Sunday, June 14, 2009

Nate Finally Home

As soon as Nate was moved to the rehab facility (he hates it when I call it the "nursing home" so I started calling it the rehab facility - it made him feel like he wasn't 100.) Thursday May 28 was when he moved into the rehab. The minute he got in, he wanted to get out. The Physical Therapist came and worked with him every day. Saturday and Sunday I got to bring him home just during the day because I was going to be here to help him. But he had to sleep at the rehab at night so our insurance would keep paying for it. The first couple days I went in and helped him shower so the CNA's didn't have to. But the following days when I was at work he had to be showered by young girls. Talk about awkward. But starting Tuesday he went in and showered himself. The Physical Therapist gave him a sponge on a long stick (kind of like a back scrubber) and one of those grabber things. Even though it took him a long time, he did it himself and got himself dressed. When he walked out of the shower room the aids were like "did you just shower yourself?" and he very proudly said "yes, and I'm ready to go home now". That sounds so much like Nate.

So after talking with the Physical Therapist and getting "permission" from the doctor Nate was ready to come home on Wednesday. I went in and we signed all the discharge papers we loaded him into the car and were off. We had to go by the pharmacy to pick up his pills and that was a treat. First I get there and the stupid doctor (who will remain anonymous and by the way was not our usual physician because you're assigned a new doctor when you're a patient in the nursing home... he oversee's all of the patients there) hadn't called in the prescriptions. So they call his office and luckily he was still in. (I was not about to take nate home without pain pills). So they told the pharmacist the prescriptions over the phone.... but lo and behold you can't call or fax in a prescription for Oxycodone because it's a narcotic. You have to have an original signature. STUPID! So then I had to run to the doctors office, get a prescription with an original signature and then go back. But when I was leaving the office, i got looking at the prescription and noticed it was wrong. Nate had been taking 2-3 pills (10-15mg) every 3 hours when he was in the hospital and in the rehab. This prescription was for 1 pill (5 mg) every 4 hours. Um... what? This doctor hadn't even assessed Nate's pain to see if he was okay to have his meds reduced! So I go back into the office and talk to the lady at the front. She went and talked to the doc and came back in. She goes "he feels like Nathan's pain is controlled enough to reduce his pain meds." and i go "what? he hasnt even seen Nate so how can he say his pain is being properly controlled?" and she goes "well, the doctor believe that it's time to start reducing his pain med intake before we have problems." and i go "well, without a consultation I don't feel it's appropriate to reduce the pain meds and with a fracture like he's got he is in A LOT of pain! Every movement hurts, and..." she cuts me off and goes "well, what did he do?" SHE DIDN'T EVEN KNOW WHAT WAS WRONG WITH HIM! I about flipped my lid and then I said, "he has a freaking fractured pelvis. That's whats wrong with him." she goes "oh... I didn't know that." Anyway, after I about jumped over the counter and clobbered this woman she finally got the doc to change the prescription... but when it came back the only thing that was different was it now said "1 pill (5 mg) ever 3-4 hrs"- WOW, big change. Every 3-4 hrs instead of every 4. So i clarified that now that we were out of the rehab, we were back in the care of our regular physician and I would never have to talk to this doctor again, and she confirmed that was the case. THANK HEAVEN!

So I get back to the pharmacy and get the pills. He was on the oxy's for pain, a muscle relaxer and a stool softener. But then the pharmacist gives me the shots he'd been given in the hospital that thin out the blood to help reduce blood clots. Nate had bruises all over his stomach from these shots. They're really good when you're immobile, but when your blood is circulating and you're moving around they're not really necessary. And after my insurance covered the cost I still was going to have to pay $80 but 8 shots! (Without my insurance they would have been $280 for 8 freaking shots!!!). I asked the pharmacist if I had to buy them and he said I was allowed to refuse any medications.... so i didn't buy them. I just got the other 3 and left. So instead of spending over $100 on meds, I spent $30. I felt good about that. (don't worry... I called his regular doc the next day to be sure it was ok that he wasn't getting the shot anymore... he said it was fine).

After a long process of forms, pharmacys and stupid doctors, 3 hrs later I finally got Nate home. So on June 3 Nate finally came home for good. He has been working himself each day and is improving really well. He can't get around the house without any assistance from me. so that's great. At this point, all i have to do is help him out of bed. He can do it himself, but it takes about 5 minutes, so I help to make in an easier process.

