LoVella's Journey

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This is where Love is now:

Parkview Medical Center
* Floor 3, Rm 1 *
400 West 16th Street
Pueblo, Colorado 81003

 
Glenn took Love to the Air Force Academy Hospital on Thursday, May 8th, because she was in pain. She was diagnosed with kidney stones, and given pain meds to help her until they passed. By very early Saturday morning, Glenn could tell the something was not right, so he took her back in to Emergency. They wasted no time getting her admitted, heavily sedated, and on life support.

The best thing for Vella right now is rest and prayers.

We don't know of anyone who believes in miracles more than Love. We know her faith and strong spirit will get her through this.

I will post updates here as often as I can. Look to the bottom of the page for the latest update.

 

Tuesday, May 13th:
Today we continue to be encouraged because LoVella continues to make little steps to getting better. She is completely off the blood pressure medicine, and her blood pressure and pulse are holding stable.

We found out last night that a complication of her condition, and the treatments is that the small veins in the fingers and toes sometimes collapse, causing damage to the cells. She is now being given low dose heparin therapy to try to encourage blood thinning so her extremities might receive more blood supply. The tips of the fingers on her right hand are very discolored. Both feet are also discolored and have no pulse on the tops of her feet... we have been told there is still a chance this condition can be reversed.

We were also told by the nurse that we can expect to come back to visit her in a month, and she will still be in the hospital... no longer as an ICU patient, but still in the hospital.

We also found out that she has not had a fever today, that is good news. She also reacted to the nurses touch while being tended to earlier today.

So keep her in your prayers.

I'm not sure how often I can give updates, but will try everyday.

 
Escherichia coli (E. coli):
The infection LoVella has is an e. coli bacteria. I found out from the internet that e. coli infections are the cause of 90% of urinary tract infections. It is very common.

Like me, you might have only heard of e. coli infections after some food has been infected and poisoned many people. We found out that *everybody* has e. coli in their intestines. The problem occurs when the bacteria is transmitted from the intestine into the system in some way. If it makes it into the system, infection can occur. When the infection makes it to the bloodstream, as it did with Lovella, this is called sepsis, or specifically in this case, urosepsis. We do not know how Vella became infected.

 
Wednesday, May 14th:
The CT scan they did yesterday showed Love has fluid in her lungs. Today they had to increase her oxygen from 50% back up to 100%, as it was when they first intubated her on Saturday.

The doctor switched her antibiotics today because the one she was on is no longer effective.

Two of her fingers on her left hand appear to be less discolored. The discoloration was originally caused by the blood pressure medicine, and not a concern. Now it is probably caused by the small veins of her fingers and feet being showered by small clots. They are going to ultrasound her complete arms and legs today to check for clotting.

The kidney doctor signed off her case, saying her kidneys are now functioning well.

Well, that's all for now.

Love to all,
Cindy

 
Thursday, May 15th: LoVella's fingers and feet are a little more pink in some areas, which has us very encouraged!

Today they scheduled another CT scan, this time of the head, to make sure there is not clotting happening there. They also want to do an EEG. To do the EEG, they needed to let her wake up a little. We could tell she knew we were there. She didn't open her eyes, but she turned her head from side to side, and moved her arms and legs a little.

 
Thursday, May 15th, late afternoon update:
They haven't yet restarted Love's sedative. They want to see how she does without it. Her CT scan came back negative, no clots! Her ultrasounds showed the fingertips and feet do not have good blood flow, but there are no clots in the arms and legs.

We also saw two of her long list of doctors this afternoon. The surgeon said he didn't think there was a need for surgical intervention at this point. He is watching her feet mostly, but said we'll have weeks or months to determine if surgery will be necessary.

The second doctor, the lead doctor said Vella is as sick as a person could get. To think this started with a kidney infection. They have done and are doing everything medically possible for her. The rest is up to her and prayers. He said she has ARDS (Adult/Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome). Recovering from this is going to be a long process.

June (her mama) was able to visit her today. When June stood next to her, and called her name, Vella lifted her eyebrows in response!

We're hanging onto every good sign we find.

 
Friday, May 16th:
Today they have LoVella lightly sedated. While on the ventilator, they have to keep her sedated, because the tube in the throat is uncomfortable. Because of that, and because a person cannot have a tube in for any length of time without the possibility of damage to the vocal cords, they will perform a tracheostomy today.

