Bessie Durio's Notes in LGH

Six Weeks in Lafayette General Hospital

November 1979

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December 1979

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Mom had the presence of mind to write a little diary of what happened to me each day I was in the hospital, along with a few names of the many people who went to LGH to visit. I'm very thankful to each of them for being concerned enough to take some time out of their lives to support my family and me. — Bryan Durio

[Bracketed italicized comments below are mine. — Bryan]

Hover your mouse over the Visitors and Phone calls links for those lists.

Sat 11-3-79

Visitors

This was a pretty sad day for all of us. But tonight Bryan moved his legs & right hand a lot and made noises with his throat, and his color was much better. Lungs still full but he's coughing a lot and that's a good sign. Father administered the Sacrament of the Sick.
Sun 11-4-79

Visitors
Phone calls

This morning Bryan looks great. Roses in his cheeks! Dr. Leoni says the brain stem is badly bruised and we won't know about brain damage until Bryan wakes up. Vital signs are good & condition is stable. Tonight Bryan got very excited when Ferd talked about music. He gripped Anne's & Ferd's hands tightly, halfway opened his right eye & sat up. He's moving his left side, also, tonight. Fr. Sigur gave Bryan a special blessing.
Mon 11-5-79

Visitors
Phone calls

Bryan's running a fever this morning. Condition is stable. Not much change from yesterday. He's very agitated. Gripped my hand tightly with his right hand. Dr. Leoni still says he doesn't know how long Bryan will be in this coma. Tomorrow they'll try feeding you thru a tube. If you respond well they'll consider moving you to a private room.
Tue 11-6-79

Visitors
Phone calls

Dr. Hubbell (a friend of mine) looked in on you this morning. Says you'll be waking up soon. Your old mom's on cloud 9!! Dr. Leoni says you haven't done as well as he'd thought you would by now but he's hoping you'll snap out of it in a week or so. Things are really looking good.
Wed 11-7-79

Visitors
Phone calls

Daddy & Grannonie saw you at the 8 o'clock visit. You moved your head to the right and tried to open your eyes. They took bandages off your right hand. Yesterday you looked spastic, waving your arm all around.
Thu 11-8-79

Visitors
Phone calls

This morning Ferd & I went to see you after the brain scan. You tried to get out of bed when I talked about getting new jeans & shoes. And you gave Ferd the #1 sign twice. We were thrilled to say the least. Steve Richard is here to see you at the 11 o'clock visit. You're looking good. Dr. Leoni says if you hold your calories tomorrow (Friday) you will be moved to your own room. Mike went back to New Orleans today. Daddy & Debbie visited you tonight.
Fri 11-9-79

Visitors
Phone calls

Today you took a small amount of apple juice & jello. Then you zonked out on us. Nurse said you must have been tired from therapy. First time they've mentioned that. At 11 o'clock you didn't respond much to anything. Mrs. Willis went in & prayed for you. Ferd just came back after work (5:40). Dr. Hubbell looked in on you at 8 o'clock. Mike Boudreaux & Randy came to visit.
Sat 11-10-79

Visitors
Phone calls

Today you were zonked out again. Tonight you were breathing very peacefully and so limp you wouldn't respond to anything. In fact, you didn't respond to anybody or anything.
Sun 11-11-79

Visitors
Phone calls

This is the first day since last Sunday that Ferd hasn't been here at 8 a.m. to see you. He's a faithful friend, Bryan. Daddy & Dot are coming to see you at the 11 o'clock visit.
Mon 11-12-79

Visitors
Phone calls

Not much out of you this morning at 8 when Ferd & I went in. You tried to turn on your left side & Ferd wouldn't let you because you wouldn't respond to him. Absolutely nothing from you at 11 o'clock. Mrs. Breaux came with me to see you. This is your 10th day in SICU. They'd move you out of SICU but there's not a private room available.
Tue 11-13-79

Visitors
Phone calls

Tim was waiting for me at 8 o'clock this morning so we went in to visit you. I think you tried to sing Happy Birthday to Tim. The biggest news is: you're moving out to Room 533 sometime this morning.

