Mr. Sprocket in the ICU, 6/8/14
Note: Read each day from the bottom up. Sprocket
This is a NEW ENTRY. PREVIOUS DAYS NOTES CAN BE FOUND HERE.
UPDATE 6/16 9:10 PM
We finally got home a few minutes ago.
Getting out of the hospital took another hour. Then we went to Costco Burbank to get his FIVE prescriptions filled. Mr. Sprocket rode the little motorized cart through the store. They did not have one of the medications. We had them call Costco Van Nuys. They had all the medications. We got to the second Costco a little after 7:00 PM. Mr. Sprocket rode the motorized cart in that store, too. It took until 8:30 for them to fill the meds. Then we had to check out of the store.
Mr. Sprocket got in the house just fine. The few steps to our front door did not give him any trouble. He had a little dinner and took his evening medications. He is now working on trying to cut off the sticky pads that attached to the sensors on his chest and abdomen. He's too chicken to just rip them off and get it over with.
We don't have a walker yet, but I will get with his case worker tomorrow about how quickly we can get that ordered.
UPDATE 6/16 4:40 PM
The doctor finally stopped by and released Mr. Sprocket. He needs to see a cardiologist within a week. It may take a little while to get the paperwork all together, but we are going home! He needs to follow up with a new cardiologist at Olive View in a week.
P.S. And yes, Mr. Sprocket's nurse did confirm for me that the reason Dr. #1 took so long was, he was in the Cath Lab all afternoon, saving someone else's life.
UPDATE 6/16 4:00 PM
We are still here, waiting to be released from this bondage. Mr. Sprocket is lying down, trying to take a nap. My best guess is, there was a code earlier and cardiologist Dr. #1 is currently in the ER or Cath Lab, saving someone else's life.
UPDATE 6/16 2:45 PM
Still waiting on Dr. #1 to show up and release Mr. Sprocket. We've taken too many walks around the floor to count.
UPDATE 6/16 1:00 PM
It would be just my luck, if I went down to the basement cafeteria to get something to eat, his #1 doctor would show up. Mr. Sprocket is fine, but I'm a bit on edge that Dr. #1 hasn't shown up yet.
UPDATE 6/16 11:15 AM
Mr. Sprocket took a walk around the hospital floor, then came back to his room to lie down for a nap. We did see his Dr. #1 at the front desk going over the new computer charting system. Lewis shook his hand and Dr. #1 said he would see him back at his room. That was well over an hour ago. So, we are still waiting. Mr. Sprocket said he didn't get a lot of sleep last nigh. He did do several trips around the floor last night after I left. (I left after 9 PM!) He is very anxious to get out of the hospital and go home.
June 16, 2014 8:50 AM
I just arrived at the hospital. I spoke to the attending, Dr. P., who told me he would be on five medications, all for his heart. He also has a thyroid medication, but it's a low dose. We are waiting for cardiologist #1, to sign off on him going home today. I'll post an update as soon as I know more.
UPDATE 6/15 6:00 PM
I got to the hospital about an hour ago. Mr. Sprocket was out of his gown. He had his T-shirt and pants on. It helps him stay warm. He was ready to go for a walk and I was allowed to be his babysitter on his walk. He is very excited about possibly going home tomorrow.
We don't know what time he will be discharged tomorrow. Probably after Dr. #1 reviews his chart. I brought my dinner so we are having dinner together.
UPDATE 6/15 1:00 PM
A couple hours ago, (before I left for the water store), Mr. Sprocket called to tell me the attending, Dr. P stopped by. He tried calling me but I was in the shower at the time.
Mr. Sprocket is good to go home tomorrow. The only thing that might nix it is Cardiologist #1, who returns from vacation tomorrow. Dr. #1 is the doctor that saved his life in the Cath Lab. If Dr. #1 approves, then we're good to go.
UPDATE 6/15 10:30 AM
Cardiologist #3 stopped by. Mr. Sprocket remembered to call me. Dr. #3 said that he's going to get with the physical therapist. If he's doing great and steady on his feet, he sees no reason why he couldn't go home tomorrow. The doctor who saved his life, Cardiologist #1 will be back tomorrow and he will review his case and progress then.
June 15, 2014 9:45 AM - Happy Father's Day.
Happy Father's Day to all the father's out there.
