Report from 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.

72 thoughts on “Report from Surgical Room 19”

  1. I have NO medical background so what I’m saying here is my own speculation. Has he been checked for traumatic brain injuries or some other form of head trauma/injury? I’ve HEARD those can cause weird problem. Something to ask.

    Is there anything I can do for you???

  2. I have NO medical background so what I’m saying here is my own speculation. Has he been checked for traumatic brain injuries or some other form of head trauma/injury? I’ve HEARD those can cause weird problem. Something to ask.

    Is there anything I can do for you???

  3. Grab the trauma surgeon and DEMAND a few minutes to talk to him. Explain your concerns and demand that they check Roger’s head.

    Check your email. I sent you some info that might help regarding this.

    {{{Hugs}}}

  4. Ok so on Facebook I didn’t see the bottom part of this whole post. I will second though someone’s facebook comment on being pushy and insist that whichever doctor is in charge of his case overall come check him out. The pressure behind his eye could be nothing but then again it could be something. If his blood is thinned which seems to be a problem with the clotting factors not being right (related to trauma and the body having to produce extra) then the continued blood pooling around the lung can be explained by that. However the thin blood can also cause other problems or bleeds in other parts of the body. The eye pressure needs to be checked, soon. Thinking of you and I know I’m no where even remotely close by but if you needed anything just let me know.

  5. What a scary feeling that must be! I hope you get some REAL answers, and that they are comforting for both of you. ((((hugs))))

  6. Oh sweetie, I am sooo sorry. What a helpless feeling! If you think of anything you need, please do not hesitate to email.

    Prayers and good thoughts coming south.

  7. Grab the trauma surgeon and DEMAND a few minutes to talk to him. Explain your concerns and demand that they check Roger’s head.

    Check your email. I sent you some info that might help regarding this.

    {{{Hugs}}}

  8. Ok so on Facebook I didn’t see the bottom part of this whole post. I will second though someone’s facebook comment on being pushy and insist that whichever doctor is in charge of his case overall come check him out. The pressure behind his eye could be nothing but then again it could be something. If his blood is thinned which seems to be a problem with the clotting factors not being right (related to trauma and the body having to produce extra) then the continued blood pooling around the lung can be explained by that. However the thin blood can also cause other problems or bleeds in other parts of the body. The eye pressure needs to be checked, soon. Thinking of you and I know I’m no where even remotely close by but if you needed anything just let me know.

  9. What a scary feeling that must be! I hope you get some REAL answers, and that they are comforting for both of you. ((((hugs))))

  10. Oh sweetie, I am sooo sorry. What a helpless feeling! If you think of anything you need, please do not hesitate to email.

    Prayers and good thoughts coming south.

  11. Sorry for the set backs. I have nothing useful to add, other than seconding those who say to keep on telling everyone who is in spittng distance to check out his eye. Keeping you guys in my thoughts

  12. I am so sorry. Seeing him there, knowing something is wrong and not being able to do anything. Hope things start improving again.

  13. From what I’ve learned in all of our hospital stays is that you must be an advocate for yourself (or in this case, your husband). The more you ask, question, talk to people, the more that happens.

    I would trust your gut. Insist on speaking with the doctor as soon as possible.

    Hugs, Lori. Sending strength and love to all of you.

  14. Ask the nurse to contact the attending MD (the trauma surgeon) and request a neuro consult asap. I think your concern is well warranted. It’s not unusual to have a “set back” after the adrenalin rush of survival and relief. Sorry, wish there was an easy fix.

  15. I’d keep speaking up about the pressure behind his eye. Someone will eventually listen. When I had my car accident a few years ago I kept mentioning the pain in my ankle (besides the broken hip I had) and FINALLY the doctor decided to do an X-ray. I asked the tech why they were finally doing one (3 hours AFTER I arrived by ambulance) and he said because I had complained so much.

    So, I believe in voicing your opinion until someone listens. Come to find out I have a bone chip in my ankle and the pain was worse than they hip fracture. Sigh.

  16. Sorry for the set backs. I have nothing useful to add, other than seconding those who say to keep on telling everyone who is in spittng distance to check out his eye. Keeping you guys in my thoughts

  17. I am so sorry. Seeing him there, knowing something is wrong and not being able to do anything. Hope things start improving again.

  18. From what I’ve learned in all of our hospital stays is that you must be an advocate for yourself (or in this case, your husband). The more you ask, question, talk to people, the more that happens.

    I would trust your gut. Insist on speaking with the doctor as soon as possible.

    Hugs, Lori. Sending strength and love to all of you.

