Nan Mustard's Recovery

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

Sunday, August 06, 2006

An alarming evening

Dear Ones,
I am sitting here not knowing what to do and not sure that I dare leave having done nothing. The nurse just came in and hung another IV. I asked what it was and was told it was another combo IV of potassium and magnessium. I was shocked and raised questions. Nan had 2 bags of potassium this afternoon through IV and the reason then was well she is within normal range but at the lower end and hospital policy was to maintain the potassium at a slightly higher level, made sense to me. Now its 9:30 and after drawing blood sample a couple hours ago here comes another bag of potassium and magnessium. I asked questions, objections really since she has already had so much potassium today. He showed me the computer with lab results from this evening, magnessium was not only 1.5 and potassium was below minimums. I don't see how that can happen in a few short hours. I have never seen such a drastic change in our entire time at Brigham and Womens, she will have gotten three bags of potassium today and was only slightly low earlier in the day. The reason I am so concerned is because high potassium was what stopped her heart during surgery, of course it was really high numbers, off the chart due to 3 day old blood going through her due to massive transfusions. The nurse had the lab double check the sample and once again found the same results. He explained that it was because she was putting out fluids, but I pointed out to him that she has been putting out fluids just like today for years without such a drastic potassium change in a few hours. My heart is racing and I have no idea what to do. I am being asked to believe the blood test, believe that she can lose this much potassium in 8 hours when it has never happened before yet what do I do? Nothing. Nan is unaware of any of this since she is sleeping through it all.

Well I just called my physician friend and he helped me understand that I am concerned about the wrong issues. The real issue to nutrition. Nan is only taking in about 500 to 800 calories a day right now and needs a whole lot more. So tomorrow we will urge the doctor to order TPN and get some nutrition into her fast. We can even do it at home, we were set to do so before with a home health nurse and Nan has a PICC line in right now which can handle it just fine.

Now its so late I'm not sure whether to stay the night here in the motorhome or head home to do some work in the morning before coming back here to be with Nan. Don't want to fall asleep either, decisions, decisions. It was more simple in Boston, just sleep and be with Nan, no other issues to cope with, now life gets troubling, how to help everyone at the same time.

So thanks for listening, my physician friend assures me that the amount of potassium being given is small and not dangerous in any way, oh how nice that is to know, that she is not being placed in danger or at risk. Now to get her fed and on her feet.

Please pray for both of us tonight, hard times but precious lady is worth it all.

we send our love

tim and nan


  • At 12:25 AM, Anonymous Roger and Carol said…

    Hi Tim,

    I woke awhile ago and kept thinking about you and Nan. I couldn't go back to sleep. I prayed for you both then felt compelled to get up and check your blog. Now I know why I am awake... I'm so sorry Tim. I'm glad you have a physician friend that you can talk to who can reassure you. So, here in the night when most people are sleeping coast to coast you still have prayers going up for you and Nan.

    Hang in there. God is very near both of you. May you feel His presence just now.

    Love ~ Carol

  • At 2:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The vast difference in the level of attention & care .. (& therefore your comfort level) .. from one hospital to another amazes me.

    You folks certainly remain constantly in my prayers.

    -Ken Schou

  • At 9:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    By all means, it is more stressful when you have now to juggle work, travel to and from and Nan!

    You must take care of yourself also, I did not know that you had health issues of your own.

    I imagine it is even more stressful for you because you are aware of the new,lurking dangers while Nan is asleep and trusting in your watchful attention to detail.

    I pray for the incision to be infection free, the vomiting to stop and the need for the medication, for the stomach and intestines, to go down so that Nan may wake, without being so groggy, again and return to the level of strength that she had attained.

    Getting the proper nourishment will help hopefully be it through food or IV.

    Watching for the next posts and hoping and praying for good posts and results in the healing.

    Sue Muse

  • At 4:14 PM, Anonymous Bob & Carrol said…

    Hi Tim,

    We just got back from the Chemo Clinic in Stockton. I can echo Carol's comments about feeling upset last night late and early this morning. I too was up and in prayer for Your plight as well as the Chemo time for My Sweety. So glad that You have an M.D. to confide in and that He is able to put your mind more at ease with what is going on with Nan.

    Carrol is resting now and so far so good She is keeping Her Lunch down and is comfortable. Her Lab numbers were very good and the Dr. was pleased . We are very thankful for all the good things that the good numbers indicate.

    We will continue to Pray that things will turn around for Nan and that She will soon be back to Her "Old Self".

    Much Love,

    Bob & Carrol

  • At 5:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Don't help everyone Tim. Just help Nan. The rest of them are not important. Please just take care of Nan. Name one person more important and then I will change my plea.
    Take care of Nan and as well as you can for yourself.
    I pray that you have the strength to go through more and keep the right decisions coming.
    Love always,

  • At 8:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    How I wish I were there with you guys. somehow I always feel better about things when I see them first hand. I'm praying for you both. I know God is still in charge and we place every concern in His hands and I know He is paying full attention. I pray that He will reach down and put his big loving arms around you both and I pray that you both feel the warmth and security of His presence. Know that you are loved and are presented in prayer by someone every minute of each day.

    Love, Sharon


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