Monday, October 10, 2005

5 hours off vent, Mold in lungs, Puncture clear

Here's today's scoop, according to bits & pieces that I was able to get from various people handling Denise. Her doctor felt bad that he couldn't really fill me in, as he had another patient that I assume was pretty bad off and must have been demanding quite a bit of his attention. He did say that she's doing better than yesterday. Sorry, not many specifics for those of you that are enthralled with the meds, techniques & stats. She was apparently off the vent for a 5-hour block of time today, and off for shorter times here & there throughout the day. The lumbar puncture specimen is not growing anything so far. Let's hope that nothing grows as time marches on. There was some mold in the lungs. I assume that would be a manifestation of the cocci (Valley Fever) fungus. Wait & see. Her fevers are climbing up again. A portion of the temperature increase may be due to switching to a version of Ampho B, which Denise has been on & off of many times, and increases fevers. She was not as shaky today, either. After skipping a day with her, it looked to me like the whites of her eyes were less yellow. A respiratory therapist told her that he hadn't seen her in about a week, and she looked much better now. That was good for her to hear, as she said she felt like she wasn't getting better and was very discouraged today. The occupational therapist worked with her and also thought that her shaking had lessened. While they were doing the arm & hand work, I rubbed Denise's feet. All the calluses are falling off. She's going to have the smoothest feet ever, once she's done with this extended spa treatment.

She lipped, "I want to go home" and "Take me home now please." She wrote "I am in constant pain" (she indicated all over, not really concentrated any specific place). She also wrote "I can't sleep." She indicated that it wasn't because of too many visitors or loud visits. It was because of all the jabbing, turning, fevers, ice, cooling blankets, machine noises, lights, loud talking, alarms, trash can emptying, etc. I asked the nurse if there were any procedures that could be batched, so as to create some times when Denise could have a stretch of rest. Unfortunately, Denise is at the mercy of a *very* busy hospital, and has to be taken/have things done at odd times. I killed the lights, closed the blinds, and the nurse rolled the sliding glass door most of the way closed for us. I turned on some mellow music for her so she could relax, then went to the cafeteria for some lunch. I was only gone for about 20-30 minutes, and she was sleeping when I came back. So I just went in the room and sat quietly. The nurse came in and silently did a few things. Then another nurse rolled the door open and started asking Denise's nurse questions, rather loudly. I tried every sign I could to get her to notice that Denise was trying to sleep, but she was focused on Denise's nurse & probably didn't even see me sitting there. Aaaaargh! Fortunately, Denise didn't wake up. Soon thereafter, the physical therapy people came. The nurse politely asked them to return in about two more hours, and they were happy to comply (thank you, if you're reading this!).

Each night we have a bedtime routine that includes some reading out of a children's bible that Gracie has. To keep Jacob from eating the pages, I employ deflection techniques that I learned from Mr. Miyagi in "Karate Kid" as I'm reading. Usually we read, place a bookmark, and pick up where we left off next time. But Gracie's been wanting to hear the story of Naaman every night for at least a week. Short story shorter, Naaman was a guy with a skin disease. He was told to wash himself in the Jordan river to cure it. He was mad, thinking that his healing should be a miraculous wave of the hand or something. Ultimately he did decide to do the river-dip, and was healed. It's not a story that stuck out in my mind as a kid, so I figured that Gracie probably liked the artwork or something. Then tonight we got done reading that story and Gracie asked if the "new hospital" is near a river. All the pieces fell into place. Pretty good thinking for a kid that turns 4 tomorrow. Anyway, I answered "No," being that I don't consider the L.A. River to be a river (they filmed a car race there for the movie "Grease").

Oh, last night's bit about the Nigerian "business" deal... Yes, I know it's a scam. Next time you have time to waste and want a chuckle, do an internet search for "scambaiting." Still, thank you to the concerned people that left urgent phone messages and sent emails to warn me.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a blessing it is that you can be with your kids and provide that stability that they need right now. How blessed you are that you have access to such excellent medical care for Denise. God is on the throne! All we have to do is fight the good fight. Encourage Denise to keep up the good warfare - you both are doing great!! May the Lord continue to bless you and watch over you.

October 11, 2005 5:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your girls are pretty amazing! Thank God for them, and your boy too!!

October 11, 2005 10:04 PM  

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