They were able to lower her oxygen to 80% today.

Her blood pressure rose a little too high on it's own, and the blood pressure medicine patch they gave her yesterday, was not enough, so they started her on an IV dose of meds to lower it.

Her white blood count is up a bit more today, from 70,000 to 74,000, so they are doing more cultures to see if she might have an additional infection.

 
Saturday, May 17th:
No news on the blood cultures yet. Her toes appear to be showing improvements to us. Everyday they look a tiny bit better, which gives us a little more hope each day.

We also noticed her ventilator oxygen was turned back up to 100% yesterday afternoon after receiving the trach. I'm starting to think at this time, the level will likely go up and down as needed, and not necessarily an indicator of getting better.

A test they did earlier in the week shows that Vella's heart was working at about 8% - 10% of a normal healthy heart. I'm not sure of everything that could cause that, but swelling is at least part of it. She is very swollen, and the fluid in her system will affect the heart. As she fights the infection, and the swelling goes down, we hope to see an improvement. We will keep you informed of this number whenever they perform that test again. In the meantime, we do see the swelling going down. Each day she looks a little more like our Love!

 
Sunday, May 18th:
Last night Glenn said Love's white blood count is down to 62.4 -- I'm pretty sure that means 62,400, considering what her white count was the day before. So, that's a good thing. I believe that means the antibiotics are working.

Today, Glenn and Ronni saw one of Vella's doctors. (Did I mention yet she has several?) She is still hanging in there, about the same as yesterday. It was mentioned that she will likely stay asleep for a couple more weeks, and will be in the hospital for months.

 
Monday, May 19th:
Just this minute got news... Vella is off the sedation and opened her eyes!!! She had them open the entire time Glenn and Ronni were visiting this afternoon!

She still can not talk because of the ventilator, but she responded by opening her mouth so they could clean her teeth for her.

Her white blood count is down to 43,000!

All good news today! Your prayers are working! Thank you GOD, Thank you everybody!!

 
Tuesday, May 20th:
Glenn visited Love at the first two visiting times today. She opened her eyes at the 9:30 but was fighting the breathing tube a little too much so they upped the dose of her pain meds just a little. She was asleep for the 11:30 visit.

Late afternoon update:
LoVella has been awake on and off today. She has a little hard time getting coordinated with the ventilator, which causes her some discomfort. Whenever they give her more morphine she sleeps, which she still needs lots of anyway. Glenn said he and Ronni let Vella sleep through most of their visits.

They took another look at her lungs and heart today. There is only a little fluid in her left lung. The tech said he was amazed at the difference! They also measured the efficiency of the heart... it has raised from 8% - 10% to 70%!

When awake, she's smiled, understood what Glenn and Ronni said to her, and responded back to them. She also tried mouthing words back.

Even though Love still needs her rest and can not have company yet. If you would like to send her a note or something to cheer her, she is at:

Late evening update:
Sorry, we kind of jumped the gun in thinking Love could receive anything from the outside world. The doctors said we have to be very careful about bringing anything in, because she is very susceptible to germs and infection. For anyone who saw that we had the address to the hospital available, please wait.. or send to Glenn to Loves house instead. Thank you!

 
Wednesday, May 21st:
Today they took the tube out of Lovella's nose, that ran down to her stomach. She does her best, and is able to communicate one way or another. She is mouthing words. She seems to understand why she is there, and what all is going on. She knows she has a lot of work ahead of her. And now for the really big news... they took her off the vent for 30 minutes today, and she did well!! Wooooooo-hooooooo! They hope to have her weaned off the vent in a week.

I know there are people who would like to see Love, hold her, hug her, let her know you are so happy she is fighting and beating this... but it's going to be a little while until that can happen. At least until she gets out of the Intensive Care Unit, and right now we are not sure when that will be. We'll keep you posted. We will share as soon as we can. Thank you for understanding. Love to all who loves our Love! :)

 
Thursday, May 22nd:
Moving right along, Love's white blood count is down to 21,000. Normal is 4,600 - 10,000! So she is doing soooo good. They also gave her a "trach tube cap," which allows her to be on oxygen, instead of being assisted by the respirator. Also, during physical therapy today, they had her sit up on the side of the bed for 10 minutes.

