Thursday, May 30, 2013

Day 17 HOME!

We came home late afternoon Tuesday. There is nothing like being home to make all things seem possible. We are all adjusting. The Bear is not adjusting as well as we are. She is not eating or making her noises. It's sad. I'm hoping another day or two of walks will shape her up. Today a home health care nurse will come and assess My Handsome Prince, change his dressing and do whatever else that needs to be done. I think home PT will be the next step. He has taken over my recliner, which I have gladly handed over. It's comfortable and keeps his legs elevated.  We are happy, the weather is gorgeous. 

Yesterday I kept wondering when my girls would come over and realized they wouldn't be coming for a week or more :-( 

And even though the dog is showing signs of depression those belly rubs help (both of them, I think)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The 12 Days of Hopkins

Finally, Friday was discharge day. It happened within an hour. We got the news a bed was open at Good Samaritan Rehab, insurance approved the stay, ambulance transport was on its way, port flushed, IV removed, room packed up and off he went! I had to go buy The Man some shoes and socks for therapy. I must say that communication and openness is not one of his doctor's strong points. We were totally unprepared for this though the questions were asked initially, hence having to buy shoes and socks.  It was such a strange feeling to be leaving Hopkins. We were so anxious to leave yet I felt a bit of sadness. How do I express the gratitude to those who were so caring? I knew the names of over a dozen nurses, techs, a nurse practioner and a few doctors.  I wanted to wave and yell thanks! You do a good job! Like the man a couple rooms down the hall did. Instead I thanked one nurse and walked slowly down the hall by myself a bit teary, a bit relieved, and a bit nervous for the next part.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Tomorrow- Day 11

Each day it's "tomorrow looks good for discharge from the hospital and admission to rehab" and each day My Handsome Prince remains in the same room in the same building. Physical therapy in the gym is fantastic. It is two therapists on one patient.They ask us both what our concerns are, what we want worked on, yes both of us! They know I will carry on at home. Our biggest concern is the car right now, how the hell to get in and out without breaking those hip precautions. The desired rehab facility at Hopkins is full and won't have a bed until the weekend is over so we are looking at another Hopkins facility on the other side of the city. Tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed. If not he will graduate before being admitted.  At this point I still think rehab will give him/us some great advantages and learning experiences that we will not get otherwise.  And we've been sent home unprepared before. I am determined not to let it happen again.  While the man may rock PT, OT is another story though he did learn to put his pants on today.

And just because I love these people so much! 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

On Fire! Day 10

Well My Man is on fire today! The NG tube has been removed and physical therapy was great! He is working on sitting and standing from low surfaces, mastering stairs, and basic walking. He has several hip precautions so has to relearn some basic functions. Right now the plan remains with discharge tomorrow and admission straight to rehab, one section of Hopkins to another. We feel more comfortable with rehab for several days rather than going straight home. Time to learn and gather strength, personal training for basic living.

Here he is happy, hairy and tubeless

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Day 9

I feel so self centered today. We do not turn on the television much while we are in the hospital. The mornings are very busy with doctor visits, physical therapy, occupational therapy, visits from social workers, rehab representatives or whoever the person of the day is. Then after several hours of this, My Handsome Prince needs quiet and rest so he sleeps while I play music or podcasts. We completely missed the Oklahoma tragedy until late at night. I can not even imagine. I just whisper my hopes and thoughts for these affected and hope they hear them in someway.

Things are progressing for the Man. He continues to work with physical therapy, assisted and reminded of certain things and so determined. Systems are working so the tube should be out by this afternoon. That alone will be enough progress.  We are hoping for discharge from the hospital tomorrow and admission to rehab. 

Marie comes home tomorrow. I have not spent any time in the house. I leave early and come home late. I hope she is not too surprised to see me there!

And today I thank my daughters for their strength and support. They may not know but their visits, phone calls and check ins have kept me going. They may have thought they were visiting their Daddy but they were holding me. I love those girls.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Farts Make Me Laugh

Or in this case, make me smile because it means certain parts are waking up.

My Handsome Prince managed a walk down the hallway today. Wore. Him. Out. We had some visitors today too, a co worker of his, my Dad, and Emma and Chris. He is not talking much because of the tube down his throat so he just listens. They didn't stay long although I suspect Chris wanted to finish watching the movie he started.

I'm going home soon and having a pizza delivered. Earlier MHP said he would give $100 to have a coke and a pizza. As soon as things are moving consistently, guess what I'm bringing him?

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Friday, May 17, 2013

Day 5

I have sent so may text messages and emails that my eyes are blurred. If you don't hear from me personally, come here to get the news.

