Nan Mustard's Recovery

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

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A ray of light at the end of the long tunnel

Dear Family and Friends,
It is 7:30, nan is taking a nap and I'm sitting here in the darkness trying to sort out my emotions. It has been a very busy day for me and a long one for Nan as she works on her recovery.

For me this day started at 5:30 this morning when I woke up with a very heavy heart, it happens every morning. As I drift in and out of restless sleep, talk to our Father and plead Nan's case with Him, seek His peace, His healing, His will, His blessings for the day sometimes certain things become clear. This morning was one of those times of clarity. I was running over Nan's health issues and gradually I focused on slightly increasing creatines, decreased urine output, increased resting heart rates. What was the common denominator, suddenly it struck. In spite of careful monitoring here at the hospital Nan was becoming to dry, becoming dehydrated again. Yesterday we were told by one of the doctors that Nan would get all the fluids she needed from the TPN bag. As I thought about that I remembered that I had been dumping nearly 1,500 cc a day from her colostomy alone. And with the increased nausea Nan has not been able to drink several bottles of water at day like usual. So I rolled over and called the hospital floor, had the nurse put a note in her file about Nan needing more fluids. I got up and worked clearing my desk, then as soon as I could I got here to the hospital. Our nurse of the day paged the hospital doctor on call and when she called back she agreed to speak to me. She listened to my arguments about Nan needing more fluids and ordered 2 liter bags to be given through IV immediatelly.

I had to leave the hospital around 11 for appointments in San Jose and then Menlo Park. When Nan called me a bit later she reported she was starting to feel better, that she was able to eat her lunch without nausea and without nausea medicine. She has continued to have a better afternoon with only one dose of nausea medicine all afternoon. One time when she called me she asked that I go to the caf and see what kind of soup they were serving in hopes that she could have something besides mushroom. Turns out she has had mushroom soup 4 nights running and she is fed up with it. Well when I arrived I found out that the caf had gone gourmet, Coconut Spice Chicken Soup. That was not what Nan had in mind, she hates coconut in any form. So I got some salad for me, pretzels for her and a new water and headed up. Her dinner had just been delivered and she was not anxious to even find out what the soup was, it was pea soup, one of her favorites so things turned out fine after all. She had a few pretzels with mustard and then settled in for a nap. She was cold so she tucked in with extra blankets, a towel around her neck. The next time she woke up she was too warm so threw off the blankets and had me turn down the thermostat. Then she decided it was time to try the recliner chair. She has now been in the recliner more than an hour and is quite comfortable. She is reluctant to walk and has talked me out of forcing her to walk once again.

I want to say a special hello to Amy, our wonderful ICU nurse from Brigham and Womens in Boston. We always pay attention when she write advice and encouragment to us. She is an amazing woman and along with others in the ICU are a special breed, advocates for the patients. Thanks Amy for keeping in touch, it is wonderful to hear from you again and sorry about the weather you are having, it might get down to 50 degrees tonight, brrrr.

Nan wants me to thank each of you for your prayers. She specifically wants me to tell you that her nausea is getting better. This evening she has only one more hurdle, two huge pills for her GI tract, last night we tried them with applesause but that did not work so tonight she will try to take them directly and see if she can get them down. As you might imagine Nan is worn out from all the things, meds, days in the bed, that she has gone through. At this point there is no talk of when she will be released to home. I can only pray that it will be at the right time when she is ready and is feeling better. Of concern to me tonight is her heart rate. It is ranging from 122 to 139 this evening and that is when she is basically at rest. I'm not sure what will bring it down to a more normal 100 to 115 for her. Can we place her heart in God's hands this evening asking for His help and healing?

Tomorrow I am going to spend most of my time here with her in the room. I have a local appraisal to do here in Antioch and several that I can write up while being with her. She has promised that we will walk in the morning, it will have to be short walks due to her heart rate off the charts.

So tonight we are grateful for diminished nausea and for time in the recliner. For a different soup for dinner and for good care from todays nurse, Christine. She told us she has a 13 month old baby and of course can't wait to get home to see her. She hardly takes breaks and is so careful about giving excellent care.

So we thank God for a safe day, for a bit of recovery and for excellent care overall, for hydration and for less nausea.

love from room 316

tim and nan


  • At 9:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    Moments ago when I was a young man, I would have given little thought to what a change in soup might do; especially green pea! However each day that I tag along with you and Nan I have become more alive to the small little things that make such a big difference in all of our lives. Thank you for this gift. It is a treasure. Just think of all I would have missed if you hadn't enlightned me!

    A messeage I heard recently said that you must take time to think. We are busy and full of knowledge but only by taking time to think can there be understanding and wisdom which follow on its heels. Mornings are best for this as you just proved. After a time of rim sleep your reset brain is ready for its best processing. Way to GO!

    Already praying for the heart rate reduction.


    ps at school we play Mozart, very softly, in class which has a proven calming effect on the students

  • At 4:00 AM, Anonymous roger and carol said…

    Good Morning ~

    Tim, I'm so glad you listened to God's prompting as He impressed you that Nan was dehydrated. Isn't it amazing what we learn when we listen? Yes, He is still there for you and Nan! As we have said many times ~ you and Nan have a LOT of experience dealing with Nan's ups and downs. I'm sure you see warning signs that others would miss.

    We had a balmy 60 degrees yesterday! I even drove around with the sun roof open. The daffodils think it is spring and are beginning to bud. I hope they aren't disappointed.

    My prayer for you today is for peace and trust ~ that Nan would be relieved of the nausea, the heart rate will come down and she will have more strength. May His ministering angels be near you today.

    Continued Love and Prayers ~ Carol

  • At 8:20 AM, Anonymous Bob & Carrol said…

    Hi Tim,

    Seems like the Hospital staff owes You a big vote of thanks for the timely info on Nan's Hydration problems. You are indeed the best Care giver for Nan, those in the "Know" must begening to realize that. Lets all hope that Nan will be able to Walk today and that the Nausea will stay away and let Her get well.

    Looks like we are in for some rainy days, it rained from about 2:30 last night and continues at this writing.

    Have a safe Day on the Roads Tim , Nan, Your Spirit is a lift to All of Us Who read this blog every day. hoping that You will soon be Home.

    Good Thoughts & Many Prayers,

    Bob & Carrol.

  • At 8:40 AM, Blogger Gerry & Barb said…

    Hello dear friends! Praise the Lord for small things --- pea soup! I just had to laugh in total amazement when I got to that part about the soup in the blog. How I wish you could get up and walk right out of there on your own power. Tim, could you please put the address of the Delta Hosp in the blog...we can send Nan cards to room 316. We are having rain today. Yesterday we had a great day on the Sacramento River Train. I stood in one of the open cars on the return part of the trip and saw many birds along the way with my favorite being the white heron; so beautiful! As people got off the bus when we were back at Lincoln Hills, many made their way to tell Gerry "Thank You" for all his planning for the wonderful trip. That made Gerry happy and rewarded for all his efforts. He does enjoy planning these day trips for the LSV Group. The best part is that we have met many lovely people and have had many good times together. We keep you in our prayers daily, Nan, and are looking for more good times together with you and Tim! Hurry along!!! Love to you both, Barbie


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