Bumps in the road to recovery

Maria after VDRO surgery

Last night, about 11 pm, I got a text from Cathy: “So now we are in the icu…They already got a central line in her neck. Long story. Long night. Poor sweet baby.” Hmm, that can’t be good.

I called her today for a little more detail. They took out Maria’s epidural yesterday and are now giving her Hydrocodone. And Oxycodone. And Toradol. And Valium. And Ativan. And Morphine(!). However there have been a few teensy complications.

Apparently the IV had been placed wrong so much of the drugs (including her seizure meds) weren’t actually going into her bloodstream. So they were telling Cathy to give her oral meds…you know, because it’s a good idea to give oral meds to an aspiration risk who is doped to the gills. So yesterday was a rough day, and the nurse was, um, less than experienced so that made it worse.

Then about 6, Maria started gasping for air. Cathy couldn’t find a nurse and nobody was answering the call button. By coincidence a respiratory tech came by and he was concerned. Maria started to panic, her heart rate shot up, her O2 level was low. They tried to give her breathing treatments, but she fought against the mask and just panicked more. The nurse finally showed up but was little help. Finally a resident came in who seemed to have a clue.

Meanwhile the IV team showed up to take blood and were sticking Maria over and over. Her platelets were WAY lower than they should be, even considering the surgery, so that was another concern. Maria went into shock, got stiff, started shaking, had no circulation in her extremities. I’ve seen it before and it’s not fun, and of course the medical people are a bit concerned. Then she just kind of went limp – we call it “going to her happy place” – and they freaked out more.

So she’s in the ICU now. She’s getting better care and things seem to be going better. They are still trying to give her oral meds and I suggested to Cathy that, as much as we hate that little yellow tube, Maria really should be on an NG tube for meds right now.

On top of this, Cathy is starting to think past the surgery and some of the challenges we have ahead. How do we change her diaper? How do we bathe her? How do we transport her? Her legs need to be spread-eagled for proper healing so they are loaning her a special wheelchair, but it’s a folding wheelchair and you can’t use that for transport.

The doctor originally told Cathy that Maria would be in the hospital for three days and Cathy said that meant it would be a week. He assured her it would be three days, and Cathy just nodded – let him believe what he needs to. Sure enough, Maria is pulling her usual trick of staying 2-3x as long as the doctors predict.

One Response to “Bumps in the road to recovery”

  1. […] home was interesting. Maria’s legs have to be in that position shown in the picture on the July 16 entry. Not only are her legs spread, but her knees are braced and can’t bend. She has a temporary […]

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