Friday, August 3, 2012

Moving From ICU

I made it through the night in ICU with some sleep. It was a broken sleep with all of the noise from the machines in my room and the nurses checking vitals and moving me. Now that dawn had broken and the 7 am change of shift was about to happen, I would have a little peace and be able to rest. It would not be long lived, as the new shift would begin their rounds with the patients vitals and getting acquainted with those in their charge. At some point today (August 30, 2008), I should be moved to the regular patient floor.

Medical Triangle Wedges
The morning went fine with me floating in-and-out of sleep until my parents got to the ICU. All the nurses overnight had been great with moving me very carefully and gently. The switch to the day shift changed everything. Once my parents arrived after 10 am, a small team of nurses and aides came in to roll me to my left side. I am not sure if the she was new to nursing or just new to ICU patient care, but instead of helping with a "barrel roll" she lifted my surgical leg straight up several inches in a fast jerking motion. This caused such great pain for me, I literally screamed out in pain and started crying immediately.

Mom was mortified at what had just happened and began to stroke my hair in hopes to comfort me. Dad asked the nurses to leave for a few minutes until I was able to calm down. Mom kept asking me if it was better yet, and I couldn't gain my composure. I prayed for God to intervene in this situation and remove the nurse from my care. After a few minutes of whimpering when the tears wouldn't fall any longer, the nurses came in to try it again. I was admit I was not going to roll again. The head nurse assured me that the one who caused the pain was not going to be in my room again and that they could do this without causing me any pain this time. I was finding it hard to believe after my experience being so fresh in my mind, and my leg.

After my dad assured me he was going to take the lead and move my leg himself, I relented and allowed them to roll me. They were slow and methodical as not to cause any unnecessary movement of my leg. We had success, but with me still having a great deal of apprehension for doing it again in a few hours.

We made it through the majority of the day and I was still in ICU instead of a regular patient room. My parents inquired about the wait for moving me. It appeared that until a patient in the room I was to be moved to was discharged, I had to remain where I was. My parents left for a short time to grab some dinner and I rested after a stimulating day. When my parents returned we were still waiting for the seen light to move me to my new room.

It was closing in on the shift change and we were being told that the move may happen soon. The was good news because at 8 pm visiting hours were over and I needed to make sure my parents were here when they moved me to a new room. I think it was just before 8 pm when they finally gathered all my charts, machines and personal belongings and been to race me in the bed toward the elevator. I wasn't sure if they were hustling because they wanted me out or if they were trying to beat the visitor clock. Whatever it was, any bumps jarred my leg enough that I was in pain during this move. I kept trying to tell them, but they were only the "muscle" to move me and not nurses who could administer any pain relief for me.

Flowers from friend Joyce Villeneuve.
When we arrived in the ward I was going to be in for some time, there was some confusion as to what room I was to be placed in. I was left in the hallway on the bed until they figured out where I was supposed to go. My parents nearly walked past me looking for the room they were told I was going to. I called out to them. The surprise on their faces to find me in the hallway was pretty funny, we all started making jokes about the lack of sleep I would get being in the hallway, the conversations I would hear, the lack of privacy I would have, etc. Finally, a nurse determined where I was going and the "muscles" moved me into that room. After getting settled in with all my machines plugged in and my belongings put away as quickly as the "muscles" could, the nurses came to check my vitals and introduce themselves.

It was now time for my parents to head for home as it was after 8 pm. They knew where to find me now, I was settled in and was going to sleep tonight (at least for four hours until it was time for the next set of vitals). We said our goodnights and they left. I was very sad to watch them walk out the door even though they would be back again in the morning. The anesthesia from surgery was nearly gone and I was pretty coherent by now. I knew that I was going to have to deal with the pain and manage working with the nurses without my parents being there to help. Going through another painful re-positioning was more than I felt like I could handle. But, the nurses ended up being very professional and extremely sensitive to my apprehensions making my movements much easier and not as painful as ICU had been.

Next, my "Maiden Voyage." Therapy was a total change of pace.

"Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice! Have mercy also upon me, and answer me." Psalm 27:7

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