Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Two tough weeks in the books!

Well, the 4th of July holiday came and went. While Michelle kept it pretty low key on the 4th, we did get the chance to watch some fireworks (albeit from our apartment window). Wasn't too big of a disappointment, though, as the weather wasn't very good, mostly rain.

Let me bring you up to speed on how Michelle's feeling. Her pain hasn't receded at all since the surgery. Unfortunately, our surgeon told us that Michelle should expect at least 3 weeks of this type of pain before she would start feeling any better. Dr. Bolognese tried to help us understand what Michelle is feeling. He said, "Imagine going to the gym for the first time in several months." Then, "working out with very heavy weights." "Remember how much your muscles hurt, the couple days after your workout?" For those of you that have spent anytime exercising in the gym can certainly relate. He said, "Well, take that pain level and multiply it five fold." The muscles around Michelle's neck were all completely severed during the surgery and are in the painful process of healing. That in addition to the actual surgical steps taken two weeks ago are contributing to Michelle's pain.

Being home has been a blessing and a curse. Michelle is home and able to relax in familiar surroundings. She has gotten to spend time with her two cats, that she loves. And, she has gotten to eat some of her favorite foods: egg white omelets w/ cheese, lots and lots of fresh fruit, multiple combinations of smoothies, and the ever popular jello. The flip side of the equation is that Michelle still gets the urge to clean the house, even though she needs to be getting as much rest as possible. She is definitely getting very antsy to get out of the house, after a couple weeks in relative seclusion. And, the day that she got to come home from the hospital, she had to deal with a nervy husband. I might have gotten unnecessarily panicked after watching Michelle's reaction to her pain medication regime. Michelle was only slightly communicative after I tried for several minutes to rouse her from her sleep. In hindsight, I should have just let her keep sleeping (as the doctor told me over the phone). Instead, my emotion level made Michelle nervous and we mutually decided to go to the ER. We spent several hours at the ER and Michelle received two liters (or bags) of IV fluid, two potassium dosages, and anti-nausea medication. All in all, not a fun night at the hospital for Michelle. "Oops! My Bad"

A couple days after the ER visit, Michelle returned to the hospital where she works to get the stitches out. This day couldn't have come at a better time, because the skin began growing over the stitches. For the most part, the stitches came out without much effort, except for the half a dozen stitches at the very bottom of the incision. The scar seems to be healing very well. There is one small spot that we are keeping our eyes on because it is a little swollen and red, but hopefully that area is just healing a little more slowly than the rest.

Since then, Michelle has been pretty stable at home. She sleeps when she can, which usually isn't more than 2 to 3 hours. Michelle's brother, Frank, planned a little gathering of friends and family at his place this past Saturday to give Michelle a little time away from it all. Unfortunately, Michelle wasn't feeling up to getting out of the house that day. The party went on, and in a classic Frank moment, he said, "Oh well, we'll just do it another weekend. It just gives us another reason to party!" You got that right!

For all that have sent flowers, or balloons, or cards, Michelle deeply thanks you for bringing rays of light into her life. The apartment is filled with signs of love, thank you!

More to come in a few days.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Welcome Home!

Michelle made it home from the hospital on Monday afternoon and was greeted at the door by two care packages filled with comfy clothes and coloring books.

Unfortunately, she is still in a lot of pain and has grown very groggy from the amount of narcotics and muscle relaxers in her system. Complicating matters, is the fact that Michelle's throat has been bothering her making it difficult for her to swallow and eat enough to balance out the medications she is taking. We actually had to go to the ER around 1:00 AM Tuesday morning because she had grown very nauseous and dehydrated. The ER team gave her two liters of IV fluid, a couple doses of potassium because her electrolytes were low, and an anti-emetic medication that helped subdue her nausea.

Last night she was able to get random periods of rest, and her throat seems to be feeling a little better so she was able to tolerate a small amount of soft food. The stitches are supposed to come out today, and we will be going over to her hospital later to get them removed. 48 hours after the stitches are out, Michelle can wash her hair for the first time which is still all gacky from the surgery. I know that washing her hair will make her feel much better.

Thanks for continuing to check in and send your love to Michelle.