Home, Finally Home

November 19, 2013 at 3:42 pm | Posted in Home Again, Hospital, Hubby | Leave a comment

Ron was released from the hospital yesterday!

We stopped for a quick and easy lunch at Panera Bread and then came home.  I still haven’t finished unpacking my stuff.  Yesterday and all day today, I’ve been trying to micro-manage his medications.  He’s on so many – and I had to compare the hospital’s list with what I had listed – and compare the FINAL list to what medications are on his shelf – and then find out what we need to ask our family doctor to prescribe for him when we see her on Thursday.

Then, next week, he’ll see his heart doctor; the following two weeks he’ll have two more medical appointments and I’m waiting to hear from the nurse practitioner at the oncologist’s office about when she wants to see him.  Poor hubby, he’s out of the hospital but still surrounded by medical people!

He slept all through the night – he was the first one to bed last night.  I was fretful all afternoon – in fact, I told him that I was just as nervous taking HIM home as I was about bringing the baby home over 14 years ago.  I’m so worried about protecting him from falls; making sure he takes his correct medicines at the correct times and doesn’t miss any; making sure he eats and eats properly; I’m watching him like a hawk.  Over-protective wife and son were getting on him last night at supper time because he was NOT using the walker.  He claims that his legs won’t get strong if he uses the walker but I argued that they WILL get stronger even with the walker BUT that they won’t be happy IF he stumbles and falls and breaks something.  We have ZERO carpeting in our home.  It’s all hardwood floors (bedrooms, hallways and living room)  and ceramic tiles (bathrooms and kitchen).  There’s no way he’s heading downstairs yet, but that’s still not carpeted either.  Poor guy, he’s like a bird with his feathers plucked so that he can’t fly far.

*sigh

I’m just happy to have everyone together under the same roof!

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Still in the Hospital

November 17, 2013 at 3:15 pm | Posted in Hospital, Hubby | Leave a comment

Tomorrow will be day #21.

Hubby’s hemoglobin is still around 9, which is pretty good.  Not as good as it has been in the past but the doctor seems to think it’s good enough that he might let him out of here either tomorrow or Tuesday.  I refer to the doctor as “he” but hubby has a doctor who is a “she” so whichever is here tomorrow – I think it will be “she” but we’ll see.

I don’t even know if that last paragraph made any sense.

For those of you who aren’t my personal Friend on Facebook, I’ve uploaded a picture of my little corner of the world, on the third floor of the hospital:

room 308My little messy corner of the world.

You can see part of hubby’s hospital bed and his IV pole.

The couch opens up to a bed; not the world’s most comfy place but you can see how close I am to hubby, in case he needs me at a moment’s notice.  In one corner of the couch is my pink blanket and my pillow with my sleepy sweats on top.  You can also see my laptop.  On the other side of the couch, my iPod is plugged in.  At night, I sleep with the music playing low.  I can still hear hubby if he needs me.

We just want to go home.

 

Still in the Hospital

November 10, 2013 at 8:13 pm | Posted in Hospital, Hubby | 2 Comments

Lots of days later and many tests later, hubby is still in the hospital.  He received another unit of blood the other afternoon because his hemoglobin was low.  They’re slowly raising his Coumadin (Warfarin) mg. so that he gets back up to the 5 mg. he was taking when he left the hospital last month.  They still don’t know where the blood loss is coming from and they are seeing if while he’s on the “regular level”, if it will happen again.  They want it to happen here instead of home, which makes sense, but still, he wants to be home and I want him home, too.

So. here we are on another Sunday…missing home, missing our teen…but together.

In the Hospital…Again

October 29, 2013 at 7:11 pm | Posted in Hospital, Hubby | 4 Comments

I’m not sure exactly what happened, nor why but yesterday morning, hubby woke up in a confused mood; he was a bit off and I had my eyes on him.  After his shower, he snoozed in his chair and then asked me if supper was ready.  I answered that it was breakfast time and he asked me to make some poached eggs for him.

He came into the kitchen and as I was talking to him, I turned to see him tip sideways on the bench seat.  I raced to the table and pushed it away and tried to stop him from hitting his head on the ceramic tile.  What I hadn’t thought about was the edge of the bench seat; the back of his right arm is scraped and is in horrible shape.

I called 911 because he wouldn’t awaken.  By the time the paramedics arrived, he was a bit more alert yet I could tell he wasn’t 100%

He refused to go to the ER, either the local one or the one in Springfield.  Since I didn’t have a copy of my Power of Attorney (I gave it to the insurance agent last week), I had no proof that I could force him to go.