Yesterday, Mr. Sprocket was very happy to finally have his shaver so he could get rid of his two week beard. I think Mr. Sprocket has lost about 20 pounds since May 30th. He has a lot of strength to get back.
This morning, Mr. Sprocket woke me up with a phone call at 5:30 am. I'm going to have to remind him to look at the clock on the wall before he calls. I don't know if he will have any physical therapy today, because it's a Sunday. He is not allowed to get out of bed without telling the nurses first. He's not allowed to take a walk by himself. Hopefully, he will follow that today.
He did tell me he had a nightmare last night. This is the first time that Mr. Sprocket has told me he's had a nightmare. As long as I've known him, every other time he's had a dream, he's said he's known at the time that he's dreaming; that he's in a dream, so it's not scary.
Mr. Sprocket said he dreamed he was at a bakery and he was eating doughnuts and all the cookies he could grab. He couldn't believe he was doing that.
I will be heading to the hospital sometime this afternoon, after I get some sewing accomplished. I just received an order for three more Market Bags. Got to get busy on that and finish the other order, too.
UPDATE 6/14 6:45 PM
I got to the hospital late today because I was trying to make some progress on a three bag order for my friend.
The phone calls from Mr. Sprocket started at 6:15 am.
1. Did I wake you? (Why are you calling me at 6:15 am?) Does it matter? Did I wake you?
2. Cardiologist #3 is here.
3. You have to call (friend) and (client) and see if (friend) can work on (client's) refrigeration.
4. Did Dr. P, the attending call you? (No.) Oh. I forgot to call you when he visited today. (So you forgot?) Yes.
5. I was feeling anxious and depressed so I wanted to walk up stairs. (Do those in your head Mr. Sprocket.) So I did some squats standing and it made me feel better. I feel great now. (Long lecture to Mr. Sprocket about doing exercises on his own. Mr. Sprocket insists that everyone said it's okay for him to do them, and that "I'm" the only one who's being negative about it. I insist that he check with the physical therapist, to get permission to do these squats without someone supervising.)
6. What are you doing? Are you working on your bags? (Yes, Mr. Sprocket. What did the physical therapist say?) You were right. They said to take it easy, and just walk around the hallway.
7. I got a walk without the walker. The therapist had a belt around me and held it tight the entire walk.
8. Okay, before you come, let's review what your bringing because I may want to add something. (I list all the things I have in the bag already.) Okay, I want two more pairs of socks, a shoehorn, and those IV caps I got when I had the staph infection, because my new IV is hanging down into my hand.)
In addition to the bag order, I also worked on three new bag prints today. Here they are half way finished. Two tapestry prints (left, center) and one cotton print (right).
Dragonfly, Iconic NewYork Scenes, Mr. Peacock
Mr. Sprocket's night nurse (Ch) is he same one he had the first night back in Telemetry. Come to find out, Mr. Sprocket "fired" that nurse. (Don't ask.) But everything is fine now, and (Ch) will be his night nurse again. When I heard the story, I told Mr. Sprocket he needed to apologize. We're still discussing that.
June 14, 2014 9:00 AM - Misunderstanding about coming home Sunday
I just got back from my 2 mile morning walk. While I was on my walk, Mr. Sprocket's cardiologist #3 stopped by to check on Mr. Sprocket. Mr. Sprocket remembered to call me when his doctor showed up.
The cardiologist was unaware of any decision to release Mr. Sprocket tomorrow. That decision will be made by his attending. It was probably a misunderstanding by Mr. Sprocket, possibly talking to a respiratory therapist who he might have thought was one of his doctors.
The cardiologist said that it will never be known if Mr. Sprocket truly does have the hypertropic cardiomyopathy, without a biopsy, and there's no reason to do that. So, it's likely that, what they saw on the first echo cardiogram was, like cardiologist #2 thought, an artifact or shadow on the echo.
Dr. #2 did say, that Mr. Sprocket is doing well, considering how sick he was when he came into the ER. Before they release him, they want to make sure that he can stand and walk for a period of time without his blood pressure dropping. He did indicate that, depending on how Mr. Sprocket does, it might be sometime this coming week, that he gets to go home.
I reminded Mr. Sprocket to call me if any of his doctors stop by, so I can talk to them. He said he would.
I took one of our plastic garden chairs and it fits in the tub. This will be perfect as a shower chair for him because it has arms to keep him from going from side to side, and that he can also use to push up from.
