Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Daddy hasn't had a very productive few days. He has once again spiked a fever and feels lousy! Sunday he also had a fever with no reason. They truly are clueless. The fluid coming from his chest into the wound vac turned that brown color again on Sunday and Dr. Fowler decided to remove the wound vac and go back to wet to dry packing in his chest cavity. Thankfully his recent chest x-ray looked great. Lord, I have just been so frustrated and disappointed by the lack of progress.

This morning I sat at the computer and started doing a little investigation myself on open sternal wound infection and found that there is a therapy using a Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber. I thought it sounded like a real possibility and called Mother to tell her what I found. When Dr. Fowler came by to see Daddy she mentioned the treatment. He said he didn't think Daddy would be a candidate for that type of therapy (didn't really give a reason why), but would have the doctor who is over the Hyperbaric Chamber (who is also at Greenville Memorial) to come by and talk to them. So far, they haven't heard from him, but I remain hopeful. We have got to find some kind of different approach, or we are going to watch my Daddy slowly fall apart - further. I just can't stand playing this waiting game any longer. I feel so, so, so sorry for him and for my Mother too. She is at her wits end. I don't know how she has kept herself going! I know she would do anything to make all of this go away!

Yesterday Kamden and I went by to visit and take all of their clean clothes to them and they were so happy. We still couldn't get Kamden to give him a kissy on the cheek, but she did hug him. I think seeing his "big sore" on his belly a while back has just about done her in on getting too close to him. We stayed long enough for Kamden to curl up on his bed and take a long nap. They shared their supper with me, which sounds crazy, but they really had plenty thanks to the huge sandwich that Mother had saved from the Memorial Day celebration at Roger C. Peace. I sure did enjoy spending some time with them and not being rushed out the door to pick kids up from school.

We remain hopeful and Daddy is fighting hard!

Monday, May 18, 2009

My Mother and Daddy at the beach summer 2006
I am so thankful to have my Daddy and that he is willing to fight the battle of his life. Today was just not a good day at all for him, and I have to add for me either. I watched the wound nurse Mary Ann unpack his chest dressings and reattach the wound vac for the first time since he has become wide open again. I missed six entire days of seeing Daddy because Kamden had been running a fever of 103.3 and I couldn't visit until she was well and able to go back to school for her last week of K-4. It was a horrible sight to behold and I am baffled by the reasons he has had such an impossible time healing. All of the pain from having is stomach muscle transplanted to his chest opening was a waist of time! It is more than half undone and the rest seems to be on it's way to separating also. I hate to sound so negative, but Lord knows this is just the truth. Daddy looks so helpless and it has just ripped my heart out. I was in shock at the deterioration of his chest. How much more could he stand? Mary Ann was addled by the way his chest looked. I asked her if it looked like it was healing any and she said, "Not at this time." Not at all what I wanted to hear by a long shot. What do we do from here? I honestly don't know what other options there are!

Well, they moved my parents to Roger C. Peace Sub-Acute (they needed the hospital bed for "really" sick people - you know!) and this is where they will continue their 5 week stay to receive the complete round of antibiotics while hooked up to the wound vac. They have been in this room (2807) two times before this, so they are quite at home. All of the nurses and physical therapist love Daddy and feel so sorry for them both. Dr. Fowler agreed that Daddy could do some exercises to get his strength up a little. Bless his heart, he can't lie down on the bed nor get up without a lot of help. They plan to get him at least to the point of doing this. I honestly don't know how on earth he feels like doing anything, but there is one thing for certain about my Daddy HE IS A FIGHTER and he loves all of us dearly!!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ever get the feeling that you are so blessed and you don't take the time to appreciate the big and the little things in life? Ever get to thinking about how every choice has a lasting effect on your world and the world of your loved ones? Ever think that you are right were you are supposed to be?

OK, I am getting into deep territory, I know, but I am feeling guilty about complaining so often. I am feeling guilty about not appreciating the water that has flowed so effortlessly under my bridge and that I never took the moment it would have taken to appreciate and drink it up.

