Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Great time with a Great Friend!

Tonight Mom and I had a great time with Donna Williams, a friend of mine that I met some 17 years ago. She came over with dinner already prepped and we had an awesome meal of pork loin shis-ka-bobs complete with a spinach salad. The weather was nice enough for us to enjoy our meal on the deck tonight!!!
Mom is doing great!!! As you can see from the above picture, we all think she looks 10 years younger compared to how she looked before surgery!!!
Mom is wearing her brace faithfully and looking very forward to when she can start coming out of it a month from now! I don't have a lot of stuff to report other than we are once again enjoying life here at 260 Mallard Pointe Way and it is my feeling that once Mom completely recovers we all better "watch out"...I am thinking I might have to put a GPS on her....she is going to be hard to stop and that is okay...she deserves it and I like I said in an earlier post that I can only hope that I have her drive and determination at 71 years old.
We hope that everyone has an awesome 4th of July!! We are looking forward to Sharlas visit as she is scheduled to come into town Thursday evening. I am off work until Monday and plan on spending a lot of my time between here, the pool and the deck. God has given me an awesome consolation prize for not being able to go to the beach by taking away the humidity and we are loving it here at 260 as it makes for awesome evenings on our deck, a sanctuary that I worked very hard to create!!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Almost a regular kind of Saturday!!!

It's been a couple of days since I have written...as Mom continues to recover and get better and better with everyday that passes I am sure that my blog installments will slow to every couple of days or so.

Today was almost like a regular Saturday around here....I slept till 11am and when I got up and came upstairs I found a note on the counter that Mom had gone to meet a Ms Anne and Margaret for coffee at Paneras. On a real true regular Saturday Mom typically plays tennis and then goes to breakfast with her tennis buds.

Mom and I spent the afternoon running errands, the grocery store, Lowes and Office Depot...will probably hit Belks tomorrow. Everyday I am seeing more of the Mom before pain coming out...she wears her brace every where and even today got praise from the check out attendants at Publix!!!

Yesterday she made the trip by herself to the hair stylist and all went really well!!

We are going to have to still be careful about Moms activity level because she does get tired and did take a short nap this afternoon to get over the outing today.

Thank you to all of you that are coming to visit and calling....Mom loves having the company especially during the week when I am at work.

This coming week will bring us the July 4th holiday....I am only working on Monday and Tuesday and then taking the rest of the week off....hope to spend some good pool time and read a couple of books!!! Sharla is suppose to be coming to hang with us, getting in Thursday evening and that will be a treat for Mom and I like it always is!

Hope that all of you are having a great weekend and staying cool with these hot temps we are having!!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Mama Jane vs Michael Jackson vs Farrah Fawcett

As I sit to type this the country is mourning the passing of "the" pop star of our time along with the passing of Farrah Fawcett....2 icons that I personally grew up with in the 70's. BUT...I have MUCH more important news to tell......

Mom had her 3 week follow up appointment with Dr Walpert today....the best way to describe the outcome of the appointment is to say that the brilliant neurosurgeon was absolutely "speechless" at how well Mom is doing and how far she has come in a mere 3 weeks. Some quotes from Dr Walpert "You don't even look like the same person that walked into this office before surgery".....when we told her that Mom had not even used the walker at all her response was "WOW" and we got the same response when Mom told her she had not taken any pain medication in almost 10 days! The prescription that Mom was given today for her ongoing recovery is as follows:

1) Mom is free to drive...she practiced today by driving to the mailbox. She even has an appointment tomorrow to see her hair stylist!!!!
2) Mom can do "light" housekeeping...using Aunt Judiths favorite toy from her visit (the cordless vacuum), laundry using her grabber, she can take Tiki out also.
3) Dr Walpert also gave her permission to do "some" bending over...for example...to shave her legs (thank you to Donna when she wasn't able to do this for herself)....but not too much, too often.
4) The back brace stays on during waking hours until 8 weeks from the day of surgery which takes us all the way to July 29th.
5) Starting on July 29th she will start "weaning" herself from the brace....1 hr on, 1 hr off the first day, 2 hours on, 2 hours off the 2nd day and so on and so forth.
6) The embroidery business is completely open again, as well as the other machine that does alterations.
7) Lifting anything too heavy is still a restriction.....I will have to watch her because just tonight I caught her lifting a stack of dishes out of the cabinet! Thank goodness I have the 4 legged kids to watch her when I am not here.
8) IRONING!!! Mom can iron!!! Thank the good Lord...I only had one dry cleaning bill and when I paid it, I thought to myself...I can't afford for this to continue! (And they didn't even do as good a job as Mom can do) She did a little bit the other day and did fine with it...as long as she takes breaks and doesn't do it for too long at one time.

With all of the above said, we know that the incredible nursing that she got from her sister Judith during that first week has made all the difference in where she is today!!! Mom and I are very, very pleased with how things have gone so far and we anticipate nothing but UP from here...I can ONLY hope that when and if I made it to 71 years old that I have the same will, strength and abilities that Mama Jane has right now!!! She is definately someone to admire for her determination!!!

Moms next appointment with Dr Walpert is 3 months from now on September 24th. There won't be an x-ray to check bone growth until 6 months out, so no Fall tennis for Mom but I am betting she will be raring to go come Winter and Spring tennis!!! Oh yeah, the bone growth stimulator will remain a constant in her life for at least 6 months as well...but that's okay, it's only 30 minutes out of the day and it doesn't hurt!!!

