Friday, January 29, 2010

Surprisingly Successful Trip

As my post yesterday indicated, I thought the trip to the wound care center on Thursday would be very tiring for Skip and a difficult one for both of us. Actually, this turned out not to be the case. The dry run of transferring from bed to chair and back again on Wednesday gave us some very important information that contributed to Thursday's success, because I knew the lift system alone would be insufficient for transfers.

With MW's assistance, the transfer out of bed went very well. I placed a completely open flat sheet on the wheelchair to help wrap Skip in during the trip over and, even more importantly, to use as a sling for transferring onto the stretcher at the clinic. Then, we positioned the body support under Skip. As we began the lift, we used the draw sheet on the bed (which was under her butt) for some additional lift, to take pressure off her shoulders. Doing that, we got her into the wheelchair with minimal pain.

While I packed up the wound vac supplies, MW got Skip totally wrapped for the trip. I gave her hair a good brushing (I mean, the poor woman has an incredible case of bed head!) and we were out the door.

It was snowing on the drive over, but only lightly, so it proved no impediment, and we arrived at the wound clinic a bit ahead of schedule. It was such a pleasure to have Skip in the car beside me. That hadn't happened in about 2 months! She was in good spirits and glad to be out in the world again.

When the wound nurse and plastic surgeon examined the wound, both were extremely pleased with the progress. The surgeon used words like "fantastic" and "excellent." He also confirmed that Skip wouldn't need a follow-up MRI to confirm her osteomyelitis (bone infection) had been wiped out for another 4-6 weeks. I'm glad that we don't have to figure out how to get Skip onto the MRI for the test yet. Better she have some time to get stronger before we face that.

Heading back, we were both in good moods. Skip didn't seem wiped out or weak at all, even though the examining room had been very warm, which typically makes her very weak. The drive back was a bit scary though, as we were unaware that the roads had turned to black ice in many spots until the car in front of us swerved into the other lane to avoid crashing into the car ahead of it. My brakes really pumped themselves to avoid a skid and we were able to avoid hitting any other cars. As we went along, it became quite clear that the roads were slick in many, many spots and the sanding trucks hadn't yet made it out to cover the ice.

Arriving home without further incident, we put Skip back to bed right away. She felt good enough to sit up longer, but we didn't want her on the wheelchair cushion for too extended a period. MW had prepped the bed, changing the sheets, putting out a fresh johnny and such. We used the sheet under Skip to help offload some of the weight on her shoulders and again transferred without issue. (It looks like, for now, we'll need to perform transfers with one other person to assist.)

All in all, a very successful trip. Skip wasn't stressed out by being out, she never got so weak she couldn't drive her chair herself and the wound healing progress got a definite thumbs up. Oh, and we avoided crashing the Toaster (aka Honda Element). Maybe she'll soon be ready for a trip out to our favorite Vietnamese restaurant!


Herrad said...

Hi Cranky,

Good to read your trip to the clinic and bacxk went well.

Hope you are both visiitng your favourite restaurant soon.

Please come by my blog and pick up your award.

zoomdoggies said...

Preparing for the worst makes the merely difficult seem like a piece of cake! Hitting black ice on the drive home is just a little too exciting. I'm so glad to hear that things are going well for you two. You know how I worry.

kmilyun said...

Yeah! I love reading "thumbs up" posts.

Toaster now that is a good name for an Element my friends call theirs Cracker Box.


Cranky said...

Herrad - thanks for stopping by. Thanks for the award!

Zoom - too true, that. Thanks for thinking of us. :-)

Jan - I think Elements are so ugly they're beautiful. Cracker Box is a good description as well.