Well, it's Tuesday, and we are already exhausted. It seems as though the days are longer and the nights just seem to have become shorter. There is not a moment that passes that we are not grateful to be home, safe and sound, in our beds, with our family.
Bethany had a good day today; she was able to go virtually all day without any painkillers. Sure, she was in some pain, but she has been trying to wean herself off of them (so she can drive), and she is doing quite well.
A major shout out to my long time girlfriend, Lois, who called me yesterday with some excellent advice. I met Lois, in 1986, when I had just taken a job transfer to Toledo, and she lived in my apartment building. She was in nursing school, graduated shortly thereafter, and has worked at St. Vincent's ever since. She said that she had been reading this blog and noticed that Bethany had been in a lot of pain because of her pic line. Yes, yes, yes. She said that Bethany shouldn't even be able to notice the pic at all, and it shouldn't ever cause her absolutely any pain.
So, before she called me, Lois called the pic team at St. V's (have I mentioned just how much I adore proactive people)and talked with Annette, the nurse who put Bethany's pic line in. After discussion, Annette suggested that I call the Infectious Disease doctor, in charge of Bethany's case, Dr. Chinyazda, and request that he fax a prescription to the pic team, so they may slightly adjust Bethany's pic line by a few centimeters. Apparently, they have had some success with this in a few other patients.
I was all for this, as was Bethany. We had called the doctor last Friday, complaining of chest pain, etc., but given Bethany's history, we decided to forego another x-ray and just deal with the pain. Under no circumstances, did Bethany wish to be re-admitted to the hospital--pain in the pic line or not.
Anyway, I took Lois' advice, called Dr. Chinyazda's office and requested a fax to the pic team. After numerous conversations with Tara (the second nurse on the pic team), she called me and asked me to have Bethany ready on a moment's notice. She was very mindful of Bethany's time, and didn't want her to have to wait long, should she have another patient. So, I called Joe and then Bethany and asked them both to be ready when I call. Sure enough, Tara called within the hour, and Joe took Bethany to have her pic line adjusted. After a mere 20 minutes, Bethany was feeling much better. Tara not only adjusted her pic line, but she also re-dressed the IV at the insertion site. It had been becoming very painful, too. Whew! Another problem solved, thanks to wonderful friends. I then called Tara and thanked her, too. She had even let Bethany forego the entire Registration Desk process, as this was a 'free of charge' adjustment. Woo Hoo!
After work, I hit Michaels to pick up some more craft materials for the Nurses gifts that Bethany and I are making. We are two kinds of gifts, 40 of each, and we are almost done. We are so very appreciative of the kindness, compassion and expertise that the Neuro-ICU staff, as well as the entire 5th floor staff (we had a bed in all three wings at some point or another) were, that we wanted to tangibly thank them.
Talk about exhausted after getting home. I immediately began to craft the gifts, before I collapsed on the couch. Then, miracle upon miracle, Elyse Hoefflin arrived with her friend, Ryan, and delivered a delicious dinner to my family. We were starved, but even more than that, we had the privilege of chillaxing with them for about 45 minutes--very sweet. We traded hospital stories and various other tidbits; I think Bethany and I have missed socializing due to our extended stay, her being homebound, and me going to work daily, so this was a very nice visit. And.....she even brought a DELICIOUS enchilada casserole, salad, homemade brownies and icecream. Thank you SO very much, Elyse and Gail, for thinking of us. It has truly made our day.
Speaking of which, Lila Rose, the President of Live Action, posted this song on her FB page today. It definitely reiterates exactly what I am saying, how one small act of kindness change someone's life. I hope you enjoy it and take it to heart.
We still have some prayer requests:
•Bethany's recovery--of course. That she recovers completely and quickly so that she may resume the normal activities of an 18 1/2 year old--namely cleaning her room, dishes, etc. Just kidding. School and work! She wants to use this time to get back to her ballet, dancing and soccer.
•Joy--that she is not overworked with 18 credit hours of coursework, three part time jobs, and homework. That continues to do well in school and that she remembers everything she studies. That is comfortable living in her new digs.
•Jonathan--that he continues to do well in school; that he doesn't have test anxiety and that he remembers everything he studies.
•Chris' son, Nik--that he is miraculously healed of Crohns disease, and that he no longer feels the effects of it.
•My niece, Autumn, and her husband, Tauben, are due to deliver their first baby any day. That she has a quick, quiet and uneventful labor and delivery and a perfectly healthy son.
•My mom--that the doctor's are able to completely diagnose and treat her. She has been hospitalized for weeks and wants to go home, but the doctors tests have yet to reveal definitive results. Praise Report: her white blood cell count has recently dramatically increased.
•My cousin's friend's mother, Linda Sadler, who has been diagnosed with stage 4 stomach cancer. She is currently waiting to see if it has spread to her brain. This woman has battled breast cancer in the past and currently has stage 4 stomach cancer, cervical cancer and 9 lesions on her liver.
•Lastly, myself--my doctor finally changed my medications this afternoon. She was surprised that the medication hadn't made me gain even more weight than they already had. That now I can finally work out and return my body to the shape it needs to be in. I am going to compete in two triathalons this summer, so that should be enough motivation to get in shape, however, due to Bethany's extended stay in the hospital, I have used up all of my sick time at work. Thus, I will have to postpone my rotator cuff surgery aa while longer, and won't be able to lift weights. Grrrr.
Thank you very much, Love, Peace and much Joy, Shari