Monday, July 31, 2006

We are awaiting a bed ... of all things. Once a bed is available at the Dallas location, we're on our way. Hopefully, tomorrow will be the day.

The address is: Baylor Specialty Hospital in Dallas, 3504 Swiss Ave, Dallas, TX 75204.
Check out our gift from Ross and promises hours of fun:
Flipping and flopping ... looks like Dallas will be our home. I have it on "good" authority that the care at Dallas will be much more to our liking than the care at Irving ... this has a lot to do with politics ... money ... a guarantee of saftety ... a certain doctor that sends the majority of his patients to a certain hospital and therefore has great pull .... The drama!

We're not certain when Chuck will be transferred...we're still hoping today is the day. Please pray for good doctors (which we've been guaranteed at Dallas), gentle nurses, enthusiatic therapists, and nerves of steel for Chuck.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Chuck asks me everyday, "Is today the day I move?" He's soooo ready, and so am I. I realize, we must wait until Monday to get anywhere with the move, but I've called every doctor and rep I can think of to prepare them ... so that there is NO doubt; we do not want to go to Dallas. Alas, I am trying to be patient in the waiting. Please pray the switch to Irving goes through without a hitch.

Chuck is progressing ... some glitches with nutrition...but steady forward movement. Everything else (lungs, wounds, spirit) is progressing.

Please continue to pray for healing. Also, pray for his next assignment...that the staff will be kind...and courageous enough to handle Chuck through rehab! God's blessings to all!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

All is looking fine. Chuck's tired, and a bit more grumpy. The more grumpy part is EXCELLENT...this means he's getting better.

My sister, Kelli, leaves this evening. It's been great having her here, as she's been a HUGE help with organizing everything. I'm going to miss her!

Kelli and Christy went to look at the hospital in Dallas and gave it half a star ... out of five. Thus, I've alerted the doctors that we do NOT want to transfer downtown...too loud and busy. It will be interesting to see how everything works out....Hopefully, we will be transfering to Baylor Specialty in Irving. I'll keep you posted as the drama unfolds ... thank God for sisters ... can you imagine Chuck in a noisy place?? That would set him back weeks.

The Millers and the Zapatas have arrived! They are here to support and encourage. Again, the blessings abound.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Okay, we are planning to move on Monday or Tuesday ... to Baylor Specialty, which is downtown Dallas. The address is 3504 Swiss Avenue, Dallas TX, 75204. The number is 214-820-9798.

All looks good this morning. Please pray for nutrition. Chuck's j-peg tube keeps his food gets backed up. Currently, nutrition is flowing AND Chuck is able to drink ensure and the like.

We're keeping the faith and encouraging you to do the same.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Chuck is resting comfortably. His surgery went very well. Dr. Young was able to clean and close the pressure sore. She also reinforced the area surrounding the sore; adding a stitch or two here and there to the incision line. Not only was she pleased with this surgery, she was pleased with the healing taking place on his back. "On the flip side," she noted that the wound on Chuck's abdomen is virtually healed. Her comment: "If he can heal like that in the front, he can heal like that in the back." I am very encouraged and praise God for this excellent news.

Tomorrow, we are trying"Take Two" of the assessment with Baylor Specialty hospital. They are sending someone to see if Chuck is ready to move OUT of critical care and into an accute care place.

We praise God for Chuck's wonderful improvements! We ask for prayers for his digestion and wounds.

Keep the faith.
Update on our blessings: my sister Kelli has come for a visit! Each of my family members has come to minister to me in their own special way. I just love how Shea would sit with me ... pat me on the back ... pray over me. I just love how Kelli came in, surveyed my needs, and immediately organized solutions. I love how my dad came in and soothed me with soft words and firm back rubs. I love how Mom and Dad P. are constant ... they are present through everything ... letting me know that I'm never alone. I love how Christy comes to talk and laugh with me ... letting me relax in her presence. I love how Tony comes up to boost Chuck ... he keeps Chuck grounded in who he is beyond the hospital room. God has blessed me with SUCH a great family...not to mention the spouses (Heather, Jonah, Greg, Read, Diann) who support all of us with their sacrifices and energy.

As far as friends coming, I must quote my dear friend, Ellie:"The power of prayer is great, but the power of love and laughter is no slouch either." Indeed!

