Monday, May 23, 2011

We are nurses!

Jan and I started learning about transfers and how to put the sling on the lift and how to use the lift.  We had classes about skin and oh my goodness they were scary.  We had classes about all things that are associated with Spinal Cord Injuries.  Dennis still could not deflate the cuff in his trach so we could put the speaking valve in and he could talk.  He told us it felt like he was drowning.  The speech therapists told us some people take right to it and some don’t, we were obviously in the latter category.  Jan and I learned how to suction Dennis by using a dummy.  Dennis cannot cough up phlegm so if he needs to cough we have to suction him and once again it’s scary!  You have 11 seconds to put a suctioning tube down his throat and NOT hit the lung, and then suction the phlegm out.  I felt like we were do the “How to become a nurse and respiratory therapists in 30 days or less class.”  In the afternoon we practiced on Dennis.  Dennis also got off oxygen at this time which was really good because when we went outside we didn’t have to haul the vent and the oxygen bottle.  When we did go outside it was a lovely 100 degrees with 100 % humidity.  Jan and I got signed off on doing lift transfers so we didn’t have to go get a nurse every time we did something with Dennis.  I was really getting impatient with things that were happening and I was trying to stay upbeat.  It is very hard when you see someone you love trying so hard to overcome very difficult circumstances.  Your heart literally breaks every single day.  I read a passage that really struck home with me.  Patience is a spiritual force which undergirds your faith and causes you to be constant through the trail.  It holds it up like a pier under a long span of a bridge.

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