Tuesday, October 31, 2006

No tricks for Chuck ... he definitely gets a treat ... no more sand pit! His new bed arrives tonight. Hopefully, the stability of a "regular" bed will bring more comfort. He will still be on a special bed. This one will be an airflow bed ... minus the sand. Before much longer, he will be allowed to sit on the edge of his new bed ... something that is impossible with the sand pit. Don't get me wrong, I praise God for the sand pit ... it has done wonders for Chuck's wound. We are simply ready to be done with it!

We had trick or treaters this morning! There is a specialty hospital across the street that is for children. The ones who were able came over to show off their adorable costumes. It was a blast ... made Chuck and I feel like we were back at camp.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Chuck had a wonderfully uneventful day. Wound care came and his back is looking good. He has two areas of "stable eschar." Naturally I asked, "What's that???" Stable eschar is a scab that is not oozing, seeping, nor showing signs of redness. It means something healthy is growing underneath!! We expect that tomorrow Chuck will get a new bed ... praise God. He is so ready to leave the sand pit!

Chuck has been on the ventilator long enough that he must start over again with the weaning. He was off the ventilator for one hour today and then grew weary. Pray his lungs grow strong quickly. Strike that ... pray that his lungs grow strong ... period.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Our first sleepover was a huge success! It was tons o' fun and gave me an inside view of hospital night life. It was surreal watching people who clearly knew Chuck but not me as they interacted with him. He sooo does not need me! The nurses and staff adore him and are soooo good to him. When he uses the nurse button during the day ... I always make the request. At night, it's just him ... with no voice. However, the night desk person would reassure Chuck each time he pushed the nurse button, "Don't worry Chuck, I'm sending someone to your room ...." It was touching to obersve the staff adoringly treat Chuck with such tender, loving care.

Lindsey and Matthew came up to visit their Uncle Chuckie today. It was Lindsey's first time to see him. She was a bit timid, but handled it all very well! What can I say, she's advanced for her age. Matthew showed off his beefy thighs and mohawk hairdo ... too cute. I cannot believe his is already three months old!

Chuck's still on the ventilator. His carbon dioxide levels are a bit high. He may be fighting off some pneumonia. Please pray for healthy lungs and for another miraculous transition off the ventilator.

His back looks GREAT ... yes GREAT! I am just so thrilled and so thankful. Thank you God for the wound care team!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Chuck's wound is doing great ... thank you, God!

As for his lungs ... there's too much carbon dioxide in his blood. To decrease the level, he must stay on the ventilator for a while. We expect that he will be off the ventilator by Monday. Please pray for a speedy transistion back to vent-free breathing.

Okay, we are LOVING Chuck's private room ... it's the party room. People stop by all day to say hi (and to get some Halloween candy). However, once we close the door ... it's peaceful and sealed off from the noise in the hospital! THANK YOU, GOD.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Chuck has made it to the big time ... a single room! We're loving it. Saturday, we're having a sleep over ... Hugh Laurie is hosting Saturday Night Live ... can't wait.

Tomorrow Chuck will go back to the t-bar. If he makes it 24 hours, he'll go back to either a speaking valve or a cap. Chuck is still struggling to speak, so Dr. Brancaccio will have an ear-nose-threat doctor take a look down his throat. He's had his trache so long, scar tissue may have grown around the trache. It can "easily" be corrected surgically.

Chuck has become the wound care mascot, and we couldn't be happier! Someone from the team comes daily to check on him. If he does well off the vent, Chuck will be moved downstairs to the wound care ward. This way, the team can keep an even closer eye on him.

For all these blessings and all those to come ... I praise God!
Sorry there was no post yesterday. I was without internet while at the hospital (gasp!) It was a long and exhausting day for the two of us ... thus, no post!

Wonder of wonders, Chuck's back is looking really good. I had grown accustomed to comments such as "We've done all we can do. Let's just hope for the best ..." and such. Now I'm hearing things like, "Wow, it's looking good. See all this new growth ... see this healthy, pink area ..." Most of Chuck's sutures have been removed, and everything is holding! He may be moved out of the sand bed next week.

Now for the speed bump ... Chuck was given a dose of two medications that suppressed his respitory function ... thus, back to the ventilator for a couple of days. This is nothing to worry about ... just a slight pause in the steady push forward.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Mindy mentioned to me ... "God does not always work quickly, but sometimes he moves suddenly." All of this sudden movement has left me breathless! Today, Chuck's trache was capped. The trache is not being used at all. They will leave it in for several days as a safety precaution. However, the boy is fully breathing on his own! He still gets a bit of oxygen through his nose, but that will not last for much longer.

