May 23, 2016
Den has 4 sessions, as usual, today….3 OT and 1 PT, and he would be working with just one therapist all day long. Den called me after all of his morning sessions were done. He said that his therapist was extremely pleased with his progress and he felt that he did very well in all of today’s sessions. Ed called to confirm that I would be there for the education session tomorrow and reminded me to have anyone that might be helping out at the house to come with for the session.
May 24, 2016
Today is the make or break day for the final OK for Den to come home on Friday! We both have to pass the tests on how to take care of Den’s LVAD in order for him to be released. I arrived in plenty of time and even went with Den to his PT session. We had just settled back in Den’s room, when Bob (the LVAD man) stopped by to see Den. We had a nice chat and he was happy to hear that Den would be going home this week. Bob suggested that after Den was home and comfortable with his LVAD that he might want to volunteer as a Peer mentor at RIC for new LVAD patients. Den said he would think about it, but it sounded like a great idea to me.
Colleen was right on time for our education session. She had given me one of the binders with lots of information before Den had left for RIC. I had been reading everyday and felt ready for this final session. Den was nervous and you could see it. He knew that his memory retention was a little low at this time. We went through the book and talked about all the things that we needed to know before Den’s discharge. Colleen then handed us each a copy of “the test”. Den did well until he got to the end…he was unsure of some of his answers. I asked Colleen if we could talk it out between us…she said we could, since we were going to be working together at home to keep Den healthy and active. I could see the anxiety in Den go away as we talked about the answers that he was unsure of. We did pass the test…with flying colors. And then Colleen had me do a dressing change to make sure that I was proficient. When we were done, Colleen and I walked out together and said we would see each other at the clinic in about a week.
Late that night, Den called to tell me that he had had an incident. He had slid off his bed to the floor and hit his head on the side of the mattress. He had no pain or other problems. I will let him tell you the rest of the story.
“well it was like this…..
I was sitting on my bed, probably closer to the edge than I should have, when I slid off to the floor. It seemed like slow motion to me, but none the less, I was down. (I was reaching for something, oh yeah, my shoe, to shove it under the bed). Well, all hell broke out in my room. I settled to the floor bouncing my head off the mattress side. and settled down to start my graceful assent , when a nurse came rushing in, then another (the one I called Road Runner because of the pace with which she went past my room). Then a couple of nurse’ aides or whatever they are called, about six in total, the room was chuck full and it seemed like they all were asking me was if I had hit my head on the floor. I assured them all it did not happen. Then the on call Doctor came flyin’ in and while kneeling down asked “Did you hit your head” to which I replied “No, if I did I would have had to climb up into my present position, no I did not hit my head” Honest to gosh, you wouldn’t believe the number of persons in the room and the speed that they arrived, it was in seconds, literally seconds.
(We laugh about it now, but just a few days before this happened, another patient had fallen out of bed and was injured. The staff was always looking out for the patients and this no different. If Den had fallen any harder, he could have dislodged his LVAD and they we would have had a major problem. It did seem like overkill at the time, but I am glad they swooped in and continued to check on him all night long.)