Saturday, May 21, 2011

Movin' on .....over??

We have finally moved from the ICU!!  They moved dad this morning to a step down ward...same floor, just down the hall....but not ICU!!  It will be good to have a new room, with new scenery!! 

They have been giving Dad some sleeping pills to help him rest at night, and he seems to be very groggy and almost incoherant during the day.  They are going to try and not give him the sleeping pill tonight and see if they can start to regulate his sleeping naturally. 

Today has been a slower day.  Since he has been pretty tired, they havn't really pushed him to walk yet.  He did do a floor pedal for about 20 minutes this moring, and he is now awake enough that they are going to try and get him up to walk. 

Hopefully, tomorrow will start better, and he will be more awake in the morning!  He is anxious to get moving, and is constantly excersizing his legs while in bed!  He wants to get strong and he wants to get out of here!

Lots of love from Boston!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Sleepless in.......Boston?

Hospitals are meant for rest and recovery....unfortunately, it seems that hospitals are the hardest place to sleep!!  After a huge day on Wednesday, Dad didn't get alot of sleep that night, so Thursday ended up being a rough day!  No sleep makes anybody feel icky, but no sleep on top of an already leangthy ICU stay can make even the calmest person loose their mind a bit! 

Frusteration was the hurdle to cross yesterday.  Its hard when you are the one in the hospital to understand just how much you are progressing.  To Dad the days just seem to keep repeating themselves, and he can't understand just how far he has come! 

He is still off of the ventilator and late last night they did take the drainage tube out of his nose!  Both HUGE things!  He did walk yesterday twice as far as he did on Wednesday, so that is also a great thing!   There is talk of moving to a rehab faciltiy by the beginning of the week, and there has also been talk of moving to a step down ward also.  We will hopefully know for sure what the plan is by the end of the day today!

Barbara stayed in the room last night with him, and that helped dad sleep a little more.  I guess we will be taking turns sleeping here with him...he needs his rest, and whatever helps!!

It has also helped that we have been skyping the family at home!  It helps to be able to see all of the people who are constatnly pulling for him!!  If you would like to skype with him, leave a comment with your skype name and we will arrange a time!  He loves to visit, it helps him feel just a little closer to home!

We love you all and thank you for your love and support!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

WaHoOoO!!!

Up and Walking!!!!  What an amazing day we had yesterday here in Boston!!  Dad was off of the ventilator from 8:20am until midnight!  They put him back on the ventilator for a few hours, and he couldn't stand it, and made them take him off again at 3:00am!  I think he has kicked the vent to the curb!!  He says he feels much better with out it!  HUGE PROGRESS!!

The biggest suprise of the day yesterday was hearing dad talk!!!  After 2+ weeks of silent looks and note writing, he could finally talk to us!  Such a great sound to hear his voice!  He made a video for everyone, but its pretty hard to hear because of all the machines....and he starts to cry in the middle.....but, you get the idea I suppose!
video

Dad also walked yesterday...TWICE!!  He did so well....walked about 60 feet both times.  His legs are strong, but a little wobbly!  (The video is sideways.....sorry!  In my excitement, I forgot which direction to hold my camera!!  It adds charachter!) :)

video


After his marathon, I gave him the royal treatment, and rubbed his piggies with Purell,.....AGAIN....these darn clot socks are beastly to put on!!  Its a workout for sure! I get my workout after he does his! Fair trade I guess!

This morning we had a meeting with Dr. Sugarbaker, and Dr. DaSilva.  They feel like dad is really progressing well, and the plan is to move him to a rehabilitation faciltiy here in Boston next week.  They are expecting him to only be in that faciltiy for 10 days or so with all the progress he has made!! 

The facitliy is in Cambridge, which makes it a little difficult for the person staying with him.  It is about an hour bus/train ride from the Meso house here in Boston. It will be hard for dad to not have anyone close over night....but, we will make it work!

Dad is overwhelmed with all of the love and support he has recieved....he loves you all and keeps telling us he wants to come home and be closer to everyone who cares about him!  He says in the video that he didn't know his life mattered so much!  So, thank you to you all for making him feel so loved! 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Its getting better every day!

