Thursday, May 31, 2007

Chuck is in pretty good spirits this evening. He even got on the computer for a while.

All is holding steady. I'm looking forward to seeing his wounds this next go-around. I just know the vac will do great things!

Not much to report...which is good news!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Chuck is happily settled in his new room. He's in 204 now. This side of the hallway seems much quieter.

Apparently this has been a very busy day. Chuck's been asleep since I got here at 5:00. Well, for the most part: we've talked a little and he's had a few visitors.

Wound care is trying the wound vac on a couple of Chuck's wounds. This is excellent progress. The wounds they are vac-ing have sloughed off the dead portion. All that remains is beautiful, beefy, red tissue. And now to close them!
Lots of advances occuring today: vent settings titrated down; moving to a new room; discussion of removing the P.I.C.C. line. Chuck will be moved to room 204 later today. Hopefully he will be much more comfortable. He'll certainly have more peace, quiet, and privacy!

I'll give an update once I check on him later today. By the time I get there, he should be in his new room. Blessedly, Stacie will be there for the move.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I got a reminder today that if one tends to be "mentally lazy," Chuck will take full advantage! Blessedly, some things never change. As noted earlier, he is allowed clear liquids. However, carbonated beverages is off limits. Today, he tested me with the ol' "the doctor said I can have clear liquids and Sprite is clear." Good try!

Chuck is doing really well. He's been eating jello and drinking juices throughout the day, with no vomiting. The trapeze is back and ready for action. Also, Chuck's vent settings were turned down. This means weaning has begun once more. Next step should involve therapy to strengthen his body.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Chuck has been advanced to "clear liquids." Now to me, this would mean...uh, water. But no; it means anything you can read a newspaper through, oddly enough. So far he's had jello. We're going to see how many things we can water down to "read-newspaper-through-it" consistency.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

I've waited all day for this post...out of consideration for our beloved Stacie and Letty. Didn't want to let the cat out of the bag before the cat arrived. Chuck's birthday is June 9. Well, the girls just delivered the gift of all gifts...a new iPod with ALL of this past season's Battle Star Galacticas loaded and ready to play. Chuck is elated! It has some other cool stuff too, but who are we kidding? It's all about Battle Star Galactica episodes.

So, if you're wondering what to get Chuck for his birthday, itunes gift certificates are the way to go!
And just like that, the offer of soda and sicles has been rescinded! Apparently G.I. doc trumps pulmonologist on this matter. Alas, sodas are just around the corner!

We're still in the unit until a room opens for Chuck.

Tod and Ross spent the morning with Chuck. Apparently all three had a good time. Chuck's even been looking through the comics that Tod brought. Not too shabby!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Chuck's having some pain issues today. Aside from that, he's doing beautifully. The doctor believes he is ready to be moved out of "the unit," as they call it. Please pray for a quiet roommate!

Chuck's been approved for soda and popsicles.

Friday, May 25, 2007

It's been a lovely day! Chuck's tube feedings have been bumped up a bit higher. Hopefully, he'll be able to eat next week! Thank you for the prayers. Once again, Chuck has made a miraculous recovery, praise God.

He is so "with it," I no longer worry about him being alone while I'm at work. Now, if he wants or needs something, he can ask!
Apparently the nurses at Lifecare think Chuck has a harem. One of them commented to me, "Everyone that comes to see him is so good looking!" How classic! Thanks to all you gorgeous people who come to visit Chuck.
Chuck is steadily moving forward. Each day, I see more of "him." So glad he's back! He gets to have water and ice now. His tube feedings have been started, and the TPN has been removed. Next step, getting to drink soda and eat!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Short note of progress: Chuck's pain has been managed! He's happy with his level of pain overall AND he's alert! Praise God for Dr. Pacl.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Chuck's tube feeding is being hooked up as I type this. This is a wonderful step forward. Ahh, the things I take for granted. He'll get another abdominal x-ray at noon. After that, he may be allowed to have water! Again, ridiculous the things I take for granted.

I am trying to remember we are right where we are supposed to be. I'm also trying to release my control, let God take the burden. I heard this yesterday and had to laugh, "When I turned my life over to God, I took it out of the hands of an idiot." Humbling, but oh so true!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Chuck is looking really good. Several of the nurses and aides have commented on how he looks like a new man!

