18-A new hospital and new experiences.
Updated: Jul 21, 2020
Home... Is it really where you make it? Can you really make any place, even an extended stay at an ICU hospital feel like home? Oh how we wished we could just be home with our Brianne, snuggling up with her little boy, but this is what we had, our reality, her reality and we did everything we could to make the best of it.
We did everything we could to make her new ICU 'Home' as welcoming as possible. This move was harder than I had anticipated for everyone! Plus Dale was leaving to host my tour group to China. I didn't mind that but the timing was terrible because I really needed his steady strength and wisdom with all that we were facing! The thought of him leaving for 11 days seemed overwhelming at that moment. But we had made a commitment to those going on the tour and I was grateful that he was willing to take this on because there was no way I would leave Brianne.
Thankfully Dale's Mom, Joyce was still coming often and staying for a week or so at a time... sometimes she would even stay at the hospital overnight as well. Though it was still hard for me to leave for even a couple of hours, I knew that a short walk or dinner once in a while, somewhere outside the hospital was good for my soul. If I didn't keep myself going and take care of me, how could I manage Brianne's care with all the daily decisions?!
As you can see in the background they made up a little bed for us to sleep in when we stayed all night. This was a nice upgrade from the last ICU, because they didn't really have that kind of space available. This made such a big difference and allowed me to get a few hours of sleep in between nurses coming in 2 or 3 x night. It is amazing how just a couple of hours of sleep at a time can make me feel like I am pampered! Who knew!
Late one night while *Lennerd was visiting for a few minutes and he informed me that Brianne never signed her Health Care Directive, particularly the Do Not Resuscitate and that she would never want to be paralyzed forever, which he fully believed she would be. I heard him and Brianne talking about the H.C.D before surgery and assumed that she had signed and made things clear... I should have asked. I was sick ... what if one little thing happened to make her stop breathing, would he just give up and give the OK not resuscitate? At this point, we did not have any power to make those decisions for her because she was still married. I prayed hard that she would not face a situation that would warrant a D.N.R.
I know that talking with family about signing these documents and discussing what they want is difficult but it is impossible when they cannot speak for themselves!! I would encourage everyone to talk to their loved ones beforehand, know what their wishes are and if they need to go to the hospital, make sure all the decisions are made and the paperwork is done. I would also consider having them write who they want to visit. For Brianne, in hindsight, I would have had her put that she wanted to see her son everyday. I knew that would have improved her healing and given her more hope to keep going. It now had been over a month and we are still begging .... for *Alex to come see her.