Day 317 – six days late

View from Chris' room
View from Chris’ room

Yes it snowed our first full day in Minnesota, but it was only flurries. Pretty, but inconsequential, unless you were one of the construction workers.

Does the term ICU Delirium mean anything to you? When we came back to Chris’ room the next morning, things had changed dramatically. She was no longer lucid; she was moaning and crying out appeared to have a hard time breathing. According to one of the nurses, she had been given an injection (I don’t remember the name of the drug) that was supposed to help her. To my mind, it didn’t appear to be helping. Later we told she was given the injection to help her get through the delirium. Perhaps I misheard them the first time around. At any rate, Chris didn’t seem to know who we were, and seemed to have lost the ability to speak coherently. She was very agitated. The nurses kept telling us that she was dreaming. Please spare me from dreams like the ones she was experiencing.

Let me say at this point that the staff at St. Mary’s Hospital impressed us with their dedication and caring attitude. Their was one exception, but that is one of the topics for the Day 318 post. When we had arrived the day before, both Chris and David were telling us how professional everyone was. That’s probably why I noticed one nurse coughing as he entered the room; coughing into his hand, not his elbow, and then wiping his hand on his scrubs. On the other end of the spectrum was another nurse who thought that the meds order was wrong because he was sure he had heard the doctor prescribe something else. I was happy to see that he checked on the order before administering the drug.

A consulting doctor came into the room to check on Chris. He asked the nurse aid for her stethoscope so he could check Chris’ lungs. The aid had no stethoscope, so he left the room to borrow one. He never returned while we were there. That’s when I realized that none of the doctors who had been in the room had a stethoscope with them. It reminded me of my time in the hospital when the only doctor I saw who had no stethoscope was my podiatrist. Things are different in Minnesota.

Finally, Cindy told me that I should connect to the hospital’s wi-fi with my smart phone, to save on data charges. That sounded like a good idea, and in a trice I was connected. At that point I lost all connectivity with the Internet, including email, Google, Facebook, and Twitter. Once I got off of the hospital’s wi-fi, all of my connectivity returned. I decided to eat the data charges.

It was a hard day for us, and for many of the caregivers. Chris had been alert and talking to us the day before, but now she seemed to be in a world away from us.

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