Great day, Bryan, you were moved to Room 533 at 11 o'clock. Rose stayed with you while I went home to get my clothes. Grandpa & Mr. Valerie came by the house & asked about you. I'll sleep in your room tonight. Dr. Leoni says you can have a radio or tapes in your room.
Wed 11-14-79

Visitors
Phone calls

Well, you didn't let me sleep the first part of last night, so the nurse gave you a sedative and I slept until 7:15 this morning when Dr. Rivet came in. Today you opened your eyes more often & kept them opened longer than ever before. You also got the hiccups twice. You wouldn't respond at all to Ted but you finally did a little bit for Mike.
Thu 11-15-79

Visitors
Phone calls

Tonight Dr. Leoni said you're not progressing as much as he'd like or thought you would. However, they took the IV out because it's no longer necessary. You slept a lot today. Had two good sessions of P.T. and some company. Debbie stayed with you all afternoon & I went for a walk & ate at the Piccadilly. Connie brought you some scapulars & Lourdes water. We're still optimistic & hope & pray you'll wake up soon.
Fri 11-16-79

Visitors
Phone calls

This morning you sat in a chair for two hours, and this afternoon you went upstairs for P.T. You opened your eyes often this afternoon. Ferd came tonight & played some of your tapes too loud so the nurses had to fuss. Tonight you also removed your catheter with your left hand which you're not supposed to be able to move! Then you wet all over the bed. Mais jamais, Bryan. You also bent your left leg.
Sat 11-17-79

Visitors
Phone calls

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Sun 11-18-79

Visitors
Phone calls

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Mon 11-19-79

Visitors
Phone calls

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Tue 11-20-79

Visitors
Phone calls

Today you ate pudding and tonight you ate mashed potatoes, gravy, and pureed meat. Ice cream (only a little bit) and more pudding. You also "walked" 15 feet in P.T. with some help, of course. Dr. Leoni smiled and was very pleased with your progress. You blinked your eyes (1, 2, 3) for Dad and stuck out your tongue for Dr. Leoni. Progress, Bryan, progress. Michael called yesterday to find out about all your "tricks".
Wed 11-21-79

Visitors
Phone calls

Another great day! You fed yourself supper. Even wiped your mouth when we told you to. You also did well in therapy. Making progress, Bryan. You even said "yes" but only for the nurses. You didn't say it for me.
Thu 11-22-79
Thanksgiving Day

Visitors
Phone calls

You didn't sleep much last night. I woke up at 5:30 & you were really "bare." Your bed had to be changed so we went back to sleep around 6:30 this morning & slept until 8:30. You fed yourself grits this morning & wiped your mouth (even the top lip) when I told you to. Also had orange juice & milk. Today you talked. You said "Rob" first [when Mom asked me who just walked into my room] & "I was in a wreck." Then you really took off. You talked for two hours.
Fri 11-23-79

Visitors
Phone calls

Today you ate well for the first time. Cleaned up your supper. You worked a peg board, wrote & put together nuts and bolts. You also walked the hall. Lauren Rivet said she won't be surprised at anything you do when she comes back Monday.
Sat 11-24-79

Visitors
Phone calls

6 a.m.

[Mom:] Did you sleep well?
[Me:] Yes, except for the munchies in the morningtime.

Do you want to drink the juice yourself? You'll have to be careful.
That's why she [the nurse] better do it.

What did you do in P.T. yesterday?
All kinds of things. (Then you read to me what you wrote.)

What does Sophie [our pet dachshund] call me?
"My olllllld Mom."

What does Spooky like for you to do?
Play ball with him.

Who is Spook?
Our cat.