  19. Ask the nurse to contact the attending MD (the trauma surgeon) and request a neuro consult asap. I think your concern is well warranted. It’s not unusual to have a “set back” after the adrenalin rush of survival and relief. Sorry, wish there was an easy fix.

  20. I’d keep speaking up about the pressure behind his eye. Someone will eventually listen. When I had my car accident a few years ago I kept mentioning the pain in my ankle (besides the broken hip I had) and FINALLY the doctor decided to do an X-ray. I asked the tech why they were finally doing one (3 hours AFTER I arrived by ambulance) and he said because I had complained so much.

    So, I believe in voicing your opinion until someone listens. Come to find out I have a bone chip in my ankle and the pain was worse than they hip fracture. Sigh.

  21. I am so sorry to hear that you are having a setback. I hope you and your husband get the answers you need and that he begins to feel better soon. Hang in there! Lots of people thinking about you and praying for you.

  22. I was thinking the EXACT same thing once you mentioned the pressure behind the eye – that someone should be looking at him as a whole. At least talking to each other.

    I wish I knew what to suggest. Do you have a primary care doctor you could consult with? Heck, even an GYN who could step in for you with some authority with the other docs?

    Thanks for the update. I am worried with you. Maybe I will finally sign up with Twitter to keep a closer eye on things.

    My thoughts are with you and your family and sending get well thoughts to Roger.

  23. I am so sorry to hear that you are having a setback. I hope you and your husband get the answers you need and that he begins to feel better soon. Hang in there! Lots of people thinking about you and praying for you.

  24. I was thinking the EXACT same thing once you mentioned the pressure behind the eye – that someone should be looking at him as a whole. At least talking to each other.

    I wish I knew what to suggest. Do you have a primary care doctor you could consult with? Heck, even an GYN who could step in for you with some authority with the other docs?

    Thanks for the update. I am worried with you. Maybe I will finally sign up with Twitter to keep a closer eye on things.

    My thoughts are with you and your family and sending get well thoughts to Roger.

  25. I don’t know what you should do or how you can advocate. It’s so hard when you know him better than anyone else, yet you don’t know the medical terms to get him the attention he might need:-(

    I think just keep asking questions and pushing. Dont’ ever feel guilty for pushing for more checkups or more docs. You’d rather be a pain in the ass than have regrets right?

  26. Is there anyone you know with whom you can call in a favor who is a physician with privileges in that hospital? The mom of some kid from T’s gymnastics class, the brother of your neighbor, anyone? Sometimes advocacy from one of their own can move mountains.

    If not, be the squeaky wheel.

    Hope tomorrow is a better day.

  27. The Trauma Surgeon is his main attending physician. IHe will be the one is charge of the whole picture.

    If you are very anxious tonight and things worsen, corral the nurse. If there is something acute, she can always page the trauma resident on-call.

    Are they doing neurochecks? If he has a head bleed, he might show signs that are a bit off, like a less reactive pupil on one side, or a tongue that is not quite midline. Ask the nurse to do a full neurocheck just for sanity’s sake. If there is anything off, there is always a doctor to page, no matter the time. An off reading should be followed up with a head CT. There is usually a resident who floats around every shift. Pain and pressure behind the eye in someone who is a little undercoagulated is a concern.

    It may be, too, that Roger is just having an off day. It sucks being in the hospital, and injured. It is typical to have good days and bad days- but still push about that eye pressure…

  28. Lori, if you feel like something isn’t right, you deserve to have them investigate further until you’re satisfied. (((hugs)))

  29. I don’t know what you should do or how you can advocate. It’s so hard when you know him better than anyone else, yet you don’t know the medical terms to get him the attention he might need:-(

    I think just keep asking questions and pushing. Dont’ ever feel guilty for pushing for more checkups or more docs. You’d rather be a pain in the ass than have regrets right?

  30. Is there anyone you know with whom you can call in a favor who is a physician with privileges in that hospital? The mom of some kid from T’s gymnastics class, the brother of your neighbor, anyone? Sometimes advocacy from one of their own can move mountains.

    If not, be the squeaky wheel.

    Hope tomorrow is a better day.

  31. The Trauma Surgeon is his main attending physician. IHe will be the one is charge of the whole picture.

    If you are very anxious tonight and things worsen, corral the nurse. If there is something acute, she can always page the trauma resident on-call.

