John and I went to the unit early today. They said we could come and watch her dressing change. I wasn't sure if I really wanted to see the extent of the damage but I did want to be there for her. First the gave her 50 mics of phentynal. They took her down the hall to the "tank" room. She had a hammock devise under her that they hooked to a crane system to move her from her bed to the table.
Nicole is lying on the stainless table covered by visqueen. There are several nozzles hanging down from the ceiling which are used to spray her with warm water during the washing period. The wound care nurses start cutting off all the dressings. Nicole is flinching in pain but their soothing voices quiet her.
Once they get all the dressing off they start scrubbing her with soap and warm water. It is very painful. They give her another 50 mics of phentynal. My thought is, "if I had that much I would be out like a light". As they continue cleaning her, her skin or the homograph comes off in areas. They make sure that all the loose areas are completely taken off. Cutting places away so it is not loose. It reminds me of raw hamburger. It is all I can do to keep my mind on the tasks at hand.
Nicole's nurse asks me if I want to wash her hair. Oh my gosh, I was thrilled. I choose passion fruit smelling shampoo and conditioner. Nicole would have chosen that. I am actually not washing her hair but her scalp. She has been shaved. It has grown a little bit though. As I rub the shampoo into her scalp it is actually soothing to me to be able to touch her like this. I massage each area. A few areas have scabs that come off easily. Wash, Rinse, Repeat. Then I use the conditioner. It smells so good. I bet if this ritual was not so painful it would feel good.
Nearly all done with the washing and again they need to give her another 50 mics of phentynal. Total, 150 mics. That is a lot. It cuts the pain but Nicole still feels everything. I can't imagine the pain she is in. She is such a trooper. She lets them do what they need to knowing she doesn't really have a choice but not squirming around so they can't do their job either.
When they are finished they start to wrap her, toes to neck with silver and black material. It looks kind of like silver lamay. On top of that what wrap kerlix laying on red tubing so they can get her bandages wet though out the day. Next comes the ace bandages to hold it all together.
Instead of putting her back into her bed they strap her in the cardiac chair. She doesn't really know what is happening. So docile she is. The chair is reclined just like a recliner but her feet are down like she is sitting. This will help her breathing but it will also help her bone density. We don't want her loose that. John and I need to go home for a while but will return tonight.
With so much stuff that needs to be rearranged at our home to make room for Christian and to make it easier for Nicole to be cared for when she comes home, John and I took 3 hours to get that job done. Well at least some of that job done. Moving bedroom furniture, closets, supplies. It takes much more time than we realize.
It is 9:30 pm before we get done and can go back to the hospital. Nicole is sleeping peacefully. We speak soothing words to her. I hope she hears them. I can still smell the passion fruit shampoo as I get close the her head to kiss her.
A surprise was waiting near Nicole's bed tonight. Brad and Jenn Mauss had been to the hospital and brought us some treats to keep us busy while we are at the hospital these many hours. As a great note to boost our spirits. Even though we didn't get to see them we are grateful for them thinking of us. Right away I opened red vines and ate 2. I love those. Thank you so much for thinking of us.