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Tuesday update on daughter

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

We're still here. Yesterday they were going to discharge my daughter from the hospital but her creatinine levels having to do with kidney function were acting funny so they kept her again. Today they are going to take the staples out of her incision but said the stitches (she has both) will stay for about a month. We're really really really hoping she will get out today. Being away from home and all the hospitalization and surgery has been really hard on all of us in the family. Older daughter has been dealing with 2 extra kids for 11 days now. The kids want their mom. 4 year old is still with her other grandma. I'm tired of hotel rooms. Normally I love to travel but a trip to Albuquerque the end of the first week of December for work, another trip up there a week later, and then the past week in Las Cruces has made me sick of motel rooms, being away from home, and eating out. I have so much I need to get done for work and I'm able to get a little done from my laptop while in the hospital room but not near what I need to. My dog misses me. I haven't gotten Christmas shopping done yet except for a little bit of it. And most of all I'm so tired and stressed from seeing my daughter in pain and her dealing with the physical and emotional effects of this whole ordeal. So I'm griping this morning. But I know we'll get through this and the bottom line is that she will get better and hopefully today we'll get to go home. There are a lot worse things that could be happening right now so in spite of my gripes I still have so much to be thankful for.
They've had her on some heavy duty antibiotics and the past few days they put her on Bactrim which is causing her a lot of stomach upset. She hasn't eaten too much the past couple of days. For a few days she ate a lot but since changing the medication she hasn't been able to. I have gone out and gotten her what she thought she could handle. Last night she wanted a stawberry milkshake for dinner so that's what I got her. She did eat a hamburger for lunch and a glazed Krispy Kreme donut for breakfast (I did not get one for me and for lunch when I got her hamburger I got me a 6" Subway Sweet Onion Chicken Terryaki). Not the best diet for her but at least she's getting something in her system. Also, today is the 11th day of hospitalizations and even if the food isn't too bad hospital food still can really get to you after a while.
Yesterday I did better with my eating than I have in a while. Today I'm going to try to stick to it too.
Thanks again so much for all your support. Hopefully tomorrow I will be posting a blog from home instead of a hotel room.

Hope everyone has a great day!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

I_LOVE_TO_RUN 12/21/2011 9:07AM

    Bless her heart! and Bless your heart!! Fingers crossed she gets released today :)

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LKWQUILTER 12/20/2011 8:59PM

    (((HUGS))) Linda Kay. You are doing the best that you can so don't fret. It is better for her to stay in the hospital another day then go home and have to be rushed back.

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 12/20/2011 7:14PM

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UNICORN212 12/20/2011 3:02PM

    When my DH was in the hospital for chemo, I brought him whatever he wanted, too. I often ate with him since he was there for so long and I had to work Monday thru Friday, but I managed to maintain during that 2 1/2 months. Do what you can, make the best choices you can, and when life settles down again, you just hop back on the bike.

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MIZCATHI 12/20/2011 11:01AM

    It's good to get all your feelings and frustrations out. Soon you will be home and this will be a but a memory. You will never forget it, of course, but time heals. It's amazing how long she has had to stay, and thankfully so. Poor sick baby. Hugs and prayers to you all.

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FORMERNONRUNNER 12/20/2011 10:01AM

  I know it's frustrating, but let them do what they have to do, better to stay an additional day and be monitored than go home and relapse. I'm glad they're keeping a close watchful eye and may she continue on her road to recovery. emoticon

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LYNDALOVES2HIKE 12/20/2011 9:29AM

    Even though it's crushingly disappointing to have her in the hospital another day, I'm glad they are being cautious - these days, with all the pressure to 'lower medical costs' and 'minimize hospitalization,' I think a lot of people get sent home TOO soon. All the trauma her body has been through has to be hard on the 'other' organs like kidneys but I hope it all levels out so she can go home - never a good time of year to be in the hospital but right now is possibly the worst!

I'm so glad the staples are coming out - when mine were removed from a big incision, they only took out half, then got the other staples a few days later but I think there are so many improvements in all the processes now, it's a faster process. I'm sure she will feel even more comfortable once those are out!

You are doing GREAT considering all the upheaval and stress! Wow, I don't think most people would do as well as you are under the circumstances. Kudos to you and just keep doing the best you can - you can get back to 'normal' soon!

