Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Implantation of ICD, and (maybe) the last few days at UNMH

UPDATED 5:52 PM, Thursday, March 28, 2019

6:15 AM, Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Keith called me at 6:15 to say they brought him the release papers to sign, and he's first on the list, not last, today, in the surgery.

I was planning to go up there, and I still might, if he calls me back and says he's in the room and recovered enough (if I could get back home in time to babysit mid-day). If it all takes longer, I'll go see him after 6:00.

He cut his beard short (last I heard—maybe shaved it off), so visitors should be prepared to see him look like his brother, Gerry. Maybe only family will know he looks like Gerry. :-) (Hi, Gerry.)

They shaved his chest, too. The plan is to put the icd on the upper right, because of his left-handedness. Plans don't always work as well as they might there, or anywhere, I guess, but it might be nice not to limit his movement so much on the left. Eventually he can move all around, but for the first some days or weeks, he's not supposed to lift his arm high near that device, and not have repetitive motion on that side (ever). One doctor assured him that splitting wood wasn't repetetive motion, nor was swimming. So I'm not sure what they consider to be repetitive motion, in a shoulder or arm.

10:18 AM, Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Keith called, back from surgery. They installed it on the right. He was asleep but not deeply sedated. There was serious local anesthesia.

A nurse said Keith could experience gaps in his memory about/after/because of this morning's procedure and anesthesia.

10:35 AM, Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Keith said they did ask one question, when he was already on the table, that hadn't come up before. "Do you use a rifle?" Maybe if he had said yes, they would have considered putting it on the opposite side of his dominant hand, but... they already WERE supposed to put it on the "wrong"/less normal side. The organiation of information acquisition and delivery, about that device, has been the worst of all the experiences in the hospital.

The first week, I was super impressed with everyone and every thing. From about the 10th day on, I became less enchanted, until now on day 25, I react too quickly and sharply. Partly, surely, it's me getting tired, and frustrations building up, a bit. Nothing that people do now that seems wrong or neglectful can be the first or second incident. But partly, because Keith is no longer dying, he's way down on the priorities. It's a world of triage, where requests about a urine bottle someone is able to fill on his own (but not empty), or a box or tissues, or a drink of water... no urgency. The nurse call lights on the bed don't work, and haven't worked for years. I didn't know that when I pressed one because Keith was throwing up, last week. It's still lit, because they don't know how to turn it off. They're using the nurse call button on the TV remote now, but those others are still on the bed, looking like they ought to be good for something. And they light up! ...on the bed.

But Keith is alive, the defibrillator is installed, and though we've heard conflicting info on what it will and should do, perhaps there will be some actual paperwork somewhere, before he leaves, about exactly what was installed and what settings it has.

5:15 PM, Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Keith says when the physical therapist came by, she said she wanted to rescind her recommendation of skilled nursing, and send him to inpatient rehab. There are only two in town—Lovelace and Encompass.

Barb, a discharge planner, came to talk to him. She contacted Encompass,and someone from there will come and talk to Keith. I don't know if that's to evaluate him or what, but if it's tomorrow, I might be there, and will report here. :-)

10:25 PM, Wednesday, March 27, 2019

I was with Keith for a few hours. I took him strawberry rhubarb yogurt. He likes strawberry rhubarb pie, and was happy to find a yogurt. I got it there in time for him to count it on his dinner carbs count. Yay.

He had the papers, official box (with a same-weight and size defibrullator like the implant, for him to play with and show his friends, I guess...), lots of booklets, THE booklet that goes with it, two pamphlets. I read nearly every word. That's tiring. I read the interesting or new parts to him. He can't use a chainsaw anymore.

I'll go back in the morning.

9:20 AM, Thursday, March 28, 2019

Two days ago Keith and I were talking about how now that all the personnel have phones, there aren't loudspeaker calls for doctors and such.
Yesterday I heard one, though, that said "New patient arriving, room 5-something." So I told Keith I heard one.

I had just arrived on the 5th a bit ago and heard "Denny, you're needed in 560."

Keith's room is 560. Denny was the nurse yesterday. And today, turns out. I thought I would rush over there and help Keith with whatever he needed from Denny, but [SPOILER: Keith is fine] when I got to the door, Denny was in. And another guy was in. And Keith was on the floor. But they were all cheery, and Denny looked at me and said "He didn't fall."

Gabe, the tech, the other guy, had been helping Keith move from the commode chair to a sitting chair, so he could eat breakfast from a chair, but Keith felt light-headed, and said he felt like he was falling asleep. I think it's called passing out. So the best Gabe could do was gently get him on his back while he was "falling asleep."
Here is how I spelled that: I asked Siri "How do you spell the heart medication metopolo?" Because that's what I had written down when Denny said it might be (that).

I should've been asking Siri all this time!
Denny said it could be the Metroprolol. I asked what that was and he said a blood pressure medicine, and it could make him light headed.

Keith was totally sweaty, there on the floor, but was able to propose a plan by which those two guys could help him stand up to get on the bed, and it worked.

He ate nearly everything on the breakfast tray, plus a bottle of yogurt drink I had brought. Cool.

Then he called the roofing company to make the final payment on the roof at Marty's house.

Keith says they're keeping his blood pressure unnaturally low. He doesn't know why. Before this, I would have asked, and written it down, and looked things up, but now I don't care as much as long as he gets out of here at some point.

5:02 PM, Thursday, March 28, 2019

I'm home, but Holly's with Keith and he's being moved from UNMH to Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital.

More info later.

5:52 PM, Thursday, March 28, 2019

Holly says he's in his room there, recovering from the transfer. The facility sent a wheelchair van, and (I think) they picked him up from the room, and took him by wheelchair. For some facilities transfers, it's gurney and ambulance, but this wasn't. I'll visit tonight, and maybe later tomorrow I'll understand more what can be recommended for visits or assistance, if any/anything. Don't visit without checking, please, until we know more. Thanks!

Early on at the Rehab

1 comment:

Suzanne Perkowski said...

I have missed several days of update but am very glad to read this one, keep on getting better, Keith. Love ya and miss you! - Suzanne