Archive | September, 2013

Measuring progress in small ways

30 Sep

My mom did need the bipap last night and a bit of today but her X-ray shows that the rate of fluid gathering around her lungs is slowing. We’d love to see it stop and her kidneys get to full speed. Pray that happens this week.
This time is a bit discouraging for her as you might imagine. However, given where she was just a week ago, I’m seeing vast improvement. My brother arrives tonight to spend a day with her and I’m sure that will be encouraging. We are grateful for your ongoing prayer and words of encouragement.

Twent-four hours of goodness

28 Sep

My mom has been off bi-pap since yesterday afternoon and has been breathing much better since the last fluid was taken from around her lungs. She was able to walk to the door of her room and back…a first since surgery. It wiped her out but it is a step in the right direction. Her mind is clear now, and although she tires easily, it is so good to have her back with us.
The goal is to move her from the intensive care unit to a step-down unit early next week. Then it’s a matter of getting her mobile again so she can return home. We are asking the Father for ongoing improvement in her kidneys and lungs as well as her strength.

A tough morning, a better afternoon and evening

28 Sep

As Cathi wrote earlier, the morning was a little tough but this afternoon after another liter of fluid was removed from around her lungs, she was much more clear and less labored in her breathing.  We spent a long time talking through the various possibilities of her next week, including moving to the step-down unit on Monday.  She was 98% herself, with just a couple of misunderstandings of her situation.  That’s to be expected after a week in the intensive care unit.

So we continue to look for less need for breathing support, improved kidney function, and sustained mental clarity.  Thanks for praying her to this point.

Confused (by Cathi)

27 Sep

Brian and I have been taking turns at the hospital for a few days. Yesterday I spent the afternoon and early evening which has been more difficult for Marian. I expected her to be alert and her early morning self, but found her respiratory rate elevated and despite a respiratory treatment, she is back on bipap. She is very confused about time, where she is and what is happening. In the midst of it all, and her confusion, I know our Lord is here  and the steps forward and back are part of her recovery.

Please join us in praying for:

  • Steady improvement in her lung function and oxygenation, normal, unlabored respirations
  • Mental clarity
  • Continued kidney and lung function

Thursday early afternoon

26 Sep

I’m seeing some real improvement both clinically and mentally today.  Her oxygen supplement is lower, she’s no longer on IV fluids, is drinking liquids (although not much interested in eating) and is interacting like her old self.  She’s frustrated at her limitations which ironically is a good sign because it means she’s more motivated to improve.  She still has the after-effects of the extended surgery and sedation in that she occasionally misses a few beats in her cognitive functions.  She tires very easily so visits need to be time limited, but she does enjoy seeing folks.  Mornings are best. In the afternoons she is more tired and struggles a bit more with breathing.

A big step today was when she was able to use her iPad a little and read a few emails.  Not bad considering I upgraded her device while she was “asleep” last week and it has a different look and feel.

A GREAT morning! (by Cathi)

25 Sep

I arrived to Presby CCU to find Mommy still in bed….and only because Physical Therapy was coming to help her become more MOBILE ! She spent a good 30 minutes learning about steps to becoming more adapted to Her HOME environment! YAY!

Her specialists have determined that she should soon be moving to a step down unit on 5th floor! Visitors spent the morning visiting, and laughing! What beautiful music to my ears! She’s up in the recliner eating lunch and drinking her favorite Diet Coke as I compose and post this! Moving towards increasing Independence! Not as foggy, and interacting with friends and family appropriately! Thankful to the medical staff and the Great Physician!

Tuesday evening

25 Sep

Cathi spent a good bit of the day with my mom, allowing Anna and me to spend some daddy/daughter time together at Lake Tillery.  Since I haven’t yet gotten Cathi up to speed on posting to this site, I’ll summarize where we are at the moment with my mom’s health.

She is eating some and drinking a good bit which will definitely help her hydration status.  However, they had to take more fluid from around her lungs, around one liter today.  That helps her breathe better but it is not a pleasant process.  She is getting a little frustrated at how weak she feels.  She tires so easily.  She was able to be up in a recliner for the morning though, and that’s a first since the surgery.  The balance of kidneys and lungs is still a battle and one that will not resolve very quickly.

Her mental status varies as well.  If she was reading this right now she might not be happy, but give it an hour and she wouldn’t be able to process it.  Her speech is definitely affected and her cognitive ability is not where she was before surgery.  We pray that this is the temporary result of the extended surgery, sedation and chemical imbalance which will resolve over time.

Pray for:

  • Kidney and lung balance
  • Body chemistry equilibrium
  • Return of speech and cognitive clarity


A wonderful night for her and a nice slow start for us

24 Sep

My mom had a good night, ate some breakfast and is now sitting up in a recliner visiting with a friend. The upswing has been dramatic and it looks like we’re headed in the right direction. She still has times of mental fuzziness but is “there” most of the time. She tires easily, so if you’d like to visit, please keep it to ten minutes or less. My wife and youngest daughter arrived last night from Costa Rica. Today Cathi will be coming in to the hospital and Anna and I will take a day of rest. So the next posting will be later this evening when Cathi gets back and I can write the next update.
Many thanks for your ongoing prayer and words of encouragement. Although I haven’t responded I have read every one and have shared them with my mom. At some point she will go back and read this series and understand how many have prayed for her and cared for her.

Cautiously optimistic

23 Sep

She was wide awake and clear this morning, then started having respiratory fatigue and needed support, then had a procedure to help her lungs have less fluid pressure followed by pain and the extra support. But in the last few hours she has moved to a more simple oxygen supplement and has been much better overall. The great news is that she can now eat, albeit soft and simple, which she proceeded to do with relish.

The balance of kidneys and lungs is still an issue and your prayer for more complete healing is very much needed. But the doctors and nurses are encouraged by the significant change. She remembers yesterday but nothing before that. Humorous moment…she turned to me and said, “So today was my roughest day, wasn’t it?” The nurses, other clinicians and I looked at each other and just cracked up.

Heart is happy, lungs and kidneys are in competition

23 Sep

This morning my mom was able to move to the non-rebreather mask which is much less irritating than the bi-pap. She’s fully alert and remembers all the conversations from yesterday. Unfortunately, the lungs are still struggling and are full of fluid while the kidneys need more fluid to function well. The physicians are talking about putting her back on a ventilator for a while to give her body rest and a chance to get back to equilibrium. Obviously she’s not thrilled with that idea, but just the fact that she can process it is an amazing testimony to God’s grace. I’ll update as events come up.