Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Good-bye Presbyterian Hospital-Hello Extended Stay Hotel

We made it!!!!!! Got the "walking papers" around noon and after a quick stop at the pharmacy, got here around 2. It really felt good to be out in the "world" again. My 3-week check-up with my Dr. is on April 21 so we'll just be here resting and relaxing and healing during that time. My instructions are for every 40 minutes being up I need 60 minutes lying down with my feet up. That's going to be a challenge for me but I can do it.
We're both settling down at the computers for a while and then will put away the stuff from the hospital. More later.......

Monday, March 30, 2009

Monday Evening

Did so good in my activities today that both of my doctor's gave their blessing on our leaving the hospital and heading to the Extended Stay Hotel, just 1 mile across the tollway from here. It's rather funny that back in Oct. when we were ready to come home, the infectious doctor said she was going to put a big sign at the TX/AR border that wouldn't let us pass thru. This evening she had a big smile so everyone is happy around here.
It's bad to have to make a hospital stay but if you've got to, then this is the place to be. This whole 8th floor is dedicated to orthopedics and many of the nurses and aides and doctors have been here over 10 years. It was like old home week when we came back this week. There was only 1 gal that was new.
I've got a trapeze bar over the top of my bed here that helps in moving around. I asked him if he would be able to fix one up in the hotel for me.
We're on to statge #2 tomorrow and will sit around and rest and relax and heal until I see the hip Dr. on April 21st. Our son will be flying here on the 22nd and spend a couple of days before heading out to CA on business. It has worked out pretty good for him to be here to help us move into the hotel and then to help us move back into the motorhome.
All is well here tonight-hope we all sleep like little lambs-

Monday Morning - The Day After the Night Before

To set your mind at ease, the title does NOT mean that we went out on the town and kicked up Sharon's heels!! We had a simple, stay at home Sunday night. Come to think of it we had a simple, stay at home Monday night, a simple, stay at home Tuesday night, a simple, stay at home Wednesday night, well, you get the idea!!! Not much else you can have when you're enjoying the luxury of such a fine, high class spa! Humph! More like a high class white-collar penal institution! At least, that Sharon's take on it! Not really, but it makes for good copy and headlines! Isn't that what the media wants you to read? The sensational side of life! If I said she was healing well and things were going according to plan in a slow, subdued sort of way, and everyone here was nice, accommodating and helpful, there's no flashy headline in it, is there? Should be but not according to our media moguls!

I suppose that's enough of my prejudice showing!! LOL We did have a great weekend. Made some great new Texas acquaintances and fellow patients and Sharon made great progress in our goal of getting her ready to head over to the Extended Stay for the duration of our stay here. Home health care has already been set up and is ready for a call and I suppose the social worker is ready to punch the button on the rest of our support package, whatever that turns out to be. I suspect that we'll have her placed on "house arrest" again so that we can get her the PT she needs to gently get the old leg up and running. Well, at least figuratively speaking!!

Rounds this morning indicated that tomorrow is the big day. Dr Emerson is about ready to sprinkle his medical holy water on the release papers with the provision that we can get PT here in the hospital to get her functional enough to get into the van and be able to sit in the wheelchair sufficiently to get her there and into the hotel. That sounds simple, but she only got out of bed mid day yesterday on her own. The rest should be the proverbial piece of pie for her at this stage!

Bottom line: Things are progressing well. Freedom is in sight and her morale is through the roof! Most of you understand what that means!!



Sunday, March 29, 2009

Where in the world does time go?

