Saturday, January 23, 2010
A big thank you for your prayers and encouragement. We went for Bill's post-op visit yesterday. The doctor removed the tube from Bill's kidney and he is a happy camper because he was able to sleep in our bed last night. He'd spent the previous week on the sofa because that was the only place he could lay with the tube sticking out of his back. The doctor has scheduled the next procedure for March 1. He will try breaking up the two largest of the five remaining stones with the sound waves, an outpatient procedure like he did on the left kidney. He's hoping that they will respond to that procedure and break up. If not, we will have to explore the possibility of another surgery. I pray it doesn't come to that. It would be so wonderful for this to be behind him on March 1. It's been a long and exhausting journey for all of us and a very painful one for Bill. Thank you again for walking this road with me. I appreciate you so much.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
It blows me away how much difference a day can make. Today Bill is very comfortable, is not in agony when he urinates (which he was for DAYS following the last procedure), eating well, and he's laughing and enjoying his day. All I can say is thank God! Thank you for the avalanche of prayer and well wishes that has been poured forth upon us. Knowing you as I do, I'm not one bit surprised, but what DID surprise me was the number of people I don't even know who have left such kind comments. I am ever amazed by this wonderful community of like-minded folks. Now that the worst of this crisis is over, I hope the pool is open tomorrow because I am SO ready to get back to it in earnest. It's a holiday, so I'm not sure if it will be open or not. Then I can start lining up repairmen because the microwave and dryer are broken. My cell phone fritzed and the new one should be here tomorrow. And I need to get my van over to the mechanic because something smells nasty, probably a leak in the power steering pump. Ahhhh, the stuff of life, huh? Ain't it grand?!!
I want to share a photo of my handiwork with Bill's dressing. The white frame was peeled off that huge bandage afterward. Isn't it neat to be able to see what's going on in there? I love these things. They used them on my amputation site, too. The gauze is around where the tube comes out of Bill's kidney, out of his back, and then the tube is taped a bit lower on his back and has a port for the larger tube that runs to the cath bag. The drainage is MUCH lighter today, which is a very good sign. You wouldn't believe the grit in the bottom of the bag. Thank God it's draining out there instead of passing when Bill urinates. He's being spared that much pain, at least.
Then I had to share with you the sophisticated way they keep track of things in the hospital. This was a little funny and a little scary, too. lol
I love y'all. You are the BEST, and I am SO thankful for you. Please forgive me for not replying to each of you individually. I would surely miss someone if I tried.
P.S. Oh, it looks like it's Saints and Vikings next week. Sorry to my friends who are Cowboys fans. GO SAINTS!!
Friday, January 15, 2010
The outpouring of interest and compassion from so very many of you has flooded my heart with warmth. I could never catch up enough to message each of you who sent SparkPage, SparkMail, ActivityFeed, Blog, and Goodie comments. Please know how very much I have appreciated having your nearness at this troublesome time. You are the BEST and I love y'all so much.
We got up at 5:30 yesterday and were at the hospital around nine. They had to make an incision and insert a tube through the back, into the kidney, through which the urologist would insert the scope, the laser to break up the stone, and the basket to capture the bigger pieces. Bill went into the OR a little after two and didn't come out until just after eight. It was so exhausting. My left foot still gets very angry at the amputation site if I walk or sit too much and it was protesting violently by the time Bill came out of recovery. It'll take a few days to reduce the swelling and inflammation in it, I'm sure. The good news is that I walked almost 5,000 steps and much of it was running behind hospital staff as we hiked our way around. MAN those people walk fast! The doctor explained to us that for three solid hours, and then some, he hit that biggest of the six stones with the laser, then went in with the basket to fetch the pieces. Everyone who came out of the OR commented about this being the largest stone they'd ever seen. So we're home now and Bill's in extreme pain. He has the tube draining out of his back, into a cath bag, and it will be Thursday before we can have that tube removed. After that, the doctor will decide if he wants to have a tube placed in a different location to try to find the two larger of the remaining stones or try to get them with the lipsotripsy, as he did on the left kidney stones. He thinks they are too big for that but he is contemplating trying it that way. He just wasn't sure and I love that he is watching Bill as he decides instead of going with what the statistical right move might be. I love this doctor a lot. I haven't slept more than about 20 minutes at a shot since yesterday at 5:30, so I'm going to bed now. Thank you so much for holding us up with your love and faith and friendship. I cannot tell you how much I value you, my cherished SparkFamily.