My understanding is, the hospital will arrange for a walker to be delivered to the house, or to go home with him, so those two things are taken care of. Now, back to sewing for me.
UPDATE 6/13 10:15 PM
Mr. Sprocket did take that evening walk around 7:00 PM, with his walker. He still has a nursing assistant with him 24/7. I'm sure this is to ensure that he doesn't slip and fall, or do something he was told he couldn't do. He has a little bit of numbness in his left foot, so he has to watch where he sets his feet. This morning, he told me the physical therapist noted that he sometimes crosses his feet when he sets his feet down so he needs to be aware of that.
Mr. Sprocket is really looking forward to taking a shower at home. He can only get a sponge bath because at the hospital because of the electronic pack that's attached to sensors in his body.
With all those phone calls earlier, and then me messing up my fabric, I forgot to bring his electric shaver.
I got into a long conversation with his nurse assistant about the blood type diet. At around 8:30 PM, Mr. Sprocket was asleep. I don't think he even had a sleeping pill yet. I think all that walking today tired him out in a good way: = sleep! However, 15 minutes later, I'm driving to Costco to get gas and he calls me, asking, "Where did you go?"
UPDATE 6/13 5:45 PM
I got to the hospital about 20 minutes ago. I had a disaster making a market bag order. I accidentally cut my finger on my scissors and bled all over a fabric I was getting ready to bond to the canvas base. I don't have any extra of this fabric. I had to try to get the blood out and not shrink the fabric. I won't know until I get home, if I have to go downtown to see if I can get any more of this fabric.
Mr. Sprocket tells me he had a walk around the hospital with the walker and no oxygen. We are waiting to hear from his nurse whether or not he can go for a second walk this evening with the nursing assistant.
I had about eight phone calls from Mr. Sprocket before 3 PM
1. When are you coming?
2. The respiratory therapist said maybe I can go home Sunday.
3. The cardiologist said I look good; maybe go home Sunday. Oh, and he's going to call you.
4. Get three things with the car checked out.
5. Don't forget to bring my shaver.
6. Oh, bring me your good nail clippers and this and this and don't forget this.
7. What are you doing? (I fell asleep on the sofa Mr. Sprocket. What's the emergency?) Oh, never mind. go back to sleep.
8. Did you wake up from your nap yet?
... and about five more after.
9. Bring my companion Bible.
10. Bring some pants and a shirt. Oh. and don't forget my clothes.
11. I'm going for a second walk.
12. Don't forget my shoes, my bible and the single blade razors.
13. If you haven't left the house yet, could you look up and see if Dr. D'Adamo has any information on coumadin. (He's not on coumadin; he thought he was).
Mr. Sprocket says, "It's looks like I may be coming home Sunday. It looks like I'm over the worst of it. I'm in for three months of rehab. Thank you so much for all the support. I've been overwhelmed with all the love and concern that Betsy has been sharing with me."
UPDATE 6/13 2:00 PM
Mr. Sprocket is off oxygen and respiratory therapy. He called to tell me he is going for a physical therapy walk of the hospital.
UPDATE 6/13 9:00 AM
Mr. Sprocket just called. He said one of his cardiologists, I think #3 is going to call me. Mr. Sprocket said the cardiologist was very hopeful, that Mr. Sprocket could go home Sunday. I have not received that phone call yet.
Certainly, Mr. Sprocket will have to be transferred over to his primary care plan/doctors at Olive View Hospital for a cardiac rehabilitation program. Hopefully, we'll get that figured out today.
JUNE 13, 2014 6:00 AM
I just got a call from Mr. Sprocket. He finally got some good sleep and is feeling very good. He wanted to know when I was coming. He is more hopeful today than he was yesterday. I told him after 3 PM. He asked, "Why so late?" I told him that's when I came yesterday.
He thinks he can be out of the hospital in two days. He's raring to go, since he got such good sleep last night. I told him I didn't think that's possible. He's still on oxygen. He needs to be off oxygen to come home. He believes they are going to get a portable oxygen bottle and take him for a walk. If he gets tired all he needs is to drink five ounces of water and stay hydrated.