All of this is very tiring for her though. Just having to breathe on her own is a lot of work - so she slept a lot more today.

 
Friday, May 23rd:
Hi everyone, Vella is still receiving minimal support off and on the respirator today. When she gets tired, and at night, the respirator gives her enough to just assist her, so she can rest more completely. When the respirator assists her, they also lightly sedate her with pain meds.

We apologize for any calls we are not able to return. We very much appreciate your thoughts and concerns, and will call you back if we can - please understand if we don't get a chance. Thank you! :)

 
Saturday, May 24th:
Today Love did a swallow test and did pretty good. The swallow test is to determine if she can start taking in liquids herself. The gave her a feeding tube today so her stomach can get reacquainted with food again. She is trying to communicate more and more. They capped off her trach today and she was able to say a couple words. Slowly, but surely, she is progressing everyday!

 
Sunday, May 25th:
Well, today has been quite the day for Love! This morning she sat up for 18 minutes, then again later for an hour. When we arrived for the afternoon visit, she was sitting up in the chair! They also had her trach capped, and she was able to talk a litte bit. She felt a little short of breath, so the nurse told her not to talk so much. She told us they have been giving her a little bit of food. She said her feet were cold, so when we went to adjust her pillows and blankets on her feet, we could see there has been significant improvement there as well!

 
Monday, May 26th:
This morning she was very tired. We think partially because of the all the activity yesterday, but also because she didn't sleep well last night. It looks like she got some rest during the day though, as she was completely awake when we visited her this afternoon. They capped her trach with what they call a button a couple times today. They also brought her a meal tonight - turkey, rice, squash, cherry pie - for dinner. She didn't eat much, but they want her to try to get her appetite going again. She is still getting nourishment through the IV, and feeding tube, until she gets the hang of eating again.

 
Tuesday, May 27th:
Love did better with her meal today, even though it is still a bit of a struggle for her because her appetite has not yet returned. Even the few small bites she takes, counts. The nurse told her that if she continues to improve, she may get her feeding tube out soon.

Her protein intake was a concern until now, so they today they were able to give her a diuretic to attempt to get the swelling down that remains in her arms, hands and feet. We hope that when the swelling goes down, it may be easier for her to try to use her hands more.

Her trach is buttoned a couple times a day, but not always when we are in there. Our lip reading skills are improving, but I know it has to be frustrating for her trying to help us understand what she is saying.

Note to the Colorado locals: The luau planned for Labor Day has been cancelled for this year. Glenn is thinking about doing something special for Love's birthday instead.

 
Wednesday, May 28th:
The motto of the ICU, and likely the whole hospital is "baby steps." They remind patients not to expect too much at once, baby steps are good and in the right direction. Love has made many many baby steps -- but today, she made a couple giant leaps in the right direction!

First, Glenn and I arrived to find they had her packed up, ready to more out of ICU! She is now in the cardiac wing, where they can still monitor her closely, but out of the ICU nonetheless! Even though the visiting hours are not as strict in this unit, she is not feeling up to having visitors yet. Sorry. She also can not receive phone calls yet, as she can not talk unless they have her trach tube buttoned.

Speaking of tubes though... she also had her feeding tube removed today! You can't imagine how happy that made her!

She can now receive some love! If you want to send her some, her address right now is:

%Parkview Medical Center
Room 424T
400 West 16th Street
Pueblo, Colorado 81003

I had an idea ... I thought it would be nice if she had the smiling faces of those who love her where she could easily see them. If you could please send a picture of yourself, or you and Love, we'll put it on the wall so she can see you everyday too.

 
Thursday, May 29th:
The doctor made a deal with Love, if she could go 24 hours with her trach buttoned, he would remove it! When we left her tonight, it had been 12 hours so far. You can tell she is more tired today, we think maybe because of the trach being buttoned, or maybe because she had such a big day yesterday. We'll see how she is in the morning!

She cannot yet use her hands or stand up, so I know she's going bonkers more than she lets on sometimes!

Hang in there Love!

