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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Improving daily

First, I'm back and I want to thank everyone for reading Catherine's blog and keeping informed. Also, many thanks to the Sentinel newsroom and editor Charlotte Hall for the huge arrangement of plants and greenery. It arrived today and really made the room a much nicer place in which to hang out.

I'll try to reflect on the past week as best I can, moving on from the GoLytely prescription.

Friday morning, I confess I was scared out of my mind. What if the doc nicks the aorta. What if there's just a smidge too much happy juice? All those what ifs. All running through my mind at the same time. Like a what-if overload.

Thankfully the what ifs never happened, and Dr. Boyer & Co. did exactly what they were supposed to do -- and then some. Dr. Boyer additionally did more biopsies of the liver; hey, he was in there anyway, right?

I don't exactly remember the moment I woke up, but I didn't follow my planned script and ask, "Who am I? What am I doing here?" I mean, I might have but I don't recall.

Since awakening, though, I've had quite an experience at Florida Hospital. They mostly kept me well medicated to keep pain to a minimum. The hint at left to tell the nurses your pain is at 8 of 10 is a very good one. Especially if your pain is 8 of 10, as mine frequently is.

They're keeping me comfortable with Percocet and Dilaudid, and between the two I confess to being a little loopy from time to time. (No comments from the peanut gallery, please!)

What I can say about being in the ICU at Florida Hospital is that time drags on so slowly one cannot comprehend. There were times at night where I fell asleep and when I woke up seemingly refreshed I checked the time on the clock or TV to realize I'd been out for 10 minutes, sometimes less. I had an array of mind activities, such as crosswords, Sudoku puzzles, electronic gizmos, Palm Pilot kinda thingies and they occupied my mind briefly. Just couldn't stay focused while on the chemicals.

So the TV and I became buddies. TV Land, TNT, etc., our daily activities.

I was moved from the ICU to the Cardiovascular Progressive Care Unit on Wednesday. It's a small, private room and the folks are nice, though the first few hours were pretty bad. I hadn't had pain pills as planned at 3, and when I told the nurse she was going to go the the meds. She didn't return. I called. She didn't return. Took until about 4:30 to get the medication. She explained she was busy adding three new patients to the floor, two of whom were very serious. I had to lecture her about the next time she has two incisions, about 45 staples and 8 of 10 pain she can judge whether I was uncomfortable and as for seriousness, my doctor, a heart surgeon, said this is far more difficult a surgery than bypass type operations. Which is why it takes about 4 hours or longer. After that, she set up a schedule for my pain pills, and kept to it.

I'm sure I'll have more insights to add once I can remember them.


Anonymous said...

Yay Keith!! I'm happy to read another one of your blog entries. I'm going to start counting down the days until you are back in the newsroom soon.
Glad to know Willow and the Sarah's were able to see you today. :)
You're awesome, by the way.

Lilly said...

You're a champ :). Words can't express how proud I am of you and how excited that you will be coming back soon. The newsroom just isn't the same without you, man!

Keep it up, mister! I will be visiting with you this weekend, if that's okay :).

Anonymous said...

Kendra here. I'm so glad to hear you are doing well. I knew you would--it was my nurses instinct. Be sure to keep yourself well medicated because you're gonna need to be moving around as much as possible!! Don't want to hear about any pneumonia;) I have been reading your wife's blog to keep informed on your progress. Great to know people can make it through this ugly diagnosis. I pray my dad will be as lucky though he's so depressed now I wonder if we'll ever get him back!! Keep your spirits up and continue on this wonderful path!!

Jamie said...

How nice to read a post from you! :) Glad to see you're doing so well. I know it's been a tough journey, but you're doin' it! Keep those pain meds coming, and if you have any to share, be sure to do so! ;)


abg said...

Even through all of this you're a riot.
Good to have your blog back.
Hope to have you back in person soon.

Anonymous said...

Hi there, Keith,
So glad to hear you're back and doing so well.
When do you go home? I'd like to visit, but it looks like the entire newsroom is headed your way, ha.
Wonder if I should wait til you get settled back home??
In any case, hope to see you soon.