I'm glad that my work has been so flexible. They have let me come and go as I've needed to to be able to care for Nate and help him with things. It's been really nice to have such flexibility. It's going to be a long process of healing, but it's happening rather quickly if you ask me.

Last Monday Nate finally got his temporary cast removed and a new one put on. He picked camo for his color. Typical boy. We then scheduled an appointment for 2 weeks and they will be doing more x-rays on his wrist to see how long he'll have to have the cast (they estimate 6 weeks) and this doc is going to take over the care of his pelvis, so they'll be getting more x-rays at our next appointment for that. He won't be able to go back to work for probably 3-4 more weeks (if we're lucky) so i guess we'll see about that. He is getting really stir crazy but at least he's being productive around the house. I mean, the other day he dusted above all my door frames! He is definitely bored if he's willing to do that. But it's nice to have him home and I'm just thankful he's alive and doing well.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Memorial Weekend: the continuing story...

I left off on Monday morning after Nate's accident. I slept on the floor all night (well, if you count 3 hours being all night) so I was sore and of course we both smelled awful because we'd been camping since Friday without showering. So after we spoke with the nurses, I decided to go to my sister Deanna's house and shower. I left Nate sleeping, flat on his back in the bed. He had to lay flat on his back because the doctor hadn't evaluated his head, neck and back x-rays so they didn't want to move him without knowing he was ok and nothing important (besides his pelvis) was broken.

After driving to my sisters house and taking a lengthy shower we decided to get some breakfast. We drove to this little home town restaurant for breakfast (reminded me a lot of LD's in Richmond) we ate, and then I went back to the hospital. It felt so good to be clean. My clothes from that I had on the day before were caked in mud (mostly because I fell when I was running to the truck).

When I got back to the hospital, I sat with Nate and just read my book that I had in the truck because he slept most the day. He was in a lot of pain and he was starving. They wouldn't let him eat just in case he needed surgery, so he hadn't eaten in over 24 hours. At about 5pm the nurse and the doctor came in saying his back and neck were fine so they could take off his neck brace and let him sit up. FINALLY! He had been flat on his back for 26 hours!!

Before the brace came off....



After they had his neck brace off, he asked to have his hair washed. It was so greasy and dirty from camping! The aid came in with a shower cap that has a leave in shampoo/conditioner thing in it. They put the cap on him and she massaged his head. Here is the before and after shot of that. I'd heard of those caps, but I hadn't seen one before. Pretty cool.

Enos, Dallas, Doug, Twig and Sperm came up on Tuesday to see Nate. They stayed for a few hours and then left, but not without Enos leaving Nate quite the collection of DVD's to choose from. He brought his whole case and left Nate about 15 movies. Definitely better than watching daytime television! It was so nice of them to come down and see Nate. They are all so supportive and very reassuring. Doug was still wearing his arm sling from his accident a couple weeks before. (He had wrecked a dirt bike of High Creek Canyon and did lots of damage... so he knows how Nate feels).

Dallas and Doug


Gradually as time went on Nate began sitting up, and a little while later, they finally stood him up for the first time. He didn't take any steps that first time, but he stood with the walker.

The next day he was determined to walk. He took a few steps forward, and a few back. And it just got better from there.

Nate really liked the strawberry/vanilla swirl Ice Cream from the Primary Childrens cafeteria. (Deanna informed me that Primary's has way better food than U of U so I took the 2 minute walk and went there for meals.) We always brought ice cream back for Nate's room mate Perry too. I didn't get any pictures of him... but he was a funny guy. He was in his 50's i think. Him and Nate got along really well. He was in a four wheeling accident and broke all sorts of bones.

Perry got discharged a few hours before Nate and while Nate was sleeping, he created this. On the side it says "Call Perry" and had his phone number. They already started planning a camping trip together. I'm sure we'll see him again someday.