Cleaned the trays today. Drank thru a straw.
Sun 11-25-79

Visitors

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Mon 11-26-79

Visitors
Phone calls

After P.T. late this afternoon you wheeled yourself all the way down the hall where Dot, Lisa, Clela, Lisa Willis, Chad, Collins & I were waiting for you. How about that for your accomplishment for the day?
You're stronger every day and eating everything they put in front of your face.
Tue 11-27-79

Visitors
Phone calls

Today you gave up the catheter and also tried to sit up by yourself. You did very well in P.T. But you keep calling Lauren Rivet "Paula". Shame on you! You ate two pieces of chocolate cake & two glasses of juice at 6 o'clock this morning. You sure had a lot of company today.
Wed 11-28-79

Visitors
Phone calls

This morning Dr. Leoni said if you keep up the progress you'll be able to go home in a week to ten days. That makes us all happy.
Thu 11-29-79

Visitors

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Fri 11-30-79

Visitors

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Sat 12-1-79

Visitors
Phone calls

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Sun 12-2-79

Visitors
Phone calls

You haven't talked much to anybody for three days. And you hit Debbie Jo today. Tommy told me that.
Mon 12-3-79

Visitors
Phone calls

6 a.m. [Scrawled by me, barely legible.] Nurses - I wet my bed. Come change it.

Today you refused to speak to anyone. Didn't eat your supper. You also got out of bed by yourself and fell down. So now you can't be left alone, period.
Tue 12-4-79

Visitors
Phone calls

Well, today you talked to everybody in therapy and to Mike Boudreaux & Anne. You yelled at me this morning but I don't mind. You're getting better.
Wed 12-5-79

Visitors
Phone calls

This afternoon in P.T. you walked up and down the steps for the first time. You did that very well. But you were also stubborn and didn't want to do all the exercises. You're getting stronger every day. This morning Dr. Leoni said you can go home around Dec. 15th. You seem to be satisfied with that.
Thu 12-6-79

Visitors
Phone calls

This afternoon you had a good report from P.T. You moved your left arm very well and even moved your thumb and first finger of your left hand for the first time. Things are really looking up.
Fri 12-7-79

Visitors

[Dad:] Had an active "early" morning — two requests to sit with action and left bed to sit once, while I was out in the hall saying goodbye to Mrs. Duncan. Did not wet the bed last night but piddled on the floor while I was shaving you. More talkative today.
Sat 12-8-79
The Awakening

Visitors

[Dad:] A lot more positive today — admitted that you had a bad week. Came out of your shell about 4:30 — wide awake — happy — talkative — until midnight! Called home to let Mom, Dot & Anne know that you were really awake again!
Sun 12-9-79

Visitors
Phone calls

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Mon 12-10-79

Visitors

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Tue 12-11-79

Visitors
Phone calls

You slept until 4 o'clock this morning. You're getting better. You stayed in therapy just about all day. Dr. Leoni said you'll probably go home Saturday morning (Dec. 15th). You're dressing yourself very well and walking very well. You got out of bed tonight to see about some tapes & you fell down. You got back in bed by yourself, fortunately.
Wed 12-12-79

Visitors
Phone calls

You slept until 6 o'clock this morning. No more wheelchair for P.T.!! You have to walk from now on. You're getting stronger every day, dressing yourself very well.
Thu 12-13-79

Visitors
Phone calls

Today you learned how to use a walker. You also worked the peg board very well. All the P.T.'s are very proud of you. Miss Cookie repaired your jeans for you. Dr. Leoni said your blurred vision should clear up in time.
Fri 12-14-79

Visitors
Phone calls

Tomorrow morning we're going home. This morning you tied the left shoe lace by yourself. Lauren was really proud of you, to say the least. But you'd like some new shoes that just slip on. It took me two hours this afternoon to find the kind of walker you need. But I found it. The Durio's have been invited to a party at the Rivet's on Dec. 22nd. Tonight you walked to ICU to see the nurses.