A Week of Hospital Recovery – Day 4

December 30, 2013 by  
Filed under Acute Hospital Care

A Week of Hospital Recovery - Day 4What 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 4

Patient suffered nausea on and off yesterday, but starts the day clear today.  Diet changed from liquid foods yesterday to solid foods today.

Blood work still good.  Kidney function continues to improve as patient begins to manage liquid and solid foods.  Urine volume is good.

Lungs appear a little stronger today.  Patient’s voice is still labored during conversations, but appears to have improved since yesterday.  Continue using spirometer 10 repetitions every hour.

Was moved to a chair three different times during the day and received PT/OT during two of them.  PT and OT sessions demonstrate a significant lack of strength and endurance.  Some movements will require significant repetitions in order to relearn.

Patient showed frustration at times today and refused to use the spirometer as often as instructed.

Patient was moved from ICU to surgical recovery in the afternoon.  As a practical matter, this move was possible at the end of day 2.  The hospital simply did not have a bed available in surgical recovery until today.

Patients in surgical recovery are more independent than those in ICU.  No more heart monitor and fewer visits by hospital staff.  Therapy will continue several times per day.  Catheter is taken out prior to the move and patient is expected to show some independence with urine flow and control.


Our Thoughts

Being in the same room day after day is tough on a patient.  The move to a new room doesn’t help her condition, but it definitely makes her feel like she is progressing.

The two main pillars of recovery are time and effort.  One will gradually heal over time, and the recovery will move along faster if the patient is willing and able to put effort into getting better.  Moving to a new room isn’t a direct help for the recovery, but it is a boost to her motivation.  Now the progress she feels includes the new sights, sounds, and expectations of a new living environment.

Perception means so much in recovery.  Patients who feel that their efforts have a tangible effect on the recovery work harder and recover faster than those who simply wait for the body to fix itself.  Jess’ frustration had risen in the ICU and her motivation had waned a bit.  The new setting is a well timed boost for her motivation.

I was at work when I heard about Jessica’s breakfast.  She had eggs and bacon as well as her all time favorite food… coffee.  Felt so happy for her to be able to indulge in comfort food and drink after days limited to IV drips and liquid.

At this point the hospital had gotten old for both Jess and our family.  After a few days of managing hospital living, it is important to take some time off to keep up with the requirements of house and family.  Hospital visits and holiday activities were beginning to take their toll on top of the regular grind of work and everyday chores.

The silver lining in our exhaustion was that Jess was getting stronger every day.  She now had a bathroom right in her room and was able to walk in and go (with moderate assistance).  It would only be a matter of days and trips to the hospital would come to an end.  We were all excited about that possibility.


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