hI friends, family & loved ones
For those of you who don't already know, yes! I am finally driving again. What a relief.
Also began cardiac rehab 3 weeks ago. Am really enjoying this. I think this is going to help speed up my recovery from heart surgery. Although my physiologist said that women take longer to recover from heart surgery than men.
My blood pressure & heart rate continue to perform super during rehab. And! I've also kept the weight off. I lost 25 lbs. initially and continue to maintain that.
Another concern is my appetite. It still hasn't returned. I have toforce myself to eat, Would like to know if any of you heart surgery patients out there have experienced this problem.
I've had other health problems to deal with since returning home, like vertigo & urinary tract infections.
In fact, I've been on 4 different kinds of antibioctics for
UTI since 6 weeks ago. And I still have it. It's verypainful and depressing; (slows down my recovery progress. But I'm convinced that my all soverign God is in control, and in His time I will be completely healed. Please continue to pray for me & for God's will to be done in my life.
Blessings,prayers and my love & best wishes to all.
I guess some of you wondered if I was ever going to post again since it has been so long since my last post. I was waiting to tell you when I can start cardiac rehab.
The answer to the question I asked on my last post is "no". I have not begun to drive. Based on the advice of my dear children and my neurologist, I reluctantly took their advice. I am still a good distance from being normal. I am so forgetful, foggy and sluggish. Carol came yesterday to transport me to my neurology appointment. He told me that I needed to continue on the Keppra (anti-seizure medicine). He did admit that it could be this medicine that is causing the symptoms I mentioned above. He ordered a new EEG. If my insurance will pay for it, I will be scheduled soon. If the test shows no signs of seizures, they MAY be willing to take me off the Keppra.
After my appointment, I came back to Charlotte with Carol and plan on staying through next week, the Lord willing. Believe it or not, at bedime last night I actually walked up 17 steps with much fear and trepidation along with some assistance from Carol & Eugene! And today, I've been both up and down the same stairs twice--by myself!! I can't wait to complete cardiac rehab so that I can return to some semblance of normalcy and stop chastising myself for not being able to do certain things which I used to do with seemingly little effort. Shame on us for taking good health for granted.
I don't want to become a chronic complainer, because in my heart I know that I've come a long way. I have improved so very much thanks be to God.
Speaking of rehab, I go for orientation February 7. They will set me up with a starting date then. Can't wait!
Please continue to pray for me that rehab will be very successful. Your prayers and continued support have been a tremendous source of encouragement. I couldn't have made it this far without it. God's grace and your prayers have been my constant anchor throughout this storm.
Ticking on for the Lord,
P.S. By the way, multiple thanks and heartfelt gratitude to those who have brought over wonderful food and also to those who make themselves available to chaueffer me everywhere I need to go. Thank you Ginny & Jim for bringing joy in the room each time you enter (our own little joke)!! Love all of you good.
Had an appointment with my local cardiologist Friday
Jan 6. He said everything continues to look great, that
I'm healing nicely and should be able to begin cardiac
rehab in about 2 weeks.He said I can do anything I feel lijke doing. I ask if I could run the vacumn cleaner. He said not to vacumn the whole house in one day, because that would be too exhausting. Just do a little at a time. He also said I could begin to drive again, butmy daughter, Phyllis, who was with me said, no, I don't think she is ready to drive. I explained to him that my children don't want me to drive because they think My judgement is somewhat impaired. Phyllis told himthat my short term memory is not yet normal. I misplace many things & forget to turn off stove burners and the coffee pot. He replied that my family would know more about that than he.
He implied that maybe I should try to keep peace in the family. And to that, I say seeing as how good my children have been to me, I want to consider their concerns. However, be assured that they will see things from my perspective in 2 or 3 weeks & there will still be peace in the family. You decide; Should I or should I not drive.?
I hope all of you survived the holidays without any negative consequences. I'm writing this with a thsnkful heart for being here at this the beginning of a new year.
You know if you've had heart surgery that its not for sissies. you are blessed if you survive the surgery and especially blessed if you can endure the recovery period.
So instead of making new year's resolutions which are usually broken, I'm in a thanksgiving mood and I want to promise my gracious heavenly father, that this new year i hope to share His amazing love with others and pass along my faith to them. I pray that your faith in the coming year will be in trusting the almighty, all loving, all faithful, God of this universe. He will never dissapoint you.
