Monday, November 23, 2009

Day 31

Sorry I didn't write yesterday, but I had a little accident of my own on Saturday. Fell on my face. My face is ok, but my knees (which took the brunt of it) look like a couple of ruby red grapefruits, and I wrenched my shoulder. Chevy Chase would be so proud.

I just didn't have the gumption to face the stairs to my office (and computer). My bed and a couple of ice packs were just so much more appealing. ;-)

Big Kid is doing really well. He's miserable and anxious to come home, which is a good sign. Not the miserable part, but it shows that he is motivated to get better.

Apparently none of the therapists work on the weekends. So he has been trapped in his bed without any forward momentum or activities to keep his mind busy. I put his contacts in yesterday so he can at least watch the TV, but he isn't much of a TV watcher.

His legs are pretty weak, and not obeying the commands from his brain very well. He and all his sheets slide down to uncomfortable positions, and he can't get his legs to work to push himself back up. So he has to wait until the nurses come to pull him upright.

The first thing Big Kid did when he could talk was start demanding that the trach come out. It hurts. The head Respiratory Therapist told him it had to stay in for a few days, just in case something went wrong, because they wouldn't be able to put it back in, and then where would he be? Why didn't he try to work up to singing to show how well he was doing?

Then she wrote orders that he was to have nothing but small sips of ice water and left for the weekend (hence my Stooges imitation. I was going to get him ice water when I tripped on a cart in the hall, fell into another one, and landed on my face. This will forever be known in the annals of Attila family history as "The 'SHIT!!' Heard Round the Ward").

The kid laughed so hard that I threatened to hobble down to the cafeteria and bring back a sausage biscuit to eat in front of him.

Every time a nurse or respiratory tech come in, he serenades them with Mettallica. Except it sounds more like the Budweiser Bullfrogs with strep infections.

The second thing Big Kid did was demand that the catheter come out. He'd had two urinary tract infections already, and it hurt. The nurse warned him that he'd have to take care of his own pee-pee needs because she was too busy to come in and hold "the jug" for him every time he had to go. He agreed, which essentially contracted anybody who is visiting him to jug duty, because what's he gonna do---go get it himself? LOL But that's ok, Kitty, Hubby and I are glad (mostly) to do it.

The kid is Hungry with a capital "H". He started up on Saturday. Every time someone would ask him how he was, he'd say "I'm hungry!" The nurses and RTs would have to remind him that he'd have to wait until the Head Respiratory Therapist came back to work because the only orders they had were for him to have small sips of ice water. Monday was far far away.

When the pulmonologist came in to do rounds, he asked Big Kid how he was. The kid knew the power structure and put on his best soulful puppy-dog face. This was his big chance.

"I'm Huuuuuungry!", he moaned pitifully. The doc asked the RTs if there was any reason why the kid couldn't have a little applesauce or ice cream----had he been aspirating any water (the reason for the blue dye) at all? No he hadn't, but they didn't want to countermand the head RT's orders.

I guess she must be hell on wheels when she's in town. ;-)

The doc decided the kid could have a cup of ice cream with blue dye. That way, when they suctioned his chest, they would be able to tell if any went down the wrong tube.

So that's how I ended up getting to both feed my kid with a spoon, and wipe his other end as well. Something I haven't done in about 20 years.

When I got there early yesterday morning, he was at it again. "I'm Hungry!!"

The RT gave him a little lecture about how his orders are only for ice water, and that while the doctor allowed him to have ice cream yesterday, it really wasn't the doctor's purview and that he wasn't in charge of that, only the head RT was. The boy looked at me with a mournful expression.

"Well, Honey, " I said, "She's the boss, Applesauce."

"No", the RT sang out. "She's the boss OF applesauce!"

The pulmonologist came in about an hour later. Big Kid's right lung is clear. Hallelujah! The left one, which was so bad, shows no sign of active pneumonia, just a bunch of leftover crap that needs to come up. Joy!

He asked Big Kid how he was doing.

"I'm soooooo Hungry!!!"

The doc turned to the RT. "Was there any dye in his chest after he ate the ice cream yesterday?"


"Then I don't see why he can't have a tray of soft food."

The RT blanched. "That's what I was telling them," he said. "That it's YOUR decision."

Why that little lying toady. I gave him the stink-eye.

There is some odd undercurrent of political infighting between the nurses, RTs and the doctors at this place. I don't like it, but as long as they're doing their jobs and getting my son well, I'll live with it.

However Hubby, Kitty and I have decided that we're going to continue with our almost round-the-clock shifts. Although Big Kid is making a good start at advocating for himself, until he is stronger, it would probably be best to have a second person with him to keep an eye on things.

Thanks so much for all your continued good wishes and comments!


Clippy Mat said...

continued good progress. but sorry about YOUR fall, that's not good.
watch where you're going, you're needed on the case.
best wishes to all.

Willoughby said...

It sounds like he went from baby steps to sprinting toward recovery! I feel so bad for him that he's hungry and they won't let him eat much!

I hope your knees and shoulder feel better today. Take care of yourself!!

The Quacks of Life said...

even with all you are going through you can make me smile ;)

anyway good news over big kid.

hope the knees and shoulder are ok.

