Wednesday, June 13, 2007

hospital update

after last night's ride, and a stop at caitlin lippold's lemonade stand
for several cups of lemonade, i showered and
scooted on down to the hospital to check on the guys.
first was a stop by sergey's room, which is on the second floor if the icu, room 29. his wife sarah, was there. she just finished her second year at dmu, and was sitting for her board's yesterday when the accident occurred. sergey was alert enough at the time to insist that she not be told of his accident until AFTER she was finished. she learned of the accident at 1230 pm. her parents flew in from detroit [i met them last night],
while his parents will be arriving from russia,
i believe she said, today or tomorrow.
as you may have heard, i am a fake patient at dmu,
and sarah was one of my "docs" recently.
small world, huh?
sergey and i chatted about things for a while upon my arrival. seems at one point yesterday, while he was unattended for a moment, that he got out of bed and was standing up alone when folks came back in to discover him, in horror. if he had fallen, he could have been massively screwed up.
no more alone time for sergey for a while!
he recognized me when i got there. since my visit yesterday morning,
the swelling on his face had almost completely gone away,
to be replaced by some terrific technicolor.
i told him he looked like an evil herman munster.
sarah told me that was the most communicative he'd been.
docs told her that he might be riding in a year's time.
i suspect it will be much less than that.
first up, though, is surgery to try to repair the most messed-up
of his three broken vertabrae.
the one in his lower back [L-4, 5, 6 range] was crushed by the impact.
sarah said she suddered upon viewing the xray.
i told sergey that it would be a great idea to take all the pain pills he could, that being pain-free, in my opinion, is much preferred to hurting all the time. he was trying to decline the meds, and i told him how much faster i healed last october once i started gobbling morphine and vicodin.
. . . . .
i still didn't get in to see collier, but chris, chip, heidi, john [his dad], and others were still holding fort in the third floor lounge, making arrangements for child care and transportation for today when i arrived.
chris is doing remarkably well. what a trooper.
docs were unable to do surgery on his arm, as his blood, most of it not his, was not clotting. they put him on drugs to do so, and are hoping to get into it today, to start the collier reconstruction process.
chris told me that "nothing negative or deteriorative in nature had happened" since i left midday yesterday. docs remain cautiously guarded, noting that the first 72 hours are aboslutely critical. they also prepared everyone for the likelihood that SOMETHING will go wrong, as it usually does. the staff remains ready to jump for the inevitability,
and the family is emotionally prepared,
with the understanding that that is how recovery happens.
the family has been really greatful for all the support
and visits by friends and cyclist buddies.
i would strongly urge ALL of you to pay a visit to sergey and collier at iowa methodist icu. for sergey, he will directly benefit from the interaction.
for collier, it will continue to buoy his family,
and that will be passed along in strength to collier.
by the way, when i got there last night, collier was receivng a 45 minute to one hour sponge bath.
man, that was the best part of my hospital stay...the sponge bath.
i'll keep you all informed. thanks for asking.


Anonymous said...

One quick little bit of information to add here. Iowa Methodist Medical Center prefers that visitors to Intensive Care/Coronary Care patients be limited to family members.

This is an extremely sensitive area filled with critically injured or ill patients. While the outpouring of support is wonderfully welcomed by those who are well enough to receive it, it's perhaps not as enthusiastically embraced by the ICU staff and neighbouring patients.

You may wish to wait until the guys are moved from ICU/CCU to stop by en masse (as hard as that may be).

Just a thought.

the mostly reverend said...

thank you for posting this.
i wrote about this a couple days ago after a photo, which i frankly thought was appalling and in very poor taste, was posted on a couple other blogs.
a dear friend of mine was suffering from leukemia, and had undergone a marrow transplant at the leid center in omaha. three weeks later, he was all set to move to out-patient recovery, when he was suddenly and swiftly beset upon by an aggressive and opportunistic virus, putting him into a coma from which he did not recover.
i do NOT want that ever to happen again.
well-intended friends need to act like grown-ups, and try to do what is best, not just what makes THEM feel better.
as always, thanks for reading, and writing!