Sunday, December 30, 2012

How I Spent My “Fall” Vacation – Episode 60

Episode 60 – December 29 – Well I guess you could call this the diamond jubilee episode even though 75 is also considered diamond. Hopefully we won’t have to deal with that controversy.
The good thing is that I have Layla back as my day nurse so the weekend won’t be totally boring.
Pam called around 11 to let me know Clarabelle is okay and running fine. That’s one less thing to worry about.
Adrienne came by at 10 and told me she had a lot of free time so if I was up to it she could come back before lunch and we could walk some more and then transfer into the wheelchair to sit up for lunch. I, of course, was more than up for the idea. We doubled the amount of walking I did yesterday with even less effort and we didn’t even bother with a physio assistant being that the only thing the assistant was used for was to carry my water cup. We then got back to the room and performed another graceful bed to wheelchair transfer.
We had Kelsey, the on-call OT came by and made some adjustments to the angle of the wheelchair legrests in hope of reducing the pressure on my coccyx. The changes helped but I’m still having tailbone problems. It doesn’t make sense why I don’t get the same problem in bed. In the chair, after about an hour my tail bone feels brusied. In bed the butt pain is caused more by sheering and feels more like a scrape or a burn. The sheering effect is unfortunately normal but is lessened now that I can shift around much more.
I discovered that Adrienne has the same form of directional dyslexia, I have. She told me to turn left and I made her point instead. She was relieved to hear she wasn’t the only one with this problem. I’m a great navigator on road trips but the driver has to watch for my hand signals through the corner of their eyes. BJ’s sister, Sue who was an elementary school teacher once told me of a hint she would teach her pupils. “Look at the back of your left hand and it form an L for left.” Me: “but the right hand doesn’t form an R”. She just gave up and wrote me off as hopeless. This is a warning to anyone getting spoken directions from me, make sure I go over them one step at a time and let me think them through.
I had another small victory getting ready to get up to walk. I was able to put my left sock on myself and was only an inch or two away from getting the right one on. It may sound trivial but anyone who has any injury to your knees, hips or back will know how difficult this simple task is.
I’m also quite proud of my wheelchair to bed transfer today. Layla came into assist just in case I had problems but I managed to do it smoothly in just a couple of moves basically hopping on my ass. Layla only had to deal with the aftermath of moving my tables back in place and returning my wheelchair to storage.
I do believe I’m ready for the next whatever it may be. I think I’ve proven that I can weight bear and need to get past the Frankenstein walk. Unfortunately, the next step has to be authorized by the doctors and they are nowhere to be found over the holidays.
Obviously, doctors are not the only ones who take time off during the holidays. It appears that there is a shortage of nurses even in the casual pool. Today because there was no one available, Jayne and Sonya were working on the directly with the patients as primary caregivers. Sonya usually handles new admissions up from surgery then turns them over to other RNs. I had not seen Jayne doing any traditional nursing duties until today. Her duties normally are more administrative. They even brought in a casual care aid at around mid-morning. The problem with bringing in a casual when you are this short staffed is that a casual requires more supervision and you possibly lose the benefit of extra staff.
Being in adjacent the nurses’ station gives one a great view to observe everything going. It is interesting to watch the families of new arrivals running back and forth to the counter asking questions and demanding immediate attention because Mom is apparently the only patient on the floor.
I keep coming back to this topic but let’s face it I live in my bed and everything I do; I do it in my bed. Layla for some reason always seems to do a two for one swap for my urinal bottles; for every one she takes away she brings me two empties. By the end of my shift I’m well stocked for a long road trip.
Cat took over as my night nurse. She is a complete change from Layla. Both are great nurses but while Layla is always so happy-go-lucky; Cat is more serious and caring.
I’m finally beginning to make a little more headway reading “Shantaram” and I was able to knock off over a hundred pages so that’s 300 down and only 600 to go.
Another Cookie by George, another orange and another blue pill then it was light’s out.
To be continued...

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