Friday, August 19, 2005

Update odds and ends

Hello All--

I just edited the last blog to fix the spacing issues, so it should be easier to read now.  Anyways, the prognosis on the blood clot is that she has to stay in bed and lying down until Monday, which is a total of four days.  I think this has contributed to the resurgence of the pain in her shoulders, and last night I think was the worst it ever was.  We also had a bit of a problem getting Kari's pain medication in a timely manner, as I don't think that they realized how much pain she was in because she cannot scream.  After about 20 min of calling, with the same answer of "just a few minutes" I went out to the nurses' station to ask the nurse personally to come in and she told me that she had to finish her reports first.  After she finally came, I questioned the nurse about taking over half an hour for anybody to come she didn't think I had any reason to be upset and was very rude to me, explaining that her shift was technically over and that she had a lot of patients.  I know that nurses have a hard job and are very busy, but I also know that I had a right to be upset, especially after the nurse told me "don't get mad at me!"    I was able to talk to the nursing supervisor, who was very receptive and apologetic to me and I hope this was just an isolated incidence of someone just being tired.  Part of the problem too, was the timing of the medication, as it seems that it always wears off too soon.  Please pray that the nurses are able to be responsive to Kari's needs and also that the doctors can figure out how to better manage her pain so as to avoid the ups and downs.

Overall, Kari has just had a rough couple of days.  The stress and inactivity, we believe, have also led to some stomach pain and burning and a loss of appetite.  The fever is back too, as it seemed to be always 101.something the past 24-48 hours.  Hopefully by Monday, they will have everything figured out and Kari can start her rehab again with energy and stamina.

The big meeting went well yesterday, and the preliminary estimate for us returning home is November 18th.  Obviously, that date could move a lot, but as for now, we're looking at about three more months.  They also plan on starting classes on transportation and technology as well.  At the end of the meeting, Dr. Balazy said that it was still early to be able to tell how much Kari will recover.  It all depends on the severity of the impact, which was obviously very high.  I seem to be getting that they don't expect a whole lot more function to come back, but wouldn't be too surprised if it did.  Let's hope!



Anonymous said...

Of course you were right to complain about that----Hopefully the talk with the super will help---but I agree the answer from that nurse was really inappropriate! Anyway, I send my love and prayer--Iwould come when you call---aunt Jinny

pam engel said...

Aaron you were so right to be an advocate for Kari. Of course the nurses are busy with others but Kari has the right to pain medication when she needs it. As a matter of fact, she should get it BEFORE she needs it so the pain doesn't get ahead of her. When I was at my dad's bedside before he died in April, I became the "greasy wheel," politely but firmly insisting that he needed meds. Remember Shirley Maclaine in "Terms of Endearment" when she went balistic for her daughter. We need to advocate for our loved ones and you're doing great!

Anonymous said...

I am so gald that you were able to fix things up here in Riverside to be there to be the advocate for Kari, Aaron. No reason for the pain--- nurses should bring on the prescribed drugs in time!
I'll be praying that there will be urging from the Holy Spirit so that you will know just when and how hard to push with those that are giving care to Kari.

I remember that one of the things that my brother had a hard time adjusting to was being unable to scratch his forehead..... and keep his legs still from the spasms in the wheel chair. I'll be praying that whatever "litle" things may be bugging Kari will be obvious to you in a transparent way so that you can be there before she even asks.

I pray that the next few days while Kari is restricted will be a time of rejuventation for both of you.

Yvonne W.

kathy timmers said...

I also applaud your advocating for Kari and her needs and am praying that the staff will respond quickly and kindly to your requests. With all the cuts medical facilities have made to try to hold down the skyrocketing costs of healthcare, nurses are usually the staff members that are in shortest supply- and are the most needed in terms of patient comfort and care! I could really get on a good rant here.....
but I just want to encourage you to keep doing what you're doing and pray that taking your concern to the supervisor will make a difference right away.
Charlie's recent 2 week hospitalization was a train wreck and I had to kick butt on his behalf on a daily basis, I know how wearying that can be. Just keep resting in our Lord and He will give you all the strength you need when you feel depleted.
Remember that Jars of Clay song "Needful Hands"?:

"For those under the clouds
staring up in awesome wonder
as tears come slowly down
I'm reaching up a needful hand

You are my eyes when I cannot see
You are my voice see sing through me
You are my strength in weakness be

To find that I could fall
and still Your grace surrounds pursuing
to freely stumble down
I feel Your hands around my heart

You are my eyes when I cannot see
You are my voice see sing through me
You are my strength in weakness be

You are my strength my voice my eyes
I lift up needful hands
You are my strength my voice my eyes
I lift up needful hands"

Your dear Kari told Charlie a long time ago that song made her think of him in his struggles. My prayer for you today is that you find comfort and assurance in those words. God is all of those things for you and Kari and will be faithful to help you care for her.
In faith and love,

Tammy said...

while i agree with your statements about 30 minutes being too long to wait for pain medicine, consider this:

if the nurse who was charting was off duty, then 2 things come into play:

1. she might have been working overtime without being paid, in order to get her paperwork done. some hospitals won't overtime for paperwork.

2. the nurse who just came on duty was responsible for Kari at that time, and it was not the nurse who was staying late who was supposed to be giving the medicine.

i'm a nurse, so i can see the possible systemic problems in this encounter.

and i might be wrong, and maybe they just messed up.

anyway - i keep reading these updates and praying for Kari. may God be very near to you both today!

Anonymous said...

Aaron, Does all this sound familiar? Words of wisdom, or craziness? Crazy like a fox! PERSISTENTS, sweetness (almost like candy, wait, candy but not dripping), and bribery. Yes, bribery of "kind FOOD or small things". It's amazing what a nice piece of candy (especially chocolate) or some other kind, thoughtful, food can help the disposition after a long day. Some, you will win over, while others, will be forever grumpy. These are the ones you can NEVER give up on. Try your patience, yes, but oh, the feeling when you break though their outer shell. Remember, they have to protect their hearts to some degree. They deal with all of the problems, day in and day out for years, and I think, many are calloused. A little sample of nice cream, might just soften that callous! Avon, anyone? Flashing that wonderful smile could very simply, do the trick. Experiment, different approaches for the different people and situations. Make it an internal game and you won't go so crazy. KR-G