Thursday, April 19, 2012

Updates on Hospitalized Friends

CHRIS was discharged from the hospital at the unlikely hour of 9 last night, and is happy to be home with her dogs and cats. Her wild animal nursery will soon be full again, unless, as I hope, she decides to cut back a little. The staff did NOT manage to get her heart back into rhythm. It is too weak. The suspicion is that it was damaged during her chemo treatments a few years ago. At that time, she went into the hospital because of feeling badly in the abdomen. They opened her up and found a massive tumor - benign! But then, while they were there, they also discovered a very, very tiny tumor that would otherwise never have been found until much later. So they removed both tumors and put her on chemo, and they think her heart has probably been at least slightly arrhythmic since about then. She is on various meds for blood pressure and blood thinning and will still need prayers.

DAVID opened his eyes Tuesday and now it feels like he is back with us. It was a day of great rejoicing. He has had a tracheostomy, a procedure that makes a hole in his throat. For hooking him up to the ventilator, althoug he is now breathing entirely on his own. He also has an opening into the stomach, so the nutrition can be put directly there. All this frees up his mouth, although he still cannot talk because of the hole in his throat; all the air goes out there instead of up to his larynx.

He can see us and he can now respond to us by shaking or nodding his head. We made an alphabet chart, thinking he could spell out things for us by pointing to the appropriate letters. Then the nurses brought us a "communications board" and it's great. The patient points to whatever part of the body he wants to discuss, and then points to adjectives like, "itches", "burns", "hurts", and so forth. There is also a list of things he may want. Well, it turns out to be more complicated than that because he can't point accurately yet. So we have to point for him and he stops us with a hand signal when we're pointing at the right thing.

What he pointed to was the left leg and the word, "numb". He has figured out that the left side of his body isn't working, and that is what was most on his mind when we last saw him. Well, of course. The nurse picked up his left leg and flexed it a few times. When she asked, "Is that better?" he nodded. !!! Implication, of course, is he can feel it, otherwise he wouldn't know if it were better or not. But we're getting mixed messages in that regard. The nurse said, "You'll be getting physical therapy for your arm and hand and leg." Perfect reply.

JOHN has now been home 9 days, having been either hospitalized or in rehab since January 12. Haven't heard from him since day two. He declined to join Nick and Sharyn and us for supper at Chick-fil-a two nights ago. We will keep trying.

Thanks again for remembering these dear people in your prayers.


Weekend Fisher said...

Life needs a lot of prayer, doesn't it? May they find healing of body and peace of mind.