Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cindy's Best Day Yet!

How is Cindy feeling today? Much better! We ALL ARE!

This is a picture of Kevin with the Delta employees who made his arrival home VERY special!

Cindy made friends with the person on the right. She had the person on the left call the pilot, go down the gateway and made sure Kevin was the first off the plane. She escorted him arm-in-arm until Katie broke into a sprint down the jet way to meet him. When they came through the gate, everyone gave them an ovation!

This is a memory we will never forget. Katie's mom captured it on video. I will try to post it soon.

Monday, June 28, 2010


Cindy was able to go to the airport to meet Kevin at the gate. It was very emotional reunion. Cindy made friends with the women at the Delta gate and as such, special privileges were provided to us. Katie, her mom and I watched Cindy do her thing...

One of the women working the gate informed the pilot that Kevin was on board and we were waiting. He announced that Kevin is a special guest and he deplaned first. The Delta employee went down to escort Kevin to us. I will try to post pictures in a future blog.

Needless to say, it took it's toll on Cindy. She is wiped out, in some additional pain and, unfortunately, is beginning to run a low grade fever. We are praying that it is from the excessive activity and not a sign that the infection is kicking in again already.

I will provide an update later today, though my son and I have some catching up to do...which may included an adult beverage or two :-)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

When Will We Know If The Infection Is Gone?

A year from now!

Why? Because the head of infectious diseases at Moffitt explained it to us this way...

The infection can actually hide from the IV antibiotics, which Cindy will be on for the next 6 weeks.

If the infection doesn't appear during that six week period of time (which it still might), it does not mean it has been destroyed. The infection can begin to grow slowly inside the bone. If that does occur, it will likely re-appear within the next three months. Then again, a few strands could grow very slowly before they begin to become aggressive.

Therefore, it could be as long as a year before we can rest easy that the ordeal is over.

Again, this strain of infection is not deadly. More surgeries and further amputation of the leg may be required, but at least it is not life threatening. 

Now that we all know the possibilities, please know we are not going to concern ourselves with what may be. Our focus is on that which we can control...enjoying each day. Worrying changes nothing, so why worry?

Have a great Monday! I know we will!!!

Home Sweet Home!

We woke up in our own bed! What an amazing feeling to get a good night's sleep.

Cindy is still having pain in her leg (which is to be expected) and her throat, (which is NOT to be expected). Her spirits are great and she is more alert than she has been in four days (it was getting old watching her sleep all day). We will be visited by Mark, her home healthcare nurse this afternoon who will administer her IV antibiotics, and the Privara family (daughter-in-law Katie and our extended family: her mom & dad), who did an amazing job decorating the house with welcome home signs and flowers. We truly appreciated it!

Today we are beginning to plan...for Kevin's return, for our mini-vacation which begins on Friday, followed by my parents visiting, Kyle coming home and my brother and god-son coming down to see the boys and their brides (present and future). It is such a great feeling to have pleasant things to look forward to for a change.

Cindy's eneregy level is weak and any movement hurts her leg, but otherwise, she is doing better today.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

We're Home!

Home never felt so good! Yes, we are here.

Arrived to a nice surprise. Our daughter-in-law, Katie and her mom had signs up in the house welcoming Cindy home, and we noticed the house had been vacuumed, as well! I can't tell you how wonderful that was!

Cindy is on less potent pain meds so, as yoou imagine, she is experiencing more pain than she had in the hospital. Her BP (not the dreaded oil company, but her blood pressure) came down a bit again, but she is not feeling any of the symptoms that accompany it being low so we are not terribly concerned.

The PICC line is apparently not working as hoped, but we are keeping our fingers crossed that it won't prevent Cindy from receiving the IV antibiotics that begin at home tomorrow.

The best thing about being home? We will get a good night's sleep for the first time since Wednesday. Sleeping on a cot with nurses and techs coming in every two hours makes for many a long night.

Tomorrow we will reassess and see how Cindy will be doing on her first day home.

Thanks to everyone for you kindness, love and concern...and to all those who lent a hand to make our "adventure" more tolerable...a special thank you.

More to come tomorrow...

We Are Coming Home!

Not sure what time we will finally be discharged, but it has been confirmed that we will be spending the night in our own house!

Great news!

Not Sure We Are Coming Home Today

It appears that the PICC line is not functioning properly so we have to wait to find out if we will be released today.

The pain remains in Cindy's leg and throat, however, there is mild improvement.

I'll provide another update when we find out if we are going home or spending another night here.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Just Finished Last Activity For The Night

As Cindy always says, she's special in a bad way. Today, they were unable to successfully insert a PICC line so it had to be done in radiology. After an hour of trying, they were moderately successful...hopefully enough that it will work well once we are home.

Now for the good news...her bp is back to normal and she is no longer running a fever.

The pain is still significant, but Cindy has a high threshold for pain so we will see how it goes.

Hopefully we will be released to come home tomorrow. The minute we are released, only good things are planned. We can't wait!!!

Friday Morning - Promising News...

The best news we received this morning is that it appears Cindy's blood pressure levels have risen. They are not there yet, but they are climbing toward the normal range.

She continues to run a fever, but there is little concern over that as Tylenol can always knock down the temperature.

Cindy is still experiencing a great deal of pain in the leg, and much to our disappointment, her throat. Clearly the anesthesiologist did a horrendous job of inserting the tube during surgery.

Physical therapy went well as Cindy doubled the distance she covered with use of a walker.

On tap for today...a Pick line will be inserted (this is a painful procedure) so that Cindy can receive IV antibiotics while at home.

Though nobody has told us one way or the other, I can't imagine us going home today.

Cindy continues to sleep most of the day, but her breathing is getting better and she is able to talk when she is alert.

More to follow this afternoon.

