Yesterday afternoon was one of the hardest days of my journey with Dave. As I have stated before he is sliding into a pretty deep depression, or "adjustment period" as some of the therapist's around here put it. So we had a meeting of minds around here between our social worker, head nurse, day shift nurse, and I. They asked me how I felt about tough love with Dave because all he wants to do is sleep and not talk to anyone or do anything. I told them I felt quite comfortable with it even though I knew it would be difficult and he might be hard on me, but in the end it would be worth it. So we decided that the head nurse would come in at 4pm to take him out for a stroll in the wheel chair outside at 4pm whether he liked it or not. Here is the story how that took place....
I walked up to Davids bed at 3:45 and woke him up and told him he needed to wake up for his wheelchair ride he responded with, "no, I don't feel good I am not going anywhere today, maybe tomorrow." I then told him, "sorry that isn't an option you need to wake up." He then responded with, "go away I don't feel good." I then responded with, "you need to get up it isn't an option it is doctors orders." We went back and forth like this for about 5 min and then finally I said, "Regardless you need to sit up so I can change your dressing it's that time anyway." He knew he couldn't argue with me on that, so he woke up and sat up and let me change his dressing, then he was wide awake after that.
At this point the day shift nurse comes in (who we love by the way) and she says to him, "Dave do you want to walk or sit in a chair before your wheelchair outing?" He responds with, "neither I am going to stay in the bed." We then both respond with, "that's not an option, you have to choose one." He then says to us, " I'd like to see you try and get me out of this bed." We then both tell him we know exactly how much he weighs and we would have no problem getting him out of bed on our own. At that point he relented to sitting in the chair beside the bed until the head nurse came to get him for his wheel chair ride. See, our whole point was to get him out of this ICU room so he could get fresh scenery and maybe some fresh air too lift his spirits.
At this point the head nurse comes in and after a good 15 min of getting him situation in the wheel chair we take him on a ride downstairs and outside, he admitted it was nice to feel the air on his face and to breath in some fresh air. Then we took him to the CCU unit which is where he was before the surgery. The nurses and doctors down there were so happy to see him, they all gushed over him and hugged him, and some even started to cry they were so happy to see him. It really did lift his spirits, I could tell by the look on his face. Once we got him upstairs he admitted to us that once we got him going, "it wasn't all that bad."
So when it comes down to it, I can be tough when I need to be, and I am sure I will need to be a lot more in the days to come. But over all the day ended in a victory yesterday, just baby steps every day. I am so thankful for the support team that we have here, everyone is willing to help us in any way they can and I am in total awe over that.