Monday, May 4, 2015

ICU - No Visitors Please

Rudy will be in ICU for a few days, give or take.  He's fighting several things right now.

He has pneumonia.  It was a pretty good case of it, but he seems to be responding to the antibiotics.  His breathing is better.  The most polite way I can describe his coughing is to say that it's quite productive and colorful.  His temp is staying closer to normal.

Rudy doesn't like to be boring, so a new trouble has popped up.  His liver is inflamed thanks to the lovely Hepatitis bug.  It's really painful.  It went from not there to awful in a matter of a day or two.  He has two pain meds now and the dosage has been upped and upped so that his pain is tolerable unless he coughs or tries to sit up.  He's a bit loopy and that's probably a good thing right now.  The hepatitis just has to run it's course.  There's still a chance we'll be seeing a hepatologist soon to see if there's anything else to be done.

Rudy was sound asleep when I took this picture, so I didn't include his face.  I'd much rather get him when he's smiling and alert.  There's a sliding glass door behind that curtain to keep the sound down and the nurses station is just beyond.

If Rudy talks, it brings on coughing.  Coughing brings on really bad pain.  He doesn't need visitors.  I've received many messages and emails from people wanting to come see us.  Even those who know Rudy doesn't need visitors want to come and offer support to me.  I truly appreciate it, but actually it wouldn't be helpful right now.  I'd need to step way down the hall out of ICU to see a visitor.  If a doctor came by while I was there, I'd miss it.  When Rudy coughs, he needs help to sit forward without it hurting so bad.  I only leave the room right after a major doctor visit and only after room is sleeping soundly.  There's no way to set a time on either of those factors so I don't even want to plan to meet someone for lunch.

Today, I grabbed a quick lunch and ate it outside at the swan pond.  A lovely lady and her daughter happened by.  She quickly told me her story, which included that she has stopped treatment to have her daughter.  She knew the treatment would cause infertility so it was her only chance.  It was an absolute treasure to watch her telling her daughter all about swans.

I know people are worried about me, but there's no need.  I'm doing fine.  I feel more relaxed sitting in that room with Rudy than anywhere.  It makes a huge difference knowing that there are a zillion experts watching him constantly and jumping through all sorts of hoops to help him through this.  I can be with him without the pressure of not knowing what to do to help him.

His room is right in front of the nurses station.  Other people are in charge of helping him and they are very good at it.  The room is large.  I have my choice of a recliner or sofa.  I have pillows and blankets and it's actually not a bad place to sleep. There's a private bathroom.  There's a TV, which so far has only been turned on to see if the Braves were on.    Best of all, I have his sister, Linda, staying with Rudy whenever I need to leave.  She would do anything at all for her baby brother.

I'm rereading the Mitford Series books
which are very upbeat and heartwarming.

His other sister, Nancy would be helping, too, but unfortunately, she has a respiratory infection or something.  She went to the doctor, but I haven't heard the details.  We feel sure she shouldn't be anywhere near Rudy.

My sister and parents would love to help as well.  They've offered to do anything they can.  So have our many close friends and large extended family.  There's just not much anyone can do right now.   But, let me make this point - all the offers mean more to me than you'll ever know.  Just knowing how much we are loved and that help is just a phone call away is very comforting.