When I last visited these pages I had just had surgery on my left hand and was experiencing the usual post-operative pain issues. That began to change about the 5th day after my surgery. My hand became increasingly sore and I found the bandages more irritating by the day. At the followup appointment with my surgeon it was determined I had an infection in my hand and I was admitted to Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, IL.

By the time I arrived at the ER I was in pain such that I have never experienced nor wish to ever experience again. I was given several doses in quick succession of a pain medication 4 times stronger than morphine just to bring the pain to a manageable level where I could participate in discussions about my condition with the physicians. The next morning I had surgery to install 3 drains in my hand and to take tissue samples of the infection. While these cultures matured I was put on broad spectrum antibiotics and continued with significant pain medications. I was released 5 days later only to be readmitted a couple of hours later when the infection reasserted itself. I had another drain put into my hand and continued with broad spectrum antibiotics and antibiotics specific to my pathology. After nearly 8 total days I was released again and am now home.

The surgery seems to have been successful, though my rehab has been delayed due to the infection, but every day I have less pain and more mobility and strength.

I spent both stays at Good Sam on the 53rd Ward. If you have ever had to stay in the hospital for a long duration under very trying and frightening conditions you know how critical the nursing and nursing aid staff is to your recovery. I cannot sing my praises of these tireless angels of mercy loud enough. The effects of heavy narcotics and unremitting pain through long lonely nights can leave you in a very fragile state. The care and compassion I received from these exemplary professionals will never be forgotten.

I came to learn that there was a whole host of brothers and sisters holding me up in prayer throughout this long ordeal. I learned what it means to be carried by others when I couldn’t carry even myself.

Andrew Remillard

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