Sleep Deprived in Seattle

Hi Folks,

I left for Seattle Saturday morning and had a boring and uneventful flight, except for the killer ear ache insighted upon approach to Seattle. Now, I remember why I don’t like to fly.

Kelly’s brother, Suart, picked me up at the airport and and we went straight to the hospital from there. The good news was that she was no longer unconscious and she was moving from intensive care to acute care, which indicates improvement. The bad news was the heartache of seeing my friend so beaten and bruised and confused.

I really couldn’t tell if she knew me in any sense of the word and though I felt I saw a spark in her eye and she gripped my hand very tightly – it is just as easy to believe that it was only reflex and no true recognition. The move from intensive care to that of a shared room in acute care, along with a myriad of visitors proved to be too much for her and she became over stimulated.

Given the trauma and shock her body has been through, it takes very little to get her agitated and over stimulated. For this reason, I found myself hanging back and questioning the wisdom of my decision in coming, as it seems often that I am more in the way that actually effecting any kind of positive change. Still, a part of me needed to believe that it was important for me to come and on some level she knew I was there and found some tiny comfort in that fact.

We left the hospital and went back to the house around midnight. Naturally, sleep was not something that came easily and I think I finally dozed off around 4 am. Though my eyes felt like they were made of sandpaper, I got up, made breakfast for Kelly’s family and we were off to the hospital. It was determined that I would stay the night with Kelly and so I did.

I had no idea how very active and intrusive hospitals are in the dead of night and if they weren’t waking to prod and poke Kelly, they were walking her room mate to poke and prod her. Also, nurses and doctors speak very loudly to trauma patients, as though that somehow cancels out the trauma and enables them to comprehend what is being asked of them and to then perform requested tasks, like wiggling fingers and squeezing hands.

Due to the over stimulation, Kelly required pain medication from early Sunday morning all the way to the present and probably wil remain on it for a while. She has managed to pulled her feed tube twice and had to have it reinserted which is not a pleasant thing for her or the staff. The good news is that she is strong and mobile but the bad news is that she must be restrained so that she doesn’t harm herself, pull vital tubes or touch the area of her head where they had to remove part of the skull cap.

I am not sure why I believed that I would actually be able to sleep while I stayed the day and night and then half the day again with her in the hospital. Trust, this is not possible, especially with trauma patients. She gave me a couple of good kicks in the butt, which I suppose I have always needed and her color is good and it seems that each hour she looks just a tiny bit more like Kelly. I am heartened by this and feel unbeleivably guilty that I am exhausted and require sleep and even time away from her. If I were a good friend I would not require these things and I would never leave her side – but I guess I’m not the tough bitch I always thought I was and that’s what I get for being so arrogant.

I am not back at the house and going to try to get some sleep and will probably go back tomorrow or wednesday for another full day shift – it is what they seem to need and I want to be able to help them in the way they are helped.

So, please don’t feel hurt or ignored if I am unable to respond to any comments you may leave or even emails. I am at least reading them when I get a chance and I promise to catch up on my correspondence when I return home, which will be the end of this week.

Thanks to all of you who have expressed your good wishes and prayers for my friend. I cannot tell you how much it means to me and to her.

Much love,

Annie

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15 thoughts on “Sleep Deprived in Seattle

  1. Really, it doesn’t matter if she actually really does recognize you or not at this point. The fact that she squeezed your hand indicates she thinks you are someone she loves and trusts and that is good enough. Hopefully in time, she will know it is YOU and can thank you for being there for herself. Don’t YOU feel guilty if you need to sleep. My goodness. Worrying about others and looking after them is enough to wear anyone out. Any mother can tell you that. So, you get the rest you need without guilt. Guilt doesn’t help anyone. It is awesome you are there for her and her family. They must be so very thankful. Don’t you worry about us, either. We’re not going anywhere. We’re all here continuing to send prayers and good thoughts Kelly’s way. Hang in there. Hugs to you, my friend.

    Hey Teens,
    You do my heart good. And I think maybe you’re right. I think she doesn’t really know me and maybe will have to learn to be my friend all over again, which might actually be some fun. I don’t care if she ever thanks me – she doesn’t need to. If the situation were reversed she would do exactly what I am doing – it’s just how it is, you know?

    Hugs,
    Annie

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  2. Annie, you are a good friend for being there!!!!! Please don’t think anything different, nor guilty. You are an angel for that woman, trust!
    Get you some rest. You need the rest to be there for her. You need the rest for YOU.
    Sending you out some big hugs and happy thoughts. Surely, they’ll make it to Seattle!

    Hey Red,
    Yes, you are right – I was letting myself run down and I can’t help her if I’m messed up too, can I? Things are better, she is improving and we’ve found a kind of routine that seems to work. Fingers crossed.

    Hugs,
    Annie

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  3. you are an amazing friend for being there … it is important, oh so important and just the fact that you are there makes a difference, this i know with every ounce of my being … sending you love and strength and warm hugs and lots of prayers for kelly, xoxox

    Aw Daisies,
    Thank you – I hope you are right. And I know more than I know anything that all those prayers and thoughts are doing her good. They are helping in miraculous ways. So, please keep them coming. It can only result in good things.

    Hugs,
    Annie

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  4. Oh but you are a good friend, never doubt that one Annie. Sending your prayers when you are holding her hand, instead of a long way away will have a profound affect I’m sure. Sending you lots of love and strength renewed xxxx

    Hey Sweet Girl,

    thanks more than I can say.
    Annie xo

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  5. Hello there, sorry to be tardy, it took me a day or two to alter all my ready bits to your new incarnation.

