Saturday, December 3, 2011

Last Guest Post - Doreen is "Home"

This is my final guest update. The last days have been busy. I told Doreen I'd have her post the next one as incentive but we skipped a day so I figured I'd better wrap this up here.

First good news is that her neighbor was moved out and she never got a new one, so for all practical purposes it was a "private" room although I would still go back to the lodge in the evenings. Yesterday Doreen was making a lot of progress with sitting up, walking, brushing her own teeth, getting a bath, etc. Pain was managed really well. 

Then, everything seemed to happen all at once. She got off the nutrition medication for her hypoglycemia, started eating "real" solid foods, had the tubes and catheter removed, and started getting up on her own to use the restroom, etc. Most of this happened between 6am - 8am before I even made it to the hospital this morning (I was playing at Mr. Mom, doing laundry and preparing the room for her return). We thought yesterday the release might be on Monday, but when I came in she smiled and told me they said today would be the release date. I could tell she was doing much better but was still surprised it would happen so soon.
The nurse and I gave her a sponge bath and I got to see the scar for the first time. Doreen let me take a picture but any of the x-ray, hospital, etc. pictures I'm saving for when she is less drugged so she can decide what she wants to share. I can say it amazed me to see how clean the scar was after so few days — it's a long scar but it looks to be healing quite well. 

Occupational therapy came. She'd already been using the bathroom on her own. This time she removed both socks and put them back on by herself using the tools they provide with the spine kit I mentioned earlier.
I received the list of medications so I took them to the pharmacy and it was about an hour to fill them all. I came back and she was in bed eating and told me I missed all of the fun. She had walked 175 feet and then went up and down the equivalent of about 3 flights of stairs or 36 steps. She told me the physical therapist told her if she didn't complete that, she wouldn't be going home, so she did it. Her central line was removed as well. 

I helped her get dressed in her "civilian clothes" and made a few trips to the lodge to get some walking exercise in and remove all of her stuff. Then I came back and the nurse gave me the schedules/instructions for follow up and medications and that was it - time to go! I thought my heart would jump out of my throat I was so excited. I walked back to the lodge, grabbed some pillows, and drove the truck back to the hospital. We have a Honda Pilot. The nurse gave me the number to the nurse station so when I pulled up I could park by the curb and call for them to bring her down.
Here is the happy patient ready to leave:

Transport brought her down and wheeled her to the truck. It was a fairly big step up so she had some difficulty getting in but then she got settled and was fine with just a pillow behind her back. I did notice the seat is a little low for the 90 degree angle she should sit at so we agreed she'll get boosted with a pillow when she rides the next time. We drove back to the lodge and I parked up front. There was a long ramp to get inside and she did great, then sat in a chair to rest. Once she had some water and was rested, I asked her if I should get the elevator ready and she said, "No, we're taking the stairs." Silly me. So we went up a flight of 16 steps (yeah, I counted them) and then into the room and into bed. That really wore her out so she is sleeping peacefully now. 

I took the time to enter the medication schedule into Google Calendar. My Windows Phone synchronizes with it so I get reminders that buzz me whenever the next medication is due. I love modern technology!  So this is it. Husband signing off. It's in my wife's hands now. She has her lap top and her phone so the next one is hers to post! 


1 comment:

  1. Ha, so funny that she made you take the stairs. :) Glad you're "home!"