I just realized the I erred yesterday by not dropping a note on the HippyBlog! We were totally busy with the mega-festivities of celebrating Sharon's birthday! And celebrate we did!! Well, OK, maybe it wasn't a mega-celebration, but we did paint the town. OK, maybe it wasn't the town we painted, but would you believe that we rented Cowboy Stadium and had several hundred of our closest friends over? Oh, you wouldn't buy that either! OK, I stopped by LaMadaline's and picked up two of her favorite Fruit Cups (actually fruit tarts), then grabbed a couple of bunches of flowers and some candles that spelled "Happy Birthday." From those humble beginnings, we had a quiet private little party of our own. The staff picked up on the birthday and had food service bring up a proper B'day cake for dinner in the evening. The gentleman in the next room was also celebrating his B'day as well, so we shared family for a bit and wished each of them Happy Birthday. Mr Charles had both knees done at the same time and was at the point of questioning his own judgement of doing it that way!! He'll have his hands full for the next few weeks until he can get back on his normal activities. He's a rancher from up near Wichita Falls and looks forward to getting horseback again soon!

Sharon is progressing at a very slow pace. Her leg was stretched to almost it's normal length during the installation and the muscles are tight, rather much like a rubberband being pulled on. The slow pace is to allow these muscles to stretch and relax without putting stress on them that will tear or other wise injure them. That is why, when she sits up for a while, that there is a certain amount of, as she calls it, discomfort. Most of us mere mortals with our normal pain tolerance would be curled up in the fetal position calling for Mommy, but she calls it, oh, about a three on a ten point scale!! Her color is good, she has a fairly good appetite (although tire of the "hospital food," and has a positive outlook! The biggest difficulty at the moment is the effects of the pain meds. She is super-forgetful and tends to drop off to a deep nod with no notice! OK, what's wrong? you ask!! I mean WAAAYYY more than usual! LOL

We spent a large part of the day working on our Farms on the computer! If that doesn't make sense to you, sorry! It's sort of a "house-bound" hobby activity. It's virtually farming. Things like plowing, growing and harvesting from the comfort of your own keyboard! I know, get a life!!!

More later



Friday, March 27, 2009

Just what do you all do on Friday night, Mr & Mrs Thompson?

The title from this blog comes from a dear friend who was visiting with us one weekend years ago! He was a young college student/family friend whose parents were no longer in the area. He drove down from school on Friday afternoon and we were preparing to settle in for an evening of TV or some other such mundane activity. Being a young college student, that wasn't quite his idea of a great time. His question to us has come back to us through the years when we realize how little we "do" anymore! As we sit here in the hospital room, each of us with our laptops either reading or playing a computer game, that question just rang so true to our level of activity tonight! (I've kindly left this dear friend's name so we won't embarrass him or his parents!)

This has been a great day that started out with all three of us with the dreary day blahs! Even Bulli woke up with them today! Must have something to do with the gray clouds that were flying as we woke up today. Sharon has been feeling really good today and says she believes she could just get up and walk over to the hotel on her own. My guess is that she would change her mind before too far. The doctor has her on a pretty short leash. He hasn't let her get up but once a day yet so she has spent about 23 hour, and 45 minutes a day in the bed. About 10 of the remaining 15 were spent in prep so her actual time up was really minimal. Her appetite is quite good already (she thinks that's both good and bad!) and has eaten some pretty good meals so far.

I received a phone call this afternoon from the home health care folks that took care of her when she came out of the hospital. They told me that they received orders today for them to be prepared to resume home health duties as early as Sunday. That was somewhat news to us because the doctor has not even mentioned her going "home" yet. At least I'm glad they are thinking ahead to provide those services.

The weather here, like a lot of other places has turned back to winter. I did bring my down vest in with me and was mighty glad I had when I went out for my midafternoon Bulli check. Lots of wind and temp in the 40's. Chill felt like it was in the low 30's. IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE SPRING!!!!

More later!



It's 7 o'clock somewhere

It's only 7AM and I've already had blood drawn, vitals taken, and ultrasound taken so we're off and runnin' again. I woke up right at 4, just as the aide came for the vitals. Hope this isn't going to be pattern here.
Really feel good this morning-hopefully I can walk a few more steps each day so I can gain my strength.
Joe will be late coming over today since he was to do some laundry. I told him to take his time because I'm well take care of overhere.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The more things change. the more they stay the same!

