"Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A very long and yet, a very short night

Well, it's 6:20 a.m., and Bethany has been awake moaning and groaning for hours. Her upper back is extremely painful. She has been lying on her back all night, however, that seemed the least painful of positions. With so many medical cords hanging from her arms, it seems virtually impossible to get comfortable. The nurse allowed me to remove her leg cuffs last night, but I realize they should be replaced soon. Bethany does not like them because they go off every 2-3 minutes (I think),and whenever I am able to remove them, for a break, they are drenched in sweat. I did, however, cover them in baby powder so they would be comfortable.

It's so very sad to hear her painful moans and groans, as they are turning into cries. We are anxiously awaiting her surgeon to come and assess her this morning. His resident doctor, Dr. Graber, has already positively assessed her. Medically, things are definitely progressing in a positive direction. MOST importantly, her incision is totally dry, and it has been since removing her drain (and even before). The real and imminent issue is, determining the cause of her extreme pain and her pain management. The longer she is in bed, the more potential for additional problems.

She has yet to eat anything in 12 days, however, she is still on a TPN drip for nutrition; she still cannot sit up at all or she gets an excruciating headache. She is unable to swallow pills for two reasons: her throat hurts, more and more daily, from the ventilator tube having been down her throat, and she is constantly nauseous and can't keep anything down.

She is becoming increasingly frustrated as the days progress. She entered the hospital December 27 and has been here 22 days. That alone is exhausting and disconcerting. She has yet to see the light at the end of the tunnel; the only light she is seeing is the lights of an oncoming train. I am encouraging her daily with the positive medical news, but it is difficult for her to wrap her head around when she is still in so much physical pain. Her body can only take so much. She has lost so much weight that all of her body's pressure points ache and are extremely painful. She was thin to begin with, but now she is skin and bone. The TPN nutrition IV has allowed her face to fill out again, and she doesn't look as pale as she did. Thank God!

Nate is still under the weather, and we are awaiting permission for him to visit. We don't want to expose Bethany to absolutely any germs, thus, he may not be allowed to visit. Dr. Healy just left, and again, I forgot to mention/ask his thoughts and permission for Nate. Uggh. My brain is sometimes on vacation.

Update: As I just said, Dr. Healy and his team, have just assessed Bethany. It is great news that her incision is still dry, and we expect it to remain that way. His nurse, Chris, is going to remove the staples, as they have been in long enough. Woo Hoo! They are also going to remove her TPN nutrition drip; my thinking is so Bethany will begin regaining an appetite. His instructions today is for her to get up, walk, eat, and begin acting like a normal girl again. We are also going to be moved from ICU to the main floor. As much as she doesn't like being in ICU, we both love the nurses and staff here. They are exceptionally attentive and compassionate in every way feasible.

The nurses on the main floor, were just as much. Absolutely no one could have done anything more than they already have regarding Bethany's care, and we know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that she has been receiving the best care possible, without exception or doubt. Bethany cannot say enough good things about her doctors and nurses. (OK, except for that snafu with the one nurse, but absolutely everyone is entitled to an off night occasionally--:) )

I am planning on returning to half days of work this morning/afternoon, however, I am not sure that today will be the best day for that, given the fact that Bethany is going to attempt to be mobile. I am happy for her that she will be moving from ICU, if for no other reason, than to encourage her mental status. Really folks, things could not be looking much better, other than the fact that her back really, really hurts. Dr. Healy said that the pain should subside shortly after she begins walking around and moving her body a bit. Anyone who has been in a bed for 21+ days is going to be in pain.

So, today's goals are: get up and move around; change rooms; ditch some of the monitoring devices (that's Bethany's goal for when she changes rooms); eat something. Anything. Progress, progress, progress.

Again, thank so much for your constant and consistent prayers. They are truly coveted.

Blessings and peace, Love, Shari and Bethany

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