Update/Upswing

by Lori Lavender Luz on August 1, 2009

in Surgical room 19

Today brings some sunshine. Wethinks the end is in sight. Of the hospital stay, that is.

If you’re new to this storyline, my husband was in an accident on July 22. The unfolding is here.

Meds

On Wednesday, we got Roger off the pain med Fentanyl. What was gained from this?

  • Because delivering Fentanyl requires 2 tubes going into the IV and an additional control cord, as well as a stand that needed to go everywhere with him, the presence of this contraption meant that any movement, like simply putting on a gown, was a complicated project that practically required a spreadsheet to coordinate. Mobility has been regained.
  • The narcotic had been taking him away (think Calgon meets Quaaludes). Although he was lucid and able to talk, he was flat. The only way I can describe it is that he wasn’t there. Now his personality was regained.
  • No more headaches and nausea.

What was lost? His ability to have pain relief delivered at the touch of the magic green button. A worthwhile trade-off.

Chest tube

It’s still in. The problem is two-fold. First, until this morning, the top of the lung was separating from the pleura, meaning the vacuum seal that makes the lungs work was compromised, there was air in the chest cavity and the lung was still just a little collapsed. Today’s xray showed improvement.

Secondly, while the color of the draining fluid is now very light pink (which is good) the tube will stay in until the volume of the fluid is near 100 ml a day. The most recent check was 400 ml.

Prognosis

If tomorrow’s xray shows a lifted lung, and if tomorrow’s drainage shows not too much more than 100 ml, the docs will clamp the tube for several hours (simulating the absence of the tube, without taking it out yet) to see how Roger’s body responds. Will his body reabsorb the fluid? Or will it begin collecting in the lung?

If the latter, he keeps the tube in another day.

If the former, they’ll pull out the tube (they say it’s painless), play Wait & See for a few hours, and then pack up all the stuff the room has accumulated and come home. With a lot of Percocet.

And maybe something for Roger, too.

Roger just gave himself a sponge bath — guess I’ve been fired. He took a Percocet in anticipation of his first foray off the ward — we are having a date in the cafeteria. He looks very handsome in his gown and nearly full beard, and he’s carrying his own lung bucket. I am wearing the shirt Lollipop Goldstein sent me from BlogHer09 that says, Born To (front) Blog (back).

One of our more memorable Date Nights.

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{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

WiseGuy April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

Awwww…..hope you had a Fab date! Am so glad that Roger gave himself the sponge bath…and all the other huge plusses!!!

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mary elizabeth April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

your writing is just excellent my friend. right on! you described your date night as if the very best photographer were there capturing the intimacy and lightness of the moment.

i hope i can help next week.

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Lollipop Goldstein April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

Yay! Good news. I hope he comes home tomorrow.

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Michelle April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

That is GREAT news. I am happy he is getting better and I hope things keep going up! I am keeping you both in my thoughts!!

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Baby Smiling In Back Seat April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

Yay!

That’s a cute cartoon and all, but it looks nothing like him.

Lucky for you.

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The Casual Perfectionist April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

Lung bucket!? Lori, you crack me up. So glad things are going better!

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Denise April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

So glad things are looking up. Been thinking about you guys!

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Sandy April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

So glad to hear things are going better, although it still sounds painful. How you manage to maintain your sense of humor is beyond me. I am full of admiration. Be sure to eat lots of chocolate! :)

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edenland April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

Awesome news, and I really hope he gets better and better every day. Can’t believe he sacked you as his sponge bath giver? Surely that’s every man’s fantasy?

I’m still recovering from the fact that his name is Roger. One of my best friends is called Roger, now I know two.

XOXOX

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WiseGuy April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

Awwww…..hope you had a Fab date! Am so glad that Roger gave himself the sponge bath…and all the other huge plusses!!!

Reply

mary elizabeth April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

your writing is just excellent my friend. right on! you described your date night as if the very best photographer were there capturing the intimacy and lightness of the moment.

i hope i can help next week.

Reply

Lollipop Goldstein April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

Yay! Good news. I hope he comes home tomorrow.

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Michelle April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

That is GREAT news. I am happy he is getting better and I hope things keep going up! I am keeping you both in my thoughts!!

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Baby Smiling In Back Seat April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

Yay!

That’s a cute cartoon and all, but it looks nothing like him.

Lucky for you.

Reply

The Casual Perfectionist April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

Lung bucket!? Lori, you crack me up. So glad things are going better!

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Denise April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

So glad things are looking up. Been thinking about you guys!

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Sandy April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

So glad to hear things are going better, although it still sounds painful. How you manage to maintain your sense of humor is beyond me. I am full of admiration. Be sure to eat lots of chocolate! :)

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edenland April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

Awesome news, and I really hope he gets better and better every day. Can’t believe he sacked you as his sponge bath giver? Surely that’s every man’s fantasy?

I’m still recovering from the fact that his name is Roger. One of my best friends is called Roger, now I know two.

XOXOX

Reply

Wordgirl April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

I’ve just come back from a trip out of town and so had to immediately check in — I’m glad to hear that things are on the upswing. I hope that resettling into house and home is the balm that makes everything just the tiniest bit better each day –

XO

Pam

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Life in Eden April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

Thrilled to hear things are looking up. And you describe the lung/pleura thing very well (and even spelled it right!). And I LOVE the “lung bucket”, I haven’t put in a chest tube in years, but if I ever do again … I’ll tell the nurse — “bring the lung bucket!”

