PAD Launch Day - Jason Smith

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Jason Smith

My Personal Journey Jason Smith

These two girls keep me going! 2June 30th, 2010On June 30th, 2010 I went to Abbottsford hospital June 30 with pain in my abdomen due to a cyst. I was there for many days which are very foggy. I was there for 3 weeks.

After 9 days I went back to ARH and then was transferred to RCH and spent approximately a month where they monitored the cyst in my abdomen. The Dr.s decided it would not be operated on as the size was decreasing and I was sent home.

My JOURNEY as a critical care patient was and still is a long one.Today I am going to tell you my story in my own words

3September 12, 201) A day and half later (September 12, 2010) I went back to ARH in extreme pain.

My colon burst while I was on the XRay table. I felt a wash of pain run through my body from head to toe and almost crumpled to the floor.

I was in extreme pain and was taken back to emergency area where I continued to writhe in pain crying/screaming for something for the pain. It was extreme. I was told that I had to be quiet first before I would be given any pain medication.

4

Here I am in the ICU5

Fast Forward How Long?Fast forward a month? A Month and a half?

I couldnt really see what was going on around me and was very confused and would then drift off again. This went on for what felt like a long time but I dont know what reality was. Time passing was foggy.

I remember waking up a bit and hearing my dad and wife and it seemed like I was in a really weird room all by myself. I couldnt really see what was going on around me and was very confused and would then drift off again. This went on for what felt like a long time but I dont know what reality was.

7Confusion / Delirium I remember nurses rolling me on my side and putting pillows under me. It was very painful. I couldnt talk to find out why or explain what was happening.

So many things were happening around me and I was confused and had questions but had no way of communicating it to them. I remember I tried to indicate I needed water or a drink and was given these moist sponges to put into my mouth. They did not taste great thats for sure. 8Sleeping? Awake? Agitated I think I spent a lot of time sleeping and not awake.

A group of Doctors would come around and look at me and talk. I did not understand what they were saying and I would just look at them unable to find out what was happening and why I was like this.

I was very sad and lonely.

All I could do was lay there and stare out the window moving in and out of sleep/consciousness throughout the days.

I remember getting so angry because I couldnt write well either. One time still stands out in my mind where I wanted the nurse to call my wife and talk to her or find out when she was coming to see me. The nurse couldnt read my writing so didnt understand me and all I wanted to do was see her and wanted to know when she was coming. 9Pain, Agitation and Delirium. There were sounds that I got used to and over time voices that I would recognize without seeing the person but knew they would be coming to me next.

I was adjusted in my bed multiple times a day with the pillows being put in different spots so that my body wasnt all in the same position. This was very uncomfortable and painful. It hurt a lot each time I was rolled onto one side or the other and at first I was very confused as to why the nurses kept moving me and causing me this pain.

One day I think there was a big announcement and I heard what I thought was a large ship turning on its horn. It made me think that where I was was right next to the hospital. I remember then thinking I would hear seagulls and other sounds of the water and boats. I dont think I ever did but this is what my mind was telling me.

I remember being sponged bathed and looked forward to a movie I got to occasionally watch as the TV and VCRs got rotated through the ICU. I wanted to watch the videos all the time and remember being angry when I couldnt because it had to go to other patients. Now that I think back I cant understand why I would be angry about that.

10Mellissas Story Excerpt from Mellissa Smiths letter

Eventually the tracheostomy was closed off.

I remember the Respiratory Therapist coming around a number of times a day and suctioning my lungs. I was asked to cough to try to get mucous out of my lungs and then they would suction it out.

This was extremely painful.

I also remember being hooked up to a machine to have Dialysis because of all the medications that I had been on. I think the lines were put in when I was out of the coma but I cant remember for sure.

12Eventually I got better enough that I was transferred to Step Down on I believe the 9th floor. I had started to feel a bit better about things.

As I started to be more and more aware feelings of sadness and depression would take over me. I had regrets, fears, uncertainties and lonleiness while I spent time getting better.

I had surgery and I thought I was getting better but then things went downhill again. I became very depressed and angry.

When I was in Step Down is the first time I remember seeing my mom. I dont think she ever came to see me before that point as she was having a lot of trouble dealing with what had happened. It was difficult for her to accept.

