Nan Mustard's Recovery

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

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Mellow Tuesday

Dear Family and Friends,
Nan rules! She was transfused with two units of blood last evening but due the kindness of the nurse she was still able to sleep through most of it. This morning the doctors came early but since the vacuum sponge is in place they did not have to change her dressing. They discussed the infection which appears to be coming under control pretty well.
When I arrived she was ready to walk and walk we did. Then back to the recliner chair where she stayed for nearly 3 hours. Amy, our friend and ICU nurse came by to visit and we loved that, we could ask questions and get real answers. Dr. Bertagnolli also made a visit and Nan was able to persuade her that she really does not need the huge salt pills anymore so she lost that pain in the throat. Once the results are fully in for the various cultures they are growing from Nan's blood and urine then we will be on the move to the rehab hospital but for now we are staying put in good old room 16. We have had some really great nurses, Amy today and Audrey tonight. Both are about to become traveling nurses and will start in Lake Tahoe in September. They are excited about going to such a beautiful area and will be an asset to any hospital they work at.
Nan walked again this afternoon for awhile and then sat in an upright chair where she stayed for about an hour and had her dinner. She ate some penne pasta (yea Keanna), some fruit, milk and a boost. The attending infectious diease doctor came to discuss the kidney infection and ask many questions about whether Nan was affected by the infection with obvious reactions, so far she has had none. When Dr. B was here she reminded us (me) that recovering from a long time in bed takes a long time and requires a great deal of patience.
It has been quiet today without our beloved Dana, Roxanna, Marilyn, just me and I'm boring compared to the three of them who help to lighten up any room.
Gradually Nan is eating more and more, walking more, sitting more, moving more and even asking to take walks. She is one brave lady in spite of the way she feels. Her feet are always cold right now and her hands are so cold that she had me put some soxs on them to save her heat. Hard to locate gloves this time of the year in Boston especially without a rental car to move about. We are keeping her warm with blankets, heavy duty sheets, hot tea but she still complains of being cold a lot.
We are in a different phase of recovery, one that literally took days to complete after the other 4 surgeries and could be done at home in a rented hospital bed but this time the medical complications are so extensive that the road to full recovery is taking much longer. We have not been able to get a handle on the time involved from anyone. A rep came by today from Youville Hospital and Rehab Center. While she was not terribly impressive the place she represents does appear promising. At this point we do not know where it is, only know it is in Cambridge, that it has been operated since 1860 or so and that it is a Catholic Institution or at least was.
One good piece of info came to us today from Dr. Bertagnolli, Nan's creatin was 1.9 today, the lowest it has been since June 6. Considering that it has been as high as 4.7 we are overjoyed. They warn us that the creatin may move up and down slightly but the trend is wonderful. BUN of 40 which is also much, much better than its high of 150.
I have 5 more nights at my hotel and then I am entering the wonderful world of being homeless. Weather is really good right now though so sleeping out should not be a problem, seriously I am beginning my search for a room near to the new facility so I can continue to give my excellent nursing care!! Nan would not agree with that, she would rather have almost anyone else rub her neck than me but she will settle for me when they are all gone.
Nan is once again resting, woke awhile ago to sip a boost for a bit and then went back to sleep. Considering how hard she has worked today she deserves the rest she is enjoying right now.
Nikki called tonight on her way home and was not feeling well, thats when I wish we were home so we could help or be there close by. Its hard living here and having the family, office, business all so far away. Hard to stay connected, hard to see a time when we can all be together again, hard to see myself back at work.
I wanted to thank those of you who decided to give us financial assistance. To date more than $6,000 has been donated to Nan's Recovery Fund. We have used the bulk of the funds to help cover hotel bills, airline tickets, meals and to help cover expenses I normally cover when I am home working. Your help came at just the right time and has made a great difference in our ability to remain together here in Boston. While it feels very strange to be on the receiving end of your help it is much appreciated.
We were told today that Nan will be able to eat almost anything after she recovers. That is such good news when one considers that over the past 2 years she had to be on a low residual diet which meant that anything more than just about liquid could easily cause problems. Now we are back to the place we were three years ago. The only limits on diet will be the colostomy, no peanuts, popcorn, corn or heavy salads. We have so much to look forward to and God's blessings are all around us. It is so very hard to be patient with this slow process, hard for Nan and hard for me. We just want to get on with it, she keeps saying, couldn't we just skip the rehab and go directly to the lovely home that Rick and Roxanna have created in Conn. That would be so nice but Nan needs more strength we are told and we will play by the Dr.s rules.
We sent our love and thanks for the nice cards which arrived today. The hospital people smile when they deliver the cards and say, she sure is popular, thats a tribute to her great friends.
Nikki sent a bunch of wonderful photos of Keanna through Snapfish and while they open very slowly on our laptop when they open they are great, I mean really great. Anything that reminds us of home and family and friends is precious.
Please include Nan in your prayers tonight yet one more time, pray that she will continue to feel better, to have more energy, to gain strength in her muscles, to hurt less, to be able to sleep and to be able to keep warm, that her infections will be controlled soon.
We send our love and so wish you were here or that we were there. Its hard when everyone leaves, not impossible but I do not do as good of job entertaining Nan as her female friends do.
Good night dear friends and family, we treasure you so much.


