17-Can you be defiant when paralyzed?
(Oct. 20th, 2016) How many many of us could ever say we would enjoy an extended stay in the ICU for a month? We personally do not recommend it, and we weren't the one lying in the bed day after day. However, we are grateful for the help and support of all the staff during this first month which was so critical to her recovery. So many of the staff became friends as we shared life stories, connected in the hard, celebrated medical milestones for Brianne as well as others, talked of life moving forward, and so much more. We shared everyday, every hour, every moment until it seemed, 'comfortable' being there. Comfortable that we knew how things worked and who we could rely and count on. We know that seems to be a bit of an oxymoron, because, who really feels comfortable in an ICU?
The thing was, Brianne wasn't even close to being in a position to leave and go home, but this ICU could only do so much. It was designed for shorter, critical stays and her situation required a different kind of care than they could provide. So it was time to move on from the one piece of craziness that we had just gotten used to.
Just the thought of moving to a new place after getting into our daily routine was unnerving to all of us. We had friends there, we knew what to expect for the most part and all this made even me just a little apprehensive. Moving however meant that we had reached some milestones, which were all for her good. The biggest milestone meant that progress had been made where they could finally remove the drain tubing out of her head. This had to be reached to qualify her to make this move to a lower status ICU. We celebrated that improvement!
After the Physical Therapist worked with Brianne for 45 minutes, we started the big job of packing up all of Brianne's possessions to move to, The Promise Hospital. (What a great name for a hospital) You can just imagine all the the little things that needed to be packed after a month's stay. The cards, gifts, pictures from home to make it feel like she was always surrounded by those she loved. The hardest part was sitting around, waiting to hear when the ambulance transport would be able to move Brianne. The only thing Joyce, Marissa and I could do was to continue to pack and then wait.
In the meantime, the current ICU doctors wanted to come and test Brianne before leaving. They would ask her questions. We told them that Dale and I had taught her to answer 'Yes' and 'No' questions by using one of her fingers that could move a bit. As they asked each question, she hardly responded. At first I was a bit shocked because I knew that she could answer but it appeared that she was choosing to be defiant. The doctors had no idea that she was just scared and upset to be moving to a new, unfamiliar place. She wanted to feel in charge of something, anything, so she was just CHOSE not to answer.
I didn't blame her, I wasn't excited to move to a new place with a new medical staff and not knowing if the care would be as good. But she had many more reasons to be apprehensive then me... I could walk in and tell them what I wanted, she felt like she didn't have a voice, that she couldn't even be her own advocate!
Marissa rode with Brianne in the ambulance so that we could drive our cars to the new place. I was grateful she had her sister with her!