Saturday, April 11, 2009

Notes From Ruthie

Happy Easter!

Last year at this time we were welcoming our son-in-law, Chris, into the Catholic Church. This year, we again have much to be thankful for. As I think about the risen Christ, I feel joy and a sense of resurrection for Louie also. He has gone many weeks with little or no communication but now he is awake! While there is much work left to do, look at where he's been. The process is slow and the road is very long. That's okay - there is a road and its more clearly defined than before. The doctors, nurses, and "special teams" (respiratory, renal, nutrition, physical therapy, etc) are nothing less than exceptional. I will be asking God for special blessing for them this Easter as well as all of you. You have made such a difference with your prayers.

Rejoice - God is good!

Love to all, Ruthie

Friday, April 10, 2009

Continuing to Battle the Bowel

Surgery went well, but there was another small hole in the bowel that had to be repaired. Dr. Duke says the wounds look really clean, but the bowel really needs to cooperate. It is looking like we might be soon saying farewell to the microsurgeons. Their work is almost done, and next week might possibly the be the last round of them. Of course that could change, but it is the tentative plan. We really would like prayers to focus in on the repair and healing of the bowel.

On another note, dad's heart rate has been high tonight. So, while you are already praying for the bowel, please send one up for the heart as well.

Thanks to everyone for everything!


In Surgery

#42 - please pray. His heart rate is a little high today (at least by his nurse's standards), so we pray all goes well during surgery.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Moving On Up ---

Actually it's moving down the hall, but the location itself is everything. Dad's been so frustrated and the cabin fever driving him crazy. He so desperately wants to go outside or at least out of his little concrete room. Today he made his move. It wasn't outside nor was it a patio suite that mom envisioned, but it's a new room and with a fabulous view. They packed his bags (who am I kidding - he owns nothing in that room) and he vacated STICU Bed 1, and his new address is STICU Bed 7. Room 7 has not one but TWO windows that overlook Hermann Park and the room itself may even be slightly larger.

Dad spent some time sitting in the chair today, and that must have been exhausting because he got some good rest as well. Now that he's in Room 7 he can't wait to get a good look outside; so tomorrow we HAVE to get him over close to the windows. When mom commented on how great his new room was, he specifically said that he wanted to go over there. (referring to the windows)

Overall it was a good non-surgery day. Tomorrow he'll go back to the operating room for Surgery #42. Send prayers that all goes well and Dr. Duke might finally win the battle of the bowel.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Dad went back to surgery this evening and all went well. Dr. Duke came to talk to mom, and must have had a few extra minutes to spare, because he was very "chatty" (mom's words). Dr. Duke is still working one the bowel - it's giving him one heck of a time. He spoke with mom about the journey this has been and progress dad has made. From where dad's been Dr. Duke didn't know that he'd get the opportunity to know mom so well and continue to work towards dad's recovery. Now he's even mentioning grafting! I don't know when he might want to do this - weeks, months, who knows... he doesn't like to nail down a timeline. He just wants mom to focus on being there with dad and let him (Dr. Duke) worry about the rest. Remember we are enrolled in Patience 101. Everyone knows that Dr. Duke is amazing - how can we ever thank him enough? He mentioned the possibility to do "something" (I'm sure there's a real term for this but I am not sure what it is) to the trach so dad might be able to talk. I hope they are able to do this "something", because I know dad so desperately wants to be able to communicate more easily. Today dad was able to point out letters on a letter board and spell what he was wanting to say. That went well! He insisted that mom write each letter that he pointed to down on paper. I guess this is kind of like her writing for him since he's unable to do so yet. Possibly he saw it as a sure bet that she'd get what he was saying. I'm sure it would be even more frustrating for him to point to 10 or 15 letters only for her to forget what the second or fifth one was. Never the less he did well with the letterboard and so this was very good.

On another note, dad is very agitated tonight, so mom of course is by his side as they try to calm him. Please pray that dad can be comforted during this unbelievably tough time.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Daily Report

Today is off to a good start. Rounds went well and Dr. Ware is AMAZED by his progress. Of course dad is not ready for that Dr. Pepper yet, and he's not going to be strolling the park across the street anytime soon, but we are just so proud of how determined he is to get better. While recovery might be slow, he continues to make obvious progress.

Today he got a small wish granted. Last week he wanted his inflatable boots off, and he wanted to sit in a chair with his feet on the floor. It sounds like a request that could easily be granted, but last week he was not ready. Today he got to sit on the edge of the bed with his boots off (temporarily) and his feet on the ground. They had to steady him, but he did great!

He has also started suctioning his mouth by himself. While it might be easier for the nurse or one of us to do it for him - he's so determined to do it himself! Good for him! We all know that if he could do all of this for himself that's the way he'd want it - so for now having control of the suction wand is his step toward self sufficiency and he’s not handing it over.

He's continuing to communicate by mouthing words/sentences. It's hard to decipher some of them, but we try really hard. Sometimes we get them right, other times he gives up on us and just goes back to sleep.

We continue praying for more good days!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Surgery 40

Around 2 this morning dad went back to surgery. He's now out of surgery, back in his room and already moving his arms and legs. We thought that this surgery was going to take place yesterday, but I guess yesterday proved to be a very, very busy day for Dr. Duke. (and why not end a busy day with a 2 a.m. surgery?)

Dr. Duke learned yesterday that the microsurgeons that he planned to use today were not shipped, so early this morning he removed the very fat, already escaping micros, and put in a wound vac. Dad will get a new set of micros on Wednesday, and then return to the Monday, Wednesday, Friday "microsurgery" schedule. Mom has not had a chance to talk to Dr. Duke this morning, but he left a message with dad's nurse that all went well.