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Wang’s recovery includes agitation, aggression

From David Chen, husband of Theresa Wang, who is recovering from injuries sustained in the Nov. 19 car crash that also injured Colt Brennan:

Aloha to our Ohana,

The past few days have not been without challenge for both of us. I contracted a mild case of food poisoning and while the blame could go to any number of meals, ironically broccoli was the likely culprit (my thanks to God for the quick recovery.)

Theresa continues to heal physically however this dark path that her mind and spirit are taking to regain consciousness is causing her extreme agitation resulting in aggression directed at anyone within arm or leg reach, which usually means me. More than once, the nurses have called me in at odd hours to try and calm Theresa down.

Sometimes it works; I’ll hold her hand or we’ll kiss and she eventually settles down. Other times, she’ll scratch & pinch or try to bite my lip.

Yesterday was particularly trying because when I’m in the room with Theresa, I choose to release her restraints rather than leave her shackled to the bed, even if the nurses can justify it is for Theresa’s safety as opposed to their convenience. After struggling with her for the better part of an hour, I was at wit’s end and ready to use the restraint too.

Instead, I said a silent prayer asking our Lord for help and within a minute, there was a knock at the door. The Healing Touch volunteers had arrived and as they began practicing their art of healing without touching, Theresa’s heart rate dropped by 20 beats and stayed that way for much of the afternoon.

Even in this semi-conscious and somewhat confused state, Theresa’s resourcefulness is another of God’s wonders to behold. With her right arm restrained, she is quickly regaining partial movement in the left arm to the point where she is able to scratch her nose in spite of the wrist splint limiting the movement.

And when she becomes frustrated with the arm restraint, Theresa yanks at it so forcefully that the therapists are concerned she may be causing undue stress to the elbow fracture.

So their solution is to replace the wrist restraint with a type of velcro oven mitt to keep her fingers from yanking on the various lines, tubes, collars, etc. The unintended consequence is it frees Theresa’s arm to move and she has delivered more than one accidental backhand or uppercut to the unlucky recipient.

But not to worry, the well-padded oven mitt solution lasted all of 10 minutes once Theresa figured out how to escape from it. For those who don’t know, Theresa’s hands are tiny, which is great for delivering babies without requiring forceps but not so good for restraint mitts.

So possessing the hand size of a 10-year-old, it was no problem for Theresa to jam the mitt between the bedrails and pull her hand free, relegating a restraint device that cost a tidy sum to the obsolete bin. Maybe Toys R Us has a better solution.

We are grateful for the get well cards, notes, e-mails, etc. from many friends old and new but for now, I ask that you not send them to The Queen’s Medical Center. Theresa’s condition is improving to the point where a transfer to a rehab hospital will likely take place in the next week or two so once we’re settled in, the new mailing address will be provided.

In the meantime, I’d also like to thank all those that sent us gifts here. Some of the more interesting ones include hand-knit shawls, prayer angels, a miniature Christmas tree with ornaments, and a tower of snacks from friends of Colt Brennan — far too many calories for me but the nurses and support staff of the unit certainly enjoyed dismantling it on Christmas Day.

These well wishes, gifts, and donations of time and money are all blessings for which I give thanks to our Lord, Jesus Christ.


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