Hi all, I'm progressing as I should-- so I am told by others who had the surgery years ago. I was talking with my nephew who had the same kind of surgery10years ago. I told him how difficult it is fo me to climb steps and that I have to do it like a toddler. one step at a time with both feet on the same step.He reminded me that he had to do the same thing after his surgery he said it was almost a year before he began to walk like a normal adult He's a healthy looking man so it's hard for me to imagine him like Iam now. There are dayswhen I feel I am moving forward and there are other days when I don't feel so positive Today was one of those days. When I awoke this morning it was raining & much colder. What a contrast after having had more than a month with sunshine and the temp reaching into the 70's
I had aches &pain all over my body. even my incision
hurt terribly. After taking extre strength Tylenol, I began to feel better.I"LL have to make my nephew,
my children,& my grandchildren MY motivator to heal me. What a goal for which to look forward. Being able toplay & have fun with my darling grandchildren; And preparing favorite meals for mysweet loving children. I look forward with faith to my next 10 weeks of healing.
Love in Jesus...............Sherry
Got in some good walking today. Had lunch at Lone Star with a dear friend. Went to Kohl's's and walked around for a while A dear friend of mine. a member of my Sunday school class went home to be with the Lord this morning. She was only 54 years old. Can you imaging how thankful I am to be here? Please remember the Miller family in your prayers.
. Love to all.
Hi everyone; Ihope none of you got so caught up in the gift giving and eating so much that you forgot the real reason we celebrate Christmas.. Praise be to God,
He came down rrom heaven above to pay the penalty
for our sins and give us eternal life if we will receive him. John's gospel chapter 1tells us that He came unto
His own but His own receifved Him not. But as many as received Him , to them gave he power to become the sons of God. Even to them that believe on His name.
I must confess that I tend to get so engaged in secular
things during the holidays, that I sometimes forget the
true meaning of Christmas.
I feel so blessed for having recovered to be well enough to visit with mychildren intheir homes this Christmas. Mike and I spent today with Phyllis and family.Enjoyed the food and felloship. God is good all the time and all the time God is good!
I had some difficulty getting up her back steps. Couldn't have done it without help.
a little more physical exercise & a few more steps. One step at a time. That's the way healing comes: one step at a time. I'm so thankful God'has enabled me me to take these little steps Pray that I will go in the right direction. I wish for all of you a joyous and peaceful new year.
We are celebrating Christmas in Charlotte today (Friday) with Carol and her family. I know that you are used to reading Carol's blog here. But I thought this would be a perfect time for me to express my thanks to all of you personally. I'm really thankful for Carol's faithfulness in keeping you informed through this blog from the beginning of my journey through this surgery and for her dedication, support and devotion to me. I am eternally thankful for all of my children--what a blessing they have been during this time.
I am very slowly, but surely, gaining strength and getting better each day. My ordeal has taught me to trust God's faithfulness completely. His grace is truly astounding. I have learned to have more concern for others. I have learned about patience, compassion, and about the power of prayer. Never give up on God. Trust His promises.
As we celebrate this season and the birth of our Lord, I also want to celebrate the gift of your friendship and give thanks for all your prayers offered up for me. I believe your answered prayers have enabled me to heal and sit here today and express my gratitude to you. Please continue to pray that I may never stop seeking God's will for my life and that I will never lose sight of the fact that my first priority is to be a good servant of Christ.
From all of the Allen family, we wish for you and yours a joyous and God-centered Christmas.
It has been 7 weeks and 2 days since Mom had surgery. Thank you for hanging with us through all these updates. This website has been such a blessing to us in getting out the word on how Mom is doing.
Her visit with Dr. Blair (her Fayetteville cardiologist) went very well as did the transcranial doppler. The results from the doppler should be at the neurologist's office by the end of the week. Dr. Blair was very encouraged with Mom's progress since surgery. He reminded her of the seriousness of the surgery and the time it takes to recover from such a major procedure especially when you add the stroke on top of it all AND her age of 76. He told her to continue to take things slow and easy. She now has permission to lift her arms above her head. She should not lift anything heavier than 10 lbs. She cannot drive yet. He gave her some good news as far as medications are concerned. Since she is not experiencing atrial fibrillation and is off Amiodarone, he took her off the blood thinner, Coumadin. It should take 4-5 days for it to leave her system completely. He wants to see her in 4 weeks. They will discuss cardic rehab at that time. We are thankful for his concern and compassion toward Mom and she really appreciated it as well.
Hi All...just wanted to let you know that Mom is scheduled for a Transcranial Doppler this morning. The neurologist ordered this test to see how the blood flows in the brain. I think they hope to use this along with other tests to determine if she is having seizures. This afternoon she is seeing her Fayetteville cardiologist for the first time since her surgery. He will now be responsible for her care going forward instead of Duke.