    Basically, whether or not she “knows” it’s you, act as if she does. That in itself has to be a tonic. I feel for you and I do hope she is better soon but it’s a long road so give it time and don’t beat yourself up over how long it takes. Also, the best thing you can do, as a friend, is make sure you do sleep so you are at your best when you are with her.

    It must be pretty harsh. Thinking of you.

    Cheers

    BC

    Hey BC!
    You aren’t tardy, dear, just fashionably late 😉

    Yes, it will be a long road and we are all exhausting ourselves trying to help and make her better, I guess because without putting that kind of energy in it, it is easy to feel helpless and useless. Plus, when it is your only focus, you do get tunnel vision and single minded – hard to see the perspective that is actually really needed at this point.

    I am sleeping and sucking down water and vitamins, decent food. I may have to get a personal trainer just so I can stay in shape for this. It is probably only one trip of many that I will make. I just keep thinking, a year from now, it may all be behind us and we’ll be celebrating. Baby steps…
    Annie

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  6. Hey there Annie! Know that we are all rooting for you as well as for Kelly and that it means a lot not only to Kelly but also to her family to know that you care so much to be there. You believe “like begets like”, right? => do try to be positive, think the best of energies, get some sleep so you can be strong and then Kelly can feel those good vibes, too! I’ll be thinking happy healing thoughts and sending them clear across the country and over this interweb. ehugs!! -“C”

    Good point C. And I worried that she was picking up on my worry and concern too. I am in a better state now and think is helping. Thanks!
    Hugs,
    Annie

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  7. Hi WC,

    Back when I worked in an office, my family took a vacation that involved flying. During the return trip, the low air pressure ruptured some small blood vessels in my eyes, giving me a most unusual appearance. Fortunately, this happened just before Halloween and gave a fantastic finishing touch to my zombie costume! I caused one minor car wreck on the way to work, and, in a close encounter coming around a corner, caused one fellow employee to wet their pants. Good times; good times, and my gratitude to the airline industry for being incompetent.

    the Grit

    You know, Grit, I have to say your story proves that timing is everything. Hope it didn’t take too long for those eyes to heal – yikes – at least you didn’t have to worry about eye makeup. 😉
    WC

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  8. Don’t worry about us..you are being a true friend to her and her family. Sometimes we have to just ‘be.’ You are in the ‘be.’ with your friend. The
    most important gift you can give is you in the now. It does not matter at this time if she knows you or not..You know her. The real Kelly.
    I believe there is a portion of her in there that knows you are there now. But it really does not matter. What matters is you in the being there now.

    You are loved, and praying for you.
    Hugs

    Hi Ange,
    That is a great way of putting it and it is pretty much what we are all doing. Being in the now with her. I know I am loved and thank you for saying so. Back atcha.

    Hugs,
    Annie

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  9. oh, A. Thoughts are with you. Prayers are with you and your friend, and know you’re in my thoughts.
    Love,
    J

    Hey Sweetie pie,
    I know they are – I can feel it, believe it or not. You guys are all in my thoughts too.
    Love
    annie

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  10. I wish your friend the best. It can’t be easy seeing a friend in this shape but I know that deep down she appreciates it. Take care, my friend.

    Hey Darlin’
    No, it is one of the hardest things I’ve ever been through, seeing her like this. I hurt for her – and I guess like anyone who loves another person, just don’t want her to feel any pain. But things are getting better – baby steps – lots them.

    Annie

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  11. My prayers are with you, your friend Kelly and her family. It is difficult to see someone you love in this condition. You’re doing what any good friend would do.

    Take care of yourself too.

    Mrs. V

    Thanks, Mrs. V.
    You know, interestingly enough, many of the people who are now helping Kelly are teachers – she is part of a huge home schooling network and these folks have reached out in the most amazing ways, without hesitation. I have a newfound respect for teachers – actually for everyone. People mostly do have their hearts in the very best places.
    WC

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  12. Annie, what you are doing is good for Kelly.
    Helping the people she loves and being present is leading to wonders we cannot see with our eyes. It looks like your readers understand that just being there and assisting the family so they can get rest is a very loving and healing act.

    i am glad that she is getting better- slowly but surely. i’m still praying for all of you.

    You are a gift to your friend and her loved ones. Blessing to them and you.

    Oh Chica,
    I hope you are right – I know in my heart you are right and my thoughts are just rushing too fast to catch them and see them. I just haven’t had time to process any of it, because right now, it seems that action is demanded and nothing else. Each day though, we find more solutions – we’re hoping she will be going to rehab facility within the next few weeks – which would really be the beginning of the road back to recovery.

    Love
    annie

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  13. Annie you are a good friend to Kelly don’t feel guilty that you are tired or need sleep. I’m sure she knows you are there with her I truly believe that. I’m praying for you, Kelly and her entire family. I’m glad to hear that she is getting better each day. We will all continue to pray for her recovery. Sending you a big hug Annie
    love,
    Kathy

    Thanks, Kathy – it was so sweet of you to visit the blog. We all love the girl and want to do what we can – and are. She is doing much better and continues to improve daily – fingers crossed that trend continues too.
    Love
    Annie

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  14. Even if you weren’t recognized at all at first, “someone was here for me” will have registered in the back of her mind, and that’s worth a lot.

    And boring and uneventful plane trips are the only kind to have, believe me.

    Thanks, CG – I hope you’re right. I guess it doesn’t matter. Just getting her well again is all that counts.
    WC

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