Friday, November 28, 2008

And, we're home again!

Pete called about 8:15 this morning to tell me the doctor had been in and was ready to discharge him. So, I finished breakfast, took a shower and headed up. It's 2:50 and we just got here. Anna did better than should have been expected being cooped up in the hospital all day long, but as always, she's a trooper!

He looks just great but is absolutely wiped out from the trip home. He was going to go to bed, but instead, he wanted to send an email to his PT from TIRR to follow up on his therapy. He has about 7000 unread messages in his email inbox, so we'll be going through those and deleting all but the junk!

Y'all have a great rest of your holiday. I know I will.

Monday, November 24, 2008

He looks like our Pete!

OK, well, the surgeon came into the waiting room at like 3:15 to tell us that the surgery was done and it went great. So, given past experience, it was going to be about 90 minutes to 2 hours before they called me into recovery to see him. When it was 5:30, I saw one of the hospital "guest relations" people and asked her to run it down for me. She looked at the computer and says, "this shows him still in the OR". She asked if I was sure the doctor came in to say the surgery was over or he was just about to go in. I told her I was and she called the surgery secretary who confirms that the surgeon finished his work around 3:00 and that the resident was closing him up, for over 2 hours. It does make sense to some degree. Put your hands in your hair and see how little give your scalp has, so you gotta know it takes some doing to stretch it far enough to be able to staple it, particularly when you are trying to make sure you don't harm him.

Anyway, I was finally able to see him around 6:45. He was coming out of the anesthesia and was nauseated and had a headache but I looked at him straight on and he looked so good, his head is all back to normal. Well, if normal means having probably 150 staples in it (obviously there's a dressing over the incision) and there is of course some swelling under the scalp, but otherwise, it's the very handsome shape he's been for all this time.

They put him into the NICU, but not the one he's been in before, that unit is full. There is a 6 bed overflow unit on the 3rd floor and that's where he is. The nurse that I wanted to bitch slap was there to take care of him. She didn't remember our history, but she remembered me. I have to say that she is an excellent nurse, but a wee bit too married to the rules.

I came home and gave Anna kisses and put her to bed, she's sleeping like an angel.

It really IS brain surgery

and praise the Lord it is over. Pete did very well and is probably moving into recovery. Once he's all awake, I'll be able to go see him. He'll spend at least tonight someplace I really never wanted to go again, the NICU, but that only stands to reason. There is still a possibility of continued accumulation of cervical spine fluid, which would necessitate a shunt being put in. So, they will do a CT in a couple of days (oy) and see how that is doing.

The surgery took right at the estimated 2 hours, but it took way over an hour for him to be prepped for surgery.

The good news is that when he goes up to the NICU he can show off his new toe wiggling trick. I bet a few of the nurses will be surprised at that development.

Pete was up raring to go this morning. I was too, although I could have used another hour of sleep. I had a punch list before I left and still had to go in 3 times for stuff I forgot. Thank heaven I remembered my reading glasses, because this screen is teeny tiny!

Thank you all for your prayers and good thoughts. You cannot imagine how much they mean to me.

Monday, November 17, 2008

This Monday/Next Monday

What a day today! We went to see Pete's PCP first thing this morning, went to see the Cardiologist after that, went into the neurosurgeons office to drop some records off and then went up to the country to get Pete's mom.

That's how many transfers into and out of the car? He's getting really good at it, although he doesn't always aim well the first time and spends a bunch of time getting himself into the car. About the time he's done with that, I've got the wheelchair broken down and in the trunk. Although this afternoon, Pete's mom and I almost collapsed in laughter trying to get it into the trunk. I tried from the wrong end (the side with the wheels) and it ended up spinning away from me. Then she tried, same thing happened.

But, in reality, he's doing the whole deal himself, I'm truly just spotting him. I do think you might get a chuckle if you considered Pete and I in a very small bathroom, with a bath chair, a transfer chair and an addition to the toilet to make it more stable for him, trying to get him through all those transfers. It was pretty funny if I say so myself. We're just working through the bumps and really, he's stronger every day. Tonight, the guy was just worn out, and was in bed pretty early.

Next Monday, we go back in to have his bone flap replaced. I can hardly wait to be honest. He'll be in the hospital probably through Thanksgiving, but who cares! We have so much to be thankful for this year and it doesn't have to be confined to a specific place to celebrate. Besides, the food at Methodist is good and I have to figure the turkey and dressing will be outstanding. And, then starting at the beginning of December, he'll be back in outpatient rehab at the TIRR Kirby Glen facility.

Oh, one more thing, this evening I asked him if he could wiggle his toes. He said he'd try and he sure did wiggle those toes on his left foot. He said he couldn't feel it or see it, but I told him I could both feel and see it. Manipulating his toes is important for eventual walking, which I feel certain is going to happen.

Anna is doing a bunch of acting out. I feel certain she's more than a little mad at both Pete and me. Pete for not being home for so many weeks and then just showing up, and me for casting her aside for daddy. It's kind of like a reverse of the man's reaction to a new baby in the house, except on a 2 year old's level, which depending n the man is either more or less mature.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

We're Home!