He is still going without food and water. Seems really crazy, huh? He is getting nourishment through IV, but Chuck is soooo thirsty. In the morning the G.I. doctor will take another x-ray to see if his gut is ready for use. The x-ray from today looks "better." Alas, it does not look better enough!

Thanks to Stacie, Letty, Corine, Shea, and Nicky for taking care of Chuck these past for days. XXXOOO
Tid bits from "my sources:" Several people have reported that Chuck is very much Chuck. What a relief! I've heard reports of people going to visit and having beautiful moments with him. My sister, Shea, went to see Chuck last night and pray with him. She said he was very sweet and squeezed her hand really tight. She also told me that a friend of hers, Dave, went and prayed with Chuck earlier in the day. When Dave said, "Amen" and looked up, Chuck's eyes were filled with tears. God must really be working on his spirit.

Thanks so much for sharing your stories with me!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Chuck is doing remarkably well. He is more "himself" than he has been since we've been back in San Antonio!

Chuck is still in the ICU. He'll remain there until he can maintain stability for 24 hours with no help from cardiac drugs (to keep his heart rate down).
I stopped by to check on Chuck this morning. He looks MUCH better. He's alert and somewhat comfortable. He's not in pain, which is a huge blessing after chest compressions, etc!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Chuck had a couple more "episodes" this evening. His heart did not stop, but he was not able to breath well on the vent. He kept throwing mucus plugs. When they took Chuck off the vent and bagged him, he breathed easier. Christe and Shea sent me home around 6:45 while they stayed to make sure Chuck stabilized.

The decision was made to try a new trache. This one is larger in diameter with a longer shaft. Thus far, it has worked beautifully.
First of all, Chuck is okay. He is stable. His heart stopped again early this morning. They performed CPR and brought him back to the land of the living, praise God. He had another mucus plug. Finally, I asked THE question, "So, what is the connection between a mucus plug and his heart stopping??" The two do not seem connected to me. The nurse kindly explained that when the organs do not receive oxygen (due to a plug), they stop working. Aha!

He has been moved to the ICU within the Lifecare unit. He's now in room 215. The nurses did such a great job with him and with me. Upon seeing him, I freaked out a know, crying uncontrollably and demanding the everyone around me DO SOMETHING! (As if these people do not have enough to worry about...they have crazy wife to deal with.) After throwing around insults about everyone lacking compassion and crying my eyes out, I calmed down. I cannot tell you how many people I've had to apologize to in this hospital! My most common utterance these days is, "I'm so sorry. My behavior was inappropriate. I should not have taken my anger out on you." Oi.

Here's a freaky little tidbit: Chuck has a seizure everytime I touch him. The nurse says this is a common reaction to a brain that has been deprived of oxygen. (Yeah, sure it is.) It will pass. In the meantime, hands off!

Recently I was advised to reconcile myself to God (as I had stopped trusting him). He has been a great comforter today. Yes, I do believe he is in control and is holding Chuck in the palm of his hand. Yes, I do believe he is loving and is taking tender care of the two of us.

God has sent so many people take care of me today: Christie, Tod, Mom and Dad, Shea. My friend, Laura, is incredibly sick and every time she wakes from her delirium, she asks, "How is Chuck?" Ross calls to check sweet is that?

Shea reminded me that this is a precious time and to embrace it. It is a precious, precious time between me and Chuck. She also shared this verse with me: 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

16 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. 17 For our present troubles are quite small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever! 18 So we don't look at the troubles we can see right now; rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen. For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Chuck had a pretty rough day yesterday. He has been throwing up bile for about two weeks now. Finally, I think we know why. He has been on a medicine called reglan all year long. At some point in the transition from hospital to hosital, he was taken off. I had no know. Lo and behold, reglan back to the rescue. I hope this will make a huge difference in how Chuck feels.

For now, his tube feedings have stopped and he is getting nourishment by TPN (through the vein). He has lost about 15 pounds since arriving back in San Antonio. What up with that??? Apparently he has not been taking advantage of the EXCELLENT Mexican food here that flows like mannah from heaven.