P.S. I'm sorry if this is jumbled or has errors. I'm just too tired to proofread.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Thank you to the many of you who have expressed your compassion and faith, praying for my husband's surgery today. If the hospital has wi-fi, I'll be able to come on from the laptop. I hope, hope, hope that's the case so you can keep me company while he's in surgery. If there's no wi-fi but I have cell coverage, I'll try to get calls in to some of our SparkFamily so they can let you know how Bill does today. Thank you again for your support and your prayers. You'll be in my thoughts, of course, and I appreciate all of you.
Saturday, January 09, 2010
Most of you know my treadmill story (ad nauseum, I might add), but for those of you who may have escaped it until now, it'll be helpful to know it to understand why I'm so happy today. Here's the link to it: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
From Feb. 28 through August I endured the horror of wound care. In August the surgeon released me but informed me that it would take a year to acclimate (as he put it) the foot to wearing a shoe and normal living. The next three months were spent ripping the new, fragile skin off of the amputation site every time I wore shoes, with the foot swelling up like a water balloon. Now the skin doesn't tear any longer, thank God, but the side of the foot where the "new" end of the bone is gets quite painful at times. The swelling is much, much better, but if I stand or walk too long it gets very swollen and angry.
Keeping the foot elevated and still get to the computer was a big issue for me. My friend Michelle/GETTINSKINNY ( my angel of mercy, as you may have read in my treadmill blog) took her truck to Big Lots for me soon as I was able to sit up without feeling like I'd pass out from the pain and went on a quest to buy a recliner for me. I've worked at home for the last 20+ years as a transcriber for court reporters and others, and I've always had my work station in my kitchen/dining area so I could work and still cook, be with the family, and the like. My little "office" in this house is on the dining table side of our kitchen bar. Just having my office chair in here makes things cramped. Imagine how impossible it became with a recliner in here all this time. It wasn't ideal, but it sure did add a lot to my life to be able to get to my computer and still keep that foot up. It is from that very recliner that at the end of May I stumbled over this SP site and met you wonderful friends.
There have been milestones all along the way since I got hurt. Being able to give up one crutch was a biggie for me. Being able to drive again was another huge one, reinstating a measure of my independence. Losing the second crutch and then the orthopedic boot and then wearing a real shoe were all important stepping stones that were leading me back toward normalcy and freedom. I felt less imprisoned with milestone. Each new step came with adjustments, of course, and I lost a bit of ground at times. They were painful. Despite some setbacks, I made and continue to make forward progress.
Today is a milestone day and I wanted to share it with you. Today I had my son put the recliner in the living room and I have returned to my office chair at my desk (which is really a triangular piece of board in the corner). I feel like I have returned to the big girl world and have taken one more step away from the world of being injured (and injured by my own stupidity, no less) and restricted. I feel like I have recovered a big part of who I am today.
As with recovering from my injury, on this journey of losing weight and recapturing life, every single milestone is important. The farther I get away from the conditions of being grossly overweight and the limitations imposed upon me (granted, imposed by my own hand and fork) by that weight, the higher the stakes become and the more painful it is when I lose some hard-earned ground. Again, as with my injury, I have to keep in mind that setbacks will happen, but my overall forward progress is what's really important. Focusing on that releases me to be able to enjoy my forward motion even if I'm at a speed bump.
Thank you for sharing this journey with me. You make it so much sweeter. If you are at a speed bump or have had a setback, remember the big picture. Remember where we were a year ago today. IMAGINE where we will be in another year!!
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