TGFO! Thank goodness Friday's over! What a rough day. Sometime during the night My Handsome Prince's abdominal discomfort became so bad it caused some shortness of breath. An EKG was ordered along with a CT scan with contrast of his chest, one to rule out a heart problem the other to rule out more blood clots in the lungs. The good news is that both are free and clear including the previous clots. The bad news is he has post surgical ileus, a paralysis of the stomach. To deal with this, he is not allowed any food or liquids until his stomach starts working on the body's own fluids. He also has a tube inserted into his nose, down his throat to his stomach to pump out the extra fluid. The abdominal pressure has been relieved but he HATES the tube. Time is the real healer though. They keep saying one day at a time, so cliche but oh so true.
He has a new brace on his leg which provides a lot more support but he has not moved since it was fitted. Hopefully he will get put of bed today with physical therapy so he can experience it. It goes around his hips all the way down to his foot. 
The tv has been activated, he has his computer and he is texting and conversing, all signs that he is back on the path to recovery.
Leaving the hospital these days has been so difficult. I feel so sad, so guilty, so tired. I know that I must be on my best game every day to ask the questions, demand the answers, get the scoop. I only stayed until 7pm on Friday and got home early enough to enjoy a bourbon on the deck with Emma and Apple Sunshine. A good end to a long, difficult day.
Today, Saturday, is a new day and full of promise. Pat texted me at 7am, his dressings have been changed and the incision/wound appears to be healing (a concern after 6 surgeries already using same incision site and radiation). He has already had his morning x-ray and has to have the tube another 24 hours. Physical therapy will be here noonish to work with him and his new brace. We are watching a Rawhide marathon, young Clint. See? Full of promise (and naps).

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Just the Two of Us - Day 4

Not much news today. It was just the two of us, no visitors. Though several wanted to come, we thought it best to not have any. We were visited by the social worker and representatives from two different rehab facilities. We are going to stay put at the Hopkins facility.  There is comfort in familiarity and being close to his doctors. 

See the second corner window from the top? That's the Man's room.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Monkeying Around -day 3

I didn't get to the hospital until after 11am. My old friend Holly was in the area so she came for a visit. We were very young Mothers together in Manchester. Some relationships never change. It was a quick catch up but oh so good. By the time I arrived at the hospital, My Handsome Prince was already sitting in the chair. Medically things have been removed, drugs and dressings have been changed. The ortho team has been in several times. There is talk of a rehab center upon release. Progress has been made in inches. Today is just one of those days where he is wiped out, physically and emotionally, that is until those girls of his come in and kiss the top of his head and leave him with a monkey.  He goes back to sleep with a smile on his face.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Day Two

Today has just flown by, quite the opposite of yesterday. I got to the hospital around 9am this morning (yes, I went home last night), silenced the phones reclined the chair next to the man and we snoozedI told him I liked sleeping with him even if it is in a chair beside him. He gave me his smile and "hmm". Then things just started happening around here, pharmacy came in with a brace, the girls came in to see their Daddy's face, physical therapy came in to start and the next thing I knew, it was 3:00. He is sitting in a chair, snoozing. It probably took an hour to get there, some exclamations, some nausea, and pain meds but it means progress.  I might go to Maverick Dance Party with Emma to work off some stress and go to bed early tonight. I'll do my grocery shopping in the morn. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Stand By My Man

We got to Hopkins by 5:30 this morning with Bill arriving on our coat tails by 6am. I think Pat was in pre-op from 7-8 am and we were able to visit with him there before surgery.  They kicked us out around 8am and whisked him into surgery. Johns Hopkins hospital has a liaison between the operating room and the waiting room. They took a good look at me, a description of my clothing along with a cell number and names and numbers of others joining me. After three, they said that's enough. Our minister, Chris, drove over the bridge to be with us, my Sissy came bearing a gourmet lunch and the girls came with games. We occupied ourselves with stories, laughter and games because that's how we roll, our defense. We got updates about every 2 hours but all they stated was that he was still in surgery and stable. Sissy left after a while, Chris left. The girls stayed until they received the news that their Daddy was out of surgery and not going to ICU. The surgery was 9 hours. Bill waited until he could see his son. They let us go in but one at a time. I went first. He looked so small, so sad. I felt so sad and a bit nauseous. He had some serious anesthesia and was having trouble determining what was real and what wasn't. I warned Bill before he went in. After a while Bill went home.

It's a little after 9pm. He is coming out of his drug induced haze and administering a differently type of drug. He is making jokes, as usual, that's how he rolls, his defense. We are still in recovery but anticipate going up to his room soon. I have my pillow and blanket in the car if I feel I need to stay the night with him and the offer from Suzan that she will come stay with him so I can go home and get some rest. 

