Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Who Killed Dave? - Now an e-book

I created a digital online version some time ago - but wasn't that impressed with the quality. I've finally got around to creating an e-version with Amazon.

It's just come on line at Who Killed Dave? - Amazon and costs $11.99 AUS and $9.99 US.

I've yet to embrace e-books at home, but see it is a good way forward. Maybe a Kindle Christmas present Trev? How do you feel about paperless reading?

Faith in Human Nature - Restored

Been a couple of weeks now of having Trev back home. He's taking it slowly as it seems that's the only way possible. He continued to lose weight at home due to lack of appetite and he's now lost 15kg, most of which is muscle judging by the lack of strength. He's slowly increasing this however. It's been blowy of late and I saw Trev almost knocked off his feet by a gust the first week he got home. But doubt that would be the case now. He had a go at chopping wood the other day and had to ask me to help him get the axe out of the puny bit of wood, which he's used to picking up a big chopping block size of wood stuck to his axe and whacking it down upside down to get the blocksplitter through it. The kind of wood I couldn't pick up in way too many Sundays. To say that losing 30 years of hard won muscle in 12 days has been hard on him is putting it mildly. He's had a few dark days there and still finds it hard to understand how something so mild in Caleb and I could come close to killing him has also been difficult.

But the one thing that we come back to again and again is how bloody wonderful everyone has been, how when we didn't have a car, lo, there was a loaner, when there wasn't any wood in the woodbox, lo, there would be wood. Goats needed milking, lo, udders would be empty. While in the motel we had a call to the room to say a box was downstairs for us to pick up. Bemused Caleb and I went down to pick it up and it was full of organic fruit/bread, goodies and a card with $100 in it.

I can't remember what bought it on, but one day I stood up and in a computer generated voice I said, 'Faith in Human Nature - restored'. It has been a tough year in a lot of ways, one's I'd not share on the blog, and Trev becoming so ill was major icing of the decorate mountain tops kind. But it hasn't been entirely negative, we get to keep Trev and the restoration of faith in human nature... well, the two insignificant words Thank You, keep popping up, they hardly do justice to what it feels to have been on the receiving end of so much caring.

Even so, Thank you! to all those who offered support in all its guises.

H1N1 (swine flu) vaccinations are free, only 20% of the population in Australia have opted to have it, mostly because they think, like Trev, that they're bullet proof or that the threat has passed.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Earthquake New Zealand photos

While Trev was in hospital there was a bit of a tremble in my place of birth, and where my parents live. My mother, who's not long had a heart attack or two and didn't need the extra stress of has been giving me updates on the constant shaky state of things in Christchurch. She's sent through a link of photos of some of the damage. The earthquakes continue...

Earthquake damage

Trev's at home

Not sure I'm totally happy about that. Thought it wonderful at the time, and while he's generally behaving he did manage to fall into the caravan, and this morning, without my knowledge, back out of it. Had to extricate him from under the step and haul him back up. He's peeved there is so much of him to haul up. He's lost 10kg, once he knew the full horror of where he'd been for the fortnight he was keen to discover the weight reduction benefits, and while keen to keep them has been demolishing food ever since. Which is great. Interestingly he constantly thirsts for fruit juices, lemons/oranges, fresh squeezed.

They weren't that keen for him to leave, but having heard bad weather was coming and having been transferred to another ward where he was able to take advantage of the quiet open spaces of 2am. He hauled himself around till he was capable enough of walking (like a tight rope walker, said the physio and encouraged him to walk with his feet further apart, now he walks like he's pooed himself) nevertheless, he's walking. But very weak and breathless.

We had another drama the other day when Val and I leapt into the car to go see Trev, who was finally conscious only to discover that our car, which has only ever needed maintenance, never repairs, needed repairs of the kind requiring tow trucks. Just about pulled out my hair, a neighbour leant us their car, and now other friends have given us a loaner till ours returns. Expecting to pay $1200 for that. Someone remarked that we were clocking up a lot of good luck in the future, but I have to be honest and say we've clocked up a lot in the past, and getting Trev back, while not luck, it had skill involved on behalf of his caregivers, is pretty lucky too.

