July 3, 2010

My husband Hugh, night #12, Critical Condition.

Today was a repeat of yesterday. Breathed on his own for 2 hours, but got distressed and and had to stop. Temperature 100 to 101. Hugh had his eyes open more today as they completely took of the Versed (the heavy sedative *amnesia* like medicine). He was very despondent and kept looking off in to "space". I got a few head shakes out of him when I asked him questions, but not as many as I hoped.

Tomorrow, same thing, do the weaning, hopefully it will be longer then 2 hours and now that the Versed will be out of his system for like 24 hours, maybe just maybe he'll be more respondant. Is that a word? I don't know, I don't care.

I had a real crappy day with the "feeling sorry for myself" stuff. Something about the weekends aren't as uplifting as during the week. It was downright depressing day. The hospital lobby even has a certain feel to it that I don't like.

My tummy hurts, thinking stress now. I don't know. I'm so tired. I just want to crawl into bed and sleep until all this is over with. I will try to focus on the positives like the little baby steps that are happening towards his recovery, etc. I am SO BLESSED TO HAVE MY ANGELS, MY FRIENDS, AND MY FAMILY and this I know.
Sweetheart Hugh,
You looked at me with your crystal blue eyes and even tried to say something to me I think. You were very agitated with me I could tell. I tried to comfort you by standing on the step stool, wrapping my arm around your head and looking deep in your eyes. When I start to cry, I look the other way because I don't want you seeing me cry. I need to show you I am OK and strong. 

I cried the whole way home. I cried when I walked into this damn empty house. I called Sam home from Kenna's and she heard me crying and came home instead of spending the night with Kenna and Amanda. She is home now and I feel better.

I am not looking forward to tomorrow. I just want to keep curled up all day in bed and not face the day. It's the 4th of July tomorrow and I dread not being able to celebrate it with you. I will be by your side darling. I'm not ready to revel in BBQ's and fireworks without you.

dammit.. I feel like I'm spiraling tonight into a deep one sweety. I need to shake this and get a grip as you would say. I keep telling myself I can't face another night of emptiness and somehow it happens. I will go to bed now, I'm too depressed to visit my friends on Twitter and Facebook. They have been keeping me company these late nights. Please Hugh, I want you back so bad. I am so sad and heartbroken and tears are flowing as I write this. Sam just now came in and wrapped her sweet arms around me as she heard me sobbing. I love you, I need you, I want you home... I am not sure I can endure much more. I love you so much.
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lauren said...


I am so very sorry to hear of your husband's serious accident and injuries.

Please know that you both are in my thoughts and prayers.

I know this is beyond difficult and you feel like you could just fly off the face of the earth from the shock of it all. But don't lose heart.

I have, in the past, been caregiver to relatives hospitalized in critical condition for weeks or months. One was hospitalized four months and on a ventilator/breathing machine.

Nothing in life prepares you for this. There is no training to teach you what to do.

You are right. The weekends are worse. I think that is due to the fact that a lot of the usual nurses and techs are off for the weekend and holidays. You feel dependent on them for your loved ones life so you feel panicky wondering if the weekend staff will provide the same level of care. And worry about how accessible the doctors are. Yes, the whole weekend hospital atmosphere is different.

When you said that Hugh was despondent and looking off into space, and then agitated it made me remember. I had the same experience where the relatives I was trying to help would at times, and out of character, be very angry and agitated, or even give me nasty looks and turn away or pull away. No one prepared me for that but I found out later that a lot of that is caused by the heavy duty pain meds and sedatives.

Morphine, Versed, and Fentanyl are narcotics and central nervous system CNS depressants. They can cause hallucinations and other symptoms. Also, when they are weaned off these meds they can go through withdrawal symptoms that can include agitation, nausea, vomiting,diarrhea, rapid heartbeat, hypertension, irritability, anxiety, restlessness, anger, and trying to pull out the breathing tube. So, the nurses give them more to keep them calm.

The problem is that in high doses these drugs can cause respiratory depression, airway obstruction and can create a need for equipment for ventilation and intubation. That is why they have to wean them off these drugs as soon as possible so they can breathe again on their own.

It was my experience that although you remember every detail, every excruciating moment, the patient actually remembers very little of that critical time period while they were heavily medicated. I learned the hard way that if you, or someone else, keeps trying to remind them they do get very upset and agitated and frightened. If you just tell them everything is going to be fine and say I am here to watch over you try to rest they calm down and sleep better. Sometimes you have to ban certain negative-type people from visiting. You can leave to have lunch thinking everything is calm, only to come back to find some thoughtless person said something negative assuming the patient was in a deep sleep and could not hear them. But hearing negative things while unable to respond can send the patient into a panic mode.

Keep the faith. Once the narcotics are out of their system, or reduced to a much lower level, one day you walk into their room and their personality is suddenly back.
It is really back and you are no longer in this fight alone.

Lauren (from inkFrog's lost hoppin place, I can't find my way back in)

Sweet Cherry Vintage Lingerie said...

Thank you so much, your post comforted and reassured me. Bless you for writing this.

Denise said...

Shelley, I have been following you on Twitter for as long as I can remember. I value my Twitter friendships the same as any other friendships~very much! When I first read of your husband's accident, I started reading your blogs too. I have periodically checked out your page with the items you are selling because they are very pretty, but have since been going to your page to read updates about your husband. It's going to take some time, but it sounds like he is getting better day by day. I have been praying for him and your family every night since. Be patient and optimistic-I've heard that patients know and can sense when loved ones are upset or in pain. I know you probably don't know me b/c of all of your other Twitter friends, but I thought I'd post this comment in hopes that it will help you feel better. I'm unemployed right now so I can't afford to give a donation, but you all have been in my prayers since I found out about his accident. Keep your spirits up sweetie and one of these days when you walk into his room, he'll be waiting there, alert with outstretched arms ready for you to embrace him! May God Bless You!!

Nancy said...

Shelly, I learned about you from the eBay Vintage Clothing board. Know that you and Hugh are in my prayers also.

Lauren, your comments are very enlightening. Thank you for sharing them.


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