Chuck's pretty much himself today, thank you God.

I want to thank all of you who have been feeding me these past few weeks. I'm ready to take over now. I've been charged with taking time out to take care of myself rather than rushing from work to hospital. Baby steps!

Friday, May 18, 2007

I am in awe of God's faithfulness to me. On my drive into work, I heard JUST WHAT I NEEDED to continue to fight the good fight. I am weary. I am angry. I am frustrated. I am disappointed. Why? My expectations are NOT being met...not even close.

Let me back up a bit. The message I heard this morning described contentment as "accepting reality without expectation." My expectations? For Chuck to get better. For an army of volunteers to rise up to help. For things to go smoothely. For Chuck's nurses to be gentle, kind, attentive. For the doctors to listen to my input and use it to make Chuck better. All of this translate into what I really, really want. I want life to be comfortable again. I want to have fewer worries. I want to have a freakin day off.

I have lost my focus. Scratch that, reverse it. I have changed my focus. Formerly, when life was a bit easier, my focus was honoring God with my life. My focus now is getting Chuck better and getting him home. Ask anyone who has been watching me...I have devoted my entire being to this singular purpose. As a result, upon arriving back to San Antonio, I have been filled with anguish, despair, and anger.

This is the moment I've been training for. When a runner trains for a marathon, she trains for "the wall," the point when everything hurts and she cannot take another step. The point when she decides whether to continue through the pain or to quit. My entire Christian life has been a training ground for this wall...the scripture I've learned, the Bible studies, the sermons, the praise, the music...all for this moment. Alas, I've slowed down and am trying to figure out how to continue. That God...once again, He comes to my rescue...with a simple purpose in life is NOT comfort. It is not be be happy. It is NOT to get Chuck better. It is to grow more and more in love with him. It is to make much of him. It is to radiate his love to the rest of the world. This simple shift in purpose changes EVERYTHING. This shift moves me from despair to hope...from disappointment to thanksfulness.

My friend Mindy sent me some scripture that I've been whining to God...focusing on the first part of the scripture and IGNORING the last because I found it utterly ridiculous:

Psalm 13
For the director of music. A psalm of David.

1 How long, O LORD ? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? 2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? 3 Look on me and answer, O LORD my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death; 4 my enemy will say, "I have overcome him," and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

5 But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. 6 I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me.

You see, God has been good to me. He has been good to Chuck. His love for us goes so beyond our worldly purpose of finding peace in our lives. He has been loving us through this entire trial. I'm ready now. Wall schmall.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Chuck had a good day. He had a noisy roommate who kept him up at night. The roommate has moved. Whew. Now pray the next one is nice and quiet. Better yet, pray the bed next to his stays empty!

The sand bed is not bad at all. It looks a great deal like a normal bed, and the head lifts like a normal bed.

Chuck did great with trache trials today. He did 30 minutes in the morning. In the afternoon he stayed off the vent for 2 hours. He's getting there.

There was a great moment today with John Condit...he came in to visit. Chuck just held onto his hand for a while. It was beautiful...uh, in a very manly way...grrr.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to be a quiet presence in Chuck's room. Seriously, for those of you volunteering to sit with Chuck, he is not thrilled with people right now. Your main goal is to be a presence that the nursing staff notices. Yes, Chuck gets adequate care. However, he gets better care when someone is present. It's the way of the biggie.

The less of a noticeable presence you are (to Chuck), the better. If he wants to talk to you, he'll let you know!

Thanks! (Did I use the word presence enough in this post?? Not sure.)

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Mom and Dad made it safe and sound. Chuck is getting a new bed to help with the wounds. I pray he likes it! Trache trials are going well.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Chuck has had a good day! When I arrived, he was bright-eyed and happy to see me. He gets to start trache trials today!! This is excellent news. Finally, he's surging forward.

Today is woundcare assessment day. Chuck's wounds are slowly, slowly improving. More dead tissue has to come off before he can really move forward. Due to his oh so sensitive skin, Chuck will be getting another sand bed. This one will be better than the one at BSH. It's like the one he had in Plano. There will be no foam wedge for his head (great!) The foam wedge destroys his skin. This one has an inflatable pillow. Nonetheless, Chuck will not be pleased.

