Friday, December 26, 2008

The Santa visit really paid off for my kids. They got everything and more than they asked for. Cole wanted Guitar Hero for the Wii. Kamden wanted a "Scooby Car" (The Mystery Machine). Max wanted a set of left handed golf clubs. I wanted a Honda Odyssey, but it wouldn't fit down the chimney - darn! Most of all I wanted my Daddy to be released from the hospital, but my poor parents had a "Blue Christmas" in room 4410. Craig wanted a trip to Cabo to go fishing with the "Cabo-Boys" but the tickets were no where to be found. Even though the adults didn't get our heart's desires, at least the kids racked up. Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas Day and will enjoy the rest of the "kid filled" holiday. We have all been so blessed!

**Fabulous Update! My Daddy is being released from the hospital
TODAY! Craig and I are fighting off bad head colds with loads of
heavy sneezing, so we are not going to be able to be a bit of help. My Daddy's chest continues to be ever so painful, so we wouldn't want to be responsible for him catching our yuck!
I pray that everything goes smoothly and they are able to get home all safe and sound.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas is just a few days away and having my Daddy make it through his surgery without having to go to ICU is simply the best gift of all! Tonight he sat up on the side of the bed and actually fed himself! This is just one day post-surgery and he is doing great! He is still in a lot of pain, which is understandable - considering he now has three titanium plates in his chest, some kind of muscle flap procedure where they joined together both sides of his chest muscles and they rewired his chest. His incision is much larger than the original one and they stapled it together. I didn't know plastic surgeons stapled, but apparently they do. They also stitched together his open wound on his leg. He is sporting lovely drain tubes on his leg and two from his chest. We are just so THANKFUL that he has the surgery behind him and he is well on his way to being the strong Daddy / Pappy we know him to be.
Kamden has a terrible cough (bronchitis - and on antibiotics) so we can't get her or the boys any where near Daddy. They may have it too and we don't know it yet - so better to be safe than sorry. One more cold and cough might be more than Daddy could take.
My Mother has been right by his side as expected. Mickey, Dee and Jane stayed with Mother while Daddy had his surgery. Thank goodness for wonderful family and friends. I was busy taking Kamden to the doctor and felt so very torn. Daddy's surgery lasted forever. They took him back at 10:20 am and he didn't come back until 3:50 pm. I thought I would never get the call from Mother telling me that it was over! Once again, he is on the slow track to a full recovery! He will be strong and smiling again soon, I just know it!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

My DADDY IS BACK IN THE HOSPITAL!! I can't believe my sweet Daddy has endured so much, and been such a trooper, and now, after a doctor's appointment on Tuesday, has returned to the hospital. He started bleeding from his chest incision and bubbling air - weird, I know, but that is how both of my parents have described how it all started. The heart specialist got him right in for an appointment where they opened his healing incision completely with a surgical knife (or something of the sorts) right there in the office! How sanitary! He said it was so painful! I can only imagine. They poked around with swabs and agreed that he had pulled his wires holding his chest together loose by coughing - thanks to a booger of a cold he has been fighting for two weeks. So they went straight back to the hospital and he is to have surgery on Friday at 12:30 pm. This time a plastic surgeon will open him, rewire, look for any infection, do a muscle flap procedure to secure the area, and possibly use a plate and screw system (don't know what all of that entails).
I looked at the opening on his chest yesterday as they were changing the dressings and it looked like he had lost a recent sword fight! Really, it looked just awful (UNDERSTATEMENT!) and I could NOT believe my eyes! His chest had been doing so great and healing so well! His leg still looks bad and the plastic surgeon says he will probably repair his leg wound also (according to how everything goes). Daddy is excited about that because that would free him from the wound vac (maybe). One nurse told us that he could end up with the vac attached to his chest too. ARGH!
We are just praying that Daddy will remain strong, and have a will to fight with all his might. He keeps saying, "You know, there is only so much shock a body can take. I'll be 71 in March and I just don't know about all of this!" He really doesn't have any choice, but to trust the doctors and pray that they will handle and care for him the way they would want their own parents taken care of. We are all stunned and heartbroken to hear that all of the healing has to be undone and started from scratch - pretty much. If he handles the surgery well and all goes as planned he will return to his regular room. If it doesn't go as planned he will be back in CVICU again. He is going to have a ventilator again and more chest tubes and who knows what else. He has a rough road ahead of him.
