Daily Archives: January 22, 2011

Two. Lousy. Hours.

Part of my daily ‘ritual’ after rounds, is to walk over to the RMH and take a shower, maybe find some breakfast or a snack I can bring back to the hospital with me. Today was no different, I left David’s room about 9:30am. I’m usually gone an hour.

So about 10 minutes to walk over and get up to the room. Stop down to the kitchen and eat a bit of breakfast (kindly made by a group of volunteers) and back to the room for a shower. I chatted with a couple ‘regulars’ along the way, so I was back at my room ready for a shower about a quarter after 10.

Really, I have a purpose in relaying all these mundane details about my day, so bear with me.  I’ll admit, I took an extra long shower today – my one ‘perk’ is I don’t have to share the hot water with anyone. Sometimes a long hot shower is just what I need to re-focus my energies and get through another 24 hours with the Captain.

I must have known I’d need it today.

I arrived back at the room at 11:30am. I was out of his room for 2 hours. Walking, chatting, eating, showering. Twice as long as normal, I’ll admit, but really, I was only gone for 2 hours.

Two. Lousy. Hours.

Every couple hours our Chaperone, (who we love, btw) changes his diaper, turns him from one side to the other, does mouth care and takes his vitals. When I left at 9:30, she had just started to check his diaper and get him moved.

Apparently after I left, David started to bleed profusely from his mouth.

And then he de-satted. His oxygen level dipped, his lung volumes plummeted, doctors had to be called. Respiratory therapists, chest x-rays, blood drawn, ventilator adjustments, attempts to slow the bleeding, drugs to paralyze and sedate.

Two. Lousy. Hours.

They think he may have aspirated blood into his lungs. He’d started bleeding, he was being moved, I’m sure his swallow reflex is weak, the blood just found it’s way down.


He’s settled now, the increase in the ventilator settings seemed to help, the chest x-ray didn’t show anything and while his first round of blood-work during the episode was awful, subsequent blood draws have gotten better, still not great, but better. They’ve kept him sedated to allow the ventilator to do all the work, giving his lungs a chance to rest.

Does anyone else see the irony in all of this? Every damn day, I sit here, by his side, taking small inconsequential breaks to shower and grab a bite to eat. The one day I let my chatty nature get the best of me. The one day I decide to take an extra long hot shower. The one day I could have lost him because everyone tells me go, take a break, he’ll be fine.

Two. Lousy. Hours.

Makes me never want to leave this room again.

Categories: Life | Tags: , , , | 18 Comments

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