Valerie’s Ãœber-Boober Adventure (day 2)

No Comments » Written on September 8th, 2011 by
Categories: News

It’s been a long but mostly good day, despite the oddity that when we were trying to sleep (silly thing for us to want to do after 11pm) the nursing staff managed to come through at least once each hour for a test, or a reading, or an injection. Sleep, such as it was, came in dribs and drabs.

The surgeons (or rather, the surgical residents) began coming by at about 5am, in ones and twos. In turn, the thoracic surgeon himself came by too. Each of these doctors were professional and helpful and informative. We like V’s surgical team muchly.

Local area flooding delayed the shift change, but a bit after 8:30am the charge nurse who had taken such excellent care of Valerie all night finally left (her shift had actually ended at 7am) and the new nurse, while well-intentioned, managed to do most things with a modicum of pain.

Other highlights of the day included V moving from bed to chair, and back again. The initial move caused quite a bit of pain (her lungs suddenly having to work much harder than they had for the past 24 hours), but once she acclimated, the trip back to bed was anticlimactic. Valerie’s sister came by, which gave me an opportunity to go out and get a late breakfast. When I returned, her other sister, that sister’s partner, and a long time family friend had all arrived. Valerie was in good spirits and her pain was well managed throughout the visit. V had started the day on fluids, but moved to solid food around lunch time. Another bonus of the day was the removal of Valerie’s A-line, one less needle sticking in her.

Another round of surgical visits included removing one of V’s three drains, and later converting the other to drains which had been paired into a single collection vessel to their own collectors. Valerie also shifted from IV-pain medication to oral meds (made possible by the shift to solid food), though even as late as half an hour ago she was still experiencing the itching side-effect of her last dose of IV-meds.

The hospital room itself is less than comfortable. There are many monitors buzzing and beeping throughout the ward, and several disoriented patients who keep crying out (one is shouting “Melissa” over and over again even as I type this). And the food… the food is as dull and inedible as you might imagine. Fortunately, when we had other people in the room, I was able to go out to some nearby downtown Philadelphia restaurants and pick up some of V’s favorites.

Tomorrow will see the removal of her catheter, and likely the remaining two drains from her chest. At that point we’ll re-evaluate her pain management and determine whether we’re heading home late tomorrow (unlikely) or staying one or more days into the weekend.

It’s been a long day, productive and positive but with too little sleep. Still, all the bad stuff is long behind us, and every hour is better than the one before. I leave you now with the acknowledgment that my wife and I continue to be truly blessed in every aspect of our lives, not least of which being the support of so many wonderful people. Thank you again, and good night.


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