One day when I was laying in my bed all of a sudden there was this bubble on my abdomen that started growing and growing and then after a while a hole appeared and liquid started coming out. I was very scared and no one could answer my questions until finally a Dr or nurse came in (I dont clearly remember which) and suck a long Qtip type thing into the hole that had formed. More and more liquid was coming out. I was told it was a Fistula but it wasnt explained to me what that meant until a while later. I was really confused because I had thought I was getting better but had concluded that what was happening wasnt a good thing. I became very depressed and angry.

13At some point I remember getting a pic line put in me that ended up running close to my heart. I dont remember if that was for the TPN or what exactly but it took an hour-ish to put in and they had to measure it exactly. I remember it being very weird/scary for some reason but dont really remember why.

I thought I was getting better a few weeks before Christmas and maybe there would be a possibility of getting a day pass.

This came to an end when I woke up in ICU with a giant tube down my throat having no idea what had happened or was going on. My hands were tied to the bed rails and I remember my throat being extremely dry. I didnt see anyone from my family for I dont know how long so I had no idea what was going on. There was this powder that I remember them putting into the mask and it would spin around in there and make noise. I have no idea what it was. A few days later I was moved back to Stepdown. I found out that I had fallen asleep and they couldnt wake me up and my vitals were all normal and then I woke up a day and a half or so later. It was very scary not knowing what was going on.

I found out that I had fallen asleep and they couldnt wake me up and my vitals were all normal and then I woke up a day and a half or so later. It was very scary not knowing what was going on.

I got pneumonia 2 times when I was in the hospital and when I went back into the ICU may have been one of them. Back to the hacking stuff up and getting suctioned. When I would try to cough stuff up it was extremely painful. I would have to hug pillows but found it to still be extremely painful. My whole mid-section screamed at me and was some of the most painful times.I have to say one thing about the nasty liquid I had to drink at least 20 times before going downstairs to get a CT scan. The first time I remember I sucked it back and it was ok for a bit and then I felt just nasty. It made me feel gross inside and it was very difficult to get down after that first time. I cant recall the name of it right now.I started to get physio and would walk around the floor and found myself tripping and falling here and there. My right foot was pointed downward and I had to lift it higher or my toes would catch. When I fell, I fell hard and it hurt often more later on or the next day. After a little bit I got a soft foot brace and was told I had drop foot. This is the leg that still has numbness on the top side from my waist down today. It has improved a bit though and Im not falling on my face anymore!

14Boredom Mel had brought in some stuff for me to write on and some pens and a few felts. One day I was bored and made up some warning signs similar to ones that I had seen the nurses put up outside some rooms. One said CAUTION! TOXIC GASES and then another one said ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK! and I put them up one beside the door and one on the door. AI forgot I had put them up there and rang for a nurse. It wasnt my regular nurse and she carefully opened the door and poked her head in to see what I needed and if it was safe to come in. I laughed and explained and she thought it was hilarious. After lunch they didnt come in to pick up my tray either! It was pretty funny and I and some of the nurses had a good laugh about it!

15Recovering Making it Home!There was a dull pain a lot of the time and a lot of depression.

Finally I was released and got to go home. I think part of the reason was to save me from going crazy. I was crying a lot a lonely and missed my kids.

I was really sad as I missed a lot of their lives being in the hospital for 7 months.

My youngest Charlie was so hesitant and almost scared to come near me and it made me so sad. After they would leave I would cry and cry. Im not sure if it was the medication making me so emotional or just everything wearing on me.

Pain, DeliriumAs I became more and more awake I realized I couldnt feel my legs. It seemed they were very numb and tingly at times. I couldnt talk to find out why or explain what was happening.

My left leg went back to normal over time but my right leg is still numb on the top side from my waist down. I have since been seeing an Adaptive Kinesiologist to help with this but so far has not helped. The hope is the surgery that I had recently will help with this. The Dr. has informed me that I may get that feeling back and that it could take up to 18 months.

17Hockey oh Joy!The nurses and staff were great.

When a hockey game was on Id have them popping in to check out the score.

The nurses are worth every penny they get and do a phenomenal job and deserve a huge raise.