Archive for May 21st, 2005

Day 24 – Saturday 21st May – Part One

Got a phonecall about 10.30pm last night from KAREN.

kp:- David, I am having a tea party with the nurses. We have had tea and I have eaten half a slice of toast with butter on.

Well, I was overjoyed to hear Karen on the phone talking about tea parties.

And then this morning she rang again.

kp:- David, Can you bring my electric toothbrush and some lovely cotton knickers. And some Jeans.

kp:- I have been on the movement machine for 45 minutes this morning. It hurt. But I did 45 minutes. They said they also might remove my tube.

She meant the trachy tube.


On my way kp, see you in less than an hour ! :-)


Day 24 – Saturday 21st May – Part Two

I am running out of superlatives to describe Karen’s progress.

It has been an astonishing day !!!

If someone had told me 1 week ago, that in 1 week’s time, Karen would be going to the hospital coffee shop, nipping outside, she would have her trachy tube removed and would be able to move her left foot, I’d have told them “Look, there’s being positive, but there’s getting a bit ahead of yourself”.

Guess what Karen did today !!!


I arrived at 12pm on the dot and one of the nurses said :-

Nurse :- Haven’t you got something to say to David ?
Karen :- Yes, I am going to the coffee shop today for a “posh” coffee.

Gobsmacked dp !!!


Sure enough within an hour, Karen was being pushed (in her bed) by 3 nurses to the coffee shop with me, Marie and Adele in tow.

First stop (before the coffee shop) was OUTSIDE !!!! It was a scorcher and VERY bright sunlight. Poor Karen was blinded for a few minutes until we got her in the shade of the entrance awning.

We took a few pictures of Karen, but unfortunately they haven’t come out very well (for various reasons).

Closeup of Karen outside

The trachy tube was still in place at this time, but notice the lack of a ventilator machine. kp was doing all her own breathing.

Jane had taken the day off to go to the Yorkshire Dales. Whenever Jane is off, something miraculous happens. So I phoned her on my mobile and said :-

dp:- Jane, I am outside the hospital. Guess who is outside the hospital with me
Jane:- NO WAY !!!!!! Bloody Hell !

Closeup of Karen talking to Jane Burns on the phone

We then went to the coffee shop where we ordered teas, capuccinos etc. Unfortunately the bed wouldn’t fit through the door of the cafe, but we enjoyed a coffee in the hallway ;-)

kp was knackered after this 30 minute expedition, and had some “Zzzzz”s. When she woke up again, the doctor came over and with the help of the nurse removed the trachy tube. kp still has a hole in her neck (it will heal within 10 days) but it is blocked by a big plaster for the moment. It’s weird to watch the plaster rise and fall as karen breaths in and out. What’s disconcerting is when Karen does a big breath, part of the plaster comes off the skin and all the air escapes, but it doesn’t seem to bother her. Apparently, when she did a cough for the first time, she clean blew the plaster off. She has to do little coughs (can you do little coughs ?) or put her hand over the plaster to stop it from coming off which is a struggle, so she tells us when she is coughing so we put our hands over her neck.


Another good bit of news today was Karen did 1 hours 30 minutes of physio. 45 minutes on each leg. They strap this “Passive Movement Machine” to her legs (one by one) and it pulls the knee up and raises the leg. Yesterday 10 minutes was torture, but today 45mins was a breeze.

AND……The physio was testing Karen’s ability to move her left side and she could move the toes and foot on her left side (stroke side). FANTASTIC ! She can’t move her left hand yet however :-( But I feel sure this will come in time.

kp has eaten an ice lolly and a half tub of ice cream today, and drunk some warm tea.

She was absolutely shattered by 6pm. And by 7pm, she was fast asleep. She couldn’t get comfy to sleep on her back, so they tilted her on her side (as much as the doctors would allow) so it was a bit more like a normal sleeping position.

There is talk of her moving to the Orthopedic ward sometime next week.

Can’t wait. Although we will sorely miss the wonderful consultants, doctors and nurses of ICU Gateshead. They are SUPERB ! The quality of care doesn’t waiver from shift to shift at all.

Well done kp.

You make us all very proud !!!


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