Roobeedoo, Spiritwoman, and Andre’s weekend doc all suggested that playing music might help Andre relax. My initial notion was that silence is best in not agitating him. It seems I’m wrong. I started with classical music to relax Andre but he seems to get excited every time a piece reaches its crescendo. New age seems to be the same. I ended up sticking to ballads and “lite rock”–it looks to be just right.
For this weekend, I had to pushed the doctors to be more aggressive with getting Andre off sedation (i.e., lowering the Versed they’re infusing into him). They and the nurses seem to be trigger happy with bolusing him with the sedative every time he “wakes up” fidgeting. I can understand their concern about alleviating the discomfort of their patients but in Andre’s case, their usual methods have only resulted in him being more despondent. Additionally, I’ve noticed that the nurses are quick to give sedation because it makes their job easier. I had to convinced them to give Andre several minutes to calm himself down every time he “wakes up” by gently explaining to him where he is at, what’s going on, and what he needs to do. I know this works because I’ve done this several times. Doing this over the weekend, we’ve managed to cut his Versed level by a quarter.
Andre made and answered several requests this weekend during those intermittent minutes of cognition. He’s able to answer simple questions (e.g., are you in pain, are you hot, are you cold, etc.?) and to give me kisses. He appreciated my trimming of his facial hair and cleaning his ears (he was able to indicate that his ears were itchy). He was also able to signal to us if there is something that’s making him uncomfortable (e.g., having to pee, having a bowel movement, the telemetry electrodes and wires digging on his back, etc.). I’m taking all of these as signs of progress. I hope it continues in the right direction.