Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Adventures in Nursing

A week ago today my ds Brendan had corrective jaw surgery done, and his four impacted wisdom teeth removed as well. This was done as part of his orthodontic work to correct his bite as well as forestall other problems. We were at the hospital only 24 hours, enjoying the benefits of the new short-stay ward at Kennewick General Hospital. This ward with ten private good-sized rooms is located at the rear of the hospital, next to the surgical center and away from the the bustle of the rest of the hospital. The staff was excellent and provided me with a "bed" so I could spend the night with Brendan. That part was all good.

Of course, surgery is never fun by any means and while Brendan was fully apprised of all the effects, I believe he was surprised at the amount of swelling he experienced as well as how painful it all was - until we got enough morphine into him. :D Once home from the hospital with no IV delivering his antibiotic/pain meds, however, life became very problematic for him as he had to take them orally in liquid form because of course his teeth are tightly banded together (not wired). The taste of that stuff must be horrid as just smelling it turned my stomach. But we got it all down as scheduled on Thursday. By Friday his pain levels were low enough that he didn't need anything for that, but I continued to insist on the antibiotic. Getting him any nutrition was an exercise in futility.

Wishing he could mainline Mountain Dew!

The more times he took the antibiotic, the more it upset his stomach and he soon couldn't/wouldn't even take fluids in. Monday he developed a fever that required a trip to the oral surgeon. After looking him over he determined that infection or pneumonia was not the cause, but dehydration so Brendan received two bags of iv fluids and he went home feeling much better. But best of all he took Brendan off the dreaded antibiotic. He was able to take in fluids all Tuesday, but no food. Today - hurray! - today he's felt hungry and has had a milkshake and even pureed pasta and alfredo sauce.

The swelling is beginning to subside, though it will be a very long process. He's even had some tingling in his lip and jaw as the nerves have begun to repair themselves. Next Monday the bands will be loosened so talking will become easier and perhaps he can move up to mashed food. Better stock up on potatoes! He's really looking forward to that. :D

So that is some of what's been keeping me away from the computer and stitching. I'm also trying to work in some gardening. The west border needs to be dug up to prepare for planting. I did get two little rosebushes planted and now three more have arrived so I gotta get a move on. The heat is curtailing my working hours, so I'm getting up earlier in the morning. It's so pleasant outside in the morning, I'm really enjoying it!


Sandra Ree said...

Bless his heart! I'm glad he's feeling better. I'm always surprised at the swelling your body will do after any surgery!

Early in the morning is the best time for planting! That's when I water everything and sometimes get the best shots with my camera. :)

Kathryn said...

I remember when we were raising cats. I sometimes had to administer IV fluids (say after a hard delivery of a lot of kittens). I know there isn't anything medicinal in IV fluid (just water and salts), but the incredible difference it made in their energy and health always made me feel that is was a "wonder drug". I am glad it helped your son and that he was in and out of the hospital quickly. Now just to heal quickly as well. Blessings.

Kendra said...

Goodness! Your poor DS! Hope he gets to feeling better soon.

If there was a way to inject Mountain Dew, I think it would have already been done. Many people I know would have already figured it out...LOL!

Barbara said...

Oh, poor Brendan!! I hope the rest of his recovery is completely UNremarkable! ;) Best wishes for all!!

Vonna said...

My first big laugh of the morning thank you Von...I'm not laughing at I'm groaning in pain with him...but I am laughing at the picture caption..."Wishing he could mainline Mt. Dew" LOL! LOL! that is hilarious!
:) Thanks for a bright start to my day!

Sharon said...

Oh my goodness, looking at Brendan makes me have sympathy pain and flashbacks of my horrible tooth problems(shudder!) I wish him a speedy recovery-though I think with you as his nurse-he will be great!