Tuesday, January 31, 2006

J-tube fixed, Auth goof, Different room, Brownie Fairy

Denise and the caregiver we hired went from the SNF to Huntington Hospital at 10:30 this morning to have the j-tube replaced. While there, the caregiver called to say that they might just send Denise back to the SNF without doing the procedure because they didn't have an authorization for it. My nurse aunt made some phone calls while I was at work and eventually the authorization situation was resolved. They were able to simply ream out the j-tube to unclog it instead of having to remove & replace it. So that was nice that it was so simple. Then back at the SNF by mid-afternoon. About five hours taken up for a fifteen minute procedure. Initially I was told that I'd have to provide the transportation for Denise, or the facility could provide it, but I'd be billed. After explaining the circumstances (I'm at work, no one's available). I was very happy that the case worker was able to get the SNF to take care of transportation. That was without having to mention that the feeding tube may not have clogged had it been going 24 hours and flushed every 4 hours as per GI specialist recommendation from the hospital last week. Anyway, bottom line is that they sent Denise back to the SNF with instructions to flush the tube more frequently, especially if 24 hour feedings cannot happen for some reason.

She tried to eat some soft food tonight. The speech therapist fed her himself. Denise threw up right after trying to eat some food. She also threw up shortly before the food came into the room. On a positive note, that was the first time she threw up in about a day & a half. Not bad, considering how things have been going. Perhaps she was just exhausted after a long hard day of sitting up most of the time, and not having any food going through her for over a day.

I bet some of you are wondering why Denise needs a speech therapist, as I was. She talks fine. But a speech therapist also deals with swallowing and other issues that might be beneficial to Denise. He's a great guy and Denise likes him a lot. She also said her other therapists for PT and OT are really nice. Working out is still her favorite part of the day. Yesterday she walked across a small room using regular cane (not a quad cane this time)! Today during the time at the hospital, she got tired of the wheelchair. But her walker was at the SNF. So the caregiver held her by the arm and Denise walked around that way. Big milestone!

She has a different room tonight. She was moved from a room with three beds that shares a bathroom with another three-bed room. The roommates really liked to have the TV going as much as possible, as loud as possible. The room she has now is only two beds, and the bathroom is only used by the patients in that room. The TV is one that someone abandoned and hardly works, so it's turned off. Bittersweet, but Denise's roommate is a woman that had a stroke and is incapable of speaking or getting up to use the restroom. That means that the chances of infection through that means are cut dramatically. Her family has a radio quietly playing on a Christian station to "provide some company." That programming is just fine with Denise. The only downside is that the rooms tend to get stuffy. When the sliding glass door is opened, the smell of cigarette smoke sometimes wafts in from the patio just outside. The smell makes Denise nauseated. Anybody have any input about air purifiers?

The other night somebody from my school provided us a pan of really good brownies. But Gracie doesn't know that. She thinks there's a "Brownie Fairy" that sometimes leaves her a piece of a brownie while she's in the bathtub after dinner. No, I don't mind having fun at the expense of my children. I've been immensely blessed to have a friend staying with us for a few weeks to run interference for me. As much as I feel like I'm drowning, I'd be much worse off if he weren't around. Anyway, he's in on the Brownie Fairy bit. Tonight, we ratcheted up the Brownie Fairy gag to a new level. Gracie asked if I thought the Brownie Fairy might visit again tonight. I said I didn't know. I surreptitiously dialed our home phone from my cell phone, answered the house phone, and pretended to have a conversation with the Brownie Fairy. Then Gracie wanted to talk to the Brownie Fairy. Uh-oh. Thinking quick, my friend grabbed one of the extension phones and went into another room, where he disguised his voice and talked to Gracie. But he did a James Brown impersonation while talking to her. "Ow! Hey! Papa Got a Brand New Pan! Yeah!" He was the James Brownie Fairy, the hardest working man in fairy business.


Anonymous Kristin Booth said...

I love the James Brownie Fairy story!!! I admire so much your ability to have a sense of humor in the midst of your trials. I am Sarah's friend from NH and read your blog faithfully every day. We pray for you often. I'm blessed to be a part of your story and am so thankful for God's sparing Denise and pray for her continued recovery. You seem to have wonderful friends, family, neighbors and colleagues who pitch in so unselfishly.

God Bless!

February 01, 2006 5:00 PM  
Blogger Brent said...

I totally laughed out loud at your fairy story! Then I interrupted Lisa and Brent to tell them, they both laughed too. We can totally picture you and Bob doing that, like we're right there. Like Kristin mentioned above, I admire your sense of humor so much!
In James 1:2-4 it talks about having perseverence in trials and in the end gaining maturity. Both you and Denise are looking pretty mature to me right now :-)!
Always praying for you all!!!!

February 01, 2006 10:43 PM  

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