Thursday, November 10, 2005

Update 11/10

Hello All—

I haven’t written in a while because things have been so busy.  A lot has changed since our last update.  For starters Kari has made a lot of progress and is even sitting here following along as I write this entry.  The sleep doctor came on Friday, and while I was in California, they were trying (again) to keep Kari awake all day until 2:00am and then have her get up by 9:00am.  They also took Kari off all sleeping medications.  Friday and Saturday we tried this, but Kari got so agitated that by the time 2:00 rolled around she was in too much of a state of panic to actually sleep.  We also had a major issue with one of Kari’s nurses while I was gone.  Basically what happened is that Kari was in a lot of pain and was asking to go back to bed around 10:00pm or so.  The nurse wanted to push Kari to stay up until at least midnight, but Kari didn’t want too and asked if she could talk to a doctor to explain why she wanted to go back to bed because the nurse wouldn’t let her.  Rather than honoring Kari’s request, she reiterated that Kari had to stay up until midnight.  At this point, Kari started to panic because she was in a lot of pain.  Cyndi, Kari’s sister, explained the situation to the nurse and the history of Kari not sleeping and being anxious.  She again refused.  Basically she just wasn’t going to listen to the family or Kari because she assumed that she knew best, even though Kari was in obvious pain and had asked twice to go back to bed.  She wasn’t even Kari’s regular nurse!  I understand that the staff here at Craig wants to push the patients to go as far as they can, but at a certain point you have to listen to the patient.  I don’t think she was malicious, but if she had really listened to Kari or Cyndi this wouldn’t have happened.  Weather its arrogance, negligence, or just insensitivity, the outcome was that Kari had to suffer more pain and anxiety.  I had been on the phone with Cyndi through some of this and when I heard what was going on, I got the nurse on the phone and screamed at her.  Kari was put back to bed immediately.  Just to wrap up the story, I met with the director of nursing, the nursing supervisor, the nurse, Kari, Cyndi (over the phone), and Kari’s mom to try to figure out how a nurse could be so irresponsible.  All of us (family) feel that the nurse never was totally honest with what had happened.  She stuck to her story that no one had ever asked her to put Kari to bed and anytime she couldn’t explain something, her memory was conveniently fuzzy.  At first she didn’t even acknowledge talking to Kari at all.  Anyways, to make a long story less long, we met for over 2 ½ hours and by the end of it I was satisfied that the directors understood what had happened.  I think the simple fact that they were willing to meet for that long says a lot about how much they care that things are done right.  I’m still going to file a grievance for the nurse’s dishonesty and misconduct, and I know the supervisors have talked to her about her mistakes, so I guess it’ll have to end there.  

Anyways, it looked like the two days of sleeping that we had gotten out of her on 10/30 and 11/1 were just flukes.  On Monday night, though, Kari got yet another kind of sleeping medication and actually slept through most of the night.  Again on Tuesday and Wednesday night she slept well.  In the last entry I wrote that we haven’t even seen what two nights of sleep in a row will do for her, but now we have three, and I can say that Kari’s mind is basically back to normal.  (Yeah!!!!!!) The thing that makes me confident that this time is for real, is that Kari now doesn’t remember a lot of things from the past month, and speaks of it like it was all a dream.  What she does remember of it she knows if it was real or a dream.  She’s not just clear headed; she can also speak clearly and doesn’t get mixed up with things, even when she’s tired.  Today we all went to the Ice cream shop again for lunch.  

In some ways, though, becoming more aware has been hard for Kari.  First of all, her muscles seem to get tighter the more awake she is.  More importantly, though, this has been the first time Kari has been well enough to really think about her injury.  First she was in survival mode, then just sick, then in pain, then delirious, and when she cleared up, it seemed like everything hit her at once.  She was defiantly sad to learn how hard these last 5-6 weeks have been.  Even though she knows it’s not her fault, she said she was sorry that it happened and that everyone was so sad and worried.  Anyways, we still have a lot more things to get through.  I also would like to thank all of you that decided to fast for us—I can never say for sure what brought Kari out of this, but I am thankful that it happened and if for nothing else, I know that your prayers have kept us relying on God, even if the path is not any clearer.  I think that any attempt to try to quantify or explain this whole situation is simplistic at best, and answers aren't really the point of life anyways—thanks for helping to keep us going.  

