Monday, July 30, 2007

Despite his recent setback, Chuck's wounds look excellent. I'm certain part of it is due to his healthy appetite. Let's pray Chuck's digestive woes remain behind him!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Chuck had a really good day. His appetite is stupendous (praise God!!!)
Today he was somewhat chipper...for him.

As for the patient next door, she's holding on! It just goes to show you, we do not know when God will call us. The doctors can say with the utmost certainty, "She's not going to make it." You call the family together to say goodbye. And she beats the odds. You just never know.

Today I had a great visit with Laura. It was another "girl chat" day, just hanging out catching up. I find those VERY refreshing. Because he benefits from my renewed energy, Chuck graciously bears the girl talk. He typically snoozes through it.

Brooke Dorman asked me to post this notice:
I've received a couple of e-mails recently from folks wanting to know if they can still help with Jan's meals. Of course you can! If anyone would like to make an occasional meal for Jan, please e-mail me at
For those of you that don't cook but would like to help out, e-mail me and I can give you some ideas.


Saturday, July 28, 2007

Chuck's doing fine, just fine. He has had a set back with wounds. I want to strangle him, as it is a direct result of his refusing to turn. What ya gonna do with that?

Today has been a heart-breaking day. Not so much due to Chuck and his struggle, but that of the family beside us. The family "next door" is saying goodbye to their loved one. The end is near, and the entire family gathered. There are tears and goodbyes flowing as a dear life is slowly slipping away. The only thing that separates us is a wall...such an intimate time being shared by strangers.

Chuck has started doing therapy. Of course, it may be stopped due to his darkening wounds. Talk about self-sabotage. His appetite is the best it's been in months and months.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

My friends, Bob-O and Sue, sent me the BEST reminder. God called me and Chuck and gifted us to face this. He chose us for this journey. What an encouraging reminder. He chose a way for us to better his world. He went before us, took a look around at our situation, saw what we would need to handle it. Then he equipped us! What a loving God we have.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Chuck is on a vicious cycle. The cycle is this: he needs to be more active, doing therapy, etc. If he could do this, his digestive tract would behave MUCH better. However he feels too miserable and nauseous to try therapy. Thus the problem is exacerbated. On top of that, he's "down" which makes everything hurt and everything hard. His get up and go has got up and went. Please pray for any attacks on his spirit and psyche.

This is a PERFECT time to re-read:

Psalm 13
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.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Wound Watch: currently Chuck has six wounds. He has two with exposed hardware (upper center of his back and mid center of his back - this one was covered and is now exposed once again); Kevin = left upper back area; tail bone; right cheek; and the new one on his right hip.

I have it on good authority that I should not name Chuck's wounds. It causes me to hold on to anger and unforgiveness. (Nuh uh! That's a stupid idea.) Case and point. Kevin was a kind man trying to do his job. I now and forever release him. Kevin is forgiven and his name will no longer be associated with the wound on Chuck's back. (Nanny Nanny Boo Boo)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Nothing much happened this the way of health. We did have visitors, which was a breath of fresh air. I got to spend several hours with my friend, Mindy. Chuck tried his best to ignore us, as we did "girl talk." He slept. We gabbed. What could be better?

Friday, July 20, 2007

Chuck did therapy yesterday AND did a trache trial for 45 minutes. He thinks he may have overdone it on Wednesday, the first day that he felt really good. He suspects the old PICC line was the cause of his misery, as the moment it was pulled out, he began to feel better. Who knows? We're just thankful he's perking up.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Dear merciful heavens! Christy, Toast, James, Mindy, Liz...thank you. Thanks to all of you who read my rant and offered a prayer or a warm thought. I feel so incredibly supported. Wow, the wisdom you people have just blows me away. Everything that was written will be stored in my heart for future reference. XXOO

Chuck had a big turn-around yesterday! Thank you, God. He was feeling good and looking great. Yesterday was a big turn-around for me as well. Chuck had an issue with a nurse, and I threw on my superwoman cape to rescue him...then God gently nudged me. "Hey, Chuck can take this one." We called the nurse in and Chuck handled EVERYTHING. You know Chuck. He succinctly covered these bases: this is what I wanted to happen; this is what happened; this is what I expect to happen in the future. I almost cried. That's my MAN.

Chuck's wounds are doing well. He is eating again. (I am holding my breath...hoping for the best. Let's hope I don't pass out.) If he continues to feel well, he'll be able to do therapy and trache trials.

Just a note on the wounds. It takes a great number of calories to heal the body. Once one of the wounds heals, his body can redistribute the calories to better heal the other wounds. I think this is amazing! Let's pray for happy healing.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

This is a rant. It is only a rant. Had it been an actual....

Yesterday was just plain yucky. Granted, I'm mired in a bit of self-pity, self-loathing...SELF. Oi. Chuck's room was dirty; Chuck was dirty; I was heart-broken. How can I leave my husband at the mercy of others who may or may not look to all his needs? (Not all nurses are created equal.) What kind of wife am I? On top of that, Chuck keeps apologizing to me because he thinks he is upsetting me. This alone breaks my heart.

I had a "chat" with the nurses and nurse supervisor, reminding them of their vital role. They are Chuck's link to a pleasant experience, or to a miserable one. While they may not be able to heal him, they should be able to keep him and his room clean. Alas, in a hospital setting the attempts at healing come first (as it should be); and in an I.C.U. situation there are others around Chuck literally dying. Thus, the hygiene gets pushed back. Guilt, guilt, guilt. Because then his only link to extra attention falls to me. I'm so tired from trying to juggle work and Chuck, that I can't possibly handle it all. Eureka...God's in control. Eureka, I don't like it. Eureka, we are right where we are supposed to be, experiencing life exactly as God intended. (I still struggle with trusting this God because he does not do it my way!)