 
Friday, May 30th:
Well, she did her 24 hours!! wooo-hooo! That means she is not reliant on the external oxygen anymore. When the doctor checked with her surgeon, they did decide however to keep the trach in place for now. So when she has the surgery on her feet (hopefully minimal, keep her in your prayers), and possible kidney stone surgery, they will not have to intubate her.

Mid-day report:
Ok, even better news now... Her pulmonary surgeon came in this afternoon and said any surgeries she may have, can be done under a local, so they will not have to keep the trach in. So, at the moment, plans are being made to take it out.

Late afternoon update:
Ok, today is a "yes, no, I don't know" day. The respiratory therapist came in, and after Love told her the doc said the trach can come out, she checked her chart and didn't find any orders for the removal. Sorry everybody, this what you get when I think I can do the update before 11pm! Love is doing ok with it though.

Evening update:
The final verdict on the trach tube was - the surgeon did write in Love's chart afterall, and said that it can be removed. They are just going to wait until the first doctor comes in tomorrow, and gives his OK.

The other thing we are trying to figure out is how to get the swelling down. She had been on diuretics a couple days, but will only be able to do that every so often because she was in renal failure when she was first admitted, so they want to be very careful of meds that can affect the kidneys or make them work more than they need to at this point.

Just a couple other things I'd like to mention about her progress... yesterday and today she has been really working at getting her hands up off the pillow, out of her lap and into the air. Now with very little effort, up they go... over and over! Her fingers have recovered enough where the doctors don't anticipate having to do surgery on them. The tips of her fingers are still disclored, and will likely slough off, but there may be enough living tissue between the bone and the dead tissue regrow the tips.

Also, she is on no pain meds at all, and hasn't been since being off the vent a few days ago. She really is amazing!

 
Saturday, May 31st:
We washed Vella's hair today, and I believe it raised her spirits.... at least made her feel a little lighter. The nurses and the assistants are wonderful there, very available, and very helpful... not only to the patient, but also to the family. If I ever get sick or injured, I'm requesting to be transported to this hospital! (I wonder how much an ambulance trip from California would cost! lol). Ok, back to reality.... Love spends a lot of her day, making it through the day.... a lot of therapy, and resting in between. Anything she is told she needs to master in time, she starts on right away! By the afternoons she's pretty tired, but I think she will be ready for morning company soon!

Thank you for all your prayers and support! It's working!

 
Sunday, June 1st:
I'm sorry everyone... I neglected to tell you that they pulled the trach yesterday! Woooo-hoooo! Removing the tube did not require stitches. They just covered it with gauze until the hole closes.

Love seemed more tired today, but still continued to progress. She is working on getting her arms and legs moving again. We can see improvement today, particularly in her arms, hands and fingers. Even though she was tired, it was a good day.

 
Monday, June 2nd:
Even though Love has several doctors watching over her, the doctor most familiar with her hands and feet returned today after being away for a week. After examining her feet, he said it is apparent that they will have to remove more than just the toes as we were hoping. However, they have a specialized prosthetics that would help attain balance and mobility. Nothing needs to be done right away - as long as her feet stay dry and clean - we'll have time for the research and to find an orthopedic doctor who can and will do partial foot amputations.

He also explained the weakness in her arms and legs, which was caused by how sick she was (so very very sick), so her body was taking resources from everywhere, including her muscles to supply to vital organs. The doctor anticipates that she will have descending levels of weakness for a year or better.

She will need acute care in a hospital for a period of time which he could not determine. He said it all depends on how she does. She will also require a period of time in rehab... again, no estimate as to how long.

When I mentioned she is a fighter, he said he could attest to that.

I know we're all proud and thankful of how far she has come!

This update has been written with Love's ok. She is accepting of what has happened to her, and continues her efforts to keep improving.

 
Tuesday, June 3rd:
About every hour or so, Love has people coming in giving her attention in one way or another. There are anywhere between 1 - 3 doctors checking on her each day. The nurses change her dressings at least once a day. Physical therapy came 3 times today & occupational therapy once. In between, we encourage her to keep working her hands to gain more dexterity and strengthen her grip. In between she dozes (or just resting her eyes).

Today she was able to get feed herself her tuna sandwich. She also held her cup and drank her juice through a straw.

