You all must have been praying double-time because from about 7 o’clock yesterday evening to most of today, Hook’s situation has improved:
- Sunday 7:00PM: A great second shift weekend nurse, Justin, entered the hospital scene. I was looking forward to having Nurse Daniel back because I didn’t want to break in another night nurse. But Justin came, started chatting Hook up, asked him about his surgery and what he did for a living so that when I heard Hook crack a sleepy joke to him, I knew everything was going to be all right. Hook seemed comfortable with Justin so by 8:30, I headed home and got a full eight hours of sleep. I felt a little bad that I didn’t ask Justin his story about how he came to be in nursing, but I’ll do that tonight since I’ll hang around until after the nurse shift change.
- Monday 6:30AM: Nurse Roy took over for Justin and when I saw him, a sense of relief floated over me. Roy was the back-up to Nurse Michael when Hook was in the real ICU. When we met the first time around and he asked if there was anything he could get for me, naturally I said, “Margarita, frozen, no salt,” and Roy replied, “Make mine with salt.” Roy is like the Edward Scissorhands of nurses. He whipped Hook’s schedule into shape and within one hour gave me status updates on all liquids, physical therapist appointment, when we can expect to see the surgeon, and how the rest of the morning would look. The room vibrated (I’m not kidding!!!) from his energy as he zipped around pulling sheets off, hooking things up, punching buttons here and there. It feels so good to be taken care of! Even Hook said, “He’s good.” Roy always knew he would be a nurse growing up. His mom and two brothers are also in healthcare, and he started volunteering in health service settings when he was 15 years old. He said he’d thought about medical school but changed his mind after his first pre-med course. The professor in Hook snickered when he heard that. (The man even snickers when he’s drowsy!)
- Monday 9:00am: In walks Joyce, a 30-year, career physical therapist with a witty sense of humor and a joke bank to back it up. She immediately went into action, giving Hook a play-by-play of how he was going to pull himself up and off the bed and into a standing position and how she would navigate the whole process. Joyce has raised three sons, all in their 20s, and she said she enjoys her job even more now that she doesn’t have to worry about soccer practices and laundry. She’s firm and insistent with her instructions to Hook which is exactly what he’ll need for this next physical stage.
- Monday 10:30am: A visit with the surgeon and the big spleen debate. Our surgeon informs us that Hook is hooked up to more tubes than anyone on the floor and that his goal is to start removing a few.
- Monday 2:30pm: One of the outie tubes is removed!
Love is a Many Spleendor Thing
Since yesterday, when Hook overheard a conversation between one of the weekend nurses and me about the reconstruction of his insides, he has insisted that he still has his spleen. We’ve been circling this spleen thing ever since.
You see, even though Hook can answer questions asked of him, he has drifted in and out of a drug stupor for the last five days. Although he remembers more and more in between his wake-ups, in the first three days, he could recall very little about what was asked of him and what was going on around him.
The first time he asked me how the surgery went, I de-briefed him as the surgeon had de-briefed me. Hook’s focus then was on the specifics regarding the smaller stomach which made sense given he was looking forward to getting back to eating. All was fine until yesterday when he piped into my conversation with the nurse and from out of a slumber mumbled, “No he didn’t,” and I said, “No he didn’t what honey?” and Hook said, “He didn’t take my spleen.” Then he glanced at me with a sideways look and what I believe to have been a sneer that screamed, you don’t know what you’re talking about. Then he fell back into a sleep.
Spleens aren’t exactly trending on the internet so here’s a quick paragraph on all you could ever want to know: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/spleendiseases.html
“The spleen unfortunately was an innocent bystander,” said our surgeon at the 10:30am meeting. One of the arteries going into the spleen had suspicious looking nodes and leaving them behind was not an option. When Hook kept on with more questions, asking about the 10% number regarding his pancreas (he questioned the accuracy of my information on that one as well), the surgeon confirmed that yes he cut away more than he had anticipated. Hook said, “You didn’t leave me much,” and the surgeon replied, “I left you enough.”
And it will be enough because we will make it enough.
If all goes well the rest of today, Hook might be allowed to enjoy something other than ice chips as an entrée like a frozen ice pop, maybe even some broth, or tea. But we won’t know that until the late evening.
Before I forget, this joke from Joyce the physical therapist is too good not to share:
A man is lying in bed in the hospital with an oxygen mask over his mouth. A young nurse comes into his room and says she’s there to sponge his hands and feet. “Nurse,” the man mumbles from behind the mask, “Are my testicles black?” Embarrassed, the young nurse replies, “I don’t know, I’m only here to wash your hands and feet.” The man struggles to ask again, “Are my testicles black?” The nurse pulls back the bed covers, raises the patient’s gown, holds his penis in one hand and his testicles in her other hand and looks closely and says, “No, your testicles are not black.” Finally, the man pulls off his oxygen mask and replies, “That was very nice but, are… my… test… results… back?
My baby is gaining strength and thanks to our new nurses (Justin will be back tonight!) his body is getting back on track and back on schedule. If it doesn’t, the nurses and the surgeon will have some exspleening to do … 😀 😀 😀