After I arrived today two nurses came with a wheel chair for Nancy. Then Nancy, a nurse, and I left the ICU, went down the elevator one floor to the main level and went to the front entrance. We told Nancy we were going to escape!
Actually, on either side of the main entrance there are large windows and one can look off toward the hills east of downtown Yakima. The temperature was cold outside and it wasn’t a really pretty day but it was the first view of the world outside of hospital rooms Nancy has had since Thanksgiving. For four of those days her rooms had windows but there was nothing to see and she was not in shape to care. The ICU room has a tall, thin window that lets in fuzzy light and looks at another section of the building. That one is behind the bed so it isn’t useful either. This was the first chance Nancy has had to become orientated – both where the ICU is within the building and where she is relative to the city.
She will stay in the ICU over the weekend it seems. She talked to the surgery team’s nurse about not wanting to be moved because she is so weak and because there is less constant and immediate care in the Advanced Care Unit (ACU) where she was for the two 2-day periods when she was not in the ICU. Nancy thinks a move just before a weekend is a bad idea. I surely don’t know, while she might.
Her refurbished heart seems to be doing fine. She is not up and around but by the time she is, about two weeks will have gone by since the surgery. Currently she indicates there is no pain associated with the upper chest area but neither is she coughing with a pillow held closely as we were told to expect. Her lungs are being helped to clear without that. I think if she were more vertical then coughing might be more normal. Nothing is normal about this though – not only is her heart healing but damaged lungs, kidneys, and liver (and her whole body) are also along for this ride. That is why hers is a special case and why she is still in the ICU.