Some have asked if Mom has any needs or requests that would be helpful as she heals. 3 come to mind:
1. Food. She has been home from the nursing/rehab center for three weeks. One meal was brought the day she came home and that is all. She has a few friends that have taken her out, and that was helpful too. Mostly the burden is on Phyllis and Mike to prepare/bring home meals which they have been happy to do. They did not ask me to say this. I just think that if she had some items in the refrigerator that she could pull out to snack on or eat throughout the day when hungry, that would help a lot. Simple items like fruit, vegetables, soup or chicken salad. I'm not talking about major meals (although, if you wanted to bring a meal she could eat on the leftovers for a few days). I asked her not to do any cooking/baking in the oven or on the stovetop unless someone was there with her. Her judgment is still a bit impaired with the seizure medicine, and supervision is still required.
2. Walking. She needs to be walking every day. Again, the same couple of friends who take her to eat also walk with her either in a store/mall or in her neighborhood. So I was thinking that if you want to go visit with her, suggest that you take a brief walk while visiting. It is not easy because her legs hurt, but the more consistent she is with walking the stronger she will become.
3. Christmas Programs. Mom loves seeing Christmas programs. She is a little saddened that she will miss the trip her Sunday School Class is taking to Mike's Farm and that she missed the singing Christmas tree. So I encouraged her to find out what churches have programs coming up and decide which one she wants to go to. If you know of one, offer to take her. Sometimes she acts like she wants to go then she says that she doesn't. Don't give up on her. Maybe a ride out to see Christmas lights at night would be nice.
None of us expected the additional complications from surgery (i.e. stroke/seizure). We had hoped she would be well on her way to feeling better. I think she just needs time. Even one more month should make a huge difference in how she feels when we can hopefully get her off some of the medication that has negative side effects. Until then, I want to thank you in advance for helping us encourage her with simple acts of service. I've tried to get her to come to Charlotte and spend some time with us here, but she just isn't ready for that yet. So we move forward praying and expecting God's best for her.
Love to you all,
Ha ha...how's that for a subject line? Actually, I should have used that one when Mom was in the hospital 6 weeks ago because it would have been a perfect description of that day when one of her chest tube sites started bleeding and then profusely bleeding and her ears couldn't hear what was going on due to them losing her hearing aid and finally ending with a slow walk around the hall. But, alas, those days are over. Wait...I should correctly say that THANKFULLY those days are over!!! Oh dear, I digress. Let me get back to the subject line for TODAY. Today Mom went to the cardiologist's office to have her PT/INR level checked. This shows if the blood thinner medicine is working. Her levels were fine. Then she went to LabCorp to have blood drawn to check her Keppra levels. This is the anti-seizure medicine. It will take a week to receive those results. She also had an appointment today with her audiologist to get the ball rolling for a new hearing aid. He kindly allowed her to "check out" a set of hearing aids for both right and left ears. These will be on loan to her until the new ear molds return close to Christmas. I am sure she is enjoying the benefit of "new ears"! And to round things out, a walk through the mall gave her some much needed exercise. Another full but productive day. Oh...I almost forgot...thank you for praying for her veins. They got the stick the first time--yay!!
In many ways it is hard to believe that it has been 6 weeks since Mom had her heart valve replaced and double bypass surgery. It has flown by...and yet is has crawled by. She is so grateful for the healing that is taking place. Did you know that she no longer has high blood pressure or needs medication for that? In fact, her blood pressure has been on the low side since surgery! For those of you who know her well, she has struggled with severe acid reflux for a long time and was on different medications for it. She was even hospitalized at one time for it. Now? No reflux problems since surgery! Granted she is still on one medication for that, but hey...no reflux is an answer to prayer. So you can see that these are immediate benefits from the open-heart surgery. The down side is that she gets discouraged from not being able to "bounce back" as quickly as she had hoped. She describes herself as feeling out of it, dazed, fuzzy, foggy, sleepy, tired, weak, blurry vision. This could be part of the recovery that just takes time. It could also be a side effect from some of the medication or from the stroke. Some have suggested tht is the Keppra (anti-seizure) medicine she is on. We have talked with several of her doctors and none will take her off of it. They say that a neurologist will have to determine that. So we were able to get her worked in to see a neurologist today. It was a LONG visit--4 hours of mostly waiting. She got so tired. They want to see the discs from Duke of her MRI, brain scan and EEG. They want blood drawn to test the Keppra levels. They have ordered a Transcranial Doppler. After these, they might have to do another EEG. Only then will they determine if she can be taken off the Keppra. For now, she keeps taking it twice a day and dealing with the side effects. Sometimes her speech is a little sluggish and judgment somewhat impaired. Her legs bother her too. The inner