Why the Redwood Forest slideshow?

Judy had always loved trees, and in 2008 we spent some time among the California Redwoods. Some of the ingredients in Judy's chemo cocktail were derived from trees (not Redwoods but Yews). We always knew that Judy loved the trees, and the trees got their chance to repay her affection.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Another weekend in the hospital

It would have been much nicer to be at home and enjoy one of the last "free" weekends of the summer with a mojito and the smell of BBQ, but instead we're here in room 555, with still no real estimate on when Judy may come home.

The past three days have seen ups and downs. Yesterday was a really crappy day when first the damn NG tube came loose and slipped out and Judy later had to deal with a blood transfusion. Fortunately, her bowels have started to work (barely) enough so that the NG tube did not have to be re-inserted, but she battled nausea all day because the bile was just building up and that poor lil' ol' colon of hers could barely keep up. The blood transfusion caused Judy some tremendous pain: Since she is still on the liquid nutrition (TPN), which is routed through her port (together with the regular IV), the blood transfusion went through a vein in her left hand. Judging from her silent suffering, it must have been bloody painful, and after an hour and a half of very slow flow she couldn't take the pain any longer. The nurse then decided to suspend the TPN and continue the transfusion through the port, and that was a huge relief. Judy described the pain as a constant 8.5 on the 10 scale. And we all know she's a tough cookie. It was pretty gruesome sitting there with her for those 90 minutes.

Today things were much better, at least initially. The nausea was mostly gone in the morning. Unfortunately, Judy has been running a fever that has been going up and down, as high as 101.7. She had a chest X-ray and a urinalysis, but we haven't heard anything about the results. We're just hoping that we don't get into another infection situation as we did after her surgery in 2008. Oh man, that'd be pretty devastating, and Alan is still on vacation.

Judy is now allowed to consume liquids, including popsicles. But she has to be careful about the nausea, so it's all a balancing act. (The nurse just took her temperature, and we're a bit down at exactly 101.) Also, the staples that were keeping her very well-healed incision together were removed this morning.

As you can see from the picture, some beautiful flowers have arrived here at the hospital. Yesterday, a huge arrangement was delivered, coming from our friends at TMBRA, the Texas Mountain Bike Racing Association. The other, very beautiful arrangement came from the Amarillo-based parents of our neighbor across the street, Megan. Thank you so much, folks! There have been other arrangements and gifts over these past two weeks, and we want to thank all of you who have thought of Judy and brightened her hospital room and spirits.

So, the situation on this hot Saturday afternoon here in Lubbock is better than a few days ago. Things are getting better. But overall, it's a bit like the Dow Jones: There are those positive days, and then there are those losses that wipe out a bunch of capital; and then there are gains again. Overall, the trend is up, and we can't let the micro movements get too much to us.

So, let's see whether we can get the fever under control, cut out the nausea, and start consuming more and more "real" nourishment. Let's hope that the day when Judy can go home comes soon.



Cindi said...

Hi Judy! Wow-your flowers are beautiful..but I'm with Jürgen...they will be much nicer when you can enjoy them from the comfort of your home!!
You are in my prayers for a speedy exit from Rm 555.
Hugs from me..to you!!!
Cindi :)

Sandi said...

Hey girl, you gotta get well!!!! I know God knows what he's doing. I hate that you are suffering and pray relief comes soon and you'll be home. We have birthday's coming up soon and we'll need to celebrate!
Your smile can light up a room, so I hope you'll be lighting up our lives with that smile soon!!!!!!!
Love ya,