i A Time and a Place...: August 2009

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Donna Lee Update Saturday 8/29...Update 8/30...Update 8/31...

Donna Lee had a much better day today. I had a long talk with the main supervisor about yesterdays nurse and her attitude. He assured me he would talk to her and the rest of the staff. There was a male nurse today that handled both the nursing and the respiratory duties. His name is Roger and he is very knowledgeable and personable.
He called me at home early this morning and told me that the doctor would be installing Donnas feeding tube into her stomach from the side of her abdomen and he wanted to let me know that it would be a while before I could see her. I used that time here at home, washing and drying ( and ironing) a load of clothes.
Donna had a much better day today. She is still under sedation and doesn't know what is happening. She had dialysis again today and, as the result of losing a lot of fluid, her heart went into a rapid heartbeat known as 'tachycardia.' The doctor said the rapid heartbeat was the way the heart replaces fluids that the body needs which were lost to the dialysis. He said they will watch it closely and within a few hours, her heart rate should return to normal. If it doesn't as fast as they think it should, they can add fluids.
Thank you all so much for your encouragement and support. We love you. Jim and Donna...

Donna had a bad day today. She started out pretty good then things began to worsen. I was watching the screen and saw her blood pressure jump from 170 to 195 and told the nurse. She came over and turned the sound off and said Donna would be all right; those things happen. I assured her that those things don't just 'happen' on their own, without a reason. She didn't agree so I called the on-call doctor and he talked to her. She inserted some meds into donnas tube and we waited for the next BP check; it came in at 177/84, not too good but better. Then I saw Donnas face begin to turn red and she started to perspire and her breathing began to be labored. The nurse and the respritory tech weren't interested. Then her palms turned bright red. I called the nurses attention to it and she wasn't worried; it seemed no one wanted to worry. So I had the head nurse call Dr Hari and he came in and he looked worried. I reminded him that this is just what happened two weeks ago when Donna almost died. He assurred me he would keep a close watch on things.
That's about it for now. I'll check back with the hospital in a couple of hours, after the dialysis has run. Please keep praying for Donna. Jim

It's Saturday, August 29th and Donna Lee is about the same as she was yesterday. That's what the rounds doctor said. I exercised her some this morning and I think it relaxed her a bit. After I exercise her feet, I put them flat against a pillow or I put each foot into a foam rubber block to keep it flat. That will keep her from getting what is called 'drop-foot'.
She had dialysis this afternoon and the lady said she thinks Donnas color is better than it was day before yesterday.
Doctor Brusett said Donna may be in ICU for another month. He says she may be home in three or four months, after hospital and physical therapy.
I may buy an adjustable bed for when she gets home. They're pretty expensive but Costco has one on sale I can order and pay for with my credit card. And, if she doesn't need it within 90 days, I can return it. I have to decide before the 1st of September when the sale is off.
I really thank all of you, our friends and family, for your love and support. A dear friend of ours named Loretta went to a jam session today and filled everybody in on Donnas condition. She helps by keeping our jam session friends informed. It saves me having to make a lot of calls.
Please keep your love and prayers coming. We love you all. James and Donna.

Donna is still running a bit of a fever. The rounds doctor said it is caused by an infection of some sort. She gets an antibiotic for the fever but the antibiotics gives her diarrhea. What a quandary that is but the doctor says he can handle it. She had the trach tube put into her neck this afternoon and she seems to be breathing and resting a bit easier. Her fever is down to just under a 100 degrees. Doctor Brussett said she would probably be in icu for another month. She is pretty sick. Then he said she wouldn't remember much about this WHEN SHE GETS HOME. I almost kissed him for saying 'WHEN SHE GETS HOME'!
I didn't exercise her much today and none this evening after the trach tube was installed. I'll start again tomorrow.
That's about all for today. I really love all of you people for caring for my Honey and praying for her and being there for her. Your friends, Jim and Donna...

Donna seems to be just a bit better today. She still has a bit of a fever, about 37.9 Celsius which is 100 degrees Fahrenheit, not too bad. I started exercising her knees now, too, along with her arms, legs and feet. I don't know if it makes her feel any better now but it'll be good for her when she wakes up. The nurses here are really good people. I was told to press her feet against a pillow to flatten them out, so they won't stiffen at a down sloping angle and the nurse told me not to worry about the pillow. Then she went out and came back with two foam rubber deals that Donnas' feet fit into so they are kept in the right position. I just take them off her feet to exercise them then put them back on. Thank you all for your prayers, good wishes and hugs. We love you. Jim and Donna.

