I’m writing from Vernon’s room at Hoag Hospital Irvine. Thankfully, he was admitted last night after the surgery to repair his broken left radial bone. Originally the plan was to send him home a few hours afterward, but after requesting that he stay, the surgeon obliged and the return ambulance order was cancelled.
All went well with the surgery, which entailed removal of 4cm of bone from his hip, then grafted into his left radius and clamped tight with a heavier-than-before internal brace. I was most impressed with Dr. Leiber and his team. Even the anesthesiologist seemed more thorough that usual, having researched Vernon’s history and asking questions about various medications I hadn’t even realized were listed in there. I knew he was in good hands. I was in good hands too: my friend Susan Logie drove out from Whittier to keep me company in the waiting room. She told me: “I’ve left dinner for the family, they are on their own today. I’ll be here as long as you need me.” After the surgery, it was her suggestion that he should stay overnight. It didn’t take long for the people in charge to agree. He was still coming out of his sedation by the time I left at 7:30, so I think it would have been difficult for him to return to his little bed at Mesa Verde without intensive nursing care.
He’ll be returning tonight, but in the meantime, I’m taking advantage of the hospital situation, hoping to switch some things around. I met the doctor assigned to him last night and found out that he follows some patients at Mesa Verde. Today, I suggested to his daytime colleague that I’d be interested in switching to his care if its a possibility. After all, I have yet to meet Vernon’s current doctor face to face, though he’s been with him for over six months… and though he is very nice on the phone, I believe he may be over-loaded.)
Thankfully, Vernon will be receiving dialysis today at the hospital, which will be easier on him than sitting in that hard dialysis chair would be, especially with his sore hip. But he will have to go back soon. I took the opportunity to tell the delightful doctor assigned to his care this morning that I hadn’t been happy with our nephrologist and some of the issues over at Davita, but I didn’t know how to research other options, not knowing how other facilities would be able to deal with Vernon’s complicated case. She introduced me to a nephrologist on the floor, whom I met for a consultation later in the afternoon.
Together, we arranged a plan for Vernon to start going to a place that is actually closer to his care home…and instead of five mornings a week, we can start at three (2.5 hours each time). She will be his nephrologist and I am already more comfortable with her, and believe she understands Vernon’s situation and my desires. Connection is so important when it comes to this kind of thing.
Now, I’m home and it’s evening. I won’t go on much longer about all the things that happened today. But I would be amiss for not sharing that Susan drove back with two of her kids and a friend (who wants to be a nurse) to keep Vernon company in his room for a bit. Remember, the Logies live an hour away and yet, they find time to serve Vernon (and me!) with their musical gifts and Big Love. I find that so inspiring — I want to be more like them.
Here are Belle and John singing Fleet Foxes. So lovely. Of course Vernon loves music the most. It’s the best medicine.
Vernon will be transported back to Mesa Verde tonight. In fact, he may be on his way right now. I’ve told the charge nurse at Mesa Verde that I’d like them to check on him twice as often through the night to make sure he isn’t attempting to unwrap his arm. The surgeon double taped it at my request, but even today, Vernon was trying to release his arm, much like a trapped animal. He just can’t understand why it’s there. And if we explain and talk him down, he can forget ten minutes later. The pain meds probably don’t help with his cognizance, but they can distract him temporarily. So I also told the care home that even though I prefer to go light on Vernon’s drugs, in this case, I’ll allow them to push the pain killers for a few nights.
We’ll see how it goes. It’s going to be a challenge, letting that arm heal. It’s supposed to take a month for the bone to heal and the main threat of infection should be gone in two weeks. I am believing that we had some breakthroughs in his medical care today. His future is changing a little, hopefully for the best. But I ask for even more prayers on his recovery. I think this is going to be a very tricky time, keeping that arm bandaged. But at least, the surgery is DONE! Hallelujah for THAT!
The game is changing….lets hope it goes forward for awhile, rather than in circles.
PS Not to be forgotten in all of this, this very morning I spoke on the phone to the new lawyer taking our case since our previous lawyer recently left the firm. The guard is changing all over the board today.
“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” John F. Kennedy