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.