Mom and Dad get here tomorrow!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Chuck had a rough day. He was confused and upset. Thank God Stacie was with him. It is my uneducated opinion that Chuck's vent setting was too low...that he was not blowing off enough carbon dioxide. Too much carbon dioxide can cause confusion. Dr. Bell increased his rate back to a comfortable level.

Dr. Bell wants to give the conventional route one more try before taking the road less traveled. This means low vent settings again. more rough day then Chuck should be good to go. Dr. Bell will then try weaning Chuck as Dr. Brancaccio did...going from a higher vent setting and letting Chuck sink or swim. As we all know...Chuck can swim!

Wounds look great!
This morning I was completely taken by surprise and left in total awe of the kindess of believers...believers I have never even met. I cannot believe some of you people...with your giving and your loving and your praying!

Lee Brinkerhoff walks into work this morning with my evening meal-prepared by the amazing Amy Brinkerhoff (yuuuummmm!) He also deliverd a prayer shawl (It is BEAUTIFUL by the way). Lee and Amy's church has been praying for Chuck for months. This alone makes me weep. I was just overwhelmed...tried not to cry...alas I failed. The shawl is just beautiful. It was made by loving a woman who has been praying for Chuck...a woman I've never met. Now what do you do with something like that? This note was attached to it: "May you be surrounded by God's love even as you are wrapped in our prayers."

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Chuck has had a really good day! He was able to stay awake for hours at a time. This is a big improvement. I think he's back on the road to recovery.

I am in need/want of help. Chuck gets lonely...okay, that's a lie. I don't want Chuck to be alone while I'm at work. Also, I want someone to keep an eye on him. (How overprotective can I be??? You have no idea.) Now I know he will have to be alone some. However, if there are enough people interested and available in simply "being there," his alone time can be quite limited (and his wife kept almost sane). This would bring me GREAT peace of mind. Up until now, two lovely ladies (Stacie and Letty) have carried the load. However, they both work and are unable to volunteer quite so much time. Stacie has offered to organize a visiting schedule. Whatever time you have to offer would be greatly appreciated. Chuck's parents are coming this week, so that will give us some time to set up a schedule. Start looking at your calendars for the next few weeks.

If you want to sit with Chuck (bring a book...or magazine!) email Stacie at You can also call her at 512-689-3526 (home) or 210-521-4477 (work). If all goes well, this will be a short-term situation!
Happy Mother's Day! This is a bitter-sweet day for me. God was gracious in allowing my last conversation with my mother to be on Mother's Day. How wonderful that the last words I spoke to her were of love, admiration, and gratefulness! Come on know how it is with mothers. It could just as easily have been another type of converstion! For this, I will be eternally grateful.

Chuck's chugging along. I'm chugging along. His (our) parents are coming to visit this week!!! I can't wait.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Chuck's wounds are looking great! His breathing seems stable. He is more alert...but still very sleepy. He can stay awake for up to 10 minutes at a time...that's up from 2-3 minutes at a time.

I've been talking up the game all day. The Spurs play at 7:00. Hopefully Chuck will enjoy some of it.

Special blessings for the day include a cheerful, funny nursing aide; a massage (1 hour ) purchased by Christie; and a break from Stacie. What a wonderful day!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Chuck is more himself today...more alert, but still down. Nothing much to report. We're looking forward to spending the weekend together!
The Lynx are Great,
The Lynx are Fine,
Says the class of '89!

My high school graduating class sent me a GREAT package. They filled it with letters of support (made me laugh and cry). In addition, they opened a bank account for me! How amazing is that? How amazing is my clas?? I am so fortunate to have been raised in Spearman, Tx. Truly, I was raised by a community along with my 62 class-of-89 siblings. This past year I've received support from my former teachers, my hometown church, my classmates, my entire community! How incredibly blessed I am.

Back to Chuck: I would like to report that his wounds are looking phenomenal. Granted, the one at the top (with the hardware) is worrisome, but the rest have made amazing progress in a very short amount of time.

