Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Still in ICU, doing better

There's nothing much to report until Dr Holcomb makes his rounds tomorrow; then we may know when Patsy gets a regular room. She is on Fentanyl via a constant epidural with additional on-demand doses available to her by push-button pump every 20 min. The pump was not working earlier; I had to convince a nurse of this by taking the button myself and running my phone's stopwatch until over 20 minutes had passed, then showing that the button did not work. The nurse fiddled with the pump and it works now.

Moral of story: when a friend is in the hospital, always make sure the gadgets are doing what they're supposed to. Sometimes nurses do not trust the ability of patients to account for the passage of time since the last patient-controlled dose (probably often justified), and they don't know that Patsy is particularly good at this.

Her night nurse tonight, Keri, seems like a fine one - takes care of business and is considerate while doing so. Her day crew today was exemplary, too; there's a day nurse named Bob that we'd like to clone. Patsy is much happier and less scared of the possibility of un-attended pain tonight.

Sharon is sitting with Patsy and I in the ICU; Sharon will have to leave later as she has a day crew to run at her landscaping business, but I hope to stay here, or in the waiting room (discretion of staff) until Dr. Holcomb makes his rounds tomorrow AM. He's an early one...makes the rounds about 5:30-6:30 AM. He seems willing to take the time to explain anything he can although like most specialists I've met, will not engage in speculation as to when she might be able to ride in a car, etc.

The night nurse has been a little concerned about Patsy's oxygen level being too low(hovered around 87-93, earlier) and says she needs to breath more to counteract the suppressive effects of the pain medication. It's better now...up to 95 right before I send this post at 9:14 PM.

I'll report when there's anything new.


I chatted with Dr. Holcomb at about 6:30 about Patsy's pain level and he proposed giving her an epidural. This was accomplished at about 8:30 and she is resting much better.

Still in the ICU

Greg here. I was able to visit Patsy briefly in the ICU last night, and again just a bit ago, but I cannot stay in the room with her. Her nurse tells me Patsy is in a lot of pain and that she wants her to rest - something she feels she would not do if she knew I was there. So I'm in the waiting room waiting for her surgeon, Dr. Holcomb, to make his rounds.

Holcomb did not prescribe the morphine pain pump last night as they wish to ensure the stability of Patsy's vital signs first. Maybe she can have one after being released from ICU.

Ann hung around quite a while last night and helped out, and Sharon is furnishing some valuable back-up for me when I have to leave.