Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Home Again

The surgery did indeed go well. Dr. Stewart is extremely talented! It left me in quite a bit of pain but getting to return to the Burn Unit was worth it. I was quickly re-united with Angie, one of the Nurses who initially treated me after the accident. She made me feel right at home and, with the help of a morphine pump, the pain went away. Another nurse who watched over me in the past, Lindsey, made a special trip up from the ER to stick me with an IV.

The morning Nurses, Megan and Dennis, seemed happy to see me and I enjoyed watching the looks of surprise as other staff came by. Renee checked on me in the morning before going to work with her other patients and filled me in on what she new about the radiation treatment scheduled for later that day. The purpose of the radiation was to help prevent the extra bone from reforming. Shortly after Renee went to torture her first patient of the day one of the doctors from the Orthopedist's team came by to fill me in on the plan.

Some EMT's were supposed to pick me up between 9 and 9:30am to take me in an ambulance to IU Med (literally across the street) for a 10:30 appointment with Radiology that should last about 30 min. At 10:00am Megan got a call from the Radiology department and they told her she had to arrange transportation. This was absolutely not Megan's responsibility but she made it happen, and the EMT's came to get me on very short notice.

My Father and I took a quick trip in an ambulance across the street and then sat in a waiting room for a long time. It was nice to have the time to hang out with Dad but it would have been better if my morphine pump had not run out about 15 minutes after we arrived. Had it only been a 30 minute procedure this wouldn't have been a problem but, what was supposed to take 30 minutes actually took 6 hours! The Radiology staff gave me an occasional morphine injection to help fight the pain. It was too infrequent, and because I wasn't in control of it, my pain level increased from a 4 to a 6 on a 10 point scale. One being the best and 10 being the worst.

When I got back to the Burn Unit around 4:30 pm the nursing team immediately went to work on getting my pain back under control. Around 5:30 pm Renee came by to watch me prove my independence by transferring from the bed to the wheelchair. She let me off the hook when she saw my pain and then tried her best to lift my spirits. Mom and my friend Jamie joined her in this endeavor and, while they did lift my spirits, my pain level remained about a five.

A while later Rebecca (the Nurse who took care of me most nights when I was most critical) and Angie (the Nurse Rebecca took me from) increased my dosage of morphine and helped me get my pain down to a 2. The night went well from that point on and, for the most part, I slept peacefully. Oh, and during the time that my pain was at a six there was also a catheter incident but those details are to grusome to go into here!

This morning Renee and April (the Tech. who spoils me) snuck me a chocolate doughnut and coffee and I got to visit with some other familiar faces. Like Tony, the Nurse who helped me get ready to leave today, Janet Crawford, the Case Manager who helped guide my family and I through the procedures of Wishard, Karen, one of the PT's in the Burn Unit that helped get me ready for the ARC, and of course Dr. Sood.

The Ortho Doctors came up around 11:00 and changed the dressings on my wounds and removed the hema-vac (sp?) drain from my leg and released me. Five minutes later I was back in my own clothes and disconnected from the IV! It's amazing how much better I felt. I got to spend the next hour relaxing before Mom could get there and departed the Burn Unit in much better condition than last time. Now I'm home again, with some new pain medication, and with any luck will be walking more regularly in a couple of weeks!

Did I mention that last Friday the PT's (Pretty Torturesses - ie. Renee and Sarah) came to my house for therapy and showed me that I could get into the backyard? They even helped me get in my hammock! Getting out was not pretty but going through a couple of days of pain and inconvenience is worth it if I can spend more time in the yard!

I'm glad to hear that you are home ok, and that you got to see some familiar faces along the way.

And what a bonus to be able to spend time in the yard now the weather is warmer there (unfortunately here in the UK its still not that great).

Enjoy being at home again and keep up the good work, you'll be back walking in no time :)

Take care, love Annie x

Jerm, you have a hammock? Congrats on being home, I tell you there is no place like home. Surrounded by friends and family to help you get better. Glad you got to visit your friends under better circumstances this time, of course! Keep up the good work and let's go for a walk soon. Hey, I got to talk too Annie via email..yea,catching up is always fun. Enjoy your day and your medication!!!
Love ya,
Jeremy -- glad to hear the surgery went well, but so sorry about all the pain! Sounds like you have a great medical team working with you. :-) Mom told me Dr. Stewart just speaks glowingly of you .. no surprise there ;-)

Hope you get some more time in the hammock this weekend :-)


Just checked in after a busy few days, glad to hear the surgery went well. Hope the pain will soon be a thing of the past.
"Consult not your fears but your hopes and dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what is still possible for you to do."
You are always in my thoughts and prayers...
Hey Jeremy...
What another wild ride you have been on. You are a leader in tolerance in my book.

We,ve had a busy time lately with Spencer's first Holy Communion and William turned 5!
Nathan is just crazy busy. Climbing on the countertops and opening doors to the outside..taking sharp objects out of the utensil drawers.
Three boys is quite honestly...very tiring!
But we are blessed for these challenges, and we know it.

So glad to hear you are back home.

Perhaps I could bring the boys by during the summer and visit?

I will certainly be in touch.

God bless....
MB & all the boys...
I'm so glad to hear that the surgery went well and you're back at your own house. I couldn't help but think of you as I sat out in my yard this weekend, and was happy that you too are able to enjoy your yard. I hope getting in and out of the hammock will become easier, so you can enjoy some lovely summer days lounging outside.

I hope your recovery from sugery is coming along well, and I can't wait to hear that you're up and walking around pain-free.

Take care,
Erin Longwell
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