Chuck got a new PICC line late last night. He's still sickly. I worry that it is because he is eating and that he does indeed have gatroparesis (nerves damaged in stomach so that it just won't work). There's NO WAY I'm gonna be the one to explain it to him. NO WAY. NO WAY.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Not much has changed over the weekend. Please pray for these matters: Chuck's been achy for a week now; he struggles with nausea; he's sick and tired of being sick and tired.

We are hoping for a move this week...out of I.C.U. and onto "the floor." We will miss the I.C.U. staff, but currently we miss the floor staff! You know, the people at LifeCare are truly amazing. I doubted we'd come to love them like we love our Baylor Specialty staff...alas the heart just keeps expanding to make room for new folks to love.

Have I mentioned how PLEASED we are with wound care? Through God's guidance and grace, they have worked miracles. We are so grateful.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Miracle alert, miracle area of Chuck's hardware areas has been covered with SKIN! He HAD two areas of exposed hardware. I had come to the point of giving up, seriously...starting to look for other surgery. God's timing is perfect! In any case, the lower area is COVERED, COVERED, COVERED. I'm in awe. Thank you, God!!!!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Moving right along (How many of you are humming Fozzy Bear's song right now?) weaning and no therapies. He's still feeling too sickly to do much of anything. However, he's more interested in life outside the hospital. He likes the blinds up while I'm there...knowing Chuck, this is more for my benefit than his! He is interested in current events again, which is refreshing. Astonishingly enough, through this whole thing he's kept up with current events MUCH better than I have. He'd come to after going through one of his health scares, and I'd ask him what was going on in the world...and he KNEW! (Who's to say if he really I sure didn't!)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Chuck is feeling a little better...still yucky, but better than yesterday. I talked to Dr. Bell. If Chuck continues to progress as he has, he'll move out of I.C.U. next week. As for the sick feeling, nothing unusual showed up in his labs and he has no infections. It's definitely the studying thang that has him feeling ill!

Chuck is officially ready to wean...and Dr. Bell says that Chuck will set the pace. Today, no weaning occurred.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Chuck's feeling a bit worse today. However, he did go off the vent for 40 minutes! He's off and running again.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Christy hit the nail on the head...Chuck does NOT want to study. That must be it. Alas, he's really laying it on thick...looking all weak and nauseated.

I have not heard from Dr. Bell, but I think Chuck will stay in I.C.U. until he's over whatever bug he currently has.

His wounds are really looking good. Granted, he took one giant step back with the move. His bum is paying the price. So, while the wounds are looking good, they still has some catching up to do. Blessedly, the wounds on the back did not suffer any damage. So they are steadily moving forward! AND Kevin has real skin right in his center. He's still surrounded by open woundish stuff, but he's solid in the middle! Yea. Praise God!

I had a bit of a discouraging talk with the case manager today...regarding Chuck's wounds. They have become the #1 priority. You see, Chuck will be able to manage at home if he is still on the vent. He can still have a "modified," active lifestyle. However, if his skin does not improve...his activities will be limited...very limited...special bed, no trips...anywhere. Oi. I know, one day at a time. I have come to know this: it will all be okay. If this is what God has planned for us, he will equip us to handle it. For now, pray for Chuck's skin to mend. Pray for his body to absorb every ounce of protein that it can.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Chuck's not feeling well today. He's running a temperature. Aside from that, he's doing fine. Tomorrow we're going to ask about moving out of I.C.U. I'm not sure why they're keeping him there. He's definitely not I.C.U. material. However, they have plenty of room now, and they can keep a close eye on him.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Things at the hospital are delightfully boring. Chuck seems stronger, brighter, healthier than I've seen him in a while. He has decided to start working again! Since Stacie has started an insurance business, Chuck will have to pass some tests. Thus, Monday he will start studying. What better time than when stuck in one place?

Wounds are healing; lungs are stable...I'm not sure what's up with them. Everything is holding steady. Chuck's vent setting is down to 5, a miracle in and of itself. It's been at 5 for a couple of weeks now. For now, we're just happy to be bored.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Liz, thank you for sharing the Fourth of July memory! The Fourth is Chuck's favorite holiday. Honestly, he's not much for any other holiday but the Fourth.

It's been a busy few days. Chuck's new place is full of surprises...flooding in the room; no water for the sink; power outages. Alas, we both really like the new place! Go figure. The change has really been good for him. He is looking so bright and engaged with life!

Tod figured out how to get the X-Box to work, so Chuck's back in business. Also, Chuck's been cleared to eat. Please pray all goes well this time!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th!

Sorry, posts are delayed these days. There is no internet at the new place...yet.

Chuck is doing well. He survived a 2.5 hour wound-care-marathon today. Oi! Good news, "Kevin" almost looks like real skin.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Chuck is doing great. He looks fantastic. Alas, he is not feeling well physically, and he is very lonely (for me). It breaks my heart.

Yesterday, however, there was a gleam in his eye that I haven't seen for far too long. You see, the of the BEST couples ever, may have a contraption that will help Chuck enjoy the nature right outside his window. It is a "bird feeder" that safely doubles as a squirrel catapult. If a squirrel gets on top of the feeder, it spins around, flinging the dear creature into space. Oh don't be so shocked. I'm sure the squirrels enjoy the temporary freedom of flying. Lee and Amy are a couple after Chuck's own heart. I can't think of anyone else who would have come up with a way for Chuck to actually enjoy God's creation.

Chuck's wounds: some are good and and some are not good. The move was rough on his derriere. However, his back looks great.