Monday, January 10, 2011

Day 8 Still living in the penthouse

We can't believe that we are still here in the ICU. The doctor was very impressed with all of Louise's stats and ordered a change of venue this morning. However, in this huge hospital they couldn't find one bed open so they left us in the penthouse. Louise gets wonderful service here even though she should be in the semi-private Motel 6 wing of the hospital. I'm pretty sure that tomorrow she will get into her new digs.

She had a pretty good day today. Unfortunately she couldn't shed any of her tubes or hoses. She seems to be a human fountain still. This would be too easy if she didn't have the pain tubes. She has had less pain today but it doesn't go away.

She also graduated today from the clear liquid diet to a soft food diet. The speech therapist watched and felt her swallow, asked her questions and said she is doing great. She ate some yogurt, pudding, thicker soup, etc. She never ate too much of anything though. Here she has been begging for food for so long and when they finally gave it to her, she only picks at it. What we don't realize sometimes is that her stomach is a tube now and it doesn't hold very much. My brother-in-law, Alan had stomach bypass surgery and that has been his blessing also. The stomach fills up quickly, and you don't have any need to overeat. But I'm sure her appetite will increase with time. She also has a feeding tube feeding her 24/7. Tonight the nurse came in and said that her Coumadin would now be given to her in a pill. She said, "Oh I don't take pills." The nurse said that she thought she could. So she did and it went down fine. I threw my arms up over my head and said YESS!! You have to understand that Louise has been throwing up attempted pills for 5 months. So I have been crushing up her six pills a day (sometimes twice a day) and then inserting them into her feeding tube. I, almost exclusively, have done it every day for 5 months. So now you know why I was so excited. My pharmacy days are coming to a close. Each day is showing us that she will be eating the same foods as the rest of us very soon. No more throwing up several times a day because she tried to eat something that might have been a little bit more than a liquid. To us, this is a big thrill.

Louise has done a lot of chair time and some walking but a lot more getting up and down because she needs to use the bathroom so much. That can be like a bug trying to get out of a spider-web with the many wires and tubes that are all over her. I'm convinced that she would be progressing a lot faster if she didn't have to maneuver through the web each times she wants to get up or lay down. But the doctors are looking at possibly Wednesday or Thursday for release and I will be glad to be the one to pull everything off of her and let her go home untethered.

Well I must close now. Thanks to all of you for caring enough to follow these boring medical reports.



  1. Spence, your medical reports are far from being boring. They are very
    informative. But more than informative, friends and family can see Louise's progress by reading in between the lines. I feel from what you
    report that she is doing excellent!! I am so happy to hear this news tonight. I think at this rate of progress Louise will be home no later
    than Friday.
    Let me know if I can do anything to be of help after she gets home.

    Peggy (and Chaz too) D'Amato

  2. I agree with Peggy. Spence, I love the spider image and I can guess you were jumping up and down when you saw the number of days as pharmaceutical assistant dwindling! Yippee!!!

  3. Such awesome news, Spence. I CANT imagine throwing up 5 times a day - I'm so happy that she will now be able to eat real food - how wonderful. This is the best news - I hope she likes her new digs.....even though it will be temporary. Such great news!!!! Love, Janet

  4. Wonderful news in so many ways, eating, swallowing pills, getting around (even through that spider web). I hope today comes with even more progress, especially getting rid of a few tubes and attachments. Good luck today!


  5. So exciting to have such progress! Thanks for the imagery! Every little step is such a big deal and rightfully so. Not having to crush her pills and Louise being able to eat soft foods is huge! Let's pray the tubes come out today and then leave that place!!
    It really is all so amazing.
    Love to you both, Becky

  6. Spence I agree with peggy your posts are very informative and it lets us in so much of Louise's progress. I was so glad to hear she could eat a little,yipee!

  7. Just wanted to add my AMEN to all that has been written. We are so excited for you both!
    Donise and Lloyd

  8. This is such great news. Your medical reports are anything but boring. We love hearing the details. It helps us appreciate what you two are going though. God bless you both.