As of yesterday afternoon, Chuck's mental-cognitive-spiritual status is pretty much the same. He's not too interested in anything other than sleep...occationally he'll want something to eat or drink.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

I work with a dear, dear man named John. His daughter has endured a painful and difficult illness her whole life. He shared a BRILLIANT idea with me...Chuck needs a compadre. All of us love Chuck and try to help. But there's just something about someone who "knows," who has "been there" that heals the soul.

This probably sounds bizarre, but if any of you have fought the good fight and endured physical suffering for an extended period, could you please share yourself with Chuck? Go see him and share your story. Listen to him.
Thank you so much for your kind words! I love Paula's reminder about "walking alongside." I certainly pray Chuck will commune with the holy spirit. I do not know what is going on with him spiritually, but I suspect he is lost and alone inside his soul...unwilling or unable to commune. Sigh. He may be "hibernating," conserving his energy for the road ahead. Who knows?

Laura reminded me that the new medicine for Chuck is called provigil. It is a stimulant to help with his extreme fatigue.

Brooke Dorman asked me to post this:

We need a few more volunteers for Jan's dinner. Please contact me if you can help. Brooke

Thank you so much for the meals! They have been a great source of comfort.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

My head is still spinning from my talk with Dr. Pacl. I like him a great deal and appreciate that he spent an hour talking and listening to me. Speaking of appreciation, my friend, Laura, came for the talk. She is a...dare I say...BRILLIANT pediatrician. She arranged for her partner to cover her patients this afternoon so she could come support me and Chuck.

First of all, Chuck is a bit more alert and responsive today. He was able to communicate to me that he understands everything that is happening around him. He is just unable to respond in kind.

Dr. Pacl's believes that pain is experienced physically, socially, spiritually, and mentally. He asked Chuck some pointed questions concerning his motivation. He thinks that Chuck has shut down. I was shocked and amazed to hear Chuck agree...he has shut down. He has a weariness of soul...body...mind that none of us can possibly comprehend. Sadly, I have no ideas for how to give him a will to return to life. I've spent the last 11 months trying to tap into that. Please pray that God will call to Chuck. In the meantime, Dr. Pacl is starting Chuck on...dang, Laura...what it is? (something to jumpstart him)

Laura had some great input. She was able to ask about Chuck's immobility and ways to get him up and moving. Dr. Pacl will talk to therapy and wound care to see what can be done to get Chuck out of the bed. Also, Chuck is getting a trapeze!! Not only will this be a great conversation starter, it will allow Chuck to reposition himself in bed and work on his upper body strength. She also suggested a probiotic to help with his gastrointestinal issues.

I learned a great deal...about the meeting. Sometimes you can't see the forest for the trees! I've lost sight of how Chuck's doing spiritually and emotionally. I've been running around trying to tend to his physical needs. Perhaps it's because I can help him with his physical needs. This spiritual stuff is a road he'll have to walk on his own.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Chuck is back on tube feeds AND his nose tube has been removed. Whew! Two down, fifteen or so to go!

Chuck is still "not right." His behavior is just so strange. He's either completely out of it, irrational, or agitated. Occasionally, I'll see glimpses of him. I strongly suspect his pain medication as the culprit. I'm meeting with the pain doc tomorrow. Hopefully we will be able to get to the bottom of this mystery.

Chuck is still on the vent full-time. He'll most likely stay on the vent until his sedation/agitation is under control.

Thanks for your prayers! Thanks for the meals! Thanks for the company!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Chuck's determination never ceases to amaze me. The man wants to eat, but is currently on a "no-eating-diet." This is due to a glitch in the paperwork...coming from Methodist to Lifecare. Oi. In order to get a thumbs-up on food, Chuck has to pass a swallow test. This is a precaution to avoiding aspirating anything into his lungs...causing pneumonia. In any case, he has been soooooo sedated. I told him if he wanted to do the swallow test he would have to WAKE UP and STAY AWAKE. He groggily nodded at me. The speech therapist and the respiratory therapist, being wise , were very hesitant...Chuck did not look like he could stay awake. I explained the situation to Chuck again, getting the same groggy nod. Out of sheer kindness, the therapists gave it a try. Wouldn't you know it, the man kept his eyes open for about 15 minutes...with a few dozes here and there. That's my man!