knees/thighs where the veins were taken for the bypass really bother her. They are swollen, a little warm/feverish, tender and very heavy. It makes walking, getting up and down from a chair/bed or getting in and put of a car very difficult. So you can see why the weeks are a mix of up days and down days. She wonders if she will ever get better or if she will be able to live on her own again. She feels that she is a burden. At her age, she is remarkable. She just needs time. I keep referring her back to the book that Adam Pick wrote about Heart Valve Surgery and recovery. Every patient is different and recovers on a different timetable. I share these details with you all so that you will know how better to pray for her. I have encouraged her to type a journal entry here herself. She says that she may just do that soon. Oh, one more thing...Duke has agreed to reimburse her for the lost hearing aid!! Praise the Lord! She awaits the check in the mail!! She has more appointments tomorrow. Pray for stamina and good veins for giving blood. Thanks,
Mom has been home now for 6 days. Her days have been fairly quiet and uneventful. She is resting and regaining strength. She has enjoyed visits from friends. She is tired much of the time but is fairly pain free for which we are so grateful. Phyllis has been with her in the days and Mike is there at night. Mike told me that she wants to start heading to bed at night around 6:00pm!! I am glad he tells her no and to try and stretch it out until 8:00pm. I know that I have called a couple of times around 8:00 and she was already in bed--haha. Well, that's okay. She has been through a lot and I am thankful that she can sleep in her bed.
The milestone I posted in the subject line came today. Mom's friend, Marilyn, took her to lunch at Arby's and then to Market Fair Mall to walk a little bit. Mom said that she did fine and was not too tired. It was her first official outing and it went well. Yay!! Thanks, Marilyn.
Mom achieved a milestone today. She gave herself a shower for the first time in 4 weeks! Phyllis, of course, was standing by to assist with handing her shampoo, etc. but Mom did all the rest by herself. This is another step toward her independence. I know that you all have been praying for her in these little things and we do appreciate it. Even though I share all the little things she is progressing in, make no mistake about it...she has a long road to recovery. She was a little down today. She said that she thought once she came home that things would be all better. But she is finding that she can't snap back from open-heart surgery and a stroke that quickly. We encouraged her to push herself as much as she is able in the physical therapy, but to also give herself a break from thinking she should be further along. We think she is amazing and that her recovery has been better than we expected. She has achieved so much in so little time. We reminded her that this will take months but that we will be here for her and that with every passing week she will get stronger and better. I encouraged her to make little goals for herself for the next weeks such as riding in the car with someone to pick up medicine, or plan to have lunch out somewhere, or plan to go to a Christmas musical at a church, or make herself walk a few steps further down the street every day. I think it is common for heart surgery patients to deal with a swing of emotions, and this may be what she will experience soon too. Even so, she is grateful to God for His provision for her thus far and she is grateful to all of you for supporting her and praying for her. I ditto that. Love to you all,
It has been 4 weeks since Mom had surgery, and today she finally returned home!! She was released from Village Green Rehab at 10:00am this morning. She was home and in bed shortly thereafter (her only request was to get in her own bed!) She was actually able to take a nap and awoke to the smell of wonderful food in the kitchen. My sister has a coworker who brought Mom lunch--chicken & pastry, butter beans, rolls, watergate salad, and pound cake. You know that Mom has not been able to enjoy any food since her surgery. Well, this lunch was an answer to prayer...Mom said that it was delicious and tasted as good as if she had made it herself!!! Wow...that's wonderful news don't you think? Thank you so much, Sarah Gibbs, for the welcome home meal--you were a blessing.
That's right. The plan as of now is to release Mom Tuesday morning to return to her home! The surgeon told us that she should not be alone at home at first, so Phyllis is taking off work for a couple of days in order to be with her. Mike will be there at night. I'll give more details tomorrow when she is released.
Please forgive me for not getting an update out the past couple of days. We have been slammed here on the homefront, and I let the days get away from me.
I know that there have been several of you who have visited Mom since last Thursday. Thank you so much. She really appreciates each and every one of you who make the time to stop by and see her. She also appreciates the kind words, cards and gifts that have been given. They are bright spots in her day.
We have been told that there are plans to discharge Mom this week. Hopefully, there will be more definite news on Monday. She is looking forward to that day. I am so grateful for my sister and brother who have been so faithful to be there for Mom every day. It has been hard for me to be away from them all since we were together so much of the time since October 14. But I have had demands here in Charlotte at home the last few days that require me to be here. My husband is in China for 9 days as well, so that makes getting away more difficult. But thanks to you all, I know that my mother is being checked on and taken care of.
