Update: 9.15 – 9.17.2010

Chad had an okay day.
He ate okay, but not a lot in comparison to last week.
He took my watch off my arm and insisted that he wear it. So, I let him.

Chad had a few visitors, a couple of co-workers and one of his best friends from college.
He slept most the day, and didn’t really interact with me or his visitors very much.
I tried to get him to eat something.
I took his watch to him and asked if we could swap – he seemed a little energized by having his own watch on his arm.
He looked at the time a few times, but I’m not sure if he even really registered what time it was.
He ate a small donut for me, and fell asleep shortly thereafter.
He awoke, complaining of head pain – and was having a tremor on his right side. The nurse brought in some Ativan, and shortly after that, Chad got nauseous. He was coughing a lot, gagging even. We calmed him down with a cold compress and gave the medicine some time to work.
He had coughing fits for about 45 minutes, and complained of his chest hurting, too.
He received an extra dose of morphine and quickly fell asleep.
I left around 2:00, so I would have plenty of time to pick Carys up from school.
He was sleeping soundly when I left.
I called to check on him around 8pm, and asked the nursing staff to make sure they turned the NC State game on for him.
He was sleeping when I called, but I was told he was having a good afternoon.
I later found out that he had been agitated again and was a little aggressive towards the staff.
He fell out of bed – he’s very eager to get up when he senses any wetness – and even though the nurses get to him immediately, sometimes it’s just not fast enough for Chad’s strong will.
He did sleep well Thursday night, though, when he finally fell asleep again.

I spent about 3 hours with Chad today.
When I arrived, he had his back to the door, looking out the window.
I walked over to the side of the bed and gently put my hand on him – which usually elicits a response of some sort.
But he kept staring. It took him some time to register that I was in the room; and even when he did see me, I had the feeling that he was looking “through” me, and not really at me.
He was exhausted. I tried to initiate a conversation about the football game, but he couldn’t remember if he had watched it or not.
He kept reaching for his head, which prompted me to believe he was having some pain. I asked him if he was in pain a few times, and he didn’t respond. He finally whispered a feeble “yea”, and the nurse happened to walk in. I found out he slept until 10:30 this morning, which is not his typical wake-up time. He ate a good, late breakfast at 11am — and he was still holding some in his mouth when I arrived at 12:45.
He received another dose of morphine. He wanted to get out of bed, which we were all happy to see. But he quickly changed his mind in favor of another nap. He slept for a couple of hours, and only woke up when he heard me gather my things to leave. I told him I’d be back tomorrow and he should get his rest. He didn’t respond, but closed his eyes again and went back to sleep.
I called to check on him this evening, and learned that he had slept most of the day and was very quiet while he was awake.
He was still complaining of intense head pain, and received a few extra doses of morphine to help. His nurse indicated that he could be making some changes, but I’m not so sure at this point. We’ve been told that before — and then he had a great week with lots of energy and verbalization. It’s so hard to predict what the heck is happening or not happening. We just don’t know. No one does – but God. And I don’t think we’re privy to that information just yet.

The resident physician has added an extra routine dose of Ativan every day at 3:30pm, just because there is week-long evidence to indicate that Chad is easily frustrated and angered between the hours of 4-7pm. We certainly don’t want anyone to get hurt – or for him to hurt himself. He still has a lot of strength and I don’t even want to think about what could happen if he was able to get a decent swing at someone close by.

It seems that his environment is key to keeping him stable in the late afternoon/evenings. The staff keeps his room dark, cool and quiet during those times – and they try to limit activity on his hallway. It seems to help, for the most part.

I’ll be visiting again tomorrow for a few hours, as well as Sunday. I’ll update you as soon as I get a moment. The girls are keeping my busy…and I am just wiped out!

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