Another update on dad...

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bassadict69

Dad finally got moved into a room Saturday afternoon, However, I am hoping that was for the best. They have been doing x-rays every morning & each morning his right lung has more & more fluid on it. Yesterday he was complaining of shortness of breath so they ran some blood gasses & stuff. We still have not heard the results of that.

He still has his chest tubes in & they are still draining a good bit. The doctor keeps reassuring us it is nothing to worry about though.

The big hunk of tubes & stuff in his neck was removed yesterday. He was glad to have it removed.

He is still really weak in the legs & cannot stand on his own much less walk. It is looking like rehab has there job cut out for them!

His pain has been pretty light. He MAY take one pain pill a day but usually he goes without any.

Part of his problem is his stubbornness! His little breathing exercise thing he is supposed to inhaled on quite a few times per hour pretty much just acts as decoration on his table. I was there for about 4 hours yesterday & never seen him use it. When I mention it, he flies off the handle & told me something about not being able to keep it glued to his lips. I barked back & told him that it was there for a reason & him not using it is probably the reason for his pulmonary problems. He still never picked it up & used it. I plan to talk to someone today & see if everyone will ride his ass about it! Maybe even start a chart or something & make him show his results.
 

Ross

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Hey we all hated that damn spirometer, but if he wants his lungs to clear out, HE HAS GOT TO USE IT! He's sabotaging his own recovery by not doing so. Yeah, I know it hurts to breath in and out, but he has to do it.

If you have to get someone from respiratory therapy up there to command him, then so be it!
 

pamela

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Exactly, Ross. I'm sorry he's being so resistant to the exercises but the hospital should be happy to engage the respiratory therapists' help in giving him alternative ones.

Teach him to fly a leaf of paper. (Blowing across the top of it while one edge is pinched in his fingers will cause the sheet to lift until it stalls and falls back again -- theory of flight :D, Bernoille's Principal.)
 

Nancy

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He has GOT to use the spirometer!!! No ifs, ands, or buts. To heck with his being stubborn. He is comtributing to a bad situation by not helping himself get out of it. Yes, it is a pain, but it was given to him for a reason.

Take the doctor aside and tell him that your dad is not using the spirometer and let the doctor read him the riot act.

That being said, the spirometer may not be the main problem. Perhaps there are other issues as to why he is gaining fluid in his lungs. It will be a combination of things that will help. But using the spirometer will aid in his recovery.

Yes, he will need physical therapy to get his legs stronger. The hospitals and insurance companies like to skip that part or gloss over it. It is crucial to your dad's full recovery to get his legs back in shape again. It will improve, but not without some effort. I have seen my husband in this condition several times. It may be that they will do minimal physical therapy while he is hospitalized, and then when he gets home, will have a visiting physical therapist work with him. There again, he will have to make an effort to get this straightened out.

One time, my husband had to go to a rehab facility to help with his walking, and then after that, had to have inhome care. But he did get his strength back.
 
B

bassadict69

They are supposed to be moving dad to a Progressive Care Facility later today. I am not sure whether to think this is a good thing or not...He still has his drainage tubes & is having quite a bit of drainage (STILL), he still has some fluid on his lungs & his breathing just isn't right. When he is talking to you, he is really winded & his breathing is only short small breaths...even when just laying there relaxing & watching TV. That part DEFINATELY doesn't sound right...his breathing now is worse than before surgery!

He also is still too weak to stand up & this other facility will be doing some major therapy to help get his leg strength back.

I still however am worried about his lungs & his breathing! :confused::(
 
B

bassadict69

I forgot to mention that the respiratory doctor & therapist released him from their care yesterday... :eek:
 

pamela

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Is your dad being over-dramatic when you're nearby? I hate to suggest it, but you may be enabling him in his weakness by fussing. Nothing more than an accepting relative can be all the audience he needs to find an excuse to be crochety and unco-operative.

I'm not saying this is the case here but if the doctors and therapists feel he's doing fine then maybe he is orrrrrr... The health care team has realized that until he begins taking care of himself then there's not much more they can do in the acute care setting.

When you're dad's in the next care facility, have a genuine heart to heart with his providers away from his hearing. Clue them in on his resistance and then simply ignore his attempts to anger you about not doing his exercises. Limit your visits to a post nap hour and then a couple of hours after supper. Be available, but don't hover... Unless he's so poorly that you fear for him. If that's the case throw everything I just said out the window except the part about the conversation with the health care pros.

Take Heart, you can't do everything for your dad, he'll have to get actively involved in his own recovery before he gets better.
Pamela.
 

escargome

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Is it possible that your dad didn't get the outcome he expected? Has he given up? If so, then maybe you and your family need to give him a little talking to. Possibly he thought that once the surgery was complete he would be feeling 10 feet tall and bullet proof and it just didn't turn out that way. If he is still draining and has fluid on his lung/lungs then he needs some type of respiratory therapy to force him to move that fluid out. Is he gonna get that at the facility where he is going? How is his diabetes doing? High blood sugars don't help matters either. Wish I had more concrete advise for you.
 

ALCapshaw2

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Your dad needs to understand that WITHOUT some effort on HIS part, he will NOT get better.

He MUST do the breathing exercises to expand his lungs and help drain the fluid out, otherwise he is setting himself up for Pneumonia. (Can you talk with the Respiratory Care Physician and find out why they released him? I'm a bit surprised by that given his fluid and breathing difficulties.)

He MUST get to where he can walk to increase his stamina and help expell all the medications / anesthesia from his body.

