Tyler's Heart

Pictures - Pictures from Houston.
LVAD Video - A YouTube video about living with an LVAD.
HeartMate II Video Clip - Short video clip about the pump Tyler has.

Another good blog to read is from our friend Bill. Cozumel Part 1 - This Might Be Habit Forming.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Still Foggy

This morning Tyler had the remaining chest drainage tubes removed. He was glad the tubes were out since they were very uncomfortable. A nurse showed me where the ice chips, crackers, soda, etc. were and when he is able I can just go get these for him. I'm trying to adjust to this new hospital floor. The nurses don't talk a whole lot and aren't around much. Nice and bad at the same time. I get to spend more time just talking with Tyler, but don't exactly know what he can and can't do or his status on things. I just have to adjust. Talked to one nurse who said I can bug them whenever I need to.

They will do a test to see how well he can chew and swallow so that they can start moving him off the feeding tube.

He is retaining more, but still very confused. He seemed to remember that we are in Houston, but then commented how weird the weather was for this time of year (lapsed back to thinking we were in Denver). Was upset that we missed Thanksgiving dinner at Kelley's. He wants his phone desperately and wants to go home. He sneakily asked me if we could go have a cigarette. I told him that we don't smoke anymore. He responded: "oh, good". He knows he had a surgery and knows he is going to need another. I told him that was far into the future and not to worry about it. He is coming up with a plan on how he is going to work when he gets out of the hospital. "20 hours a week at first just like Warren (contractor/friend) did after his heart surgery." He misses the house and family. Wants to be in his own bed. Then he was worried about his car. He also told me that he had talked with his mother and his uncle. He even thought one of the doctors was Wilfredo (a friend from Puerto Rico). I also had to get on to him about winking at the nurse, Edith!

The afternoon was harder. I think I tricked myself into thinking that he would be clearer and clearer, but he seemed more confused. When he had lucid moments they were sad. He said the hardest thing was the lack of intimacy, since I couldn't stay with him for very long on my visits. He mentioned he is in pain, but he is also moving his legs more. His cardiologist, Dr. Sherron, happened to be there so I asked if this was normal at this time. He said yes, but then became a doctor and said they just won't know how much he will retain of the old Tyler. Didn't need to hear that! I'm very scared for Tyler (and me). I need Tyler to be clear headed, out of the bed, back to work, back at the house, back to his old voice......normal. I also know that once he is clear headed, he may become very depressed about the situation. One day at a time.

The doctor commented to Tyler that he had been in a hospital bed for a month, then looked at me and said I would know better. I responded immediately, "3 weeks and 4 days". He also told Tyler that he would probably be in the hospital for another month. I found a lot of e-greetings that have been sent to us and felt bad that I couldn't read them to him just yet. He is still to confused. I just can't get his bewildered look out of my head. Maybe mornings are just better since he gets rest over night. As I left he asked for the lights to be turned off since he was resigned to just going to sleep.

I left the hospital feeling very depressed, confused, and sad. Finally I called Janet (from Arkansas who's husband went through this) and checked to see if this was normal from her point of view. She said to be patient and the fogginess would eventually lift. It may be a few more days or a week.

I've started writing the current date on a dry-erase board that he can see from his bed. I'm also going to see if I can start helping him with moving his arms, legs, and fingers. He has lost a lot of weight and muscle tone. Still looks good, it is just those eyes.

I am looking forward to when Tyler realizes just how many people are out there supporting him. Again, I can't thank everyone enough. When I got back to the apartment I cried with my mother and finally said, "what did we do to deserve this year!". A moment of anger that I got out of my system. On to the next day!


1 comment:

  1. Hang in there Robert.. the wife you spoke with is right.. the mental haze will lift in time.. just be patient and keep up your spirits.. in many ways this is harder for you then for Tyler.. I have seen the families go thru many trials.. what you and Tyler are experiencing is very normal for this stage of recovery..it is a long journey my friend.. Susan Whan Cseri