Thursday, April 11, 2013

Follow Up with GP.... and New Meds?

The week after James got home from the VA, he had a follow-up appointment with his GP.

Which is just silly. That's a phrase you use after you call a nurse hotline about your rash. That's certainly not the grand finale to the three-month hospitalization after a traumatic car wreck.

So, his DR mainly said, "let's get you off of those painkillers!" and he wrote James a prescription for a lesser painkiller to be paired with Alleve. Yes, Alleve. You know, what you take sometimes, that you buy at the grocery store.

So it comes in the mail. All VA meds come in the mail, unless you are at a big facility that has a pharmacy where they can hand it to you if you wait there. But mailing it is no biggie, cause he has a week or two of his regular painkiller left.

James is game, he definitely doesn't want to get hooked on them, so he wakes up one morning and is ready to start the new regimen. We try it for nearly 3 days. It sucks. He is miserable. He's always asking, "when are they due?" Jenni and Cornell and I are spending lots of time rubbing his feet.

Finally I'm like, "Forget this!" and put him back on the other. I call his VA DR and get his RN's voicemail. I leave a stern and thorough message that James tried the new meds, that they didn't relieve his pain, that we went back on the old ones, and that he needed a refill. It takes him nearly 10 hours to get his pain down to a manageable level after he swallows his first dose back on the good stuff.

James has had many RNs and friends tell him how easy it is to get hooked on the painkillers. That they will just be a fixture of his life- forever. Always. This is not appealing to him so we spend time discussing the difference between "needing" and "wanting" painkillers. There is a difference between being afraid of real pain, wanting it managed, and still being in the early stages of healing-- and just wanting a buzz off a painkiller when you are not in pain. Not in recovery anymore.

To be continued...

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

April 7 & 8; ER Visits

So.... I last posted about James' GP giving James a new prescription of less potent medicine so that he could get off the narcotic painkillers, which he was running out of.

Well, the short of it was, the narcotics didn't arrive in the mail in time. James tried to cope, but finally, I loaded him up in the car and took him the Temple VA emergency room. The nurse was horrifying- rude, condescending, and insulting. The ER doctor gave James a dose there and then a day's worth of meds. Hopefully, the prescription would come in the mail by the time they ran out!

It took longer to file a complaint for the heinous intake nurse than it did to get the meds.

Of course, they didn't come in Monday's mail, so Jennifer had to run him back up to the ER for another dose orally and then a dozen more to take home.

Finally, they did come and we could breathe a sigh of relief.

Obviously, it wasn't time to get off of them yet. His accident was a mere 3 months ago! Every large bone in his body shattered, nearly. He wasn't even supposed to be discharged from the hospital yet.

I did the math. There are 206 bones in your body. Each hand has 26 bones; each foot has 27. That's 106 bones right there in your hands and feet!

Cause it just isn't fair to leave them in- unless of course you've broken your hand or foot- I didn't count hands or feet. So under those guidelines, James broke nearly 30% of his bones. Big bones- and nearly every one shattered. (What would it be if we counted each break instead of which bone!!)

 Ok, Ok, if you did the math really it would be 14% of his bones broken. It just doesn't seem right though since it's all his long bones that affect everything he wants to do.

Monday, April 1, 2013

March at a Glance

  1. weekend pass home
  3. small group with church
  4. return to Temple, get meds, back home
  5. hospital room emptied, 30 x-rays, grab bars installed at home
  6. hand strength test, DISCHARGED!

  9. Austin American Statesman news article runs!
  11.  first opthalmologist appointment at VA
  16. James drives first time
  23.  Welcome home party
  24.  follow-up ortho appt (bones)