Just in the last 24 hours or so, orders were written to remove her heart monitor, to stop testing her blood sugar and giving her insulin. She has also been told by her Infectious Disease doctor that the e-coli is gone, so she no longer needs the strong IV antibiotics.

 
Wednesday, June 4th:
Today Love was taken off the supplemental oxygen. That's the tube that loops over the ears and lightly blows in the nose. That made her day this morning. This morning there was also talk of moving her down to the Physical Therapy floor (3rd floor) soon. Someone from Physical Therapy will come talk to her about that. When she moves to the 3rd floor, she will have 3 hours of PT a day. She was fitted for some special shoes this afternoon that will help her to stand without putting weight on the front half of her feet. The shoes were ordered, and should be here tomorrow.

I have a message from Love:
Hi everyone. I'm reading all the cards. They are therapy and an inspiration. Thank you so much.

I think they are therapy because once we open the envelopes, she is able to take the cards out, open them, read them and get them back in -- also because they make her smile!

 
Thursday, June 5th:
Well, what a day she had today! They do keep her busy! Today she was able to stand up with the aid of a piece of equipment meant to assist those who haven't stood in a while. On Saturday, it will be 4 weeks since she was admitted. She was lightheaded when she was up, but she didn't call uncle . . . she stood there for about 10 minutes!

They are talking about doing surgery on her fingers and her left foot on Saturday. They are afraid if we wait too long, it would increase the chances of getting an infection in the bone (Osteomyelitis). Love decided not to take that chance. We were hoping to get confirmation on this today before actually telling everyone, but that didn't happen. I really wanted to get the prayers going before Saturday and didn't want to wait until the last minute. I'll let you know for sure when we know for sure.

 
Friday, June 6th:
Love got back up on her feet today for another 10 minutes. She did even better today!

Surgery is set for Saturday morning.

 
Saturday, June 7th:
1:30 pm (CO time) -- Love has been in surgery since 7:30 am, still no word yet.

3:30 pm (CO time) -- Love is now back in her room, stable and awake. We don't know any details of the surgery yet, as the doctor had another surgery to perform. *Thank you for your prayers!*

 
Sunday, June 8h:
Love made a couple short calls to say she is doing good. Physical Therapy is getting ready to come in and get her up.

Afternoon update: Love saw the doc today, he wants her to keep her foot up a few days, so no getting back up yet. He had to take down to the first knuckle of her fingers, which was more than he anticipated, but still gives her bendable fingers. He let her know that the surgery on the left foot went very well. He had what he needed to work with and was able to leave part of the foot. He believes the right foot will require more extensive surgery though. He will do that in about a week and a half.

Love said she had some down time, but is ok now, ready to do what she needs to do to keep going.

I know God has special plans for you Vella!

 
Wednesday, June 11th:
Hi everyone. I won't have as many updates during this time. Love is probably spending much of her days doing what she needs to do, then sleeping in between. She has been able to make a couple calls when she has help with the phone. I'm sure it won't be long before she is able to call people whenever she wants.

If you don't hear from me before, I'll at least let you know when her next surgery is scheduled, and when she is back in her room.

Love to all!

 
Tuesday, June 17th:
Love is working those arms and hands everyday and getting stronger. She can now lift her hands above her head on her own. She still needs to keep her leg elevated, so she hasn't been up again yet. The doctor will probably come in this week to discuss her next surgery.

Afternoon update:
Surgery for Love's right foot has been scheduled for Thursday morning. They are going to try to save part of the foot. She really needs extra prayers for this, as it is still questionable. They will not know for sure until they get her into surgery. As I get news on Thursday, I'll keep you all posted.

 
Thursday, June 19th:
Loves surgery is scheduled for 1pm. As soon as I hear anything at all, I'll post it here.

6:00 pm (Colorado time):
Love is out of surgery and doing good. Thank you again for your prayers!

Update, 7:15 (Colorado time):
They were able to save part of Love's foot. There is still a little skin they are not sure will survive, but the doc believes skin graphs will suffice. Thank you God, thanks again everybody!

She will be off her feet, and in her same room for another 6 weeks, then they will move her down to the rehab floor.

 
Tuesday, June 24th:
Well, we heard they might move Love to rehab in just a couple days, and sure enough they did it today. She is now in rehab. Even though she cannot get up on her feet for 6 weeks, they'll work out her arms and strengthen her legs. When I get her new room number, I'll put it on the address at the top of the page.