Yesterday he and I walked around the floor of the hospital together while Mother went back to their house to get all of their "stuff" and medicines. He said that it was the best he had felt since his surgery. Bless his heart! I could just have broken down in tears right then and there, but I swallowed hard and put on my strong face (only to cry all the way home, about five times already today and now!). I am having a hard time keeping myself together because I am so scared for him! He has always been my "partner, best friend and that's what" (something he always says to me!). Please keep him especially in your thoughts and prayers tomorrow, and in the weeks to follow as he faces another long recovery period.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Friday afternoon, around 3:30 pm my Daddy was officially released from Roger C. Peace. I am sure being outside on a beautiful sunny day and driving down the road in their van was quite a surreal experience for them. I followed them for a little while and my mom called on my cell phone with excitement about the drop in gas prices ($1.39). She had heard about the price going down, but to actually see it large and in "real life" was shocking. They slowed down to a crawl to appreciate the beauty of low numbers! It was funny for that to excite them, but it did! They went on home and I stopped to grab some groceries for them and all of Daddy prescriptions (seemed like 20 or more) and ran home for Craig to load our recliner in my van. My parents have a recliner that is not nearly as comfy as ours and theirs took quite a bit of arm action (big no-no for heart patients) to get it to recline, so we figured our big, soft green recliner would work out better for Daddy. The boys constantly fight over sitting in it and were sad to see it go. I now have more room in my family room, and less confusion, so I am happy. Christmas trees always offset the entire balance of our already crowded space.
Speaking of our beautiful tree . . . that cotton-picking booger fell on Tuesday night (last week) while we were all snug in our beds taking a long winter's nap. No one heard it, but I think my head twirled around on my shoulders - three times Wednesday morning! I said I couldn't take much more Christmas decorating, but guess who got to decorate the darned tree again, once it was tied by ropes to the window trim and a built-in bookcase? JOY! Why on earth would they make a large, heavy, pre-lit tree with flimsy plastic feet? ARGH! I know having every ornament on the very front of the tree didn't help either!
My parents were certainly happy to have their house all decked out for the holidays. Daddy said they wouldn't have had Christmas without our hard work (bless his heart). Mother has thanked me everyday for all that we have done. I am just so glad they are finally home to enjoy it all. I don't think anyone could have stood another week in that place! The nurses and doctors were great to my parents, but they felt imprisoned, not to mention Daddy was more than tired of the food! Daddy feels very useless and weak, which work together to make him angry. He has always been such a "get-er-done" kind of man, so using patience is becoming a honed art form for him.
Taking one day at a time is the only way he is going to get better. Mother is feeding him well, they are sleeping in their comfy bed, he is taking tons of meds, the wound vac is doing its thing, he is napping throughout the day (when he is not eating) and the home health nurse is visiting three times a week to re-dress the wound /vac area. He is definitely well taken care of, so healing is just going to take time. They have plenty of family and friends checking on them, so they are in good shape in my eyes, but Daddy feels he still has a huge mountain in front of him he has to attempt to climb everyday. Truly we are all so blessed and have countless things to be thankful for. "Think positive," I keep telling him. Eventually he will catch on!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

After two really rough days, my Daddy is doing so much better. I really believe we witnessed a miracle last night around 8pm, when after two straight days of being in the bed and coughing his lungs out, he decided to get up and walk around the halls. It was truly amazing! Today when I walked in the room he said, "I like to have died the past two days, and now I feel much better!" Prayer really works! Dr. Hippensteal had a pulmonary doctor (Dr. McCraw) check out the CT Scan they did on Monday night and we thought he was going to have to drain the fluid from around his lung yesterday evening, but thank the good Lord he didn't! They had already had him sign the release forms and had the "tools" (looked like a railroad spike!) to get the job done sitting in the room (ready for action). Daddy wanted to shake that doctor's hand! Finally, someone gave him a break! His chest is still painful because he has coughed a rib loose from the "joint" where it meets the cartilage. You can actually see it protruding. They started him on prednisone last night at 10pm and he is on another round of antibiotics. His leg is still on the vac system, so the ugliness remains "under wraps". We all kind of forgot about the leg when his chest became so very painful. Thanks from the bottom of my heart to Angel for keeping my kids so I could run back to the hospital and watch the procedure that didn't end up taking place. She is my truest, very best friend in the whole wide world and I love her! Not just anybody would be willing to take on my bunch! Thanks to Val for volunteering too. Hopefully this is the last "scare" we will have and they will consider releasing my parents soon. This has been so hard on them! Thanks to Mickey and Dee for always visiting and calling to check up on everything. What would my parents do without such caring family? Keep praying for my Daddy - obviously it is working!