PS Dr Walpert was very impressed with the flair on Moms brace!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

No humidity = Nice evening on the deck

It's Tuesday, June 23rd...tomorrow marks Mom being 3 weeks post op. The humidity left us today and we took advantage of the nice evening and sat on the deck with a couple of cocktails and the 4 legged kids.

Mom is doing great, starting to get really antsy which is going to make the next 5 weeks really hard for her. We have an appointment to see Dr Walpert on Thursday...perhaps Mom will be doing good enough that she might give her a tad of her freedom back...stay tuned for those results.

I did do a blood draw on Mom today as we were both curious about what her hemoglobin was doing....it is up to 10.0 which is still 2 whole points away from normal but we feel that is okay and it will be normal in due time.

So...keep those visits and phone calls coming....Mom will definately benefit from extra activities over the next 5 weeks!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Mama Jane Speaks!!!

Awesome Daughter says that it's time for me to speak up. It's hard to believe that it has been 2 weeks since I came home from the hospital with my foggy brain. Thank goodness the foggy brain is gone and I feel more like myself each day. The brace is cumbersome and it's hard to be "fashionable" when you feel like you are as round as a barrel but Awesome Daughter and my 2nd daughter (Sharla) "blinged" me out to make me feel more fashionable.
Breakfast with the Sat. AM tennis group was fun. It was great to see them and they all thought I looked great. (Guess one does look better when they are pain free). After breakfast I came home and took a short rest before getting ready to go to the reception deal. Again I saw folks at the reception that thought that I looked good and couldn't believe that I am so mobile. Take the cane with me mostly as "security" but really don't use it much.
Today was a great day, the most active one I've had since early May. It feels so good to be able to go out and not worry about the legs tingling and getting numb. I know I'll sleep well tonite.
Wimbledon starts Monday so you folks that know me know that I'll be keeping an eye on that while I sew. It's time for me to learn how to use the monogram system for the embroidery machine.
I must give a great big hug and kiss to Awesome Daughter for all she has done for me...plus keeping me in line.

Headed to a Social Event

The above picture was taken just as Mom was getting ready to leave with Ms Brenda for Greg and Summer Hudsons outdoor casual Wedding Reception at Aunt Bobbis house (Aunt Bobbi is Gregs Mom). They are there now and I sure do hope they are having a good time despite the heat outside!!!
I think that Mom looks great!!! This surgery has made her look 10 years younger...amazing things happen when all the pain goes away that one has been experiencing for a really long time! If you ask me, it is amazing for someone that is 71 years old!!! WOW!!! It was 2 weeks ago this afternoon that we brought Mom home from the hospital!!!
Mom also had a great time getting to go to breakfast with her tennis buddies this morning, she said it was really good to see all of them!
Hope that everyone is holding up in this heat okay and having a great weekend!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Moms 1st outing since the surgery...

Yes...that is what I said...Moms first outing since surgery!!! After work I came home and fetched her and off we went to Target!!! She did incredible...walking around that store like nobodys business!!! It was good practice for her two outings coming up tomorrow!!!

Thanks to Aunt Bobbi for coming to visit today and walking around outside with Mom!!! I am so sorry that I have to miss the reception but a committment I made to help with a blood pressure clinic is getting in my way...you know I love you!!!

Not much else to tell....Mom will make her own post after her outings tomorrow, it should be interesting as to what she will have to say!!!

Oh yeah...getting to park in Handicap Parking is really kinda cool!!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Giving out of steam....

With the above title, I am talking about myself....it just hit me this morning when I was attempting to get ready for work. My ever so supporting boss told me to take the day to rest (thank you Gail), so I did and am ready for what already promises to be a very busy day at work tomorrow!

Mom is doing great, loving having visitors. Yesterday Ms Brenda brought lunch over and they enjoyed a nice visit. Last evening Susan Houser (office manager at the MD office of physicians Mom worked closely with her entire career) brought us a yummy dinner from DePalma's (our favorite Italian Restaurant here in Athens) besides dropping off food, we had a nice visit with Susan as well.

Today one of Moms tennis buddies (Vicki Green) came to visit her and brought her a gorgeous hanging basket...I currently have it sitting out where it can get some of the rain that we are having right now.

The weather forecast for tomorrow and the weekend is telling us it is going to be 100 degrees, I am thinking that is even too hot to walk to the mailbox, Mom and I just might have a movie marathon! I do have to go and help a co-worker Saturday AM with a blood pressure clinic at an assisted living facility AND Mom has her first two outings since the surgery planned...breakfast at the Waffle House with her tennis buddies and a wedding reception, all on Saturday!!! Thank you so much to Ms Anne and Ms Brenda for coming to pick her up for these events!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Two Weeks Post-op tomorrow!!!

Wow! Time sure does fly!! I hope it feels that way for Mom as we still have a long road ahead of us but I am happy to report that at two weeks post op things are really going good. This day marks the second day that we have been without any "extra" folks at the house. Aunt Judith went home on Saturday and Sharla went home Sunday evening. Mom is doing better than great...she is staying by herself during the day while I am at work and Tiki is at daycare....she has been sending me "status reports" at least once a day in my email at work and I typically check on her by phone once or twice. With that being said, I am working regular hours. And yes, Aunt Judith...Mom is carrying her cell phone with her at all times, tucked safely in the brace that does not yet have a name.

Mom is spending her days reading, sitting on the deck, playing with a new embroidery program that she purchased before the surgery and yes, napping. In the evenings we take a little walk (tonight she walked all the way to the mailboxes) and I do chores like laundry, dishes, vacuuming, watering the plants, filling the bird feeders and taking care of the indoor animals (although tonight she fed both of them and lowered their bowls to the floor with her special "grabber").