They are having a hard time getting her blood PT/INR levels to the range they want. Therefore, they have to take blood more often. It is VERY difficult to find good veins on mom even on a good day. Lately it has been pitiful. Please pray that she will drink plenty of water to "plump up" her veins, and that the blood levels will get to a place where they won't have to stick her so often.
Our visit today to Duke for Mom's follow-up appointment was full of positives. She did well on the ride up and back. Her blood work looked good. The chest X-ray looked good. The incision from the sternotomy is healing nicely. They don't think there is infection in the inner leg incision. It is looking better than when I was with her this past weekend. She has a lot of swelling in her legs and ankles, so they are starting a low dose diuretic. They discontinued one of the antibiotics that had such negative side effects. They wrote the order for her to return to a regular diet--no more chopped food--yay! They want her to see a neurologist for a cognitive evaluation. They also gave Mom some of the best news--she can now sleep on her side! As you can see, the report is full of progress and hope. Our questions were answered. Prayers have been answered. We know that Mom still has a long way to go, but we are so thankful for this encouraging news. Our God is faithful in the big and small areas of our lives, and we are witness to this every day. Thank you for continuing on this journey with us. We are grateful.
We are off to Duke for mom's follow-up appointment with Dr. Milano. Bobby and Phyllis are driving Mom from Fayetteville, and I am driving from Charlotte to meet them. Please pray for safety while driving, comfort for Mom in the car, and a positive meeting with the doctor. Will update later.
This update will be for Monday since I didn't get to post yesterday. I am at an orthodontist appt and don't have my notes on who visited, but I will try and get it close. I believe the visitors were Ginny Boyle, Marilyn Price, Karen Dabbs, Eastland Gray, Bill & Catherine Julian. Bill and Catherine brought a great gift to mom: a printout of her entire heart-valve journal. Wow, that's a lot of paper! This is great because she can now sit and read the journal entries at her leisure. Honestly, she hasn't felt much like reading the entries since her surgery, but now that she can hold them in her hand it will be easier. In fact, I just talked with my brother who was with her this morning and he said he left her in a chair reading her journal and she wasn't having trouble with her vision this morning. Yippee! So, please know that if you leave her a message from now on she will be reading them. I know they will be an encouragement to her. Thank you so much for your support.
She is having some unpleasant side effects from medications she is taking. We hope to find out tomorrow (Wed) from her surgeon how much longer she will need to be on these.
In physical therapy Monday, they had her do some golf putting. Guess what? She made a hole-in-one!! Go mom!!
Hi Folks, I am going to combine updates for Saturday and Sunday since they are similar and since I had trouble with our laptop last night while trying to type a new journal entry. I am back in Charlotte and typing on my desktop which is sooo much better.
Mom had occuptional therapy Saturday. The therapist came to her room to observe her getting dressed, combing hair, brushing teeth and tidying up the room. These are all essential tasks that will need to be done when she goes home. They are going to order her a kit that has different tools to assist in getting dressed. Mom has had some swelling since her release from the hospital, and it makes getting dressed a little more difficult. This kit should help. Sunday she had physical therapy. The speech therapist hasn't visited since the initial visit after she was admitted to Village Green. I have requested that another evaluation be done. I would like mom to be upgraded to regular food instead of the chopped up stuff she receives now. The day of her discharge from Duke, a speech therapist approved her being upgraded to a regular diet. But the discharge papers were not changed and the speech therapist at Village Green wanted her to continue on the chopped food for awhile longer. I think she will pass a swallow test just fine and will enjoy the food better when it looks more normal. I also want the speech therapist to evaluate her cognitive skills. Physically she is making progress. Speech is not so much an issue. But when we had her do some crossword puzzles, word searches and sudoku, she was definitely having some processing issues. She also told me that she feels like her head is in a fog and a little out of it in the mornings after waking. She also complains of some vision problems. So the nurse said she would pass the information on to the P.A. and see what he says. As far as the place on her leg where they took out a vein goes, it is slow to heal--still swollen, red and painful. The nurse says that it takes a while for the antibiotic to kick in. Hopefully the P.A. will look at it tomorrow. We will definitely have Dr. Milano look at it on Wednesday when we take her back for her follow-up appt. Mom took several short walks Sat & Sun. She even got outside briefly for some fresh air. She is walking without a walker now--kinda of a slow and easy shuffle. Saturday my cousins, Connie and Julie, came by for a visit. We just happened to be in the front reception parlor when they arrived, so we visited in there for a change of scenery. Sunday she was visited by Jim & Ginny Boyle, Marilyn Price, Karen Dabbs and Helen Elliott. Mom has also received some lovely flowers, cards and gifts that she appreciates so much. I have actually added quite a few pictures to the "My Photos" tab, so check them out!
