Friday, April 13, 2012


Possibly, I have become an inchworm with my posting.  I am sorry that I have concerned many of you.  Fatigue has captured me, taken me by the throat and tried to strangle me.  BUT! ! !  The fatigue is a result of no more heavy sedation.  

As John began to come out of the sedation, my work began.  He was so confused.  Was not sure why he was there and had no memory of the past two and a half weeks.  He did not want me out of his sight. 

His eyes were clear and there was someone in there!  Of course, with the trach, he was unable to speak.  He would "talk" (moving his mouth), but we had no comprehension as to what he was saying.  I could and still can just occasionally figure out what he is trying to say.

His sense of humor and gentle personality shines through his confusion.  He cracks everyone up with his shrugs and facial expressions.  But when people are gone there are tears and fear.  

They performed a trach collar trial.  He was able to breathe on his own for a short while then his heart rate went up as well as respirations and blood pressure.  Immediately, he was returned to the ventilator, returned to bed to rest for the rest of the day and through the night only to awake with a temperature of 102.  More antibiotics and rest and by the afternoon his temperature had returned to normal.  

The day following his "awakening" the physical therapist came in and sat him on the side of the bed.  John LOVED  it.  He did not want to get back in bed and sat in his chair for a short time.  

When it came time for me to leave, John grew extremely agitated and let me know, even without words that he did not want me to leave.  Again, I slept in a chair, wrapped in a blanket, head on pillow against the wall and my feet in his bed touching his feet.  He continues to cough white watery secretions that need to constantly be suctioned.  He does not get much sleep.  I get none.  

The next day he sat on the side of the bed, stood with considerable support from the physical therapist, turned and sat in his chair. He was scheduled to be moved to Kindred Hospital, a long term acute care hospital just ten minutes from our home.  But that was not in God's plan book.  John's white cell count sky rocketed, indicating an infection someplace in his body.  The decision was made to remove the pick line from his right arm and to install a central line.  This was accomplished with no complications.  

John also had considerable swelling in his left arm and hand.  Oh, oh.  A blood clot?  An ultrasound was scheduled on his arm and neck.  This was all clear.  

Feeling that John was very stable and I was a walking zombie, I told John that I had to go home to get some sleep.  He again became agitated, but his nurse stepped in and assured John that she would be there for him all night.  She told him that she had only two patients to care for.  One was John and the other was in the next room and very stable, so she could spend quality time with him.  Reluctantly, John said goodnight to me and I stumbled to the parking garage and home.  I walked into the house, took the dogs out to take care of their business, crawled into bed and slept soundly, straight through to seven the next morning. When I awoke I was in a stupor for about three hours.  

After a quick shower, "watering" the dogs, I was off to the hospital, I thought.  First, I could not find my keys, then I remembered to get my wallet, then where were those keys?????  Darn.....  Oh, here they are!  Off to the hospital.  

The move to Kindred was rescheduled.  Now he was to move Wednesday.  Dr. Duncan did not like the events of the day and cancelled the transfer.

In the parking garage, I gather my wallet.  Where is that wallet?????
I feel all around the seat, the floor, the wallet.  When trying to find the keys, I laid down the wallet.  When I found the keys, I left for the hospital.  Oh oh....

When exit time came, I was told to explain my plight to the cashier and he/she would give me an envelope to mail my fee.  Not that simple.....nope.....the nasty lady was quite aggravated, told me to go park and she was calling the campus police!  (Indiana University Medical Center and IUPUI).  

I quietly slink over to an empty parking spot, get out my cell phone to text my plight to a friend and I wait, and wait.  I wait until I am totally absorbed in my texting and I suddenly hear through my open window this deep voice behind me.  I scream!  (I am easily startled) I scream like a banshee!  Scare the poor campus policeman and am totally embarrassed.  

He says no problem.  He fills out a couple of papers, taking my license plate number, asking for my drivers license number (who knows their drivers license number?  Not me!  And my license is in my wallet which is someplace at home where I laid it while looking for my "lost" keys.  Do you get the mental status of this sleep deprived basket case?   Ahhhh, he says, no problem.  He takes the written information to the cashier, returns to my car, (I'm watching his movements so I do not repeat the screaming female act again) and tells me to go back to the exit and the cashier will let me through.

grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr and reluctantly allows me to leave if I will sign my life away and take an envelope to pay my pitiful parking fee of $5.00.    Oh happy day!

Geezzzz, this is getting long!  

Thursday morning I sleep in to the extremely late hour of 7:30.  Upon awakening, I make the bed, straighten the bedroom, sweep all carpeting, dust all hardwood floors, water the dogs, take my shower, brush my teeth and answer my phone......John is being transferred today!  Whew....I tell them to tell John that I will meet him at Kindred, his new place of residence and recovery.  

I was able to tour Kindred prior to John's arrival, make a quick Starbucks run and return to the hospital in time to station myself at the back of Kindred, at the ambulance entrance to photograph John's arrival.  I felt like a child waiting for Santa's sleigh to come into view!   (I am so sure he is going to treasure my photo journaling his entire experience! eh hem!) 