tim and nan


  • At 6:53 PM, Anonymous Bob & Carrol said…

    Hi Tim & Nan,

    We are so glad to see that progress is being made on so many fronts of action. We will certianlly pray for infection control and for Nan's energy levels to increase. Also We will add, "Warm Me Up Lord" !

    We are well into Carrol's Monthly Chemo routine and so far so good. We always dread this time on one hand but on the other We give thanks for the positive results that this treatment is bringing.With the Lords help We carry on .

    Have a restful Night and We will look for good news in the Morning.

    Major Fires are raging all around Us here, Tracy, Roseville , and this morning the BART was stuck under the Bay West Bound for more that an Hour at 7:00 A.M. What a mess!! We have had haze & smoke in the air here in Lodi from the Tracy fire all afternoon.

    Much Love & Prayers ,
    Bob & Carrol.

  • At 6:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Good Night to both of you. This means of communication is so neat, I feel like I am part of what is going on. Hope for a great tomorrow for you both. We all send out love from Weslaco and keep you in our prayers every minute. We don't forget those prayers of thanksgiving, either.

    We have a dear friend, Diana, who is in our church. Mother of 2 teenagers. She has been in the hospital for several months and they can not figure out what is wrong with her. She has been in 3 different hospitals and she is dying. Her kidneys are quiting (we can relate to that) She is so weak and going down hill fast. Rick, my brother,(who is doing very well, thanks for all the prayers) left this afternoon and headed for Houston to give some support to her and the family. He took our pastor and an M.D. from our church with him. I sure don't like it when he is away from our work place, but there are sometimes people who need him even worse than I do.

    I'm asking each of you to please pray for Diana. The same God that is healing Nan can do the same for her. We are living wittness to that and beg for His mercy.

    Love you both,

  • At 7:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    That's a great work out for the day. I am so glad that you are working so hard to get better. We all miss you and consitantly pray and think about you. It is also so great that you are awake and moving so that you can hear from us through the blog. I know Keanna, Nikki and Steve miss you alot. Nate also.
    Take care and keep up the good work.
    Pam :)

  • At 7:56 AM, Blogger David & Audrey Thompson said…

    Hi Tim & Nan,
    Just want you to know we've been keeping an eye on you through Tim's updates. Clair Johnson e-mailed this site to us. We are so gald Nan is doing better. We pray for both of you and think about you often. It's so exciting to see God working through you. You are both so special and look forward to seeing you sometime in the near future!!
    David & Audrey from Ceres, CA


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