Friday, June 17, 2011


Dear Son was released from the hospital on Wednesday. They did not perform any surgery on his foot and sent him home on two antibiotics (Clindamycin and Rocephin). I am not confident that they are working and expressed my concern several times at the hospital. The Peds Attending stated that as long as it didn't get worse, the antibiotics were working. I mentioned that he has times where his foot looks worse, more red and hot and they explained that this should not happen since it should not be variable. They had the Orthopedic Surgeon Attending look at his foot and he felt that this was the right course of antibiotics and assured me he did not think it was a blood clot nor did he think it was an infection of the bone. This doc has seen Dear Son in clinic once a year for the past two years so I went along with his recommendation. I don't have any experience with this type of infection.

We have been home for 48 hours and there still is no change in his foot. It is still red, still very swollen and the mark they drew around the infected area has not subsided. We have follow up next week.

On a different note, there were a few highlights of the hospitalization. While it was terribly depressing to be in the hospital, the good news was that Dear Son has been 9 months without a pneumonia and that is really the most important thing. Other highlights include:

  • Nurses-All of the nurses were great this time. Perhaps the best in 19 years. They all were nice, did their jobs well and were really helpful. Now that Dear Son is 19, it's pretty hard to change his diaper on the hospital bed since the mattress is quite firm. At home, we have a hospital bed with a foam mattress and I can bounce him a bit when I turn him and it makes it easier. At the hospital, it is very hard to turn him and I needed help for every diaper change. They helped me and it was great. At night, he needs to be turned a lot, on average every two hours; it's not only to prevent pressure sores but because he chokes on his saliva when he's on his left side so he needs to be turned fairly quickly. I had asked if they could turn him at night from 12:30 a.m. to 5 a.m. so I could sleep and they did that. Not only did they take care of this along with any diaper changes, they did it quietly and I hardly knew they were there. I even offered to help at 2 a.m. and they said no! So I actually just went back to sleep and let them do that. The one night nurse was fairly short which means it's a lot harder for someone shorter to move a big man like Dear Son and yet she did the best job. She planned it out to turn him at 2 a.m., 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. and did all of them. She had someone to help her but she was great. All of them did a great job but the night nurses had it the hardest. I made sure to thank each of them for their help.

  • For the ultrasound, we had to take Dear Son to another room. The nurse and I waited while the tech did her job. As she started the ultrasound, Dear Son began to wince in pain. I saw his fists clench and his face grimace. I went over to him and sang softly to him, while holding his hand and stroking his hair. He fell asleep within minutes and the tech did her job and Dear Son didn't feel any more pain. They had explained to me on the first day that his foot would be very painful to the touch, almost like touching an inflammed pimple so I imagine it was quite painful when the tech was pushing on it. In retrospect, they should have offered Dear Son some Tylenol prior to this test to help him with the pain. I am glad I was able to calm him and help him out. It made me smile when I heard him practically snoring once I started singing to him, lol.

  • For bathing, they had a cleanser that you could apply and leave on the skin or wash off. Of course, I opted to wash it off however I applied it with a soothing, almost massage like quality as I gave Dear Son his sponge bath. He had a big smile on his face and it made the whole thing fun. I really try to elevate ordinary experiences into something special to help make life more enjoyable for him and for myself.

  • The best part was towards the end of our visit. Every day, there are an endless number of doctors and residents that come to see Dear Son's foot and poke around on it. I could tell Dear Son was feeling more pain the past few days and most of the time he has a pretty high pain threshold. He rarely fusses for blood draws or for pain in general but when he does, I know it's huge. Anyway, he was trying to be brave and not moan or anything when they touched his foot. I told him after the Peds Attending Doctor had left that when any of the doctors touched his foot, that he needed to let them know if it hurt him. I said the only way they will know is if he tells them. Shortly after that the Attending Ortho Surgeon came in; he knows Dear Son since we see him in clinic once a year. Well, when he touched Dear Son's foot, Dear Son made a noise and I told Dear Son that was good that he let the doc know. I told the doc the story and he told Dear Son that was good that he let him know he was in pain. The whole thing just made me smile.

It is good to be home in our new apartment. Overall, I really like it. It's very pretty. Some of the things that I like are my new kitchen that is larger than my former apartment and has more prep space for cooking. Dear Son and I are going to celebrate moving in by baking a cake for my Mom. Dear Son loves to cook and the kitchen is large enough to get his wheelchair in there. Other things I love is the view. We have three windows that look out to a large tree along with all of the trees lining the rear of the property. We hear the birds singing every morning. In addition, I have a small patio with two rocking chairs. I can see my pink impatiens from my bed so that is a real plus. On an organizing note, I managed to get one closet done with closet organizers put in and I'll show those pictures soon. Dad helped thankfully. And yes, the place is very teeny tiny (650 square feet) and while I do think I can make it work, I must say that 850 square feet was a bit more palatable. I have had to sell or donate a few things that I really liked but don't think I'd like to go any smaller. I still have pictures and drapery rods to hang plus lots of furniture painting to do but it's hard when Dear Son's not in school. He doesn't start summer school until July 5th.

On another good note, we are one step closer to getting my Mom into the nursing home of our choice. There was one that I really liked that required a residency waiver as part of the admission process. My Mom lived out of county and this nursing home is in my county. I wrote a letter to the Health and Human Services Board, plus called and emailed all of the county board members and went to the Health and Human Services Committee County Board Meeting. I signed up to speak to present my case. She was approved! Essentially, this nursing home is better than most and gets high marks; what makes it different from the others is that it is funded in part by the county. I toured the place last month and thought it was the best place for my Mom. The nursing home has approved her admission but it will be a few weeks until they have a bed for her. Our whole family is excited and we have all worked hard on the admission.

Thank you for all of the comments and well wishes for Dear Son. He is fairly happy although still in some pain.

1 comment:

Earl said...

Great post! Welcome home. Earl

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