Thumbs up from the man :-)

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Waiting Game is Over

Surgery is scheduled for Monday, May 13. We have to be at the hospital by 5:30am so we will head to Baltimore on Sunday night.  And that's all I have to say about that.

Monday, May 06, 2013

The Weekend was Just Allright!

Allright or Epic, depending on your era :-)
After our initial bitch and blame session, we jumped right in to having a good time. We had reservations at Birroteca, a place we had been thinking of for a long time. A huge beer list, wonderful pizzas, and time with our gang couldn't have started the weekend better. Friday morning, Emma and I took two walks, one power and one to Whole Foods for a little shopping for our gathering later in the evening at Wenck the Farm. Good food, nice wine, and laughter in abundance at my Sissies. My heart was so full I held back tears.Saturday was the Maryland Sheep and Wool festival, the place where I bought my first knitting needles. Audrey went with us and we met up with our friend and short term housemate, Becky, who when we first met refused to hug and now gives the best, heartfelt, real hugs. I felt loved. I was unsure of whether I would have a car full of yarn or be so overwhelmed that I bought nothing. Well, I was on the side of overwhelmed. What I enjoyed were the hand knit garments I recognized, including seeing half a dozen color affection shawls a project that is currently on my needles, Next time my strategy includes a chair and knitting and notebook and my friend Randee. We ended the day with dinner and a movie with our gang again. We can't have too much time with them lately. On Sunday, drinking our coffee, we held the debate of whether to go to church or not and whether to go to Lansdowne (Dad's church) or Christian Temple (our previous home church). By the time we developed enough energy or drank enough coffee to make a decision it was too late to get to the former in time so we decided on the latter. Good decision. We walked into Christian Temple and received the most unbelievable welcome. The NG Church Band was doing the service. They were great! It was so different for MHP not to be part of the band but so great to just listen, hum, and move with the music. He was honored as one of the original members.We ended our time in Westminster with the Miller's at a crab feast honoring Bill and Suzan's Australian guests. We gathered again with family, the beginning and end of our time in Baltimore. Yes, the weekend was Allright! And I am exhausted. We are home now awaiting news.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Sh*t Happens

We arrived in Baltimore in time for scheduled testing and a consult with the plastic surgeon and then home to Mt. Washington by early afternoon. I spent the afternoon reading on the deck while Pat attended to a house issue, still unresolved. In the middle of this ordinary afternoon, he received a call from Hopkins stating that his insurance did not approve the surgery yet and did we have tens of thousands of dollars to pay for said surgery instead. Come to find out, the papers were not even submitted until yesterday afternoon. Because we generally do not keep that kind of money and it would require some work to acquire it, Hopkins decided it best to postpone the surgery. WTF?
We made numerous phone calls, texts, emails to all involved. One wise man told me that maybe it was just what Pat needed, more time to heal physically and spiritually. Shit happens and the healing way to deal is to find the positive, not always easy, especially when you just want to blame and bitch. But we are doing just that. Last night we had a great evening with our daughters and their manses. Today I will walk the hills of Mt. Washington and visit the arboretum on this lovely spring day. We will head to Wenck the Farm, Sissie's place for a bonfire. I can not hardly contain my excitement at being able to attend The Maryland Sheep and Wool Fest, church at Christian Temple and lastly a crab feast at The Millers. Family and fun time not centered around a holiday or treatment or illness. And hopefully when we get home there will be one more opportunity to have some fun with Mom, Auntie and dear friend, Kae.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013


The Senior Spring retreat is coming up and the theme is prayer.  My Dad wants to use Anne Lamott's book "Help, Thanks, Wow" as discussion along with music as prayer and an examination of the Lord's Prayer. My position at the Conference Center has enabled me to hear many prayers and be included in prayer.  I'm amazed sometimes at the eloquent words used and the flow.  Or the simple thank yous that come out quietly when someone else is praying.  I watched a group of people set up one time then walk into every lodging room on the property  and pray for those who would be in those rooms.  It was very intentional. When asked to pray sometimes I think about it so hard it becomes more of a composition than a prayer, a project. And I sweat. Last night we received this prayer from our friend Rick.  It's simplicity and intent and wish made me cry as I read it to my husband.

I hold this family in your light.
I pray for them to get their miracle, and to have stamina.
I pray for them to be okay today;
For their love, and their amazing senses of humor to help them through this.
Thank you in advance for your company and blessing.
You have never once let me down.
The group that is at the center for the next few days are regulars.  There is a relationship that develops over time with regulars.  Today some of them asked to pray for us.  We held hands and beautiful, heartfelt wishes flowed and again I cried. 
I downloaded Anne Lamott's book and there is hope for me, to learn to pray, to learn to ask, to learn to be grateful and gracious, and lastly to still be filled with wonder and express it.