Friday, May 1, 2009

In Surgery and Out of Surgery

Uncle Louie went to surgery this morning. He is out of surgery and watching a movie now! Aunt Ruthie is hopeful they will talk to Dr. Duke eventually about the surgery but weekends are always busy!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Short Summary of Another Good Day

Dad did a fantastic job in Physical Therapy today. His therapist was a small girl, but she was a ball of fire. Dad looked a little concerned about this initially, so mom told him "She's little, but she's strong". Dad nodded his head and jokingly said, "Yeah, I bet she could take me on!"

They did the standing exercises again today and added steps. Today they did side steps - 3 to one side and then three to the other. They repeated this and it clearly wiped dad out, but he probably did 4 times more work today than on Tuesday. He even said that he NEVER thought it would be this hard. He's always been such a hard worker, and he has that same ethic when it comes to physical therapy. He pushes himself to the max, and he's so determined to get stronger.

**In closing - Last night dad called Suzanne on the phone to ask "How's my baby doing?" In case Chris didn't make it clear in his benefit speech (or you missed Chris' speech), Suzanne holds the title as "the favorite". Dad clearly hasn't forgotten. :)

Post Op - #50

Surgery went well. This is the first time that Dr. Duke came to give the post-op report to mom and DAD! Dad was able to ask a couple of questions himself, so that was nice. He's been really wanting to talk to Dr. Duke. Dad was still coming out of anesthesia at the time so he was a bit groggy. I think he would have had even more questions had he been fully awake, but I'm sure he'll get other opportunities to chat with Doc Red. All in all, it was another successful washout and wound vac replacement.

*On another note, dad had quite a few visitors today and he loved it! Thank you all!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

In surgery - The Big 5-0

Wow surgery #50! I didn't realize there had been that many (probably because I didn't label the last couple).

Dad didn't sleep well again last night (maybe partially due to a late evening "nap"). He did let mom sleep a little bit (off and on) and both of them seem to be okay today. It doesn't matter what hour of the night it is, he still looks forward to his 3 cubes of ice. He knows he gets them once an hour at a quarter 'til. He watches the clock and counts down. Yesterday dad was very happy to see Fr. Gary when he came to visit. He asked him to bless his meal - all three cubes!

This morning dad decided he wanted to hear a few more familiar voices and he called his friends at Shoppa's. How strange must it have been to be first one to answer that call. Never the less, he wanted to touch base with them. Holding the phone up tired him, but he was happy to get a chance to talk to the guys. It may sounds strange, but I think he felt a sense of accomplishment in making his first phone call.

That's all for now. I'll update later when I get a post-op report.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Long Night but Still a Good Day

Dad didn't sleep much last night, meaning mom didn't sleep either. He'd told us that he hadn't slept in 4 days and we thought that it was just one of his absurd rants. Granted he dozes and rests some during the day, but he seems to be hit with insomnia after dark. Tonight we're hoping for a more restful night for both of them.

Mom is learning more about patient care than I'm sure she EVER thought she would need to know. Since moving to the floor, his nurse is very, very busy. I'm not sure how many patients she has, but there are lots of them. Mom has to wear many hats - nurse, therapist, and caregiver (just to name a few). Upgrading to the floor has put her on the move... quietly praying in the corner is a thing of the past... she's busy - all prayers must be quickly said on the go! She's learned about trach care, she sponges his mouth (which he likes done very often), she wipes his face, she holds his basin, she positions him, she rearranges his pillows, and of course she answers (or tries to answer) his many many questions. Most recently she has a new hourly task - ICE! Dad is thrilled about this privilege. He even made sure that mom turned the fan off, because he definitely didn't want any of his ice to melt. He gets 3 small cubes an hour, and he even made a deal with mom that if he should fall asleep and miss one of his turns, he'll get a little extra the next time. Whoever knew that ice could be so uplifting?

Dad had physical therapy today, and maybe it was the ice that gave him a little extra energy. Today he stood up (with a walker). He tried this a couple of weeks ago in therapy and he just couldn't. The therapist said today that they were going to do it two times and he not only did that, but said he wanted to do it a third time. It was hard work, but he did a really great job! After he was done, he got a serving of ice - a reward he was very happy with!

Monday, April 27, 2009

A little ice a day - Dr. Duke says it's okay!

Post Op Report : Dr. Duke wasn't particularly chatty today. When Bonnie was quizzed about "what to post", her response was something along the lines of "Don't ask him questions unless you're prepared to remove your head from the hallway." Dr. Duke is obviously here to do his job and he's not so concerned about what dad thinks about this or any questions that mom might have regarding a timeline. He did say that surgery went well. Dad has 2 or 3 fistulas, so he adjusted the drains a bit, then did the washout and wound vac replacement.

On another note:
We all know that dad has been begging for something to eat or at least something to drink. Unfortunately we don't know when he might be able to have something like this, but we know that its a long way off. Today, however, Bonnie asked if he could have ice, and Dr. Duke said YES! Not much, so no need to pack your cooler and head to the hospital, but maybe an inch or so worth a few times a day. Dad's not awake, so he doesn't know this yet, but there's no doubt he'll be very pleased.
Dad's always been an "ice guy". He's crunched on it at home, while driving, and at ball games. In his mind it is completely unnecessary for a lid and straw to accompany any drink - he's clearly in it for the ice. Ironically he had actually had told mom that when he gets home he's going to have a huge cooler of ice next to him on the couch and he's just going to eat it all day. Even though he's been asking most for his first choice (Dr. Pepper), I definitely think ice comes in as a close second.

In surgery

Headed to Surgery Now

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Yesterday we made the move. Not to IMU, but to the FLOOR! The regular rooms - out of ICU completely - Talk about completely surprising! Mom and Dad's new home is now Jones Pavilion Room 653. Last night mom was able to sleep somewhere other than the hospital waiting room for the first time in 3 months. Dad had his trach valve on all evening so he was able to talk to us. We had normal conversations - no stabbings, overdosing, or other random wives were mentioned.

He asked many times for us to trim his fingernails - they were obviously really bugging him, and he asked to see his grand kids - he claimed he hadn't seen them in years. We fixed up his fingernails a bit, and it so happened that Tate had come with me, so Pawpaw got to see him. Dad flashed a big smile when we brought Tate in the room.

Here are a couple of moving day pictures. Of course the hospital staff moved dad and everything he would need. We, however, had to move mom out of "her corner" and she has accumulated a few things there. Tate's stroller came in handy and saved us from making numerous trips to their new "home".