Nan Mustard's Recovery

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

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Tuesday evening - tough day

Dear Family and Friends,
How can I begin to share what is on my heart this evening? Frankly I don't think I am capable of sharing the frustration, concerns, stress I am experiencing in its entirety.

Nan and I had agreed last evening that I would not travel to the hospital first this morning but start the day off at a home in Tracy at 8:30, then travel to SF, sunset district, then to San Anselmo and then to Kentfield. We had hoped that Mary would be able to be with Nan part of the day. Nan and I spoke frequently during the day so she knew where I was and how things were going. So it was after 6 this evening when I arrived in Antioch at the hospital. In some ways the day had gone well for Nan, no fevers, felt pretty good but in other ways it was a mess, this morning after she and the newest doctor on the oncology team had visited together and even discussed Nan's going home soon, the nurse came in a turned off the pain pump and took it away saying well since you are going home soon you will need to transfer to pain pills instead of the pump. That was such a huge blow to nan because for the first time in her hospital stay the pain was managed well with the pump and she had had some relief. So now she was to get a 4 mg pain pill every 4 hours, before the pump it was IV med and every 2 hours. Then the food trays came during the day and the food was once again really bad. She ate all her mashed potatoes at lunch and in the afternoon the dietitian came to visit and Nan was able to tell her the frustrations, but when dinner came it was a mess, Nan burst into tears and told the lady to take it away, she would not let me go get her food either, she had just had it with things plus her left foot was starting to be very painful.

When I arrived I found her sleeping so I slipped in and took a nap myself in the recliner. Later we decided to walk and putting her slipper on her foot caused a lot of pain, then when she tried to put weight on it the pain was too much and she could only walk a few steps to the recliner where she sat for awhile. Then the nurse came to take vitals and found a temp of 100.2. This was a blow since we know she cannot leave the hospital with a fever. So I gave her our own thermometer and that yielded 98.2. I found the nurse and asked her to use a different unit and that time she found a 97.8. When so much hangs on fever or no fever such mess ups become very important. Doctor decisions are made based on information that is very suspect. This is not the first time, yesterday the same, three different temps within a few minutes. Nan is recovering quickly from the nephrostomy tube surgery, quicker than in the past I believe.

When I opened the lap top to check emails for Nan and to begin to work I found it was dead, no amount of coaxing would make it wake up, that was a real blow as well since having it there lets me be with Nan and yet get my work done. So I left it on the front porch of my computer guy on the way home in hopes that he can get it to work again. What is next?

Nan and I had a rough evening as she was very agitated with the foot pain in spite of rubbing it gently. I know she is anxious to come home and I believe they are going to allow it in spite of the extra 21 lbs she is carrying right now of fluid.

The room is full of beauty, the flowers, candy, Easter basket, cards but we are really ready to move on home when it is safe and prudent. I'm sure the insurance company is ready for that as well.

Please pray for Nan tonight or tomorrow. We both tire of asking the same thing over and over yet it is what only God can help with. We face the health challenges for Nan and severe financial challenges facing us in the next 13 days or so. We are ticking off the things that have to be paid one by one and trusting the Lord to touch the hearts of our clients so they will pay up. I don't know of any time in our married life when we have faced such extreme challenges. One glimmer touched Nan today, Jo and Jason are coming to visit this weekend and that made her so happy. She loves family, we both got to talk to Keanna today and that is always a lift.

Thank you for caring,


tim and nan


  • At 7:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I pray Nan can go home very soon. How you and your family stay so positive during such adversity is a source of inspiration, and most humbling at the same time.

  • At 1:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    I don't work in an enviornment where decisions are so critical. It must be very difficult to have every decision be so important. As over experienced patients you are painfully aware that people don't always met our expectations nor their own I suspect. What can be done in these days that try our souls. Persist in our own quest for excellence share our facts as we find them in the most generous way and refuse always to take things personally since it clouds our judgement and interfers with progress.

    This is abstract advise for sure and is difficult to implement when there is pain or a hurting loved one involved.

    I know this is not the greatest support letter but my motive is pure and I hope that it provides some comfort for my beloved friends in this time of pain & frustration.


    ps If the nurse can change the meds from IV to pill they can change it back. Could be worth a request.

  • At 3:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Tim and Nan
    My prayers and thoughts are with you each and everyday. I hope you will be able to come home soon.
    Love you
    Judy Mercer

  • At 4:01 PM, Anonymous roger and carol said…

    Oh the joys of hospital living! So sorry you had such a trying day. It sort of makes you feel like you don't dare leave Nan for very long at a time ~ someone might mess up and cause a disaster.

    Today we pray for wisdom for the hospital staff and the doctors, for peace for both of you, checks coming in, for relief from the pain, balanced hydration and all systems functioning properly and the ultimate ~ home soon!

    May God be near you as you continue through your difficult walk. I can't imagine what it is like to be in the shoes of either of you. Maybe soon you will feel up to taking a little walk over to Wes's "Sunny side" of the street for a spell. He says it's nice there. A break might help ease the stress. Or even a walk in the park with the doggies might help clear the muddled brain for a bit.

    Love and prayers ~ Carol


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