 
Wednesday, June 25th:
Here is a message from Love:
Checking in time to all my loved ones who are lifting me up by your prayers and blessings. I am surrounded by angels and your love. Thank you for your gifts and cards from the heart. I keep them close. You lift my spirits every morning when I open my eyes, until night when I close them. All the surgery is done, now it's a cruise downhill. I moved to the rehab department yesterday - so now it's up to me to get my upper body strength going. I've certainly been giving the hospital staff their challenges too. I'm now quarantined for the second time, where everyone has to wear gowns and gloves when they come into my room.
I love you all with all my heart.
Thanks for all your help.
Love

 
Sunday, July 6th:
Love is dealing with a couple issues right now. She has not been able to eat and keep down enough food to keep her strength up. They have started her back on TPN, intravenous feeding though a new PIC line. Her blood count was also low, so she received 3 units of blood last night. She also now has a bladder infection, and again on antibiotics. She is a bit weak, and very tired. They determined she needs a full time nurse on the while on rehab floor. They are now deciding whether she needs to return to acute care on the 4th floor. Please continue to keep her in your prayers! Thank you ~~ Love to all ~~

 
Monday, July 7th:
Love is back on the 4th floor, acute care ward again. Room 9. They did a CT scan to check for embolisms. They found two small clots in her lungs, that shouldn't cause a problem. They also found fluid in her lungs. Further scan found a clot in her lower left leg. Because of the location, they believe that was probably the origin of the two smaller clots in the lung also. They put her on meds for the fluid, and a blood thinner for the clot. They determined earlier in this journey that Love is allergic to the most common blood thinner, heparin -- so they are giving her an alternative. If the thinner doesn't work, they may need to do surgery to put a screen in the artery to ensure it doesnt break loose. She is a little more awake, and was smiling today.

 
Tuesday, July 8th:
They have been unable to wake Love this morning, and are running tests to find out why. As soon as I hear anything, I will post it here.

10:30 am (CO time): On the doctors initial exam, he thinks Vella may have had a stroke. She is still breathing on her own, and her blood pressure is still good. They can get her to open her eyes, but she just has a blank stare. No test results yet.

1:30 pm (CO time): The CT scan is clear. No stroke. Her ammonia levels are high. She may have a back up of fecal matter. They are clearing her intestines now.

5:00 pm (CO time): They gave Love a med that they give to coma patients to help wake them. We are not sure how that works, or how long it takes. They also will take her for an MRI and then observe her for 24 hours.

9:30 pm (CO time): Glenn and Ronni were able to wake Love enough where she open her eyes and looked over at them, which is more than what she was able to do earlier. She is in neuro intensive care unit for observation right now. We won't get the results of the MRI until tomorrow.

Good night everyone. God, please give Vella a good night too.

 
Wednesday, July 9th:
5pm CO time: Vella is awake and smiling. All tests are showing good things. She is able to move her legs and lift her arms. They did find one thing in her blood - some kind of antibody that clots when she is cold. It sounds like there are things they can do to get rid of it, and in the meantime, they have her on a hot bed to keep her toasty. She still has about 12 hours in the neuro ICU for the study.

 
Thursday, July 10th:
Love is still in Neuro ICU, because she has to have a private room. The last infection she had, that put her under quarantine again, makes it necessary to have the private room and sterile gowning for the duration of her hospital stay. While being monitored in Neuro ICU, she had a couple small seizures, so they now have her on seizure medicine. They also determined she has hepatitis.... but said she has had it for a long time. Other than these things, which seem to be things they can control.... she is awake, aware, talking and smiling again!

 
Sunday, July 13th:
Love is doing soooo much better now! She is back in Acute Care on the 4th floor, which is step better than ICU! She said she feels as though she has been energized by batman and robin, and is ready to conquer everything she needs to, to get better! They have her getting up into a wheelchair now, and she was able to go down the hall in the wheelchair under her own power! She said she is now eating like a horse, and feeling good again! More good news - the hepatitis tests come back negative now, proving the first test was a mistaken. She also is being tested to see if her blood behaves itself when her room/body temp return to normal or cool... and so far the tests are coming back with good results. Yayyy!

