It is day 10, and I find that I am starting to run out of steam. I am sleeping mostly OK, but my mind doesn’t stop for a second. Everyone is being so helpful and loving, sending limited communication – enough to let me know how loved we are, but not too much that it makes me want to lose my phone. Colin seems to have turned a corner. He is completely off the ventilator, and although he h as oxygen through his trachy, but he was able to sit up again today. He asked me to straighten his legs, and they seem to have booties on, as well as the blowing up pressure thingies that puff up every now and then. He is able to move his head a fair bit, and wanted me to lift his head today so I could rub behind it, and see if I could find what was pressing his head. It must be awful, not being to move as you want, to move off the same warm piece of sheeting, or to be able to see if there is a something pricking your head. He hasn’t shown me the movement in his arms for the last few days, but he says the physio comes twice a day.
They have removed his central line, as well as the butterfly thing they used to draw blood every 5 seconds (or so it must have felt), and there are no longer so many medications being pumped into him. He appears to have one that is saline, and another that looks exactly like saline, and the bag of food that goes through his nose directly into his stomach.
The nurse on duty told me he had eaten some jelly earlier, and she had two bowls of dinner – one was jelly, one was some brown stuff, and a strange blue juice. She said she wanted to see how he copes with food so they can remove the Nose bag. She also suggested that I could get him a drink of clear liquid instead of the neon blue juice from the kitchen. We left an appletiser for him to have with dinner, and I hope that it all goes well from here. I also took some of those bendy straws to make it easier for him.
He was very tired, and we didn’t do much spelling. The little bit we did do seemed to have frustrated him so much that unless I miss my mark, he actually told me to go away. He was swearing at me, and just being so frustrated that we can’t understand him. I cannot begin how he must feel – he cannot do ANYTHING for himself. At all. He can’t ask for things, he can’t tell us what he wants or needs, and just has to lie there. Being bored. I have to believe this is a good sign because he is feeling better enough to realise exactly how frustrated he is.
Today and tomorrow, the Doctors I need to speak to are on leave, and I am feeling at sea because I don’t know any sort of time line, any idea of next steps, or anything really. They told Colin they would put a different trachy in this week to allow him to speak, and I just know that will be the best thing for him right now – he will at least be able to ask for what he needs, and communicate more easily. We don’t know when this will happen, if it will be another op or just a sort of change of hardware, I have no information and I really want to know all sorts of things. How long will he be in ICU, will he go straight to rehab or will he go to a different ward, how much longer do they anticipate him being in hospital, how long will the rehab be, when will I get to learn all the things I need to know how to do / to look out for / not to do, etc.
He seems to have some red spots and blotches on his shoulders – it is the third day, and they don’t seem to have done anything about that. It is most likely not lite threatening, but it is itchy. Not sure what to do about that. He has been having ice cubes, and at least that makes him happy – but I am afraid I frustrated him so much today that he didn’t even want any of those.He didn’t want facecloth washing on his head or eyes or mouth, and he didn’t really want me to give him much TLC today. He did say he loved me a few times, and he seemed to drift off a few times during the visit – I think he is very frustrated and frankly, exhausted at having to negotiate where he is and what has happened.
For the last 2 days I have been suggesting that he may want to have a small MP3 player of some sort – but he initially indicated that he didn’t want that because he wouldn’t be able to take the headphones out when he wanted, or be able to get the Nurse’s attention to ask her to do it for him. I have been wanting to find one, or else buy a cheap one for him that is easy to operate so the nurses don’t have to remember to explain how it works at every shift change. I have not done it, and that is also making me feel guilty, but there it is. I did buy him a pair of earphones from the reception for 10 bucks, and I did ask him again if he wanted me to leave it there for him in case he wanted it. Let’s hope that is also a step forward, even if it is just that he is feeling better that he is noticing the dreadful boredom.
Today I am grateful for support structures, family, friends, even Dentists. Our dentist called me this afternoon. Colin had an appointment the day after he had his crash, to place the tooth that would go onto his peg which recently was healed enough to have the tooth put on it. I called them from the Casualty to explain that I would have to cancel the appointment as he had been involved in a serious accident. Today our dentist called me to say he had heard, and wanted to check in and see how he was doing. He was suitably outraged on our behalf, and send all sorts of kind and supportive messages. That is amazing. We love our dentist because he is a cool and friendly guy, but this is not something I have every heard of before.
I am grateful that I am not alone in this.
Hope you all have a good public holiday tomorrow.