Yesterday my sister-in-law was moved from the ICU to a Ward. It was a gruelling day for her. She moved under her own steam more in one day than she had in the last four weeks. Absolutely knocked her out. When I arrived there in the evening she was not very happy. She was still fairly congested so she was suctioned while I was there. (She still has her trach, but the doctor hopes to have that removed in the next couple of days.) Although she didn’t have a headache she was a little nauseated which she felt was a result of the hospital staff pushing her too hard. She doesn’t have any strength and they were making her do things that were too much for her. Unfortunately, this is going to be her new reality and I told her so. The rehabilitation phase will start soon and they will make her work hard to gain back her strength and capacity.
Being in a Ward is a significant change for her. She’s come from the ICU where the nurse/patient ratio is 1:2 or 1:3; now she’s in a Ward where the ratio on paper is likely 1:4 or 1:6, however is considered “dynamic” and consequently likely higher. The nursing staff will not be able to attend to her needs immediately and this will take some getting used to for her. However, the perk of being in a Ward is that now she can have some visitors (although yesterday she told me she didn’t want to see anyone). She’s a social creature and needs the distraction. The work she has ahead of her is going to push her to her limits, so distractions to take her mind off of her present reality may help make her existing situation a little more tolerable. Anyway, she’s got her voice back now and I suspect she is on her way to letting the nursing staff know what she needs!