Monday, November 29, 2010

Home Again...

Hubby came home from the hospital again on Saturday afternoon. He's been feeling much better this time around.

Could be that new recliner.

The first time Hubby was in the hospital and we would walk the halls, albeit slowly, as he got closer to his room he'd start looking in each one. I finally figured out why although I never said much. He told the kids when we got home and confirmed my suspicions.

The kids brought their dad this balloon when they came to visit on Tuesday the 16th. It was tied to the chair in Hubby's room, and when he was looking in the rooms he was looking for the balloon.

That's how he knew which room was his.

Friday, November 26, 2010

New & News

News: Hubby is still in the hospital for another night. His transplant doctor happens to be on the floor for another complex case even though he's not on call for the holiday weekend. He pretty much gets to call the shots, and he told the other members of the transplant team that he wanted Hubby to stay for another night. I think he just wants to make sure his white count and liver numbers continue to go down (they were a little elevated when we were in the ER) and that his tummy really is okay and awake for good. It's no fun when they have to come back in again.

New: I mentioned Hubby wasn't sleeping good at home. Part of it was habit from waking up every couple of hours in the hospital for vitals to be checked. More of it was that he didn't have a recliner to sleep in a reclined position. Although our bed is fantastic, it's not possible to get it like a reclined hospital bed, and the couch is big and comfy but also not the same. We haven't had recliners since 2000. We gave our fantastic ones to my sister because we didn't have room for them in our house.

Today on the way home from the hospital I went to the furniture store and purchased a recliner. The boys and I went tonight and picked it up at the warehouse so it would be here when Hubby gets home, hopefully tomorrow.

It literally took me a minute to pick it out. After I did, I found out it was on sale as one of the Black Friday specials. Yay! Then I found out it was a Lazy Boy just like our old ones we loved. It looks almost just like them, maybe identical, just a different color. It felt just like sitting in our old chairs when I tested it. That must have been why I loved it so much!

So now Hubby can have a chair to rest and recline and sleep in when he comes home. He still has a long recovery ahead of him, and now he can be more comfortable.

News: Heather might go home tomorrow. Wouldn't that be funny if she and Hubby left on the same day, even if it was his second time!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Hubby is back in the hospital. We spent about eight hours Wednesday night/Thursday morning in the emergency room. He finally got to a room around 8:00 a.m. Thanksgiving morning. His Thanksgiving meal consisted of beef broth, jello, and Italian ice.

I'll just go ahead and give you the entire scoop. If you get queasy, stop reading.

Wednesday night Hubby had a couple of violent episodes of projectile vomiting. After the second one we called the transplant number and they said we should come and have him checked. Hubby had blood drawn and an x-ray of his abdomen.

He was diagnosed with ileus. Basically, a portion of the intestine went back to sleep. This is completely typical following most abdominal surgeries, for the intestines to have to wake back up. What was unusual was that his were functioning normally and then a spot of them decided to go back to sleep. He did not have a blockage, but the food he was eating and digesting in his stomach could not pass that point in the intestines.

This morning in his room he was already starting to feel a little better. His stomach was not hard to the touch anymore and the doctor thought it might have resolved itself, which is what it needs to do. The alternatives aren't pretty, or comfortable. He had liquid lunch and dinner with a little solids for dinner too.

Hubby's white count was a little high when they checked his blood, so they'll be making sure it goes down tomorrow before they make a decision on whether he can come home. Hopefully it was just from the intestinal issue. He doesn't have fever or any other symptoms and is hardly taking any pain medication. He's really healing quite well. There has not been anything abnormal or unexpected happen along the way in his healing and recovery process.

He is having a flare-up of his gout though, so maybe that's making his white count high. It's tricky to walk the halls like you're supposed to when you feel like you have shards of glass in the big toe joint!

We had a friend come stay with the kids last night and then she took them to her parents' house today for Thanksgiving (Mr. Churchmember and his family from this story). I ate in the cafeteria while Hubby ate his broth.

As the kids said, "This is a Thanksgiving we'll always remember." We have a lot for which to be thankful!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Hubby came home in the middle of Saturday afternoon. This is one of the souvenirs we brought home with us.

