Sunday, July 8, 2012

Post Surgery 7200

Once Larry was moved from the ICU to the 7200 floor, he was in so much pain, he couldnt walk, because he was on the ventilator for so long. He had to teach himself how to walk again. He had 3 drainage tubes coming from his chest. About a week later they came and pulled those out. Larry said it felt like somebody was punching him as hard as they could in his shoulder and chest.

 The LVAD nurse Nikki had to teach me how to do his dressing. For the first month it was an everyday dressing and then after the first month it was an every week dressing. This takes about 25 minutes every time you do it. It is a sterile dressing and very specific the way you have to do it. It has 6 different steps. Nikki came in every single day for 2 weeks to make sure that I was able to do the dressing perfectly before he could go home.
This is the Power cord that goes in to the side of his stomach that powers the LVAD. It is Very important that this is kept clean and that it doesnt get caught on anything. If it is pulled out it could cause him to bleed out. The patch on the right side is called a hollister patch and is there to make sure the cord doesnt get pulled out. On the dressing there is a silver lining that keeps out any infection.

The cord is attached to a controller which is attached to 2 batteries OR to a power module (which is plugged in to the wall) at ALL times. The batteries only last up to 12 hours at a time. He has to carry around a bag that holds his controller and batteries and all together with everything in it, the bag weighs 5 lbs. If the batteries get low, an loud alarm goes off and he only has 15 minutes to change them.

This is a picture of the bag with the controller on the left and the 2 batteries on the right.
On top of all of this, Larry had to be in the hospital for 3 weeks after the surgery and then came home. Once he came home, he developed a MRSA infection and had to go back in to the hospital for 3 more weeks.

To be continued......

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