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Well we made it through another weekend with Daddy in the hospital Roger C. Peace Rehabilitation Center. He had a really bad night on Saturday night and coughed instead of sleeping. He had several rough episodes when he couldn't catch his breath. Now he is on an antibiotic called Cipro (sp?) and is taking a much stronger med for his cough. They did a chest x-ray and should get the results today. I asked the nurse for a sleeping pill for him last night and after the doctor's approval they gave him one at 11:00 pm and he slept like a baby. Nothing like a good night's sleep to make you feel better! He is still having a lot of pain in and around his wound on his thigh and now his chest is really hurting. I am sure he has pulled muscles coughing - hopefully not wires where they put him back together after heart surgery. I made a picture of the wound vac that is hopefully aiding in the healing process. This looks much better than the pictures I have made of the wound itself! Yuck!
I included a few pictures of Mother's birthday on November 30th we celebrated in the "gathering room". What a great picture of my parents! Kamden and I made cupcakes and we all enjoyed some time together in another room besides #2807.
OK, I said no more Christmas decorating, but I just had to do this! I made a great little pick-me-up gift basket to decorate my Daddy's room. I got this wonderful idea from a fellow blogger, Wendy. Thanks for planting a seed and motivating me in an awesome direction. A basket from Ross (one of my favorite stores on earth!) and a few things I had in my own (too much) Christmas decorations and voila! I even put some energy efficient, tiny LED lights on the little tree so it even looks pretty with the lights off. My Daddy's sister (who is super crafty) came by to visit last night and said I "out did myself" on the basket! Yeah! Anyway, MeeMee and Pappy liked it and that's what mattered most of all!
I am finishing up on getting all of my families' (and their) laundry done and will be off to visit with my precious parents. I hope they will get some good news from the doctors today. Maybe even a date of a possible homecoming! I think today is the day for removing the packing and measuring the leg wound and taking a bit of dead skin off (not a fun event). I will post soon with some good news - I hope!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Just a quick update on my Daddy, also known as Pappy! He is still in the rehab section of the hospital called Roger C. Peace. His leg wound still looks horrible. My Mother can't even look at it. Today they are putting an appliance called a wound vac on his upper thigh to draw out drainage and hopefully help the healing process. I think they are just moving from one thing to the next to hopefully find something that works. I have been taking close up pictures so we can keep up with progress, but will not post them because there is nothing pleasant at all about how bad his opening looks. Angel and Leigh, sorry for sending a few on your cell phones. Hopefully you were not eating!
On top of the pain from his leg, he now has a bad cold with sneezing and coughing which hurts his chest like crazy. This morning Dr. Hippensteal heard a rattle in his left and right lung and they are starting breathing treatments again. On Tuesday an x-ray showed a little fluid in his left lung, but not pneumonia. His oxygen level went down substantially last night and once again he is on oxygen. I feel so sorry for my parents! We were hoping they would get to go home and now it looks like that wont be happening for a while. It has been over a month now (November 4th)!
My children, Craig and I went to my parents home and put up their Christmas tree and all of their decorations. Surprise! The kids quite enjoyed looking at and handling (argh!) all of the cool ornaments their grandparents have collected for so many years. Thank goodness nothing was broken during the crazy "appreciation moments"! Hopefully the tree will not fall forward, since most of the ornaments were specially placed on the very front of the tree! You know, that's what kids do! We are praying that my parents will get to go home soon to enjoy all of their decorations. Lord knows we didn't put things where they were supposed to be, but this is a Davenport twist on the Pearson house! One thing is certain, I would never be a Christmas decorator for a living! I think I will scream "BAH- HUM-BUG!" if I have to do much more decorating!
I'm off to the hospital again with positive thoughts, clean clothes, and some food for Mother, also known as MeeMee! Keep them in your thoughts and prayers!