Every morning I get to give him one shot for seven days. It's in the stomach kind of by the belly button and not nearly as bad as I thought it would be.

Although we do have to make sure Caboose isn't around or someone is running block for us. If you don't know much about him, there's a little about him and needles here.

Hubby is getting around much better than we thought he would. He's having to be careful not to overdo it since he's restless. Every day has been a little better until yesterday. It was a little blah and icky, but today seems better already.

This is what's going on at our house right now:

  1. He started getting hyper-sensitive to smells on Sunday night in the middle of the night when he couldn't sleep. Unfortunately one of the things I'd made had onion in it. He could smell it when he walked into the bedroom because I'm a mouth-breather. Now that's hyper-sensitive!
  2. He also started struggling with a little nausea at the same time. I think it went along with the whole smell thing.
  3. ESPN, hunting, or nature shows have been on our tv practically 24/7.
  4. The first couple of days Hubby struggled to stay warm. I'd see what he needed and then go to the second floor. I'm always cold if that gives you any indication of just how hot it was on the first floor. I thought I was entering menopause.
  5. We're very thankful the cat hasn't jumped on his stomach.

He's moving a little slower than he'd like, but probably very well for how soon it is after surgery. Hubby realized that the ideal thing would be if he'd had a recliner. We don't have one and haven't for years. Sleeping has been a little tricky for him. It's amazing to think that one week ago he had such a major surgery.

Heather was expected to be in the hospital about a week longer than Hubby, so she's still there. They finally got room on his floor and she moved there the day before he was released. We went to see her on the way out on Saturday. Her mom might leave a comment with a more detailed update.

Thanks for praying!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


I've been with Hubby since he got to his room Monday night. The transplant floor is sort of it's own special type of ICU but without one-on-one nursing care, although it is a better ratio than if he were on a typical floor. There are only private rooms and a pull-out chair, but the man at the front desk offered me a roll-away bed the first night. It's very nice and has a typical twin mattress on it.

Hubby asked me to stay again on Tuesday night, and Keith and Lori kept the kids another night. They've had them since Sunday night. Lori brought them up last night to see their dad for a little bit.

I know you're all probably curious how he is doing. You know how when you start a new brutal exercise program and the next day you feel bad and the day after that is even worse. It's kind of like that on a much grander scale. Hubby can have a tendency towards getting motion sickness, so some of the meds are making him feel dizzy and nauseous.

He's gotten very little real sleep. He has a central line that is very uncomfortable and he cannot wait to have removed, but they are providing TPN (liquid nutrition) through that line and cannot do that through a standard IV line. They have removed the other IVs and just have the central line in the neck now.

When you lose part of your liver, your own bilirubin goes up. He has a scratch on his eye from surgery. He'd love to take a shower. But he's not complaining and is trying to be agreeable. I told him he needs to get into that runner's mode now, the one I totally don't get, because running and me don't get along.

Even though we talked about what to expect to as much of a degree as possible based on the two C-sections I'd had, it still wasn't enough to prepare him for this. Yet even if he'd known, it wouldn't change his choice. This was a leading by God for both of us, and it really wasn't our choice at all. The glory all belongs to HIM.

Thanks for continuing to pray. I think Hubby would be happy with the six weeks recovery time now!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Today's The Day — Updated

Hubby has gone in for surgery. I got a call and they made the incision at 8:20. I'll get updates about every two hours as long as he is in the operating room. Thank you for praying for his safety and recovery as well as Heather's.

Laurie at Bargain Hunting and Chatting with Laurie has been kind enough to offer to forward cards for anyone who would like to send one. You just need to send it to Robert, c/o Laurie, P.O. Box 443, Blytheville, AR 72316.


At about 3:30 the doctor came in to talk to me following the surgery (Heather started after him and will finish after him). I should be able to see Hubby by 5:00. Everything went well with his surgery. Please pray specifically for a quick (four instead of six weeks) and complete recovery, good liver regeneration, and minimal pain. Hubby has never had major surgery.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Caboose's Newest Joke

He thinks of them in the shower. He says that's where he does some of his best thinking.

I do some of my best thinking in the shower too, but it's certainly not jokes.

Question: "What do the toughest guys eat?"

Answer: "Macho Cheese!"