Prayers for today:
  • Praise for all the support and love
  • Praise for improvements in lung function and in spirit
  • Please pray for a smooth surgery today ... that the skin adheres beautifully, that his skin heals, heals, heals. Dr. Young will perform the surgery. Pray for steady, gentle hands that bring healing to Chuck's body.
  • Please pray for nutrition. I'm awaiting a meeting with the gatro doc. Nutrition is blocked currently ... not sure why. Chuck's stomach continues to swell.

Keeping the faith!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Showers of blessings are pouring down on us ... we're using buckets to catch all of the love, support, and encouragement ... however, this stuff cannot be contained! I praise God for how he has used you, yes YOU reading this right now, to bless us.

Chuck is continuing to gain strength. His lungs are stronger; his arms are stronger; his whole body is stronger due to better nutrition; and his spirits are a bit improved. The two concerns currently are his wounds and his gut. Yes, he is tolerating tube feeds. However, his stomach continues to get distended ... which pulls his skin taught ... which stresses the skin that we want to heal. As for his wounds, a new sore was discovered today ... not in a vital area like the one on his back, but nonetheless, a sore.

Chuck has had difficulty recovering from his last few surgeries. Please pray he flies through this one ... and comes out on the other end stronger than ever.

Keeping the faith.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Gut check time. Without a doubt ... Chuck Picciuti is the most gutsy guy I've ever known. Alas, his gut is giving him fits today. It continues to swell. The doc ordered an N.G. tube (from nose to stomach) in order to pull out gas. This has helped minimally. The tube is a HUGE pain, however. Chuck has been a trooper ... I'm doubting the tube will survive more than two days. That seems to be Chuck's record ... then he calmly pulls it out. Radiology is x-raying his stomach to see if there's a visible issue.

Chuck's had a busy day: trach collar for 2 hours, occupational therapy, and sitting in a chair for almost 2 hours, x-rays every 30 minutes. I believe he will be doing the trach collar again this evening.

Surgery is officially scheduled for Thursday at 4:20. Please pray for steady hands, NO complications, speedy recovery, and no more skin issues. Please continue to pray for his lungs, his nutrition, his spirit, and his wounds.

I praise God for Chuck's fabulous improvements and pray for continued success.

Monday, July 24, 2006

All systems are a go. Chuck's nutrition is holding. However, wonder of wonders, he's been allowed clear liquids! Praise God, this is a joyous day indeed ... apple juice, popsicles, sodas, broths! Tomorrow he will maybe get some cream of wheat types of foods!

Chuck's lungs look "good," according to Dr. Taylor. Of course, "good" is a relative term ... I think it means better than yesterday. Chuck did the trach collar twice today. The first time he went 1 hour and 45 minutes. The second time he went 1 hour and 15 minutes. Not too shabby.

Please pray concerning Chuck's pressure sore. It is directly over a vital piece of hardware. There is still "talk" about a quickie plastics surgery on Wednesday or Thursday ... but nothing has been confirmed.

I thank God for the amazing improvements Chuck has had ... my prayer is that he absolutely puzzles the doctors with his progress in healing.

Keep the faith!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Thursday through Suday has been just incredible for me and Chuck. We've been surrounded by friends and family ... covering us in prayer, boosting our spirits, encouraging us to finish this race!

Paul, Mindy, and baby Esther arrived Thursday and gave us a big spiritual shot in the arm ... praying over us ... and calling others to pray. Mindy and Esther stayed through til today (a huge sacrifice to the Brouse family). Tod, Nicole, Ross, and Laura arrived Friday night. They've been a huge help ... full of encouragement and support. Then, Chris arrived this morning. First thing this morning, Chuck asked to see "the guys." What a blessing! (I won't go into detail concerning the now infamous apple juice incident. Just know that Chuck is still the same ol' Chuck ... but perhaps had honed his con skills a bit.)

The Brouses, the Kuennings, and the Davises did some comparison shopping ... going from motel to motel near the hospital. After much work, they picked a place and bought me a WEEK at an extended stay hotel. It has absolutely everything I need. Then ... they stocked my refrigerator! My cup runneth over. The only sad part ... is being away from Mom and Dad for a week. However, I'm super close to Chuck ... so I can sleep more AND still see more of him.

My dad, Dianne, and Shea all arrived Saturday night. It's soooo great having them here. Then, to wrap up the festive weekend, the crew bought Chuck's dad a birthday cake (today is his big day). We all sang happy birthday in the ICU waiting room. It was great getting to share something joyous in this place.

