We saw Dr. Gamblin this morning, and he said all numbers still look good - this includes liver and kidney functions, and he got another x-ray - of the lung. Says the drainage is slowing down, and maybe pleur-vac can come off today. He told Butch and I he has been reading our blog - and that he needs to eat his peas for sure! Rehab is looking closer - today we will walk a bit more, go for a spin (we need to wait for it to warm up some - it was 54 degrees here this morning!), do the leg exercises, and EAT! I still don't know about the stent situation - the j-tube is filling up, so it is draining properly - they said it does not need to be done immediately - I guess we are in a "wait and see" mode. He is off all IV's (again) - just needs an infusion every few hours of vancomycin and cefepine HCL - both antibiotics), but still hooked up to the two vacs - wound and pleur. Did I tell you the yellow tinge is almost gone now - and his face has a bit more color. He is very, very thin, however, and it will take a long time to build back up - I am confident, however, that he can do it. His blood pressure is low - but - it always ran low. glucose level is coming down - shot up to the 200's for a few days (when he first started eating again), but - is running 125 today.
It is now 10:00, and we have walked - with the physical and occupational therapists - out in the hall. We walked about 50 to 60 feet, and I followed behind with the wheelchair, then he rode back. That was good - he has arm exercises to add to the leg exercises now, and he is gaining ground. He just asked me what channel The Price is right is on - and he is back to hogging the TV remote - I take that as a good sign. He also is not interested in listening to that healing channel anymore - but I still enjoy it! Some friends that we have met here - the man had Whipple Surgery 3 years ago, and the tumor came back - he just had liver surgery again) just stopped in to our room on their walk up and down the hall - he was operated on about the same time, and he is JUST going on solid foods today! Walking pretty good though, I thought. We are the "band of Brothers" here - all the people from the 3 Family Houses that ride the shuttles back and forth to the hospitals, and all their loved ones here at the various institutions. We share our triumphs and our sorrows, and it is such a good thing for all of us. There is a lot of sadness, but - sometimes great joy, also. When someone gets that long awaited transplant, or takes a turn around the corner toward better health, everyone is cheered up, and happy for the people that have persevered and climbed out of the pits! All the nurses were cheering on Butch this morning, also - they saw him slip back and are happy to see him climbing out himself. There are transplant people here who languished on lists for - literally - years - at the Cleveland Clinic, Mayo , etc. This is the place that will accept high-risk people and try to save them. That means that many of the people here are VERY ill, but - they are being helped. Butch is a perfect example of a "high-risk" patient who was accepted here for surgery when more conservative institutions wouldn't touch him. Because of the "high-risk" factor, more complications can arise - and - they have - but - we need always to remember where he would be if he HADN'T attempted this.
We talked to a lady from the "Select Specialty Hospital" - which is basically the South unit on the 8th floor. They are thinking of placing him there. In order to be on the rehab unit, you have to be able to endure 3 hours of therapy a day, and he can't do that yet. He also has "special needs' - the wound vac, among many other things. So - we will probably go there, and from there to rehab, and on to home.
God IS good, and he is here with us in this place. We can feel his presence - Couldn't have made it this far without him. Remember the 23rd psalm? "Yes- though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no harm, for thou are with me". We are mindful of that psalm, and try to always remember it.
I have posted a picture of Butch outside the Hospital - he looks pretty good, doesn't he? He pushed the IV pole with the equipment on it, and I pushed him! We are quite a team!