Again, his Recovery and SURVIVAL depend on HIS willingness to 'do for himself' what must be done for his body to recover. If he thinks he can just vegetate until he recovers, he won't ever get out of the bed (in my NON-professional opinion). Carried to the extreme, he may not survive if he doesn't participate in his recovery.

'AL Capshaw'
 

Nancy

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When Joe was in the ICU for an extended amount of time, there was a man in the next room who had had heart surgery. He did nothing to help himself. The staff, head nurse and doctors pleaded with him to please at least try. His wife was beside herself with worry.

They would get him out of the bed (3 of them or so) and literally drag him around the floor with a walker just to try to get his legs working again.

I knew they were all terribly worried about this man's ability to get better because he just didn't want to try.

They said he would end up in a nursing home if he didn't try to help himself.

I believe he went on to a rehab facility. But I don't know what happened to him after that.
 
B

bassadict69

Dad is the type to NOT let anyone know if something is bothering him, hurting, etc. He has never been anywhere close to overdramatic.

I don't think he has given up. Yesterday for some reason they did not come get him for rehab/PT. He was pissed! He said they came by a few times & walked him from his bed or chair to the door & back. He was pretty hot about it & told me that me & him could do that much...he wanted some full blown therapy! Friday they carried how down somewhere for his therapy so that is what he thought he should have been doing yesterday. I don't think they took him anywhere today either.

The part about the health care team deciding they cannot help him if he isn't helping himself would not surprise me at all!

I am not real sure about the treatment he will get at Progressive Care. I do not think his tubes will be ready to remove today from what I seen last night. It still looked like an awful lot in the tubes to me...even shortly after they would drain the tubes before moving him to the bathroom, etc.

His diabetes has been in check for quite a while now. It has never been a big problem for him, especially when away from home & the snacks he always seems to get his hands on while at home.

Thanks to each of you for sharing your ideas & opinions on this! It really helps having others who have been through this & know what is going on!
 

Lynlw

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I don't think he has given up. Yesterday for some reason they did not come get him for rehab/PT. He was pissed! He said they came by a few times & walked him from his bed or chair to the door & back. He was pretty hot about it & told me that me & him could do that much...he wanted some full blown therapy! Friday they carried how down somewhere for his therapy so that is what he thought he should have been doing yesterday. I don't think they took him anywhere today either.


They might have evaluated him when they took him to pT the other day, what you describes sounds like routine PT post op, starting him walking to chair, bathroom ect. I know he said he can do that with out Pt, but is he? or is he more or less waiting in bed for poeple to get him to move?
I ask because the more he is trying to move even short walks in his room to start with the better, it also helps with his lungs. I know it must be frustrating, but I do not think resp doc would release him if they didn't feel it was time. Has anyone asked the doctors exactly what the plan is? Why do they think he is ok to leave?
BTW IF needed rehab facilities do help. My Mom had an AWFUL time after her heart surgery, was in CCU for a long time then went to a rehab place for a few months afterward. So I can imagine how you must be feeling.
 
B

bassadict69

He cannot quite stand on his own. Maybe for a second or two but that is it before his knees buckle. He is not allowed to even try without two nurses or someone to stabilize him & keep him from falling. He has almost no strength in his legs. He has been sitting in his chair with both feet on the floor & pressing down as if to stand up. He said it couldn't hurt! Why he doesn't feel that way about the spirometer, I have no clue!
 

Lynlw

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Wasn't he having problems with his legs before surgery? Can family help him or is he too big? I'm only asking because When Justin needed rehab, they only came a couple times but showed us/him what to do and we worked on it alot in between his pt
 

Ross

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When I could finally get out of bed, I was so weak I couldn't walk or stand. I too, had to have two guards on the sides and one in front, then someone put a gait belt on me and held me up from behind like a dog on a leash. At first, only 2 or 3 steps, then back to the chair. They kept this up until they got me out to the nurses station, then they dogged me every 20 minutes to get up and do it again. I hated every single minute of it, but because of their persistence, I was able to leave that place in 10 days. I mean to tell you, they worked me and worked me. Next to being in the Military, I don't know of any more excercise one could get like that.
 

Lynlw

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When I could finally get out of bed, I was so weak I couldn't walk or stand. I too, had to have two guards on the sides and one in front, then someone put a gait belt on me and held me up from behind like a dog on a leash. At first, only 2 or 3 steps, then back to the chair. They kept this up until they got me out to the nurses station, then they dogged me every 20 minutes to get up and do it again. I hated every single minute of it, but because of their persistence, I was able to leave that place in 10 days. I mean to tell you, they worked me and worked me. Next to being in the Military, I don't know of any more excercise one could get like that.
That's kind of what I was talking about, they don't necessarily have to take you to a room for PT, alot of it is done in your room. The walking to the chair ect they did with him.
 

Nancy

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If he is going to a rehab facility, then they will work him hard. They'll start with easy things, but he will be moving a lot during the day.

Joe spent a couple of weeks in a physical therapy facility. And then had in home PT care. This was after a slip and fall accident (ice). He was able to walk again after they all got done with him.
 
B

bassadict69

Wasn't he having problems with his legs before surgery? Can family help him or is he too big? I'm only asking because When Justin needed rehab, they only came a couple times but showed us/him what to do and we worked on it alot in between his pt
So far, they haven't let us do anything at all hardly. One shift let me help them get dad from the bed to the toilet but I think that is just because they only had female nurses available & could use the help.
 
B

bassadict69

Looks like they will be keeping him at least another day. They told him this evening he still had too much drainage to get rid of the tubes & I am under the impression that he cannot go to Progressive Care with the chest tubes. Shouldn't the drainage have stopped by now?
 

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