Trying to Transition

I can only tell you that's it's a little harder for me to write when I fly solo so forgive me for not writing sooner. We are out of ICU and we made the cautious move back to our room on Tuesday and when I saw cautious I mean cautious. First I must say we could only make the move before or after "Ellen" which is a highlight of our day - The Ellen Show is on at noon.

Point #1 of cautious - this move needed to be sloooooow and careful - believe me when I say Jamie knows every bump between her room #563 and OR or ICU. Her whole body is one big pain including the feet, that are no longer there - phantom pains are a very real thing. The brain is an amazing thing. A nurse explained it to me this way - A stroke patient loses the ability to have their brain send messages to, let's say, their arms. Therefore making it difficult if not impossible to move their arm. In Jamie case her brain believes her legs are still there and continues to send these messages. This is a good thing - Why? When she begins walking with her prosthesis her brain will believe that Jamie still has her legs and help transition easier. This is a bad thing - Why? Because Jamie is still having intense pain in her feet along with every point of impact where her amputation took place. Keep in mind Jamie still has wounds on her legs and buttock.

Back again to cautious #2. Things work a little different when we're on "the floor". Patient/nurse ratio is high making it a little longer to get pain meds (we'll talk pain meds later). It very important that we don't lapse with these meds. We don't want to play catch up This transition went well especially with everybody working on the same team. But it's the worse of two evils - stay in ICU where Jamie receives constant attention & I get to sleep on the most uncomfortable chair ever. Or get back to "the floor" where I return to a more comfortable pull out bed but I have to be more alert and aware of Jamie's needs. Oh well what can I say.

So we're here in Room 563 where meds seem to be crazy. Pain meds adjust continually. Morphine by IV 2-4 mg has been discontinued, ultram reduced to every 12 hours and morphine pump dropped from every 10 minutes to every 20 minutes as needed. Fentanly patch has been added to be changed every 72 hours. It's important to keep Jamie comfortable and pain free but we also don't want her to be out of it all day. Viagara has been discontinued -Two different antibiotics have been added making a total of 3 antibiotics. Seems that every wound culture that was taken during the Friday surgery came back positive to several different strains of bacteria. Not too surprising seeing that there are so many open wounds. Here is where cautious comes into play again. We still must be very careful.

Jamie had her weekly debreidment surgery on Wednesday. She was thrilled knowing that Dr.Lin would be able to put her under and dressing change would be done then. Central line was moved again. Foley changed, again. Debreidments will continue on a weekly basis. But we also have more and more surgeries down the road. This is far from over.

That being said - please continue to pray for Jamie's speedy recovery. Pray that god gives her strength to handle all the pain she must endure. Your continuous messages of love and good wishes gives her strength.