Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I'm sorry For the Delay in Posting

I'm sorry that I haven't kept this up better. I explained on my blog that I found that once he was home...I was too busy to keep writing a post everyday...and was taking a break from blogging. I neglected to finish up here with the same message. He's home and doing pretty good. His incision is clean and looks wonderful. Bandages are off and he is able to be up and around the house. He has, however, had some problems with his intestinal tract. I took a stool sample to the hosp. lab this morning and it will be tested and we should hear the results in 3-5 days. In the meantime...he's not a happy camper, with his meals. He had to go back to a liquid...soft He's not known for his patience and he really wants a hamburger. TV doesn't help with all the food commercials. Once we get the results and the dr. knows what to do...I think he will cheer up. It's only been a little over a week, since surgery, and I think he's doing great.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Thursdays Update

This is Thursday and today Joe got disconnected from most of his tubes and wires. All but the IV. He is able to walk around with assistance. He called just a minute ago and said that he made the rounds unassisted a couple of times. It just dawned on did he do this and use the walker and push the IV stand at the same time? I'm going to have to ask him. At this rate he will be coming home soon. He ate a couple of good meals...he's eating so healthy now. The pain was about 1/2 what it was yesterday. He didn't use the pain pump and now it is removed.The fellow in the next bed went home today, so he has the room to himself.
It was so hot these last couple of car sat in the parking lot for 5 hours each day and was stifling hot when I got in. I sat there with the air on, waiting for it to cool down. I couldn't even hold on to the steering wheel. Thank God for the AC. I came home to a cool house. Made a little dinner and now I'm going to climb into bed and do some reading. That won't last long...I'm tired.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Surgery Day

We arrived at the hospital at 9 this morning....checked in and were taken to the surgical floor. The nurse told Joe to remove his clothes and put on the gown. They asked him a million questions and took his vitals. Then the anesthesia nurse came and talked to him and answered Joe's questions. Joe said, "Just don't kill me." LOL The surgical nurse came and we found out that she was Italian...Joe was in good hands. The doctor came just before the scheduled time and answered questions and prayed with us. He was taken to surgery after hugs and kisses and see you laters. We went to the waiting room. Each patient is given a # and we could look at a big computer like screen on the wall to see where he was in the surgical,recovery room 1, recovery room 2, or ICU etc. Everything was color coded and easy to read. We could watch the board to see if he was still in surgery. Well, the surgery took much less time that the doctor told us. Just 1 1/2 hrs. When he went to recovery, the doctor came and talked to us. He brought out a couple of x rays to give Joe. He explained the surgery showing us on the x ray. Then we waited for about 4 hours. They kept coming out and telling us how he was doing. When they said that he was talking and questioning everything...I knew it wouldn't be long before we would be able to join him in his room. This part of the hospital is brand new and his room is very nice, but very small for two beds. Dan and Melody went home and I stayed on to arrange his things. They rolled him for the first time and raised him up in the bed. He winced when they did this. I wish that I could have seen his incision...I'll try to tomorrow. When I left he was getting a drink of water, and they were going to put on some stockings that will prevent blood clots and inhalation therapy had been called for his C pap machine. I left and came right home. I am so's harder to sit for 8 hours than it is to do physical work. Joe just called and said that he is still doing well...and when was I coming tomorrow?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Here it is the day before surgery. We are as ready as you can be. We both have nervous energy today.....doing little things that really don't matter, just to stay busy. Phone calls from friends and family are keeping Joe busy too. What would life be without our friends and family? We are to be there at 9 AM...we will probably be there early...we always are. I'm trying to stay busy and not nap today. Hopefully, we will get a good night's sleep, as tomorrow will be long. If you want to read more about my on my other blog.... will be my last entry until it's all over. I'll post something when I get home tomorrow. Please keep Joe in your prayers.