Can't wait to get home!!!  Can't wait to see the boys!!! Can't thank everyone enough for your caring so much for my bride!!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Evening Update

Not much new to report. The blood pressure issue continues. No answers yet as to what it may be. The great news is the EKG is normal. They are running more tests to see "what's up" (that there is medical terminology!).

Cindy's spirits are good but she is still very groggy. She is eating a bit more each meal and her personality is returning when she is awake.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they will not be sending her to the ICU like they did previously when this happened. That said, obviously I have no idea when we will be going home, but I am fairly certain it will not be tomorrow.

Progress Report

Tylenol brought down the fever...Cindy's EKG is normal...the blood pressure is still low.

Thursday PM Update

As is the case during hospital stays, it's a revolving door into our room. It seems that the activity never slows down.

Here is the uncut, bullet-point version of what has taken place thus far:

Overnight: issues continued with pain. Little sleep for either of us. Cindy had some breathing issues that made it difficult for her to talk. That issue continues throughout the day today.
7 a.m. - Christine, our friendly physician, stopped by and surprised us with breakfast from McD's.
8 a.m. - Physical therapy: Cindy used a walker and made it down the hallway. She got shakey and got a ride back to her room. They have her sitting in a chair rather than laying in bed the rest of the day.
Morning - Cindy's throat is doing a bit better. The leg pain is being controlled better today than yesterday.
Afternoon - The head of Infectious Diseases came by and explained that they won't know for about a year whether they were able to rid her of the entire infection. They will get a sense of if they got it in about 3 months, however they will have Cindy on 6 weeks of IV antibiotics. He hopes that will help, but there is no way to know for sure. The doctor assured us that it is not life threatening. The worst case scenario is that they will have to amputate the remaining femur to rid the infection from her body, but he does not anticipate that happening.

As has happened in previous surgeries, Cindy's blood pressure is now dropping to a level that is causing concerns. The first remedy is that they will give her a blood transfusion to elevate the numbers. We expect that to occur some time soon. Nobody is in panic mode, but they ordered an EKG as her pulse is a bit "thready" according to a physician that just looked her over. Again, nobody is overly concerned, but they are taking a cautious approach based on past history.

Cindy is drowsy and sleeping most of the day today, which is very much needed.

We heard from Kevin in Afghanistan, however, Cindy was not able to say much due to her breathing issues. It was great that he called.

I'll update again later...


Late Night Update

Sorry for the delay but we had a few stumbling blocks along the way...mostly involving pain and pain meds (or lack thereof).

Cindy spent a great deal of time in recovery as it took a bit longer than normal for her vital signs to return to a level that allowed her to be released to her room. This is not unusual for Cindy following surgery so although it was a bit disconcerting, it is nothing like what we have experienced in the past. Some will remember her flat-lining, blood pressure dropping, nights in the ICU, etc. Fortunately, none of that has occurred this time.

It is now midnight and Cindy is finally sleeping soundly. The pain was intense, not just in the leg area, but in the throat. It appears the tube they put down her windpipe during surgery caused a great deal of discomfort afterwards. And, as in the past, the anesthesia seems to have a negative impact on Cindy.

So that is it for tonight. Today was a very long and trying day. Hopefully, tomorrow begins the healing process and each day will be a bit better than the last.

Namaste! (Sorry, I couldn't resist my favorite salutation from LOST).

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Just Got Called to see her

Will be with Cindy in recovery for about 45 minutes, then we will be going to room 318. More once we settle in.

Wed. 3:45 pm: Good News!

I just met with the surgeon and our friend Christine, who was in the operating room with Cindy. Both said the surgery could not have gone better. The other surgeons are in the process of finishing it up so she is about 20 minutes from going to the recovery room.

Big sigh of relief! She got through the surgery and her blood pressure was normal throughout.

The foreign body (cement that had held the titanium leg in place) was removed. It was much bigger than they thought and more difficult to remove than anticipated. To do so, they made a 2nd incision. They also inserted new state-of-the art antibiotic beads into the leg that will dissolve after a month. Along with 6 weeks of IV antibiotics, they believe this should destroy the remaining infection.

The healing process will take a bit longer this time as her bone is very brittle and weak. Therefore, Cindy will not be on the prosthesis for several more weeks.

That said, she will begin physical therapy first thing tomorrow morning, believe it or not.

I will provide another update once Cindy is situated in her room, which will likely be later tonight...providing they have a room for us. If not, it could be ICU for Cindy this evening, but we are hoping that they will not be overbooked like the last time.

Wed. 2:15 p.m. Update

Cindy just was taken in to the operating room. It should take 1-2 hrs. She was in very good spirits right up to the time they knocked her out.

Our friend Christine will be in there holding her hand throughout the entire procedure.

Once I get an update, I will post it here.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Update on Surgery

We heard from the hospital. Surgery is scheduled for 12:45 p.m. tomorrow.


Monday, June 21, 2010

Hello! Testing! Testing! Is This Thing On???

It's been awhile since I posted the last blog. The reason is that all was kind of going okay...but not really.

The infection remained and continued to grow. At this point, most of Cindy's nights are filled with pain, pain meds and insomnia. For that reason, we cannot wait until Wednesday.

The surgery was scheduled for 12:15 pm, but we have been told it has been moved to 3:45. We will receive confirmation tomorrow as there seems to be some confusion as to when it will be.

It should last between 1-2 hrs. The goal will be to remove any foreign bodies that remain in the amputated leg and insert antibiotic beads into the infected bone. We should be in the hospital until Friday or Saturday, but with us, nothing is a sure thing.

I will blog the day of surgery and as soon as it is completed to update everyone on how Cindy is doing.

I will answer any questions you may have (to the best of my ability).

I'll be back then!