 
Monday, July 21st:
Love said she is having awesome days these days. Her anemia is better... her red blood count is better, and her blood condition with the antibody is better too. She is still feeling energized and focused. She is still eating like a horse. They doubled up on her physical therapy today and worked with her 4 times today! She is able to do more and more with her arms and hands everyday. She is able to push down with her hands and lift her body up off the bed. After they washed her hair, she was able to dry it with the blow dryer. While up in the wheelchair, she went through and reorganized the cupboards in her room! She has been able to wheel herself around and down the halls (with a little help with the IV tree). The last leg of her journey (pun intended) will be getting her up and around again.

They found she still has kidney stones in the right kidney, but plan to blast the larger ones during her hospital stay. She still has the stint, but will some day have that removed during an out patient visit sometime down the road.

The target date for going home is Labor Day.

 
Tuesday, July 29th:
Hi All, here's a quick update for you. Love continues to do well, and is making progress everyday in her recooperation and rehabilitation. The prostetic doctor has been in and has made a special shoe / brace for her left foot. In another couple weeks, when she is allowed to weight bear on her right foot, he'll make one for that leg / foot also. These special shoes will help her with her balance when she stands.

She also continues to regain her strength. She is able to move her arms freely now. She can push down on the bed with her hands to lift her body now. She can now sit up, move her legs, and sit on the side of the bed by herself. An issue she now has with her hands is swelling.... although the doctor said that is normal, it makes it difficult to grasp objects.

She has been eating well enough where they have removed her from the TPN (Total Parenteral Nutrition, or IV nutrition). She is free from being administered anything intravenously! wooo -hoo!

Love has opted to have a procedure done today at noon. They will view her right kidney through a scope, and replace the stint they gave her in the beginning. Because of the blood thinners she has been on, they will not blast any stones at this time. Depending on what they see in the scope, this procedure is expected to take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour and a half. Because this is done under general anesthesia, Love can use an extra prayer today.

Love is now available by calling her cell phone. More often than not, she can not reach the hospital phone, and there is no way to leave a message on that line, so that is not a good option. If you call Love on her cell, and do not get an answer, leave a message, and she'll try to get back to you. She is doing a lot of physical therapy right now, and devoting much of her time toward getting better, so I know you won't mind if it takes a while.

Speaking of physical therapy, there is talk about moving Love back to the rehab floor this week. After that move is made, they expect 2 - 3 weeks in rehab before being released.... which keeps her on course for her target release date! :)

 
Sunday, August 10th:
Hi Everyone! It has now been 3 months since Love was admitted into the hospital. Boy, what a journey it has been for her! Her spirits are unbreakable! I have an update for you... just a little of this, a little of that.... but I've been finishing up a secret project and don't have time for everything right this minute... but I *promise* - I fill you in very very soon. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these pics!


click here to view pics

 
Tuesday, August 12th:
Ok, here is the update I promised. :)
Love's orthopedic surgeon is on vacation, so she was seen by another doc. This doc decided that even though it might normally be time to allow weight bearing on her right foot, it hasn't quite healed enough yet. It is healing a little slower than usual, but still healing nonetheless. So, they have put off getting her up for another week or two... which sets back moving to rehab by a week or two. The original plan was to spend 2 - 3 weeks in rehab before going home, but Love is sure that once she gets there, she can do what she needs to do at a quicker pace than that.

They also plan to get a specialist to come look at her hands, which are so swollen she has limited use.

Love calls these issues "detours" on her adventurous journey!

 
Tuesday, August 19th:
Well guess what! As of today, Love is now in rehab! After taking a little time to see where she's been, and where she's at now - and with a little outside help, she has determined she is ready! You go girl!! As you can see by this picture... she is a walker now! Tomorrow they'll do a complete assessment, and figure out what she needs to know to go home. Her goal now is to get to the fair for a hot dog before it's done on September 1st! You know she'll do it!

Oh, just in case you didn't notice her new room number at the top of the page - it's now: Floor 3, Room 1

 

Thursday, August 21st:
I know Love will have lots of fun today, running up and down the halls, sharing birthday cake with everyone! Wish I was there! Wish we all were!

