Thursday, July 28, 2011

Vicious Circles

Not a good day--and Seth didn't even have surgery.

Seth has a large, open wound on his backside; therefore, it is difficult for him to be comfortable sitting up. But he has to sit up so he won't get pneumonia, and he has to sit up to eat. His doctor's orders now are asking that he get up in to the cardiac chair twice a day. This entails a painful move from the bed and back, and, of course, sitting up. Today when he got back from his "trip," not only did the nurses have to move him, they had to move him twice because they discovered his sheets had soaked through from his wound. They decided this would be a good time to bathe him, another very arduous ordeal of sitting up.

By the time I could come in the room, he was besides himself with pain and exhaustion. The pain came under control quickly, but I could not convince him to nap because he was worried about not being able to sleep tonight. He didn't sleep well last night, which contributed to the difficulty of the day.

Seth is also under what we might think as enviable orders to eat as much as he possibly can. However, this is a heavy burden because he has no appetite and sitting up to eat is so painful. Almost every doctor who has come in in the last two or three days has nagged him to eat more, which then causes him stress and anxiety, which then makes it difficult to sleep. A vicious circle indeed.

As Seth was recovering from this ordeal, we were notified that the new Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, was coming to visit patients. Seth had no interest, but I decided I should take the opportunity even though I was in no state to meet anybody. Secretary Panetta was gracious, as most people who are in these kinds of positions are. I told him I wanted to ask two things of him: first, that the troops get ballistic underwear and second, that he make sure these guys don't suffer in vain. Ethan and I were photographed and one of his entourage took our names. He gave me a coin to give to Seth.

The bright spots of the day were the physical therapist's work on Seth's foot helped it to start looking like a foot instead of a blown up rubber glove, having Ethan here, and hearing from Charlie Trentleman that his call for donations to operationward57 had brought in $3700. Wow.


  1. Sylvia, will he drink the sustical or ensure drinks three times a day? They can make it for him using a shake. At least it would help to give him the protein his body needs for the tissues to help heal.
    Continued prayers for Seth and your family.

  2. i'm sorry nothing tastes good and it is difficult to eat. When I had chemo I learned to eat smart-- like choke down 2 small crackers for the same calories as a whole slice of bread. I hope tomorrow is a better day.