December 1, 2008

Dear Friends and Family,

Today has been a mostly good day for Mom. She didn't sleep well until a sleep aid helped around 2AM. When I arrived at 7:30AM, she was sitting up in bed but looked tired and old. I can't get over how much, throughout this ordeal, she has resembled my Grandmother Ida. She still continues to lose lots of fluid but has regained some of her appetite and we are all scrambling to come up with things from home that are more appealing to her. She can't eat much at any one time, so little meals often seem to be the trick.

Her doctor came in around 8:30AM (the surgeon, Dr. Weldner, who is in love with her) and told her she was doing great and planned to take out the left chest tube today and maybe the catheter! Great news! I fitted her out with a huge Hannaford muffin and some OJ and headed off to get Dad on the 10:15AM boat. He went with Barb back to the island yesterday to enjoy a little "normalcy", which was a good thing. He said he slept on the couch, with Missy the cat, near the nice, warm fire.

We returned to the hospital to find her just returning from a trip to another floor to have her chest tube and catheter removed. They told her after a while, fibrous matter grows into the tube and can restrict it, so they removed it and mentioned that it could "leak" for a few day and not to be concerned. She is fitted, temporarily with some snazzy undergarments for comfort until she gets used to NOT having a catheter in place. She walked from the bed, to the recliner and all the way to the door where the gurney was, without stopping...a feat the nurses wowed about!

For lunch, she enjoyed a requested grilled hot dog and fries from the coffee shop, followed up with half a whoopie pie and then her lunch came! It was a delicious (I tried some of the scraps)chicken Parmesan with penne and a nice warm roll. She ate some of everything and enjoyed it very much.

Aunt Connie made a nice visit, which was a wonderful surprise to one and all and after lunch, Judy Graves made a surprise visit as well. The OT came while everyone was visiting and offered to return in 15 mins so visits could be enjoyed before Mom's workout. The PT was to come directly after the OT around 2PM. I took this time, with the company there and Dad snoozing in a chair, to come home to do some long awaited chores and errands. It seemed like such a selfish indulgence and I just LOVED not being at the hospital for the afternoon.

I look forward to hearing how Dad says her afternoon went. Pat is picking him up at the hospital after a brief visit after work tonight (about now) and Dad will bunk in with us tonight. Mom is more and more secure feeling and it's good for Dad to be able to feel free and comfortable to leave and return in the AM with me.

There has been no timeframe set for Mom's release. She still has a right chest tube that is leaky and they are trying to decide what to do about that. They also had sent her down for an Echo Cardiogram this afternoon to get a gander at the health of her other valves and her overall heart condition. I look forward to learning the outcome and will share the news when I get it. The way the surgeon put it to us this AM, he wants her to continue to get stronger and more independent in the next few days and work toward getting out of there! It will be a wonderful, wonderful day for one and all. She will have a time of R & R and rehab at our house for however long she needs and then she will return to her island home. I know she just can't WAIT!

Love to you all and thank you, once again, for remembering her in your prayers!