LB @Wait, She Said What? said...

So sorry about your fall! We have a running joke in my family that we can only have 'one patient at a time'. Clearly you have your son back if he found it too hilarious to contain himself.

The food and catheter battles sounds so familiar from when my hubby was in the hospital. It was a full on war between him and the staff trying to get food and the catheter removed after surgery. He eventually won but not without having to really go at it.

His continued progress is wonderful! You still have my prayers for things to keep moving forward.

Clearly your family has so much to be thankful for this holiday season! You have your son back!

Rootietoot said...

Is there any better sign than "I'm HUUUUUUNGRY"? No! We also have the "one patient at a time" rule. At least he's in bed and not a 2 yr old you have to chase around. Best wishes on the knees and I'm SO happy for all of you! Maybe by Thursday he'll be up to turkey and dressing!

Charlie said...

Way to go, Shemp. Slapstick is great, as long as you don't hurt yourself.

But at least it was a nice break for BK from the "infighting." Way to go, Big Kid.

Anonymous said...

your instinct to try to have someone there as much as possible is a good've already identified some agendas/tensions between different professional groups, and there are LOADS of other agendas, policies, rules, etc that can crop up and seem to make no sense to patients and families....and you want to maintain a team relationship with ALL staff and keep them focused on YOUR goals - getting BK WELL and HOME! this group's issues will go on and on after you leave, so just keep your focus clear...and having someone there with BK is really important, for him and for keeping the focus on recovery not obedience or satisfying a partisan agenda.
wish that health care folks were not so petty sometimes, but....

Jeanie said...

I'm so sorry you fell, but BK being able to guffaw about it enough to make you want to torture him with food is one of the best things yet. He is so "there."

yorksnbeans said...

I'm sorry, but I had to chuckle when I was reading about your "fall". It sounded so much like something I would do!! :-)

It's amazing how fast and furious his improvement is happening. Absolute joy, joy!! Keep it up Big Kid!! We're rootin' for ya!

Formerly known as Frau said...

Poor big k so hungry I guess that is a good sign!! So happy for you all!

Beth said...

Such good news!

And, yeah, I would have someone stay with him for as long as necessary.

As a mother, you'll do anything to get a smile out of your boy - that fall sounds like it was a doozy - way to go!

litzi said...

You’re living proof that most accidents happen close to home…a total klutz moment, Attila! I’m glad you didn’t seriously maim yourself in your haste to fetch ice….

The news about Big Kid’s improvement gets better every day. After a month of agonizing over his illness, it must be a tremendous relief to know that he’s finally on the path to recovery.

Thanksgiving (((hugs))) to your family.

Queen-Size funny bone said...

sorry to hear about your spill. increasing good news about your son.

Boozy Tooth said...

Best news ever. I'm so happy and relieved and thankful. God is good.

Clear lungs are good too. And one out of two is awesome - with the other to follow rapidly.

Good to see your humor back. You are so damn funny. Isn't it amazing to have reasons to be lighthearted and humorous again? Yay for Big Kid and Attila!


amy said...

Oh this was SO good to hear/read!! Go Big Kid!! Feel better :) (both of you!)

Zenmomma said...

OMG I just found your blog again after having lost the URL a while back. SOOOO sorry to hear what you all have been going through. But I'm so overcome with joy to see that Big kid is on the mend. {{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}} to you mama for making it this far. I'll keep you all in my most sacred thoughts. Take care of each other.

Joanna Jenkins said...

"The kid laughed so hard that I threatened to hobble down to the cafeteria and bring back a sausage biscuit to eat in front of him."

THAT'S when I knew you would both be okay!!! What a hoot! (Although I'm really sorry about the fall and hope you are on the mend.)

Your instincts are good about staying close to your son to keep an eye on him. And his instincts are good to keep pushing for forward progress. Pretty soon Big Kid be asking for a big juicy steak and you'll know he's ready to come home!

I keep looking back at BK's "thumbs up" photo and marvel at where he was and how far he's come. In between it never dawned on me that a young man would grow a full beard in the course of 29 days in ICU.

There is much to be thankful for Attila and I'm thankful you and your family are seeing GREAT improvements and able to laugh together again.


St Jude said...

Ouch, I hope your knees are on the mend, grapefruit knees very sexy.

Big kid sounds to be mending well, but I think you are right to want to be there for the short term as advocates. It's not just there it appears to be everywhere this infighting, when the Captain had his stroke my sister and I had to do round the clock shifts to ensure he was being taken care of properly.

Cloudy said...

I am overwhelmed with happiness, he is doing amazing!

So nice of you to help add levity to the Big Kid's day with your pratfall, but OUCH!

Chris H said...

He is certainly coming along in leaps and bounds now! Poor bugger being bedridden so long.. and having to starve!

Anonymous said...

Despite YOUR injuries, I think it's grand that he's healing faster now AND advocating for himself. His energy is climbing and it sounds like his attitude is great.

stinkypaw said...

Him being hundry is a great sign, yay! Keep it up, and watch your step! ;-)

Grim Reality Girl said...

Prayers going up for you and him... I remember the medical infighting only too well... this too shall pass as my mother always said....