We are moving right along these days in Boston!!  Dad is consistantly making progress every day!  He is determined to do his best to get out of this place!!  The staff is amazing, and have really helped him come a long way!!

I mentioned in the earlier posts, Dad's love for Purell foot rubs....this is the face of a man completely content! 

 He is constantly giving me puppy dog eyes, begging me for foot rubs!  I have used my ability to rub feet as a bargaining chip!  He has to work for them! 

 He has to sit up as much as he can, and for as long as he can....we try and keep him occupied by playing an intense game of skip-bo! 

 And tic-tac toe!  He won every game and so got bored quick!

 He earned an extra long foot rub when he got out of the bed/chair and baby stepped to the real chair!  He did very well, and sat up for almost 3 hours the first time in this chair! 

Today has been an expeptional day!  He has been off of the ventilator 2 times for 3 hours each, and has sat up in a chair 2 times for 2 hours each!  He also......STOOD UP!!!  

He was a trooper!  They had him sit and then stand 3 times in a row, and he did GREAT!!  They will continue to work with him until he can walk the hall with a walker!! 

As soon as he is able to be off the ventilator for 24 hours, then he can move from the ICU and EAT!!!  We are at 8 today....with another try on the schedule for later tonight.  That means 12 today.....maybe 16 tomorrow and then hopefully by the end of the week.....24!!!!  We know he can do it!  He is being such a champ! 

Thank you all for your love and concern!  Dad loves when I read him the blog and all of your comments!  Thats what we do to help him pass some time in his chair!  

Saturday, May 14, 2011

More and more progress!

Today was another good day in Boston!  Dad was off of the ventilator 2 times today for 2 hours each.  The goal was 3 times, but later this evening his blood pressure and heart rate were up a bit, so they decided not to push it.  --I think he was just so darn excited to see me!  Too much excitement! ;) 

Since I have been here, Barbara and  I have been conned with longing looks, to rub his legs and feet with PURELL!  Yes, the hand sanitizer!!  He has had tight stockings on to help prevent blood clots, and they get itchy....apparently the cool of the purell feels good, because he BEGS us to do it!!  He seems to enjoy the time without the stockings, and has made me promise to do it atleast 3 times a day!  Now, thats love! ;)

Tomorrow, he gets to have the drainage tube from his stomach removed, and he is very excited!!  He will be one tube lighter!! 

Tomorrow is another day, and he has come a long ways!  I will keep you all posted!!

Friday, May 13, 2011

YAHOOOO!

Just a quick post, but its filled with GREAT news!  Dad has been off of the ventilator for 3 hours....and still going!  He even fell asleep off of it, which means he must not be struggling to catch his breath!!!!!   Yay for baby steps!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

For now....

I can tell when things get tiring in Boston, because the text messages make less and less sense! That is totally understandable, but I will try my best to translate!  :)

Dad has been battling a bit of a fever the last few days.  It is unsure if it is because he has an infection somewhere, or if its just his body on "drug overload!"  As of last night, his fever had dropped, and they got his pain managed so he could sleep.  Dads blood pressure has been and on again, off again problem since surgery.  This morning is an "on again" morning!  They did an echocardiogram to see if it was possible to turn up his pacemaker.  This seemed to make the problem worse.  They gave him a unit of blood to see if that helps, and then they want to concentrate on getting his streangth up.  Once they get his blood pressure under control, they can start getting his stomach to wake up from its liquid IV food, and get him some more nutrient food!! 

Things seem to change so quickly there, that I will try and get an update later this afternoon!  Usually when I can call, I understand more and then I am able to spread that information along to all of you!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

One step forward....two steps back!!

As with any major surgery, there are good days and there are bad ones.  We weren't under any illusions that this whole experience was going to be a cake walk, but we have had some very unexpected things happen!  It seemed like dad was on the mend, and then yesterday he was again having problems breathing on his own.  This morning after getting him out of bed for a little chair time, he was again struggling to catch his breath.  The doctor decided to to a CT scan to double check some things.  The CT scan showed that the instesine was slowly creeping its way up into the now empty lung cavity...while this sounds pretty alarming, it seems that this happens quite regulary in lung removal cases.  The gortex mesh "place holder" had moved, allowing the intestine to wiggle where it wanted to! 

