November 25, 2008

Dear Family and Friends,
Just a quick update on Mama Pip. Barb bunked in with her last night so that Dad could come to our house for a hot meal and a regular bed. Barb said Mom had a very restful night and she had eaten fairly well throughout the evening as request by her doctor.

She was quite perky when we arrived around 7AM but things got a little off as the day wore on. The first order of business was a barium swallowing test that was requested to make absolutely sure she wasn't asperating. While down there, she also was ordered a chest Xray. She passed both with flying colors but the fun began after the barium had been in her system for awhile. Anyone who has ever had to have barium for any test knows of it's unpleasant side effect and when you aren't yet mobile, it can make for a very busy, messy and uncomfortable day for one and all...not to mention exhausting. She was so pooped out (no pun intended) that by PT time, scheduled for 1:00, she was just too exhausted to do more than stand for a second or two. Then they requested that she have her swollen right arm checked by ultrasound for any problems with the pic line but that too, proved fine, though she was once again chosen as a subject to study for the med students and the process took nearly two hours so each student could get a chance to study her veins ultrasonically. She was sooooo uncomfortable by the end of two hours (and soiled again) that she was very upset and discouraged but was back to her sunny-dispositioned self in no time.

She is scheduled for the pace maker surgery on Friday, if all continues to go well. She still has a slightly elevated white blood count but no one can find any sign of infection anywhere in her body and they've decided they won't wait any longer. Her chest tubes are still in but one is barely draining and the other has slowed up considerably so all hopes they may be out before surgery.

She is still weak as a noodle yet smiles, thanks everyone (or apologizes) and is generally in good spirits, though we all know she still has such a long road to go yet. No one is venturing any guesses as to the timeframe but at least a week, probably, after the pacemaker procedure and then it's off to re-hab to get stronger and more independent and mobile. I think that is when the impatience may set in. The surgeon was in again today and told me that he "adores her" and seeing that he isn't too hard on the eyes, she should be very flattered. He is really rooting for her and is her greatest advocate, after all of us, of course.

Well, that's about it for today. When we left around 6PM, she had sworn off all food for the rest of the day, though the nurses and nutritionists were circling like buzzards. She said she's going to let her poor system settle down and give it a good go tomorrow. I'm certain she will get a good night's sleep, as I hope Dad does as well.

Love and thanks for your thoughts and prayers, yet again,
Bev and Crew