A Week of Hospital Recovery – Day 3

December 30, 2013 by  
Filed under Acute Hospital Care

A Week of Hospital Recovery - Day 3What does a typical week long hospital stay look like?  Here is a day-by-day schedule of our most recent visit.  The patient is Jessica and the treatment was surgery to remove part of the intestine.


Day 3

Patient experienced some nausea in the morning.  Although it is a concern, this is pretty typical given the surgery on the bowel as well as the anesthesia and subsequent medications. 

Blood pressure has risen into the normal range.  Blood work has rebounded well and all numbers now indicate a normal, healthy young woman.

A liquid diet was to be introduced today, including soft solids like yogurt and pudding.  This diet was put on hold due to the nausea.  Patient’s progress to be monitored during the day and liquids introduced gradually.

Patient is instructed to use a spirometer to work out lungs.  Ten sustained repetitions of sucking in air each hour.  Patient is able to hold the device and complete these exercises independently.

Bowels are still not clearing.  Patient was given a suppository around noon which resulted in a bowel movement.

Patient is able to communicate, listen, and follow directions.  She is strong enough to adjust her position slightly in the bed, but not strong enough to sit herself up.  Today was to be the first day of therapy (PT and OT).

Nausea subsides in the afternoon.  Liquid foods are introduced and the patient ingests them successfully.  First session of PT/OT revealed that patient needs maximum assistance to move from bed to chair, stand up, and take a few steps.

Nausea returns in the evening.  Patient has a tough time getting to sleep.


Our Thoughts

Jessica was very nostalgic today.  She took the initiative to ask for some family phone numbers and made some phone calls.  She made it a point to tell everyone how much she appreciates and loves them.  A far cry from the sedated patient she was on the first day of this hospital stay.

She seems motivated to want to get out of the hospital.  Standing and walking are extremely difficult, but she understands the need to gain strength and experience prior to discharge.

I can’t possibly imagine the frustration of not being able to move or stand.  Some patients react negatively to these realities.  They stubbornly refuse to put much effort into therapy or breathing.  Jessica is not that kind of person.  She has experienced the level of effort needed to regain the ability to stand and walk.  There is frustration but no fear or trepidation about full participation in a therapy session.

Seeing Jessica sit in a chair and eat pudding and yogurt was the highlight of the day.  It is the first time since the surgery that she appeared to possess some independence.  Her eating was turtle slow, but doing it independently was the closest thing to normal living we’ve seen in the hospital

Her voice is weak but now has its normal sound and cadence.  Conversational speaking requires her to slow down and take measured breaths, but overall she is able to communicate well.

There is no perfect hospital stay.  There are always setbacks.  Nausea and vomiting appear to be a huge setback when sitting in the room seeing her sick.  In the big picture, they are just bumps in the road that will make it a little harder for her body to reach equilibrium and her bowels to regain function and control.

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