Sunday, October 23, 2005

Long conversations, iPod church

Denise said that she was having a bad day today. She was tired of the pain of aching muscles, the bed sore, and the Flexi-Seal. She had a lidocaine patch for a while (hmm... if iocane powder came it patch form, would it be odorless, tasteless, dissolve instantly in water?). Then she got some heavier duty meds to take the edge off of the pain.
Everything else today was good (or at least improving). I got more video of her talking, smiling, waving, blowing kisses... the kids loved seeing her on the TV. She's got the encouragement of hearing that she may be moved out of ICU as early as Monday. Even if it's a carrot dangling in front of us, and doesn't happen tomorrow, it's a reasonable step to look forward to. Fever spiked at 101.4 last night (the spikes keep on lowering) and I didn't see the temp go above 99.9 during my visit today. Heart rate was usually around 108, but jumped to 117 during a bout of pain. The only time I thought to check the blood pressure, it was 106/61. She continued to eat ice chips and slowly sip water. There was a point where she threw up some water, but we think it was because of the buildup of gunk in her throat causing a gag reflex. Gunk. That's a medical term from now on. Remember that.
She was awake and talking to me for over 5 hours today. We made calls to one of her long-time college friends that has a disability. Denise told her that she was an inspiration to her, now that Denise is having so much physical trouble. Tears flowed. She also called her parents and my parents (they've been out of town & couldn't access this blog... my pop didn't know Denise could talk... by the way, his problem the other day was bronchial, not lung cancer-related, and he's doing better). Upon finding out that my sister-in-law was baptized today, she said, "Yay!" She wanted to know about what's been happening in her family while she was in the hospital. I told her that overall, we were preoccupied with her. She's especially interested in finding out what her mom, dad, and sisters have been up to, apart from worrying about her. She asked lots of questions about the hospital stay, too. She said she remembers hearing about losing the baby, remembers the kids visiting, remembers some faces, but otherwise can't really remember anything about being at the hospital until more recently. We listened to the church service, too. Our church, Lake Avenue, has their sermons & notes available online. That's been really handy when the kids have been sick and we couldn't make it to church... we'd just listen online. They recently started making the sermons available as podcasts, so they can be heard on an MP3 player. This morning I downloaded recent messages to the iPod and we listened to a Sunday morning message together. She thought that was really cool. Some of you didn't know what a blog was, or get online, or even use a computer until you started following Denise's story. Now I'm throwing terms like "iPod," "MP3," and "podcast" at you. I know how you feel. I've been hanging around medical pros and most of the time I can't understand their jargon, either.
She really wanted me to stay with her and keep on talking today. She looked tired, but said she wasn't. My lovely wife did come up with her requested visiting hours, by the way. Sleeping in would be great, so if everyone could please wait until after 9:30am or 10am to visit, that would be great. 8pm sounded like a good bedtime to her. I reminded her about the "no visitor" time between 7 & 8 pm in the ICU, and she pushed her last call for visitors to 9pm. The only time I left was for a very fast lunch in the cafeteria. Sushi (well, California rolls... not really sushi) & root beer. I don't know what I was thinking. I love both. Not together, though.
Anyway, like I said, Denise wanted me to stay, even during a cleanup. She was really sore and started sobbing, in spite of the nurses gentle washing & turning. As mentioned at the top of this post, she was tired of the Flexi-seal fecal collection tube. She just wanted that poop chute out. I explained that it needs to be in because if there's a mess, they don't want the bedsore to come into contact with it, due to the risk of infection. They deflated & reinflated the little balloon that keeps it in place, and she put up with it as well as can be expected. Now, she's also got a cooling blanket with a thermostat that's controlled by her temperature. And the temperature is taken, you guessed it, anally. The probe was out during the cleaning. The nurses are really good about letting Denise know what they're going to do. The nurse told Denise that she was going to put the probe back in. Denise's reply to the nurse is also the quote of the day: "No, thank you. I don't need anything more done to my butt today."

Carseat update: I couldn't find one to borrow, so I'm taking someone up on their generous offer to supply us with one. Thank you! It will get tons of use.

Teacher Karen update, from an email sent out by my school:
We want to let you know that our beloved Karen Shaw has gone home to be with the Lord. The Memorial Service will be held on Tuesday. We will communicate the time and place as soon as the details are finalized. Please pray for her family: her husband, Dan and sons Rob, Rick, Ryan, their wives and children.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't tell you how anxious I get anymore to get online and check the blogs since the very recent improvements. My boss and I both were very excited reading the one from yesterday. It's amazing how the smallest things that we all take for granted can give us such joy when we have missed them for so long such as sipping water and being able to swallow it. Please give Denise a big hug for me and tell her we love her...Cindy

October 24, 2005 7:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praise the Lord for Denises continued progress!!

My heart greives with Mrs. Shaws Family. Lord comfort them far beyond human words!

October 24, 2005 10:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I am so excited to hear everything that has been happening! Amazing! We miss you all, please tell Denise that we are thinking about her and love her so much!


October 24, 2005 2:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Praise the Lord for His wonderful healing touch for you, Denise. He continues to carry you through the process.

Thank you Father for the precious way's you have taken care of Phil, Gracie, Jacob, and the rest of the family and all of the medical staff You have worked through. May each realize the depth of Your love.

My heart grieves with Dan, Rob, Rick, Ryan, their wives and children at this temporary separation of their beloved Wife, Mother, and Grandmother. I pray that the loving, comforting arms of our Lord be your strength at this time and knowing your loved one is in the presence of our Lord would fill you with His Christ Jesus. Amen

In His Love, Athens, GA

October 24, 2005 5:05 PM  

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