Friday, March 18, 2016

Things we take for granted and UPDATES BELOW

Who are you and what have you done with our Shepherd? 
Saturday, March 12, 3:00 a.m.  Just a quick note to update you on The Shepherd.  He is in the hospital with pneumonia in both lungs (is that double pneumonia?  I don't know) but the scariest part is the big blood clot that was hiding in the top of his right lung that they found with the CT scan, which was probably what was causing him to be so short of breath.  They have him on IV antibiotics for the pneumonia and IV heparin for the blood clot.

It's 3:00 in the morning and I'm going to bed.  Phew, it's been a long day.  Send your prayers and good thoughts to St. Joe's South Tower, 4th floor.  He's now in ICU 3rd floor instead - if you'd like to send a card, leave a comment and I'll email you our address -  Thanks.

UPDATE:  SATURDAY MARCH 12 - I spent the afternoon with The Shepherd in his ICU room - they had him on what I would call and "industrial strength" c-pap machine for the first two hours - he basically slept, but I could tell that he hated it.  BUT it was  helping his oxygen levels.  We had a visit from our new minister and Rev. Amy cheered him up lots (Thank you! :-) )  A very wonderful friend took me out to dinner, and,  I called the hospital when I got home and they said that he was doing pretty well.  He will be hungry for breakfast because they wouldn't let him have any dinner - being afraid that the c-pap would make him nauseous - didn't want him throwing up in it! (Ick) Friends and neighbors are helping with the critters, but I figure it's my turn to "step up to the plate" as he has taken care of the place when I've had various and sundry ailments over the years.  I'm getting my exercise, as the closest parking (handicapped - and I have my placard) is about a block from the main entrance of the hospital!!

UPDATE:  SUNDAY MORNING MARCH 13 - I just talked to his nurse and he did not have a very good night. He was on the c-pap all night and they plan on putting him back on it today - they will start IV feeding because they cannot let him have anything to eat or drink.   He is extremely fragile right now.  I'm starting to lose my brave face.  Please everybody hold him in your thoughts and prayers.  We've got to get him through this!

Our friend Nancy G is coming over this morning to help me get caught up on a few things.  It will be good to have another person in the house with me - the cats and I are getting lonely.

UPDATE:  SUNDAY NIGHT MARCH 13, 10:45 pm   What a crazy day - I was able to get a good rest last night.  Our friend Nancy came over this morning and helped me do some cleaning (that needed two people) and put a new cover on our couch.  Then we went off to the laundromat to do a passel of laundry.  Thank heavens for friends.  

Laundry dried and folded, she headed home and at about 3:00, I headed to the hospital.  He looked better this afternoon - his oxygen saturation level was up (his skin is returning to pink instead of grey)  and he was much more alert today than before.  Because of all the breathing apparatus they still were withholding food and were "considering" a feeding tube, which I really pushed for.  They got that in tonight - what a harrowing experience that is (!!) and were set up to start at about 7:00.  I'm really hoping that once he starts getting some nourishment he will begin to recover.  We're a long ways form being out of the woods, I fear.  
Activate lasers! 

We had another very bad windstorm here tonight - with gusts up to 60 miles an hour - it blew over a couple of his trees that are in boxes.  I'll have to have the neighbor guys come help put them back up.  They are blocking my way to the barn, but I can get around them.  The sheep were all pissed off at me because they were just a little bit late in getting fed and I think that the wind might have been freaking them out some. Such is life on the farm.

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers, and your comments of love and support.  

UPDATE MONDAY MARCH 14 7:00 pm   I have about  3 minutes and need to be on my way out the door for church choir rehearsal.  I HAVE GOOD NEWS for you - they moved him out of ICU this morning!  They are still having problems getting his oxygen levels stabilized, but we'll take what we can.  The sheep, cats and I are doing fine - the cats especially miss The Shepherd.  Well, and the sheep still think I'm the boogie man, but they have started to come running when they hear me hobble out to the barn :-)    More later. 

Down the street from my office
UPDATE TUESDAY MARCH 15, 11 pm   The Shepherd continues to improve - This morning when I went to see him he said he was barely able to move from the bed to his chair for breakfast.  When I left him at 11:30 he had just gotten his lunch and was eating mashed potatoes and gravy "with gusto". He called me at about 5 pm and he had just come back from a walk down the hall and back!  I think he is feeling like he is being "nibbled to death" by all the OT's and PT's and RT's, but he is definitely getting the attention that will continue his path to health.  Maybe I'm being overly optimistic but I think he might be home by Thursday if things keep improving! 

Beside our front gate

The sheep girls now come running to the barn when I call them from the path.  And they are almost used to me, enough that they run in, grab a mouth full of hay, stand there, trying to decide if they should dart back outside or grab another mouth full of hay.  Donna and Vanessa definitely have baby bumps but they are a ways away from lambing - maybe 3 or 4 weeks I think.  

I am so grateful that I have my new android phone that I got for myself for my birthday.  It has really been a life saver/godsend to be able to get messages out and to be able to use my email away from home during this time. And since I have it in my pocket all the time, it's handy to be able to take some fun pictures like these last three.  

I've only lost "my brave face" once in front of The Shepherd.  My sister said that was only to be expected, but I know that it won't help him to get better if he thinks I'm "freaking out".  So, we're doing the best we can.  TTYL

UPDATE WEDNESDAY, MARCH 16, 2016  My update for today is "The more things change, the more things stay the same"  We are pretty discouraged today - they are still having a whole lot of trouble getting his oxygen regulated - they are giving him 15 liters (an hour?, not sure) but in order for him to come home, he has to move down to needing only 5 liters and that seems a ways away.  He is annoyed with the food service - he is on a soft food diet - they are worried about him choking, so all the food needs to be soft and maybe have a sauce on it - but he's not big for sauces and gravy, so the dietitian said she would order his food to come "with sauce on the side"  -  well tonight he got his mashed potatoes and gravy with gravy, AND a cup of gravy on the side.  He actually laughed about that.  