Last night after our semi-successful attempt to get Trev into bed without mishap, he started hyperventilating and breathing very noisily. Almost convinced myself to take him straight back to hospital. So spent a lot of the night coaxing him onto his side where he breathed easier and listening to see he kept it up.

Trev fully intends to test out his coordination on the keyboard and respond to emails soon. But considering I watched him brush his hair this morning (it exhausted him), it might be some time away yet. I just have to convince him to stay still long enough to recover.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Trev's in Dubai

Well he is, according to him.

We asked him why he thought he was and he told us it was because of all the muslims. 'Not that I have anything against Muslims' he told us. 'And why is the clock going backwards?' then diagnosed the issue as being in the northern hemisphere and the coreolis effect.
He wasn't supposed to be talking but he wouldn't stop and mostly so quiet no one could hear. But when I told him to shush for a while I heard a distinct.
'Fuck the shush'.
He was grumpy as hell. He kept trying to enlist Caleb to get him a drink. We weren't allowed to do it because of the risk it would go straight into his lungs. He was pissed off. 'Why are you all against me?' Glares all round.
'Would you like to be on your left side, or your right side?' the nurse asks.
'I don't care as long as I have a drink in my hand'.
'What would you like to drink?'
'A beer'.
He couldn't understand how he'd got to Dubai, and how we were all there too.
I explained we were in Australia and Tasmania, at the Royal Hospital,
'Oh yeah, we came here to get married'.
He was disabused of that idea pretty quickly.
He was, as we all thought, shocked he'd been in hospital so long. He can't remember much, he thought he'd spent some time at Gary's. But I don't know of any Gary. He also thinks he may have seen the white light.
'Can I have a beer yet?'

Later we see him, we're allowed to rip off the gowns and masks because he no longer needs to be in iso, his swab was negative for swine flu. He keeps repeating, 'I've had tamiflu?'
He's out into the main ward now where he's a little less belligerent and eventually the 'fuckin' clock' is going forward once more and he's able to drink and eat, the best yoghurt ever and pureed icky looking stuff which he tosses back. His face mask is now a nasal prong thing and he hates it. He wants it out. He struggles to get his hand to his face to pull it off, but he is so weak, and his muscles so wasted he physically can't touch his nose. He's warned why it is he can't remove it, but he continues to try. Later he looks like he might make it, and Caleb touches a finger to his arm and restrains him with the pressure of a butterfly. Caleb gets the glare from hell.

Of course all these antics impress us hugely. We have ear to ear grins. I try to impress him about how ill he's been. I read him lots of emails from people and blog comments. I tell him all the wonderful stuff people have been doing for him and us.
'Hmm, I must be an Ok kind of bloke then'.
He looks overwhelmed, his bottom lips trembling.
'You OK Trev?'
'I thought you were crying'.
'Yeah, well I'm feeling emotional. Can I have that fuckin' beer now?'

Monday, 6 September 2010

I won't be blogging for a while

Hi All,

The hospital made a complaint yesterday about the blog, seeing it as a breach of patient confidentiality. While I believe care has been taken not to name any staff, and of course any other patient in ICU, or said anything negative about his care, which has been fantastic, I'm prepared to comply. Human nature being what it is I'm not going to jeopardise our relationship with the hospital.

Trev has an oft repeated phrase in regards to freedom of speech, 'I might not believe what you have to say, but I'll fight to the death for your right to say it.'

Thanks for all your kind thoughts, your support has been a real boost. I have made a journal of blog posts and all your comments,emails etc for Trev which he can read when he's ready to read it.



Sunday, 5 September 2010

Trev, Trev, Trevor!

Should have seen the look on the nurses face when she asked to see what I was giving Trev in a little dropper. Told her that the medical profession can't find anything but water and traces of alcohol in homeopathic medicenes, that seemed to allay fears.

Trev went back a bit today. High temp, upped the level of PEEPS and oxygen and bowels still not moving despite two hit men of interns giving him two enemas. They stood at his bedside, 6 foot something, with hands behind there backs and unsmiling faces till I left. If Trev could have seen them it would have given him the shits all on its own. No shit moved however.

