Thursday, January 28, 2010

Skip Out of Bed

Until yesterday, Skip hadn't gotten out of bed since she got home. At the rehab hospital, she was supposed to get up for an hour a day, but that frequently didn't come to pass due to a variety of scheduling conflicts. We, too, were supposed to get her out of bed every day for an hour, but didn't attempt that until yesterday.

We have avoided it for two reasons. First, the positioning of the dressing/drape for the wound vac means it can be affected by the bending at the hip that occurs when she's positioned in the lift. During the first go round with the wound vac, a lift caused the drape to come unattached and the sponge in the wound to fall out. We were concerned about too many lifts having a similar impact. Second, her power chair still has the original foam-only seat cushion, which we believe is the primary culprit for the wound she has. A Roho cushion is on order but has not yet arrived. Her physical therapist counselled against much time in the chair before the Roho is here.

But, Skip has an appointment at the Wound Care Center today, so we needed a dry run in the chair to make sure she'd be able to make the trip. In the initial transfer from bed to chair, she complained of pain from the lift in her back. It wasn't severe enough to stop the transfer, so we successfully got her settled in without much ado. The intrepid MW was here at the time, so she provided good spotting support and held all the tubes (catheter, wound vac) during the transfer.

It was so exciting to see Skip in the living room! The pups were delighted, too. We got her settled into her regular spot, and they jumped up into their bed that is positioned beside her. They didn't move the entire time she was there. We did the transfer shortly after my work day ended, so Skip was able to stay up and have dinner in her chair. Soon after dinner, though, she started to feel weak and slumped a bit. So, we got her into the bedroom and I positioned the lift under her armpits and thighs to get her back into bed. That's when the trouble began.

As I started to lift her from the chair, she made me stop because her shoulders hurt so much. I tried repositioning the lift and started it again. Again, I had to stop. I am not sure what the root cause of the problem is, but I am concerned that she might have lost needed muscle strength in her shoulders and upper trunk that's needed for use with the lift.

I ended up calling the Fire Department and they sent over two able fellows who, using a sheet we slipped under her by lifting her only slightly, were able to complete the lift-enabled transfer without pain.

For today, MW will be here when I'm transferring Skip before going to the wound appointment. I expect we'll use the draw sheet on the bed as an additional support during the transfer. Then, it'll be under Skip on the wheelchair, so we can use it to assist in transfers at the doctor's and then when she returns home.

I think today will be very hard on Skip and expect she'll be quite weak. Fortunately, I can operate the joystick on her wheelchair if she is too fatigued to manage it. So, while it will be a trying trip for her (I suspect), we can get through it without her needing to do much on her own.

We learned some important things in that transfer yesterday. Skip needs to work more aggressively on exercising her upper body, and we can work with her physical therapist on that front. And, the body support for the lift system may be too much for her right now and we'll need to use a sling for a while. We do have one, that I purchased to use with the portable patient lifter during vacation. But, I'm not sure if it will work on the SureHands, so I'll have to investigate that over the weekend, when I have more time and patience.

Wish us luck today at the wound care center!


Muffie said...

Here's hoping that you're both home by now, and that Skip is without pain/fatigue. You may call yourself "Cranky," but you're one of the most patient persons I've ever seen (read about) and I admire that!


Cranky said...

Muff - we are both home, safe and sound, following a (fortunately) uneventful trip to the wound clinic. Interesting that I come across as patient because I suspect those who know me in real life might not characterize me as so. But thanks! I think that's an admirable characteristic.

Diane J Standiford said...

Cranky, I take you at your word and at least you must admit you are brave to care so for that wounded bird. What would she do without you? The thought is horrible. PS--my partner and I wish you good luck every day.

kmilyun said...

Glad your both home safe and sound.

One can be Cranky and Patient at the same time.

Peace, Love, Joy,

Herrad said...

Hi Cranky,
We have the same lift, and used happily wsithout sling until I fell out of it.
It was nothing to do with arm strength, Richie says my body seemed to move back and slid through and I struck my head on edge of bed, lots of blood but luckily only a superficial wound.
Richie, Spike and I were shocked to bits.
Spike still can't bear to see me being lifted.
It was very worrying.
Hope you have a good weekend.