The paramedics wrapped his arm and left.  I was so angry and was crying and growling at him for not going.  Eventually he went to bed, so I drove down to the bank to grab my original Power of Attorney, made two copies and stopped by the attorney’s office to make certain that I did have the authority to have him taken by the paramedics.  Thankfully he was free to see me and pointed out the specific paragraph.  On the way home, I stopped by the ambulance service and showed the Power of Attorney form to the office manager.

Around 3:00 p.m., I went to check on hubby and he had bled through the bandages.  I re-wrapped his arm and put my foot down:  either he agreed to go by car to the local ER or I would call 911 and use my Power of Attorney.

*sigh

To make a long story short, he was severely anemic; his blood count was WAY off from being on the Warfarin; his kidney function was off; the local hospital couldn’t handle him and they loaded him onto an ambulance and now he’s here at the big hospital.

AND the same two paramedics who were at our home that morning are the same men who showed up last night at 8:00 p.m. to take him to the hospital in Springfield.

Hubby’s spent most of his day sleeping; he ate a bit of breakfast and lunch.  He’s had numerous blood and plasma transfusions, Vitamin K shots and is on another antibiotic because he’s got a blood infection.  My question (and one that can’t be answered yet) is:  is that infection from the minor pneumonia he developed a couple of weeks ago or is it something new?  The blood culture won’t come back for another day or two.

The “wound care team” is supposed to be in tonight to check his arm.  I am concerned that it is cleaned well, because he doesn’t need ANOTHER infection.

Anyway, here we are again.  My mom has graciously stepped into the role of caregiver of my teen, my German Shepherd and two cats.

I would appreciate any and all prayers – thanks!

5 Minute Friday: Together

October 26, 2013 at 10:58 pm | Posted in 5 Minute Friday, Hubby | 6 Comments

5-minute-friday-1

It’s Saturday night – I’m a day late for 5 Minute Friday.  To find out what Lisa Jo Baker wrote about this week’s word prompt, simply click the above icon.  To learn about what 5 Minute Friday is, you can click Five Minute Friday – which will lead you to the page explaining how it came about.

Okay, now, time to take a deep breathe and relax, put down the frozen Coke and find out the word and start typing…….

The word prompt is:  Together

The first thing that popped into my mind is the song that Raffi sang with the line, “The more we get together the happier we’ll be” and then the song we sing at Mass on Sundays, “We gather together, to sing the Lord’s blessings….”

Together is a very nice place to be, whether you’re singing a song with preschoolers or rejoicing in the House of the Lord.

Together is the best place to be, now that my beloved husband is home from the hospital(s) where he had been for the past few weeks.

Together is where we will spend the rest of our lives.

Earlier as I helped him get into bed, I asked him, “What am I going to do with you?” because he told me he had another scrape to be bandaged (his skin is very fragile; I was joking with him) and he replied, “You’re gonna love me” and I, of course, said, “You betcha!”

Then, I helped him get ready for bed, bandaged him, helped him lay down and get comfy and kissed him goodnight.

CHEAT TIME!

It’s Sunday and I was sitting in church this morning thinking about the hymn I mentioned above.  I got the words wrong!

Here they are:

We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing;
He chastens and hastens his will to make known;
The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing,
Sing praises to his name: He forgets not his own.

Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,
Ordaining, maintaining his kingdom devine;
So from the beginning the fight we were winning;
Thou, Lord, wast at our side, All glory be thine!

We all do extol thee, thou leader triumphant,
And pray that thou still our defender wilt be.
Let thy congregation escape tribulation;
Thy name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This is a direct quote from Wikipedia:

We Gather Together” is a Christian hymn of Dutch origin written in 1597 by Adruanus Valerius as “Wilt heden nu treden” to celebrate the Dutch victory over Spanish forces in the Battle of Turnhout.  It was originally set to a Dutch folk tune. In the United States, it is popularly associated with Thanksgiving Day and is often sung at family meals and at religious services on that day.

Home!

October 24, 2013 at 9:31 pm | Posted in Aortic Rupture, Healing, Home Again, Hospital, Hubby | 2 Comments

Thanks be to God, my husband came home today from his long and challenging journey after having a dissected aorta.  He’s a miracle, pure and simple.  He’s proof that prayers work, because we had family and friends all over the country plus a few in other parts of the world that were constantly praying for him.

 

Rehabilitation

October 17, 2013 at 5:16 pm | Posted in Aortic Rupture, Hospital, Hubby, Rehabilitation | 2 Comments

Rehab is not fun.  Twice a day, the physical therapists make my hubby get up out of bed (whether he’s napping or not) and make him walk, using the walker.  Once a day, the occupational therapist comes in and sometimes makes him walk or hand do exercises.  Twice a day, the respiratory therapist comes in and does a breathing treatment on him and then makes him blow on this funny little green thing that makes hooting sounds.