We are still waiting for people to send us ideas for naming her now flaired out brace..come on people...please play the game...the brace needs a name!!

Thank you to the folks that are calling and visiting during the day....Mom is truly a lady of leisure and all the phone calls and visits you folks are making are appreciated more than you could know.

Oh yeah...Mom is only taking pain medicine at bedtime now and she is starting to sleep a little better!!! She turns in early and reads....I am so proud of her and how she is handling all of this. I only have to remind her about the "no-no's" every once in awhile.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Intricate Details of the Flair

If you come to visit please make sure that you use one of the colorful Sharpie's that we bought so that everyone can sign the brace!! Mom can hardly wait to wear her new "flair" to see Dr Walpert on the 25th, we will be sure to take a Sharpie with us on that visit, so leave room for the Rock Star MD to sign her name!!!

Name Mama Janes Back Brace!!! Part II

Here is Mom modeling the finished product...we think it's just too cute and happy looking, the brace definately has some flair now. The one thing missing is a name...yes, we need a name for the brace, so please post your ideas for a name for it and Mom will choose one after we get several ideas and of course, the winning name will be posted here...hopefully with a picture of you and MJ in her brace!!
Mom is really doing good, looks good, just wishes she was sleeping a little better at night....I told her she needed more mental stimulation and she halfway agreed with me. This morning we went for a walk and when I say we I mean Mom, Sharla, Tiki, myself and Sophie. She walked further this morning than she has yet, we ALMOST went all the way to the mailboxes!!! Her appetite is back as well, we had a yummy dinner of steak and scallops last night with the left overs for lunch today!!
Now that Mom is up and about and actually quite independent for someone who is not allowed to bend over, twist or lift anything heavier than a half gallon of milk she welcomes visitors. I will be working and she will be here alone during the day and will need some human contact to help get her through the next 6 weeks or so. I will only be 4 miles down the road and can come home if she needs something but I am sure she would love to see lots of her friends, all of you that have been so good to us during this adventure.

Name Mama Janes Back Brace!!! Part I

Here is Mom modeling her brace with no flair on it. Sharla and I decided it would be a great thing to decorate it. We went shopping for what we wanted to use (after much in depth conversation about our ideas)....it took us 2 hours to complete the project and it was ready for unveiling just as Mom was getting up from her nap.
See the next post.....

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Saturday Morning 6-13-09

It's a beautiful morning here in Athens....as I sit here to type this I am on the deck with Tiki and all the birds that come to enjoy our feeders. Mom is at the table reading the newspaper and having her coffee....she is doing amazingly well!! Yesterday she was up most of the day with just a couple of little "twilight" naps here and there. She is getting around like a road runner...walked 1/2 way to the mailboxes yesterday and has not taken any pain medicine!!

I took a 1/2 day off work yesterday was fortunate enough to enjoy 3 hours or so at the pool with my friend Cindy that just lives down the hill from us...it was the thunder and lightning that came up on us that chased us home and I will say that it chased us rather "quickly"!

Last night was our last evening with Aunt Judith, she flies home today to Louisville. We celebrated her last night here with burgers from the grill and cocktails. It has been so awesome having her here and like I have said before, I could not have gotten through this week like I did without her!! We are hoping that when she returns she and Mom will be hitting the tennis courts. I love you Aunt Judith!!

Sharla got here around 6 last night...as always, it is great to have her here. She will be staying here at 260 with Mom while I chaffeur Aunt Judith to the airport this morning. Once I return I am sure that we will spend the rest of the weekend doing what we do best..."Hangin' Out".

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Day 5 at home

The human body is amazing. Mom is doing really great....the fog has lifted. The latent effects from the anesthesia and Morphine have left her body and she is on her way to becoming better than ever! She is taking shorter naps, staying awake longer at any given time, her appetitie is returning along with her awesome sense of humor! It was actually rather amazing watching her while her brain came back to life!!!

Today was her best day yet...she said so herself...she told me that she was amazed at how good she felt. Mom and Aunt Judith went for a little walk this morning...to the end of the driveway and up the cul-de-sac a bit...the incline of the cul-de-sac got to Mom but that just tells us that she isn't ready for that yet.

We are currently making adjustments necessary for Mom to be as independent as she can be...by that I mean making it so she doesn't have to bend over to get whatever it is that she may want throughout the day...but I am also only 4 miles away at the office if she should need me for something.

Sharla, my bestfriend comes into town tomorrow evening...Mom and I both are looking forward to having her with us until Monday. Aunt Judith heads back to Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday, so no...she isn't staying any longer....BUT, she wants to return in a few weeks and hopefully Sharla and I can make that happen for her!!!

Tomorrow is Friday at 260 Mallard Pointe Way....if you are out and about, please come by and see MJ and meet Aunt Judith...Mom will be up and having cocktails with us... but bedtime comes much earlier for her these days....UNTIL further notice.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The 4th day at home was a charm! (1 week post-op)

Today was much better for Mom. She had a more "normal" day...got up after I had left for work, had her coffee with biscotti and read the paper then she and Aunt Judith sat on the deck for almost 45 minutes before Mom was ready for her first nap of the day! She was up after only an hour or so nap and had a "real" lunch!!! Then time to nap again, she was up when I arrived around 2pm with the groceries that I had gone to fetch.

She worked her next nap around me coming home from work. Mom was up when I got home and has just now gone back to her bedroom to read and then go to sleep (it's 8:30pm)! I cooked a dinner of grilled chicken, corn on the cob and spinach salads for dinner and Mom ate with us...her appetite is slowly coming back and oh yeah, she even had a couple of "sippies" tonight too!!!