I explained to him that water is not the only issue. It's if he starts to get weak, he has to lie down with his knees bent to get his blood pressure back up. I explain that exercise and moving around will drop his blood pressure. I explain to him that he is not the expert on how to get well. The hospital is the expert on how to get him well. That he can't "exercise" his way to wellness the way he did yesterday.
He then called back just a few minutes ago and said that the respiratory doctor said he could possibly go home on Sunday. His blood levels are good and he may get off of the oxygen today.
UPDATE 6/12 6:20 PM
I came down to the cafeteria to get a bite to eat.
Mr. Sprocket (like I mentioned before, has always marched to his own drummer), often has to learn the hard way. Now that he had that blood pressure drop scare, hopefully he won't think that he can "exercise" himself home. (He told me he was afraid he was crashing again, and needed to go back to the ICU.)
The nurse assistant is assigned to stay in his room with him, to prevent him from trying to get out of bed again. He really likes her, a sweet natured and very patient, older woman from Mexico. Fortunately, while I've been here, he's been listening to her.
I brought him a new sippy cup that he really likes, so that was a big hit. I had brought this cup days before, but he wouldn't try it. Now that he tried it, he really likes it.
I did get some sewing done this morning on an order. I hope to get more progress done tonight.
JUNE 12, 2014 4:30 PM
Yesterday, Mr. Sprocket got settled into the Telemetry Unit about 4:30 PM.
Today, I arrived at the Telemetry unit about an hour ago. When I got here, his nurse assistant told me that, this morning, Mr. Sprocket over did it by walking around the room on his own without the nurses knowing. His physical therapist arrived to take him for a walk and found him walking in his room on his own with his walker. His balance is good, but it was too much too fast, and his blood pressure started to go way down.
Before I arrived, the nurse assistant got him back in bed lying down with his knees up. Eventually, his blood pressure came back up.
He wants to keep getting up to go to the bathroom but they're not going to let him do that any more today.
Mr. Sprocket is still confused about several things. He's also frustrated and very depressed about how weak he is.
UPDATE 6/11 3:30 PM
There was a bed available, but they had to give it to a patient who was in the ER. So, now we are back to waiting for a bed in Telemetry.
JUNE 11, 2014 1:00 PM
Mr. Sprocket saw the speech therapist and he is cleared to go to Telemetry sometime today. He still hasn't had the feeding tube removed yet. We are waiting for the therapist lady to come back with a soft vegetable food tray.
Cardiologist #3 came by and said that he's looking pretty good. His x-ray of his lungs looks good; his blood work looks good. The Pulmonary doctor came by right after him and said the same thing about his lungs.
The food tray just arrived and we are waiting on the speech therapist to verify that he can swallow without problems. Then he will be off to Telemetry.
When I was taking my morning walk, there was a very bad accident at the end of my street. A car ran a red light and hit another car making a left turn off the freeway. One vehicle was pretty smashed up. I don't know if someone is critically injured or if they died. Once I find out, I'll post photos I took of the accident. While I was one of the looky-loos, there was a vehicle crash on the freeway overpass. Everyone on the sidewalk looked up, expecting a vehicle to come over the side.
Speaking of accidents, a very dear friend of mine, who has been a wonderful mentor to me on the Blood Type Diet also needs your prayers. Her son, 'Rio,' (not his real name) was in a roll over auto accident Sunday night. This was in Oregon.
Rio had several fractured ribs, both lungs punctured, broken sternum, broken bones in his face, scalp torn off part of his head, 2 tiny strokes, pressure in his brain. Rio has all the tubes for breathing and meds. Gradual, tiny improvements daily. One surgery completed yesterday.
Mr. Sprocket and I have been very grateful for everyone's prayers and positive thoughts, and we were hoping that T&T readers could also say a prayer for Rio. Envision his healing and recovering and healthy and happy again.
UPDATE 6/10 10:20 PM
I got home at 10pm; a long day at the hospital. Mr. Sprocket had an HVAC friend stop by late in the evening and I stayed until he left. Hopefully, Mr. Sprocket will get off the feeding tube tomorrow and back to Telemetry soon after.
UPDATE 6/10 3:40 PM
Mr. Sprocket agreed to let me go eat a late lunch in the cafeteria.
He told me a bit more about what happened in the Telemetry unit. They put him on a portable ventilator, with a mask over his mouth. He still couldn't breathe. He was scared. He thought he was dying. He kept telling them to call me.