Dad had surgery to repair the mesh and put things back where they belong at 8:00 tonight.  The surgery went well, and the doctors feel that this will alleviate the problems that dad has been having with his breathing.

Dad still has quite a bit of fluid around the chest cavity, and they are draining as quickly as is safe and they are confident that with this surgery fix and the fluid gone, that dad will be able to breathe easily again! 

Please keep him in your prayers!  I will post an update as soon as one becomes available to me!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Doing better!!

Today is a new day...and a better day!  Dad is off all pain medication excpet for Tylenol, and is off of the sedation!  He is now giving the nurse who won't give him water dirty looks, which is progress! :)  They have the ventilator turned to an "assist"mode.  Meaning, dad tells it when to breathe!  The machine won't kick in and inflate until dad starts to take the breath.  This makes it so he still has a little help, but it makes the muscles around the lung start to get a little streangth. 

This morning they did another bronc test and things looked great!  The lung is nice a clear and all incisions are healing properly.  He is still on a feeding tube, and is frusterated about it!  He is hungry and thirsty, but until he can come completely off the ventilator, they won't let him eat or drink.  David Max is heading to Boston today to stay the weekend, and told dad he would bring him a baconator from Wendy's if he was ready to breathe when he got there!  Sounds like good bribery to me! :)

The plan for this afternoon is to get him up for a walk!  That will be a HUGE step!  They are hoping to have him out of the ICU in a few days. 

I am so very proud of my dad and the progress that he has made!  He has been through more in the last 3 months than anyone deserves!  Hang in there dad!  You are doing awsome! 

Feel free to leave comments here on the blog!  Dad will read them and it will help his recovery to hear from all of you! :)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Making Progress!

It has been a LONG few days!  We have been patiently waiting for things to start looking up, and it seems like today they are.  This morning they did a tracheotomy on dad.  They will use his trach to assist his breathing so that they can take him off of the ventilator.  He can then be mobile and get up and start moving!  The trach surgery went well, and he is now sitting up in bed!  HUGE progress as far as we are concerned!  The nurse gave him a shave, and washed his hair, which I am sure made him feel better too! 

They are hoping to get him up and walking tomorrow!  David will be able to visit for the weekend, and I think that will make Dad feel good!  I will be going out next week to stay for a few weeks as well! 

Thank you for all of your calls and well wishes!  We really appreciate it! 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Rough Road

It has been a rough weekend in Boston! On Friday,  they were having a hard time getting his blood pressure under control.  They had him on an epidural pain pump, and they turned the pump off to see if that would help.  It did, and so they decided to give him alternative pain meds, and turn up his pacemaker to keep his blood pressure stable. 

Saturday he was making great progress, they had his blood pressure under control and his pain managed and things were looking good.  That evening he started having trouble taking deep breaths.  His breathing was shallow and labored, and he was having a tough time relaxing because of his breathing.  They got him relaxed and settled him in the for the night.  At about 3am, we woke up and felt like he needed to gasp for air.  The doctors did a "bronc" as they call it, where they look at the lung and pull excess fluid and mucus and make sure there is no infection.  They started giving him some dieretics to help drain the fluid, and that seemed to help.  They kept him compfortable all day, and he seemed to be on the down hill side of things. 

Sunday morning things weren't getting any better!  There is nothing scarier then not being able to breathe, and so the anxiety of if all was of course unsettling to dad, which made his breathing even harder.  They monitored him through the day yesterday, and this morning they decided to put him back on the ventilator so that he could get some rest.  Dr.Sugarbaker felt like him getting rest would really help speed things along, and the best way to get him to rest would be to help him breathe with the vent. 

This morning at 7:00 am, they put him back on the ventilator.  It seems like that is a huge step backwards, but in all reality, it will help him progress faster.  The doctor said they will do the vent for a few days, and then try and take him off again when all the fluid has drained.  I will keep updates coming as I have them. 

I contacted the mission home in Boston, and they are sending the Elders over at 2:00 today to give Dad a blessing.  Thank heavens for missionaries all over the world!!