Between going out to the barn to feed sheep, and walking from the parking lot to the hospital and back (a block even though I'm in the handicapped lot)  I'm really getting my exercise.  I did decide to stash my walker in the trunk and use that to go from car to his room - much easier on my back than trying to walk all that distance with my cane and people are so sweet - they really scurry around to help me - opening doors or what ever.  Never underestimate the kindness of strangers.  

Thanks again for all your offers of help, your prayers and good thoughts.  Visualize his lungs healthy and strong, if you would.  I think that's what it is going to take.  I am grateful it is "only pneumonia" though - a friend's mom is down the hall with a blocked bowel - Colon cancer?  Maybe...And another friend whose FIL is in with "c.diff" - google it - it's nasty stuff - I think one would be a step up if you had e.coli and like that, it shuts down your kidneys.  I guess I'll take the pneumonia over those other two.  

UPDATE, THURSDAY, MARCH 17 - Hello - nothing really new to report today.  He is getting stir crazy and very lonely - even though I have been going up twice a day now.  Poor guy.  They did turn his oxygen down to 13 liters per hour but he has to be down to 5 before they will let him come home. 

Meanwhile life goes on - I have been going up to see him in the mornings and getting to work at about 12:30 - The last couple of days I have gone after work too - if I leave by 7:00 there is still enough ambient light for me to see to feed the sheep. I just ordered a better flashlight and some solar pathway lights from - he's not real crazy about outside lights, but hey, I'm not real crazy about wandering around in the dark either.  I have the next three days off, so maybe I can spend a little more time with him. 

Happy St. Patrick's Day - we had food left over from a luncheon at work - they had corned beef and cabbage - it was delicious!  I had some for my lunch and there was enough left over for my dinner!  Yum!    

Thanks again for all your notes of encouragement.  I need to go fold some laundry before I head to bed. 

UPDATE, FRIDAY MARCH 18 -  What's that old camp song - "Same song, second verse, a whole lot louder and a whole lot worse" ??  Not a whole lot of change today - although he did go for a couple of walks around the ward and they are trying to wean him down on the oxygen - he was down to 11 (liters per minute) when I left and the Respiratory Therapist said she might have them turn it down to 10 for the night and see if his numbers stayed up. Remember they said he had to be down to 5 before they would let him leave the hospital.  And, he actually ate all of his dinner tonight - chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy (with gravy on the side - ha ha) beets, applesauce and ice cream.  I stayed until almost 9:00 - didn't want to have them lock the front door and have to go out through the ER on the other side of the hospital.  He had some visitors today that cheered him a lot. 

My friend Misty came and did some cleaning for me - back porch and the little bathroom that The Shepherd uses.  It is nice to have her do the cleaning, but stressful for me because she throws stuff away without asking the significance of the item.  (like my $15  bottle of lavender oil that I put in the water when I wash my yarn - had to snag that out of the garbage sack!)  Our Gardening Angels - friends from church, are going to come spiff up the yard a bit in the morning, so he won't be stressed when he gets home and feel like he has to get out and clean up all the stuff that blew out of the trees when we had our recent wind storms.  We'll be OK as long as they don't dig up the asparagus...


Lilylou said...

Oh Tina, I'm so sorry to hear how sick John is! I am sure he's in good hands at St. Joe, and I hope he's feeling much better soon. Thank goodness they found the clot! That's a killer. We need our Shepherd!

Jans Funny Farm said...

Oh, dear, so sorry to read this about the Shepherd. I pray he will get better quickly so he can return home.

Katnip Lounge said...

HUGE prayers and good thoughts coming your way!

Momma Maria said...

Oh my gosh Tina, that's a bit scary and I'm sorry that you're going through this. I will definitely keep you in my thoughts and hope you are getting some help with the critters to ease the load.

Momma Maria said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kathy said...

Give John our love and you take care of YOU, too.
Please let us know if you need anything.
Big hugs....

Michelle said...

Thanks so much for the update, and prayers for both of you during this trial!

Lilylou said...

Thanks for keeping us in the loop, Tina. Love and care going out to you both.

Yvonne said...

Thanks for the update, Tina. You're in our prayers. Hugs!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the updates Tina! Again, let me know if there is anything we can do, apart from praying.

Kathy said...

Keeping you both close in our hearts even with the distance between. ((HUGS))

Anonymous said...

Great news Tina- I am so happy!

Lilylou said...

Oh, Tina, I am relieved to hear the good news about the Shepherd. You must miss him terribly and worry about all the many plates you must keep spinning in the air while he's out of commission. I know you will manage somehow; take care of yourself as you take care of everyone else. And I hope there are neighbors and friends who can lend a hand.

Tina T-P said...

Thanks everyone for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. My sister was concerned that I was "doing this all on my own" - I told her, "Nope, I've activated my posse - they'll take care of me" And you are. :-)

Lilylou said...

Hugs to everyone from down here in Astoria! Keep up the good work, John, and Tina, be sure not to let yourself get too tired.

Love you both,

Yvonne said...

So glad to be able to check these updates, Tina! Thank you for posting them. I hate to keep pestering with texts, but if there's anything that we can do, please just holler. Hugs, Yvonne

Lilylou said...

Wish I could be there to help with some of your tasks, Tina. May the Shepherd begin to rally today and show real improvement. I imagine he worries about you trying to do all these things pretty much by yourself. I hope there are others available locally to give you a hand.

Yvonne said...

Hang in there, Tina. Hugs, Y