I'll be looking forward to the 'next blog' saying you are HOME!!! Good luck!
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STRINGI719 12/20/2011 8:56AM

    Wish we lived in the same town so that I could make her some fresh juices to super boost her nutrient intake. Hang in there, Linda. It's hard to wait, but God has perfect timing.
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ORGANIC811LFRV 12/20/2011 8:23AM

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Monday daughter update

Monday, December 19, 2011

I'm here in Las Cruces getting ready to go back up to hospital in a little bit. Steph is in the telementry unit since late Saturday instead of intensive care. She is doing well according to the doctor but still having a lot of pain even with heavy duty pain meds. Yesterday she had a really rough day with a lot of nausea and couldn't eat much. The days before her appetite had been good. It could be the pain meds or the very strong iv antibiotic she is getting. Doctor told her yesterday she may be able to go home today. She is wanting to go home so bad. She went into our local hospital a week ago Saturday, then was transferred to Las Cruces on Tuesday where they did the lung surgery Tuesday late afternoon so today is the 10th day in the hospital and we know how old that gets very fast. And she's missing her kids so much. But I keep telling her that soon it will be over.
Very cold and lots of rain here last night. Supposed to snow I think in our area. Don't know yet if it did last night but it was predicted. I'll talk to other daughter to find out a little later but it's only 7:30 am and kids are out of school so they may all be sleeping late.
Thanks again for all the prayers, words of support, goodies, etc. I haven't had time to respond to each one individually but I do appreciate it so very very much. You guys are the greatest!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NOSTOPPINMENOW 12/20/2011 7:29AM

    So glad to hear she's continuously getting better!
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BECKYANNE1 12/20/2011 7:23AM

    So glad she's doing better. The incision looked really good to me. Having a tube in her is very painful also. I had 2 of them and the one that went to my spleen was very uncomfortable. Hopefully she'll be able to go home. It feels good to be home, but it isn't always any easier. I hope she will continue to improve and will feel much better by Christmas. Will still keep you and your family in our prayers.
Take care!

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MIZCATHI 12/20/2011 5:15AM

    Hang in there Momma, your daughter will be well and complaining very soon. Wow, what an ordeal. I've been thinking of you and sending prayers your way.

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DESERTDREAMERS 12/19/2011 10:01PM

    Be careful driving home, Linda. The roads are nasty. emoticon

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LKWQUILTER 12/19/2011 8:07PM

    Linda Kay, thanks are not needed for praying and good thoughts and vibes. You can put me on the bottom of the list too. Right now you have a full plate--just hope you will continue to keep us updated about yourself and your daughter. (((HUGS))) and good vibes going your way.

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-WISPY- 12/19/2011 6:54PM

    Woo hoo, thats great news that Steph may be able to go home today. Hopefully it will be so, but if not tomorrow. Blessings to you both.

Hugs Wispy.

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KOPSBABY 12/19/2011 3:25PM

    I pray your daughter gets well soon. It's no fun watching your child be in pain. I'll say a little prayer for you too.

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LYNDALOVES2HIKE 12/19/2011 1:42PM

    Unfortunately, my dad was in the hospital so many times, I now know exactly what it means to move from ICU to Telemetry - it means she's better but still needs very close medical monitoring. I know it's hard for her and I'd be going crazy, too, but she also has to be careful that she doesn't try to resume 'normal life' too soon. She's going to be wiped out for a long time after all of this!!

My guess is that her nausea may very well be caused by antibiotics. My dad was on just about every antibiotic on the market at one time or another and they all made him queasy, esp the ones given IV like vancomycin - I got a very high-quality probiotic to give him after the antibiotics stopped and that helped a lot - the kind I'm talking about has to be refrigerated and won't be found at most large chain pharmacies like CVS or Walgreens unless it's specially ordered. I've gotten them at health food stores or a specialized compounding pharmacy near my house. He responded best to the kind with a broad variety of probiotics, which are the 'good bacteria' that live in our GI tract, and I gave him a 'double dose' for the first few days, which seemed to work best for the 'recovery' - the regular doses are intended for maintenance. The antibiotics kill off ALL bacteria, including the ones that keep us healthy - so make sure you get her on the probiotics ASAP once the antibiotics are done and plenty of live yogurt [like Fage Greek Yogurt] when she gets out.

