Wednesday, November 28, 2012

How is it Wednesday?

It has been a long few days. Dena came through surgery and was sent up to ICU with a ventilator breathing for her. She was sedated and restrained and not at all happy about any of it when she woke up. Once she was a bit more aware I got the nurse to loosen the restraints so she could write us notes. She couldn't get the pen to the paper (she was writing in the air) and got angry...She worked VERY hard to write "this pen sucks." She wanted to go home. She wanted off the ventilator. We couldn't give her anything she wanted and I am grateful amnesia prevents her from remembering.

They removed the ventilator Tuesday but stayed in ICU as her heart rate wouldn't stay stable, her blood pressure kept dropping and she kept "forgetting" to breathe. She, um, graduated from an oxygen mask to the nasal tube and would take it off, doze off and I'd put it back on. We did that all day long.

We talked about how they believed they got all the cancer and why she could not get out of bed,why she could not go home yet but satisfied her telling her she would get a drain tube out the next day. We covered not removing her catheter at least 24 times and she told me to leave her alone more than once. I love her and am glad I was there. I'd hate anyone to go through all that without a loved one's support...She did sweet talk her way out of the boots, into the removal of her cath and got permission to sit in a chair though. It all helped tremendously.

Today she was able to walk the hall 3 times and moved a step down to intermediate care. Off the propofol, she now realizes she is in pain and that even with pain meds it doesn't really go away. She did get that drain out, is off oxygen and only on the heart monitor. Because of the feeding tube use she doesn't have to be on her IV all the time so it can be capped off to allow her freer movement. She can drink some clear liquids and will hopefully get up to full "feedings" via her peg tube tomorrow.

She fully expects to go home tomorrow. Her Doctor won't set a target but hinted at Friday yesterday. Her staples come out Monday so that's a good promise no matter where we are. She did lose about 1/3 of her tongue but should talk normally when all the swelling goes down. I can understand her perfectly now but know the nurses struggle. They sliced her neck ear to ear and she is comparing the staples to putting a dog in a prong collar. She calls the remaining drain in her neck her meat hook. She said it feels like she is a huge side of beef hung up on one of those large metal hooks.

We are still awaiting final pathology reports to determine the need for radiation but have strong faith they got it all. I'm afraid we are more optimistic than her Doctor but we'll know more soon. So it would seem that all that's left to do is heal. I do hate cancer. It sure does suck. 

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11/29/2012

    Thank you for this update, I've been thinking of you.

    I'm beyond happy for you that the surgery is now in the past, that must have been so scary. I hate to read about what she went through and is still experiencing but she is lucky to have you by her side - pushing her to remain optimistic. That is so important right. Best to you.