Report from Surgical Room 19

by Lori Lavender Luz on July 28, 2009

in Surgical room 19

It’s been a few days since my last Roger update, so here goes another.

Summarizing the last two days in two words? This sucks.

Roger was making incredible progress through the weekend. His voice was strong, he entertained a series of visitors, and he was up and around often. It seemed like the worst was behind us, and that he wouldn’t need the epidural after all — his lung was getting stronger and he was utilizing more capacity without more extensive pain treatment.

Turns out his clotting factor never did right itself enough to allow the epidural, which was no big deal.

Monday was a slight decline, which I attributed to all the activity on Sunday.

Today, Tuesday, things are Not Good. But I can’t put my finger on why. He has slept all day, is resigned and doesn’t seem to care about anything — walking, eating, talking, even watching the Red Sox. He feels nauseous (a side-effect of the narcotics) and gets frequent headaches (also a side effect). But the latest ick, he says, is pressure behind his left eye.

The current nurse and CNA are pretty responsive. There are times, before I get here in the morning, when he’ll sit for more than an hour waiting for someone to stop the alarm on one machine or another, for help getting untangled from all the cords going into his body so he can get to the bathroom, or for someone to address the nausea/headache.

The nurse says the eye/head pain is probably nothing.

I feel like something besides the obvious is wrong. All the professionals here look at just one piece of Roger: the orthopedist comes in daily to check the collarbone. The trauma surgeon checks in daily to see how the chest tube is draining (he had to go back on wall suction, as the xray shows blood pooling in the lung again — waiting on results from the more detailed CT scan). The nurses address his pain, and the CNAs take care of his bodily functions.

But no one looks at him as a whole, as a person. Probably the headache on just one side of his head is nothing, but SOMEthing is not right. And I don’t know what to do, how to advocate, to whom to speak.

This sucks.

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{ 72 comments… read them below or add one }

My Reality April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

I hope that you are able to get to the bottom of all of this and that today is better than yesterday.

Reply

KLTTX April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

I don’t have any advice that hasn’t already been given but I just wanted to say that I am sorry he had a set back. I imagine recovery from this kind of accident is like a roller coaster – up and down days. I hope he has better days ahead.

Reply

Kork April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Oh Lori! Can you call your regular doctor???? Tell the next doctor that comes in that door what your feelings are, and that someone needs to check it out, and that you will NOT be dismissed on this one.

If they don’t listen, get the administrators involved…not sure which hospital you’re at, but you should be able to get a patient advocate involved in this one…

Will be praying HARD that nothing serious is going on, and that some weird side effect from the pain meds are causing the pain and pressure in his head.

Lots of hugs for you, and all my happy thoughts…

Reply

mary elizabeth April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

you know him best and you should definitely be the squeaky wife here! has he had a ct/mri of the head yet? insist!

WHAT can i do here…i am feeling helpless!!! text or call me!!!

Reply

IdleMindOfBeth April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Based on my hospital experience with Dad, I have 3 suggestions.

1) Befriend the nurses! They are your best friends, his most consistent caregivers, and can become your advocates.

2) Figure out whoever is the admitting doc, or doc in charge, and get his office phone number. Catching them on rounds or during the day was very very difficult for me. Having a phone number where I could leave them a message and have them get back to me made it MUCH more possible to have in depth conversations with them. It seems when they stumble into the patient rooms, they only have x amount of time before they have to move on to the next patient. But if they’re in the office returning phone calls, time didn’t feel as limited (to me).

3) See if there’s a nurse practitioner working with the doc in charge. Dad had one, and she was often more accessible than the doc.

Keeping you in my thoughts hon. If there’s anything I can do for you, please just ask.

Reply

niobe April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

This really is horrible. And, while I don’t trust my own instincts, I do trust yours.

Reply

My Reality April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

I hope that you are able to get to the bottom of all of this and that today is better than yesterday.

Reply

KLTTX April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

I don’t have any advice that hasn’t already been given but I just wanted to say that I am sorry he had a set back. I imagine recovery from this kind of accident is like a roller coaster – up and down days. I hope he has better days ahead.

Reply

Kork April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Oh Lori! Can you call your regular doctor???? Tell the next doctor that comes in that door what your feelings are, and that someone needs to check it out, and that you will NOT be dismissed on this one.

