Friday, June 10, 2011

Day One - Post-Surgery

Jello for breakfast.

An art therapist came to offer Aleks the opportunity to have something interesting to do from bed. It turned out she already knew Aleks because she lives near our house and walks her dog on our street. Aleks knows all the dogs on our street. I don't, but he does and their owners tend to know Aleks. He worked with some clay-type stuff. Later, a volunteer who brings a dog in came by for Poodle therapy. Aleks liked that a lot.
Afterward, Playstation2 was been discovered for our room so Jon & Aleks were saying things I didn't understand like, "I love that move." "What? Mana 2?"

I wrote the following update for the interested parties on the internet:

Aleks has been very excited by the outpouring of love for him on the internet. It makes him feel good whenever he reads what people have written. He hasn't been able to read it all yet, though.

Right now he's playing Playstation2 in bed. The doc who did rounds this morning told us that he needs to eat and drink and pee and walk before we leave. Aleks does NOT want to walk though. He would prefer to leave the hospital after his pain has been controlled. I'm all, "um..." about that. But we're still here. He looks a little rough right now. His nose kept weeping through the night so he has dried blood on his face. His hair is crusty from where they washed him with iodine for the ear tubes and greasy and sweaty from sleeping besides. He had an accident in the night and woke several times besides to pee due to all the fluids he took in (mostly by IV) during the day. He'd only peed once before we went to sleep for the night. He has to pee in a jar so they can measure his output and also because he's not walking yet.

He has two heplocks in so both hands are all taped up. When he and his friend Jacob were having a video conference on my phone yesterday, Jacob thought they were lasers, so Aleks made them go "pew! pew!" at him. The nurse finally just took the pulse ox off for his awake hours. Initially, it was his nose that hurt, but now it's mostly his hip. It took him awhile to be willing to down his meds (tylenol with coedine) so his schedule on that just now got regular. I told the nurse this morning that I wanted him to have it every four hours so we could get him moving. If it wears off at all, it's going to be harder to convince him to get up because he gets more lethargic with more pain. He's pretty lethargic anyway though. He also is hot as hell, though it's not a fever. It's a low grade temperature - like 99 - but he feels warm to the touch. Whereas I am always freezing. He made me sweaty while I slept with him.

It looks so beautiful outside. I wish we could go home. We're just trying to be patient and nice though. Jon's being really awesome. I'm far more practical, I think, so I'm all, "you need your ear drops now." Not that I don't cuddle and joke, but he and Jon are buddies. He won't let me move him, for instance. He prefers Jon to do it or for him to do it himself. He doesn't trust me to be gentle enough. I dunno. I just let that one go. Jon can move him. I'll insist on pain meds.

At least Cleveland Clinic has some decent food options. We'll probably take turns going home at some point today if we can't get him up and moving around to be discharged.

In the afternoon, while Jon ran home to shower and change and get some stuff for us, an aide came by and we got Aleks to get out of bed for the first time and try to walk. The bone extraction site on the hip tends to be the most painful part of healing. It took quite awhile to get up out of bed, but once he was standing, walking wasn't so bad. He made it about halfway down the hall.
Jon brought back tons of cards and letters that I'd requested folks send to Aleks. Our friend who works for a proctologist sent office supplies and this ribbon:
Aleks at one point paged the nurses to request that the art therapist return to visit him. He painted this mask. He was pretty worn out by the end of it and took a long nap while Jon and I played Scrabble on my phone.
One of the homeschooling families in our Co-op dropped balloons and ice cream off at the house. Jon brought these too.
There was a Starbucks on the first floor of our building and I passed several Bill Watterson drawings on the way back and forth.
Hospitals are full of endless corridors, sterile and cold, running maze-like through the campus.
Since we got him walking and taking in liquids and peeing, we had the nurse try to find us a doctor to discharge us. It took hours. The only plastic surgeon available was in surgery for quite awhile. He didn't read the chart, so didn't understand why Aleks' hip hurt, but was satisfied with our argument for leaving and let us go. It was mostly stupid.

We also requested transport to leave the hospital. The woman who was supposed to push him got pretty impatient waiting on us. We had to get Aleks in clothing and out of bed though and with the sore hip, it took quite awhile. He was very very slow moving. A member of housekeeping also showed up and stood outside our room waiting for us to leave for quite awhile, getting irritated and impatient. I guess once you're discharged, you're supposed to vacate very quickly. Unfortunately, the whole reason he was hospitalized was because he can't move very quickly since they cut open his hip. We ignored them, but it was stressful nonetheless. I took over transport duties.
Once home, the first thing Aleks did was play a video game. After a bit, Jon helped him move to the couch, where he fell asleep pretty quickly while watching his favorite show, River Monsters.

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