Mom says she now feels like she has been hit by a 1/2 ton truck instead of a semi...no pain meds today!!! I think that we might be over that first BIG hump!!!

Thank you again, Aunt Judith for being here and all of your love, support and encouragement...I would not have been able to get through this first week without you!! You are definately a ROCK star in my book!!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The 3rd day at home

Mom is still sleeping a lot and that's okay, her body has really been put through the ringer!! She did eat and drink better today, checked her emails and in-serviced Aunt Judith on the cordless vacuum. Mom's color is getting better so we can tell that her hemoglobin is doing what it is suppose to do, GO UP!! I am sure as the days pass, she will sleep less, get stronger and hopefully at the end of the first 2 weeks, be back to doing a little bit of her sewing and embroidery!

Aunt Judith is here until Saturday but I have also posed the question to her about staying longer....stay tuned for that decision. I know I can't keep her here forever but having her here to help get Mom over the first big bumps of such a serious surgery is a true, true blessing! I seriously don't know what I would have done if she had not been here...but I am sure that I would have figured it out somehow.

Oh yeah...no pain medicine today!!! YAY!!! That is definately a GOOD sign!!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Second full day at home.....

This was only the 2nd full day that Mom has been home...all of the events of the past few days finally caught up with her and she slept most of the day (but we all know that the body needs sleep to heal). Mom was just getting up "again" when I got home from a full day at work and has been up since....she even spent some time on the deck with me, Aunt Judith and the kids. Like I have said many times before, this is going to be a very long, slow process BUT a high five for all the tingles and pain she was feeling before the surgery are GONE!!!

I have been writing so much about the awesome Aunt Judith that I felt like I needed to post an up to date picture of her...so that is who you are looking at....the aunt that could actually be my sister and we have often been mistaken for being mother and daughter. While Mom was sleeping the day away, Aunt Judith and Sophie formed their relationship (Tiki was at daycare). Of course, Tiki had to be in the picture that I took of her with Sophie...you just gotta love it!
Mom and I are sitting watching our soap opera and Auntie is in the den watching the news...almost time for dinner. Hope everyone is doing good!!!

The Bone Growth Stimulator

I have had a few requests from folks that want to see what the Bone Growth Stimulator looks like...so here ya go. The steering wheel part is the outside part, the padded oblong thingy is what goes over Moms incision...she wears this once for 30 minutes every 24 hours and will do so for up to 5 months. Kinda cool, huh?

Aunt Judith has arrived!

Picked up Aunt Judith without any problems yesterday....other than the fact that she decided to "walk" to baggage claim instead of taking the train, I thought for a few minutes that we had missed each other some how, but I knew that the sign to the left would prevent that from ever happening! Aunt Judith claims to be a tad dyslexic so I didn't want her to miss the sign...in case you are wondering why I also spelled her name backwards on the sign.
When we got to the house she went into Sister/Nurse Judith mode immediately and started taking care of Mom. I know that she and Mom are very happy to be together right now although I know that they would rather be playing tennis every day...I am positive this will come with time!!
Because of Aunt Judiths arrival I was able to take a nap yesterday afternoon AND I was fortunate enough to go to bed really early AND turn off my phone!! It was a great nights sleep except for Sophie deciding to run her races about 1am this morning, so unfortunately I had to close her out of the Clubhouse so that Tiki and I could get back to sleep. Bless her heart, she is a young (just turned 1 yr old this past Friday) and wants to play at all times of the night and day!
Mom is hanging in there...eating good, resting appropriately...pain under good control except she does say that she feels like she has been hit by a truck, she even spent a little time out on the deck yesterday afternoon with Ms Brenda (thank you Ms Brenda for coming and staying with Mom while I fetched my auntie). We started Mom on the Bone Stimilater contraption last night..she has to wear this thing that looks like a steering wheel out of a race car for 30 minutes a day for 5 months to assist in promoting healing and bone growth...no it doesn't hurt her nor does it make any noise.
I am headed to the office this morning, want to take advantage (in a kind way) of Aunt Judith being here to take care of Mom because after she has gone back home I will be spending my time between the office and home during the day until further notice.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Good to be home

Perfect Sunday am, French Open finals on tv, newspaper, great breakfast by Leslie and a good night's sleep. It is easier to get in and out of my bed than hospital bed. Shower felt good too.
Les will be on her way soon to get Sister Judith. It will be good to see Judie but it would be especially nice if we could play tennis.
Many thanks to all of you for all your help and concerns, prayers.

The First Night back at home

Mom's first night back at home went well....she loved being back in her own bed and it is much easier for her to get up and down with the way that her bed is so high (yes, she has steps to help).

Dinner was awesome, it was great having Aunt Bobbi here with us (thank you for all of your help yesterday/last night).

Her pain is under control, as I type this she is sitting at the table having her coffee and reading the newspaper...just like it's a regular Sunday morning!

It's a beautiful day here in Athens, Georgia...I will spend it going to fetch Auntie Judith from the airport...I have made a sign to display while standing at the top of the escalator waiting for her to appear....I want her to feel as important as she truly is!!!

A shout out to Ms Brenda for coming to hang with Mom while I go to the airport...I know that you and Mom will have a nice afternoon!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Mom is home!!!!!

Mom is home and settled in just in time to have a cocktail and watch The Belmont Stakes!!!

