn’t have much to say but he is smiling on occasion today. And he told me to tell Pete and Betty hi. They came by to give me the key to their house so I can come and go as I need to. I will need to do some laundry….I packed in such a hurry I brought about 20 undies and 2 pairs of socks…and one pair got thrown out with the hospital laundry. Alas!
Excuse all the mistakes. I’m on the hospital computer and it has built-in errors that come with Graymatter. Mackenzie or I will keep you posted. All is well.