Don't worry about responding to me individually - I know what you're going thru and it's OK with me to put me at the bottom of the lsit. Spend your time on taking care of what needs to get done and use your extra 'spare time' to keep up with people who might feel left out if you don't - I really DO understand what your life has been like the past couple of weeks and don't 'need' individual responses at this point.
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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 12/19/2011 12:02PM

    Hang in there!
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UNICORN212 12/19/2011 9:59AM

    Welcome to the Sunny Gals team. I saw your blog and had to go back and read about your daughter from the beginning. Her "zipper" looked pretty swollen in the pic you posted. I hope she is healing fast and is feeling better. Does she have a laptop with her? If not, it may help her keep in touch with her family - it must be hard for her kids to be so far away while she is in the hospital. As I am sure it is hard for her sister and her family to have two extra kids during an already stressful time. I am sending hugs and prayers for all of you!
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Comment edited on: 12/19/2011 9:59:41 AM

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Sunday Daughter update

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Yesterday I was back in Silver City for the day and slept in my own bed Friday night and last night which was so nice. I'm getting ready to head back to Las Cruces now. Talked to Steph on the phone several times yesterday. They took the 2nd chest tube out and were going to move her out of ICU to a regular room yesterday. So hopefully still on target for the estimated discharge by doctor a few days ago of tomorrow. She still has a lot of pain and was depressed a couple of times she called me but overall making progress. She'll be glad to have me back down there today I know.
Storm moving in again and our home area is supposed to get snow again tonight. I had heard predictions that this was going to be a dry winter but so far that hasn't happened. We've had a lot of rain and some snow the past couple of weeks. Rain is forecast today turning to snow tonight. Hopefully if she gets out tomorrow by the time she is ready to leave roads will be clear. She's so anxious to get back home and see her kids.
I did not get in the exercise I had hoped to yesterday. I just had a lot of things to do and got really tired because I'm still fighting off some of the effects of the cold I caught last Friday and have been battling all week. It's better but not completely gone. Felt good in the morning but by afternoon was dragging. Or maybe it's also cumulative effects of a very draining week emotionally and mentally. Anyway I can't wait to get back to some normalcy including getting regular exercise and doing much better with me eating than I've been doing the past 2 weeks with work trips out of town and then this.
Thanks again for all your support. Your support has really helped keep me strong!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOM4407 12/19/2011 6:26PM

    One day at a time. With the help of good hospital staff, you and God your daughter will be getting better.
Take care of yourself so you can be strong for her.

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LKWQUILTER 12/19/2011 5:57AM

    So glad that she is still improving. ((HUGS)) and take care of you too.

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DESERTDREAMERS 12/18/2011 10:10PM

    Linda, please take care of yourself. Glad to hear Steph is getting out of ICU emoticon

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-WISPY- 12/18/2011 8:34PM

    Way to go Linda, so hoping everything will go according to plan and you will both be home in a couple of days at the latest. So pleased she is getting on well and will be out of ICU.
No wonder you are tired, its been a very draining time physically and emotionally what with this and then having to get back home for a couple of days and now back again to the hospital. Steph is so blessed to have you for a Mom.

Love Wispy.

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TRILLIUM22 12/18/2011 6:22PM

    So glad to hear your daughter is getting better. Hope the discharge goes as planned. It will be nice for her to be out of the hospital for Christmas. emoticon

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FORMERNONRUNNER 12/18/2011 3:53PM

  glad to hear there's overall progress. emoticon

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 12/18/2011 12:58PM

    I'm glad to hear that all is progressing well!
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LYNDALOVES2HIKE 12/18/2011 11:28AM

    I'm so glad you're getting back to Las Cruces, although I can totally understand how good it must have felt to sleep at home. I can't help but remember all the times my dad was in the hospital - it's emotionally wrenching, physically taxing and completely disrupts everything when a family member is so sick!

Good news that the tube is out and she's moving to a regular room - one step closer to going home! But I think it's important for her to stay as long as she needs to reach a point where it's safe to come home. I'd be surprised if she wasn't a little depressed after such major physical trauma, all the pain and being separated from her kids - I really hope she gets through this phase quickly but don't be surprised if she continues to be depressed for awhile. When I've gone thru major physical stuff, I tend to have depression until my body can get totally back to normal. That may take her awhile, even though she is pretty young - of course, I'm sure you know to make sure she gets acidophilus and other probiotics as soon as she can because all those antibiotics mess up our intestinal systems - anyway, so glad things are starting to get better and wish all of you the best. Be careful on the road, take care of yourself as much as possible and keep telling yourself "This too shall pass."
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STRINGI719 12/18/2011 11:00AM

    It'll be so nice for her to be in a regular room and be able to have more movement and freedom. Hope she's doing better today. Drive safely and keep on taking care of yourself.
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JACRBUNCH 12/18/2011 10:32AM

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Take care of yourself and your family. Sorry to hear about your daughter.