It was a tad iffy as to whether we were gonna get to come home today or not, her O2 was low this AM so she had to have a chest x-ray and had her Hemoglobin re-checked. Her chest x-ray showed "some" differences but no pulmonary edema....chest x-rays read by different radiologists can be very subjective, so we will be following up on this. Her Hemoglobin was 7.5 yesterday and was up to 7.9....SO, I am cooking her a yummy filet steak and a spinach salad!!

Thank you to my Aunt Bobbi for coming to Saints and helping me get Mom home!!! You made it a breeze getting Mom back to 260 Mallard Pointe Way!! Her 4 legged grandchildren were happy to see her and the funny thing is that you can tell that they know Grandma has a boo-boo. As I type this Mom is at the table with Aunt Bobbi and the horses are running around the track at Belmont....from the sounds in the breakfast area, Calvin isn't going to get his "personal" triple crown and he didn't :-(

The steaks are marinating, the potatoes are in the oven and it's almost time to light the grill...again...THANK YOU TO EVERYONE FOR YOUR POSITIVE THOUGHTS, PRAYERS, AND ANGELS SENT THIS WAY!!!! We still have a VERY long road ahead of us but as well as things have been going so far I just know it's all going to be okay in the end. I am sure that Mom will have good days and bad days but that is all part of the recovery process that she will be enduring in the coming months.

I will be headed to fetch my wonderful Aunt Judith at the Atlanta Airport tomorrow...she is coming in to help and will be here until I take her back to the airport next Saturday.

We hope that all of you are having a wonderful weekend...we all have A LOT to be grateful for!!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Evening of 6-5-09

We all went to the hospital to see Mom and let her know that we had not forgotten about her birthday. It was a very quiet, short celebration....Mom opened her presents (I think she now owns stock in Barnes & Noble gift cards). Thank you to Kathy & JC; Donna & Buddy; and Shelly & Ronny for taking time on your Friday evening to spend a few minutes with Mom. She was really tired but I know it meant a lot to her.

Mom ate a good dinner (shrimp) and was just sipping on the very light cocktail that I made her...she seemed really sleepy but said that she had a really good nap this afternoon...YAY!!

She says that she will see how she feels in the morning and decide then whether she wants to come home tomorrow or not....I am just really glad that I don't have to be up at 5:30 in the morning..am hoping to enjoy my coffee on the deck.

Needless to say, I am very tired and am at home. I ate a decent meal for dinner and am having a glass of wine...doubt that I will see the light of day for much longer, I need a solid 8-10 hours of sleep to re-charge my batteries and get ready for Mom to come home whether it be tomorrow or Sunday.

No pictures to share from our visit with Mom, sorry.

Dr Walperts Afternoon Visit 6-5-09

We finally saw Dr Walpert this afternoon around 2:30.....all the news is great. She didn't think that Mom needed a transfusion, just gonna let her regenerate on her own. She was "shocked" when she heard that Mom had graduated from physical therapy today!!! We talked a lot about the do's and dont's of her home recovery....Mom is going to be a real true lady of leisure for the next couple of months!! Dr Walpert gave Mom her blessing to come home tomorrow if Mom wants to come home or she can stay until Sunday. Of course, I am leaving that decision completely up to Mom. If she decides to come home tomorrow I am looking for some help to make that happen for her.

I left Mom to nap after Dr Walperts visit, I even put the "No Visitors" sign up so she could at least rest for a little while because I know she is going to have a little bit of excitement this evening. I am meeting a small group of my friends in the lobby at Saint Marys and we are going to celebrate Mom's birthday with her for a short while....balloons and presents AND Dr Walpert told me she could have a birthday cocktail!!!! I just want her to know that just because she just had a HUGE surgery that we haven't forgotten that it's her birthday. So, stay tuned because I will have my camera with me and will make another post later on tonight.

Almost Noon 6-5-09


I am not avoiding posting today, just been kinda slow around here and we haven't seen Dr Walpert yet. She is in the OR doing about the same thing she did to Mom to our neighbor Marie's friend...in fact, he is going to be in the room right next to us when he comes to the floor.

Amy, the physical therapist has been to visit this morning and Mom has officially graduated from PT. She is able to perform all the requirements on her own...walking (with a walker), going up a couple of steps (it will be later in recovery before she will attempt a flight of stairs), getting in and out of bed on her own, and together we have been taught the "correct" way to get Mom into her back brace.

The vampires drew some blood early this morning. Turns out her Hemoglobin & Hematocrit are really low...low enough that she is most likely going to end up with a blood transfusion...we will know more when Dr Walpert makes rounds. Mom is asymptomatic but does look a tad pale. I am sure if they transfuse her it will make her feel even better.

Her personal assistants just arrived to get her cleaned up for the day, so I have moved out to the "common" waiting area to give them their privacy.

Please stay tuned as there will be more to come later today and hopefully pictures too!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Evening Post 6-4-09

This is Moms incision, that is Jacks hand beside it to give you a good idea of how long the incision actually is and yes, my brother has a crooked pinky finger left over from his days of playing football for Oconee County High School.

We are now 24 hours post-op and Mom is doing fabulous...it was a busy day in room 7026 at Saint Mary's Hospital! Lots of visitors, lots of flower deliveries, lots of phone calls all wishing Mom a speedy healthy recovery...everything was SO appreciated by Mom, myself and Jack.

