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Day 5 morning update

Still going strong!! Paul was awake and alert this morning and got good reports from his doctors. He had no fever last night so it looks like he may have that licked ūüôā They also removed the Foley catheter this morning which means one more tube is GONE! We took a very long walk this morning around the floor and we now know how to unplug and cap things off so we can walk anytime! Paul is also able to stand at the sink and brush his teeth and he will shave later on today.

We also had a great visit with one of the hospital chaplains. They have visited and prayed with us every day and it’s a great re-charge to our spiritual system! God continues to provide for our every need!

Paul is sitting up and surfing this morning but he looks a little sleepy in the eyes…..Zzzzzzzzzz…..so I suspect he will take a little snooze later while I slip out for lunch ūüėÄ Will report more later!

Keep those prayers coming!

Day 3- AM Update

Dr Halff and his chief resident just came in to visit. They said Paul is doing well and they are happy he wants to get up and move around. That will help his system get up and running again. I asked him when he thought Paul would get discharged and he said Wednesday or Thursday of next week. That surprised both of us.

Everything we read indicated a 7-10 day recovery period so this SHOULDN’T come as a shock to us….but the recovery times are based on they typical patient and that is a person 65-70 years old. It certainly isn’t unrealistic to expect a person 30 years younger than that to recover faster so we pretty much banked on a Monday release date.

But we did plan for this…….

So hopefully I can find a hotel room SOMEWHERE in San Antonio through Sunday and I will have to come home on Monday….with or without him…….

He assured me he would be fine for a day or two and I will just have to drive back up to retrieve him once he is released. I HATE the idea of him being here alone under ANY circumstances so I may drive back and forth those days…..I don’t know……that is still very fluid at the moment……it all depends on how he is coming along……and how much a gallon of gas costs! ha ha!

Now as Dr. Halff left the room, his chief resident (who has been caring for Paul since we checked in and I have to say, we REALLY like him!) leaned over and whispered “Monday….he is recovering much faster than most patients!” so we will see….a Monday release date would be optimal for us BUT we ARE prepared to deal if it ends up being Wednesday or Thursday. We both recognize this isn’t something that can be rushed….

So for those worrying that he is going to overdo don’t worry….I got him on a leash and he isn’t going ANYWHERE until I am CONFIDENT I can care for him on my own….I Promise! No rushing this……

And I saw the boo boo……oh man….they gutted my poor baby…….it starts right at the sternum and goes straight down, around the belly button and about another 2″ below that……it’s HUGE and he is all stapled up like Frankenstein! But there is no seeping and no redness (they are really pumping the antibiotics in him!) and everything looks pretty healthy (to my untrained eye). He has some soreness but that’s from getting in and out of bed and is perfectly normal. They love that he is up and moving around!

He also got the IV in his hand removed, they took him off the oxygen and he go a bath from a cute nurse so it’s a banner day so far for Paul! He is resting now and hopefully we will take a little stroll later on! Thanks again for all the well wishes and prayers!!

Post Surgery Day 2

 Day 2 was GREAT! I came in and Paul was pretty bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. He was VERY happy I brought his laptop so he could do a little Facebooking and surfing. They had already moved him to a chair by the time I got there.

Dr. Halff came in with his trail of ducklings (residents!) and announced that Paul has the best lungs the ICU had ever seen! He checked him out and said his recovery is remarkable and to keep up the good work!

So we sat around and dozed and surfed and listened to some tunes today. Not much more than that though. Paul is still pretty tired and couldn’t concentrate very well. Paul insisted we did do a little work though with me returning some phone calls and taking dictation for some e-mails for Little Dog Entertainment…..can you believe?? It may have only been for 30 minutes but he WORKED the day after this surgery! lol! That’s my man!

He finally got moved into a private room out of ICU around 5pm. We shared our Skyline Chili recipe with our favorite¬†ICU Nurse Juliana and we loaded Paul up for a chair ride to the other side of the 12th floor! See Ya! It’s much quieter so I am certain he will get a restful sleep tonight. I was there¬†when they got him into bed and he is doing unbelievably¬†well. The hardest thing about moving is all those tubes! But we got him in without incident and it felt great for him to stretch out again after a big day sitting up! So I tucked him all in, gave him lots of smooches and headed back to my temp homestead for some leftover Chinese food.

I know there have been some questions about all his tubes and wires and why can’t he have ice chips and things like that. Here is what he has:

tube down into his nose into his stomach– a surgery like this is pretty traumatic on the system and it essentially shuts down for a few days. unfortunately the body continues to produce acid so they use the tube to drain it out. This prevents ulcers, irritation of incision sites, etc.¬† Once there is evidence his system is up and running again (he passes gas) they will remove the tube and he may start with ice chips. Until then NO FLUIDS at all. He is burping and that is a sign things are starting to work again but we still need a good fart! Paul is pretty much a pro at farting so this shouldn’t take long! ha ha ha!

epidural-still has the epidural for pain control and will have that in until his system is up and running and he can take pain medication orally.

catheter-this will stay in as long as the epidural is in. We don’t need Paul peeing all over himself since he is pretty much numb from chest to knees.