He's stirring, not when I told him I loved him, no, only when I told him that he came fourth in the footie tipping competition! Hard to see him go back, even a little bit.

Had a really shit day really. Started when I found Daisy dead. Ehren fed the goats half a bale of hay, Caleb did tell me, but I was distracted with other stuff and didn't realise just how much, and the silly thing did what she always does, guzzled herself till she gave herself bloat. I didn't even realise she was sick I've been too busy washing dogs (Nuju decided to sit in the rain then roll in dirt till he was a black dog), feeding people and answering the telephone. So I didn't even do my goat check when we got home. Looks like a miserable death for her.

We had to bury her Sunday morning. Ehren and Caleb being the grave diggers. Then I fell arse over tit in the mud and hurt my back. Got to the hospital to find Trev has gone, just slightly downhill and they can't find the (expletive deleted) $800 Vitamin C. Will need to jump onto it first thing today. It's probably sitting around somewhere. So much for spending $200 to get it there by Saturday morning. Still trying to convince every doctor and nurse, one at a time, the value of trying it. Yes, it may have no effect,but also nothing detrimental, it may be beneficial. Worth a go.

(wrote the above last night before ringing the hospital)

Trev's bowels (bells) are clanging... moved 'em. Which is great news. Still no improvements elsewhere.

(now morning, rung for the report from the night nurse)

Temp down, but a restless night where he appears to have been stirring and trying to open his eyes. They suspect the ventilator is causing discomfort, which is probably true, but as he has a bad back and it's the worst possible position for him to be lying in, it's probably that too. Can't stand ten minutes in that position and it's now the tenth day.

Gathering all my info on Vitamin C, courier names etc and going in to see if we can sort the C.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Father's Day

Seems he may be the one giving us the present! That of his presence.

Yesterday he stirred for the first time, almost didn't believe it. The physio was seeing him for the first time and she was shaking his lungs to try and loosen the muck. It disturbed him enough for him to come to enough to move his head. She was asking him to take a big breath, and lo! He did.
His peeps are down to 14 (the gate posts moved though, we've been hanging out for 12 and the possibility of having the ventilator out, but now the numbers 6).
They're giving him 50% oxygen blend, and his blood oxygen levels are 92-95% which is good. He's full of fluid and his hands look like puff fish. His bedsores and dusky patches are growing, his stomach still isn't working and they're now delivering all his nutrition intravenously.

They've backed off giving him the Vitamin C, I have to wait till Monday to go in and battle that one out. Had a good nurse who asked about why we'd got it for him and she was receptive, which is better than others. I went to Gould's Naturopathica yesterday and bought Trev homeopathic drops that are supposed to help with the right lung expelling gunk and blood, which is the big thing he has to do, mostly on his own. We gave it to him and later on I looked at what it was. Arsenicum. Glad the nurses/doctors didn't see that!

The nurse said she thought he'd got to the turning point. We're all repeating, 'turning point' to each other and looking smug.

Then... last night I rung up to see how he was and was told they'd changed his sedation medication and that he was stirring and trying to open his eyes. We're off soon to see him and hope that's still the case. He's off the noradrenalin (which was supporting his blood pressure which had been getting extremely low), so hopefully peripheral circulation will improve and he'll have less issues with the bla bla skin. Still has a low grade temp, but nothing major. They're giving him special foot splints as he's starting to get 'foot drop', and he'll have a hard time walking when he's ready too due to muscle wastage.

So, even though he's not out of the 'woodwork' (as one nurse termed it) yet, it's more and more unlikely that it will go any other way other than up (with a few slips back to be expected).

We're all very tired, Caleb was almost completely silent yesterday, so even though it's fathers day today he can stay with friends and do something 'normal.' Today is the 9th day, feeling guardedly hopeful I'll get to say gidday!

Thursday, 2 September 2010

On All things Trevor

Hi All,

Trev remains stable. No real progress forward apart from the new trick he has of coughing up muck and rolling his eyes to the back of his head. His lung x-rays show no improvement. They're going to lower his sedation a bit, but not so much that he wakes. They are hoping that will result in more coughing and more up mucking.