OK, the title doesn't have darned thing to do with Sharon's status at the hospital! It's late and there's a chance that I may have stood too close to whatever it is she has had today and yesterday! Early call for both of us today - Sharon with the "git'em up and make'em work" approach and me up early to take Geovanii to it's own doctor! We had a recurrence of the problem we took it in for last week and it had to be checked out again. This time, we have parts on backorder all the way to Germany! None of this simple stuff from NAPA for us!!! Seven to ten days!! 50 BO across the US! Humph!

Sharon had a good day today. PT came in the AM and had her up and walking. 5 whole steps and back. Not bad when you consider she still has various lines, tubes and other attachments hooked up! No, I do NOT have pictures! Even I have a certain amount of couth and decency, but I'm not sure where I put them! That may have been what Bulli chewed up last week! Besides, I wasn't there. I was at the garage!! LOL

She is tapering off of the pain medicine rather well. It still has some lingering effects but for the most part, she's back among us. She does drift off rather easily, but it's hard to say if that's from the drugs or just from being plain tired. Best guess would make it a combination of the two!

It has been like old home week as the staff flows back through on their weekly schedule. She's been here so often and so long that we have formed some rather close bonds with a good number of them. I even got a big hug from one of them today when she saw me coming down the hall. Did I mention we've been here WWWAAAAAYYYYYY to often and too long?

The only complaint I've had about the whole experience down here occurred today. I had notice some housekeeping items that needed attention since she had come back from surgery. I gently asked one of the nurses if this was normal procedures and WOW! One phone call from her relaying my concerns woke up the sleeping giant! The situations were corrected in very short order and we had good attention from that department the rest of the day. I asked the nurse if we needed for me to make another phone call and she indicated that she was PROUD to be able to relay the info for me. I think she was glad for the opportunity!!!! Thank you, ------! (I don't want to cause her any future problems by giving her identity.)

Things are looking up! Thank you for your continued prayer support! That has been a great comfort to us and has, I'm sure, had results we can't ever measure in tangible ways!

More tomorrow! I start out with laundry day! AAaaarrrgggg!



"Oh, It's 4 o'clock in the morning"

I think that's the title of a song by Faron Young. It's fits my situation well this morning. I woke right a 4 am, just like yesterday. At least I got vitals and blood work while I was awake. I also got some pain medicine-haven't had much but glad it is available when needed. I have heard that PT is getting me up this morning. Oh, boy-no rest for the weary up here. Will update later this afternoon, if I survive physical training.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

"O" Day Plus One

The amazing part is, this is under 24 hours post-op! Gotta' communicate!!

Sorry it's been 24 hours since I wrote last. It has been an eventful day that has shown a lot of progress in her recovery. I got there around noon because I will confess to sleeping in a little late today. Got in amongst the wee hours and was tired. I stayed with her last night until she could manage her own ice chips to keep her mouth moistened and then left. Today she had them remove the morphine drip machine, but that proved to be a little too early and she had her pain medicine by mouth or injection the rest of the day. She is mostly there but, as I described it on a chat line earlier, she mostly has the attention span of a "hyperactive shrew" at times and at others, can stay with something for a while. Memory is a sometimey thing too, but that's all part of the drug culture she's been in basically since Monday morning. As I left tonight, she was firmly embedded in the middle of Facebook doing her "Farming" by plowing and planting her crops! If that doesn't make sense to you, farming is a game on the computer that is deviously addicting and she was dreaming she was playing it while she was drifting in and out this morning!

Dr Emerson made rounds this morning and reaffirmed that she will be up and about sometime on Thursday. He was pleased at her progress this morning and I imagine he will be even more so tomorrow. I helped put the monkey bar swingset on her bed this afternoon and she can at least pull herself up and change her position slightly. She has not complained about being uncomfortable in the bed but a couple of times and has wanted me to run my hand under her back and "unstick" the sheets that are sticking to her.

