Mesothelioma Nurse Follows Patient’s Rehabilitation After Surgery
The patient we spoke about last week in Nurse’s Corner is still in the ICU. Time continues to drag for her and her family. Although the delirium is beginning to pass, everyday life still seems to be a struggle – walking, getting out of bed, being fed by a tube, and most of all, breathing. The smallest things leave the patient breathing heavily and looking uncomfortable.
A family meeting took place where the medical team explained that while the patient is progressing, recovery can be slow and grueling. It is difficult for caregivers to stand by and watch, and really measure progress when one day does not seem any better than the one before. The patient is still attached to the ventilator for breathing purposes, and she really cannot be without. Another issue is that the woman’s white blood cell count is up and she is on antibiotics, but nothing seems to be lowering the count. Fortunately, she does not have a fever and the elevated white count does not seem to be impacting her.
What makes this so difficult to watch is that she was not this bad prior to mesothelioma surgery. She was independent, she drove, and she never had this much difficulty breathing. It is also discouraging because the patient is constantly mouthing,”Take me home.”
“I want some water please.” Although this is such a small request, her loved ones cannot help her out. It is doctor’s orders that she cannot take water, or anything, by mouth. It really hurts to deny her this, but doctor’s orders must be followed. At this point it has been nearly a month, and the family and patient all want to scream with frustration.
The doctors have mentioned that a rehabilitation center may necessary. The family never thought that they would travel down this road. As the daughter tries to accept the facts, obviously wishing they were quite different, she never thought it would be like this.
Please continue to read as we follow this patient.