Jack and I stayed with Mom until her "personal" assistants arrived to get her cleaned up. At that point we left and came on back to the house where Jack got his stuff together and headed home to Franklin, TN. I have to take a moment at this point and give a formal shout out, thank you, I love you, etc, etc to Jack for being here with me...we were able to have some great one on one brother/sister time and it was beyond comforting to have him present during the long, long day that we had yesterday. Jack and I may go months and months without seeing one another but when we do manage some time together it's like all those months not seeing one another never existed. Jack, you are an awesome brother, husband, Dad and I wish that everyone could be as lucky as me to have a brother like you.
After Jack got off and I spent a little time with my 4-legged kids, I headed back to the hospital.
When I walked in the room, there sat my boss with Mom...how great is it to have a boss that goes to visit your parent in the hospital...that is some real true honest support, if you ask me!
Mom was sitting up in the chair with her back brace on and had been out walking in the hallway with physical therapy and the assist of a walker. She is no longer receiving IV pain medication (unless she happens to need some break through meds)...the Percocet is holding her rather well for the time being. Speaking of pain...all the pain that she was feeling "before" the surgery is basically gone, the pain she is experiencing now is the incisional pain (see the picture for how long the incision is). Her JP drain is still producing a good amount, it wouldn't surprise me if she doesn't end up coming home with it. The foley catheter is going to come out in the morning.

If you are thinking of coming to visit her tomorrow please check with me first 404-218-4774. Mom really needs her rest and there will be plenty of time for social visits when she gets home...remember...we have a VERY long recovery period in front of us and she will welcome visitors at home. And if you do come to visit, please make your visit short...Mom is euphoric because that nasty pain she has been living with for so long is gone, but we all know that she has to do the right thing to have a "successful" recovery!

I am home for the night, Mom is being tucked in by her night nurse as I type this. I will be back at the hospital with her by 7am tomorrow morning for Dr Walperts rounds (and oh yeah, Mom requested that I bring her a Starbucks coffee, so of course I will). I will do another post after we see Dr Walpert in the morning.

Again...thank you all so much for everything!!!! We couldn't be going through this with out the support of all our friends and family! And for those of you that do not know...tomorrow (June 5) is super woman's 71st birthday!!!!

Morning Report 6-4-09

We are back at the hospital with Mom. She is awake, eating breakfast, talking up a storm and has her first visitor of the day...Dr Walter Jarrett (OB/GYN)...he was one of the doctors that she worked with for years delivering babies and she also told him what to do a lot of the time, she will also tell you that she "trained him". Dr Jarrett is a heck of a nice dude and an awesome physician.... alot of my friends go to him, so he is quite the popular guy!

Dr Ritter just came in too...she was impressed with how well Mom is doing...she said that 2mg of Versed hit her like a ton of bricks, suggesting that Mom has a very healthy liver...good to know this tad of trivia since MJ does love her bourbon.

While waiting for Dr Walpert the Charge Nurse, Cami Lewallen came to visit to make sure Mom didn't need anything. Mom also has two nurses today..Joanne and Stephanie....Joanne is a new grad but we never would have known it as she is very composed and on top of everything.
Mom has a JP drain...for you non-medical folks that means she has a little drain coming from her incision site, which by the way is about 7 inches long, no stitches, no staples, just put together by some fancy new glue stuff that will slowly dissolve away. (Mom wants me to take a picture of it, so stay tuned for that!) There is a good amount of drainage coming out into the JP, she will have this drain until it slows to a minimum inside of a full 12 hour shift.

I have 2 of my CNA's that I supervise coming today to take care of cleaning Mom up and making her all fresh...they will be here later today when they finish their other patients.

Sister Bernadette came to visit, brought Mom a new rosary and informed us that there are now 20 stations to the rosary instead of the 15 that we Catholic's grew up with.

Okay..Dr Walpert just came to visit. She says that Mom is on track, and we are going to look at slowly transitioning from the IV Morphine to Percocet. Mom will be walking the halls today accompanied by physical therapy. Dr Walpert warned her that she will be MORE sore this afternoon and reminded her again that her surgery was a HUGE surgery.

Well folks, thats about it for now, the posts will not come back to back today as they did yesterday...probably won't make another entry until this evening.

Thank you again for all the positive thoughts and prayers.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Mom is all tucked in!

Mom is doing absolutely super!! I think the difference between this surgery and the one in 2006 is that she was nice and healthy this time...she had been preparing her body whereas last time in was an emergency situation. She looks great, just a tad drunk from the Morphine but doing well enough that she was able to talk on the phone...first thing she asked me when she saw me was who won at The French Open today...glad that Jack and I had ESPN on in the waiting room or I would not have been able to answer that question.

We did find out that she asked for bourbon with her ice in the recovery room, so you KNOW she is doing well!!! She was drinking Diet Coke and asked for a frosty from Wendy's which I absolutely went and got for her. The "spiritual susetenance" bag was in my purse and she ate 2 pieces of chocolate out of that and it is in her room so that she can offer her visitors candy...thank you again, Carol!!!

Dr Santoro came to the room after Mom got to the floor to check her out one last time and deemed her to be doing VERY well!!

I know we have a VERY long road of recovery in front of us, but deep down, I have a feeling that it's gonna go great!

Jack and I are now back at 260 Mallard Pointe Way...Jack is enjoying a cold beer or two and I have my favorite cocktail in hand. LIFE IS GOOD....we now know that Mama Jane is gonna be around for a very long time to come!!! Like she said "ya'll better watch out cause I am gonna come back from this better than ever"!

Dr Walpert has spoken

Dr Walpert just came to visit...she said everything went really well, Mom stayed stable as a rock the entire time. She found exactly what she thought she would from the MRI films, did lots of cleaning out and putting back together. Mom has a Morphine PCA pump to help keep her comfortable...for you medical folks I don't know if there is a basal rate on it or not. Dr Walpert says that the stay in the hospital will only be 2-4 days and that they will take the cues from Mom for her length of stay. Dr Walpert wants her to be eating well, peeing, walking and controlling her pain with pills vs IV meds before she goes home....my first thought when she said possibly 2 days...oh, no...Aunt Judith isn't coming until Sunday!! I feel sure that I will get lots of offers to come and help me until Aunt Judith gets here OR maybe I won't need help at all...it is what I like to call the "unknown".....will post again after Jack and I have seen Mom and get out of here....and head for the nearest bar.

