TUESDAY — plugging the holes

The chest drain is gone and the hole sutured shut.  That is a sort of milestone, I suppose, indicating the reduction of danger from open heart surgery.  However, the sutures will have to come out in about two weeks and so – in my mind – when that happens I will think of the heart surgery episode as having closed.  I’m thinking here in terms of danger level because I know there is still a long healing processes.  It will be a major step down in terms of stress – not actually an end.

Today also marked the beginning of a more aggressive plan to get Nancy moving and back on her feet.  A physical therapist arrived about 2:15 P.M. and I left for home.  Such folks have been coming daily but the doctor and the operating room nurse were both in today to indicate the stepped up activity.

The Advanced Care Unit (ACU) has been asked to make a room available and to insert an extra nurse into the schedule.  ACU did not have an empty room today but Nancy will be kicked upstairs (4th floor) soon, possibly as early as tomorrow.

The fourth floor rooms are directly off the hallway and visitation is easier in contrast to the 2nd floor ICU rooms which are configured on the periphery of a central personnel station.  Thus to get to an ICU patient you have to ask over a phone to be allowed in and you walk through the work space of the doctors, technicians, and nurses.  Once inside that space there may be a security guard when required, patients may be wheeled in or out, coming from or going to operations, or, in fact, if there is a lot going on you won’t be allowed to enter.

I suspect some such thing happened recently because Nancy woke to find a balloon and candy “Get Well” package in her room.  This seems to have been purchased at the downstairs gift shop but the clerks there this afternoon don’t recall selling it and have no way of determining to whom it was sold.  So, ‘thanks’ to the person or persons responsible.  Nancy will thank you in person if the mystery guest signs in, please.

(If you are under a certain age you probably won’t recognize the television connection to this last phrase.)