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Thread: My wife WAS in Intensive Care | Forums

  1. #21
    Senior Member hueywolf123's Avatar
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    Wow DD, that is good. To finally have her at home, temporary, but still...
    I'm sure your cooking wasn't that bad, and I'm sure it tasted so much better for her because you cooked it.
    Still praying to our deiety of choice for her speedy recovery

    [COLOR:YELLOW]GWX, better than SH-IV[/COLOR]
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  2. #22
    Senior Member doug.d's Avatar
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    Things haven't gone well since the wonderful weekend at home. Somehow, and I have no idea how or when, the trachy hole tore open again. The surgeon blames me for undoing his work over the weekend and Terry went back into theatre on Tuesday for try number 3 to close the damn thing.

    She's been instructed to keep her head tucked down until it knits which makes the usual physio impossible, so this is a big step backwards in the quest to get her back on her feet.

    Also over the weekend, I did not have the equipment to help her cough up the fluids from her lungs (a generic problem caused by being on a respirator and needing a thingy that passes oxygen through saline water to loosen the phlegm), so her chest was really tight come Monday. I tried normal inhalations using steam and a towel over her head which helped, but it wasn't good enough.

    Not to mention we stuffed up the dressings on the leg wounds by having to move her around so much. Our solution was to bandage her legs over the dressings from knee to foot to limit the damage. Fortunately, this worked and the 'wound specialist' was pleased when she redid the dressings on Monday. In fact when she finished redoing them, she bandaged the legs as well. Her legs look scary, like those of a shark bite victim..... a smallish shark of course.

    All in all, Terry is in poor spirits. Part of the reason is that her brother has stopped visiting and this hurts her. He's not taking my calls so I don't know whether Terry said something to offend him, which would be dumb as she's pretty fuzzy and doesn't always know what she's saying. I may have offended him because I tackled him over his cruel and hurtful "jokes" at a time when Terry needs all the positive vibes she can get. If he lets a problem with me stop him from supporting his sister, then he drops to zero on my respect meter. In fact, most of her extended family have gotten off the bus, leaving only her immediate family to carry on. Thank goodness for her old work mates filling the gap. It will only get worse next week because I must go away on another business trip.

    Just to add insult to injury, the speeding fines have started coming in from the early weeks of her hospitalisation, including one on Christmas day. What can I say, my level of anxiety to rush back to her side daily translated to pressure on my right foot. I wonder if the med aid will accept them as "hospital related expenses".
    Doug_Dread
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  3. #23
    Senior Member Realjambo's Avatar
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    Hi Doug

    My friend, I'll tell you this much - your devotion and commitment to Terry is frankly astonishing. Without getting soppy (Hey! we're all tough manly Kaleuns here! ) It comes through in your posts. I'm sorry to hear of the set backs you've had to endure recently.

    I wanted to raise 2 points if I may. Your brother in law, now obviously I don't know him but I wonder if he's finding it all a bit much to deal with? and it's his way of coping by not responding to calls or seeing Terry? I'm not defending him, don't get me wrong please, it was just my initial reaction to what you said. Perhaps the cruel jokes were an attempt at humour, in his own way, in a difficult situation. Having said that, not seeing her is not good.

    Regarding the speeding fines - Is there a way you can appeal against them? get a letter from Terry's Surgeon to back you up - that's what I'd do in the UK.

    I continue to wish you both the best of luck, keep us posted.


    'A word to the wise ain't necessary.
    It's the stupid ones that need the advice' - Bill Cosby
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  4. #24
    Senior Member doug.d's Avatar
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    Application for clemency duly posted to the public prosecutor for the fines.

    A better day.

    Terry is oozing so much haemoglobin through her wounds that she was ghostly pale, weak and tired, the palms of her hands were as white as the bed sheets. So they gave her a blood transfusion last night and today she's all pink, pretty and awake again.

    I decided she needed a treat so I convinced the nurses to give her a real bath in the morning before she went for her dressing change with the wound specialist. I reinforced the request with a phone call this morning 'cause they sounded reluctant. It's hard work, takes 4 nurses and Terry has to be lowered into the bath on a sheet. But, she got her 1st real bath in over a month. Revelled in it!

    The dialysis shunt on her chest, unused since her 1st ICU stint, was removed today. This is not a step taken lightly as there are a limited number of points in the body that can be used for a shunt and few can ever be re-used. Sort of like removing a safety net. So, definitely no more dialysis, an excellent sign that her kidney is much improved.

    One of the longer term patients went home today and slipped Terry a TV remote. These are scarce as hen's teeth in the hospital, only obtainable from the 'secret sisterhood of patients' society. Strange how a TV remote can be so empowering and comforting to a woman.

