Nan Mustard's Recovery

This blog is a record of Erin (Nan) Mustard's recovery.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

"Guardedly optomistic"

Dear Friends, fellow GISTers and family,

We have just been with mom for the last hour and it was truely wonderful. To hear Keanna sing her special songs to her Grammie would touch the hardest heart. On the way into ICU I bumped into the head doctor for the unit and he stopped and talked for a minute. He ticked off the improvements and the remaining challenges, there are plenty of both. However he said that for the first time he could classify Nan's condition as guardedly optomistic which sounded just plain wonderful to each of us. Then the nurse echoes the same when we reached Nan's room. She is setting the pattern of her breathing now herself and the respirator only assists after the fact. Her kidney output as been 50 to 70 which is almost double what it was doing so far, they are not putting her back on the dialysis machine at this point and her creatins are about 2.1 without it. Her platlettes are climbing gradually. When I walked in and told her it was our anniversary she opened her eyes briefly. She was moving her tongue a lot today in response to our comments and Keanna's sweet comments and singing. Nan is very yellow due to liver weakness at this point and her white count is up a bit so they are watching for infection very carefully. So far her fever has not climbed but she can also have infection and the body temp can go down we have learned. Her nurse today was last here 4 days ago and was shocked and pleased by how much she has improved. At the present time they are removing line after line that is no longer being used for draining or meds. She is hooked to very few lines at the present time. They are pleased that she is waking yet it is so slow. When they move her around and turn her to bath her and care for her she becomes very active, moving toes on command, opening eyes and squeezing hands.

We are constantly reminded that this will be a very long process, weeks and months, however at the rate that Nan is improving it is heart warming to those of us who see her personally several times a day.

We are settling in to a working routine, Nikki did laundry today, we eat breakfast here at the hotel for two very solid reasons, it is good and it is free!!! Thursday night is our last night at this hotel as we then get to move to a much less expensive one which we obtained through the kindness of Dana Farber Cancer Center, just $30 per night for the next 30 days. It has 2 queen beds so when people come to visit there will be a place to crash. I'm getting a little ice chest, free ice at the hotel and will keep breakfast stuff there and I can make hot oatmeal using hot water from the coffee pot. The $30 per night hotel is 2 blocks from Nan's room which is just wonderful.

I just love having my wonderful children here with me but they have extremely busy lives they have to return to. Nikki has an important job with the Department of Energy and works at the Lawrence Livermore Lab in Livermore. She can only be away for short periods due to the importance of her auditing work for the government. Jason is a recruiter for Monterey Bay Academy which is located on the ocean in La Selva Beach. He and Jo his lovely wife have been planning to go on a mission trip to South Africa for over a year and they leave on Sunday. Nan was adament that no matter what he was to go on his trip and baring some very bad happening he is planning to keep his appointment with the mission projects planned in South Africa. So Jason flys home on friday and Nikki will probably go then or on Saturday. I will miss them immensely but I am so thankful that they have been able to be here with their mom this week. We have had a very good week being together as a family and I know it has helped mom as she loves her kids more than just about anything. Having Keanna here has caused us to smile and remember God's precious goodness in a way noone else could have done.

So if you of you want to come visit there is a bed near the hospital and I can come get you at the airport. Bostons airport is Logan Field. If you fly southwest then the nearest airport is in Rhode Island which is about an hour away. It is located in Providence.

Seeing Nan so much better has caused some comments by the ICU staff and the trial doctors. She came out of surgery in such a serious condition that there were serious doubts if you could pull through against the odds. As she has continued to improve I've heard comments from medical staff that she sure must have something pulling for her or something helping her, I have been quick to remind them of the thousands of people who have taken time in their busy lives to stop and pray and then pray often for God's will to be done for Nan, that Nan would stop bleeding, that her fever would be controlled, that she could endure a second and then third surgery, that she would be OK in the brain CT scan. You prayer warriors have made a huge difference in Nan's life and for her life. We will not forget and we will live our lives in response to God's direct miracles of healing.

This afternoon the kids asked if I thought it would be OK to take Keanna to see the new Disney movie, Cars. The place is right down the street and after the good time we had this morning with mom I certainly felt mom would say go for it if she were able to so they are having some R&R right now and I am going to do some appraisal work that has been stacking up for awhile. The people of our company at home, Steve, Loree, Pam, Heather and Nate have been just totally awsome in keeping things going so well. Our clients have been understanding as well and I believe God is blessing Discovery Appraisal Services while both Nan and I are away. We will be eternally grateful for the professional help the fellow workers have given and are giving at home.

Nan and I like to be on the giving end with our family, our company and our friends and to find ourselves in the situation we are in here, 3,000 miles away from home and facing a long time recovery certainly is a new situation for us. We really appreciate our family and friends at this time. The calls, the emails just touch our hearts and help us keep the faith and go back to see mom one more time. Everytime I walk in I get quesy inside, just hoping for the best yet with a tinge of worry. Then when I get to see her and the care she is receiving, to get medical updates and progress reports, then I begin to relax, cry, pray, talk to Nan just like she were fully awake.

Today is our 35th anniversary and we usually travel somewhere for a getaway. This time we are spending in historic Boston!! That's the spin the kids put on it so why not.

We have lots of uphill experiences yet to come to, yet we have hope and God's hand gently pulling us into the next stage.

