Nan Mustard's Recovery

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

Monday, January 15, 2007

A quiet day of sleep and suffering

Dear Friends and Family,

I just took Nan up to bed a few minutes ago. Since coming down this morning at 8:15 to meet with the nurse she has stayed down the entire day. She found a way to be very comfortable in her recliner using a large foam pillow that she purchased while at Roxanna's house. She used this large foam pillow under her legs and was able to settle in and watched some TV and slept some, actually most of the day. She wakes to sip some water and then slips back into slumber again. Today she ate 6 olives, had hot water with frozen lemon juice she prepared herself, had a popsickle and I think that is about it. The constant nausea and weakness she is experiencing is best treated by sleep, no wonder she lets herself fall asleep often, it is an escape from misery.

Teri, the visiting nurse made her routine monday visit, drew blood for weekly blood tests, took vitals, Nan's heart rate was 126 resting this morning. We discussed the recommendations that Dr. Morgan had made about other answers for nausea and found out one is just a pill form of marijana, Nan does not want anything to do with that but the other one is a new med that is having some pretty good success with cancer patients in controlling nausea so tomorrow we will try to find a doctor we can see and get it prescribed for her to try. It is taken once a day at night by mouth. The nurse visit lasts about an hour. She changes the extensive dressing for the PICC line, give various meds and answers questions and makes suggestions. She is a real asset to us and a great helper.

I stayed in today having several appraisals that needed to be completed and emailed out. I was able to get the relo for a Stockton property emailed this evening and the one from Grass Valley went earlier in the day. Several orders also came in today so the week is filling out pretty well for work. We think we may need to do a blood transfusion this week at some point and is so then I will work appointments around that event.

I've rarely seen Nan so low. She functions mentally just fine and paid the house second mortgage by phone today, no small task and also some other bills. She is very low on energy and has almost constant pain from the poorly placed nephrostomy dressings. I have changed the gauze but have not yet found the courage to change the butterfly locks which hold the tubes in place as they disappear into her back.

Nan is a brave woman and demonstrates a lot of courage in spite of tough times. I frequently find her slipping in a bit of humor or singing along with something on TV, she is always kind to me and thanks me for the little things I do. You cannot know how much I want to just be able to make dinner for her or take her to dinner and see her enjoy herself and be able to eat and relax. It has been many weeks now without relief from the growing nausea threat and it is becoming a more serious challenge. Somehow I must find a way to keep her walking and doing basic exercising just like in the hospital when they have you get up and walk several times a day. But it is very hard when you hurt so much and feel so sick.

I have found that the leaking is less today. The dressing had less black residue this morning and this evening. I'm thankful for that development. I have been begging God to intervene internally and heal the dying tissue or whatever is causing the leaking. I have also been asking that God would help with the nausea, solve it, manage it, control it, whatever we need His help.

Tomorrow I will be out for part of the day leaving here about 9:30 and be gone for a few hours. If you call right now you may find Nan quite weak on the phone and only able to talk for a short time. I still think she appreciates being remembered even if for just a few words.

When Pam unearthed the treadmill she had me resolve to use it every day. I find that when I take Nan up to bed I can ride and it is so quiet that she can fall asleep or watch TV and not be bothered by it. I'm trying to add a couple minutes to the total time I ride each evening until I get up to a reasonable several miles. It feels good to just be able to see the treadmill and to be on it again is a real treat.

I want to thank those of you who have given us financial help over the past many months. I never would have even considered that we might need help, always thought I could just work harder or longer if the money got short, that was until Nan's increasingly serious situation with the GIST and then our long stay in Boston. You know I was supposed to fly back there to be with her a few days and then we had plane tickets to fly home for a few weeks, yet we were in the right place when the blockage occured and the surgery changed everything. 54 days we were there, 54 days without working or generating any income, thank good ness the crew here at home kept the business going, they created a miracle in my absence. Over the months since the surgery you have shared thousands of dollars with the recovery fund. Right now it has over $3,000 in it but we will have to draw money out this week to cover nan's glasses and some other things like that. You have kept us in our home, able to go to doctors and hospitals when needed, you have supplied a bridge which has helped us survive financially. We appreciate it very much. We are not out of the financial woods yet but we are much much better than we would have been without your help. There have been so many expressions of kindness, this morning Kent, a long time aquaintance, answered my phone call and serviced the furnace. It is going to need a part, worked for awhile today and warmed us up and then failed to restart the next cycle. He refused to accept a normal service call fee, I was very touched and humbled by his generosity.

We are going through an experience no one would ask for, it is one that builds a new awareness of tiny blessings which come amidst suffering and loss, an experience that makes one question nearly everything, a life altering experience for all who are close to Nan, to see a good person who has lived her life in doing good and touching lives of family and friends so weakened is very hard. Why does tend to come to mind often? What is this existence really all about? How does God decide to help or not? How do we continue to live daily in the face of such challenges?

Where is God when Nan hurts? Where are we when God hurts?

My prayer tonight is simple and direct. God, please show us the way, open medical doors, heal things we do not understand and give us peace knowing You are in control and are loving, caring and involved.

Sending our love to each of you,

tim and nan


  • At 12:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    There once was and observant husband who noticed that his wife had lost some weight and told her so. The wife in the process of fishing for an additional compliment inquired how he could tell. (punch line below)

    There are those that don't smell the roses, those that don't know there are roses, those that don't care there are roses and those that grow roses. You are the gardener Tim. Keep growing roses and smelling roses and telling others about the roses. Your bloging sermons have helped all your readers to see what we have not noticed before, counted more blessings and had more peace.

    For those not currently experiencing enough peace I offer this song. ....but until then my heart will go on singing, until then with joy I'll carry on, until the day GOD calls me home. Since for you and Nan there is much more journey ahead remember the really big picture doesn't have any pain or sorrow. I pray that today only the big picture will be in view and allow you the peace for the tomorrows journey.



    ps You snore less!

  • At 11:53 AM, Anonymous roger and carol said…

    Hi Tim and Nan,

    How beautifully Wes has expressed all of our feelings! Yes, you both have been a real inspiration to all of us. Do you get discouraged? of course! Did David in the Psalms get discouraged? Most definitely! Do we as weak fumbling Christians get discouraged? ~ You bet! Does God still care that we are hurting, frustrated, and tired of it all? Certainly! Why doesn't He answer our prayers the way we want Him to? I know of no one here on this earth who has that answer. We just continue trusting and praying and knowing He has an ultimate plan for our lives. My daily prayer for myself is, "Lord, help me to stay out of your way today."

    It's not an easy time for you. Know you are loved and have MANY friends out here thinking about you both and praying for you. (Driving on slick tires might be a bit presumptuous however.....)

    Continued love and prayers ~ Carol

  • At 3:52 PM, Anonymous Bob & Carrol. said…

    Hi Tim & Nan,

    We read with great concern Your blog this morning. Our Prayers for relief for Nan will be even more frequent now . We hope that You are able to secure the Med's recomended by Your Boston Dr's and most of all that they will work for Nans comfort and well being.

    Glad to read that Furnace repair is in the making, no substitute for a nice warm house in the winter time.

    Tim, I finally got some concrete figures on a Spare Wheel & Tire for Your Odyssey. Next time that We are over I will share them with You and You can decide what you would like to do. I think CostCo is the way to go for the New Skins for the "Trusty Bug".

    Have a good warm day and know that We all Love & Pray for You both.

    Bob & Carrol.


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