I think that is it for now. Please feel free to stop by for a visit and sign her little notepad so that I can include you on the journal entries. Love to you all and thanks be to God for the slow and steady healing that mom is experiencing.
Today was a good day for mom. She spent an hour in physical therapy. The remainder of the day was spent visiting with friends, relaxing and taking a few walks. The physician's assistant never made rounds on her hall, so he didn't get to see the incision on her leg. It looks like it did Thursday. The nurse said that we should see some improvement by Saturday afternoon since mom will have been on the antibiotic 2 days by then. Thank you for praying for her. She asked me to have you all pray that she would sleep better at night. She did take a good nap in the afternoon, but doesn't do as well at night. I do have one more request. I need to return to Charlotte Saturday night. I would like to recruit some help for her for next Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Would any of you be available to sit with her awhile? She doesn't need someone with her at all times anymore. Maybe someone could check on her in the morning and then someone else could check in the afternoon. We will be taking her back to Duke on Wednesday for a follow-up appt. with the surgeon; so no one is needed that day. If interested in a day/time, please let me know. Thank you so much. Friday's visitors were John & Priscilla Cook, Karen Dabbs, Ella Canavos.
Also, thanks to each of you that have sent such lovely flowers. I hope to post a pic soon.
Hi Folks, it is 10:38pm EST. Here's the update for the day. I arrived back in Fayetteville at 10:00am this morning just after they had taken mom back for physical therapy. Prior to that, my brother had spent breakfast time with her and reported that she ate a good breakfast. I joined her in physical therapy to watch what she was able to do. Her therapist laid probably 6 quad canes on the floor to give mom a raised bar to step over. She did so unassisted!! He then stood the quad canes upright and lined 6 or 8 of them up. She had to go from one end to the other weaving in and out of the canes. Next she sat in the wheelchair and did some leg exercises. She also laid on a padded board and did some leg and ankle exercises. After an hour of physical therapy, she went to the occupational therapy room for another 70 minutes. There she did several hand/wrist/arm exercises. She also practiced putting on a jacket and taking it off. Back in the room, lunch was served. My sister and her husband also brought some hamburgers and fries from one of Mom's favorites burger joints. She ate a few bites of everything! After an afternoon of visitors and admissions paper signing, she finally took a nap for about an hour while I visited with my cousin, Teresa. She took a brief walk down the hall and out the door to take in a few breaths of fresh air before returning to the room for supper. She didn't like the food, but Phyllis and Mike were able to encourage her to eat enough for strength. A full, but good day for mom. Her visitors today were: Marilyn Price, Lydia Miller, Bob & Eva Dale, Teresa Edwards Davis, Jim & Ginny Boyle.
Prayer Request: The inside of her left leg has an incision where they took a vein for the bypass. It is swelling, red and causing some pain. I asked the nurse to look at it. She called the P.A. who advised starting her on an antibiotic. He will see her tomorrow morning. Pray for relief and no infection. The other leg has the same incision and is doing fine.
Thanks in advance for your prayers.
I just realized that mom is 2 weeks and 2 days post op. In some ways it has flown by, but in other ways the surgery seems like a long time ago. Much has happened since that day. We do regret that our mother was one of the small percentage of patients who experience a stroke. It makes the recovery all the more difficult. However, dwelling on the negative is not what we are about and we choose to be grateful for the progress she has made and have every expectation that she will fully recover. We know that her faith has made her strong and believe the prayers lifted up on her behalf make all the difference. Thank you again for your care, concern and encouragement. The report for today was that things were much like yesterday. The ladies who came to sit with mom today were: Ginny, Marilyn, JoAnne and Karen. Blessings to you ladies...we love you.
Yesterday (Tuesday) mom got her staples removed. Thank you all for your prayers for her. She did well. She asked for pain medicine an hour before the staples were removed, and that helped. She said it was a little uncomfortable but really not that bad. Yippee! Mom is such a trooper. Sorry I didn't give a full update on Monday or Tuesday. We want to thank all of you who visited her and helped pass the time on Monday and Tuesday. Visitors on Monday: Jim & Ginny Boyle, Ralph & Helen Suggs, Denise Dodson, Eastland Gray, Marilyn Price, Karen Dabbs, Amy Deal
Visitors on Tuesday: Shirley Bayless, JoAnne Britt, Tom & Marilyn Price, Jim & Ginny Boyle, and our cousins Connie & Teresa.