I've had success on the Vitamin C level (please forgive if I've already said this, I can't recall), but the hospital couldn't source it, said it would cost $25,000 - $30,000 to get it through Canberra (and Trev would probably have died of old age by the time it got here). So I made lots of calls/emails and found an Australian supplier in Melbourne. It's expensive, especially when they said it would cost $600 to deliver it by 7pm tonight. So I opted for the $200 to get it there by lunch time tomorrow. Sorry Trev, figured I'd make sure I can afford the next batch instead of pay so dearly for the first).

Just cleared it with the hospital and they will start administering it tomorrow when it gets there. I'm pretty excited about my depleted bank balance. I hope this is the thing that will get things moving for him, and in the right direction. He's been piddling around so long he's getting bed sores and the noradrenalin levels concentrate his blood in his organs and his peripheral circulation is bad and he's getting dark necrotic looking tissue on his feet and heels and lower spine They can't turn him on his side or his oxygen levels plummet dramatically. I'm so glad he's on morphine, even if he does wake up an addict.

We're at home now as we couldn't stay in the motel any longer. We won't see him again till tomorrow morning. But Ehren (Trev's oldest son) is busy chopping wood that a neighbour dropped off to us and I'm checking chooks, ducks, garden, cleaning up and generally making myself busy.

About to start work on a journal for Trev with clippings and cuttings of emails/blog comments/cards etc from all you wonderful people so when he wakes he gets to feel as overwhelmed as we do by all the love and well wishes coming his way.

Thanks to you all for offering it!



Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Update on Trev

Hi Again.

Trev had a good night with his temp finally near normal. His PEEPS came down for the first time from 18 to 16. This is the amount of pressure the ventilator is using to force air into his lungs. The amount of oxygen in the mix came down too. He was on 100%, now he's on 40%, coming down 5% at a time. This is all good. If he keeps this up, which we have been warned against thinking like, as steps forward are usually followed by steps back, they'll be thinking about taking him off the ventilator soon.
Hopefully his digestive system will start up again as it shut down and he's not been on the nasal tube feed since the beginning. I just hope he doesn't see this as a weight loss strategy!

Very much looking forward to tempting his appetite with all things gourmet and nutritious soon.

Learning to try stay on an even level for all those around me. When things are good you just about have to scrape me off the ceiling, when he has a step back it's sweep me off the floor. Not fair on those around me as I take them with me on the giant swings. Having said that, we're all feeling pretty darn good this morning after this mornings good news.



An Update on Trev

Hi All,

Trev recovered from his bad night and is again stable.

Had some advice about large doses of Vitamin C intraveneously. We just pitched the idea to the ward director who rolled his eyes but came at it. Said he'd already been to a conference where they were talking about how families were all asking for intravenous vitamin C. Said it couldn't hurt and was going to arrange it. He said, 'If Trev dies in a couple of weeks you'll blame me for not giving it to him.' I agreed with him. He made a few derogatory Kiwi remarks as that's where the Vit C info came from. But I let him get away with it. We'd already snuck in straight rosehip oil and massaged every bit of skin we could find with it. Only 3% absorption through skin, but better than nothing. He said Trev had been given an 8.5 out of 10 for seriousness that first bad night and is now down to 7 - which is good.

Some small improvement in lungs, he's off nitrous oxide and still holding his own. The Doctor says it's going to be rough going for the next while as in a couple of days they may look at weaning him off the ventilator and he will be coughing and choking on all the crap in his lungs which will be unpleasant for all, but most particularly Trev. We're all very selfish in wanting him back and conscious so we can tell him how much we love him and that he needs to get well and make us more hummus, his last batch is almost finished.

We've been incredibly lucky with neighbours pitching in at home with the various menagerie, Nuju, the sheep, goats, chooks and ducks. Which is fantastic and a load off our minds to know it's just not a problem. But hope to be back home soon. We're really keen to know it's an upward curve he's on.

Thanks for all your support and well wishes! It's great to hear from everyone, and a good reminder of all the good in the world.