Donna had a bit of a bad night last night. Her white blood count was up because of an infection. They're not sure where the infection is. The kidney doctor put in a new tube and replaced all of Donnas old tubes, thinking that might help. I didn't exercise her today because she was tired. Her other signs are good; BP, ECG, EKG and the like. Her breathing was good with the respirator set at 40%. I came home a bit earlier than usual to tend to a few things here. Doctor Brussett said he will talk to me tomorrow or Friday about putting the trach tube to make it easier for her to breathe and maybe she will awaken then. Thank you all for your prayers and support. Jim and Donna.

Donna looks better than she did yesterday. The respirator is turned down to 40% which is a very good sign. (by the way, I think the trach tube will be for her breathing if and when it is installed)The respirator tech listened to her heart and lungs and said her lungs sounded better than they ever had; there was no rattle of any kind. The doctor who was head of the 'rounds' said she is definitely improving. Thank you all for your prayers and support. We love you all for it. Jim and Donna

I exercised Donna today and she was sent for another cat scan; I don't know what about. She is doing better.I sat in on the 'rounds' this morning and the head man showed me Donnas latest X-ray. He pointed out that her lungs look about 60% better than they did just yesterday. He says they look like they are starting to balloon out and that's a very good sign.

The nurse said they might take the tube out of her throat in a few days and install a trach tube to feed her. She may be able to awaken then. I sure hope so.
Thank you all for your prayers. We love you so much. James

I went to the hospital early this morning and Donna

I went to the hospital early this morning and Donna was doing much better. I exercised her arms and feet and that seemed to quiet her down some more. She had a dialysis during the day.

When I left, her breathing was very regular and smooth. I am feeling much better about her now.

I know all of you understand she can't have visitors except for immediate family. Just before she went in for the surgery, she told me to not let anyone see her until she got her own room. She said, without her teeth, she looked like a little old grannie. I reminded her that she is a little old granny and she said, maybe so but I just don't want to look like one.'chuckle'

I love all of you who have prayed for her. Having friends is a wonderful thing and Donna loves all of you for being here!


It's 4 pm right now. Donna had her cat scan. I don't know what the result was but it must have been all right or I'm sure they would have said something. She had e very rough day, being moved and all. And they took the catheter out of her heart and put in somewhere else. They said it would be more comfortable. Please keep your thoughts going to her. I'm sure she'll get well but a few good thoughts and a prayer or two won't hurt anyhow and we'll love you for them. Jim

I'm headed to the hospital right now. Donna was on the dialysis machine yesterday pm and was otherwise unchanged. They want to get a cat scan of her stomach today. Moving her will be very traumatic for her. Please send your good thoughts to her. She'll love you for it. Jim

Update: Donna is doing some better this morning. They took the dialysis machine off and her pulse, blood pressure and respiration are pretty good. Her white blood cell count is somewhat elevated but nothing that can't be handled. I heard the doctor tell the nurse that Donna is a bit better than yesterday. Thanks to everybody for your prayers! Jim...

To our friends:

Donna Lee found out she had lung cancer and, after many scans and tests, we decided she would have an operation to remove it. The Doctor said, given her history, the operation should be relatively safe. Her heart was good and that was the most important part.

The top lobe of her right lung had a large mass on it and the Doctor removed the entire lobe. The operation was a complete success and the next morning, she was awake and alert and almost ready to go home. (she said and I agreed)

Then (she was already in the Intensive Care Unit as a precaution) she was administered medication and she had a very bad reaction to it and almost died. Her heart had to be shocked to regain a good sinus rhythm and it worked; it was 87 bpm and steady and we felt better about things.

But her body reacted very badly to being moved or bothered in any way. She is on a respirator for her breathing and, at one time, the pressure was lowered to fifty percent (that's good) and she was hooked up to a dialysis machine to clean and warm her blood. After a while it was disconnected but, after night before lasts' bad episode, it was reattached as a precaution. This was after the doctor had to insert a catheter directly into her heart to help the monitoring.

Yesterday her color was better and yesterday an electrocardiograph showed that there was NO suspected hole in her heart and her heart was in overall pretty good condition. That is a very good sign.

Her doctor said he suspected she had a bad allergic reaction to one of her medications. He said that the longer she can be kept in her present guarded condition, the better chance she has for survival.

I know she will pull through but a small prayer or two from some of our friends surely wouldn't hurt anything.
I'll try to keep you posted.


Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Can You Believe This...

This is so cute I just had to post it! Enjoy!!