Well, it's the middle of the night, and Bethany has yet to stop moaning and groaning from pain. Because I was able to get some sleep from 6-10pm, I am wide awake and able to consistently remind the nurse to give her some pain medication every two hours. The nurse will not automatically administer the medication unless Bethany asks for it--or in Bethany's case, moans for it.
My first plan of action is to request stronger pain medication from the surgeon in the morning. Dr. Healy generally does his rounds around 4:30-5:30 am, so hopefully, Bethany will make it through the next 4-5 hours without too much agony. It's very distressing to watch her and hear her. When I came back (from napping at home), Bethany asked that I change her dressing. It hadn't been changed since I had left (geesh), and it was soaked. As were her sheets, blankets, etc., all with the yucky, yellow and green pus that was exuding from her incision. Her incision looked much, much worse, swollen and red and just plain yucky.
So, rather than wait for a nurse, I donned the gloves, etc, and changed it myself. I have been doing that all along. Unbeknownst to me, our current nurse did not care to have me assist; she was, however, very polite about it.
I definitely don't want anyone changing it in the middle of the night because it can be very intrusive when the patient has a spinal headache. Speaking of which, Bethany and I totally agree that the majority of people working on this floor and in the ICU, haven't a clue just what a spinal headache. If they did, then we would hope they would not be talking in such loud tones, etc. It's as if the entire hospital staff, sans Dr. Healy and his residents, think we are deaf.
I am constantly whispering, so much that even when I am in the cafeteria or talking on the phone in the lobby, the person on the receiving end is always saying they cannot hear me because I am whispering. I figure that if I constantly whisper, the nurses will get a clue. Not! The nurse that we have this evening, Missy, is totally awesome, in every way. Extremely helpful, kind, courteous, pro-active and.........drum roll please......she whispers. Woo Hoo!
Well, there is a slight lull in her moaning. She received 4mg IV of morphine about an 90 minutes ago and two percocet about 10 minutes ago. I think that, together, they are kicking in. If she can finally get some sleep, she will definitely feel better in the morning, and Dr. Healy can, and will, hopefully, adjust her medications. I thoroughly trust him, as does Bethany, and so 'whatever he says, we know is correct.'
Joe has decided, that in order to assist me in caring for Bethany, that he will request 1/2 days off this week. Meaning he will work from 7am-11am, and then come to the hospital so that I may either sleep, go to work, go home, whatever. Just to get a break though. When he arrived earlier today, I was waiting for Dr. Healy to come speak with us. So I waited a couple of hours. It's rather unusual to see him in the afternoon, but his resident said he would probably be around. Thus, I waited a few hours before I went home for a nap.
Of course, the moment I enter the house, Joe calls my cell. I answer it with, 'Is Dr. Healy there?' Nope. He wasn't. But I was pleasantly surprised that Jo Campbell, the Director of Student Affairs, Residence Life, at the University of Toledo, was at the hospital visiting Bethany. How sweet was that? Ms Campbell and I spoke a while, and she offered to do anything that needed to be done in order to make this experience less stressful on our family and on Bethany. Wow! Not that I didn't already love UT, but come on. That just sealed the deal.
She said that she would take care of Bethany's dorm, and that we wouldn't be charged this term at all for her dorm. She said to just make her aware of who and when someone would be coming to remove Bethany's belongings, but that there wasn't any major rush. I told her that Joy and I will go tomorrow after noon, after Joy's classes, and do that. She also said that she would help with anything we needed. I told her that I may need help with the 'Medical Leave of Absence,' form, and she said, 'no problem.' My plan is to go to campus tomorrow, and get her forms signed and turned in, so that Bethany will not only retain her full scholarships, but also be withdrawn prior to the 100% full refund deadline. Whew! What a relief.
Although having to take the medical leave of absence for the Spring, 2012, semester is not what Bethany had ever wanted to do, she is OK with it now. It's all become a matter of perspective, and we totally realize that. Her adviser, Wiona Porath, has been awesome and extremely helpful. We definitely love the Engineering Department at the University. So kind and helpful.
Well, I had better sign off. Just thought I would update everyone on Bethany's state, considering I may want to sleep in after being up all night, and I won't be updating this page until early afternoon. Ha. That's me, always thinking ahead.
Thanks again, for all of your prayers offered up on Bethany's behalf. They are truly appreciated. We know that, 'the effectual fervant prayer of a righteous man availeth much.'
Blessings, peace and joy, Shari, Bethany and family
PS: Please don't forget to continue to lift my mother up in prayer. She has extreme swelling in her legs, and it is very painful. And also, Jonathan, is working in Jamaica with a team from our church. For his safety, and that he will be able to touch many lives for the Kingdom.