Friday, August 5, 2011

Day 4 (Friday) - Ramping it up a notch or three

After yesterday's trough, I think we worked hard at being more 'up' today. We are working as a team fairly well at this stage,. There are generational differences. Or more likely, it is just the way I go about things compared with the way K&D approach issues. They are continually on top of things, asking questions, following up issues, demanding value for money, that people offer a good service, and perform a good job. I am not so much laid back, but it would be more accurately described as being hesitant. Yes, I may be outspoken, but I am not personally demanding. I guess this little outburst relates to whether Kirsten will get as good care in the ward as she has in the ICU. I will make it my business over the weekend to meet the ward manager each day. I met her today, but forget her name. I would recognise her again, though.

Enough of that. How was Kirsten today? The swelling from the forehead has gone down. The left eye is now surrounded (enveloped) in puffy bruising. The entire left of her head is a bit blocky. Her lips are very swollen, but none moreso than the day before. she smiled a couple of times today. Firstly, at the lovely card that Day-Care sent along to her that Alannah had 'made'. She grimaced when the nurses were surprised that the photo on the cupboard was of Kirsten. Yep, you would not recognise her unless you knew her.

Her right eye was open a lot today - open and focussed and following. Her writing was not as well formed but she might have been lower in the bed, I think. Her gesticulating is very clear. The drooling irritates her, which is not surprising. We all assist her, but she is also now empowered to 'irriate' her own mouth. Using a suction pipe stashed under her pillow, she sucks out the drool and flushes the wiring. I gather that on Monday they are going to release the trache a bit and allow some saliva down the back of her throat.

The half hard caste went on the back of her left leg today, and the bandaging was unwound partly for the physiotherapist to check her ankle and the condition of ... what is that bone called ... ankle bone ... the puffiness and the yellow is in retreat.

Over the weekend, the urine catheter might be removed and they will use a comode. The two physios on duty over the weekend, will introduce Kirsten to a high and a low walker and she will be taught how to 'hop'. The leg is not to bear any weight for a while.

So a big day. Always is when you go from a chrysalis to a butterfly. A couple of weeks ago I told Kirsten the story of when I had my heart operation at St Vincents in Melbourne in 1972. The day after I was released I insisted that Tony (Kirsten's father) return me to hospital because my chest wall was going to spring open and my heart flop on the lino. The hospital was very good. They showed me to the bed that I had occupied and allowed me to lie on it. After two hours I asked if I could go home.

And, by the way, Kirsten and I had chatted for half an hour, when she wrote on her pad 'Chapter 2'? We read Chapter 2 and were half-way through Chapter 3 when Tony arrived.

Tomorrow, I am going to care for Alannah from 7:45 'til close to 5pm to allow Darren to visit Kirsten and then play soccer. It has been a long, tough week. But we are making progress. Kirsten is making progress.The enforced solitude is very hard to take. Kirsten used a word for it today, but my brain is a bit of a sieve. The days are long and boring. She is not able to read yet, nor focus on the television. As you may know, she has a 'cockpit' of TV and internet beside her bed from when she is ready. I suspect you might hear directly from her over the weekend.

Image 1: Taken today. Her hands look very close to normal.
Image 2: Taken Wednesday down in ICU.
Image 3: The view from her Ward bed.
"A Prayer for my Daughter', Verse 4:
Helen being chosen found life flat and dull
And later had much trouble from a fool,
While that great Queen, that rose out of the spray,
Being fatherless could have her way
Yet choose a bandy-legged smith for man.
It's certain that fine women eat
A crazy salad with their meat
Whereby the Horn of Plenty is undone.

Hah, not sure what to make of that verse. For Yeats, I think it had much to do with Helen of Troy and Zeus. I'd love to know more about the 'bandy legged smith' especially if it might refer to WBY himself. I really like the concept of eating crazy salad with one's meat!


diane b said...

She sounds like she is making good progress. You all do. All day with the bub tomorrow, that will tire you even more. I hope you are sleeping well. You are all living on adrenalin at the moment take care when you come down, you will be totally exhausted.

brattcat said...

Keep reading, keep breathing. Kirsten is so fortunate in the people who love her. Such an interesting story about after your heart surgery. Could the bandy-legged smith be Hephaestus?

Lois said...

I have just this week been keeping up with your posts on this blog about your daughter's ordeal Julie. I simply have to say how much I admire your courage and strength through this difficult time. Your daughter is so brave and beautiful and she is fortunate to have such a wonderful family to support her.

freefalling said...

Sounds like Kirsten is healing beautifully.
Isn't that wonderful?

You sound a little frazzled.
Try and lie down today and stare at the ceiling.
And don't forget to eat your vegies.

Julie said...

Frazzled - perhaps. But I know how being responsible for your own progress puts thepressure onher. She just wants to see her baby, and know that she is not fretting.

Julie said...

What a day! I have just returned from the hospital now. The cuff on the trachy was partially released, resulting in her 'half-drowning' in her own saliva. uznpleasant to watch as her throat was sucked dry. Eventually the stars aligned and she was given 'drying out' medication. Now there is an issue with her haemaglobin levels. Darren will sort that out in the morning.

She is being incredibly courageous and accepting - of pain, and of indignity. My heart breaks and swells with pride at the same time. No photos today, and will have a short post in the morning. I am going to source a pillow with wings (travel pillow) to help her sleep.