AND NOW, for Chuck's report: almost everything is improving, so praise for that. He does have a pressure sore on his back. It may require another quickie surgery...Wednesday or later. Please be praying concerning this new wound. Please pray it heals on its own ... that it looks better and better everyday.

Keep the faith.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Everything is stable. Nutrition is being tolerated; lungs are the same; wounds are staying closed; swelling is down; mood is less depressed.

We are praying for full recovery; that God breathe life into every fiber of Chuck's being. Please pray for Chuck's lung compliance to improve. We are trusting in Jehovah Rapha - the God who heals.

God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him...I'm trying to relax and feel satisfaction with God's perfect plan. Please pray for me to feel the peace that passes all understanding.

Keep the faith.

Friday, July 21, 2006

We are praising God for his goodness ... Chuck is showing improvement in all areas. Thank you for covering Chuck in prayer! We are believing in Chuck's full recovery...we are praising God for his faithfulness. Just as my faith and hope had run out ... God sent friends and family to hug me, pray with me, pray for me, pray over Chuck. It is amazing to witness God answer prayer. Thank you for your comments on the blog ... you've helped breathe life back into my wearied soul. I praise God and give him the glory for all he's done and all he's going to do!

Chuck's nutrition is on target; his lungs look better today than yesterday; his spirits are up a bit; his wounds are stable.

Keep the faith!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

We are all breathing a sigh of relief today. Chuck looks better. Every single staff person has commented on it.

Everything is stable ... and for that we are most grateful. We are praying for a supernatural healing. We are praying to a faithful God who loves and adores Chuck.

We are believing in Chuck's full recovery.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Update from Stacie:

There are mixed reviews from the doctors. Via Stacie, Dr. Shelokov sounded displeased and gravely concerned upon first seeing Chuck this morning. After he has met will all of Chuck's specialists, he will be calling me for "the big talk." I'm not sure what he'll have to say, but I do know that it is just an opinion. God is bigger than this whole thing. The only doctor whom I can fully trust is The Great Physician.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Update from Eric and Stacie:

  • Chuck is tolerating the tube feeds.
  • His spirits are quite low. Please pray as intently for his spiritual and mental healing as you do for his physical healing.
  • His wounds look fine = no new issues.

Because Chuck is tolerating the feedings and has no new wound issues, Eric is satisfied. Dr. Shelokov returns tonight from a two week absence. I pray he will bring new energy and insight to Chuck's case. He'll charge in there and really take command ... I pray.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Thanks for all the support! Everyone has been so kind; Mom, Christy, Mechelle ... with their words and presence; Dad with his steadiness (reminds me soo of Chuck!); Stacie coming to offer her time and energy; ALL of you who are praying, sending emails of support, bringing me meals and comfort (Jen and Jenny!!); encouraging me at work (Lynn, Bob-O and Susan, Amy, Terry, Jean, Jennifer, Jane, Catherine, Chipper, Suzanne, Sally, Beverly, Mary, John, Stan, Thyra). Whew, my cup runneth over.

Eric's report today is wonderfully positive. Of course, I've been advised by very wise people to remain calm in the face of good or bad news. This is a slow and steady climb up ... with alternating rises and falls. Today's gentle rise:
  • Chuck is tolerating some nourishment through his j-peg. They've rigged him up so that he has a tube going from his nose into his stomach. This tube pulls out gas bubbles. Then, the food is fed through the j-peg (which goes into his small intestine ... totally bypassing the stomach). For now, this is working ok. For that, I am calmly thankful.
  • Chuck's wounds look good = no new issues. Note how calm I am?

Thank you God! Please continue to pray for Chuck's nutrition.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The doctors are getting really creative! Bless them, I gave all of them a really hard time yesterday ... asking them to do what is not their job to do = fix Chuck immediately! They graciously handled my brief (let's hope) stint with insanity, and are currently pulling out all stops to help Chuck.

Dr. Biederman (kidneys) has created a concoction to trick Chuck's kidneys into pulling liquid into his cells so his body can release tons of liquid ... while at the same time keeping his chemistry somewhat intact so nothing goes wrong with the heart (truly amazing). The gastro doc (didn't get his name), has reinserted the nose tube in order to pull out gas from Chuck's stomach. At the same time, the nutritionist (whom I demanded, during my tirade, march herself up to the hospital on Saturday ... her day off ... ) graciously and patiently put together a new formula to put through Chuck's j-peg. His stomach is still a tiny bit bloated ... but no longer distended.