P.S. – I’ll write about my trip to California in a few hours here, but I gotta take Kari back to Craig (we’re at the apartment) for her shower.


Anonymous said...

So glad Kari has had better rest and is more like her old self. Keep smiling and laughing together. You two are so contagious! Continued blessings and much love. God is good!

Charlie + said...

Dear Kari + Aaron, and all united in prayer,

I celebrate the three nights sleep as I am sure all of us do, giving praise and thanksgiving. You mentioned the muscles seem to get tighter the more awake she is. Weeks back I vaguely recall breathing techniques, and focusing on scripture. I am sure that is still at the front of your mind. Others had a better understanding of that than I do. Progress still feels like it is measured in inches. I have faith the professionals will be blessed by the Great Healer to magnify the progress.


Charlie +

alicia said...

Thank you so much for that update, Aaron! Wow. What an amazing blessing to feel like you have Kari back. Thank you Lord for the progress and hope you have given in this time of need! I will ask God to help lift Kari's mind and emotions of the new burden of now understanding the situation so she can continue in hope and with much progress.

Love & Blessings in Him,

Anonymous said...

Praise God for rest and clarity! Praise God!! I'm overjoyed!!!

alicia said...

I echo anonymous!

What are Kari's favorite Christian singers or worship leaders (if you have time)? If I don't hear I'll just put a CD together I think she'll like.

The joy of the Lord is our strength!
:) Alicia

Kelly said...

Great Great News! Glad to hear that Kari is having a few better days. God is so good!

Document everything about Kari and the nurse situation. It is time consuming but you will have creditbility. No one can humanly remember everything and every word that is said on a day to day basis. I had a similar situation happen to me a few years back. Discrimination/Harrassment. Documented everything for 2 long years. I had everything written down. To make a long story short I won a settlement and my former employer had to change procedures and report back to the EEOC.

Lies attack us and hurt us to the core of our being.......they make our souls sad.......lies ruin people's careers and lives. God sees everything.........and HE knows the truth. Nothing gets past GOD.

Kari's needs an advocate to speak for her! May God give you strength to continue to fight for what is right! and may Kari continue to move forward and trust the plan that God has for her..........I pray for both of you and you are in my daily thoughts.

heather velloff said...

Praise God! I love you Kari and Aaron! As always, you are in my prayers!

Anonymous said...

It is quite possible that the staff at the hospital read this blog.
Although sometimes things get VERY FRUSTRATING it might be better to keep such stories within your intimate circle--when you need to blow off steam!
There might be some negative outcomes,especially when giving so many details in this open forum.

Jan Barrett said...

Good morning from the UP!
The sun is shinging here for the first time in several days. I suspect that you feel like the sun is shining for you as well after many weeks of frustration and pain. "Sleep is the blotter for the dark ink of depression," was the advice my college dean gave me once. Having Mono had put me in a teary state and she sent me home to a nap. I was a dorm RA at the time and not very rested. She was right. Life does look better when one is rested! Thank God for your hours of sleep! May you celebrate the good times and be abkle to better deal with those not so good.
It was good to hear from you again. We are checking every day on your progress and journeys.
Love, Jan and Gary

Anonymous said...

I am glad to hear about the improvement in her mental state. This seems to fit with what we sensed from the Lord. Now, I pray for restoration in her spirit in Jesus' Name.


Tammy said...

i'm glad Kari has family to advocate for her. that's so needed in healthcare.

and if the staff reads this blog, is that really a problem? it might be a good thing to see things from a fresh perspective again - through the eyes of the patient and family. it's easy to get accustomed to things and forget how difficult it is for the patient.

Katie (Bost) Heuer said...

Kari and Aaron,
Thank God for restful sleep!! We will continue to pray for rest, patience, and a compassionate staff at Craig!

Love you both,
Katie and Ty

P.S. Aaron...did you have Kari try the pumpkin ice cream??