January 5, 2011

Still not from the keyboard of your preferred author but rather from he who feels like the embedded correspondent writing from the front lines.

I am starting to think we should change the name of this blog to “Where We Might Be”.

We thought she might go home today. Then last night she began throwing up, running a fever, pain more intense.

She is now in ICU. They were treating fever aggressively, as if it were septic (do not look that up on the internet!), but cultures won’t tell if so for sure until they have grown it for 5 days, then they rule it out….thinking it may be pneumonia, as there is something “settled” in her left lung. Many have told me–“she is on really good antibiotics”. The fever has come down and she is now 98.2. Good news.

They have found pulmonary embolism (blood clot in her right pulmonary artery)….doc says these usually resolve by themselves, but have her on blood thinners to prevent anything further….also will do a scan of her legs to make sure no clots forming.

The hated AG tube or somesuch name is up her nose into her stomach again…drained a liter of bile/fluid right away so it had been building up. Nausea under control, of course, but letting the feeding tube into her small intestine do the job of keeping her fed. She is also on oxygen again, but that has been pretty constant anyway.

The lung doc comments how she is not a complainer. Amen. The surgical physician assistant says all incisions look good. Some “liver chemical” levels up, so the bile duct stint area may be infected/inflamed or may be occluded and may also be the cause of the infection…I am speculating here, with little medical knowledge but some inputs from one of my many interviews with all medical personnel involved.

The nurses brought all the grandkid photos down to the room and they were posted when she woke up. No flowers allowed.

The atmosphere in the Intensive Care Unit is, well, intense–moreso than up on the oncology floor. No cell phone usage here. Visitors ages 14 and up only, 8AM to 10PM, no visitors hours 2-4 and 6-8, no overnight….and, there are no televisions here….no rugby in the halls either. Oh, 2 visitors at a time. And you have to wear a funky yellow hi-tech gown, no extra charge.

I am confident that she is in good hands–in both seen and unseen ways–and there is nothing more they could be doing.

We are in uncertain waters….again. The nurses talk as if she will not be in the ICU long. I have found the nurses usually know what is really going on. And nurses say her vitals are good. That’s all I know for sure. Wish I knew more. We are running a marathon here, not a sprint, about at mile 10.5, I estimate. Need to pace ourselves.

Doc Singh, the oncologist, thinks she will be upstairs on oncology floor again by tomorrow….”we are not at an end time”. He is less concerned about the liver numbers. And apparently already had her on blood thinners, just at a lower dose.

I feel reassured. But homecoming time up in the air…again. Thanks for all your kind thoughts and prayers.


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8 Responses to January 5, 2011

  1. Donna Simonitsch says:

    So sorry that Lin has has to endure all this. She is such a great lady. My prayers are for her and for you.

  2. Toni Stapley says:

    Lorin, you are probably already doing this but…do stretching,walking in place, and breathing exercises. It will help you feel loose (if it’s possible). You are doing great as the embedded reporter!! We all hang on your every word and you make the awful truth more palatable. Your are such a good caregiver/hubby. Thank you for all you do. When she awakes please give her my love. Toni

  3. Sandy Block says:

    Lorin, thank you again for your touching update. It is so meaningful for those of us who cannot be with Lin in person. It sounds like the doctor and nurses consider this just another “speed bump” on the road to recovery, but I’m sure it’s an unpleasant and scary one for Lin, you and your family. I pray for physical, emotional and spiritual comfort for you all. Please squeeze her hand for me.

  4. Jess and Annette Moulton says:

    Thanks for the continued updates. You are all in our thots and prayers!!! Our best to you and the family. Give Lin a squeeze from us!!!

    Jess and Annette Moulton

  5. DEB says:

    Thank you Lorin for the updates, they are much appreciated.
    I had hoped to visit Lin at home but since I’ve have had the flu this week I would never dream of coming up to the hospital infecting everyone! please tell her I will look forward to seeing her when she returns home. I’m praying for her quick recovery, trust the nurses! and give her a hug from me.

  6. elizabeth gaylord says:

    Thank you, Lorin, for your detailed reporting from the front. You handle your roles as loving husband/caregiver and communicator with such grace. I’m sure you know you contribute as much to Lin’s healing as the doctors do. I pray for her rapid return to oncology and then to home so she can pet those cats!

  7. Linda Ervin Scott says:

    Lorin- i know this might sound a little overwelming, but you are 100 % correct in saying that you need to pace yourself and i know this is much easier said than done — it sounds as though you and Lin have a wonderful team of nurses {and they do run the show!} and that your doctors are doing all they can — i know that the roller coaster , hour by hour deal is exhausting for all and you must feel like you never have both feet on the ground at the same time –and surely the uncertainty of it all can leave u breathless – i truly believe Lin will come home and be surrounded by all that which is so dear to her and the family —-and i know that will bring a sense of peace to everyone — fondly, ls

  8. Diane Goode says:

    Please tell Linda I’m praying for her and shall continue such time as she is completely recovered. I send my love to both of you. God is so good and he truly anwsers prayers. Sincerely, Diane

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