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Waiting Game

Here's where you will find us in the late afternoon and early evening. Our little porch gets a lot of use.
It seems that we have waited so long. We are impatient people these days. We want everything now. When you are is doubly hard. Joe's day starts with his crawling out of bed. He has to get limbered up before he can start walking. After moving around in the bedroom a bit he is pretty good. He can tolerate a lot of pain,but I see him wince with pain often. He does several things inside the house and is able to drive. The car seat is the most comfortable place for him to sit. Wish we could bring it in the living room. After our big meal of the day in the afternoon, he is ready to lie down. Sometimes he naps. The TV is a Godsend in the bedroom. What did we do without TV? We complain about "nothing being on" but what a wonderful thing it bring us hours of entertainment. You can only read so long. We sit on the porch in the late afternoon and early evening. Sometimes people come over to visit. Our neighbors have all been great. Several have already helped us and others have offered their help for after he comes home. The neighbor kids come over and entertain us. We had a treat the other day....the little girls sang Jingle Bells for us and they played Simon Says. We all had an ice cream treat. Well, this 4th of July won't be the usual around here. No picnics or family get togethers. Joe has ordered steak, baked potato, corn on the cob and brownies for dinner that day. After the weekend is over, the time will go so fast. Then it will be surgery day and our wait will be over.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Today found us at the Spine Clinic in Rockford. Joe was taken in a bit early and the Dr. was very patient...answering all of his questions. Then the nurse came out to take me in to meet the Dr. My first impression was that he was very serious about the job ahead. A no nonsense man. He answered my questions completely...showing me Joe's x rays and pointing to the problem areas. He had a model of a spine and used that in his explanation. There was no hurrying...he had left plenty of time for us. The surgery will take a couple of hours. He can expect to stay in the hospital for 3 -4 days. I suppose that I will be told how to help Joe get out of bed and a chair and other things before he leaves the hospital. As the Dr. was going to the door, he turned and said that he would say a prayer in the OR before surgery starts. It seems that Joe's Dr. will ask the Great Physician for guidance. So everything is set for the 6th of July. It can't come soon enough for us. It's been a long wait for someone who hurts.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

June 21st.....The Blood Work is Done

Joe had an appointment at OSF for blood work and he thought to meet the anesthesiologist. We arrived about 15 min. early and he was taken in and he was asked a million questions. They did the blood work and gave him a brochure with instructions on care before and after surgery. He has some breathing exercises to do and that's about it until the appt. next week with the surgeon. They suggested that he quit smoking before surgery. He's following Drs. suggestions and this is his 3rd day without a cigarette. This is really tough. I've never smoked, but just about all my family members used to. The hardest habit to get rid of. He's doing just great.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Getting the House Ready.

We have been getting ready for Joe's surgery. He's started planning what he will need to help him recover more comfortably. We got rid of the throw rugs, we got rid of the recliner and bought a straight back wing chair with ottoman, he already had a raised toilet seat, we took off the glass shower doors, meals are being prepared and stored in the freezer, he's ordered a couple of books, a new cooler blanket for our bed, and now the latest....(we have a TV in the bedroom already) on Friday a big TV, to hang on the wall, is being delivered. Anything to keep him comfortable and happy. We decided that we won't be going anywhere this summer, so why not get a nice TV for our bedroom. We will be able to watch DVD's...movies our favorite. So, the last couple of days have been cleaning days. The bedroom is ready and we are anxious.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Surgery Date is Set

Things are finally moving faster toward the day he will have surgery. July 6th is the date. Before that he will meet with the anesthesiologist and have blood work on the 22nd of June. An appointment with the surgeon will be after that...then at 11 AM, on July 6th he will have surgery. The time has gone so slowly...especially for him, as he is in so much pain. TV is a Godsend in situations like this. It kind of takes your mind off things and the one in our bedroom is probably going to be replaced by a new one...maybe on the wall. I've been cooking his old favorites and we spend a lot of time together, watching TV in the bedroom. Books to read, a photo album to work on for the Grotto, and other things will be here for him, when it's all over and he feels like doing something. I hope and pray that this surgery will go well, and that he will be back to his old self before too long.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Beginning...June 9, 2010

Joe just found out that he has to have back surgery. First the Dr. wanted him to have a test for heart blockage. We went this morning and found out that it would take between 3 - 5 hours. We registered and went to the imaging dept. We waited a few minutes until they came out and asked some questions and then they took him in for the first part of the test. Then he came out and sat with me in the waiting room for 45 min. Then they took him back and he came out for another 45 min. He was really in a lot of pain and walking gingerly around the room with his cane. He asked if he could lie down and wait for the next phase. The next time I saw him...he was ready to go home. This test is called Cardiac Nuclear Imaging. It's a way of checking blood flow through the muscles of the heart. They put a tracer (small amt. of radioactive matter into the bloodstream. Then a camera follows the flow through the heart muscle. I was so glad that the test was was Joe. We joked about him glowing in the dark tonight.
On the way home, we stopped and bought a new chair. The salesman met us with a wheelchair and took him around the store to make a selection. What a nice caring and concerned.This chair was bought so fast...he sat in 3 chairs and chose the first one. A wing back chair and ottoman. He sits straight up in that chair and it will be perfect after surgery. No recliners are allowed. We are home now and he is resting in bed. It was a tough day. We left here at 8:15 AM and were home at 3PM. We were talking about how this kind of pre op treatment is so hard on people who are hurting. You used to go to the hospital and have all the tests after you were admitted. You were in your room and they came to get you with a wheel chair and brought you back after the tests. Now they send you here and there...not really thinking about the wear and tear on the patient. There's something to be said about the "good old days"