I must say, the staff did an excellent job yesterday of taking a tired, frightened, slightly insane wife (think Shirley McClain in Terms of Endearment), looking beyond her rants, and responding with loving kindness. Thank you, God! I am humbled and grateful.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Chuck's swelling has decreased. He will be getting a new bed to help with any breakdown in his skin. It is a sand bed ... kinda like a sand box but less messy. With his swelling and inability to heal, his skin is a huge concern right now. Apparently, one needs the skin to stay closed in order to protect all the stuff inside. Who knew?

The x-ray series showed that there is no blockage in Chuck's intestines. This is fantastic. However, we are still left with the question; why can Chuck not tolerate nutrition through his digestive tract? Alas, for now we simply wait and watch.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Strike that ... reverse it. Chuck will remain here ... at Baylor Regional ... until his wounds heal.

"Praise You in This Storm"
by Casting Crowns
I was sure by now
That You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining
As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away
I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
Every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm
I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry
You raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can't find You
As the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away
I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth
Chuck has that cute, puffy-faced, post-operative look about him. He's a bit swollen, but this will subside. He's in a bit of pain, as he no longer has the morphine drip. This is his first post-operative time without the drip, so he's more uncomfortable than ususal.

Radiology has begun the intestinal x-ray series. They injected dye into his j-tube, and have been x-raying his gut every hour. This should provide the much needed answer to the question, "Why can't he tolerate food?" Hopefully we'll know soon.

A representative from Baylor Specialty Hospital came to assess Chuck. She agrees with me, that he is quite handsome. Aside from that, she thinks he'll be moved on Monday. She also believes he will be ready for rehab after no more than three weeks in their facility. They have an EXCELLENT wound care program, not to mention their ventilator program. Whew ... home stretch??

This will be his new address: Baylor Specialty Hospital of Dallas; 3504 Swill Avenue; Dallas, TX 75204. The number is (214) 820-9790 or 1-888-7BAYLOR.
Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The surgery went well. I have not seen him yet, but this is the report from the docs:
  • two screws were removed
  • all wounds were closed

Current concern: Dr. Young notes that his back incision keeps trying to "unzip." It is not healing nor is the bone (which has hardware attached to it). This is because he is not getting adequate nutrition. Please pray they figure out a way to feed my husband!! TPN (intravaneous stuff) is not going to take care of his healing needs. He has yet to tolerate food in this handy dandy j-peg. If he does not get adequate nutrition, his wounds will continue to open. Pray hard!

Chuck's looking good. The goals for today are to find the problem in his digestive tract and to repair his back.

To locate the source of his digestive issue, a dye will be injected into his j-peg. Every thirty minutes, his gut will be x-rayed. Hopefully, the guilty section will make itself known. I do not know what happens after that.

His surgery is at 4:00. It should take about 2 hours. They will remove one screw, and pull together muscle and skin to repair the hole that the screw created. Further down his back (along the scar line), are two open areas. Dr. Young will clean the areas, remove any dead tissue, and try to close them.

Tomorrow at lunch time, someone from Baylor Specialty Hospital will come over to assess Chuck. This means his move is close!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

It's gonna be one of those days ... the kind where God builds character:

  • Chuck is not doing as well on the trach collar as he has been. Not sure why. No one seems worried about it ... except for me ... but I don't get to write the orders around here (thank goodness)! For now, he's using the ventilator. We're both sorely disappointed, but have received encouragement from the staff that this is not a set-back.
  • Everything else is looking good! I need to take a moment to reflect on that ... because "everything else" is really quite fantastic.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Chuck's gut is looking great today. It has been distended and hard; today it is soft. He has not be nauseous for two days now. Looks like they will try a trickle feed again ... to slowly wake up his digestive tract.

His breathing is moving right along. He went five hours this morning off the vent. He's taking a brief break, then back off he goes.

He sat in a chair for two hours this morning! I walked into the room, and there sat my BIG, TALL husband. Crazy, joyous sight to see!

Surgery has been scheduled for this Thursday at 4:00. It should last about two hours. Please pray for no complications, for speedy healing, and for fully-functioning lungs.