Central Line-Paul has a central line in his neck with 3 ports on it. It’s temporarily stitched in and dressed with a bandage. The 3 ports hang out and they hook up his fluids, antibiotics or any other fun things they need to pour into him. Today he got a cocktail for protecting the lining of his stomach and small intestine!

Drain Lines- Paul has three drain tubes. One on either side of the incision and one towards the middle. This drains any blood and excess fluid from the incision area. They drain into bulbs (like a turkey baster! lol!). 

He also has one more small IV in his hand and is taking oxygen. That’s a lot of tubes! They are constantly monitoring these fluids and have reported everything looks exactly like it’s supposed to!

The plan for tomorrow is to get him up and walking some. Paul did mention when he got out of bed and into the chair this morning he could feel things moving around in there.¬†Getting him up and moving around will help get his system started again.¬† Once we do that they will take out the tube in his nose and he can start on some clear liquids. And that’s all this poor man wants is some water! Those that know Paul well rarely see him without a big tumbler of water with lots of ice and lemon! That’s been the hardest part according to him! So hopefully he will get that reward after a good show tomorrow!

thank you again for all the prayers and well wishes!

Time To Get Organized

Well, it’s finally here….time to get serious about this surgery…..everyone has been listening to us bitch about how bored we are and how tired we are of waiting but now that it’s time to start mobilizing the troops…….I don’t want too……but I will of course….once we get rolling I will be ok…..it’s the getting started part that is tough….

What do I have to do? Well, things I couldn’t do until now….I want the house clean and nice for my mother in-laws¬†stay so that means cleaning of bathroom and bedroom, fresh sheets, pick up and dust, etc……it’s my mother in law so I am not going to go hog-wild¬†but its current state is simply not acceptable……I have been a little lax these last few weeks in the area of housekeeping….

We also need to grocery shop. It’s a pretty big deal with 2 teens in the house and knowing you won’t be back for 7-10 days. Rachel wants to do some cooking so we will make sure she has ingredients for some of her “special dishes”.¬† I am quite sure friends will want to bring stuff and my family is the EASIEST to cook for! They love just about EVERYTHING! Chicken dishes, tacos, salads, pork, beef and seafood…they love it all. Not huge fans of spaghetti but love lasagna. Seriously, if anyone is wanting to bring something by,¬†the kids and Grandma love it all ūüėÄ

Some have asked me what Paul will be able to eat when he comes home. From what we have read, they will have him on soft foods by the time he leaves so I am assuming he will be able to eat chicken, pastas, mashed potatoes and things like that. I am certain we will want to steer clear of anything too spicy or too heavy. Since this surgery involves removing his gall bladder Paul will need to steer clear of high fat foods as well so nothing fried and we will need to lay off the heavy butter and oils. So things like a nice stew or casserole will be great! And by the way, Paul LOVES puddings and pies and pretty much any flavor! lol!

If any readers have experience in the area of eating after a Whipple procedure, we would LOVE to hear from you!

The biggest difference he will experience is he won’t be able to eat a lot. This surgery will involve a resectioning¬†of his stomach and small intestine so he will have to change his eating patterns to small portions 6 times a day vs. two large meals….as he is accustomed to eating……this will be a challenge for the free-lance musician/booking agent owner who spends a lot of evenings working gigs…..that lifestyle doesn’t exactly support healthy eating habits…..but his clever wife already has that under control with a little cooler and an ice pack! Have snacks will travel!

Other than that we still need to get a hotel room in S. A.¬† Paul has been playing phone tag with the Cancer Society to see what they have available. I want to make sure it isn’t a country mile away from the hospital. Otherwise we may just Priceline it and Paul has always done GREAT on Priceline…..you should try it sometime!

I am a little concerned about how much rehearsal time I am going to miss. I think I can keep it at a minimum provided he recovers well, which we anticipate. This one is still fluid at the moment…..we just can’t tell until we see how he does after surgery……and truth me told, I have my song down so it just needs some fine tuning and I don’t have too many lines so I am confident I can keep up ūüėÄ

What we are hoping for is a day or two in ICU then 5 – 7 more days in a private room then he gets sent home. Paul is bringing this huge binder with the scores for The Producers and Full Monty so he can help transpose the music into a smaller instrumentation. I would like to publicly¬†thank JESUS for getting us these scores and providing my husband something to KEEP HIM BUSY during this hospital stay! THANK YOU LORD! So now he won’t be looking at ME saying how BORED he is! ……. I can see it now….”Honey, I am working here. Don’t you have a rehearsal you can go to?” HA HA¬†HA HA! We can only hope and pray!

The children will be under the watchful eye of Grandma, church family and our theatre/teacher friends! I’ll be putting a schedule together for their weeks worth of activities and setting up some logistics with friends for rides and things. Thankfully we live in such a small town and everything is so close by I have dozens of people I can call on to shuttle a kid home from a school or church activity. Another blessing I can count!

So it’s time to start putting that plan in motion! Let’s get on with it!

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