For the first 5 days or so after my surgery I was declared a “fall risk”. Understandable since I had no abdominal muscles to support myself at all.
There were all kinds of things to alert and remind everyone of this risk. There was a STOP sign in my room that indicated my risk with various codes that the nurses hopefully understood cause I had no idea what it all meant. There was also a little leaf on the sign as you came into my room. Clever, huh? Leaf? Fall?
I had to wear these hot socks and the wrist band.
And depending on the nurse, they would turn on an alarm on my bed that would alert them if I tried to get up. When I was starting to feel better and able to get up on my own I set that off a few times. There was one nurse I think I annoyed with that.
Little did we know we had another fall risk in the room though…
In the middle of the night on Monday I was still in a great deal of pain and trying to find comfort in bed. MJ stood at the side of my bed, held my hands and started walking me through a guided imagery session. In a very calm and soothing voice she was getting me to relax my body and it was peaceful and starting to help when all of a sudden I watched her fall straight back and down on the floor.
She looked like she was trying to get up but couldn’t and was shaking. She wasn’t responding to me either.
I hit the nurse call button and started yelling for help. The thing about not having functional abdominal muscles is that you can’t really scream with any kind of power either. But I kept trying. I tried getting MJ’s attention and she looked up and started hollering.
I couldn’t move so I just had to sit and watch this all play out. It was rather terrifying. I’m sure the nurses were there rather quickly but it seemed like it took forever.
Four nurses came in and started checking her out. They took her vitals and got her water and food. They suggested she go down to the ER but she was feeling better and didn’t think it was necessary. She figured she was going to be in my room anyway if she started feeling bad. She promised to stay awake for 4 hours, which she did and she was fine. Had a good size goose bump on her head, but was totally fine otherwise.
I think she was so tired and stressed and everything else that comes with dealing with your spouse having major surgery that while she was doing the guided imagery for me I think she soothed herself out!
MJ said that before we left the hospital she wanted to put on a gown, wear my red socks and fall risk wrist band and start running and dancing around the hallways. She never did do it, but the thought of it still makes me giggle.