With love

mustard family


  • At 10:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Tim and Family,
    Continued prayers from Oklahma City! Praise God for His mercy to Nan. I anticipate your updates everyday. Although Nan and I have never met, she is a true friend to me and has encouraged and supported my own Gist struggles without fail. Happy Anniversary and may you have many more that are NOT spent in ICU! God's blessings.
    Jani DeHart

  • At 11:30 AM, Blogger Gerry & Barb said…

    Hi Tim, Nikki, Jason and Keanna, We are happy to hear the good reports although we know Nan is still in serious condition. I pray for her in the night when I wake up and in the early morning and all during the day. You do have a great prayer chain going. And those MBA seniors wearing the pink ribbons was fabulous ... and we think teenagers are a little scatter brained!! Slap my mouth!! Teenagers are a huge encouragement! "Cars" is supposed to be a great movie. Kim's son, Zackary is having a birthday party and they are all going to see the movie. They will have cupcakes with cars on top, car napkins, plates,etc. Enjoy your time away from the ICU for awhile. It will be good for the soul. Wish we could come back and share the room with you at least one night, Tim, but we will wait until you come home and then we'll come down and help. Our love to you all. Ger & Barb

  • At 11:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am grateful and blessed everyday as I read your blogs. It seems Nan is slowly getting better and that touches my heart! We have been praying continously for the last week, we haven't prayed this hard since Noah was born, and it seems to be paying off again! We think about you guys a lot and we are anxious to check the blogs. Happy Anniversary! Hey, it doesn't matter if your in Hawaii, Cali, or in a hospital, as long as your together that's all that matters, I know you must appreciate that this year more than ever. Take care and know that your loved out here in Lodi.
    The Jamiesons

  • At 11:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Happy Anniversary! It's so awesome to know you two have been married for 35 YEARS!!! I hope Jason and I can make it for just as long. Have a great day and I'm sure mom wants you to do the same too.

  • At 11:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Tim and Family,
    I am so happy to hear the progress Nan is making. On a personal note, Grandkids do put a spark in your life. It is very apparent that Nan fills that precious and innocent love that Keanna has for her Grammie. Happy Anniversary and I know you will have many more. God bless you and your precious Family, Tim.
    Jackie Schons Cacka

  • At 12:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What good news! Maybe you didn't plan to spend your anniversary in ICU, but at least you are together for your anniversary and that's all that maters right now. The good news from the Dr. is definitely cause for celebration. We will continue to pray that she will wake up and have quality of life. You did say to pray that she would wake up "slowly" didn't you? She is....
    Love and prayers ~ Carol

  • At 12:57 PM, Anonymous Bob & Carrol said…

    Hi Mustards,

    We are so very gald to hear that progress is bieng made and that signs coming from Nan Herself are positive response to each of you, what a joy it must be to feel Her hand squeezing Yours.

    God is Hearing and answering Our earnest prayers for Nan and Her devoted Family & Dr's.

    Next Annaversary Tim, lets do something special together with "Our Ladies" , for Their combined courage They do so much deserve it !

    We continue in thought and Prayer for all of You.

    Bob & Carrol

  • At 1:03 PM, Anonymous loree rister said…

    Hi Tim,
    What a wonderful gift to have on your Anniversary. Nan opened her eyes for you, she is letting you know that she is doing just fine. She just needs time to get back to the Nan we all know and love. We are all praying that she wakes up over the weekend. Happy Anniversary!! Talk to ya soon...

  • At 2:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Finally optomism from the doctors. YEAH!!!! Still thinking of you all. My prayers are to all of you and Nan.
    Pam :)

  • At 3:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    We are so happy to hear Aunt Nan is doing better. We know that it will be a tough road ahead but with the Lord, anything is possible! Stay strong and we will keep you all in our prayers.

    All our love,
    Rodney, Shay, Gunnar and Camden

  • At 3:45 PM, Anonymous Marilyn T & family said…

    Tim, Nikki, Jason and Keanna,
    Just a note to let you know if you need us just call and we will be there. I am so glad to hear Nan is moving along and has improved alot from Monday. Our love and support is there for you and I will see you on Monday again.

    Happy Anniversary 35 years who knew. Marilyn T

  • At 7:21 PM, Blogger Irene Wing said…

    Happy anniversary to you and your bride! How blessed Nan is having you as her husband.
    Your report of some of the comments from the doctors and nurses are so uplifting. How we hope the Holy Spirit has touched them with your comments as well, especially the one about the thousands of prayers being sent for Nan.
    Each little thing that Nan is doing is such a promising sign - from being off of dialysis to having fewer tubes. Wow, these are huge things! We know there are many more things to overcome. However, baby steps are good, too.
    It makes our hearts glad knowing that your children and granddaughter are with you this week. I'm sure it is drawing all of you closer to each other.
    Thank you again for keeping us so well informed of Nan's progress.
    In God's Love,
    Irene Wing

  • At 7:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thirty-five years! We celebrate our 37th tomorrow with probably a golf game and Thai food. It is good to hear of Nan's improvements and we will continue to pray that she recovers completely. Kimberly took her final oral boards for radiology yesterday in Louiseville, KY, and will find out this weekend if she is board certified. She's been reviewing and studying non-stop for the last three months. Remember when the kids were all little? Such good Tracy memories of all the times spent together with our kids. Give our love to everyone.

    Joyce and Glen Conner

  • At 7:17 AM, Anonymous Brandon & Heidi said…

    Happy Anniversary! This latest posting was full of optomism. What a gift, on your special day. We continue to pray for the family, and wish Nikki and Jason good luck on their upcoming travel.
    God Bless.


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