Thursday, August 06, 2009

Do you hear what I hear?? (at 1:20AM)

Kate here. I know that it's not just me. I know that each of you will be just as perplexed/annoyed/angered, or INSENSED!!! to learn that there is someone in this hospital who thinks it's a good idea to have hospital floors cleaned during the 11pm to 7am shift. And I'm not just talking about the floors in the long hallways, I'm talking about the floors that lie, literally, UNDER LMs door, being cleaned with a machine that sounds like a Mack truck. When I questioned the poor soul whose job it is to complete this duty at such an ungodly hour, he told me that this "intense cleaning" only gets done twice a month. How lucky we are that his twice a month schedule overlapped with her stay here...

While I was able to convince LM to take a short walk around 9:30pm, and she experienced several successful trips to/from the bathroom, tonight has been the worst night with her since my arrival last Friday. She has been desperately chasing sleep in the last couple of hours and finally found it about 20 minutes ago. She has been sweating profusely (PA Gary seems to think related to oophrectomy), causing her to want to simultaneously be covered and uncovered with a blanket - if she lifts the blanket, she's freezing, but she's burning up when she's covered. (Temp and BP are being monitored and nothing out of the ordinary has been noted). "Reference" pain in her shoulder and now also in her back are contributing to lack of sleep. I'm no Reiki healer, but I hope that my modest hands have been a comfort to her in these areas.

In addition to pain, nausea continues to be a problem - she can have Zofran every 6 hours and got some around midnight. She was due for percocet at 11:30pm, but wanted to wait for it until after the Zofran kicked in. She managed to choke down her Percocet about 12:30a.m. I'm torn about whether I'll wake her at 4:30am (percocet can be given every 4 hours)to ask if she wants another, knowing that if she wants to first take Zofran, she'll have to wait until 6am. I miss her PCA button (though surely not as much as she).

Be assured that pain, nausea, and sweating will be topic priorities during the 6:30am rounds with her care team.

Sean is to return around 4pm this afternoon and I will go home after a week of watching what no friend should have to witness another friend endure. I am thankful that I could be here for her, but, like the rest of you, I can't wait to hear news that she is well enough to leave. I know that Sean and Art will continue to provide excellent care of her. We are all extremely grateful to them for this.

For those of you who write comments on her blog... by doing so, you provide reassurance and love to her and to those caring for her. Keep them coming.

Upon my arrival last week, there was a note on LMs door that stated, "Do not disturb, patient is sleeping... except Art and Kate". The sign continues to be used from time to time. Before I leave tomorrow, I may alter it to be more specific, "DO NOT CLEAN THE FLOORS at 1 a.m., patient is sleeping. NO exceptions".

11 comments:

virginia said...

Been offline for several days. Just catching up on the blog. Thanks Art and Kate for keeping us updated. So sorry to hear of the sleep and pain management difficulties. Prayers continue for LM and all who care for her. Love to all.

Ginny

Anna said...

Thank you to Kate and Art for being there to support LMU and provide updates to everyone. Keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers and hoping pain becomes more managable so LMU can go hope as soon as possible.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Kate, for being such an amazing friend. It sure makes those of us far away feel better to know that you and Art are with her while Sean is away. I wish I could take away the pain and will keep hoping for her to find comfort and rest. Give her our love!
Kathryn

Stephanie said...

Thanks for all of the updates. I'm so sorry to hear about all of the pain management problems. I really hope that they can provide some help very soon. We're thinking about you!

SullaVinos said...

From the midwest -- What wonderful friends and caregivers you have -- and here's one more note saying how much everyone hopes your pain disappears and you can return home very soon. Hang in there.

Anonymous said...

Since you had a hysterectomy as part of all your surgeries, it may be possible that you are experiencing "night sweats" that are part of menopause. Even though they are called 'night sweats" they can happen at any time. Your ordeal sounds a lot like that. My prayers are with you all the way.

Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear about the lack of effective pain management. Hopefully Sean can bring back some hugs and kisses to help brighten what are (I hope) your last few days at WHC. Know that we are all praying for you daily and are so thankful for the excellent friends and support you have with you there! Hoping you are able to rest and find comfort today. - Cathy G.

Anonymous said...

Not much is said by Sugarbaker about pain once the drainage tubes are removed. A good approach might be to use his own words - much manipulation of your internal organs has occurred and is very traumatic to your system. Premature forcing of the healing process can result in much harm. Was LM doing well on the pump? was he happy with her progress? Then why was it stopped precipitously? Wanting her to get home is a goal. Wanting her to have top life quality is the primary goal. What is wrong with her using drugs during the process? There are people who have been on morphine for 20 years controlling the pain of surgery - so what.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Kate for the update. Hopefully LM got some good rest last night. I too wonder why they just discontinued the pump. It doesn't make sense to me. Hang in there everyone the big day is coming. I continue to pray for a quick release and happy flight back to Houston and your little buddies. :)

Renée said...

Thanks, Kate, for being there for her. I know before any of this happened that she missed seeing you. It's hard when old friends live so far apart.

I continue to pray the rest of the symptoms become manageable.

Sara said...

Thanks so much for the updates! We're really hoping for a quick end to the sweating, pain, and nausea. (and then a speedy exit from the hospital where they make really smart decisions like cleaning the floors in the middle of the night!)

Keep up the good work - keep walking and healing.