Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Latest with Danny Boy

On Friday the 14th, Danny's mother and I went to visit him and help him with his dinner. When we got there, his previous meal was still on the tray uneaten, and he was asleep. He was so loaded with painkillers that we didn't get to feed him or talk to him at all. He was that way because of a shower earlier in the day which included a body scrub to get all the dead skin off. For those that have not heard about or know of this process, it's extremely painful. It's much like a dark ages torture but with painkillers.

His male nurse talked to us a little and told us his arms are healing pretty good, but in one small area the graft is a bit thin. That should heal fine, it's a little slow is all. We sat with Danny for almost 2 hours and started to fall asleep ourselves, so we decided to return home and let him continue to sleep. (Like we had any choice in the matter.)

Today, Saturday the 15th, Judy went to see him because we were under the impression that these showers/scrubs would take place every other day. If he was awake, I would follow later on and join them to help out. She was able to assist some and he ate a few things, but he told her of how tired he was of the sweet stuff they offered. (Fruit, pudding, etc.) There was some cream of chicken soup available and he enjoyed that quite a bit. He also had pureed meat he tried to eat but was so tired that he asked Judy to wake him up in twenty minutes and he would try again. He finally gave up on it. A big deal for Danny and his state of mind happened today when they took the splints off his arms and he was able to hold the suction tube. He was so pleased that he could operate it and place it in his mouth where he wanted and needed it. These events happened in a short time period, with Danny sleeping off and on all the while.

Judy says they will be doing another body scrub tomorrow (Sunday) and will continue each day until all the bad skin is removed. Those scrubs make him so tired that he can't do much afterward. Also on Monday they will be doing more skin graft surgery on the areas that need it. His body is rejecting the burnt tissue and it's the reason for his fever. He doesn't have enough of his own skin to use, so they will be applying tissue from a skin bank. That tissue comes from cadavers and since it won't be his own, his body will reject it. The hospital staff is fully aware of this and says it's a method used for a temporary solution until Danny's body has enough skin to harvest. It also prepares the area of injury to accept his own tissue later on. * * * An added note: Sunday the 16th, 1:30 pm. Judy was talking to a friend of ours who is a medical professional and deals with small skin grafts frequently. He says the donor tissue from the tissue bank always adheres and is a success in his procedures. It could be the difference in the size of the wound that determines the outcome.

One goal he's working for, is to get the feeding tube out of his nose. To do that he must eat and get nourishment the old fashioned way, but right now it's making him nauseous to swallow solid food. So as Danny puts it, it's a vicious cycle he's having trouble breaking. It's just one more obstacle he will need to overcome in this uphill hike.
Liquids are no problem any more and he has requested that we bring bottles of cold filtered water whenever we see him.

Danny is still very weak and tired. He knows you all care for him and would like to see him. When he gives us the word, everyone will be notified.


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