    The only thing we're waiting for now is the trachy hole to heal and then Terry can leave the hospital and be transferred to the Netcare 911 Rehabilitation Centre, a far more friendly environment, to tackle the final hurdle of rebuilding her body and getting her mobility back. They have the facilities to care for her wounds as well, so that shouldn't be a problem. Unfortunately, it's very far from home, right through the thick of the traffic, so visiting will be tougher, but worth it.

    All together now..... GO TRACHY HOLE!!!
    Doug_Dread
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  5. #25
    Senior Member Realjambo's Avatar
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    We're all behind you Doug!

    *Visualising holes closing*



    'A word to the wise ain't necessary.
    It's the stupid ones that need the advice' - Bill Cosby
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  6. #26
    Your brother in law
    Not been on this forum for ages and this thread caught my eye.

    Firstly I wish you all the best and I'd like to add about your worry about the brother, I can relate to that in that I have a large family but when I lost my father who I was extremely close to I just could not handle seeing him in Hospital, he was not conscious and after he went in and they gave him little hope.

    People handle it in different ways. I have to say it tore me up I could not do anything and could not face seeing him like the way he was. He was surrounded by loving relatives and close family when he died and I have to emit shamefully I was in the car park crying.
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  7. #27
    Senior Member doug.d's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Realjambo:
    Hi Doug

    I wanted to raise 2 points if I may. Your brother in law, now obviously I don't know him but I wonder if he's finding it all a bit much to deal with? and it's his way of coping by not responding to calls or seeing Terry? I'm not defending him, don't get me wrong please, it was just my initial reaction to what you said. Perhaps the cruel jokes were an attempt at humour, in his own way, in a difficult situation. Having said that, not seeing her is not good.
    Naa, finally got hold of him and had a chat. Nothing noble there, he's playing some kind of pathetic hurt pride game. He demanded an apology and for Terry's sake I gave it to him. That was 3 days ago, still no sign of him.
    Doug_Dread
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  8. #28
    Senior Member doug.d's Avatar
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    Whilst on my business trip this week, I received news that the trachy hole had struck back at us. Apart from being no nearer healing, Terry has picked up a hospital-resident, drug-resistant staphylococcus infection in the hole. She was whipped into an isolation ward and all who enter must don gowns, masks and gloves. The doctor reckons "it's not serious yet, we will have to wait and see". A Sister seemed quite concerned that she would be breathing the bacteria into her lungs. She's on arbitrary antibiotics while doctors await the results of ˜sensitivity tests', to find the right one that can kill the infection, assuming there is one.

    Her general condition has deteriorated and she can no longer stand, even with Physio support.

    How much more?!......................

    I took her, her cellphone so we could stay in contact while I was away, which was great. Looked through her dialled numbers today, I noted she had called her brother. She probably doesn't understand that he's abandoned her. She said his son answered and went off to call daddy, returning to inform her neither mommy nor daddy were home. There has been no return call. How heartless is that?!

    We're pushing for a transfer to a rehab centre, before her mobility is lost forever. The damn trachy hole and other wounds can go along for the ride.

    Either way, seems the holiday on the beach was just a pipe dream. I'll wait until the last minute before cancelling, seeing I will have lost the deposit anyway.
    Doug_Dread
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  9. #29
    Am sorry to hear about the family problems and the steps backwards. I believe she knows that your will is as strong as your love for her.
    -U.S.S. Harder- "Hit'em Harder"
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  10. #30
    Senior Member doug.d's Avatar
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    To cherry pick some positives out of the current downer:

    Terry's frame of mind has improved dramatically since I got back, much less panicky and depressed. Not great visiting with all the protective gear on, but nevertheless, great to be with her again.

    Her Nephrologist calls her kidney recovery "excellent". He's weaning her off one of her anti-rejection drugs, Rappamune, and introducing an alternative, Prograph. (Probably spelt wrong.). Rappamune is known to seriously impact the body's healing capacity. Prograph will too but to a lesser extent and the aim is to get the trachy hole to heal. The effect can already be seen in her leg wounds which are slowly granulating up and are definitely less deep. She's tried Prograph before and it didn't work great kidney-wise, so she may have to swop back once the hole has healed.

    We have an appointment with an assessor from a rehab clinic on Monday to give her a detailed breakdown of Terry's medical history and current condition. If everything goes well and the med aid authorises it, she could move across next week already.

    As I'm sticking to positives here, I shan't talk about the bugs in her life which have not yet been resolved i.e. the "hospital" infection and her brother.
    Doug_Dread
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