FINAL Call from the OR

Kathy called from the OR for the last time....they are closing as I type this... SO....the surgery did not take as long as we originally thought and without talking to Dr Walpert yet Jack and I feel that is a VERY good sign!!! They will be waking her up very slowly and getting her into a more comfy position which they say will take upwards of an hour....THEN she will have another hour or so in the recovery room...Jack and I won't see Dr Walpert until she knows that Mom is awake along with being good and stable. From the way it sounds at this point, Mom will be going to a regular room (#7026).

My next post will come after Jack and I see Dr Walpert and Mom.....thank you again for all of your positive thoughts, prayers and angels that you have sent this way....NOW the really hard part starts.

OR Update #3

Report from the OR is that all is going well but they still have quite a ways to go...

I am on a short break from the hospital to take care of my kids...picked Tiki up at daycare and just got home and fed both she and Sophie...even managed to water a few flowers that were wilting in the heat. Jack stayed so he could answer the calls from the OR....

OR update #2

Before the 2nd phone call came we were visited by Dr Linda Ritter, the anestheisologist that slept Mom...she had to leave as she had plans this evening and since the case didn't start until late Dr Santoro took over...he was the guy that we met with last Thursday during pre-op. Dr Ritter said Mom was doing good but that we are going to have a very long wait.

#2 Update just came from the OR. Mom's incision was made at 2:44, so they have been at it for about an hour...Kathy (one of the OR nurse's) said that it will most likely be 7pm or after before they are done, then we will have recovery time after that. Whew...does anybody know if Catholic Hospitals have a bar any where in them????

Mom's tennis buddy Carol came by to see what was going on AND Ms. Brenda is here now and she brought Jack and I Arby's to eat....it was many hours ago when we had that egg mcmuffin for breakfast.

Continue to stay tuned....

First OR Update

3pm...the nurse just called from the OR, things have just gotten under way but she says Mom is doing great, said she was SO sleepy that she probably won't remember a thing. Kathy said that she would be calling on the hour with updates...so far, so good!

WOW...the VP of Nursing here at Saints just came to check on Jack and I...impressive!

We do know that Mom's room number will be 7026 IF she doesn't go to the Neuro ICU.

Thanks again for all the positive thoughts!


Mom has finally gone to the OR. She went back about 20 minutes ago. There were still some things that needed to be done to her before the procedure would start, but at least we are rockin' and rollin' now.

Jack and I have planted ourselves in the Surgical Waiting Room on the 2nd floor for the duration. After seeing it, we decided to take full advantage of it as opposed to camping out in the cafeteria....very plush accomodations here at Saint Mary's Hospital!!!

We just saw Dr Walpert, she informed us that the nurses will call us in here every 45 minutes to an hour with updates as to how things are going...I will post ALL updates as they come to us. She also said that we could be looking upwards of 6pm or after before they are done and she is in recovery.

Thank you to Shelly for the yummy Starbuck's and thank you to Carol for the goodie bag of Spiritual Sustenance!!!

Stay tuned....

Hurry up and wait....

We have just been informed that it is now going to be at least 2pm or after before they take Mom back which means this "waiting" period is going to go WELL into the night.

All the visitors and phone calls have kept us busy..since the last posting Julie, Chaquita, Jill and Carol have all stopped by and there have been several phone calls from Brenda, Aunt Judith, and Kathy.

Mom has also received her first flower arrangement, a gorgeous exotic arrangement sent by Reggie Erwin, I don't think that Reggie is keeping up with the blog but Mom sends out a "They are gorgeous Reggie, you were too sweet for sending them"

Stay tuned.....

We are waiting and waiting and waiting

Well..we arrived on time here at Saint Mary's this morning (9am)...after only being here a short time (long enough for Mom to get changed into a hospital gown, put on her TED hose on, and have her IV started) we were told that we will have yet "another" wait. It seems that Dr Walpert is helping another physician with an emergency surgery (broken back). We are now looking at 1pm or after for surgery to begin.

To occupy our time Jack is doing some work thru his blackberry, Mom is reading her book and it is obvious what I am doing.

We have already had several visitors in pre-op this morning...Mitch Thomas, Brenda Barrett and Micki Maffett, thank you to all of you for checking in on us. Also..thank you for all the phone calls and text messages already this morning...Julie, Beth, and Carol!

Jack and I think that once Mom goes to surgery we are going to "camp out" in the cafeteria as he has his laptop with him too and there will be plenty of room for those that want to come and visit.

Because of the delay it will be well into the evening before we will get to see Mom. IF she goes back at 1pm we are looking at surgery not being over until about 6pm....I am sure this helps you get the picture of how LONG this day is going to be!

Finally, the patient

Good morning to all. I couldn't sleep this am so decided to get up and get stuff ready for my hospital stay. Sophie is keeping me company but everyone else is snoozing. Would love a cup of coffee but of course that's a No No today. I wish the surgery had stayed at the origional time as things would already be underway. I will thank everyone ahead of time for their prayers and visits as I figure I will spend the next couple of days sedated. Please disregard anything I may tell you during this time as Les tells me I can come up with some weird stuff.
Last night was great to take my mind off today, plus it's so good to see Les and Jack together, they are quite a team.
That's all for now at least from me...I'll be back soon to comment on hospital stay etc. We nurses are not the best patients in the world and really keep an eye on things.
Many thanks for all your prayers (we've got all denominations covered), good wishes and support .

