Thursday, July 29, 2010

times are changin'

you guessed it, another jeff blog on amy's behalf.

first, don't get used to reading my blogs online.  this is a lot of work, and i'm surprised people voluntarily sign up for it.  second, the post was delayed this morning because we've actually had quite a bit of activity.  so, to begin.

yesterday was a step in the right direction, as it relates to amy's recovery.  in the early afternoon the nursing staff began elevating her to about 40 degrees (by 4PM or so).  after that, they were able to remove a couple of the IV lines that she was using, and have tapered back on some medications.  the greatest change of yesterday involved wheeling amy out of the ICU, and onto the 7th floor.  her new room is more private, with a real closing wood door, a large armchair that reclines, a private bathroom, sink, and TV.  because the room is on the 7th floor, it has a beautiful view of lake michigan and the east side of milwaukee (hopefully see attached photo...we're trying to get that included).

amy spent the majority of the early evening resting in her bed, drifting in and out of sleep.  the big news came when amy's new nurse, donna, helped her get to her feet and sit in a chair for the first time since the operation.  amy seemed to stand up pretty easily.  donna told amy that she only wanted her to sit for about 10 minutes, then it was back to the bed.  amy was able to stand up on her own, then sat down with ease.

for the first time amy was able to eat "real food" post surgery.  amy ate a fruit plate and a blueberry muffin.  it was great to see her actually sit up and eat.  she was able to watch TV briefly (seinfeld of course), and ultimately fell asleep once the sun set and her room was dark.  i sat next to her in the armchair playing my video games and occupying myself with movies until she was asleep.  once she looked like she was comfortable, i closed my eyes and drifted off too.

throughout the night we both woke from time to time, amy sometimes asking for pain meds or another pillow.  around 7:15AM we woke to the sound of the phone ringing.  i answered it, and spoke with someone from the food service.  i ordered amy's breakfast and chatted with her for a few minutes.

while we were waiting for her food, stephanie with physical therapy stepped into the room and spoke with amy.  stephanie helped amy get into the armchair.  stephanie set a goal of getting amy to walk out of the room and into the nursing area.  amy stood up, paused for a moment, and told stephanie that she felt light-headed (probably a combination of lying down for hours and no food in her belly).  amy took a break, walked a bit more, then returned to her bed.  it was fantastic.  i helped amy finish her breakfast, then she brushed her teeth (another notable moment).

around 9AM amy was met by an occupational therapist, betty.  betty went through a series of questions with her, then helped her with some basic hygiene (washed her face, etc.).  while amy was meeting with betty, i stepped out to get some breakfast of my own.  i went outside and sat in the grass on the front lawn of the hospital.  it was (and still is) beautiful outside.  probably 75 degrees out, low humidity, some cloud cover.  i try not to tell amy these things...she doesn't need to hear how nice it is when she's confined to a air-conditioned hospital room.

when i returned to the room amy was ready to make some more significant changes.  by now her parents had returned (they brought me breakfast).  amy's new nurse (laurie) removed her IV and her catheter.  that may have been amy's favorite event of the morning.  then, her mom helped her with changing out of the lousy hospital gown and into some more familiar clothing.

as i'm writing this amy is taking another break, lying down.  she just opened a package from a close family friend (thanks barb), revealing an oven mitt fashioned after the great state of michigan.  
today may be a bit more boring for amy, as she seems to be a bit more awake and less medicated.  the last couple of days she's been very drowsy from meds, and has spent a lot of time in and out of sleep.  maybe today she'll spend some time just watching the DVD's that she brought.  

more to come...


  1. Dear Amy,
    I am so glad to hear that everything is progressing nicely in the recovery stage. The oven-mit looks fantastic! : ). It sounds like you are on your way to a steady recovery. I'll be sending good thoughts your way throughout the coming weeks.
    All the best,

  2. So glad she is making progress and able to take steps towards recovery! Thinking of her daily!

  3. Glad to hear Amy is doing well. Thanks for the updates Jeff. Tell Amy I wish I was there to sing "Grey Sweatpants" for you guys and that I hope she feels "Comfortable" soon...

  4. woo hoo to sitting up, walking, and no more open-butt gown!!

  5. Amazing my dear....Amazing! Katie