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fabulous Fall Fun

It's not your ordinary fall fun. No leaf raking. No jumping in leaves. No driving through the countryside looking at trees changing colors.

Of course up here in Michigan the trees have already changed colors and all the leaves have pretty much fallen off the trees, so a drive would net you nothing.

Our fall fun consisted of Missionary Christmas at our church and a house-full of house-guests (this was a different home than came last year).

There was a lot of chase going on up and down our stairs this weekend! Pinball, air hockey, legos, and board games just added to the fun.

Monday night we went to a hockey game with some of our favorite people in the whole world. We got there early because traffic wasn't bad and we picked up our tickets in a snap from the Stub Hub location.

Since they only open the doors an hour before game time, and since I will just reiterate that we live in Michigan, thus cold weather, we were chilly and had time to spare. So we did what any normal people would do. We spent 50 cents a person and jumped on the People Mover, which goes in a circle around downtown, above ground, and takes roughly 10 minutes or so. The People Mover is like any metro or subway that is above ground on the rails.

The kids all thought it was great, and we added entertainment value for some of the other riders.

And since Hubby's sister thought that he needed a picture to make him look younger on the sidebar, we took one outside the Joe and I've added it over on the sidebar too. I still left up his scruffy-faced picture though, because I like it.

The surgery date is next Monday, so no more hockey for a while except on tv. Sorry, Hubby.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Bathrooms Revealed
Alternately Titled: How To Not Paint Your Kitchen

I am totally the queen of starting a project in one place and having it run rampant into other places.

I decided the week of October 11th (when Sparky was in Bolivia and Hubby was in El Paso or Washington, D.C., I forget which) would be a good time to paint the kitchen.

We'd already painted the living room. Other than me painting the mud room and powder room, we still had builder beige throughout our house. We've been here almost two years.

In picking a color, I had to make sure it matched with the back splash we put up. It needed to look nice with the bold living room color. It also needed to have the same undertones as the carpet and the fireplace tile in the living room.

I also started thinking ahead to the common hallways and what color they would be, so that all the colors would look good as a group since it's fairly open everywhere on the first floor. I planned to use the color I picked for the first floor hallways in all the stairways and hallways throughout the house, so that was in the back of my mind in the thought process.

I had tentatively picked out a color for our master bathroom and had the color card for it. I decided that it would also be a good color for the kitchen. I picked a color that was only one shade lighter for the hallways. I decided the color for the kitchen and master bathroom would also be a good color choice for the second floor loft.

I went to Home Depot and purchased paint in the right types for the areas I was going to paint. I got the sample of the bright green to test in the bathroom then.

I started painting the hallways on the first floor. That was what was different in this post! Also the fringe on the curtain was added.

I went to the second floor and did the hallway. There's not much common hallway on the second floor since the large area is the loft.

When I switched colors and started painting the loft, I decided to move the desk with the computer into the rec room. It's an 'L'-shaped desk on a shelving unit from Ikea. The desk had to be taken off, so since I was moving things around in the rec room and putting the desk back together, I decided I'd go ahead and paint that room too. You know, save some steps for later.

So it was back to Home Depot to pick a color. Buddy wants everything red, which wasn't an option, orange wouldn't work, I couldn't do green or I'd look green all the time, yellow and purple are automatically not considered in our house (sorry if you love those colors), and neutral was out because Buddy wanted 'color' in the room. Blue, my favorite color, was the choice, so we picked one that both boys and I could agree on. I'll show you that room in a different post.

That trip to Home Depot I also got the green paint in the right type for a bathroom, and I purchased a bright white for the ceiling and for all of Chatty's bathroom.

After I had the green paint up, I had a guy come by and do some repair work on a spot on the wall that had gotten wet, he caulked the dickens out of both bathrooms, and I had him go ahead and paint both ceilings and Chatty's bathroom walls. He also put up new light fixtures.

Here is the bathroom that Sparky, Buddy, and Caboose share.

When the door is shut with the light on inside, you can see green glowing from underneath. Still.

Here is Chatty's bathroom after it was finished.

The kitchen (my original project) and master bathroom are still not painted.

This post is linked to Metamorphosis Monday at Naps on the Porch and Show Us Your Life - Bathrooms at Kelly's Korner.
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