Wound care came bright and early to check out Chuck's back. It is fine ... it is better than fine ... it is beautiful. I took a look at it today, and the rawness and bleeding have disasppeared. It does indeed look beautiful. Keep praying for the wound to heal ... it's getting there!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Chuck had a busy day! First, physical therapy increased to 15 minutes. Second, Dr. DeLeon removed some of Chuck's sutures. She thinks the wound looks good. She also gave him the go-ahead to sit up 30 minutes for meals ... rather than the 15 minutes previously prescribed. If all looks good on Wednesday, she will remove more sutures. If Chuck's back looks good one week from now, he might get a new bed ... no more sand bed. A new bed means easy transfers ... which means he can try sitting in his wheelchair! Finally, Dr. Brancaccio gave us an idea of the next step with the lungs. Chuck's trache will be capped, and he will breathe through his nose and mouth. If that goes well, the trache comes out. I praise God for all of these wonderous events!

Now, for prayer request ... Chuck's back looked raw after dinner (the first 30-minute meal session). Please pray this is not a setback ... that his wound heals. Wound care will take a look at his back in the morning to make sure all is well. Please pray for healing.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Chuck is a miracle to behold. I praise God every time I look at Chuck ... every time I hear his voice.

Chuck has now ditched the pod. He's in a double room and it is tiny! However, in the pod, the lights were on all the time. In his new room, it gets nice and dark at night. I hope he'll sleep more soundly now.

He has made it five full days ... vent free! Praise God for all the doctors, all the nurses, all the therapists, all the technology, all the people who have lovingly helped Chuck.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Stacie has nothing but good news. Hmmm, perhaps I should stay away more often? Chuck's still breathing on his own ... thank you God! Can you believe the things we take for granted?? Also, the wound care team was very pleased with Chuck's wounds.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Chuck is still off the ventilator! He may be moving out of the pod (the high observation area) tomorrow. That's about it for updates.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Chuck has gone 58 hours and 15 minutes off the ventilator ... not that I'm counting or anything. He's doing super. The wound is stable. There's talk of him moving out of the pod and into a regular room!

I will be in San Antonio for the next two days. Stacie will be here to make sure all runs smoothly ... and that Chuck doesn't have to wait too long for anything!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Chuck's a miracle! God has done amazing things through my amazingly resilient husband. Tonight Chuck got a speaking valve. It takes a great deal of energy for him to speak ... and his voice is very soft ... but he's talking!

God has been so good to us!
Praise God!!!! Chuck never went back on the ventilator last night! When I left, it had been 8 hours. I came in this morning and Chuck was on the t-bar. I asked what time he started ... so I could keep an accurate record of progress. He never stopped ... he was still on from the day before! He has gone 24 hours off the ventilator!!! Thank you God ... thank you God! Lots of prayers of thanksgiving to our mighty God!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Clarification ... the t-bar means going off the ventilator. It means Chuck is breathing on his own. When I left tonight, he'd been off for 8 hours. We are expecting that he'll get to speak sometime this week.

The wound is holding steady ... no decline! Thank you for your prayers. We feel so blessed. Keep it up ... pray, pray, pray.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

New record is now 9 hours, 30 minutes! Chuck is just doing great. His wound is stable. He's eating more and more. He's even willing to eat some junk food every now and then!

I praise God for each step ... please continue to pray for healing.
New record! Chuck went 7 hours and 45 minutes off the ventilator.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Another good day! I did not get up to the hospital until noon. Chuck started the day kinda rough. By 3:00, he went on the t-bar and was on it seven hours later when I left. They will take him off sometime during the night ... as they let him "rest" at night. I can't wait to find out how long he went. Once Chuck is consistent with the t-bar, he will get a smaller trache ... which will allow him to speak!

Thanks for your prayers. Please continue to pray for healing.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Chuck had a super day ... thank you God! He went 7.5 hours off the ventilator. Also, he got to do some physical therapy. AND ... his wound is stable! It still has dark areas around the incision, but the areas have not grown darker (very good!) Please continue to pray for Chuck's body to grow strong and heal!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Chuck had a "sick" day = no t-bar and tons o' sleeping. As is his way, he's perking up now that it's early evening.

Aside from feeling sick, Chuck's stable today.
Reknitting Chuck ... that's what a lovely angel, Tiffany, prayed for him today. I met Tiffany this morning at the chapel at Big Baylor. I thought she was crying as she was praying ... so I went over to touch her ... to pray with her. Alas ... no tears. (I'm starting to hear things!)She is a chaplain and asked if I needed prayer ... heck yeah! Her prayer, "Lord, you knit Chuck together in his mother's womb. We pray you reknit him together now." Yep ... that's perfect!

Tiffany was the first blessing of the day. The second was discovering espresso shots. Yep ... tiny shots that pack a punch. I took a double! Look out caffeine overload!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Alrighty ... good-ish day. First, Chuck did five hours off the ventilator ... in a row!

Next, his wound is "stable." I praise God for that! Please oh please pray that this wound heals with no more break down. Wound care came today, and I asked what the hope is for the wound ... it is that healthy skin grows underneath the dead skin. As the dead skin sloughs off, new skin will be waiting below the surface. Please pray that this is what happens!