If they don’t listen, get the administrators involved…not sure which hospital you’re at, but you should be able to get a patient advocate involved in this one…

Will be praying HARD that nothing serious is going on, and that some weird side effect from the pain meds are causing the pain and pressure in his head.

Lots of hugs for you, and all my happy thoughts…

Reply

mary elizabeth April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

you know him best and you should definitely be the squeaky wife here! has he had a ct/mri of the head yet? insist!

WHAT can i do here…i am feeling helpless!!! text or call me!!!

Reply

IdleMindOfBeth April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Based on my hospital experience with Dad, I have 3 suggestions.

1) Befriend the nurses! They are your best friends, his most consistent caregivers, and can become your advocates.

2) Figure out whoever is the admitting doc, or doc in charge, and get his office phone number. Catching them on rounds or during the day was very very difficult for me. Having a phone number where I could leave them a message and have them get back to me made it MUCH more possible to have in depth conversations with them. It seems when they stumble into the patient rooms, they only have x amount of time before they have to move on to the next patient. But if they’re in the office returning phone calls, time didn’t feel as limited (to me).

3) See if there’s a nurse practitioner working with the doc in charge. Dad had one, and she was often more accessible than the doc.

Keeping you in my thoughts hon. If there’s anything I can do for you, please just ask.

Reply

niobe April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

This really is horrible. And, while I don’t trust my own instincts, I do trust yours.

Reply

Furrow April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Aww, Lori, I can only imagine what you’re going through. I know nothing about medical stuff, but I totally trust your instincts. I hope you can convince somebody to look at the big picture. I second what someone said about nurses. Keep at them, and they’ll find answers for you. XOXO

Reply

Working Girl April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

I hope by the time you read this everything is resolved with DH. I agree with the other comments to keep complaining and get the trama surgeon involved. I will be sending good thughts your way until DH is better! ((HUGS))

Reply

Furrow April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Aww, Lori, I can only imagine what you’re going through. I know nothing about medical stuff, but I totally trust your instincts. I hope you can convince somebody to look at the big picture. I second what someone said about nurses. Keep at them, and they’ll find answers for you. XOXO

Reply

Working Girl April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

I hope by the time you read this everything is resolved with DH. I agree with the other comments to keep complaining and get the trama surgeon involved. I will be sending good thughts your way until DH is better! ((HUGS))

Reply

Corey Whelan April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Lori, I wish I could fix it. I am so sorry.

Reply

Corey Whelan April 7, 2010 at 2:42 am

Lori, I wish I could fix it. I am so sorry.

Reply

Andi April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

I am a nurse, and while my specialty (pediatric oncology) isn’t anything that can help your situation at all, I do know this: A smart nurse or doctor will pay attention when a family member voices concern that “something’s not right.” In fact, when you wrote those words in your post, the hairs on the back of my neck came to attention.

My gut feeling is that he has a slow bleed in the brain. Maybe it’s putting pressure on his optic nerve or something. But I bet there is something there that wasn’t there a few days ago. They need to scan his head and compare it to earlier. And they need to do it NOW.

You know something’s wrong. Scream it at the top of your lungs if you must, until you are heard.

God bless you.

Reply

LJ April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

well, I’d say that lack of red soxing may be a sign of higher intelligence, but I know not even a Yanks-Sox joke can make this better. It is imes like these that make the internet a tough reminder of how close we can be yet far in distance. I wish I coukd come and give you a hug…

Reply

Andi April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

I am a nurse, and while my specialty (pediatric oncology) isn’t anything that can help your situation at all, I do know this: A smart nurse or doctor will pay attention when a family member voices concern that “something’s not right.” In fact, when you wrote those words in your post, the hairs on the back of my neck came to attention.

My gut feeling is that he has a slow bleed in the brain. Maybe it’s putting pressure on his optic nerve or something. But I bet there is something there that wasn’t there a few days ago. They need to scan his head and compare it to earlier. And they need to do it NOW.

You know something’s wrong. Scream it at the top of your lungs if you must, until you are heard.

God bless you.

Reply

LJ April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

well, I’d say that lack of red soxing may be a sign of higher intelligence, but I know not even a Yanks-Sox joke can make this better. It is imes like these that make the internet a tough reminder of how close we can be yet far in distance. I wish I coukd come and give you a hug…

Reply

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