It seemed as if there were many interruptions in the night. I was sleeping on the couch nearby, but I was so tired that I am not sure that I was aware of everything the nurses were doing to JJ. Sometimes I woke briefly and then fell back to sleep. When the noises continued, I woke up completely…ish. I was going to surrender the couch to Eric, but he declined and went back to snoozing in his chair. He only traded places with me in the morning. He is so gallant.
What I am aware that happened in the middle of the night is that JJ had to have his blood drawn and the nurses had trouble finding a usable vein. They tried a few times. Failed attempts are painful and they felt so bad to be hurting JJ. When they still couldn’t find a vein, they gave up and said they’d have a nurse with a portable ultrasound machine come and locate a usable vein and draw his blood. She arrived about 6:30 a.m. Before she could use the ultrasound, the three doctors arrived. I think two of them might be residents or students or something. This is a teaching hospital associated with Indiana University. The primary doctor of the three (I can’t remember his name) has been the one that has visited JJ each day throughout his ordeal. He removed the dressing on JJ’s wound this morning. It caused JJ a lot of pain.
After they left, JJ asked me to ask the nurse when he could have his next dose of strong pain med. So I went out into the hallway and found the nurse and asked her. Unfortunately, JJ had just had the med an hour before so he couldn’t have any more for a few hours. The nurse said she was told she could remove his catheter at any time, but she could tell from the doctor’s face when he left JJ’s room that the removal of the dressing had been very painful so she decided to wait a little while. She said that when the doctor had come out of the room he had winced, “Wow! That was intense!” When I murmured a sympathetic “oh” she said that the doctors are used to this, but it still bothers them to cause their patients pain. I said it was really nice to have such compassionate doctors. The nurse said that she loves working with this particular doctor especially because he is so VERY compassionate. I remember that the first few doctors JJ had after being diagnosed with cancer were not all that compassionate and some acted as if my questions were rather stupid. The first doctor I liked at all was JJ’s oncologist. He was compassionate. However, the doctors at this Indianapolis hospital oooze kindness and compassion.
I told JJ about my conversation with the nurse and the doctor’s reaction to taking off the dressing, and JJ said, “Oh! Now I feel like giving the doctor a hug!” JJ is very kind and polite to all the medical staff. Even after they have done something painful to him, he thanks them for their care of him.
After the doctors left, the nurse with the ultrasound finished her task. Then a few nurses came in and told JJ he could order solid food from a menu they gave him. He actually orders the food from the hospital cafeteria as if he is ordering room service from a hotel. They said to keep in mind that it takes about an hour for the food to be delivered. I asked JJ if he wanted me to order him something, but he didn’t sleep well last night and he isn’t interested in food yet.
Indianapolis is experiencing some severe thunderstorms today. At JJ’s request, I opened the blinds so he could see the storm. We all love watching storms.
About an hour after the doctor removed the dressing from JJ’s incision, a nurse came in and removed the catheter. There was some discomfort, but it wasn’t as bad as the removal of the dressing.
A short time after that, a Patient Care Tech just came in and reminded JJ that he is supposed to walk several times today. He asked if he could do it a little later because he hadn’t slept well last night (ya think??) and he’s really tired. He’s also afraid he will faint if he tries to get up because yesterday each time he sat up in the chair, his blood pressure dropped and he almost fainted. The Patient Care Tech said she’d let him sleep a bit and return around 9:30 a.m.
JJ was dropping off to sleep when another nurse peeked in and asked him if he had eaten anything yet. They want to start giving him pain meds in tablet form rather than in the IV now, but they can’t give him the meds until he has something on his stomach. JJ still isn’t hungry–he is more interested in sleep–but he chose a blueberry muffin and I called the cafe and ordered him two, one to eat as soon as it arrives and another to eat later.
I’m very hungry, but I have to wait for EJ to wake and go get us food. He showed me where the cafeteria was yesterday before our dash to the hotel but my Superweakness of Lostness has made the corridors into a confusing maze and I fear I’d never make it back to the hotel room. Fortunately my friend had the gift shop send us snack foods right after JJ’s surgery Tuesday, so I can nibble on them to prevent starvation. When this experience is over, I think I will not want to see another restaurant or snack food for at least a year. At least I can find my way to the coffee machine down the hall.
This has been an eventful day, and it’s only 9 a.m.
Oh, here is a humorous thing: Usually in-room bathrooms are reserved for patient use only but the nurse said that since we are in a private room we could use the bathroom. I am thankful for this since the regular bathrooms are located quite a distance away. The funny thing is that whenever the toilet in his room is flushed, it is so VERY, VERY LOUD that everyone in the whole hospital can hear it. What is worse is that the flushing lasts forEVER–like a minute or two. We cringe every time we have to flush it. The nurse last night said that a while back some workmen were working on some plumbing somewhere in the hospital and it made the toilet quiet. All the nurses cheered “YES!” and “YAY!” However, as soon as the workmen finished, the toilet went back to being noisy again. I am tempted to take a video of this loud and long toilet because it is unbelievable.