Hoping you are all home as you read this!

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My name is Andy. April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

Great news! Enjoy your date and I hope the tube comes out soon.

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Lassie April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

I checked your blog early hoping for good news. The title says it all. Phew. So glad things are looking up!

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battynurse April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

So glad to hear he’s improving. Hope that you will soon be in the car on the way home.

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Wordgirl April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

I’ve just come back from a trip out of town and so had to immediately check in — I’m glad to hear that things are on the upswing. I hope that resettling into house and home is the balm that makes everything just the tiniest bit better each day –

XO

Pam

Reply

Life in Eden April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

Thrilled to hear things are looking up. And you describe the lung/pleura thing very well (and even spelled it right!). And I LOVE the “lung bucket”, I haven’t put in a chest tube in years, but if I ever do again … I’ll tell the nurse — “bring the lung bucket!”

Hoping you are all home as you read this!

Reply

My name is Andy. April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

Great news! Enjoy your date and I hope the tube comes out soon.

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Lassie April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

I checked your blog early hoping for good news. The title says it all. Phew. So glad things are looking up!

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battynurse April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

So glad to hear he’s improving. Hope that you will soon be in the car on the way home.

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Billy April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

Glad to hear he is doing better!

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Susan April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

Great news! So glad to hear he is doing so much better!

xoxo

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Martha April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

I am so delighted Roger is progressing so well, keep up the good work, R!!

Okay, here’s my analogy re.the chest cavity using a box of cereal. The pleura is like the outside cereal box, your lungs are like the inside plastic bag that contains the cereal. There should be No Spaces between these two surfaces, if there is, as in hubby’s case, it compresses the lung tissue and allows leakage of fluid and air into the space. It sounds like Roger’s lungs are healing and filling in the gaps with the aid of the tube and his own body’s healing.
I hope this explanation is helpful or maybe it’s time for breakfast.
Big ((Hugs))

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kate April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

Woohoo for the Off-Ward Date!

I’ve had pleurisy before (actually had recurrent pleurisy for a couple of years), and I know how awful that felt- I can only imagine the pain R must be in with the extra fluid in his pleural cavity. But, I’m glad that it’s able to be managed now with less loopy pain meds.

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Billy April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

Glad to hear he is doing better!

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Susan April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

Great news! So glad to hear he is doing so much better!

xoxo

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Martha April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

I am so delighted Roger is progressing so well, keep up the good work, R!!

Okay, here’s my analogy re.the chest cavity using a box of cereal. The pleura is like the outside cereal box, your lungs are like the inside plastic bag that contains the cereal. There should be No Spaces between these two surfaces, if there is, as in hubby’s case, it compresses the lung tissue and allows leakage of fluid and air into the space. It sounds like Roger’s lungs are healing and filling in the gaps with the aid of the tube and his own body’s healing.
I hope this explanation is helpful or maybe it’s time for breakfast.
Big ((Hugs))

Reply

kate April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

Woohoo for the Off-Ward Date!

I’ve had pleurisy before (actually had recurrent pleurisy for a couple of years), and I know how awful that felt- I can only imagine the pain R must be in with the extra fluid in his pleural cavity. But, I’m glad that it’s able to be managed now with less loopy pain meds.

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Meghan April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

So glad he’s on the mend. Hoping he’ll get to go home soon

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Meghan April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

So glad he’s on the mend. Hoping he’ll get to go home soon

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MrsSpock April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

Maybe he would have kept you as the bath-giver if you had worn the nurses uniform. Though I will say, every uniform I’ve ever worn has been dowdy and uncomfortable..

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Aunt Becky April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

I cannot believe he wouldn’t allow YOU to bathe him.

Glad that things are looking up, my friend. Pass the Percocet the way.

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Sheri April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

I am so happy to hear that things are improving and the wonderful, spirited Roger is coming back.

Can’t wait until I hear the news that he is heading home.

Hope you had a great date together…even if you forgot your money and couldn’t buy a lemonade. :)

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Sunny April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

WHEW! Sounds like you guys are really turning a corner! What wonderful news, I’m sure your date was lovely. Anxiously awaiting the next update.

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MrsSpock April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

Maybe he would have kept you as the bath-giver if you had worn the nurses uniform. Though I will say, every uniform I’ve ever worn has been dowdy and uncomfortable..

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Aunt Becky April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

I cannot believe he wouldn’t allow YOU to bathe him.

Glad that things are looking up, my friend. Pass the Percocet the way.

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Sheri April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

I am so happy to hear that things are improving and the wonderful, spirited Roger is coming back.

Can’t wait until I hear the news that he is heading home.

Hope you had a great date together…even if you forgot your money and couldn’t buy a lemonade. :)

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Sunny April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

WHEW! Sounds like you guys are really turning a corner! What wonderful news, I’m sure your date was lovely. Anxiously awaiting the next update.

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talesofmy30s April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

I am just getting caught up after last weekend and wanted to say that although I hadn’t commented during this ordeal, I’ve been thinking about you ever since your first tweet about the accident.

I hope the road to recovery doesn’t present more difficulty.

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Geohde April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

Good news. Hoping the pneumothorax resolves and the drainage settles,

xx

g

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Deathstar April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

ooops HIS continued healing….

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Deathstar April 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

I bet ya if you wore a short nurse’s uniform, you’d still be giving him sponge baths.

Praying for her continued recovery….

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