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I gotta give my bestfriend some Kudos.....

I can't let this blog go on any longer without giving a "HUGE" shout out to my very best friend in the world...Sharla. For those of you that do not know...Sharla and I are complete opposites in a lot of ways, she is a corporate chic that travels ALL the time and as most of you know, I am a nurse....for whatever reason, it works for us. We met some 13 years ago in a bar because she was jealous of the way that I had the bartender make my margarita (ya just never know). I want to say to Sharla....you are like another daughter to Mama Jane (but you knew that already)...it meant a lot to her tonight that she actually got to talk to you. We both look forward to when you can get down here to Athens and spend some time with us...you might just need to tell Steve Hill that this is something "that you HAVE to do"...because even though we aren't blood, we are the next closest thing to it! Both MJ and I love you very much!!! I seriously don't know what I would do if i didn't have you in my life...you are a true blessing!!!

No matter the situation, we still love to entertain...

It's the night before surgery and we still love to have a great time!!! Our friend Kathy is without her husband (he is off fishing with her Dad up North somewhere) and daughter Kate is at the beach with friends, one son is off in the South China Sea with the Navy, the other son is in Flight School with the Navy in Corpus Christi, Texas...SO, we invited her to come and hang out with us tonight! Oh yeah, she also brought us Chicken Enchiladas & Chili to put in the freezer and cook later.

I think this evening is good for Mom...she seems more "normal" than she has in a longtime...maybe we are taking her mind (and ours) off what is to come when the sun rises tomorrow!

Tomorrow is ALREADY getting longer....

Well...Mom got the first call to change her time of arrival at Saint Mary's at 9:15 this morning to be there at 7:30 instead of 6:30...which would have pushed the surgery to 9:00am. The second call from Saint Mary's came at 1:45pm with the newest arrival time now being 9:00am which we think will push the beginning of surgery to around 10:30am. It is now 7pm so we don't think they will call and change it again unless they call us in the morning...we are seriously hoping that they don't. If surgery starts around 10:30, we probably can't expect to see Mom until the very late afternoon or early evening. I will be updating the blog as we get news from the OR or from the recovery room!
Mom is doing REALLY well tonight. She took her pain medicine today like she should be taking it...Jack arrived at 4pm when we were initially expecting him around 6pm (a VERY nice surprise for Mom).
I worked till a tad past noon...brought lunch home for Mom and I, then we changed the sheets on her bed so that she will have "fresh" sheets when she comes home from the hospital. Then I took off "again" to take care of some "me" things so I wouldn't have to worry about them for the next 3 weeks...when I got home, I am home to stay until tomorrow morning.
With Jack and I being here together we definately have to "light the grill" and the cuisine for the evening is going to be black angus burgers. It is so good to have my brother here...we will wander together tomorrow, for hours and hours.
Thanks again to everyone for your good thoughts, prayers and positive thoughts. Someone told me today that if you worry about stuff, you are praying for the "wrong" thing to happen, SO..nothing but positive thoughts coming from 260 Mallard Pointe Way!!
A special "thank you" to our friend Kathy Callahan for taking the above pictures, just this evening!!!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Laughter is the best medicine.....

Gotta love the 4-legged grandkids...Sophie is praying for Mama Jane in one picture and then in the other she has the look of saying....."You better think good think good thoughts about my Grandma cause she has the BEST lap in the world"! On the other hand...there is Tiki...just wanting to act silly with the new parrot that I got her this past weekend...she named him "Big Red". She is looking forward to showing "Big Red" off to her Aunt Sharla when she comes to town!! Aunt Sharla and Tiki have their "special" games that they play and Tiki just loves it!!

Thanks to Julie for the pre-op visit tonight....Mom really enjoyed it!!! You, Vince and your family are very special to us!!!

Less than 48 hours to go....

Well, the "less than 48 hours to go" the countdown is truly on. It seems that all Mom and I can do in the evening is sit here at the table, have a few cocktails and talk....food doesn't even sound real good to either one of us but she is going to eat her left over Filet from this past Saturday night (we want that hemoglobin as high as we can get it).

After a very productive day at work I visited one of my new most favorite stores...Nature's Outppost where I purchased "another" squirrel proof bird feeder and 2 more iron hooks...we now have 2 bird feeders and a humming bird feeder hanging off the edge of the deck. Watching the birds are fascinating and I want there to be plenty around when Mom comes home from the hospital!!! (See picture above for the bird feeder display)

I worked a full day today and tomorrow (Tuesday) I will only be working until noon....after that I am "checking out" until further notice. Again, thank you to my awesome boss, Gail Hutchins and all my wonderful co-workers for being so understanding and supportive!!!

Mom and I are looking forward to brother Jack arriving tomorrow evening, we just wish it was for a different reason!!

Laundry Fairy

This will be the last time Mama Jane's laundry fairy visits for awhile. At least ironing gives me an excuse to keep up with the French Open.
Hope everyone has enjoyed the updated pix of the grandsons. They are growing up much too fast.
Leslie (awesome daughter) has been more than awesome, cannot begin to explain how much she has done for me and she doesn't hesitate to tell me that I can't do something.
Enjoy the blog. Keep all those prayers and good wishes coming....nurses do not make good patients as a rule but I will try to behave myself. I will write more once surgery is over to keep you advised of my progress.
Hugs to everyone