April 26, 2016
Today is Den’s first full day in the Step Down Unit. He slept fairly well last night after all the moving around, from room to room. Sometime in the early morning hours, we figured out how to snuggle in his bed. When the daytime nurse came in she found us snuggled up and sleeping…she didn’t wake us. Later she told us that she saw us cuddled up in the bed. I thought…Oh, no, I’m in big trouble. Instead, she told us how cute we looked sleeping together.
Respiratory was in for another breathing treatment around 3AM and Den had a blood draw and his diuretic around 4AM. At 4:30AM, the nurse came in to do Den’s dressing change. I asked if she would start to teach me how to do it, since I would need to learn the process to do it correctly at home. She was happy to teach me the procedure for the steril dressing change that I would need to learn.
As Den and I talked throughout the day, he seemed to have no memory of being in ICU, even though it had only been yesterday he was still there. Den’s blood sugar was still fluctuating. Today it was 168. He got one unit of insulin when the nurse brought his daily meds…aspirin, lexapro, potassium, nexium, stool softener (all oral pills) and his two antibiotic IVs.
Dr Cosad came by this morning to check on Den. He said that they would continue weaning Den off of the last pain med IV and Den could possibly be released to the inpatient rehab at RIC (Rehab Institute of Chicago) next week. Things were progressing well!
The nurse had to remove the IV site that was put in Den’s hand. It was bent so bad that nothing was getting through.
The minister of care was in again and Den received communion….it makes him so happy. But just after they left, Den couldn’t get to the urinal fast enough. The bed was soaked, so he asked to use the commode while the sheets were changed. Den did eat lunch today…chicken noodle soup, ice cream and milk (he saves this for when I go to the cafeteria and get him some root beer…he loves black cows).
Just after 2PM, Physical Therapy came in to get Den up and moving again. They got him to walk to the sink and wash his hands. Then he had to walk back! He is so scared of falling that he is afraid to stand sometimes. We all encourage him and he surprises himself constantly.
Den was asleep when the rep from RIC came in to talk to us about the facility. She took me to a conference room and told me about what would happen when Den was released to the facility. She told me that Den would have private room, 3 or more hours of therapy daily (7 days a week), therapy would include. physical, occupational, and speech. He would have weekly assessments for functional and cognitive ability and each week’s therapy would address any deficiencies that were found. She told me that Den would wear his own clothes and there was a washer/dryer that he could use. So he needed comfy clothes and some basic toiletries, the rest they would provide. I could come visit anytime and I could even bring him food from home.
Den stayed in his chair until 6pm. That was about the time he told me he didn’t want to eat dinner…again. He weight is 229…with his equipment…so 219 without. He is still losing weight and it is very concerning for me.