Vernon’s surgery went well this morning. He had his dialysis catheter removed, a new one put in his neck temporarily, and in a few days, he’ll get a new catheter, unfortunately in the same place as before. Since much of the infection is based in the catheter, it’s not the ideal situation. Its possible we can use the arm fistula that was placed last summer (the one that still hasn’t actually been used) for future access. but for now, his arm is too swollen. Vernon is running out of ports, and he needs dialysis.
I stayed with him today today from about 10:30 to 4;30. Before that, I brought a coffee over to Joe at Mesa Verde. Turns out he has a UTI as well, poor man. I knew he would want to know as much as I do about Vernon. We also need to ensure they keep his bed for him there, as its possible he could be in the hospital longer than a week (which is the typical ‘hold’ time.) It was a long day but there were lots of special visitors to break it up for us.
My mom came by first thing, when he was just out of surgery. We have a lovely top floor room with an amazing view of the Marina. (No pic this time; I’ll take one tomorrow perhaps.) Vernon didn’t really wake up for her, but it was nice for me to enjoy her company at any rate.
A little later, our friend Derrick came by with is guitar and gentle words.
Vernon said “Beautiful” after a song, but that was the most we could get out of him. He was still pretty sleepy.
A little later, the Logies stopped by. Vernon could only handle a handful of songs, but I know he enjoyed them. We knew he’d finally come out of his sleep when he asked about pain medication.
We had another surprise visitor today. The dialysis nurse, who introduced herself as Heidi, said she remembered us. Apparently after training, Vernon had been her first patient when he was still at Mission Hospital. She thought she remembered it had been his last day there too. She recalled the walls with all the photos…and even his name when she saw it on the order. Just a little nod to how long it’s been and how many circles we seem to roll through.
It was a longer than usual day with Vernon. I could have left earlier, I’m sure. I’ll pace myself better this week. But when I left, quite zapped to tell the truth, I asked the nurse for a report on his cultures: “Have they found the main source of infection yet?”
“They found staph in his arm, but that’s nothing to worry about. And he doesn’t have Sepsis.”
“Really? Ok…that’s weird. But good, right?”
“Yes, that’s good.”
I still don’t think we are the bottom of this round. But I’ll find out more tomorrow….hopefully. And I’ll pace myself better too. It’s been a long weekend.
A drawing I made by Vernon’s bed, looking up, listening to this.