Nan Mustard's Recovery

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

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Nan rests easy, Doctors pleased with surgery

Dear Friends and Family,

We left at 7:02 this morning and fought a bit of traffic here and there but arrived in admissions at 9:30 to an empty waiting room. Quickly processed we headed up to the third floor to radiology. Nan was quickly wisked into the room and after the team explained what they intended to do and our questions were answered I was wisked out to the waiting room. They began immediatelly putting Nan on her tummy, gave her some pain meds to relax her and soften the experience, removed the existing nephrostomy tubes from her kidneys and using the guide wired also removed the balloons they had blocking the ureters, then still using the guide wires they installed tiny stainless steel coils in the ureters and then glued them in place with medical super glue. Then they reinstalled nephrostomy tubes to drain the individual kidneys and there were done. In about 2 hours the chief of interventional radiology was waking me in the waiting room to tell me that all had gone as planned. He also mentioned that more of this kind of process was done at UCSF than any other place in the world, that may have been why they were able to do it quickly and so well. I repeatedly ask about the dark black liquid and was told that there is no doubt, it is necrotic tissue that is breaking down, that is dead tissue somewhere that is breaking down and coming out as a pasty liquid. I heard no solutions or hints at solutions to the dark black liquid. It is hoped that the body will heal the leaking hole at the bottom of the incision and I do believe I can see the beginnings of healing around the actual opening, wishful thinking perhaps but the fact that we now control the wound with gauze instead of a collection bag and tubes is a big step forward in my opinion.

While Nan was in surgery I took the empty TPN bag to pharmacy to begin the process of her having a bag of TPN this evening. You might remember that the last time we were at the hospital we took our own bag of TPN and they refused to allow us to hook it up so Nan ended up having no TPN for the evening. We were told that if we could prove the formula by noon the next time we were in they would make the TPN for us there. So I presented the formula to them and they had no idea of what to do at all. Then I went down to the nurses in short stay, who tend to be bull dogs and they went to work on it. Short story, Nan got her TPN tonight delivered on time and with the right formula. But before the TPN came the most unusual thing happened. At 3 the very kind nurses brought her a tray and she ate some of the food, then at 5 pm they brought another tray and Nan once again ate the food, this time a lot of the food, tea, turkey with cranberry sause, milk, bread, bits of salad. She ate all this without any nausea connected. It was just plain amazing to me and I sat there in the recliner and kept my mouth shut and enjoyed seeing her enjoy her food.
Now that I am home I just called her on her room phone, cells won't work there and she is preparing to sleep. She has had a decent evening and was enjoying a new CSI episode on her little flat screen TV. In this place since there are only fabric dividers between beds the TVs are installed on the end of a long arm that can be moved around where the patient wants them and they have tiny earphones connected. The nursing staff is incredible and our nurse covered everything perfectly and gave Nan excellent care. The whole room is warm, cozy, beds are very comfortable Nan says and even the recliner next to the bed wasn't bad for taking a nap. Nan says that after I left a couple doctors came by and said she could be released in the morning but Nan thought one of them wanted to grab a culture before she left, that would be nice so we could know for sure what is leaking out.
I will rise at 6 in the morning and then leave by 6:30 for the trip back to the city. Traffic will be less intense on friday as some don't make it to work on fridays. We will drive home mid morning probably. Son Steve is kind enough to handle some appraisals tomorrow in the San Jose area which helps a great deal.
So now I'm heading to bed for the night and want to express my deep appreciation to especially all of you who wrote encouraging comments to the blog. How wonderful to come home to read these incredible words of love and faith from you all. I have battled a very painful sore throat all day but Nan gave me some pain meds, tylenol and the soreness went away for the trip home, so did the headache and fatigue.
Thank you my friends and family for your prayers and kind thoughts and expressions of support today. They do help. Yvonne Miller wrote a very beautiful email to me last night that was so helpful and faith building, thank you Yvonne for the work you put into that kind letter of love.
Good night, feels so strange to have Nan so far away. We rarely are apart and I don't like it at all. I look forward to seeing her beautiful blues eyes and lovely face in the morning, can't wait. may be I will leave now!!
tim and nan


  • At 3:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I got through to Nan last nite and she had been given pain med and I had taken a sleeping pill and we both sounded like slow thinking, sluring drunks. Was kind of funny. We both had to laugh. Am so glad this is behind you. It is so amazing how something can be done through a tiny guide line. I wonder how they prevent the super glue from sticking to the wrong thing. The thought of all this scares me. (O, Ye, of little faith!) Time to get back home and settled into the recliner! Remember that you are both loved in a big and special way. Talk to you this PM. Love, Sharon

  • At 5:23 AM, Anonymous Marilyn said…

    Good news!! That surgery is over and sounds like successful - yeah! You are about to leave to pick up your precious Nan. Give her a squeeze from me. God is good!!! He knew just where to put that line so the docs could do what needed to be done. I'm with Sharon - how do they keep that glue from sticking to other things - amazing!!! Love to you both, Marilyn

  • At 5:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    Not sure if this is related but a friend's wife was in a coma for a long time summer of 2005 and she also had tissue/organs or something that would build up a fluid inside of her abdominal cavity and she was on a drain for many months.

    They did ct scans every so often to confirm that the fluid was still there and continued to treat her with the drain until they felt the body could do the rest. It seems that they said the body would absorb part of it and heal itself eventually. ?????????

    She is fine now and the tubes are removed but it was a very long time for this to happen, even after she was up on her feet and moving again.

    With this in mind, and because it happened while inactive and in the coma for about 4 months, I would think as much activity as can be tolerated would be good. Again, this information is not given to me from a doctor but from the husband trying to convey all that was happening to his wife.

    Bear in mind, this was about 1 1/2 years ago. For you to know more it would be good to ask the doctor "again" to explain better. I imagine the miracle of healing often has the doctors in awe also.

    Doctors, like us, are people, some with more experience than others, but trying to do the best that they can do.

    love to you all

    Sue M

  • At 10:17 AM, Anonymous Bob & Carrol said…

    Hi Tim & Nan,

    So good to read good news this morning. Praise the Lord indeed!
    We just got off the phone with Carol Peden and read the blog to Her. Her Computer is giving Her problems and She is not able to get anything in or out for now. She & Roger are so happy to hear the good report.

    Please let Us know how things progress and We will come over Sabbath P.M. if You are both up to a short visit.

    The Sun is shining brightly here but the wind is very brisk.

    Much Love,

    Bob & Carrol.

  • At 10:35 AM, Blogger Gerry & Barb said…

    Hi dear friends, The news sounds so good. We hope Nan has had a restful night and will be ready to go home today. Maybe the black stuff is from the wound healing? Sheding off the old stuff? I was also wondering about that super glue. I know the mess I make when I use it to glue broken stuff and then my fingers stick together -- guess that's one reason I'm not a surgeon! We will try to call you at home this evening. Keep a song in your hearts! Love, Barbie & Gerry


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