Mom has been making progress with physical therapy and occupational therapy. Tuesday she met a huge goal...she went to the bathroom unassisted for the first time! Steps like these are what will help her to live independently in her home. Way to go, Mom!! She still says that she gets very little sleep. Thanks for continuing to pray for that. She is eating a little better which is good news. The occupational therapist is encouraging her to get dressed for the day and not stay in a gown all day. They have simple ways to help her get into her clothes. She needs to wear tops that button or zip in the front and not wear tops that pull over the head.
I will try and get an update in later tonight.
I'd like to pause for a moment from my updates on mom to give a shout out to the best kids in the world--yes, that would be my children!!! For those of you who don't know, my husband (Eugene--who is a most wonderful, supportive husband) and I have 7 children: Rachel, David, Julia, Joel, Alesya, Josiah and Maria (see pic under My Photo Tab). They range in age from 21 - 7 years. We homeschool our children, so you can imagine how busy it is at our house with so many grade levels, social activities and jobs. Eugene is, of course, there with them but many times has to work long hours. So we are both so grateful for all they have done to take care of each other. They each pitch in to make things run smoothly around the house whether I am home or out of town. I have been gone now for 16 days, and I have not worried about them at all. They are such capable, responsible young men and women who have kept our regular schedule and routine. The older ones help the younger ones and the youngest keep them all laughing. They all know the LORD, love the LORD and walk with the LORD--it's not just "daddy and mommy's faith"--it is their own. This makes all the difference. They are a blessing to Eugene and me and the joy of our lives. I am going home to Charlotte tonight to see them for 3 days before I return to be with mom. Eugene has been in Tenn w/4 of them for the weekend. Rachel has been out of town for the weekend as well. David and Julia stayed home. So we will all be reunited tonight--what a fun time that will be!! Thanks for letting me take some time to brag on them. They love their "Gma" and want me to take as long as I need to be with her. Eugene feels the same way. They never pressure me to come back home. That has freed me up to be with mom all this time. I am blessed. Eugene's mother has also been a great help while I've been away. She lives next door and has cooked many evening meals for them--she is a great southern cook! Thank you Ma Becca!
As for mom, she has had a good day. It was much like yesterday. The physical therapist taught her how to get in and out of her wheelchair w/o using her arms--just the strength of her legs. She is still so tired. Can't get comfortable in her bed. Still not wanting to eat much, but we insist. She did enjoy visits today from Jim & Ginny Boyle, my cousin--Delores & Jimmy Long, Marilyn Price and Sarah Gibbs. Karen Dabbs came to stay with mom after I left for Charlotte. Thanks, Karen! I've arranged for some friends to visit with mom during the next 3 days while I am away. They will "fill in" when Phyllis and Mike cannot be there. Feel free to stop by for a visit to help her pass the day. She is in room 228. She has the telephone turned off since it is hard to hear. Below is her mailing address:
Rehab & Healthcare Center @ Village Green
Attn: Sherry Allen Room 228
1601 Purdue Drive
Fayetteville, NC. 28304
Signing off for now...love y'all.
In a skilled nursing facility there aren't nearly as many interruptions for the patient as in a hospital. This should allow for more time to rest and heal. Still, our days seem to be busy with little time to send out an update. Mom continues to make steady progress. Today she had visits from the Activities Director and the Occupational Therapist. She was also blessed with visits from John & Priscilla Cook, Karen Dabbs and George & Gail Gerwood. We continue to encourage her to eat. Tonight she had a BBQ sandwich which she said didn't taste good. I tasted it and it was just like the ones she has always loved. What a shame her taste buds are messed up. The P.A. told her that many folks who have had heart attacks or heart surgery complain of either no appetite or food not tasting right for a few months after their incident. Thank you for prayers for rest last night. It was an "okay" night. Perhaps tonight will be even better. She was able to take a 30 minute nap this afternoon. She is having some pain in her back. She already asking when she can sleep on her side. The P.A. told her not for 8 weeks. I think sitting on her bottom and sleeping on her back is getting old already! She still needs assistance getting up and down, but is getting stronger every day. Her staples on the incision come out Tuesday. She is concerned about that. I'd appreciate you adding that to your prayer list also. I believe her ability to stay alert for longer periods of time each day is good news. Finding a position that is comfortable for her is another prayer request. These are really minor details and requests when you consider what her needs have been over the last 12 days. She has been through much and still has a ways to go before becoming independent again, but we are so pleased with the progress thus far. The stroke has slowed things down, but we still pray for a complete recovery and believe it will happen. Thanking God for His grace and provision in her life,
Today has been a day of settling in. The people here are very nice. Today mom saw "the banana man" (a man who brings bananas and an encouraging word from the Lord every Friday going room to room), the speech therapist, the physician's assistant, the social worker and the physical therapist (went to therapy room for 1 hour. In between the official visitors she had some other visitors come by: Fred Nunnerry, Ginny Boyle, Marilyn Price, Connie Canaday, Karen Dabbs, Jo Anne Britt and her hairdresser, Dawn Johnson, who gave her a shampoo and style and made her feel so much better! Thank you all for your care and concern for our mother. She is blessed and Mike, Phyllis & Bobby and I are grateful. Prayer request...sleep. She is so tired but cannot get comfortable in her bed. A long, peaceful night of rest would be wonderful. Thank you.