I looked at old cell phone pictures the other day and thought to myself - "Wow this was before we had a clue what was ahead with my Daddy. We truly didn't have a care in the world - but goodness knows we thought we did!" I am so glad we don't know the future. Daddy is right where he is supposed to be because of choices made that we can't change.

He is slowly improving, but thankfully he is improving. He is going to have to go back to Roger C. Peace Sub. Acute within the next few days to continue his four to six week round of antibiotics and that is OK. It really is! It is a step in the right direction! He is a strong man with the tenacity of a stubborn mule. Yes, this is a bump in the road of our lives, but this will NOT take the blue out of the sky or the joy out of our hearts.

We are beyond blessed and I am a thankful woman all the way down to every single dirty sock!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

We hope eight is enough! That's what my Daddy keeps saying about the 8th surgery that was preformed on his chest this morning. Who would have ever dreamed? The repair that was made last Tuesday just didn't quite do the trick! Last Friday Daddy started draining into his JP drain a fluid that looked a lot like coffee with cream in it. It looked just like my iced coffee from McDonald's - yuck! That is not a good, healthy color by any means. The infectious disease doctors cultured the drainage and it came back as "Gram Positive Rods". They said it was not staph, but didn't know what it was at this point. Dr. Fowler said it looked good when he went back in to put a wound vac on Daddy's chest this morning. He did a little cleanup of the damaged tissue and in no time Daddy was back in the room complete with a new wound vac. I am convinced and so is the good doctor that this is the best thing for Daddy. Heck it finally worked on his thigh, so our guess is that it will eventually work on his chest. Actually there aren't a lot of other choices left for us to choose from! I sure do wish he had put the wound vac on last week. I honestly don't think surgery would have happened today. Hind sight is always 20/20! Right?
Daddy has had a wonderful attitude about the "one more surgery" thing, especially since he also started bubbling air out of two new holes that developed on the skin graphed area on Saturday. This is not a good thing either! His nurse flipped out completely. She had never seen such a sight! That was enough to scare the life out of my parents. They have just been through so much!
When I left him this afternoon to pick up the kids, the Infectious Disease Nurse Practitioner had just walked in to announce some not so wonderful news. It seems as if they have decided that Daddy needs to continue on his entire six week round of IV antibiotics again - which also means that time must be spent in the hospital and not at home! He is only on day four now. How could such a whopping big announcement be made by the NP? Where was Dr. Shrank (the grand pooh pahh Infectious Disease Doctor)? Oh, yeah he is out for the rest of the week! ARGH!!! She asked if Daddy wanted her to have the IV team come in and put in a pic line so he wouldn't blow his veins. He said he would wait to talk to a real doctor! I bet she hates hearing that from patients, but what does she expect?
Daddy had a massive appetite when they rolled him in from surgery. The nurse asked him if he was hurting and he said that he was. When she asked him where he was hurting he replied, "In my stomach! I am starving to death and want a cheeseburger with french fries!" And that is just what he got and gobbled up every bite! He has always loved to eat and has said before this entire nightmare began, "If I am not eatin' I'm a dyin'!" Honestly this is the best I have seen him eat in a long time! I hope that is a sign of good things, strength, and healing to come! I love him so much and I want him back! Back in our world outside the walls of the hospital. Back in the sunshine of these glorious May days. Back at the dinner table saying, "I am popping fresh!" Back in the yard showing us all of his "pet" hummingbirds. He doesn't have to be superman, just Pappy.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I just came home from a most wonderful surprise birthday party planned by my amazing husband and best friend Angel. I TOTALLY had no clue and couldn't quit crying. I can't believe no one gave the surprise away - including my oldest son Max who knew all about it. I have never had a surprise party and really didn't know they existed in my little world. I was completely blindsided in a most wonderful way.
Craig had gotten a little room at the Oriental House in Greenville and had a buffet style table set up with loads of food for our family and couple of my dearest friends. Angel had done all of the decorating and helped Craig with the many details without breathing a word of the plans to me (what kind of friend would do that anyway?). I thought we were just running a little late to meet Angel and her family for dinner and a little Frankie's Fun Park, so I thought no big deal. She knows how we are! In fact, I actually had a good reason because Kamden had broken out into a horrible rash and we had been at the doctor's office and pharmacy for the afternoon. I really should have known something was up when Craig was going 90 on Highway 85, but it just didn't click. I really didn't suspect a thing - even when Cole screamed out "Is Amy going to be here (that's Craig's cousin) because I see her car!" I scoffed him off without looking up from my pocketbook with a quick, "No! Lord, someone must just have a car like theirs." I actually walked through the restaurant door thinking to myself that I hadn't thought to make or purchase a cake for my sweet son Cole (who was my 29th birthday gift from God), so you can imagine my shock when everyone screamed surprise (I think that's what they said) with candles flaming on two cakes. To be honest I think I sort of blacked out in sheer shock for a few seconds, but I do know that I was tearing up like a baby. I couldn't hold back the tears. Let me tell you, it does wonders for a girl's day old makeup job to flood your face. I am sure I looked like a blubbering idiot and the pictures Angel took will show it all. I haven't had a birthday party since I was 10 (Leigh-Leigh was at that one 30 years ago too).

