Friday, November 25, 2005

Thanksgiving picture, Wound vac restarted, Hearing?

Thanksgiving Day: Here's a picture of us with Denise's mom, dad, & one of her sisters. You know how it is... the probability of getting a good group picture is inversely proportional to the number of members in the group. So I've got my eyes closed. Other than that, it looks pretty good, don't you think?
I was thankful that Denise is not only still alive, but able to speak, eat, breathe without extra oxygen, doesn't need any chest tubes, doesn't need dialysis anymore, isn't jaundiced, can pass food, can move, doesn't need a swan catheter... the list goes on & on. I'm thankful that even if, even *when* things take the ultimate bad turn, as we were worried would happen several times during the last four months, we have the faith & confidence that this life ain't all there is. I'm thankful for the access we've had to top-notch medical professionals (especially THE Great Physician, with whom we're consulting regularly), facilities, and advancements. I'm thankful for your prayers, concern, actions, and every effort that's directed at helping my wife through this. Even with her in the hospital, I think I've got way more things I can be thankful for than things to gripe about.

A family from my school provided us with a heat & serve family meal from Marie Callender's and a real Honeybaked ham (thank you!). Denise got into a wheelchair and joined me & the kids, her parents & one of her sisters for Thanksgiving lunch on a balcony that adjoins a waiting room. Jacob even reached over toward mommy and wanted to sit on her. She ate a lot... and threw up a lot. Feedings have started through the j-tube, and that's staying down. But Denise isn't able to hold much down that she takes by mouth. Today she wanted sushi, so I brought her some California rolls. She ate maybe 1/2 of one. She downed almost an entire strawberry smoothie. Willing to keep trying, she's asked me to bring her some Thai food next time, and more Honeybaked ham. She still wants some tamales, Hawaiian pizza, gyros... she's willing to try anything, even though she's establishing a track record of hurling after eating.

Temps the last two days are not to "fever" level. The ID doctor thought that perhaps she'd aspirated some food, and that triggered the fever response a few days ago. He stated yesterday that if things continue to be stable, they will consider sending her back to the rehab part of the hospital after the weekend. Heart rate has been between 114 & 135. That spike to 135 has been higher than I've heard in a while. Blood pressure has varied between 100 & 120 systolic. Lungs still sound good, though she gets breathing treatments sometimes. The wound vac was restarted yesterday.

Denise said that she feels like her ears are clogged. The left ear is particularly muffled sounding. She thinks she's yelling when she talks, but she's not. I can talk in a normal volume and she can hear. The ID doctor looked in her ears today and found that there is more was buildup in the left ear than the right. So hopefully eardrops to drain the was will do the trick. Otherwise, there's the possibility that the meningitis that she had may have temporarily or permanently damaged her hearing. As is frequently the case, wait & see.


Anonymous Anita said...

Dear Family!!!

You have become one to me...and it is so great to see you all together! Thanks for the picture. Seeing you together for Thanksgiving was one more blessing from our God. Stay strong. You are loved and being prayed for constantly.

With love, Anita

November 25, 2005 11:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was just thinking that maybe less is more. That is less food in by mouth would stay in place better than a lot of food. There hasn't been any food in there for a long time. Maybe a bite or two every hour or so would work for Denise. Still praying in Coalinga.

November 25, 2005 11:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Thanksgiving!! Yes, thanks much for the picture. Try baby food for her. Easy to digest, lots of nutrition - and the fruit mixtures are VERY good. Also maybe mashed potatoes - they digest very easily and they are easy on the stomach. God Bless your family.

November 26, 2005 6:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, I think it is a terrific picture! What a beautiful family portrait for Thanksgiving! Thank you, Phil, for posting it--it's a blessing to all who are praying for Denise and your family. Love and joy, Karon French

November 26, 2005 7:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Family,

Thank you for the wonderful picture with all of you is a special blessing.

Thank you, Heavenly Father, for Your constant care of Denise and for Your comfort and encouragement for those who love Denise and Phil. In the strong name of Jesus. Amen!

Athens, GA

November 26, 2005 2:14 PM  
Anonymous Deni said...

Dear Phil & Denise~~
What a wonderful picture of your beautiful family, and all you have to be thankful for this year.
I have been doing my best to follow your progress and I recall my Mom reading to me about you having a problem with potassium and those awful 'horse pills' you have to take. I can totally relate. I take potassium daily, however, there is another maker of potassium that make pills much smaller, and that are more like a 'caplet'--meaning they have a coating on them to make them go down easier. They are made by Upsher-Smith, are 10 mEq (750 mg). Not all hospitals carry these, however, you can get them at your pharmacy and then bring them directly to Denise's nurse. If you have any questions feel free to email me.
With Love, Blessings, and many Prayers (from Phil's cousin),

November 26, 2005 9:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful Thanksgiving picture....It's good to see all of you.

Our prayers and good wishes are with you.

Regards from Coalinga....
Agnes and Tony Dill

November 27, 2005 5:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is SOOOOOO great! Thank you for blessing us with a visual representation of our answer to prayers. We are encouraged to keep it up. We are so thankful too!
terry m

November 27, 2005 8:12 PM  

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