I went home Monday night and drove back Tuesday morning. Then I had to work 1/2 day on Wednesday, and came down again. Nate's parents came down on Wednesday and spent the day with him, and they stayed the night at Nate's Aunt Ann's house so they could be with him Thursday. I had to work all day Thursday because it was my Summer Citizen Orientation. When I was working, Nate texted me and told me they were transfering him to Logan Nursing and Rehab that afternoon. Luckily his parents were there and they were able to bring him to Logan so he didn't have to be transported by van. I went to see him as soon as I was off work. It was so nice to be able to just drive to the rehab and not have to leave Logan anymore. It was nice having him close to home. Not quite as good as having him home, but better.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Memorial Weekend turned Disaster

Many of you know that Nate and I are really big into camping and having a good time riding four wheelers and dirt bikes. Well, this memorial weekend wasn't any different. We decided it would be fun to go with (almost) all of our friends (sorry doug) and head out to Mountain View, Wyoming to go riding at the "Badlands". (They have been rightfully named). Since we sold my four wheeler last year Nate decided that I needed something to ride so he went down to Motorsports Unleashed and talked with his old buddy Todd Barlow and rented me a Suzuki 400. Nate wanted to leave around 3 on Friday, but it ended up being more like 5:30. So by the time we drove the 3+ hrs to the badlands it was dark. We didn't get to do any riding on Friday night, but we still had a good time visiting with our friends. And in the mean time, we got to meet a few new friends, Georgia (his real name is Thomas - but we like Georgia better) and Jake.

Saturday we got up, ate some breakfast and decided to go for a ride. We rode hard and had a lot of fun. I had forgotten how much arm work it takes to handle a four wheeler. It's been almost 2 years since I rode, but man, I was feeling it after a few hours. We crossed over this fence (random that they have a fence in the middle of freaking no where) but anyway, we get across it because Dallas and Enos were telling us about this really cool cave we needed to go see. So we finally get to this area and we have to get off our bikes and hike.

It literally was one foot in front of the other because there wasn't any more space than that.

Out of the group, only me, Nate, Dallas, Enos, Skogs and Georgia hiked to the cave. I guess I impressed Enos and Dallas because, well #1- I was the only girl willing to hike it and #2 - i was ahead of Skogs, Nate and Georgia. They kept saying that I was a "bad ass" because I hiked it. It was also cool cause they kept telling Nate how lucky he is to have a wife that will get dirty with the guys. GO ME! We get up to the opening - and OH MY GOSH!

This is Dallas crawling thru it.

I was scared, but I didn't hike all that way to punk out, so I "thought skinny" and went on thru. Here are just a few more pictures of the cave and the guys. These guys are freaking awesome! They are accomodating because I'm a girl, but they don't baby me either. I love these guys.



We hiked out of the cave (it wasn't very big) and took a few pics.

There were these really cool "rifs" from water and erosion. love it!

This is one of the holes that you can look out of in the cave.

We hiked up and over to see this area that had been carved out by water and sat there for a good hour or so just chattin it up and eatin sunflower seeds.

L-R Dallas, Enos, Nate, Skogs and Georgia


Me and Enos (Nate said we look like a couple. We thought that was pretty funny.... and accurate by looking at the picture)

Good ol Skogs and Georgia (believe it or not, but Georgia is 37! - He is also called "Old Man" but only by Enos)

That night the girls decided we needed a "girls ride" so we went and had a BLAST! Here are a few pictures from that:


Me climbing! (Just a note: I was the only girl to make it around that loop!)

Me, Cari and Cadi

Skye, Cari and Cadi

On Sunday, we woke up and kind of bummed around camp for a bit. Well, then we decided to go for a ride. Spanky had showed up (Dallas and Enos' step brother) and he was riding like a bat out of hell. He rides hard and fast all the time.

So a bunch of us head out for a ride. Homer, Skye and I were behind everybody else by a little ways. The ride was really fun, and then we come up on this hell. Jake had turned around and was motioning for me to stop. I stopped and he says the words that I never EVER want to hear again. "Nate's hurt, I'm going back for my truck." Of course he didn't go into detail because he was hurrying, and of course I'm about ready to fall off my four wheeler because I didn't know how hurt he really was. I carefully went over this hill, and there he was. Laying on the ground. I hurried and stopped. Jumped off my wheeler and ran to his side.