He's come so far! Just a bit further, and we're home. Which reminds me, we are opting to stay here in Dallas for rehab.

TONS o' love from us to you.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Afternoon report:

The screw poking up is not coming loose. It is at the part of his back that curves the most, so it sticks out farther than the others. They will remove the screw, and do some fancy plastic work to pull muscle and skin over that area. They will also remove the screw above that one as well since it sticks out a bit, too. This will not affect the stability of his rods. The surgery will have to wait until Chuck's front side is in better shape. He still has healing wounds. He'll be on his stomach for the surgery, so it must be in better shape. Now, if the screw breaks through the skin, all bets are off and he goes straight to the O.R. I'll keep you posted on his progress.

He has been on the trach collar for eight hours now. He'll get a break, and then back on he goes! His gut is still misbehaving. They changed up his meds, hoping to get his intestines to do their thang. So, GREAT report for breathing ... and decent report for the gut...he gets an overall B average.

Thanks for your prayers!
Morning update:

The screw issue is being watched carefully. There are two theories: 1) Chuck's skin is just too thin to cover the screws; 2) the screws are working their way out. To determine which theory is correct, Chuck has gone for X-rays. We'll know more later. There does not seem to be any huge concern, which comforts me.

Today the focus is Chuck's breathing and his gut issues. He has been on the trach collar since 7:30 and seems very relaxed. His stats are great = respitory rate, oxygen saturation, heart rate ... all perfection. Sadly, his gut is still giving him fits. It has grown lazy...just sitting there for seven weeks! His feedings have stopped. The plan is to give him a break, and then slowly initiate food into his digestive system again. This just takes time.

Once again, I am overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and support from people. Just this past weekend, Chuck's poker buddies got together for the very first Chips for Chuck Challenge. Can you imagine? They raised enough cash to cover several flights back and forth from SA to Dallas. Thank you so much!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Bad new first:
Chuck has a couple of screws loose ... quite literally. He has a pressure sore on his back (DANG!), and one of his screws is trying to peek through it. The screw is not exposed, which is good. There is another screw above this area that is also trying to make its way up and out. Before you ask, I have no idea what this means for his recovery. This may require another trip to the O.R. to remove the screws. As my dear friend Ellie says, "We shall see what we shall see."

Chuck is doing super fantastic on the trach collar. He did five hours earlier today. He's getting a two hour break, then he'll go on for three or four more hours. The hope is that he will go all day on the collar tomorrow! Thank you Lord Jesus!

The Raney family visited me today. Funny how God will send people at just the right time. I was a bit bummed about the pressure sore issue. The Raneys took care of me in my dispair...with food, laughter, hugs and kisses. Thank you God for Chris, Denise, and their PRECIOUS kids.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Mom and Dad have taken EXCELLENT care of Chuck. While I was away ... he sat up and started doing much better on the trach collar!

This morning Chuck was able to stay on the trach collar for 4.5 hours. That's a RECORD. However, he dreads it ... can't stand it...deplores it. Please pray for a peace to wash over his anxious spirit.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Someone at work sent this quote today. I thought it described the last six weeks perfectly:

"Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity."
Gilda Radner

Chuck had an excellent day today. He got out of bed for about an hour! Mom tells me that everyone on the floor stopped by to see him. I can't wait to get a look at him for myself!

The word on the street is that Chuck will be leaving Baylor Regional late next week. We are still trying to figure out where to go. There are benefits to staying in Dallas, and benefits to coming to San Antonio. Once we have more information, we'll make our decision. For now, we'll savor this delicious ambiguity.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Update from Mom:
  • Nothing much happened today. Dr. Taylor goes back and forth on the decision to put in a chest tube. Today, he thinks Chuck is fine without no chest tube. He'll reassess tomorrow.
  • Chuck's brace was delivered, but not put to use. Maybe tomorrow?
  • Chuck has been receiving some nutrition through his J peg. Once that goes well, they will stop the intravaneous feed.
  • Trach trials have slowed down a bit.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Update from Mom:

  • The mold for Chuck's brace has been created. His brace may be ready tomorrow. This means he may get to sit up tomorrow! Please pray, as I'm sure this first time will be challenging and uncomfortable.
  • The j-peg procedure went fine. Chuck will start receiving nourishment through the tube tomorrow. This should vastly improve everything ... swelling should stop, he'll have energy to exercise his lungs, he'll have the calories he needs to heal!
  • Chuck is doing FANTASTIC on the trach collar. This morning he went over two hours. The respitory therapist plans to push him for three hours this evening. Please pray for Chuck, as this is torture for him.
  • The chest tube will wait until tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 4th! Those of you who know Chuck well know that he is not one to celebrate holidays ... however, the 4th is an exception.