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NEWRUNNINGSHOES 12/18/2011 10:15AM

    So sorry to hear about your daughter but glad she is getting better and will be home to her kids soon.

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Saturday's update on daughter

Saturday, December 17, 2011

I came back to Silver City last night because there are a few things I have to take care of here. I'm going back to Las Cruces early tomorrow morning. Yesterday they took one of the chest tubes out of her and she still has one in. Hopefully it will come out today or tomorrow. She is making some progress and was moving around in the room in ICU a little better. Her breathing is not as shallow either which is a good thing. Pain is a little better controlled now. Her doctor told us yesterday morning that once the other tube comes out they will watch her for another day after that then hopefully she can come home. But yesterday afternoon the nurse said they got the culture results of the pus they took out of her lung area and it is a strain that is extremely resistant to even the strongest antibiotics. They said this should not affect her so much because they cleaned it all out but she could be a carrier of this. They have been giving her very strong antibiotics with an IV since the surgery (actually since before surgery since she first went into the hospital last Saturday). But I'm not sure if it's the same antibiotic. She has to continue for about a week on the iv so they are not sure if that will affect her discharge date. She had the surgery late Tuesday and so Monday should be 7 days so maybe it won't affect it much. They will also send her home with oral antibiotics but the first week or something has to be the IV antibiotics. We didn't get to talk to the doctor after that so we don't know for sure. But they now have her on precautions to prevent carrying the bacteria out of her room so anyone going into her room has to put on a gown.
Other than that things are looking better.

After I got home last night I saw the local paper and saw that one of my case management clients died on Thursday which made me very sad. This was a 44 year old woman with Down's Syndrome that had been in the hospital most of the past month. She was also in Las Cruces but in a different hospital. I talked to her sister a week ago, who was taking care of her since their parents died a few years ago and drs weren't sure then whether she would make it or not. She had severe mental disabilities due to the Down's Syndrome and was like a little child. Some Down's kids are higher functioning but she wasn't. She was so sweet though and I really liked her a lot. She had a seizure disorder also. She was very prone to pneumonia because of some lung issues, and in early November had to go into the hospital because of that and was in there almost 2 weeks. She went home a day or two before Thanksgiving but was back in the hospital a few days later here, then flown to Las Cruces. The problem was that the medication to control her seizures was playing havoc with her white blood cell and platelet counts. They tried changing the seizure medication but none were working and she started having severe seizures about every hour, which is what caused her second hospital admission. She went into a coma and was in a coma when I talked to her sister about a week ago. If she got the medication to control the seizures it caused other problems and if she didn't the seizures played havoc with her system. It was just so sad. I wasn't really surprised to see the death notice in the paper but had been hoping she'd pull through. One of the things about working with elderly and disabled is that I lose a lot of my patients. In the past 2 or 3 weeks I've lost 5 for one reason or another like effects of severe alzheimer's, heart disease, etc which is hard but this woman in her 40's is just extra sad to me. Her sister had told me though that even though Rita was in a coma the nurses say she could still here and her sister wanted her to stay but was giving her permission to go also and told her that if she saw their parents it was okay to go to them and be with them. So now she's with them and peaceful now I believe. Her sister has a strong faith in Jesus and although I didn't know the parents I understand they did too.
Okay, enough talking of sad things. Today I have a lot to do before I go back to Las Cruces but also want to get some real exercise in today. I've done a lot of walking this week, although in short increments but am hoping to get some real cardio in. I'd like to go for a run but am not sure yet because weather is very overcast and I still have some chest congestion from a cold I had so I'll see how I feel. And even though I may not get to the gym today I want to get my weights and exercise bands out here and do some strength training which has been missing the past 2 weeks. I've been on the go so much with a trip to Albuquerque for training 2 weeks ago on Thursday through Saturday, then again back to Albuquerque last Friday and Saturday, being sick, and then Steph's hospitalization since last Saturday. So my walks have been several of 10 to 15 minutes at a time this week.
Hope everyone has a great day today. Again, I so appreciate all the support this week I've had from my friends online. It has really made a huge difference to me when I'm away from home and watching my daughter go through all she's gone through. I could get online when feeling down and read comments, encouragements, notes with goodies, comments on friend feed and all the support. I could also read about others that have joys to share or their own personal problems and put things in perspective. The SP community has just been so important to me this week and still is. Continued prayers and thoughts appreciated on her road to recovery which will take a while even when she gets out of the hospital.