He was talking and moving his head around so I knew that his neck was okay. It wasn't broken. (THANK HEAVEN). So Skogs is doing his fire fighter/emt check on Nate to see if he can move his legs and feet. He tried moving and then screamed! He knew that something was wrong with his hip because he couldn't hardly move his right leg. Spanky had some IB's and a muscle relaxer so he gave those to him. We were trying to talk to him to keep him calm and keep him from going into shock. It started raining, so everyone started taking off their sweatshirts and covering him. Spanky pulled a head sock and a thermal out from his bag and wrapped his face up. You could smell them from 10 miles away they stunk so bad, but it was keeping him warm, so we dealt with the smell.

The tail pipe of his bike was completely full of dirt. His bike was about 30 feet away from him when it was all said and done. And micraculous, the bike has NO DAMAGE! (stupid thing).

Jake came back with Enos (who initially wasn't with us on the ride) and they brought a dirt bike ramp, and the couch cushions that Enos' sleeps on. They got it ready and tried very carefully to lift Nate onto this make shift backboard. I've never heard someone scream so loud in pain. Once he was on the backboard, they put tie-downs around him to keep him steady, and then loaded him into the back of Jake's truck.

Spanky rode back with me, guiding the way, and Jake very very very carefully drove the truck with Enos in the back trying to keep Nate still, and shielding Nate with his body from the rain.

I hurried back to camp and started to get the truck. Spanky thought that the truck would be too rough for Nate. Luckily Alaska and his wife Danielle were there in their 4-runner. So we hurried and pulled all their sleeping stuff out, and folded down the backseat. We were prepared to get Nate there. Then we just had to sit and wait for Jake to come in his truck. When he finally arrived we very carefully shifted Nate into the 4-runner and pulled the ramp out from under him. (This again was VERY painful for him). When we finally had him loaded we pulled away from camp and headed toward the Evanston hospital. (Evanston is about 45 minutes away from Mt. View - but first we had to drive very slowly to the main road.) Alaska had to stop and get gas because there wasn't enough to get us to the hospital, and Nate needed to pee. Well, obviously he couldn't get up and go. I tried to talk him into holding it, but he was bound and determined he was going to go so they didn't have to give him a catheter at the hospital. So what did I do being the wonderful wife I am? I bought him a gatorade bottle and helped him pee in it. FUNNY SITE let me tell you!

After finally getting to the hospital, the doctor and nurses (all female by the way) got nate out of the 4-runner (not very carefully it seemed) and into the ER. They got some morphine running thru his veins and took him for x-rays. He came out with a broken left wrist, and 3 fractures in his pelvis. HIS WHAT? Yeah, his pelvis. One of the WORST fractures a person can have. They expressed their concern about internal bleeding, and told me they were life flighting him to U of U hospital. When they began prepping him for flight, I left to get the truck so I could head out and go to the hospital with him. Right when we left, I gathered my thoughts and made the dreaded call to Nate's mom. When she got on the phone, she didn't even say hi. All she said was "whats wrong". They weren't expecting to hear from us until Monday afternoon when we got back, but this was only sunday. Mothers intuition I guess. She said they would head down quickly so they could be there with him while I was enroute. The guys were awesome and got our stuff loaded into the cab of the truck and had Tommy (our dog) all ready to go. I got there, had a momentary freak out, the guys calmed me down and I drove all the way to U of U hospital from Evanston in about 3 hrs. Nate wrecked about 3pm, we got him to Evanston around 5:30pm and they flew him out at about 7:30pm. It was a 25 minute flight from Evanston to SLC.

About midnight they finally moved Nate from the ER to his room. His dad, my dad, and Ben gave him a blessing and then they all left while I stayed with him for the night. The nurse tried to tell me that it was policy that people couldn't stay the night, but he didn't have a roommate so I insisted that I stay. After about 3 hrs of sleep between the both of us, it was finally morning. Out of all of this, all I can say is that I am so grateful that we have such amazing friends. I have never seen so many people band together and literally take the shirts off their backs to help their friends. We are so blessed to have such amazing friends, and I am so proud to say they are my friends. I would do anything for these guys, and it's good to know they would do the same. I honestly tried to think of how many friends I've had in my life that would do anything for me. I can count them on 1 hand. Now that I have these guys in my life, I can't count them all. So if you guys are reading this, thank you and we love you.

To be continued........