As for sedation, his Roxinal has been cut in half. This should help with grogginess. Let's just pray it does not leave him in pain!

I do not know the results of the CT. I do know that the infectious disease doctor does not think Chuck has an infection.

The pain management doctor has scheduled a time to meet with me on Wednesday. Hopefully we will get to the bottom of Chuck's current state of groggy-nauseated-ness.
Here is my devotional for the day. I thought it very appropriate for all of you who have hung in there with Chuck:

Daily Devotional by Max Lucado

May 7th
“It is finished.” John 19:30

Our inability to finish what we start is seen in the smallest of things:
A partly mowed lawn.
A half-read book.
Or, it shows up in life’s most painful areas:
An abandoned child.
A wrecked marriage.

Any chance I’m addressing someone who is considering giving up? If I am, I want to encourage you to remain. I want to encourage you to remember Jesus’ determination on the cross.

Jesus didn’t quit. But don’t think for one minute that he wasn’t tempted to. Did he ever want to quit? You bet.

That’s why his words are so splendid. “It is finished.”
Dr. Bell is a man after my own heart...a morning person! Alas, I never get to see him because he checks in with Chuck between 5:30-6:30 in the morning. However, I made a special trip to the hospital at 5:15 this morning and was able to catch him. Here's the scoop: Chuck has an infection and an ileus (intestines not moving stuff through...causing nausea). He will be sent for a CT or CAT scan today. Hopefully this will help the doctor figure out what's wrong with the man. Also, Dr. Bell is calling in an infectious disease doc to help fight Chuck's infection. Dr. Bell feels the combination of the two issues is causing Chuck's unresponsiveness.

We have a team in place to help Chuck (really ME) make it through the day. While Chuck is unable to communicate for himself, I want someone with him. Stacie stays with him from 9:00 a.m.-noon. Letty stays with him from noon-3:30 p.m. I stay with him from 3:30 p.m.-8:00ish p.m. We also have wonderful retired friends that pop in throughout the day. Alas, Bob Artle informed me that retired folks are some of the busiest people in the world! Their schedules are FULL. Thankfully, some are putting Chuck on their schedules.

God has been so good to us.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

First, an update on where we are and what we need: upon visiting our church today, I realized several people need our stats. Chuck is at Lifecare Hospital - located inside the Methodist Specialty and Transplant Hospital (corner of Wurzbach and Floyd Curl). He is in roon 214.

Second, providing meals: the lovely, talented, and kind Brooke Dorman is organizing my dinners. If you would like to provide a meal, email Brooke at

Third, an update on Chuck's status: he has another blasted n-g tube (from nose to stomach). In the first fiftenn minutes, it pulled up a whole canister of bile. My poor baby. He cannot stand the n-g tube, but it should bring him great relief from nausea. The plan is to keep it in for two days. Please pray for his comfort and relief from nausea.

I thank God and Tod that Tod was here this morning. There was some drama with positioning Chuck in bed, cleaning him up...etc...things that I do not want Chuck to go through alone. Thank you for being here, Tod!!! You are a HUGE blessing.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Chuck's tube feeds have been turned off. He has been too nauseated to tolerate them. This morning he had an x-ray of his gut. Poor baby, he has gone backwards. Of course, I'm fighting the guilt (Satan's tool) of bringing Chuck back too soon...making a bad decision, causing him pain and suffering. I'm trying to listen to the voice of truth...!

Chuck's new medication is taking care of the pain, but not the fuzziness. For the most part, he is still heavily sedated. I'm hoping tomorrow morning I'll see more of the real Chuck and less of the doped one.

I'm sure if you look at the blog archives you'll see a repeat of what's currently happening to Chuck: he is sad; he is on the vent full-time; his stomach is bloated; he is nauseous; his wounds are healing at a very, very slow rate.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Liz, what a GREAT question. Right now most of Chuck's pain is in his back and his neck. It is extreme right now due to the adjusting of his pain medication. Once everything is adjusted, he may still have back pain. The goal is for the pain to be decreased to a manageable level. (For me that would be ZERO pain.)

