November 25, 2008

Dear Family and Friends,
Once again, it's a roller coaster ride from yesterday. Dad and Barb bunked in with Mom last night and she had a fairly restful night without any pain meds...just Tylenol. This meant she was much more alert this AM when I came in, though is very, very tired and weak. We all had a chance to talk with her cardiologist, Dr. Welder, where we were able to "lay it on the line" as to where he really felt Mom was in terms of her recovery because after the wild ride yesterday, we really wasn't sure things were going so swell. He assured us that she IS making progress, though in baby steps and she still has quite a few hurdles left to scale before she is "out of the woods".

The fact that she still has a high white blood count that has the entire Infectious Disease bunch stymied and that she has chest tubes still necessary, which the longer they are in pose a threat of an infection starting, is still compromising to her recovery. She had a great deal more "life" in her than she has in past days and even though she slips into a nap between sentences, she can carry on a fairly good conversation which is lucid most of the time...better than the rest of us can attest to!

Her "job" is to get good nutrition into her (about 2000 cals a day) and a sufficient amount of rest.The speech and swallowing guy came by and gave her a quick assessment and was unable to determine if she was completely swallowing her water or if she might be slightly asperating, at times. He has, for now, curtailed her ice water consumption, which I thought might cause him bodily harm when he reached over and removed her cup of water! Tomorrow, she will have another barium test and Xray to determine if this is the case or if she can go back to drinking all/anything she so desires. Lord help us all if she fails the test. Thick milkshakes and gelatinous juices and water just don't seem to have the appeal that good ol' ice cold water has!

At 1:00PM, she had physical therapy with Jill, who is wonderful and adorable. I had left to go home for a couple of hours during this session but Dad said she did well and it was mainly standing and doing a series of arm and hand activities. She has Mom on a posted schedule of activity/rest time which we are all to stictly adhere to. This will be good for Mom, I think. The nurses have been wonderful to us all and love Mom (no big surprise with that). Dad has endeared himself with them as well and he is well known for his candy stash in his little LLBean bag that he keeps hidden under the edge of his cot!

It's great having Barb nearby. Since Jon is visiting his Dad in TN, she has more free time and it's been great to be able to stagger the duties. She is going to bunk in again tonight, so we can take Dad home for a good meal and a good night's sleep. I came toggled out with my sleep-over kit, but she has too and it's great for Dad to have a break.

I sincerely hope I have as uplifting a note to write tomorrow as we did today. What a difference a day can make!

I want to take a sec to tell everyone who had anything to do with getting the Polaris to it's winter resting place at the house, a huge, HUGE THANK YOU!! Barb and I plan to decorate it, as usualy, with Xmas lights for the season and will leave them on until Mom can come home. We'd all like to think it would be by Xmas but we'll get her there when the time is right and she is well-healed and strong.

Thank you for your support, one and all, and please keep her in your prayers, as she has a road yet to travel before she comes home!
Bev (and Mom)