Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Day 3 2 Steps Forward, 1 Step Back

Day 3 was supposed to be a tough day according to the doctor before the operation. I expected it to be one where Louise would be in a lot of pain. I hate to answer for her, but it seemed like her pain was pretty much controlled. However, the pain medication that she had in her made her so sleepy and quite loopy today. It was hard to communicate much with her.

She had an x-ray this morning which showed that she had a build-up of fluid in her left chest area outside of the lung. She had a drain on the right side which had kept the fluid drained on the right side. So, instead of taking the drain tube out of her right side, they put an additional drain tube on the left side. They really aren't too concerned with the fluid build-up, but it did slow down her ability to breathe deeper. They also had to give her morphine and other pain killers as they put in the new tube. Well you can imagine what that additional medicine did to her state of mind.

The other problem today was the swelling of her left arm and hand. The doctors were worried about it and they called in an ultra-sound to be performed on her shoulder and arm. The radiologist who performed the procedure was very concerned about something and went over and over it for at least 1/2 hour. She didn't say anything and she had me very worried. I knew she was looking for blood clots and from what I could tell, she had found some(I'm so good at reading those kinds of things..not). Then she said that she thought it was probably a nerve bundle but she needed to call in a second opinion. The more experienced radiologist confirmed that it was not blood clots and I was so relieved. We don't need blood clots right now. We still don't know where this swelling has come from but it is probably just part of this trauma of surgery that she is trying to heal from.

They did get her up to sit in a chair for over an hour which is the first step to walking. Hopefully tomorrow she can walk a little. They still haven't let her drink any water (for 3 days). She constantly asks for it. She has also had no nourishment for 3 days except for IV sugar water. They are so concerned that the connection from the stomach to the esophagus will leak, and cause all kinds of problems. So they try to avoid any swallowing for as long as possible to allow the connection to heal. Tomorrow they plan to put nourishment through the feeding tube that is now in her intestine. She is still in the intensive care unit and you can see why. She probably will be there at least two more days.

So, in summary, it was a day where I don't think she was in too much pain but a day where she had some setbacks with fluid build-up, swelling and some breathing problems. We are looking for a better day tomorrow. Thanks for all of your great comments and responses. I am passing them on to her as much as her sleepy mind can understand. I hope I haven't overwhelmed you with too much detail, but most of you seem interested. So, I will check in again tomorrow.

Good night, Spence


  1. Thank you again Spence for the post. My heart truly goes out to you both, so hard to be the patient, but also for you to watch your sweet
    wife have to go through so very much.
    If ever God appoints a couple in Celestial Kingdom as a Queen and her
    King, you and Louise are one of these couples. You two have been so much a team and a unit of two hearts= one love together. So of course
    you will feel her pain throughout this ordeal as she also feels yours. My thoughts and prayers are with you so many friends and
    family too.

    God bless you and yours,

    Peggy D'Amato

  2. Spence - I am praying for Louise to have a better day, and for you to have the strength and peace you need as you give so much strength and love to Lousie.

  3. One day, one mountain at a time...our prayers for you all continue.

  4. Send Louise our love. I'm so sorry she (& the whole family) has to go through all of this yuck!

  5. I have been a silent listener as Louise has gone through so much. Please give her my love and know that my prayers are with you as well. All of us who received your request for prayers from Rosemary have kept you in our thoughts and prayers. It makes me very happy to think of Louise and you communicating and laughing. Your faith and example are wonderful to me. I am so happy and relieved that things have gone well. Love, Janet--one of the old roommates.

  6. Tell Louise that we love her and always have her (and you, too) in our prayers.

  7. sending love and prayers..I'm happy she was sitting up in a steps to recovery.

  8. Spence: You are getting equal billing in my prayers today. Keep it up. I so appreciate your care for my sweet special sister...

  9. Spence, I echo what everyone else has said - our prayers are with the two of you continually. I have always heard that the 3rd day is the hardest (don't know if it is true or where I heard it) but hopefully today will be a better day - up and up. Hugs and love to both of you....Janet

  10. It is amazing to hear about all the possible complications and how careful the team of doctors are to make certain everything heals correctly. Morphine is lousy on the thinking process. We've experienced that with my Dad recently. I was anxious for him to be off that strong pain killer. Our prayers are continually for Louise and you and all the professionals attending her. Love, Becky

  11. Thank you for taking time to keep us all updated, it is so appreciated. I'm glad to hear the pain isn't unbearable and I'm praying that Aunt Louise faces no more discomfort as she heals.
    Much love,

  12. We are so, so, happy that things are going so well. We know that you have a lot of recovery time to go but we know with your spunk Louise it will go fast. And from reading your post about the humor with you and the Family about drugs, well all we can say is, Laughter is the best medicine.

  13. Thanks for your informative updates. It is good to know how Louise is doing. As everyone else has said, your family is in my constant prayers. I know that all of our prayers in your behalf are being heard. I hope tomorrow will show continual improvement for Louise.


  14. I love what a dedicated husband you are. Louise is a lucky woman.