Chuck is nauseous again. This is sad because he had come so far, and his nausea was no longer an issue. Alas, his old friend is back and is keeping him company.

Pray for wound care visits. That is a very painful time for Chuck. He has to stay on his side (uncomfortable) while they work on him. This can take up to 30-45 minutes. The skin on his upper back is very sensitive and it hurts when they pull off his dressings.

Oh, and he is still on the ventilator full-time. This worries me as he had come so far. His weaning has started, but nothing off the vent yet...just adjustments to the vent settings. Please pray Chuck fully recovers the use of his lungs!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Chuck's having some rough days. Because his pain medication is still in transition, he looks awful!! He's simply drugged...due to short acting morphine. There was a hang up with his "magical" long-lasting morphine. This stuff is supposed to really help him out. The fast acting morphine is for break through pain. However, he's had no long-lasting medicine for two days, so he's running off the big guns. I was relieved to discover that the reason he looks so terrible is the drugs. His vitals are fine; no fever, no infection. He's just doped. His long-lasting morphine will be administered tonight. The pharmacist thinks it will be 24-48 hours before we see the benefits.

In the meantime, I'm trying to rest in God's hands. I keep reminding myself that God is in control...not me.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

First, I miss Mom and Dad!!!! Second, we are getting settled at the Lifecare Hospital. It has been a crazy 24 hours. I showed up at Methodist yesterday for a visit. Alas, I was informed we would be moving...any minute. Oh how I missed Mom, Dad, and Christy!! They've moved us every other time. I tried to gather my wits, ask questions, and prepare. It was 3:30, so I knew everyone was at work...and we were on our own. Thank God Christie Leche called me. After all this time it's still tough for me to say, "Help." So of course I lied and told her we were fine, fine, fine. She saw right through me (thank God) and showed up to help. She was an angel...helped me pack, carried all our stuff to the new place, stayed with me all evening, held my hand, and brought me food. Thanks, Christie. God also brought me friendly faces in the form of Tod and Nicole. I cannot tell you how much joy that brings me...seeing friends. Being home! I was joking with Nicole that God was trying to show me what crazy was really like just in case I was under the notion that my life was crazy. After yesterday's madness, everything seems like cake.

Okay, I've met with most all of the new team. It's gonna be rough for a while. Chuck's pain medication is in he's grumpy, in pain, and sad. His new pain management doctor is phenomenal...but he wants to start figure out where Chuck really is concerning pain.

I don't know why it takes soooo long to get the appropriate mattress for Chuck. I started the battle yesterday before we even left Methodist. I had the nurse there confirm with the nurse here that Chuck's mattress was ready. Then, to be super sure, I called myself to confirm. Wouldn't you know was the wrong mattress. It sounds like no big deal, but the wrong mattress eats at Chuck's skin...which makes me crazy. Thank God, I just saw the mattress out in the hall. Shouldn't be long now.

Just to clarify Chuck's new location-he is at Lifecare Hospital which is located on the second floor of Methodist Specialty and Transplant Hospital. He's in room 214.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

We've moved! I went for a visit today, and before I knew it, we sent packing to LifeCare Hospital. It's a one-floor setup inside the Methodist Specialty and Transplant Hospital. Chuck is on the second floor in room 214.

Much to my surprise, the new place is super. Perhaps I should say, the new staff is super. I am very impressed with their attentiveness. I should wait to give details when I'm more alert. I am B-E-A-T.
I started my first day back at work with a good cry. Someone (AMY) left flowers for me with a "Welcome Back" note. How sweet is that??

I went to the hospital where Chuck will most likely be. It's nothing to write home about! He will get to keep all of his doctors from Methodist (great). They will check on him daily (great). He will get a new wound care person (hmmm). There is only ONE wound care nurse (hmmm). She has several aids (ok). There are no single rooms (tsk tsk). What's a girl to do? It's not great, but the doctors are. I am praying it will be like Baylor Specialty and that I'm not taking Chuck to some awful place. I did a surprise visit and all seemed in order (good). They have tons of therapists (good). I feel a little apprehensive though.

Chuck is meeting with a GREAT pain management doctor. I've heard so many good things about him. Hopefully he will be able to help Chuck manage his pain while keeping a clear head.