Nan Mustard's Recovery

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

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Sleepy in Boston

Dear Friends, Family, Fellow GISTers,

Roger and Carol have been with us all day and when I asked them to comment on what we should name this email message they said sleepy. When we first arrived this morning we found Nan awake and ready for the day but the next move was to put in the j tube so she could have dialysis. As a part of that procedure they gave her a tiny bit of pain meds and since then she has been pretty much asleep all day. She wakes briefly to talk to the doctors and Loren her nurse and sometimes to Carol who holds her hand a lot. But mostly she still sleeps. It has been decided that they will not remove the respirator this evening but will do so in the morning so we will be here to witness that. Nan is excited about getting rid of it but only for about a minute and then falls asleep again. I know she wants to wake up but she is groggy right now. The thought is that the dialysis will begin to wake her up and by morning she will be awake enough to handle removing the tube and let her breath on her own.

Roger and Carol were kind enough to venture out into Boston traffic and find a grocery store where they got some basics for the room. that is much appreciated let me tell you. The Trader Joes was about a mile away and I'm not really into walking with a sack of groceries that far. They have been such a lift to me and so very good to Nan while they are here. It is a great thing to have a friend and to be one too.

I have been in touch with my office several times today and they are all doing such a great job with things I am just humbled by their commitment and hard work. While we are enjoying cool 85 degree weather it is over 100 degrees at our home in California. For the first time I like Boston weather better than home.

Since I started this message this evening things have gotten considerably better. Her wonderful nurse agreed to stay extra time this evening to put her in the chair and then to bed. The care level here is just amazing. When we walked in after she was in the chair she was totally awake and watching the Red Sox play. She talked to us as well as she can with a tube in her mouth and lungs, let us know she wanted to let her legs dangle for awhile, let us know she wanted the TV control so she could change the channels, let us know she wanted the tube out of her mouth, let us know a whole lot of things. Now they are putting her to bed and hope she sleeps well tonight so she will be up and awake in the morning for the respirator to be removed. She certainly hopes so and so does the surgeon, Dr. Bertognolli.

Tomorrow Roger and Carol have to leave for North Carolina. Their coming has been so special to both of us and has lifted our spirts. On friday Roxanna is coming back and Nan always enjoys seeing Rox.

Nan is going to get at least one unit of blood tonight since things are just a little low. Tomorrow hopefully she'll get the tube out, get dialysis again and be even strong on her road to recovery. The next step will be getting her up to sit on the edge of the bed and then to put some weight on her feet with the eventual goal of walking. To see her tonight with the yellow tinge of her skin gone, extra fluid gone, eyes clearing up, all leg and arm movements much stronger and more controlled, very clear mental processes and memory working well, some smiling and some very nasty facial expressions when she is not pleased with something, its Nan all over coming out.

Your prayers have been noted by us but more importantly by our loving Heavenly Father. God knows that there are people to love, missions to go on, Keanna to spoil and shopping trips that need to be taken. God is helping Nan onto her feet and its a joy to see and experience first hand. This is a miracle lady and I just happen to be the one who gets to live with her and love her with all my heart. I have never experienced such a variety of emotions in all my life, from terror to elation, from despair to hope, from lost to found.

You are our friends for life and like it or not you are stuck with us loving you as well.

Thank you for being prayer warriors for Nan. Please blend your prayers with gratitude and a request for her kidneys and her overall recovery. Please pray also for Rick, Sharons brother who is facing some serious health challenges of his own. His next doctors appointment is wednesday at MD Anderson.

I am now back in Nan's room to say good night to her. She is already sleeping.

Good night my friend,



  • At 7:06 PM, Anonymous Marilyn in Lincoln said…

    Hello Tim, Nan and Friends, I just got home from work - stopped by Amazing Facts to pick up a couple of vegetarian cookbooks and saw Bonnie Ensminger - she took me on a tour - it's nice there.

    What good news I had when I got into the blog. Nan is a trooper and she's had another pretty good day. I hope all goes well tomorrow and she gets the tube out and she will be able to breathe on her own - that is my prayer tonight. They got her up again today - wonderful!!

    Tim you talked about the emotions - yup, they are all there and that's a good thing. You are getting to experience some of what Nan is experiencing emotionally.
    What a pair you two are - you'll make it through this together!!! Thanks for the updates from today. I have Nan in my prayers during the day at different times and like to read about the day you two have had when I get home.

    Love and more prayers, Marilyn

  • At 8:20 PM, Anonymous Bob & Carrol said…

    Hello To You All in Cool Boston,

    All I'm thinking to say again and again is AMEN - AMEN !!

    What a joy to read the hope and rejoicing in Your blog this evening. We share in Your Good news and Pray for more to come.

    The Lord is listening and answering our pleading on Nan's behalf.

    God Bless You Roger & Carol for the effort that You have made to hold up these two very special people. May You have a safe trip back to N.C.

    God night Tim and again We look for "Joy In The Morning"

    Bob & Carrol.

  • At 9:38 PM, Anonymous Luella said…


    Again, I'm thrilled with Nan's progress. Getting her up in a chair was something I was about to suggest. The longer she stays in the bed the longer her recovery, so bravo to her "thinking" nurses.

    I'll be praying for a successful extubation (removal of the respirator).

    Being a nurse sometimes has its advantages. Today I button-holed our nephrologist (kidney doctor) and quizzed him about Nan's situation. Ask your docs there if Nan's kidney functions are due to Acute Tubular Necrosis (ATN). Dr. Steinberg says this frequently occurs when there is a tramatic surgery -- like Nan's. He was quick to say that the sleepiness was probably not due to her kidneys, that dialysis would probably not make much difference, and that it may take up to three months, but he felt the kidneys would heal themselves and return to near-normal function, depending on the amount of damage. So, here's a second opinion from across the US. If they have not brought in a kidney specialist, you may want to kindly ask for a consult.

    Praying the best for the future. Hugs!!!


  • At 2:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hey Dad,
    I finally got a chance to see the blog. Wow, mom sounds like she's doing so well. I can't beleive they've waited so long to do dialysis! I hope that they can get those numbers down and the sleepiness under control. I'm glad to hear that they're going to take out the tube. We're in Lesotho now and working hard on the building project. Of course, my thoughts are there though. Tell mom I want her walking and talking by the time I get back to the states. Tell her she had better not be a Red Sox fan when I get back either.
    Tell her I love her too. You guys are always in my prayers.

  • At 6:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Tim,

    I wanted you to know i just got the update and read through your blog--so will continual to keep you both in mind.



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