All of my training so far has been from Nurse Mom. Shana trained me on how to change the dressing on Devree’s double-lumen lines. It was so easy when Shana showed me how, but 2 days latter I felt unsure of myself. There is a certain way to do things to prevent kinks in the line and to keep things sterile. There were also some line ends that needed to be changed. So I had to have the nurse help me. As she went through the steps, it all came back to me. The nurse left and as I was thinking that Shana did a much better job, Devree said, “That line looks pretty iffy. I think it is going to get a kink and cause problems.” Within 5 minutes the line kinked and set off alarms at the nurse’s station.
The staff at St. Jude are now aware that Dad is on the job, but needs some training. I was unable to do the job on Wednesday night. Thursday I was enrolled in class. A trainer came by with all of the appropriate equipment and showed me how to flush the double-lumen lines. Then she watched and coached me while I opened all of my materials. A Band-Aid, saline solution syringe, syringe , alcohol swabs, line endings, and bottle of ??? that keeps blood from coagulating in her line. (I’m still in training. Go easy on me. LOL) There is a special way to draw liquid from a bottle that you jab a syringe into (You set the plunger on the syringe, then inject that much air into the bottle. The fluid in the bottle will then push plunger back out and fill the syringe with. Don’t forget to tap the syringe to get the air bubbles out. Don’t forget about the clamps on the IV tubes. Remember that the tubes are connected to Devree’s arteries and if you forget the clamp blood will spurt out. Count to 7 seconds each time you use an alcohol swab. I opened 3 alcohol swabs and had to think to remember what should be cleaned and in which order.
It seemed like a lot of steps and I definitely didn’t want to forget the clamps and have Devree’s blood spurt out. Shana comforted me by saying that it wasn’t that hard, and that I would get used to it. I felt more comforted when my teacher told me that I would have lots of hands on experience before I was left to do the task alone.
As soon as I got done with the first session another woman came in that represented an outside company that is in charge of TPN (tube feeding). She trained me on how to unhook Devree’s tube feeding backpack and flush the lines. There were not as many steps in that process, and a lot of the procedure duplicated things that I had learned in the earlier session.
Yesterday was mostly wonderful.
I woke up at about 6:30AM and Devree was sleeping peacefully. Then my heart began to skip and pitter-patter. I had slept so soundly that I was worried that I maybe I wasn’t there for Devree when she needed me. So I decided to try to sleep lighter so I could be aware if Devree made a sound. I stirred at 7:00AM, 7:30AM, and then at 8:00AM I got up (That’s 6:00AM Nevada time so I guess that means I haven’t adjusted to Memphis time yet. I also couldn’t fall asleep until 12:30AM). Anyhow, I went to go say, “Good Morning”, to Devree. She was awake and fine as could be. I asked her if she needed me in the night and she said, “No”. Then she told me that she had called to me sometime in between 7:30 – 8:00AM and I never heard her. (Note to self. Buy Devree a siren. Just in case.) Devree rang for her nurse, and got the eye drops she needed.
Devree did a few things yesterday that were exciting for us. Her nausea cocktail is still working. She didn’t need it until the evening though.
Exciting thing #1: Devree’s temperature got down to normal today, with the help of Tylenol and a mixture of broad spectrum anti-biotics. Woo Hoo!!!
Exciting thing #2: Devree asked if we had given her medicine to stimulate her appetite. The answer was no. She said that she was asking because the commercials about food were making her hungry. Woo Hoo!!! She was in the mood for corndogs. We got the message to Room Service and they quickly brought her 2 corndogs. The exciting part was that she was still in the mood when they got here, and she had 2 or 3 bites. Woo Hoo!!! (I guess it doesn’t take too much to make us happy. LOL)
Have a great Friday everyone!!!