November 19, 2008

Dear Friends and Family,
Well, what a wild ride Mama Pip and crew have been on in the past couple of days!! I'm very pleased to say that Mom has made great strides toward recovering in the last 24hrs but still has a long journey ahead...perhaps 'til Xmas or later. We were very discouraged in her lack of fighting spirit yesterday but couldn't hardly blame her for all the horror that she has had to endure since this all began 16 days ago. She is still so very, very weak and fragile and has some issues which are still bothersome but I will tell you all of the positives first. Dad spent the night beside her in a recliner in the SC unit because of her prevailing fears and terrors. She has been convinced that she is literally on her death bed and can't understand how we could abandon her even for an instant. So, dear Dad was her roommate for the night but neither got any sleep because of her nightmares and fears.

Thankfully, most of her "issues", such as high white blood count indicating an infection, her low urine output, low blood pressure and her diahrrea have mostly all become problems of the past!! She still has an elevated white count but it is going down due to some powerful antibiotics. She is totally off any blood pressure meds and most of her tubes and wires have been removed. She still has a catheter in because she is too weak to consider making it to the bathroom on her own. Her feeding tube was removed this AM and she is back to eating thickened liquids and soft or pureed foods, to start.

The big news is she has been removed from the SC unit and is now in an intermediate room on the first floor. This is for patients who need more care than the others on the floor and she will hopefully be able the join the others on the more advanced wing in a few days. They have had her up in a recliner again today, three times and she is able to cough up good stuff which is helping her lungs to heal. The few hurdles left to scale is the diahrrea problem and it's a very tiring, uncomfortable one and she is suffering a terrible bout of depression, which we all know is common after this type of surgery. It is so very unlike Mom to get down about anything. She can always muster a smile and a soft touch but she is just too down for all that now. The doctors are addressing the issue with meds and upcoming counselling if necessary but right now they are still trying to help her body to heal and the thing all of the doctors and nurses continue to stress to us is that Mom is sleep deprived in a very big way and just HAS to have the rest she most desperately needs in order to heal. Otherwise, her already lengthy-predicted recovery will be much longer and harder. And so, I have been elected to be the "heavy" and ask that everyone who reads this or hears about Mom's condition, PLEASE hold off calling or visiting until Mom is much, much stronger and more rested.

We can't even begin to tell you what all of your cards and notes and words of encouragement have meant to her and to us all. Please don't stop now!!! This is going to be a very long recovery period and one what will undoubtedly be pocked with potholes along the way and your encouragement is so helpful. You can certainly e-mail any notes that you may have for her, to me at and I have been printing them off and reading them to her a few at a time. I know this probably sounds ungrateful of us to ask for your holding off on visits and calls. We have had so many of you ask what you can do to help. Well, this would be the greatest gift to her of and sleep. The nurses are working her hard and will continue to do so, trying to strengthen her body and her spirit but they all agree, sleep will be the best remedy of all. I will be keeping everyone updated as the days pass and will let you all know as soon as the medical staff feels she is "up to" calls and visitors, other than just the immediate family (and at that, we mostly just sleep beside her in a chair and don't make a sound!!)

Again, I want to stress to everyone how very much it has meant to us all the amazing love and support you have all shown to us. Words can't describe the way we have literally FELT your prayers and healing words wrapping their warmth and strength around us all and I thank you for understanding her needs right now. Please continue to keep her in your prayers, as I am positive it is the reason she is still with us today.
Bev and the Crew