After he is in his room and we are just adjusting to the new place, John looks at me and says  "what happened to me?"  "Why am I here?"  Oh my, what do I say..??????  He had no memory of two days prior to his respiratory failure..........two days......that is three weeks lost!  I told him the truth....every stinking bit of the truth.  

Then I told him about all the bloggers that were praying for him, the prayers of  his / our family, friends and total strangers all over the world!  God is so good to place you all to intercede for John and for me.  Thank you, thank you from both of us.  

When it was time for me to leave, again, John did not want me to go.  I told him I just had to and finally he was kind of OK with the situation.  

Today, I refreshed the house for "show and sell" and then returned to the hospital.  Wow, a ten minute drive!  That sure beats forty five  minutes!    I was able to return home for lunch! (money saved)  

I took my spinning wheel and was able to spin as John tried to rest.  Tried is the key word.  He is very anxious.  He is unable to sleep, to rest and is totally exhausted.  And this is announcing my prayer request.  Please pray that John sleeps soundly tonight and every night in the future.  Also that he relaxes and is not so apprehensive.

All his physical, speech, occupational, respiratory therapies are a prayer concern.  In order for him to eat real food and get that nasty tube out of his nose, he must pass his speech therapy tests/trials.  He needs to be totally rested in order to have successful physical and occupational sessions on Monday.  And to be able to breathe on his own, the clear secretions must dry up in order that he not cough so much.  Those coughing times sap all of his strength.  

Well, this brings you up to date.  I am sure I have missed events.  If so, and if they are important, I will blog them later.  For now, I will "water" the dogs one more time, then head to bed.  Tomorrow is another day to witness God's power in John life and health!  To God be the glory for all He has done.

God bless you and keep you.  May he put a hedge of his love around you and give each of you peace and strength.  

We love you all!  


  1. Thank you for taking the time to catch us up. A peaceful night's sleep is being prayed for at this time - for both of you. Hugs and love to you and prayers that John is soon fussing at you.

  2. Well, you've been on quite a whirlwind. Whenever I'm upset or exhausted I do things like you did--put wallet down pick up keys, put keys down pick up wallet--

    I'm so happy that John is on his way to recovery. I think of him often--it's so good to hear good news. Seems like every time I read a blog, someone is having problems with illness.

    You have all become "friends" that I care and worry about. I hope everyone is back to good health in short order.

    Take it easy, Nan. Thanks for the update about John. I'm glad he knows we're all out here rooting for him.

  3. My dear Nan, I have been wondering how things were going but didn't want to intrude -- I knew when you could, you would blog to let everyone know. Just reading your ordeal made me tired -- I can only imagine how hard this is on you -- and John of course. We don't know what God has planned, but we must have faith and trust and know that he is in control. I will pray for rest for you and John -- may John sleep well tonight and be ready to face tomorrow! Thanks for keeping us informed. "What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see." Hebrews 11:1 God bless!

  4. I was thinking of you both today and offering up my prayers. Now I will give them double duty! You need to rest and relax a bit for yourself or you will be no good for him either! Glad you took over your wheel, it can be soothing and restful. Can he write with a pen and wipe off board? will that help his frustration in communication?

    Hope this weekend gives you both lots of rest for the Monday Morning tests!

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

  5. Dear Nan, Thank you for taking the time to post about all that has been happening. I was very worried about you and John, but also didn't want to intrude. I hope that both of you will start getting good restful nights. Please keep us informed, there are many who care about you.

  6. Nan - We so appreciate you taking the time to keep us updated on all that has been happening. We continue to pray John, that he rests and finds some peace. We pray for you and your strength to get through all of this. Do you have any family members or friends close by that can be with you and John? You need to ask them for their help . . . in any way they can. I am sure you would be the first one there for them if they were in need.

    Know that both of you are in our thoughts and prayers each and every day.

    Sending Love and Big Hugs, Sharon and Ron

  7. Oh my! I can't even imagine what the last few days (weeks) have been like! Prayers for John's continued improvement and a good night's sleep for both of you!

  8. I am so very glad to hear from you. As others have said you and John are on our minds. I know the baby steps are very exhausting but it sounds like progress is in the works and recovery is in sight once again. God Bless you

  9. It seems to me that you are a very strong woman, and John is blessed to have you in his corner. I continue to hold both of you in my thoughts.

  10. I don't know if Blogger ate my comment or not...but here's what I wrote previously:

    I can't believe that woman at the parkade gave you such a hard time over $5 when you were obviously distraught. I'm so happy for you that John is now at a much closer facility. My mom and FIL both had trachs put in during really bad illnesses so I feel for John with the discomfort he's feeling and for both of you for the difficulties in communicating. Am continuing to send good and healing thoughts and virtual hugs.

  11. I have not had s good Internet connection lately but wanted you yo know that I am still thinking of you.

  12. My wife Kathy is great at researching on the web. She noted the symptoms you listed and checked Sundowner Syndrome which is said to be more to the Elderly Patients. She found Hospital Psychosis to be more in line with what John has. The symptoms are Frustration and Confusion that occur mostly at night and it affects all age groups. It even recommends that it is sometimes neccessary for night time restraint because the patient is not aware of what they are doing to themselves.

    We continue to pray for John's recovery and that you are taking care of yourself.

    It's about time.


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