Charles, my Pride and Joy, in FL at Sunrise

Charles, my Pride and Joy, in FL at Sunrise

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I'm falling down on the job!

So, I updated the PHA message board and FaceBook ( but didn't get here. I guess I am still catching up. Work was long but decent this week. It sure is nice to have more help nurse-wise. Especially since we started taking the TriCare contract. I was at a training this past week and my supervisor sat next to me (which is fine because we get along). One of the spreadsheets she pulled up showed the percentages of which insurances comprised our practice and TriCare was 49%. That means we have doubled our clientele since June of 2009! I think we could use a parttime assistant soon.

For those of you who know or are following Drini, here is the latest (taken from what I put on PHA)

09-25-09 Update
I spoke to her a little while ago and she is out of the Dallas hospital. She went to inpatient rehab in a hospital near her home. She sounds better today. What a long road this has been! She has alot of work to do to get her strength back. I hope it goes quickly so she can get home. She says hi to everyone.

09-27-09 evening
She is getting ready for her first "real" day in rehab tomorrow. She said they had her up at 0600 Saturday for OT, breakfast and PT. We will see what happens when they have the full plan of care formulated and enacted. I was kinda surprise to hear she had therapy on a weekend. Alot of rehab centers give people weekends off. I have a feeling she will be very tired tomorrow evening.
Her son, Jeremy, visited this weekend from D.C. She was really happy to see him. He even threw her an early birthday party. It made her really happy.
Jeremy told me she is getting her incentive spirometer higher than a few days ago. That has been a real challenge and will be for awhile. But, he said she had enough air to blow out her pretend candles (no fire allowed by the oxygen). She was also able to do a few transfers alone for the first time since surgery. Whooo Hoooo...progress. She is getting closer to home and it can't be soon enough!

So, that's all for tonight.

take care,

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Drini Chronicles

I spoke to Drini a little while ago. She is out of ICU. She sounded very tired. Her breathing is better and kidneys are working better. Yay!!! Boy, is this hard work for her. She does not plan to charge/use her phone for awhile. Her sister/brother-in-law are visiting now. I plan to call her later....will let yáll know when I know more.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Home and wishing I was in TX

Sunday Morning Drini aka Edna Update

I got back home (mine in MO) last night after visiting Drini in TX. She was doing great when I left at 1245 on Saturday. She called me last night on her son's phone to let me know she has had a little setback. I was able to speak to the doctor handling her care on the ICU unit last night. Her kidney's were not putting out urine. The doctor's are running tests and believe she may be dehydrated. They have hung IV fluids and are trying to strike that balance between enough fluid for the kidney's but not too much for the heart.

I spoke to Nancy, her sister, a little while ago. She is now putting out a little urine. Nancy said she will be visiting this afternoon. She will have Drini use her phone to talk to me if she is able. The ICU has one family member appointed to talk to the nurse. That person then disseminates the info to everyone else. That way the nurse has more time for the actual patient care. Man, do I understand that. It is difficult to get the work done when you have to go thru the whole spiel multiple times! But I would also like to call myself :(

Friday, September 18, 2009

Drini Update

OK, I am going to update the last few days chronilogically from what I posted on the PHA message boards.

Thursday noon waiting game...

The lung surgeon came in this morning and told her he felt the risks outweighed the benefit. Dr Torres, her PH doctor, came in later and seemed surprised. He said he had not been able to consult with the lung doctor yet. The plan is for them to get their heads together and finalize plans. So, we are on hold......

Thursday, 09-17-09, Post Doctor-Conference Update

This afternoon, one of the lung associates came in and said "well, I hear you're having surgery tomorrow". Drini and I looked at each other and said "Oh". She was taken aback to say the least. All of those pre-op emotions all over again. Thinking about the body scrub they do the night before and morning of....remembering each moment what is going to happen. Etc, etc. After the respiratory therapist left (she gets breathing treatments every 4 hours 24/7), she was able to get a good nap. She woke up much more ok with it. Now we are just hanging out....waiting. Fortunantely, she has very good caregivers here. Her nurse today, Nicole, is a bundle of sunshine. She is able to listen to concerns as well as share the little good things that happen. That really helps.I'll update more tomorrow. She is scheduled for 0700 tomorrow. She thanks everyone for their prayers.

Friday at 0720

In fact, everything was on time today. Up at 0545 for bath and surgical scrub...etc. Went down at 0645 and she went to pre-op holding by 0655. She was much more at peace this morning. Her priest visited again last night. She is such a vibrant and soothing person. She gave her communion (again). Gosh, almost a repeat of yesterday except she never got downstairs and fasted until 1400. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers!I will update later.

