Good Nurse I Do Not Make

Ugh. This morning I got up to the task of getting Gabriel off to school, followed shortly by removing Steve’s bandages from yesterday’s surgery. Between the two of us we were able to remember all of the various directions we were given on what do to, when and how.

We set up in the bathroom for this task. First the bandages needed to come off. That seems like it should be easy, but it took me a while to peel all of the tape off, since there was so much of the stuff. Cool stuff, though. Wide strips and quite flexy and easy to rip… more like foam than tape. It came off relatively painlessly, not like the days of old when the first layer of skin would come off with the tape. Then I had to pull out the pain pump catheter, which I’d mistakenly assumed was just barely inserted subdermally. I almost passed out when I pulled and pulled on the tube, and it seemed like it would never stop. And then, of course, the bleeding started. It didn’t last long, though, thankfully, and the adhesive bandage I applied to the spot took care of that shortly after. Then I had to place adhesive bandages over the top of the four incision areas, leaving the steristrips in place.

Steve’s arm sling get-up

Migrating into the living room, we set up on to the couch for the next steps. Out came the muscle stim unit from the box, which got hooked up to the pads they’d placed on his shoulder after surgery. A towel was placed over the shoulder area and then the cold pack bladder unit was placed on top of that. It’s a cool device-the rep told us to freeze water bottles and then place them into the cooler portion of the unit (instead of loose ice) and then fill it up with water. It basically pumps cold water through a hose up to the shoulder area, where the bladder is held in place with a bandage of sorts that is fastened with Velcro.

The doc called this morning to check up on him, and advised him to take two pain pills per 4 hours, at least until the pain is under control. He said “Your shoulder should be hurting like hell just about now.” He was right. How do I know that he’s hurting? Because he didn’t protest when I snapped the picture of him.

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