Thanks for your prayers. Daily, your prayers are being answered. Daily, I forget to thank God for what he's done and what he's continuing to do. It seems I am constantly asking for more, but forgetting to celebrate my blessings. Here are just a few (as God has blessed me far beyond the word limit allowed on this post):
  1. Chuck's surgery was successful.
  2. Chuck has excellent doctors and nurses.
  3. Chuck's heart, liver, and platellet issues have been resolved.
  4. Chuck's infection has cleared up.
  5. Chuck's lungs are okay.
  6. Chuck is alert.
  7. Chuck is able to communicate.
  8. Chuck is getting nourishment.

This is the plan for this week:

  • Wednesday he'll get the J peg ... or G tube ... funny thing I've discovered, there are a zillion names for the same thing. In any case, they are putting a tube into his stomach.
  • Wednesday he'll get a chest tube (the fluid pulled off yesterday is already back).
  • Chuck will be fitted for a brace sometime this week.
  • Chuck might be able to sit up and dangle his feet off the bed. He might even get out of bed!

Please thank God for ... well, for everything. Tons of love to you all!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Aside from needing a shave, Chuck looks really great. Here's the latest:
  • No fever!
  • He looks more comfortable with the trach collar. His time ranges from 20-30 minutes.
  • Earlier today, Dr. Taylor was able to pull about 1 liter of fluid from around Chuck's left lung. This should greatly help with Chuck's breathing.
  • Dr. Taylor is currently getting some samples, as well as a visual, of the inside of Chuck's lungs. He is checking for infection of any sort.
  • The rumor is that we might be moving to a hospital in SAN ANTONIO!!!!! Of course, we are being cautiously optimistic. The social worker here is amazing ... oh so helpful. First, Chuck will go to a specialty hospital ... to wean off the ventilator. Then, onward to a rehab hospital. Eric feels comfortable directing Chuck's physical therapy from here. Of course, I will keep you posted.

Please pray for Chuck's spirits, and for the next step in recovery.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Morning report:

Chuck's looking a-okay. We've seen every doctor in the world ... but the one we really want to see. Do you suppose the constant harassment is getting to Dr. Taylor? This would be an example of how we continually assault the poor man:
  • Monday: "Hi, Dr. Taylor. When can Chuck get off the ventilator?" (He answers, "Once he can tolerate the trach collar for longer periods of time.")
  • Tuesday: "Hi, Dr. Taylor. When can Chuck get off the ventilator?" (He repeats the answer.)
  • Wednesday: "Hi, Dr. Taylor. When can Chuck get off the ventilator?" (Same answer)
  • Thursday: "Hi, Dr. Taylor. When can Chuck get off the ventilator?"... you get the idea... poor man .... We can't wait to see him today to ask when Chuck can get off the ventilator.

Chuck is tolerating gut feedings better; his wounds are healing; he has no fever nor signs of infection.

Possibilibities for this week:

  • G-tube "installed."
  • He might get to dangle his feet over the edge of the bed. This is huge!

Eric believes Chuck may be in his last seven days of the ICU.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Morning report:

It is so good to see Chuck! Aside from looking like a crazed hermit (scraggly beard and long finger nails), he looks beautiful. His HUGE bruise (the hematoma) is gone; and two of his abdominal wounds are healed (one more to go)!

He is no longer running a fever. Whew! He is tolerating a "trickle" of gut nourishment. Of course, one of the FIRST things he wanted when I arrived was ... a popsicle. Cautiously, they are still rationing his intake of ice chips and popsicles.

I'm not sure about his lungs ... will talk to Dr. Taylor later today. Chuck gets very anxious when off the ventilator. His body handles it fine, and he could probably go for an hour ... but he gets too panicky. Please pray for this specific issue. He must do better off the vent before he can get food, liquids, etc. Any tips for keeping him calm? I tried to think back to my "terrified-of-flying-days." The only thing that ever really took care of that was becoming a believer. Suddenly, I was healed of my irrational, yet paralyzing fear. Please pray for Chuck to be freed from his fear.