Friday at 0940

She is recovering in the ICU (per protocol). I was able to go in early along with her priest. She is already getting her color back. She looks great! They were able to remove the blebs and fix the lung. Whooo Hooooo. Thanks for the prayers everyone. I will keep updating while I am here. Unfortunantely I was unable to get more time off and have to leave tomorrow afternoon. Thanks all.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Well, here we sit......

In the hospital in Dallas with Drini aka Edna. She got out of the hospital last Thursday after a collapsed lung. She had a small chest tube first but that didn't work. They put in a larger chest tube . It did not completely re-inflate but they decided to give it more of a chance to heal and not do surgery. She had a doctor appt on Tuesday, Sept. 15th and it had re-collapsed by then. Crap!! So here she is again.

I decided to fly in to help her and arrived on Sat. the 12th. She went from using 2LPM of O2 when she came home to needing 4LPM by her doctor appt. She still de-sated to the 70's or low 80's when she walked short distances WITH oxygen.

OK, fast forward to today. Dr. Torres, Drini's Pulmonary Hypertension (PH) Doc, was here about an hour ago.

Erttttt....actually he just popped his head back in to ask if she ate today. He was speaking on a cellphone and told the person on the other end that she ate. I figure it was the lung surgeon. Yes, you saw that word right....surgeon. Darn it!!! It isn't a definite but a likely scenario. As he headed back out, he said that ïf you have the surgery, it will probably be tomorrow so don't eat anything".

OK, back up a bit. We came for here yesterday at 0900 for her CXR. She had an appt with the PH Clinic at 1000. She saw one of the fellows and he informed us that her lung had collapsed about 30% again. He was very good at explaining things and showed us her CXR's from pre-pneumothorax to the one that morning. That was nice of him. She had developed a bleb on her right lung. It apparently burst and the lung collapsed. Thank goodness it wasn't a sudden, complete collapse!

Anyway, they arranged for her to be a direct admit. Her favorite NP came in to tell her the plan. Before she left, she asked if there was anything else. I explained what a difficult time she had getting stuck last time and asked for a PICC. Soooo, while waiting to be admitted she had one put in. That was at 1330 and she didn't get up stairs until about 1830. The hospital was full to the brim and spilling over. The PICC nurse was so nice. Instead of having us go to the ER (it was full; it would have been the waiting room), she had us wait in the procedure room where the PICC was put in. When the room was ready, she pushed took us up.

The floor was still damp when we got there and she hadn't actually been put in the computer when we arrived at the room. Of course, then the parade began. Nurse came in to do a quick assessment, 3 docs (I think 2 were interns).....etc, etc.

I left about 2100 to go back to Drini's house. What a long day.

So, here we are. Waiting for the lung surgeons to come by to assess and plan. Her in bed on 100% O2 non-rebereather mask (it has helped alot) and me on the computer. That's the story.

Please keep praying!!!

Take care,

Monday, September 7, 2009



Been awhile! Lots has been happening...son graduating high school, then moving out on his own, new nurse at work, medical students at work (yes, I got my hands on them for their PH education), my docs family having a grandchild-in-law stolen by the state........geesh. I don't know why I stopped writing. You would think all of this would provide lots of fodder for the mind and fingers.

I am going to skip ahead of all of that for now - sorry. What is foremost on my mind is that my close phriend Drini/Edna has been in the hospital since last week. She had a chest Xray done because she hadn't been feeling well. While she was waiting to get the results, She called to report she was feeling even worse. It sounds like the nurse discovered the results while she was talking to her. She at first told her to go to the nearest ER. So, off she went. Shortly after, she got another call telling her to go to UT Southwestern Hospital (her PH Center). Another CXR showed her right lung was 50% collapsed. Dr. Torres, her PH doc, came down himself to put a chest tube in. It sounds like it was a small catheter. Well, that didn't work. They had clamped it off to take her downstairs for another CXR. The lung had collapsed again by the time she got down there. Soooo, she got a bigger tube. Now Drini, bigger is not always better! Since then they do portable CXR's. Today's CXR showed it was about the same. Well Crap! The doctor talked to her about her options....the most likely being surgery. I feel soooooo bad that I cannot be there for her right now. I can't get out of work. Gotta have a job or no bills get paid. Bummer!

This is where we are both at - 550 miles apart. One in the hospital and one wanting to be. Does that sound weird or what. My fingers are just typing. I'm not censoring much. We should know the plan tomorrow. I hope it isn't surgery. She has been thru so much. She needs a break. Please pray for her also. Thanks.

Take care,