Wednesday, October 26, 2011
As I said before, I spent the night at home Tuesday night and Billy's dad slept at the hospital. I called Billy's mom to see if she would go to the hospital in the morning so I could get some stuff together and make some much needed phone calls. Billy's mom said he did really good all morning and even walked up and down the hall with the physical and occupational therapist guiding him. Even though it hurt his head, he did great. He then stood at the sink and brushed his teeth so he really made a lot of progress. I finally got to the hospital around 3pm (word of advice: do not talk on your cell phone when you are not quiet sure where you're going. I knew I was headed in the right direction, but I'm pretty sure I took a few unnecessary turns, but I did finally get here.) Once I got in the room, Billy's mom, brother and his wife where there. When he woke up he was like him old self. His head still hurt, but he was talking, cracking jokes and had us all laughing for about 3 hours. We even took some pictures and he really looked good considering he had brain surgery 3 days prior. After they left, Billy began insisting on having his cell phone. I told him he didn't need it and to rest, but he kept insisting, so I gave in. He started checking messages and called his sales manager at work. He is having some short term memory issues, which is totally normal and at sometimes really funny.
Shortly after he got off the phone, our bishop came by and Billy talked with him for a while. Again, most of it made sense, but he would repeat himself on certain topics, but had no idea he was doing it. Then my mom brought all the kids. I went to the waiting room to see Karsyn & Landon while Logan & Paige went to visit with their dad. Paige made him chocolate covered strawberries and they all made him "Get Well" Posters. By now Billy is getting pretty tired and sleepy so once my mom and the kids left he was trying to settle in for the night. He started to get a little confused and asked me lots of funny questions. (I have to put them in here so I don't forget and so he can read about this whole experience when he's better) First, he asked me what I was doing like 3 times, then in between he would ask me if I had his phone. I would tell him and he would say ok. Then about 10 minutes later he ask me if I knew where his phone was and he told me he didn't want the kids playing with it. I assured him I had his phone and we were at the hospital and the kids were at home so they couldn't play with his phone. Then I was helping him get comfortable in the bed and he tells me, "I don't feel very good, but I still think I can go to Logan's football game tomorrow." I told him he couldn't leave the hospital, but again he insisted that he would feel better tomorrow and he was going to the game. I just agreed with him and knew he would forget what he said by morning if not in the next few minutes. After a few more funny questions and comments, he finally settled in for the night and slept pretty peaceful.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Today was not a great day for Billy. He was really lethargic (sleepy) and said his head was hurting worse today than before. He didn't want to eat and continued to sleep, but moaned a lot in his sleep. Between 10am-11am he got his normal pain medicine, but it wasn't working as fast as he needed it to. So they gave him another pain medication that acts very quickly and usually helps relax him enough for him to go to sleep. Right after they gave him that last medication his heart rate dropped to 35, which is extremely low. They thought it was from the fast acting medication so they decided they would not be giving him that anymore. Well as lunch came and went, he continued to sleep, not eat and was really sensitive to light and touch. He complained about his head and that his neck was hurting really bad again. These are all possible symptoms of swelling or vasospasms. With a lot of prodding he got up and walked down the hall, which got his heart rate up, but it still remained low. Once he got back to the bed, his heart rate dropped again and stayed very low all afternoon. Finally the doctor came in and ordered a CT scan to make sure the brain wasn't swelling. The doctor also said to stop the lumbar drain and see how he did. The CT came back ok and after not draining spinal fluid for an hour he began to perk up. They decided they were draining too much spinal fluid so they were going to half what they had been doing. I immediately saw a difference in him. He finally really woke up, ate dinner, began to carry on conversations and the headache wasn't as severe. The brain is such a complex and amazing organ. Just by decreasing the drain by 5 cc he became a different person. Today, was like one of those days they said I needed to prepare for. We were very lucky and had a good outcome by the evening, but it was definately a trying day emotionally. I'm very impressed with all of the staff here at the U in the Neuro ICU. They are all very well trained and very approachable, which makes a hard day just a little bit easier.