He is doing so much better!  He still has a long road ahead of him.  I’ve been going to the hospital daily, after I get our teen out the door for school.  We have breakfast and lunch together (the hospital sends me a courtesy tray).  I leave and pick up the teen and we return to the hospital; then hubby and I have supper together and we leave around 7 p.m.

Today I woke up feeling like I couldn’t speak and I made an appointment with the nurse practitioner; my family doctor didn’t have any openings for appointments.  Then I called back to ask if I was contagious – I didn’t have a fever, so maybe I wasn’t.  When the secretary asked the doctor’s nurse, the nurse asked who was calling.  When the secretary told her it was me, the nurse said for me NOT to go to the hospital, that I needed to come in to see the doctor ASAP.  Nice 🙂

Anyway, I have a sinus infection and thankfully not strep; my throat is sore from the drainage (sorry if that’s TMI!).  Doctor Altom gave me an antibiotic and strict orders to stay away from the hospital for 48 hours.  So, I’ve gone to the library for a ton of books and will REST for a couple of days.  Sounds like a nice idea 🙂

Anyway, that’s my update!  God is good.

5 Minute Friday: Ordinary

October 11, 2013 at 9:43 pm | Posted in 5 Minute Friday, Aortic Rupture, Hospital, Hubby, Ordinary | 4 Comments

5-minute-friday-1Word prompt of the week:  ordinary

It’s Friday, the end of another week.  Thank God, life is calmer for the Burke family.  My husband has been transferred to our local hospital for rehabilitation.  After spending three weeks and one day in the cardiovascular ICU and then two days in surgery rehab, he’s in our home town.

It’s a bit ironic that the word prompt for this week is ordinary.  Nothing has been normal; our lives have been anything but ordinary since September 17, 2013.

Now, it’s time for my husband to begin to learn a new normal, to get back on his feet; for our family to get back to our lives.  He’s now in our local hospital, for maybe three or four weeks, where he’ll get stronger and become more stable on his feet and then be able to come home.

I’ve never thought of us as anything other than ordinary but these past few days have shown me that we are all very strong and determined.  Our strength has come from God, that’s my only explanation.  His extraordinary love has carried us through this journey.

STOP

 

5 Minute Friday: Write

October 4, 2013 at 7:58 pm | Posted in 5 Minute Friday, Aortic Rupture, Hospital, Hubby, Write | 7 Comments

5-minute-friday-1It’s Friday again.

I am home from the hospital, just for the night.  It was so difficult to walk out of the cardiovascular ICU but I know that my teen needs me; there are things that I need to take care of; my husband is in good hands.  They’re not my hands, but the nurses and his surgeon are watching over him.  Better yet, God is with him.

This week, I’m joining Lisa Jo and the gang over at Five Minute Friday <- click for the rules and join in the fun.

The word prompt for this week is WRITE.

GO:

Write? I can barely think straight tonight; am not sure that anything I write will make any sense to anyone else, but here I go…

I’ve always loved to read and write.  My brother is two years older than me, so when he was in kindergarten and first grade learning to read, I sat beside him and learned to read at the same time.  It seems as though I’ve always known how to read and have always loved to write.  While I was in college, I took all of the literature courses and writing courses I could.  I love language and love writing.  Makes sense that I have a blog, doesn’t it?

I realized the other day while resting in the hospital with another Christian novel (chick lit, according to hubby), that I should have started to journal the incredible nights and days that I’ve spent in the hospital with my husband.  There’s no way I could have written much during the first 36 hours, though.  I was in shock and couldn’t have written anything that made sense.

Maybe once he’s home or at least in the rehab hospital, I can slow my brain down enough to write about this amazing, incredible, miraculous journey that  we’ve been on.

STOP.

Update: Life in the CVICU

October 2, 2013 at 5:29 pm | Posted in Aortic Rupture, Hospital, Hubby | 4 Comments

It’s been two weeks plus one day since my husband’s aortic rupture.  Yesterday and today, he’s started standing and taking steps.  It’s very challenging for him; it’s hard for me to see him struggling so 😦

The good news is that the surgeon told us this morning that as soon as he’s more mobile and eating better (he just started on pureed foods this morning), hubby can move to another floor and out of CVICU.  Then – in a few more days, he can come to the local hospital for rehab.  He may need to be in there for quite some time but thankfully it’s in town and not an hour away like right now.  I’ve not spent the night at home since this happened.  Yes, I’ve made trips home for clothing and medicine, etc., but the longest I’ve been away from his side has been maybe six hours?

So, I pray for his strength…for his body and spirit to grow stronger.  He told the physical therapist this morning that he’s amazed to feel so weak.  But, hey, he was in a medical coma for over a week, so it’s to be expected that he’s weak.

The surgeon’s partner was in this weekend and called Ron a mini-miracle.  Mini?  No, I call him a major-miracle!  The Lord is good!

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