Get up and move

May 2, 2016

I got up to the hospital early as usual. Den was awake when I arrived and we had him bathed and in his chair at 5AM. The nurse brought his morning meds shortly thereafter.

Den’s bowel movements are getting better and more regular. He is still exhausted afterwards, but I take any improvement that I can get at this point.

Den only had some yogurt for breakfast I hope he starts eating some solid foods soon. His vitals remain stable and we are still watching his blood sugar levels closely. With him not eating good, solid meals, I doubt is will remain in range. I was right….his sugar after breakfast is 169. He got one unit of insulin. The nurse brought more morning meds….Lasix, Lisinopril, 2 mouth rinses, Magnesium, Lexapro and aspirin. Respiratory was in for Den’s breathing treatment also.

Physical Therapy was in and really worked Den over today. They started with Den doing his change over from wall power to batteries by himself. I think he shook the entire time he did it. He is still unsure of himself when changing from one power source to another. They got him up and walked out to the nurse’s station and back. He had a look in his eyes like the proverbial deer caught in the headlights. But we just kept urging him on. The only thing the therapists kept telling him was to stand up straight. He kept trying to watch his feet. Then to the bathroom sink and finally to his chair. Then they had him switch from battery power to wall power, just to prove that he could do it on his own. He was totally exhausted from his exertions!

Dietary came by to see Den before lunch. They had been monitoring his intake and felt it was important to let him know that he was not eating enough to keep his body from degrading. She told Den that he should eat small meals and could order from the kitchen as often as he liked. She also suggested that he ask for some Boost (a meal supplement drink) to ensure that he was getting enough protein every day.

The rep from RIC was in today, too. She wanted to check on Den’s progress and answer any questions we might have. Den wanted to know if he could sign out for a day to go to his granddaughter’s First Communion in a few weeks. She told us we should ask the staff when he got to RIC if that would be possible.

With all that exertion, I figured that Den would be hungry for lunch. I was wrong. He told me his mouth still hurt and he did not want more yogurt. He told me all he wanted was one of the Boost drinks. He obviously had not heard a word that the lady from dietary had said this morning! I hope we can get it through his thick skull soon that he needs to EAT!

Physical Therapy was back at 1:30PM. This time they did leg stretches first…his Achilles tendons were very tight and needed to be loosened up so he could stand with his knees straight. They had Den put on his own socks. They had him sit in the recliner and close the foot several times. Finally they had him sit/stand from the recliner 15 times…remember he cannot use his arms to help get himself up.

Just before 4PM, they came to get Den for a chest x-ray. He seemed very confused and flustered about changing himself over from wall power to the batteries. I think it is all still so new to him that he is still unsure of himself and does not want to screw it up.

While Den was gone, I ordered his dinner. He had asked for some chicken noodle soup and chocolate milk. I added a boost drink for good measure.  He ate his dinner without incident or argument and we spent the better part of the evening quietly.  Den got his usual meds…2 mouth rinses, Lasix, Magnesium and Warfarin (his new blood thinner). His vitals were stable. He decided to go to bed around 10PM. The nurse who had been teaching me the dressing change suggested that I try it on my own this time. She was right there…at my elbow….to make sure I didn’t miss anything.  I passed! She said I did a great job and should not have any problems when Den got home, as long as I follow the steps she had taught me. I was so happy…one thing down and it seemed like a million more to learn! But one at a time…we would get through this together!

I went home for the night….late, but I had to work tomorrow, so home I went. I reminded Den that I would be back tomorrow night.

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