Thursday, August 20, 2009

Music Comes to Room 644

We were lucky enough to again have a concert last night. This time our local El Campo Mennonite friends entertained us with several very special songs. A talented quartet of Chad and Tammy Koehn, Jay Giesel, and Andrew Miller harmonized beautifully. They were accompanied to the hospital by Jeff and Deanna Giesell and Ana Garcia. Every song was exceptional but the words of one were particularly appropriate.

" I don't know how tomorrow is planned
but I know He holds my life in His hand"

We thank each of them for praying with us and bringing the gift of music God bless these generous individuals.

Love to all,

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Standing and Walking and DR. PEPPER - Oh My!!!

My gosh, where do I begin today. I guess it all started around the time of today's therapy session. Dr. Duke, Denise (PA), and Martha are out in the hall (down a ways from Dad's room). Mom sees them talking while on her way to the utility closet and being her usual "chatty" self lets them know that dad's doing therapy. Dr. Duke says he'd like to just see how dad's doing and he'd be down there in a minute (just yesterday he'd pointed out that after these months of inactivity he's "weak as a kitten"). Dr. Duke also lets her know that he's ready to let dad have something to drink. Anything he wants! He says dad will be allowed to have 2 medicine cups full. It might not sound like a lot but up to this point he's never had more than 3 tiny ice cubes OR 1/4 medicine cup of water in an hour. With Duke's go ahead, Dr. Pepper would definitely be on the menu after therapy. With Dr. Duke still in the hallway, Dad got up to begin his workout with therapist Jocelyn. Using his walker he walked out of his room, down the short hallway, and into the main hallway, where in stood in plain sight of Dr. Duke. Duke looked over in sheer amazement and let out an "I'LL BE DAMNED". Not much can leave Red Duke speechless, but this sure did. This was one heck of a walk for dad, probably 4 times further than he's walked yet. From there he got in his wheel chair (remember sitting is quite difficult as well), and mom wheeled him through the halls and around the waiting area. The nurses all told him how good he looked and how well he was doing. When they got back to his room, he got out of the wheelchair and walked back to bed.

After all of this he was treated to his Dr. Pepper. He said it tasted good, although he couldn't really remember what it tasted like before. Following this he settled down for a rest, and he's snoozing now. WHAT A DAY!!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Things Going Right

This weekend marked Day 200 of dad's hospital stay. I lost count of these days along the way (doing well just keep track of the surgeries), but a nurse pointed it out to mom this morning - Day 202. None of these 202 days have been easy, but in the past week things seem to be really coming together. It is obvious to us that they are preparing him to one day go home. It is safe to say that the entire mid-section skin graft has TAKEN, the surgeries have stopped (at least for right now), the wound vacs are finished, and he has been detached from the wall suction. A bag-type appliance is being used to collect drainage from the fistulas and imperfections, and Dr. Duke's very successful "grafting ledge" was removed today.

Dad is now doing physical therapy 6 days a week. Something that seems as simple as sitting (or standing) is very difficult, but today he was able to ride in a wheelchair out into the waiting room. Mom pushed him while Bonnie (who was visiting on her lunch hour) pushed his IV pole and carried the oxygen. Mom is learning as much as she can right now about his care as we all look forward to the day he will be able to go home with her. No one should be expecting to see him around town next week or anything, but he'll get there. We know that he will one day go home and that is all very exciting!