UPDATE 6/10 2:45 PM
The physical therapist stopped by, to get Mr. Sprocket sitting up
and then on his feet for a few minutes.
His blood pressure did drop from standing for just a few minutes, so he wasn't allowed to brush his teeth standing at the sink. But he was very happy to be able to brush his teeth sitting on the edge of the bed. He said he's going to have to do that a few more times today.
Hopefully, tomorrow his swallow test will go well and he will go to Telemetry to get his strength back.
UPDATE 6/10 1:00PM
I got to the hospital around 12:20 PM Mr. Sprocket's day nurse is (Fr), a nurse who helped out when he was in the other room, last week.
Mr. Sprocket is OFF the blood pressure medication! Meaning, he is maintaining his own blood pressure and did not need a central line. He had a lung ultrasound and they found that there wasn't much fluid in his lower right lobe (lung). The doctor's decided that he didn't need the lung tap after all.
He only has one IV in his right arm/hand for medications. He is still on the liquid food. Tomorrow, they will have the swallow test to see if he can have solid food. If he swallows okay, then he will go back to the Telemetry department. He is looking pretty good. His neck and face are no longer swollen. He still has the leg cuffs on but I'm starting to see the tendons in his feet again.
I told him about an event yesterday where his ventilator machine stopped. The nurses were right on it immediately. One of the nurses said, "cell phone." When I told him that he replied, "That's the most important thing you told me."
He is almost back to his ol' self. He is hoarse from the vent tube, and sounds like Dustin Hoffman in the movie Rain Man.
He tells me he has a fear of going to the Telemetry unit. He is "insistent" that I do some computer searches to see if his fears relating to the Telemetry unit are justified or not. I told him we can work on computer searches later; just not right this moment.
JUNE 10, 2014 10:02 AM
I'm still at home, but I got a call from the hospital a few minutes ago. Mr. Sprocket is off the ventilator! He told the hospital he had to call me. The first thing he asked me was, "Where's my phone?" The next thing he said was, "Back from the dead a second time." He also asked about his friend who is going to help out with one of his contracted accounts, and if he got the keys to the building yet. (Not yet.)
I have places I have to go this morning but I will update everyone as soon as I get to the hospital.
UPDATE 6/9 7:45 PM
More than one nurse has called the waking up from the propofol, the "sedation vacation," meaning, a short vacation from sedation.
UPDATE 6/9 7:30 PM
Mr. Sprocket's night nurse (Je) just introduced herself to me. So polite. She reached out to shake my hand. I meet these darling, young AMAZING nurses and I try to remember when I was that young and had all that energy.
UPDATE 6/9 7:15 PM
I will be staying tonight until the night nurse slightly brings him out of sedation to check his neurological function. That's when they dial back the Diprivan (propofol) just enough so that he is able to follow commands. After that, they put him back on sedation. Then I will be taking off.
UPDATE 6/9 6:00 PM
Drawing his potassium is just a blood draw. Mr. Sprocket is putting out a lot of urine even though he's not on a diuretic. With a pharmaceutical diuretic you do lose potassium and they had to replace it. Since he is still putting out a lot of urine, they have to keep testing his potassium to see if he's still losing. If he's losing, they add potassium.
It's pretty much a done deal, that he will get a central line tomorrow. (Mi) said she saw his pulmonary doctor (Dr. A), and he put him on the list for a central line. Nurse (T) stopped by to speak to (Mi) and asked what happened to Mr. Sprocket, since the last time he saw him, he was walking to the bathroom in Telemetry.
(Mi) tells me that she is going to have to take out one of his IV lines on the left and insert it in the right arm because it is swelling. Frustrating she has to do this tonight because he will get a central line tomorrow that has three ports.
UPDATE 6/9 5:45 PM
His nurse (Mi) told me that they are going to draw his potassium now. I don't know what that involves; she was just letting me know.
I was wrong earlier. It's not a lung x-ray that he will get but a lung ultrasound. This is to pinpoint "where" the fluid is in his lungs so they can mark the spot. Then tomorrow, having the area marked, they will do the lung tap.
The chaplain Beverly stopped by to say hello. She let me know she has been to Mr. Sprocket's bedside several times to pray for him. She said she was looking forward to meeting him when he's in Telemetry and off the vent.
