Archive for September, 2013

Good news! Sue is awake and moving all her extremities. She still has the ventilator tubes in, so she can’t talk yes, and by evening she’s pretty frazzled and tired, but she is awake! Thank God – and everyone who has been praying for her! I think she has a long road ahead of her, but she can do it. The biggest problem right now is her lungs. With the emphysema she’s had for a few years, they’re having trouble getting her off the ventilator. Last week, she was off for about 14 minutes, yesterday and today she made it 37 minutes. She has to go at least an hour or more in order to get moved out of ICU and be able to keep her O2 sats up. Hopefully by next week. Smitty thinks by this weekend, but I think it’s going to take more time. If oxygen is the only thing she goes home on, she can really count herself as a very lucky girl. She suffered a sudden cardiac death at home that night, they resuscitated her in the ambulance but then she coded again, they resuscitated her again, but once she got to the hospital she coded again. Angels were watching over her that evening! We just have to wait and see if there are any problems with being oxygen deprived for 3-4 minutes while waiting for the squad… She still has a hard row to hoe, but she can do it.

Dorothy went home Tuesday. I’m still recovering. Doing all that running around in one week was hard, a little harder than I thought it would be. I’ll be fine, it just is taking me a few days! I miss her, wish she was back… Oh the ties of family that take you away from your friends and then keep you from going back. I totally understand. She’s lucky enough to have Madison every weekend. If I had Hailey ever weekend, I wouldn’t want to leave either!


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3 Sept 2013 – a.m.

Dorothy is getting ready to go. Her suitcase is a little lighter since Heidi decided to eat her chocolate covered cherry bar. Darn dogs! I heard snarling, which is totally out of character for my dogs, no seriously, and found Ben running out of Dorothy’s room so I went in to investigate and found Heidi munching through the wrapper trying to get the cherry… She snarled at me too, but she got her nose popped so she would drop it. She’s now in exile from my bedroom. No bad dogs allowed!!! I’m trying not to be sad here, is it working?

I let Buttercup out about half an hour ago and the cicadas are actually quiet! I couldn’t hear them at all. I’m wondering if I’m just deafened from the loudness of the past month or so, but I really think they were quiet. Amazing. Gross little creatures, I’ll be glad when they’re gone for the winter! By the time their next 17-year cycle begins maybe I really won’t be able to hear them!

That’s it for now. No phone calls from the hospital or anything. Smitty told Steve today he was going to go in and ask for family leave today and if they wouldn’t give it to him he was going to quit. Now that’s not good… Don’t quit the job that pays the insurance! Even if Sue’s has the insurance… I’m worried about them. Thank goodness their house is paid for!

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Dorothy is going home tomorrow… What am I going to do without her here again? It doesn’t take long to slip right into an old friendship like putting on a familiar pair of jeans and an old sweatshirt, does it? We’ve been shopping, talking about our grandchildren, doing some more shopping… Oh, did I mention eating too? We’ve been doing a lot of that too. We didn’t have as many people show up for her cook out as we had planned… Thanks Mike and Bob for stiffing your sister on her birthday. You both officially SUCK in my book. Not because you didn’t come over, but because you didn’t even have the courtesy to call and tell us you weren’t coming when you basically RSVP’d last week AND you didn’t even call your sister to wish her a happy birthday and you’re both in town. Bob – you especially are pretty darn close to where I live, and to just be a no show and not even call to tell her to have a happy birthday was just plain RUDE. I felt sorry for her for awhile, but then we had fun and forgot all about you! I’m already crying when I think of her leaving. I physically feel better when she’s here – it’s having someone to talk to or watch TV with or whatever… We were doing that long before I ever even met Steve! Not that he’s so bad to do things with, just, having a girlfriend is a lot different than a husband, KWIM? (wink, wink)… We’re both too old to do much mischief, but it’s fun remembering the mischief we did have in the past…. Ah, life was good!

Day 6 of Sue being unresponsive. She opened her eyes again today and moved her foot, but that’s about it. That’s about all that’s been happening for the past 6 days… Of course she has the ventilator tube down her throat, so she couldn’t talk if she wanted to, but she doesn’t make any attempt. I haven’t even seen her with her eyes open yet. I don’t know if she’s looking at something in particular, or if she’s just trying to focus or figure out who we are. Tom is not at all hopeful that’s she’s going to recover much, if any, cognitive ability. The first couple of nights she was very heavily sedated with Fentanyl, but she’s been off that for 3 days now. Last night Smitty called and told us that she was breathing on her own, the ventilator was only assisting her with her oxygen sats, the ventilator setting for oxygen was 40%. Smitty had told me she was down to 30% the day before, but she must have started having problems keeping her O2 sat up, so they went back to 40%. Today Steve said it was on 55%, so that’s a big step backwards if I’m reading that right, and I’m not 100% sure that I am. The nurse told us yesterday there is no EEG scheduled since Sue is “coming around”. I’d like to see her definition of “coming around”… I don’t think it’s the same as mine! I need to do some more research. Smitty told Steve tonight that she didn’t have a pulmonary embolus, that it was just an arrhythmia. I guess that could be possible, but they don’t even have her on a CCU unit. She in plain old ICU. From the list of drugs that I’ve seen, she’s not taking anything to keep her cardiac rhythm regular, which I would think they would be doing if that’s the case. I’m trying to keep up with everything, but it’s hard when you’re the sister-in-law… Not exactly the first people they want to give information to. We’ll make it, because we don’t have any other choice, do we? Hang in there, Sue! We love you!

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