 
Friday, August 22nd:
Well everyone, it's a good thing Love is doing so well... because now it is Glenn's turn for down time. He was admitted to the same hospital today. He has a sinus abscess, and because of his diabetes, they want to nip this in the bud right away. He is on IV antibiotics, and will be in the hospital a few days.

 
Monday, August 25th:
Good news and more good news! Glenn was released from the hospital tonight! He still needs to be seen for the abscess (which went into cellulitis), but it sounds like it can be taken care of on an outpatient. As for Love, she was taken on an outing today - to the show! She saw Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2. She was evaluated while she handled tasks such as transfering herself from the wheelchair to the van seat, and going to the restroom. Joe, Hailey and Cassie met her there, and they had a good time. A home visit is planned for Wednesday. They will evaluate Love in her home enviroment, and see what she'll need when she is discharged. Friday she will spend her last day and night in a "apartment" - with a family member for help, they (and she) will see how it goes for her on her own. Thennnn Saturday is the scheduled checkout day! woooo-hoooo!

 
Saturday, August 30th:
IT'S NOW 10 PM AT HOME...WHERE I AM...AND SO HAPPY TO BE HOME !!! WE SET UP DEPARTURE TIME FOR 1 PM SO EVERYBODY COULD GET THERE DUCKS IN LINE FOR DOCTOR ORDERS, AND ME TO PACK UP TOO. RONNI TOOK SOME THINGS HOME LAST NIGHT AND THAT HELPED A LOT. GOT SOME REALLY GOOD THERAPY ALL MORNING AND RONNI AND GLENN WERE THERE AND WE WERE OFF. I DO GET 5 WEEKS OF HOME CARE FOR WOUND CARE, CHECKING MY BLOOD, AND PHYSICAL THERAPY TOO. ORDERED A SKINNY WHEELCHAIR AND WITHOUT THE LEG EXTENSIONS ON I CAN GO ALMOST EVERYWHERE IN THE HOUSE. THE CARPET IS GOING TO MAKE ME BUFF IN MY ARMS, BUT GLENN AND RONNI ARE HELPING ME A LOT. I'VE BEEN ON THE FOREARM CRUTCHES FOR ABOUT A WEEK AND FINDING MY GROOVE MORE AND MORE EACH DAY. NEVER WALKED WITH A WIGGLE BEFORE, BUT I COULD PRACTICE AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS. TURNS OUT MY THERAPY SHOES WILL BE THE ONLY SHOES I WILL EVER NEED. ANOTHER MIRACLE...I'M ON THE COMPUTER MY FIRST DAY HOME !! BUT IT'S WAY PAST MY BEDTIME AND TOMORROW WILL BE ANOTHER BIG DAY. THEN OFF TO THE FAIR ON MONDAY FOR MY CORNDOG...SEPT 1ST !!

THERE IS NO DOUBT IN MY HEART AND MIND THAT AUG 30, 2008 WOULD HAVE LOOKED A LOT DIFFERENT IF I HADN'T BEEN CRADLED BY YOUR LOVE AND PRAYERS ALL ALONG THE WAY. GOD AND HIS ANGLES MUST HAVE HAD SOME LONG NIGHTS COORDINATING IT ALL. THE LAST 8 WEEKS HAS BEEN ONE MIRACLE AFTER ANOTHER. IN FACT, GLENN WAS ABLE TO GET BACK TO WORK AFTER HIS ADVENTURE, AND IN THE TRASHOUT HE FOUND A NEW WALKER AND RAILS FOR THE BATHROOM.

NOW THAT I'VE SEEN CINDY'S WEB SITE IN PERSON, SHE REALLY IS AN ANGEL ON EARTH. SHE GAVE US ALL PEACE OF MIND IN JUST KNOWING AND I GET TO READ IT ALL OF HOW BLESSED I AM TO BE LOVED SO MUCH.

I'LL BE GETTING SET UP SOON AND I AM PLANNING TO START UP "THE THOUGHT FOR THE DAY" AGAIN. LET ME KNOW IF YOU WANT TO BE ON THE DISTRIBUTION AND WE'LL GET CONNECTED. THEN THERE IS THE BOOK THAT NEEDS TO BE WRITTEN !!

MUCH LOVE TO YOU ALL,
LOVE

 

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