All in all, I'm very pleased with how things are going at this stage. There is a long road between here and "fully up and running" but it looks like we have a good start!



Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Operation Done! Proclaimed a Success!

Somewhere around 10:30 PM tonight, a very worn, haggard-looking Dr. Emerson emerged from the depths of the OR complex. Haggard, but happy! I believe that is the way he could best be described! He had done a full office/clinic day before he came over to get into this operation. He had nothing but good words to say how well the operation had gone. It was slow, but it was a studied slow to insure that everything went according to plan. Those of us who work with other materials would, I believe, call it "measure twice, cut once!" He described in some detail how things went. As I suspected, he has "aggressively treated, but will very conservatively rehab."

The implant has a newer type titanium coating that is extremely porous. In fact, it is a lot like lava rock in that it has open cells to allow the bone to grow all through it. It is also a different alloy composition that the body does not try to resist or reject as they do in some of the earlier devices. He believes there will be a good bone/prosthesis bond within about 3 months. This is about one half the time that this normally takes with the older prosthesis. Full strength will still take 6 months to a year.

She went into surgery just before 4PM and was still talking to Dr. Holley and David Diaz, the OR nurse, as I left them on the way to the OR. When we got to the proper corner, I commented that this was the place they exit stage right and I do the same on stage left. Both the Dr and the nurse, made the comment that it seemed that I HAD done this before!! This is the kind of experience that I REALLY, REALLY wish I didn't have. I could likely write a set of pre-op instructions for the families from memory without any reference materials at all!! But, I digress!

She will be in the bed at least until Thursday and then will be up only for extremely short, carefully guarded periods, with just enough walking to keep the legs familiar with walking. As he described it, Dr Emerson wants her to get out of bed, walk not more than about 25 feel and sit and rest. Then she can get up and walk the same number of feet back to where she started. And she thought she was on a short leash BEFORE!

The deacons of Prestonwood BC have been just as faithful to minister to us as they have been on our previous trips. They have been a lot of help to us here as we have needed assistance for different things.

Sharon has come back to the room moderately uncomfortable. Her incision seems to be burning a fair amount and they have hooked up the "silly-button" machine to help mitigate it. She is a lot more alert than she has been in the past and is taking a lot of ice chips to help with the "dry mouth." All in all, it looks like a good recovery has begun.

O Hour has arrived

Sharon went into the OR at 3:50 PM with an estimated 3 hours ahead for the surgery. Dr. Emerson was quite positive that things were going well today. Bulli and I are in the holding pattern until I see Dr E at the end of the procedure. Sharon was still pumped about getting things taken care of. She basically hasn't eaten anything since Sunday evening. Nothing past midnight Sunday, the surgery was postponed yesterday, and then what little she ate returned because of the Oxycontin and then NPO at midnight last night too. She said that she wasn't really THAT hungry even yet! More to follow when I get more word.



We are still waiting.

Had my shower and got on the gorgeous!!!!! hospital gown and waiting again. Supposed to be going in about 3. That's all we know right now but he blood IS here.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Wait and Now THe Pause!

Late breaking news! The operation has been placed on hold for 24 Hours! The hold up has been caused by the lack of a blood type match. Its in the antibodies that have proven hard to match. They speculate that the match will be ready tomorrow. Dr Emerson said that there was a great likelihood that they will not need the blood but he "will feel more comfortable" having some on hand. He doesn't feel like he'll need a lot, but it could be tragic if they needed it and didn't have it. Scary thought! We both vote to wait and have it here!

We are sitting here waiting to have dinner delivered. WOW! Scrumptious 5-star hospital food again! I knew we were here for some reason!

More later as things develop.

For those of you on Facebook, I'm keeping a running dialog going on there as well that will be more condensed, but will be more timely than this once or twice a day writing. Just look up Joe Thompson and select me as a Friend and I'll accept you.