GRAPHIC PIC below
Below is a picture of her incision . Warning you so you don't have to look if you don't want to. The procedure is called a thoracotomy for those of you who are nurses or others with medical knowledge. The nurses, doctor, and anesthesiologist were all surprised that she had to have this done at only 28 years old because most often it is something that has to be done in much older patients with a lifetime of heavy smoking or other major health issues to their lungs. Not sure what set all of this off in her case. Pneumonia with a bacterial infection in a strange location in lungs and some scar tissue from something, maybe the infection I don't know, that caused part of lung or outer lining to be sticking to another part. Not totally clear on that but it had something to do with scar tissue causing something to stick to something.

This is a picture of my baby girl right after the surgery when hooked up to the resperator and all kinds of things. She looks better than that now and has a few less things hooked up to her



This is the picture of her incision I took yesterday after they took the dressing off. Under the bandage below the incision is still where one drainage tube goes into her lung. The incision goes from a little below armpit on left side around towards spine.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LKWQUILTER 12/17/2011 9:14PM

    That is good news Linda Kay. Will continue to pray for all of you and your client's family. I am like some others--children I met/knew when I was younger did not have long lives at all. I met a young boy when I was in high school and remember mama telling me they did not expect him to live past his teens. He died a few years ago and I think he was almost 50 and his long life was considered a miracle by his family.

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LYNDALOVES2HIKE 12/17/2011 12:35PM

    PS - it almost 'hurts' to look at the picture of her 'zipper' - yikes!!

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LYNDALOVES2HIKE 12/17/2011 12:35PM

    I'm so glad your daughter is getting better - when my dad had some antibiotic-resistant bacteria, they had him on an IV 'cocktail' with a mix of Vancomycin and some other powerful drugs - I'm surprised they will want to release her from ICU without at least a day or two in a regular ward but every hospital does things differently and the ideas change all the time. My mom stayed in the hospital for 2 weeks after giving birth - my sister had a 'drive-thru' visit and took her son home from the delivery room.

Sorry about your patient and don't mean to sound like I'm minimizing the loss but I think most people with Down Syndrome die before age 60 - my friend gave birth to a son with it and they told her 50-60 yrs is average. That's so different than it used to be - I had a friend who was what they called a "Mongoloid" when I was very young and she died when she was 9 yrs old from a heart defect. I think they used to consider those children 'lucky' if they made it to teenage - again, how times have changed! I'm so glad because for some reason, I've always been drawn to Down Syndrome children and young adults - never go tthe chance to know any who were older than mid-20s - and I suppose it's because of my friend when I was around 4-5 yrs old.

I wonder if there is any way to 'skype' between your grandkids and their mother while she's there - I do understand the need to keep children out of ICU - one doctor I know calls kids 'little germ factories,' not in a derogatory way but intended as precautionary for people who have especially weak immune systems.
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NOSTOPPINMENOW 12/17/2011 12:17PM

    I hope your daughter's condition improves everyday so that she can be home soon.

I'm sorry to hear that some of your clients have passed recently, but I guess that kind of comes with the territory and has to be expected. You are such a strong and sweet person doing the work you do. I'm sure your clients think of you as an angel.

It's also pretty amazing that with everything going on you're still thinking about and taking care of your heath. GOOD FOR YOU! Keep it up!

Have a Blessed weekend!
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Comment edited on: 12/17/2011 12:20:23 PM

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 12/17/2011 12:15PM

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STRINGI719 12/17/2011 11:42AM

    You are such an inspiration to stay so strong and focused throughout all of this, and to be so consistent about still getting your exercise in, too. I hope you are able to get out and get a great run in today, I know how much it helps you feel better!

Take care - all my love and prayers are with you both.
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LKEITHO 12/17/2011 11:10AM

    Glad to hear your daughter is doing better, but sorry to hear about the death of your case management client. I hope your daughter is home soon!