UPDATE 6/9 4:50 PM
I just took a break and had a late lunch/early dinner, so I'm feeling a bit better. Mr. Sprocket is resting, still under sedation. His nurse is away from her desk at the moment. When she comes back, I'll ask if Mr. Sprocket had the lung x-ray yet.
One of the things I've been missing these past 11 days is Mr. Sprocket's cooking. My attempts at cooking have been comical, however, since his heart attack, I have been able to master a simple "shake and bake" of the organic, free range chicken thighs that we get from Costco.
We make our own 'shake' mix using rice flour (easy to make in a coffee grinder) and a few spices: rosemary, sage, and chili powder from India. Mix spices in with the flour and bread the chicken. Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes on one side, turn over and bake 15 minutes on the other side. Let the meat rest before eating. Mr. Sprocket is a fan of chef Bobby Flay, who cooks chicken and turkey at that high a temperature.
I only got about 40 minutes of sewing in this morning, and I did that right when I woke up. One of the things I'm doing for myself to try to get a bit healthier, is walking a mile every morning. I'm also taking the stairs from the hospital parking garage all the way up to the second floor ICU. When Mr. Sprocket had his breathing tube out the first time, this was one of the things he talked about several times, that we would both be on a work-out regimen every day.
I don't think he had the lung tap yet and the nurse told me he has not had the x-ray of his lungs yet.
UPDATE 6/9 2:17 PM
Mr. Sprocket is going to get an x-ray of his lungs, then they are going to "tap" his lung to drain it. That means, they will put a needle in, pull out what they can and that's it. IF he keeps re-accumulating fluid in his lungs, then they will put a permanent drain in his lungs. The nurse just told x-ray to "get up here" even though they are real busy.
UPDATE 6/9 2:15 PM
I spoke briefly with Mr. Sprocket's cardiologist #3, who will be following him for the next couple of days. The second echo cardiogram, it was less definitive as to whether or not he has the hypertropic cardiomyopathy. Hopefully, the third echo cardiogram (that is happening as I type) will give them a definitive answer. You either have it or you don't. It's inherited.
The third echo is done. (Mi) tells me that the pulmonary doctor said that if he can't be weaned off the blood pressure medication tonight, then they will put in a central line tomorrow. I just singed a consent form for that. I also found out that the pulmonary doctor is in charge of Mr. Sprocket's care while his is in "Intensive" care, the ICU.
UPDATE 6/9 12:30 PM
I forgot to mention that in addition to the 8.6 liters he peed out the first night back in the ICU, last night he peed out another 4 liters. His hands and face are looking more normal. His feet and legs are still a bit swollen, but much, much better than he was before. Someone had asked about the "cuffs" that are on his legs. These are to help prevent blood clots in his legs. Here is a photo of his legs and the machine they are hooked up to.
Leg cuff device to prevent blood clots in the legs
And if I haven't said it in a while, the nursing staff here in the ICU is just the best. Everyone has been so kind and patient explaining everything to me.
UPDATE 6/9 12:15 PM
Mr. Sprocket is on the schedule to get a new echo cardiogram today. It's just a matter of when.
UPDATE 6/9 11:20 AM
The breathing test stopped at 11 AM. He agreed to rest a bit. The respiratory therapist started the machine again and he will be sedated again.
I have a FB friend who is having surgery today, BRM, so I'm thinking of BRM today and hope that surgery goes well. I'm also thinking and praying for my FB friend, MCR, whose husband is also ill.
He didn't go under quite so quickly. He was tapping the side the rail again so I came over with the alphabet pad. He spelled out BRET, but that's as far as he got. His nurse set his Diprivan back up and he's out for the count at the moment.
JUNE 9, 2014 10:40 AM
I'm at the hospital. Mr. Sprocket's nurse last night was (Ch), a very handsome, Baywatch looking young man. So nice. This morning, his nurse is the same as yesterday, (Mi).
His pulmonary doctor stopped by. He asked me if there was anything I could add to what happened when Mr. Sprocket was in Telemetry; if he was complaining about his breathing. There was nothing I could add. He said that Mr. Sprocket "went into heart failure," and that's why he was brought back to ICU. He does have pneumonia. He had a lot of fluid in his body/lungs. The Pulmonary doctor did say they would try to get the tube out tomorrow. It will all depend on how he does on his breathing tests today.