After much household preparation and cleaning, I got to TIRR to pick Pete up at about noon yesterday. We stopped for a sonic on the way and then got home in time for Anna to have taken a nice long nap and waking up happy to see daddy.

We've had some interesting experiences with transferring into and out of the wheelchair. Recliners are tough to get out of, and the carpet is a little tricky to navigate, but I have to figure in a few days, this will all be second nature to us and Pete's right leg will get very strong! Right now, he's doing laps around the house. We watched some football yesterday and had pizza for dinner. I was absolutely worn out by the time we went to bed last night. But it was the good kind of worn out where you can snuggle in and sleep.

Anna is very glad daddy is home, but she is a little stressed by the whole experience. Today will be mostly hanging around the house and maybe a few short outings. The wheelchair is much less difficult to get into the trunk than I expected, so it shouldn't be a problem at all, again, in a couple of days.

Friday, November 14, 2008

It's a Blue Norther!

Those of you not from the South are probably wondering what in the world a Blue Norther is, it's when a strong front comes through and you can stand in the front yard and feel the temperatures dropping, sometimes 20 degrees in an hour. It's my favorite kind of cold front and may bring a light frost on Sunday morning.

You're probably not as interested in the weather report as all that.

Coming to Missouri City along with the high winds and cold rain tomorrow morning is Mr. Peter! I know he is very excited to be coming home and we are excited to have him there. Anna seems a little confused by the development, but so it is with little ones.

Today we went to see the neurosurgeon, who says we can schedule surgery in the next few weeks. For me, the sooner the better! We'll schedule a CT scan to make sure there are no surprises and then the surgery right after that. He will have no outpatient therapies at all until the boneflap is replaced, which for me is another reason to get that going.

I also asked for his take home prescriptions. This stroke patient who almost died less than 3 months ago, who left Methodist with uncontrolled blood sugars, a necrotic gallbladder, possible pneumonia and an atrial fibrillation, is coming home with Pepcid and Lipitor. No blood pressure meds or heart meds are deemed needed. We do check in with the cardiologist on Monday at noon-time to make sure that's fine and dandy with him. We have discovered the likely cause for the stomach problems he's been having is the amiodarone, the medicine to control his heart rate. This medicine has been discontinued and his heart rate is fine, his blood pressure is low, and he is less tired and nauseated.

I just got off the phone with his mom and she's gonna take a little vacation to Missouri City for a couple of weeks to stay with him during the day. It could be interesting to watch them dance into the bathroom.

Overall, life is good!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Hoping our luck changes

My cold, which I thought I licked has come back full force and is now in my chest. So, I was trying to get some extra sleep this morning. Getting in the way of this was Alyson who kept scratching the doors to Anna's room and the hall way, so I had to get up twice to run her off, Anna screaming because she needed to go potty, and then the doorbell ringing at 7:15.

I thought it was the kid from across the street with her dog, and I could ignore it. Nope, the bell was run again and then knocking was coming through the monitor. The word "crap" went through my head, and then I got up, looked through the blinds see the boyfriend of one of the neighbors kids and a cop behind him. I open the door, in my night gown, and with my hair probably every which-a-way, and find out that the kid ran into the mailbox. So, let me go put on a robe and some slippers, y'all come in I'll be right back. I think it's safe to say there will be no going back to sleep now. This is the mailbox Pete built for me for Christmas 3 years ago, it's made out of cedar and the materials were very expensive. The only part that is still standing is the base, and I remember how deep he put that in, so it's not going anyplace soon.

I guess the good news is that the kid called the police and came to tell me, he didn't drive off like the people who did that to my sister's. But you gotta know, he wanted to get home before his mother noticed he hadn't come home last night.


Friday, November 7, 2008

One thing I forgot to mention

It's just as freezing cold in this waiting room as it was in August. Just thought I'd help the girls remember that little tidbit.

Like Deja Vu all over again

The sisters will remember this place, Main Building, suite 200, Radiology waiting room. This is where we hung out the day Pete had his stroke while they tried in vain to clear the blockage that was causing it.

Today, I'm here because he's in CT having his abdomen imaged. I believe I mentioned there was some concern that the pain Pete was feeling has to do with the bone flap possibly migrating downward a little too far. They want to check it out and make sure nothing else was going on in there. They don't think there is, but they adopt the better safe than sorry approach.

Pete has still been battling nausea and they are working on the cause of that. It's possible it has to do with the various medications they have him taking. They will probably work on rearranging them to get him taking less medicine and check the dosing. It is hard when you have several medical conditions going on at once and need medications for each one to make sure there are no obnoxious side effects.

We're just 8 days from release. Yesterday, finally, I got some input from his therapists about aftercare and what to expect. They will be spending these last days working with him on how to manage at home. I get a little more antsy every day, because of the changes and challenges that are destined to happen once we're there. Continued prayers and kind thoughts are much appreciated as we make the next step in our journey.