The wait continues .... events occuring!

Everything is all set to go. Dr Emerson just came back in and said that all we were waiting for now is the blood bank to get their deliveries in order. He is antsy to get under way. The OR is ready, the nurses are ready, Sharon is ready, EVERYTHING is ready except the Blood Bank! He commented that the positive MRSA nose swab just indictes that she has been exposed, not has it. That's great news! More to follow.........

The Process is Underway - Unstoppable event is beginning!

As I write, the steps leading to the operation have begun. Blood's drawn, Gown's on, IV inserted, last minute reading has begun! The pre-op nurse is from Hong Kong so there were many shared experiences exchanged as she got Sharon "hooked up." Dr. Emerson is in surgery and hasn't shown up here yet. Now, the waiting game begins - first, together, then going our separate ways. She, of course, will be blissfully unawares, so I get to enjoy twice the normal time while I do my waiting. Lunch, a Bulli-walk, and a little Facebook Farming will probably fill my time. Still, it's gonna be a long day!

"S" Day is Here

We're up and going this morning. I had my "cocktail" last evening so you know what I'm doing. We'll be leaving for the hospital around 9 so we can visit the 8th floor before reporting to the surgical wing around 11. I am 5th on the schedule so probably won't get into surgery until later afternoon. My Dr. wanted me to be last so he would not be under a time restraint-that's fine with me. The only problem is waiting all day on an empty stomach. No worries, I have a book to read, a crossword puzzle book and there is a TV in the room. All is well here this morning and we are anxious to get this "show on the road" so we can get back with life again. It seems like life has been on a hold for the past year and a half but we learned alot. Joe will pick up the blog from here and keep updates postly.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

It's Sunday and Monday is Nearly Here

What a way to start the day. At 4 AM this morning the fire alarm went off and, of course, woke us up along with everyone else here. The desk clerk had no idea how to turn it off so the firemen were called. What a noise!!!! Seems like someone was cooking and set it off.
So, back to bed for a couple more hours of sleep.
Heading out at 10 to go eat breakfast tacos and then take James to the airport. He really has been alot of help to us. It took only 30 minutes to move to our new "digs" yesterday afternoon.
We'll make a stop at Wally House this afternoon and then settle in for a quiet evening. I've pretty much got us nestled in and my nest made. Wanted that to happen before my surgery.
More to follow tomorow morning......

Friday, March 20, 2009

More Good News!

We had become resigned to being in this small suite for the duration when the manager called today and told us that our old friend and accommodation, Suite 232, would be available for us tomorrow afternoon. After some careful, but quick, consideration, we decided since it would be available on Saturday and not Sunday as we originally thought, that we would go ahead and make the change. It is really for the best in the long run, since "recovery girl" won't get so pen sick when she comes back for recovery. Shoot, I could live almost indefinitely in that place. SSoooooo, while James is still here, he said he would help make this as quick a transition as possible. With her organizing, and us hauling, it probably won't take but a couple of hours to make the move and be pretty well in place with her nest made! LOL They say good things come to those who wait! We'll see!

On another front, it is possible that Bulli may be having a reaction to some chemical in the air in this room. His appetite has been zilch and he really hasn't acted like he was comfortable since we've been in this room. His sneezes tell me that something is bothering him here. He had no such reaction in the other place. He's probably lost 10 to 15 percent of his body weight, mostly since we've been here. Of course, he was recovering from a shot reaction weekend before last. Could my little buddy be getting as old as his master? Say it isn't sssoooooooooo! LOL

Having James here with us for a couple of days has been a real boost for our spirits! He has made the move in here so much easier than before. Besides that, it's darn good just having him around for a while. The only thing that would make it better would be for Carol and Abigail to be able to be here too!

IT'S HERE!!!!!!!!!