When I arrived, Mr. Sprocket was awake and doing the breathing test. As soon as he saw me he wanted pen and paper. I told him he couldn't write, but he insisted. I put a paper with the alphabet in front of it. He pointed to letters on the page and spelled out "I Love You." He asked to sit up more, but that caused him to cough too much so he asked to recline again. He wanted to write again, but I told him he needed to concentrate on his breathing. If he concentrated on his breathing for five minutes, then I would bring the pen and paper back. I told him I was going to write on the blog for a few minutes.
Oh boy. Mr. Sprocket is tapping the side-rail of his bed, so I'm going to see what he wants. He probably wants to communicate through the alphabet again.
UPDATE 6/8 8:00 PM
The shift change is complete. I haven't met Mr. Sprocket's night nurse yet. Mr. Sprocket still has a little bit of a temperature. It's now 99 degrees, down almost a full degree from when I first got here. I have some company today. My friend JG stopped by to sit with me. I'm going to try to get here much earlier tomorrow, so that I won't miss talking to his doctors. Once I talk to them, I'll probably leave much earlier.
UPDATE 6/8 6:25 PM
I just learned that tomorrow, Mr. Sprocket will have to have a central line put in for the blood pressure medicine. That takes my approval. The reason is, he's not able to maintain his blood pressure on his own yet. The blood pressure medicines are quite strong; 'toxic' is the word that (Mi) used. Right now, in an emergency (when he was brought back to the ICU yesterday am), they can put it in a tiny vein, but that's usually only for a short time. There is a risk that the medicine could 'leak out' that tiny vein and affect the surrounding tissues. The IV they originally had in his femoral vein was also a central line. This is a bit disappointing to hear.
UPDATE 6/8 4:40 PM
The finally found a comfortable rubber strap to hold the vent in his mouth instead of the tape they had completely around his head. That's an improvement. He just got repositioned a minute ago. He's not completely out on the propofol. He's just slightly aware. He nodded that he could hear my voice, but he didn't squeeze my hand back. The nurse put a fan on him to cool him down a bit, and put a wet wash cloth on his forehead. (Mi) tells me that the little excitement of being moved around put his blood pressure up a little.
JUNE 8, 2014 4:15 PM
I just arrived at the hospital and got an update from Mr. Sprocket's new day nurse (Mi). There have been some minor adjustments on the ventilator. He's not weaned off of it yet. He is at 40% oxygen. When he came in, his rate was 20. This morning the rate was at 14 and now the rate is at 10.
Mr. Sprocket's blood pressure has been up and down. He's on an IV blood pressure med, Levofed. He's no longer on the diuretic. Cardiologist #2 discontinued that this morning. Still has the feeding tube in his nose. Still on an antibiotic.
He is back on the leg pressure cuffs to prevent blood clots. They will start weaning him off the vent tomorrow, and it will all be based on whatever he can do.
He really did have a lot of fluid build up in his body! He peed out 8.6 liters in 24 hours! That's a lot of fluid. It would have been hard to breathe if a lot of that was around his heart/lungs.
It remains to be confirmed if he does have pneumonia, but the congestion is definitely there, or there wouldn't have been that much fluid. The fluid that the nurses are suctioning out is clear, it's not yellow. Dr. #2 ordered another echo cardiogram which may happen tonight or tomorrow morning.
When (Mi) cuts back on Mr. Sprocket's Diprivan (propofol), he does follow commands. She said he did this thing where he was making a circle with his hand/finger. He was trying to communicate, but she couldn't figure it out what he was trying to say. She asked a lot of the normal things (that she would be concerned about) like, are you in pain, are you uncomfortable, do you want to sit up more, but the answer was always a head shake "No." I'm sure we'll find out what it was, once he's off the vent... if he remembers, of course.
So, not a lot of change.
I only got about an hour sewing done today. Two of the three places I went to go this morning didn't open until much later, the water store and the recycling center. These are things Mr. Sprocket usually takes care of. Hopefully, I can get to those tomorrow.
I brought some reading/editing to do (for my friend Matthew) and I think I'll get started on some letters. It's very difficult, but I'm trying to stay just in the moment. I'm trying not to think too much about tomorrow or weeks ahead, but it's hard. At the moment, I'm doing okay. Wish I had gotten more sewing done; maybe tomorrow.
Here is what the ventilator looks like next to Mr. Sprocket's ICU bed.