Well, we made it to Fayetteville without any incident. Thank you for praying. Mom didn't want to stop, so we drove straight through and arrived at the skilled nursing facility right at supper time. They got mom to a room and before we could bring her things in, they had her up and eating. She was so tired. After the dinner tray was removed, we found her laying her head on her arm across the bed table that the food was on! It wasn't too long before she told us that she just wanted to sleep. So we left her to do just that. We had been told at Duke that many times the long stay with sleep deprivation can cause confusion and other emotions. I know that during the daytime hours, there never seemed to be even a 15 minute stretch when someone wasn't in there. At night, she never got more than 2 hours before assessments had to be done. I do hope she can get some uninterrupted sleep at this new place. Maybe that will help her to feel better. I'll get an address tomorrow (Friday) and post it for this new place. Love y'all. I am going to try and get some rest myself!
We are moving to a skilled nursing facility in Fayetteville this afternoon. Mom is anxious about the drive. No one has assisted her yet except nurses. She still needs help to get up and down. I will work with her some this morning. I think she is concerned that something will go wrong with her heart or that she might have another stroke on the way. She is now saying that she is weak. Please pray that she won't worry herself. Pray for peace. Speech therapist is here now. More later...
What a good day for mom. We are so thankful. All tubes and lines are gone except for the pick line. The evidence of surgery and IV's remain--black and purple bruises all over her arms and legs! she walked 3 different times today for a total of 7 1/2 laps--woohoo! She made herself eat and did well for both lunch and supper. She says it doesn't taste right. No more problems with heart rate, blood pressure, blood sugar or fluid in lungs. Dr. Milano is very pleased and will make a determination as to when she will be discharged soon. He wants her to go to a skilled nursing center with physical, occupational and speech therapy for maybe a couple of weeks. They secured a room at Village Green in Fayetteville for whenever she is discharged. She received several cards in the mail today. Thanks to all of you for your kindness. Yesterday the speech therapist had her draw a clock. Mom only drew the right side of the clock. She is having some vision issues. When asked to write her name, she wrote all the letters but stacked them on top of each other. Here's the good news...today when the therapist asked her to repeat the same exercise, she drew the entire clock and wrote her name beautifully. Progress!! We look forward to improvement every day. So thankful for the healing that God is doing in her brain and body. Signing off for the night...Carol
This is what she said as she walked around the floor yesterday and again this morning. Love that sense of humor! What an improvement we are seeing this morning. She even let me snap a few pics--check it out in the "My Photos" tab. Phyllis, Mike and Bobby are here for the day and have kicked me out for a few hours. Dr. Milano feels she is progressing nicely. PTL.
Good Morning! It is 9:30am and Mom ate a good breakfast--Rice Krispies w/milk, banana, little bit of scrambled eggs and some coffee. Her speech continues to improve. For now, she is off all drip meds. Taking pills by mouth. Swallowing is improving too. After a blood work up, they took her for a chest X-ray. When she returns, she will walk. A good start to a great day!
When it comes to being in the hospital, describing the day as "uneventful" is a very good thing. This is how I would describe mom's day today. It was still busy with going here and there for tests and having lots of different doctors, nurses, assistants in and out, but I call the day uneventful because it was the first of the 8 days here that she stayed stable all day. Yay!
Prayer request for Wednesday: EAT!
I talked with Dr. Milano and he wants her to eat more. She has no interest in food. She eats very little and then only because she knows she should. So we will work on that tomorrow.
Thank you all again so much for following this journey with our family. Phyllis and Mike are going to be here all day tomorrow. That should be a pick-me-up for mom!