I just never suspected a thing. It was perfect except for the fact that my parents weren't able to be there because Daddy is still hospitalized due to his heart developing Atrial Flutter. I guess that gave me even more reason to have my nerves torn up. I would fan my face for a little while and wipe under the last specks of lower lash mascara, and kind of get straightened out and boom someone would mention my parents or I would think of them and there the tears would go again. Don't get me wrong, I was happy and the tears were mostly tears of joy, but there were moments I felt so guilty looking around the room and not seeing my parents there amongst the aunts, uncles, in-laws, Leigh's family and Angel's. I know their hearts were breaking too. I just know it! They deserved to enjoy all the good food, see my shocked eyeballs bugging out of my head like a squished frog, enjoy the atmosphere of people who loved and cared for their little offspring, see the look on grandson Cole's face who was right there in "Clue-less-ville" with me, watch us blow out ALL of the candles . . . you know feel it, see it, taste it all. They were supposed to be there too, spit nails! Thankfully, Daddy has actually improved a lot in the last 24 hours, but he is still being monitored closely.
I still can't quite get over the fact that I was punked in the birthday fashion. They all just think they are a bunch of sneaky sneaks. Heck, I am down right convinced they could pull off just about anything after tonight. I am so thankful from the bottom of my heart for all of the hard work and planning it took to make me look like a totally natural blond bimbo! Everything was perfect, almost. I received lots of hugs, kisses, yummy food, and gifts and so did my sweet Cole! Bless his heart, he sobbed into my shoulder once everyone had left and said, "I can't believe everyone went to all of this trouble for us!" Isn't he just the sweetest thing? Yeah, I cried over that too! Tearing up now as I type this! What is wrong with me! Is this going to be the weepy decade? Better not be, because I just know there are many wonderful things ahead in my next ten years. I hope they will be some of the best years of my life!
Keep praying for my Daddy and be looking for me to add some pictures of the big event soon. Notice how I didn't use any BLACK in this post! HeeeHeee! I am not over the hill, I am just coasting on a slightly downward slope!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Daddy was home for a whopping 30 days and is disappointingly now back in the hospital. The upper part of his chest (where the last surgery was preformed) has simply not healed properly. When he went to Dr. Fowler's office last Friday the good doctor told him that he was going to have to have more work done, but would only have to stay in the hospital for one day or two. You can't imagine how saddened the news of returning to the hospital made both of my parents. They had been doing so good and the days had flown by amongst loads of doctor visits.
Yesterday my sweet Daddy had his seventh surgery on his chest and we all hope the final. He did great and was quite the brave trooper waiting to finally go into surgery. Seems if they say your surgery is at 12:00, go ahead and plan on 2:30. Daddy was starving, but had a great attitude considering all that he has gone through. He finally returned to room 3324 at 6:00 pm. Betty and Bruce came to the hospital to sit with Mother and I in the not so comfortable waiting room, so that made the time go by a little faster. Daddy came out of surgery greeting all of his nurse buddies from the third floor with a big smile on his face and said that he really wasn't in pain at all. I hope that is a good sign that everything will be coming up roses from hereon out. I know the thoughts and prayers of loads of people have made a enormous difference.