Thursday, November 09, 2006


Thanks to all of you for continuing to check in on Blaine and offering your words of support and suggestions. Although frankly, some of you frighten me with your very blatant ideas! :)

I should clarify that overall, Blaine is receiving excellent care. We really like his surgeon, and the nurse practitioner, and the resident .... and his ICU nurses have all been wonderful, both male and female. Who, by the way, have also all been young and fit and attractive. What's up with that? Is it like a RULE that you have to be good looking to work at this hospital???

As compared to say, oh, I don't know, somebody's WIFE, who not only has already resorted to wearing sweatpants and tennis shoes since I'm there in the ICU so long each day, sitting in the world's most uncomfortable chair, but at least his room HAS a chair, which is more than I can say for some of the other rooms so by golly I'm not going to complain about it, but who also is walking around town looking like the Lion from the Wizard of Oz because my flat iron BROKE IN HALF on the plane ride here, which I discovered the first time I tried to use it and it burned the everlasting-gobstopper-crap out of my thumb, so my naturally coarse, frizzy hair is a nightmare, especially in this city where is has rained EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY since we got here, so I'm frightening the eldery and small children with this wild bush atop my head and the stinking pharmacy down the street where I could possibly buy another flat iron isn't a 24 hour store and since I leave the hotel at the buttcrack of dawn and don't get back until late at night it's already closed and so I'm just STUCK with this crazy birds nest above my forehead..... (whew, Kristie, slow down, it's just hair.)

Anyway, what was I saying?

Oh, yes, that's right, Blaine. He's getting very good care, it's just the situation yesterday with his pain management, or non-management, I should say, came after an extremely intense day, which I would tell you the whole story, but quite frankly, I'm beat. Short version involves Blaine's ventilator tube getting blocked while I was the only person in the room, and him turning blue, seizing, and out-of-his-mind-eyes-rolling-panicked-hysterical because he couldn't breathe, was tied to the bed, and wound up being bagged in front of me. Not one of my more tranquil moments. It also involved him pulling out his catheter with the balloon still inflated .... not one of HIS more tranquil moments. And one which I'm sure he'll be horrified I just shared with the internet. Bleeding, oozing, suctioning, barfing, alarms, blech. Just all told, a tiring, stressful day yesterday, capped off by the Pain Management Specialist telling me there wasn't anything more he could do.

So fine, I re-grouped, said a thankful prayer for propofol and the fact Blaine most likely wouldn't remember most of yesterday anyway, and went back in today, ready to advocate properly. Buoyed by your comments in the guestbook, loaded for bear, can of whup-ass in each hand.

And, basically, was shut down in every direction.

I thought the guy yesterday was a prick? Oh, no, he was a mere Jr. Prick, a Prick in TRAINING, whose *MENTOR* was Blaine's pain management doctor today. My mother raised me to have better manners, but it took every ounce of self-control I had not to call the guy an asshole to his face and demand he leave the room. Because he was. A big, round, puckered asshole.

NOT because he refused to increase Blaine's pain meds, or try a different medication. Or do anything whatsoever in addition to, or differently, than he was already doing which wasn't working because hello? Could he not look over and see my husband laying in bed crying from the pain?

No, he was an asshole because he not only said no, but he did it in the most condescending way possible. I thought the lady in the waiting room the other day talked down to me? No, she was like my sweet Jewish Grandmother, compared to this guy, and I'm not even Jewish.

I took college anatomy, I understand how the nervous system works. I understand that even pharmacology has its limitations. And I even understand that yes, having my husband BREATHING is actually a positive thing, an exact question this man asked me. But to have Blaine's complaints dismissed in such an insulting, patronzing, "just suck it up" manner was very hard to take.

I immediately went back to the surgeon, who told me they would defer to pain management. I asked the nurse practitioner, who I like and trust, if going to the hospital administration would make a difference. She said, and I think she's probably right, that while I could file a complaint about behavior and bedside manner, in the short term, that's not going to change anything for Blaine and his pain. THEY are pain management. They're like, the BOSS of the pain world. And if they say no, the answer's no. End of discussion.

Do you have any idea how MADDENING that is????

Anyway, I can't go on about it any more or I swear I will need high blood pressure medication.

Blaine's face is killing him, but the good news is that the surgery appears to have gone very well. Blood supply to the transfer site is good, although it would be helpful at this point if his nose would quit bleeding. There's a reason I didn't go to nursing school, people, and let's just say the last few days have been a little too labor-intensive, in a totally disgusting sort of way for me. The bodily fluids you will clean up for love, no?

His arm, where they took the tissue and nerves, is hurting. The splint should come off next week. Ironically, the skin graft on his thigh, where they cheese-gratered the skin to close the wound on his arm (he's like a walking jigsaw puzzle, isn't he?) is not hurting at all, and that's the part doctors said some patients complain about the most.

Of course, because it's Blaine and SOMETHING has to go wrong, his little butterfly-princess veins have given out. They moved the iv's from the arm to the feet, but still are having trouble, so he'll be getting a PICC line inserted tomorrow. And hopefully be moved out of ICU and into a regular room. With internet access. So I can hop online and thrill you throughout the day with tales of my inadequacy and complete inability to advocate for my husband. The one thing in my favor is that they had turned off the propofol today, so at least Blaine was awake and could hear me arguing with the doctors. At least he'll know I tried, right?

PS. One more thing, so many of you have been kind enough to e-mail me privately and I want you all to know how much I appreciate the notes of support. I feel terrible that I haven't had time to answer all of you ..... forgive me??

1 comment:

Monica H said...

I am new to this blog and I have to tell you I am thoroughly enjoying it. I don't want to read ahead yet, but I do hope your husband is doing much better. I can't even imagine what he has gone through- the pain OMG.

BTW, I think it is hilarious that the paragraph starting with "As compared to say..." is one huge long run-on sentence. You're defying all those middle school English teachers and I love it!