Now for the "ish" part, Chuck's blood count is low again. Thankfully, he is not awaiting surgery this time. He will be given two bags o' blood.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Oh my beloved enigma, wrapped in a mystery, wrapped in a riddle! Chuck has duped us all once again. The P.I.C.C. line was indeed growing bacteria ... two types to be exact ... neither of which was the type found in his bloodstream! That man! In any case, the appropriate antibiotic has been started to combat the newly discovered bacteria. The bacteria found in his bloodstream may have been a fluke ... a bateria from the line used to draw the blood ... or some such thing.

Lungs are looking good. Chuck's taking a "breather" from 3.5 hours off the ventilator. He'll go back off later today.

Please continue to pray for Chuck's wound. Heal, heal, heal!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Chuck is continuing to make strides on t-bar (off the ventilator). Each day since last Thursday, he has increased his time. Today, he will most likely go about five hours.

Another amazing feat ... Chuck is eating more and more. Not only is he eating more, he's keeping it down!

Now for the stinker ... his wound is breaking down again ... same old area. Please pray for healing ... it the spot right in the center of his upper back. Wound care is on it ... the skin is just starting to break down ... and this could go either way (heal or back to surgery)!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Chuck is really getting strong. He told me he feels a little better every day. This is stupendous news!

He has been steadily increasing his time off the ventilator. Today, he was off for 4.5 hours.

Chuck definitely has a staph infection ... but the source has yet to be discovered. Today the nurse removed his P.I.C.C. line (a possible source). The only other source could be from his wounds. Please pray Chuck's body heals quickly from the infection.

I praise God for Chuck's amazing improvements.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Wound care does it again! Alrighty folks, Chuck is no longer wearing a regulation, hospital gown. No siree ... he is wearing a shirt made from 99.9% pure silver thread. No, he does not look like a pimp. The shirt looks like an ordinary t-shirt. It's a greenish-brown color. The history of the shirt is very interesting ... it is used primarily in the military. Soldiers wear the shirts under their clothes. There are many reasons why ... the benefits of silver for fighting infection and odor. If a soldier is shot and unable to be treated for days ... the silver serves as an immediate defense against infection! Go to www.x-static.com to read more about the shirt. Amazing!

Darrin, Corey, and Jaime got up at 6:00 this morning. Their goal for the day was to deliver sweet tea from Bill Miller's to Chuck. Thus, they made the 5.5 hour-drive to Dallas . After a brief visit, they loaded back into Darrin's truck for the return trip home ... another mere 5.5 hours. Now, I've been married to Chuck long enough to know ... you don't mess with a good story. So, when the guys turned down my offer of a place to stay for the night, I knew ... this will become the "remember when we drove to Dallas to take Chuck some tea" story. God love them!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Report from yesterday evening:

Chuck's lungs are stable = no pneumonia. One of the cultures drawn from Chuck's blood is growing a bacteria. Perhaps today they will be able to identify the bacteria and treat it with the appropriate antibiotic.

Chuck did two t-bar trials yesterday ... not too shabby for getting back to it ... kinda like returning to the gym after a month off.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Report from Stacie:

Chuck is running a fever today, but feels fine. He did a t-bar trial this morning and will try another one later today.

Please pray for Chuck's body to beat whatever it is fighting!

I am in San Antonio until Saturday morning, so my reports will be brief.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

All looks well-ish. All therapists and doctors have seen and assessed Chuck. He's on wound watch for the next week, which means light activity ... no brace ... confined to the sand bed. His pressure sores look stupendous ... it won't be long now before they are resolved. Whew ... now for the wound and lungs. Heal, Chuck, heal!
Chuck's off and limping ... he's running a fever and feeling sick. He most likely has an infection ... perhaps pneumonia? Aside from that, we are happy to be back at BSH.

Please pray for healing.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Thank you for your prayers. Chuck made it back to BSH safe and somewhat sound. Blessedly, he does not even remember the move!

And now ... for the healing to begin!!!
It's official ... we're moving today at noon. Please pray for a gentle move ... I've asked for Chuck's back to be padded for the trip.

Just look at what God's done ... flawless surgery, no complications. Thank you GOD! Please continue to pray for healing.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Okay, looks like tomorrow is transfer day. Alas, nothing is for certain. Good news, Chuck looks great. He's very sleepy though ... they upped his pain medication temporarily.

Dr. Young should be in for a visit today. She'll give the final okay for transfer, I believe. Please be praying for an opening at Baylor Specialty ... and that all goes well for the transfer.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Nothing new to report ... which is excellent news. Chuck's lungs are stable (yea God). Everything's still on track for a move back to BSH tomorrow.

It's OCTOBER!!! (this just happens to be my FAVORITE month)