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Daughter's progress

Friday, December 16, 2011

I'm getting ready to go back up to the hospital in a few minutes this morning. Steph is making slow but steady improvement. The nurse was hopeful that maybe the dr would take out the chest drainage tubes today since there is not much coming out anymore. That would help a lot. Yesterday they changed the dressing while I was there and I saw the incision. She has a 23 cm (over 9.1 inches) long with 6 stitches and 23 staples in it. Plus the other 2 little holes where the drainage tubes go in below the actual incision. They had her on jello and broth day before yesterday and yesterday morning. She kept asking for real food. The nurse talked to the dr and at first he was hesitant because she wasn't eating the broth but the nurse pointed out that the broth is not appealing at all. She would eat the jello. He finally agreed and for lunch she was able to have a regular diet and she ate half a turkey sandwich and some pudding and a few french fries which she had been craving. Dinner she ate a lot. Hopefully getting real food in her will also help her regain her strength. They took the bladder catheter out early yesterday morning. Every tube that comes out makes it just a little more comfortable.
I'm doing okay but I really have to go back to Silver City this evening and I really don't want to go. But I need to go help a little with her kids, get more clean clothes, and a few other things. I'll probably come back here on Sunday unless something changes. I hate so bad to leave her and I know she's going to hate for me to go but I'll see how she's doing today. It's hard to be torn between her needs and needs at home. There was some drama going on between my other daughter and her husband this week too. Nothing new about that. But it adds to the stress because she has Steph's 2 older kids.
I just want so much for things to get back to normal. I haven't even done much Christmas shopping yet and it's coming so fast. It just doesn't feel like it. But I'll get it done. Right now I'm at the hospital all day, come back to the room about 6:30 or 7, and fall asleep watching tv in an hour or two because it's so exhausting to be at the hospital. I see progress but I also see so much pain and we all know how hard it is to see loved ones in pain, especially your kids even when they are 28 years old.
Thanks again so much for all your support, prayers, comments, etc. I appreciate it so very much!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DESERTDREAMERS 12/17/2011 8:04AM

    emoticonGlad Steph is getting better - every tube or drain out is a step closer to home! Take care of yourself, too.

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LKWQUILTER 12/17/2011 6:40AM

    Will continue to pray Linda Kay. ((HUGS))

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KNITTOBETHIN 12/16/2011 11:18PM

    I'm so sorry, I got bogged down here abd had no idea all this was going on. Steph is certainly in my prayers as are you tonight. Wish I could something to lighten your load besides pray for your strength and a sucessful recovery for her. Take care of yourself... emoticon

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-WISPY- 12/16/2011 5:22PM

    Still right here with you my friend. What a worry with trouble going on at home as well. I know you will do whatever seems the best thing to you and it will all turn out alright. Your daughters are so blessed to have you Linda. I admire you greatly.

Love Wispy.

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TRILLIUM22 12/16/2011 12:11PM

    Hang in there. Think of you, your daughter and your family. emoticon emoticon

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 12/16/2011 12:09PM

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STRINGI719 12/16/2011 10:58AM

    So happy to hear that she's getting a little better every day. Kids and I are mostly free Saturday if you need anything, and hubby is off on Sunday and Monday, so I can get away if you could use some help or some company.

Take care, and don't hesitate to ask if there's something I can do to help out!
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LYNDALOVES2HIKE 12/16/2011 10:09AM

    That's good news for a change, that Steph is making good progress - I had a medical crisis many years ago that had tubes going everywhere on me [although not into my lungs - yikes] - but I did have a catheter, drainage tubes, 3 IVs and a bunch of stitches and staples - my belly looked like a zipper, haha! But my point is that I know how uncomfortable it is to have stuff sticking in you all the time and how great it feels every time they pull something out, even though it's all relative. I should probably say 'feel less bad' rather than 'feels great,' unfortunately!

I know it's difficult for you to leave but you need a break and so does everyone else - are her kids old enough to visit their mom in the hospital? I suspect the very best "Christmas Present" for everyone will be getting Steph home - I wouldn't worry much about anything else. Wish I was close enough to help you out - in the meantime, sending you more prayers and virtual hugs!
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MARKSTIPANOVSKY 12/16/2011 9:07AM

    Thanks for sharing - good luck with staying focused and reaching your goals...

Will say a little prayer for you and your family...

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