Nan Mustard's Recovery

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

Monday, July 10, 2006

Nan's incredible adventures

Dear Friends,
Nan has had a pretty good day today. First off we got to see Dr. Bertagnolli who was very pleased with Nan's recovery so far. She enhanced it by taking out the feeding tube from Nan's nose, pronouncing the incision wound ready for the vacuum sponge, letting us know that Nan would soon be released to a rehab hospital in Cambridge, Uvil is its name and probably a week would be all she would need to stay there before getting a new CT scan, one last surgeon visit and then to Roxannas for a few days and then fly home.
Marilyn, Roxanna, Dana and I got to enjoy watching as they inserted the vacuum sponge into Nan's incision wound. They carefully trimmed the sponge until it was just the right shape and then they pushed it into the wound. Next they covered the entire area with a clear plastic with adhesive on the back. Lastly they inserted the vacuum tube into the middle of the sponge and turned on the pump. As we watched the sponge nearly disappeared into the wound and filled every tiny part of it. Nan felt it and it has made it hard for her to cough without hurting. But we are told that with the sponge in place the healing will take place 3 times as fast. The team that put it in was wonderful and answered our questions as they went along
We had a wonderful nurse today, early on she threw Dana and me out and the next thing we knew we looked up and saw Nan walking by. So we caught up with her and ended up sitting for awhile in the ICU waiting room. Then we walked back and the room had been transformed, every inch organized and tidy, bed perfectly made. Nan got back into bed and rested for awhile. Later the PT came, she is so sweet and really knows her business. She got Nan going again walking a very long distance that time and then taught us some valuable stretching exercises for her calf muscles. During the day we heard that Nan's hematocrit was too low so we were not surprised when they told us that Nan would be receiving two units of blood tonight. It seems that they have pretty well decided that the infection Nan is experiencing is found in her nephrostomy tubes and is fairly normal for those tubes. Yet this evening her fever is up slightly to 100.4 so of course we are concerned.
This afternoon after the vac sponge was put in Dana and gang decided that Nan needed less visible hair on her legs so in they came with some goop that in 3 minutes removed the hair and made her legs very soft. We enjoyed urging Nan on as she ate first breakfast, then some lunch and finally supper tonight. She has had several hot teas, some milk, some grapes, crackers, Cream of Wheat, toast, noodles with tomato sause, boost. Right now they are medicating her to try to slow the speed with which the food passes through and out the colostomy. It needs to stay in longer so the body can pull out the nutrition from the food.
At 10:30 this evening Nan decided that she would like to walk again. So we ask the nurse for her permission and got ready to walk, the nurse was kind enough to disconnect the IV and vacuum line so Nan could walk without the tower. Nan took off and walked quite a ways before tiring and returning to sit in the chair for awhile. Then back to bed but soon a signal went off, the vacuum system has developed a leak and now we wait until someone comes to solve the leak. Nan is now receiving her first unit of blood and they have it going in pretty slow. Our nurse this evening is not the same as the one we had during the day but that happens. They all do their job in slightly different ways but all get it done.
As I walked out with Dana and Marilyn to say good bye it suddenly hit me how much I appreciate their coming to help us. Dana has been like an angel over the past few weeks doing so much for Nan at every turn, we will always appreciate her love, her help and her humor as she helped Nan recover. Dana has purchased groceries, done laundry, gone out of her way to help everyone around Nan and been a real sparkplug in helping Nan. She was so relieved to see Nan have such a wonderful day. We will miss her very much over the next few days but we realize that her family needs her too. Dana has always been there for Nan and we both appreciate it. We are so happy that we are getting to renew our friendship with Marilyn. We knew her and her husband Walt years ago when we first entered into ministry at Sac. Central. She and Walt were so fun to spend time with and our kids used to play together with their daughter Baby Lori. Marilyn is a very special person and we love her dearly and appreciate all the trips she has been making up here to Boston to spend time with Nan and to help in any way she can. She provides the way for Dana to fly out of Providence on Southwest. Dana will be flying to Houston tomorrow morning at 6:30, lucky Marilyn gets to get up and take her to the airport, fortunately it is only a short distance for Marilyn.
Its getting late here in the room, about midnight and a new nurse just came in, solved the vacuum sponge leak, cleared up the IV tree and got Nan all organized for the night. They once again gave the low pressor, beta blocker to reduce Nan's heart rate so of course her blood pressure dropped as well. They had stopped that yesterday and I thought we were through with it. Her blood pressure has been low all day today but as soon as it got up to 100 over 55 here came the beta blocker pill. Errrr! But what do I know, enough to know that low blood pressure can be dangerous also.
We had the opportunity to talk to both our children today, Nikki at the middle of the day and Jason this evening. Seems he is having trouble getting used to the new time zone, was awake at 2 this morning. Poor guy, needs his rest. Jo is already at PUC and she must be really having a tough time staying awake in classes!
We are thankful for all of God's blessings we have experienced today. I tell you, don't hesitate to ask for God to bless you, He has lots of blessings He is ready to share if we ask. One blessing we are thankful for is that Rick has received good news regarding his health issues and is doing much better. He is a precious child of God with a huge heart for people.
We are thankful to see our friend Roxanna again today. She came just as things were getting really good and I think she will never forget this day. She talked me into a long walk which was enjoyable and stretched out my muscles, solved some of the worlds problems while we walked and came back in one piece.
We all survived cafeteria food, had tons of laughs and are thankful for such a great day. This is the day that Nan became Nan again, smiles, energy, humor its all there. What a precious lady God has created in Nan. Thanks for your prayers, your help, your cards, your emails, your kind and helpful thoughts and suggestions. Soon we will be on the move to the rehab hospital, we both have reservations about it so we will have to learn new things again but we know that is one of the steps to getting on the plane so bring it on.
Have a nice evening,
we send our love.
tim and nan
Well its 12:25 now and I almost lost this blog but was able to cut and paste it back into place. I'm heading to the room while I still have one. More adventures tomorrow God willing!


  • At 11:04 PM, Anonymous loree rister said…

    Hi Tim & Nan,
    It is so nice to read all the wonderful news. I am so glad to hear things are moving right along. Star is counting the days to see her Mommy again....(I told her you will be home soon).
    Keep up the good work, and keep on doing your exercises so you can get stronger. I miss you lots, and can't wait to have you back home again.
    Take care, and god bless!!

  • At 5:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wish I could have been there for the party. I am so very thankful for God's blessing and guidance through the past months and years. He has always been there for you, Nan, and I know it is for a most wonderful reason. God has a very special plan for your life and I know He will face it with you. Can't wait for you to get home again. I'm making our plans for Branson! Will call during the day.

    Love you both,


  • At 10:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What wonderful news! I am glad and happy to see Nan doing so much better. We, at Nikki's work, can see it in Nikki's demeanor, and as you say, it truely is a blessing.
    We all continue to include the Mustard family in our thoughts (and prayers,) and we are keeping up with the blog...on rare occasion we are even updating Nikki (ha ha). :-)



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