Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Saturday, June 27, 2009
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
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
Saturday, June 20, 2009
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.
Friday, June 19, 2009
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
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
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
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.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
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
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
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
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
Sunday, June 7, 2009
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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"!
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.
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....
#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....
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!
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!!!
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"
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!
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
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!
Monday, June 1, 2009
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!!!
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