    Are they doing neurochecks? If he has a head bleed, he might show signs that are a bit off, like a less reactive pupil on one side, or a tongue that is not quite midline. Ask the nurse to do a full neurocheck just for sanity’s sake. If there is anything off, there is always a doctor to page, no matter the time. An off reading should be followed up with a head CT. There is usually a resident who floats around every shift. Pain and pressure behind the eye in someone who is a little undercoagulated is a concern.

    It may be, too, that Roger is just having an off day. It sucks being in the hospital, and injured. It is typical to have good days and bad days- but still push about that eye pressure…

  32. Lori, if you feel like something isn’t right, you deserve to have them investigate further until you’re satisfied. (((hugs)))

  33. Watch him closely and keep asking. Nurses are your best bed. Keep after them.

    Hope he improves and I’m thinking of you.

  34. Oh Lori …. I really hope that his condition has improved a bit, since this post was a few days ago. Geez … what a bloody whirlwind of a week you’ve just had; hope you are still eating well and looking after yourself, and that your beautiful kids are ok too.

    Thinking of you – and Roger, so much. Eedz XOXOX

  35. Lori, I’m sorry today was a sucky day for both of you. Hoping and praying that you get answers and good news on all fronts tomorrow and that you connect with the right people who will listen to you and respond to your very real concerns. Sending you much light.

  36. You’ve gotten lots of good advice. The only thing I might add is that you might spend the night with your hubby. I did this for two nights while my husband was in the hospital, and beside being helpful by hunting nurses down when machines were beeping, I think it helped his morale. When my DH was feeling really bad, I would get in bed with him (on his good side) and just hold him.

    Being in the hospital truly sucks. If you have any family or friends around, try to schedule them for shifts with Roger so you can get a break during the day. Big Hugs your way!!

  37. Oh Lori! I missed this whole incident, and wished I could have offered support sooner.

    You have gotten good advice — SQUEAK, SQUEAK, SQUEAK! (As the wife of an MD) I will tell you that you are right, one of the biggest problems with modern medicine is the high degree of subspecialization. Some hospitals are great at getting everyone talking, others not so much. Keep pushing for more explanations, especially if he does not rebound.

    Technically, I’m not a prayer — but I’ll be doing something of the sort.

  38. Oh sweetie, this sucks. This setback sucks. Especially because there is such a chance to miss the big picture when a person is looked at in pieces. I hope they find the answer soon.

  39. I am so sorry you are going through this. It must be so scary. I am keeping you both in my thoughts and prayers. I hope you get the answers you both DESERVE and you get them FAST! ((HUGS))

  40. Watch him closely and keep asking. Nurses are your best bed. Keep after them.

    Hope he improves and I’m thinking of you.

  41. Oh Lori …. I really hope that his condition has improved a bit, since this post was a few days ago. Geez … what a bloody whirlwind of a week you’ve just had; hope you are still eating well and looking after yourself, and that your beautiful kids are ok too.

    Thinking of you – and Roger, so much. Eedz XOXOX

  42. Lori, I’m sorry today was a sucky day for both of you. Hoping and praying that you get answers and good news on all fronts tomorrow and that you connect with the right people who will listen to you and respond to your very real concerns. Sending you much light.

  43. You’ve gotten lots of good advice. The only thing I might add is that you might spend the night with your hubby. I did this for two nights while my husband was in the hospital, and beside being helpful by hunting nurses down when machines were beeping, I think it helped his morale. When my DH was feeling really bad, I would get in bed with him (on his good side) and just hold him.

    Being in the hospital truly sucks. If you have any family or friends around, try to schedule them for shifts with Roger so you can get a break during the day. Big Hugs your way!!

  44. Oh Lori! I missed this whole incident, and wished I could have offered support sooner.

    You have gotten good advice — SQUEAK, SQUEAK, SQUEAK! (As the wife of an MD) I will tell you that you are right, one of the biggest problems with modern medicine is the high degree of subspecialization. Some hospitals are great at getting everyone talking, others not so much. Keep pushing for more explanations, especially if he does not rebound.

    Technically, I’m not a prayer — but I’ll be doing something of the sort.

  45. Oh sweetie, this sucks. This setback sucks. Especially because there is such a chance to miss the big picture when a person is looked at in pieces. I hope they find the answer soon.

  46. I am so sorry you are going through this. It must be so scary. I am keeping you both in my thoughts and prayers. I hope you get the answers you both DESERVE and you get them FAST! ((HUGS))

  47. 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.

  48. 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…

  49. 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!!!

  50. 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.

  51. 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.

  52. 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…

  53. 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!!!

  54. 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.

  55. 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

  56. 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))

  57. 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

  58. 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))

  59. 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.

  60. 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…

  61. 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.

  62. 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…

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