We got the phone call this afternoon that the implant is here in the Dallas area so it looks like all systems are GO! We were afraid someone would have to go to the UPS office just before surgery on Monday.
Even better news is that the suite we were supposed to have is becoming available tomorrow afternoon so we will be moving up to it on Saturday. Our son will still be here to help us so that is great. I'll still have time to "nestle in" before Monday.
The weather is beautiful here and Monday is on it's way. I'm pumped and ready to go.
More later.......

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

We're Here and Getting Settled

Arrived at the Extended Stay after picking up our son at the airport and having a scrumptious lunch at Taco Cabana(one of our favorite places when we lived in TX). There definitely was a mix-up in our reservation but the manager here is bending over backwards to make things right for us. We are in a smaller room but we've about decided that we can live with this one. The manager is going to bring in a chest of drawers and a desk and hopefully change the queen bed our for a king bed. The bathroom is already handicap-ready so that is a plus. He is giving us this room at a special rate so we are about resigned to the fact that our suite is history. Guess is wasn't meant for us to be up on the 2nd floor so we'll be happy here. My main concern was that I wanted to "make my nest" before going into the hospital on Monday and it looks like that will happen. Our son is here thru Sun afternoon so he will be a big help.
The weather is lovely here-sunny, blue skies and in the low 80's. Looks like spring has already found it's way down here.
Will keep you posted on our settling-in process.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

2 "GOODS" but 1 "NOT SO GOOD"

Good #1-pre-registered with the hospital over the phone and all the paperwork there is in order and ready to be picked up Monday morning when I check in around 10:30 AM

Good #2-don't have to have any further blood, x-rays or anything before checking in Monday morning-nurse will call me when the implant is at the hospital, hopefully on Friday

NOT GOOD-called the Extended Stay this afternoon just to check on our reservation and somehow it has been messed up and our suite isn't available until Sun afternoon. Needless to say this upset me somewhat as we planned this whole trip down to the "inth degree" and coming 5 days early was going to allow us to get settled in and relax a little before my surgery on the 23rd. Also, our son is flying in tomorrow for the rest of the week and was going to help us move from the motorhome to the hotel suite.
Someone dropped our reservation but of course no one will own up to who did it, including the manager whom we spoke to in person in Jan while we were down here and I have the paperwork in my purse. SO, they say they can put us in another room at quite a reduced rate until Sunday-guess we don't have much choice. But, I was really looking forward to getting settled in during the next few days.
Stay tuned for the continuing saga......

Monday, March 16, 2009

We're In Texas

We arrived in Lewisville, TX this evening and will have a day tomorrow to rest and relax. We left home Sunday afternoon around 4 and made it all the way to Jackson, TN(125 miles). Today we drove 550 miles and all 3 of us are "beat". We'll be at this RV park for 2 nights and then after picking up our son at the airport on Wed, we'll move into the Extended Stay Suites that we have used before. The address is on this blog already. It sure was nice to find sun here in TX today and the temps in the 60's are delightful. More to come.......

Friday, March 13, 2009

It's Done(or so they say)

The nurse in Texas talked to the company yesterday and the implant is finalized and will be mailed to Plano next Thursday with arrival on Friday, hopefully. I think that is cutting it pretty close but we'll keep our fingers crossed.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

All Systems Are Go!!!!! (we think)

Still haven't gotten word from the company who is making my implant that it is done and ready to be sent to TX. My Dr's nurse is calling them again today to see what the status is but she feels sure that we are still on for the 23rd surgery. I'm getting a little nervous since we are leaving home this Sunday and heading that way. We've got to go, anyhow, because our son is flying into Dallas on the 18th-surgery or no surgery- to visit us.
So, keep your fingers crossed that the implant will be finished this week and sent on to the hospital and will be waiting for me when we get there.
We'll be staying at the Extended Stay again just like the last 2 times and the address is on this blog somewhere.
Stay tuned for further information.