"Little by little one walks far" - an old Peruvian saying.
Late yesterday they took Butch back down to put a drain hookup in for the pulmonary effusion (fluid collecting in his lung) It is draining now - they will take it out tomorrow. There is not as much this time - last time they drained out a liter - it is about 1/3 of that this time - so far. There is a little machine - called a pleur-a-vac that is draining. It sits right next to the wound vac. Because of this problem with the lung - he still has oxygen on, but hopefully that will be gone tomorrow. He goes for periods of time w/o it, but - any exertion - even sitting in the chair, and he needs some oxygen. Later today they are taking a lung x-ray to check on the progress.
We did manage to get scrambled eggs and hot cereal for breakfast for him, but - then I realized they didn't give us the menu selection for yesterday, and none was forthcoming for today. I called the service representative (from dietary) and told her. When I called two nights ago - the girl on the phone said to me "Give me your fax number and I will send you a menu selection". I told her - not very politely that I was a customer, not an employee - don't know the fax number. She basically said "no fax number - no menu selection". I went out to the desk and asked the girl there to give me the fax number to tell dietary, and she said that was ridiculous - they were being silly. In the end - no dinner, I bought him dinner from the cafeteria (again). Yesterday - no meals because of testing - but we fixed him up with something from here. Today - nothing if I didn't get this straightened out! Well - she checked and said there was a "hold- no menus or meals delivered" until someone (can't be me - I am not an employee - someone with authority) changes it - naturally, she blamed the floor personnel for not taking it off after the tests were done last night. The floor staff said - not true - if it were, he wouldn't have got the a la cart for breakfast. Well - I was pretty hot, and the person on the other end of the phone agreed that there was a good reason for my "distress", so she took the lunch and dinner order over the phone, had someone hand deliver the menu selection paper for tomorrow, and - set me up for free guest meals today - anything I wanted. I was mollified, but - we shall see what happens in the future!
I did manage to take him outside to a pretty gazebo near the front entrance. It was quite a production, what with all the equipment and all, but - he did enjoy being out there for about a 1/2 hour. It was a bit on the cool side today - more like September weather than August we thought (temp in the low 70's - unlike Dallas, where Sharan said is was 107!) , but it was very pretty - beautiful blue sky and big puffy clouds. There are beautiful flowers planted in this "Tranquility Garden" - black eyed Susan's, hydrangea's, portulaca, huge white flowers (looked like moon flowers, but - moon flowers bloom at night), and many other plants and trees. There are bird baths and a couple of fountains, and many birds, and it was very peaceful there. Will get a picture when we go out tomorrow - don't have my camera today. He spent most of the morning in the chair next to the bed and the wheelchair, so - nap time now - he is zonked. That drain into the lung is hurting him, so that takes a lot out of him. I forgot - he did walk - a short bit - back and forth to the wheelchair.
No one has said anything about the rehab unit in the last couple of days - until the lung is under control - I don't think that will happen. But - I told him we will continue our own occupational and physical therapy - I keep track of the ADL's (activities of daily living) and write it on the paperwork on the door for him - everyone seems happy with the progress that he is making, so - I believe we are on the right track.
He has been watching much more sports and news on TV - and eating quite a bit better - when they let him eat. He is VERY frail and thin, but - I do see progress. Yesterday - he asked for a vanilla milkshake, which I went downstairs and bought him - it was the 2nd thing he has asked for since the operation - the 1st was a chocolate smoothy, which he liked a lot. Although we were trying to stay away from sugar - now is not the time to be restrictive - my theory is - if he wants it - he gets it! We thank God every day for getting him this far, and ask for continued grace to see it through.