Tuesday, February 01, 2011

And the nightmare begins.....

Those who read me, know this is my place to vent. So that when I'm with hubby, I can be supportive and encouraging. So I have to vent about this hospital and staff, because in a couple hours, I will be there, and then I have to be a cheerleader!

My sister is with me. Thank God! But on the drive home last night she said, "I could never be like you." I said, what do you mean? She said, "you just coo and coddle him, you say all these really sweet things to him to make him feel better. I'd be like 'get over it' if that was my husband laying in bed!"

Just had to laugh at her! But it might let you know that when I'm in front of others, I'm really a good wife. This is my place to vent and get it out of my system so no one else hears it.

But that hospital might just hear it today!

He was in recovery for 3 hours. I knew that wasn't good. He finally got to his room and when they let me in to see him - he couldn't stand. He has no feeling in his left leg from the knee down. He can move his foot. However, he says he's not moving it that it's involuntary movements. The nurse said it is swelling from the surgery and just temporary. But let me tell you, that man was scared to death.

I actually had to excuse myself for a moment and go out into the hall and take several deep breaths. What do you do when your husband is so scared, and you are, too, but you have to be brave in front of him?

I went back in and immediately just started repeating to him over and over that it was just swelling and that it would go away, but that it might take a week or two. I rubbed his hands and his arm, rubbed his forehead, cooed sweet nothings to him until he finally started to settle down about an hour later.

He was having trouble breathing. He would doze off and simply not breathe. I don't know why they did not put him in ICU for the night, but they didn't. The floor nurse was just horrible. I mean truly. No eye contact. No personality at all. I handed her his bottle of humulin R-U500 and she said, yes, we are handling this. I said, what is his glucose? She didn't know! So she got a meter and took it. It was 320. Now, mind you, he had not had anything to eat in the past 24 hours. So I asked what insulin they had given him and she said 5 cc Novulin at 5 pm. I'm sure the look I gave her was horrified....but then, remember, she made no eye contact with me - so she didn't see it. Even hubby told her that was way too low. She kept saying it was the same as Humulin R.

I got home around midnight and crashed. Then woke straight up in bed at 3:30 am realizing that the hospital staff was reading it just as humulin r, not adding the U500 to the end of it. So I printed out his RX, printed out the description of the drug, made up a huge print sign with all his RXs to take and tape to his wall, then called to check in on him at 5:30 am. A different nurse answered (thank goodness!) and said that his heart rate has been elevetated - around 125 to 150 all night long. So he is struggling. I asked what his glucose was and she said she took it at 2 am and it was 320 again. So I took the time to explain to her that I thought there had been a mistake in his meds. I explained the difference between regular and U500. She looked in his chart and said that the doctor had reduced his dose from 32 to 16 units in the morning and from 20 to 10 units at night. I said, "why would you reduce it if his glucose is 320?" She said she did not know.

I asked when the doctors would make their rounds - she did not know that. So I asked if when I come in today, could I speak with the doctor on call? Of course, she said that I can. So I will.

I looked up the patient advocacy number for this hospital and will call it if I don't get positive results with the doctor. Hubby cannot stay at 320. He just can't! And I'm certain no one at this hospital understands humulin R-U500. On my list of meds, I've printed his endo's name and phone number along with his PCPs contact information. I'm taking my own scotch tape! LOL!!!

Since I sort of want him alive and in working order, I will take on the role of advocate once again. Much as I do not want to, I will do it. I absolutely hate that this burden has been put on me. Doesn't have a thing to do with how much I truly love and adore this man. This is NOT something that I signed up for. But will willingly take on the role in order to help him through this.

Honesly, I do not know how he will survive tomorrows operation. It absolutely killed me to watch him last night. He was in so much pain, so scared about not feeling his left leg, and a bit in a delima due to his high glucose - which they obviously allowed to remain high all night long.

At midnight, I had to leave. I was on the verge of collapse and to make matters worse - our weather is not cooperating whatsoever. I have never divulged where we live, but needless to say, most of the US is being consumed by a winter blizzard of which we are not exempt. Driving in such inclimate weather added an unneeded stress factor and we are facing it again this morning. It's only an hour to the hospital on a good day. Go figure that the worst of it hits when he has surgery scheduled! Well, OK, I'm hoping the worst is over!

I am keeping notes, but just realized that I need to start keeping even better notes as he may well not survive tomorrow's surgery, based on how they are handling his insulin. How truly, utterly, completely sad is it that a family member knows more about his insulin than anyone on the hospital staff can figure out?

I am so not prepared for today, but I will manage no matter what. I'm going in on 3 1/2 hours of sleep - knowing that will have me on edge. But I cannot sleep at this point and who know what time I will need to be there in the morning because surgery starts at 8:30 am.

May you never ever have to go through this with your loved ones - diabetic or not.



Lynn Barry said...

Prayers for you and hubby...the weather, the second surgery, the stress of dealing with people who although are professionals, may not seem to have a clue...but you do...so do your thing...it is what you need to do to get through. HUGS and LOVE

Lilly said...

So glad your sister is with you. Good that you are not alone! Sending prayers and positive energy for tomorrow . . .

Anonymous said...

I'm with you -- the hospital, the weather, the medical "professionals", and all of it. hang in there, keep up the public face and vent here. I think I'll add my own post...... Tom's Wife.