I have been a terrible blogger for mom. Things have been very busy around here.
Late on Day 4 (Monday, August 9, 2010) Mom was moved from the ICU to the Step Down Unit. This is still in the cardiothoracic unit, but no longer the ICU. On Day they gave Mom her swallow test. She was most anxious for this test and the results so that she could hopefully drink or eat. At this point, the only thing she had received by mouth was a "mouth swab." A mouth swab is basically a VERY, VERY small sponge on a stick that is dipped in water. She could only have those once an hour at most, which was not nearly enough! I think Mom may deprive Lee and I from liquids after she is home from the hospital to help us understand what she was going through. Just kidding...we hope! :) Two of Mom's chest tubes were removed on Monday, which they said would help with her pain levels. Mom had her fourth pheresis treatment Monday morning.
Day 5 (Tuesday, August 10, 2010) - Mom had her final round of pheresis Tuesday morning. Mom found out she passed the swallow test and was approved for thick liquids and pureed foods (Read: crazy thick, gelatin-like juice and blended food-like items). Still no thin liquids. Mom was very happy to receive the juice, but DOES NOT like the Dairy Thick drink. I don't think I would like it either. She was able to have yogurt and applesauce, which was quite a highlight.
Day 6 (Wednesday, August 11, 2010) - We thought Mom was doing pretty well with her walking and were impressed with the seven laps she had done so far. At least we were until one of the surgeon team doctors told mom she should be doing walking more by this point and he wanted her to be walking 20 laps by the weekend. We didn't know this. Mom, being Mom, said, "You mean I'm being a slacker?" Dr. H said Yes. Prior to his visit that afternoon, Mom had said she was tired and was going to rest. Not even two minutes after he left, she said okay, let's go walk again and we did two more laps. This was my first walk alone with Mom. We discovered Lee is a much better walker, I kept running into Mom's ankles with her poles. This did not make mom happy! Lee stayed the night with Mom in the hospital.
Day 7 (Thursday, August 12, 2010) - I had to go to work Thursday afternoon, so I stayed the night with a friend Wednesday night in Durham so I could be there by 8 am. Dr. H had already visited mom that morning and they disagreed with her walking goal for the day. He said 12 laps, she said 10. She had already walked 4 laps by the time I got there, she and I walked another 2 with the PTA. He is super nice and had walked with Mom for the last few days. I did a little bit better with the pole that day. That night I found out that Mom exceeded both her goal and Dr. H's goal and walked 16 laps Thursday! The speech pathologist also came in while I was there Thursday morning and approved mom for chopped foods.
Day 8 (Friday, August 13, 2010) and Day 9 (Saturday, August 14, 2010) - I didn't get to see Mom Friday or Saturday because of work and my 30th birthday party (which went on without mom at her insistence!). She walked 20 laps both days, which is just awesome! She had her epidural removed as well, which meant no more walking with the pole. They removed more chest tubes Friday, which is great, but Mom has an air leak from this, so she has puffed up quite a bit and sounds like she sucked on a lot of helium. This is fairly common and the doctors are not concerned about this, they cannot remove any more tubes until it goes away though.
Day 10 (Sunday, August 15, 2010) - Michael and I visited Mom Sunday afternoon, we walked two laps together (I was a much better helper since the pole is gone!) The pain medicine definitely makes Mom pretty sleepy, but we had a nice visit. I showed her all 200 photos from my party. We definitely missed Mom and Lee Saturday, but the best birthday present I could have asked for is Mom receiving her lung transplant.
If you aren't an organ donor already, please sign up today. We are so fortunate that Mom's life has literally been saved because someone signed up to be an organ donor.
Thank you again to all of you for your love and support.