Nan Mustard's Recovery

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

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Struggling to get better, very hard work

Dear Family and Friends

Its about 7 pm and after a strong start this morning we have slipped downhill a bit. Pain drove Nan to accept some dilautid this morning and then later in the day some more. She has been pretty much asleep ever since. What is one to do? I know the outcome but can't really say no to pain meds when Nan is hurting badly. A couple hours ago her fever started to rise and is now a solid 101. Kidney doctor says no to ibuprofen unless things get really bad so a sponge bath is planned, has been for a hour but not one drop of water has been applied to Nan's steamy body yet. She has thrown up twice today, has eaten very little food, I've fed her a bit of lemon jello and many ice chips, the nurse gave her a Popsicle which she at most of. Nan has talked to a few people on the phone but those who spoke to her this morning got more lucid answers and conversation than Sharon did tonight, sorry Sharon.

Dr. Ganey says the labs look good, that her systems are in balance now and they are giving lasik twice a day now as of this evening. I hope they know what they are doing, so far her blood pressure has been holding fine but of course with a heart rate of over 130 the blood pressure does tend to rise. So far this evening we have avoided the normal shaking that comes with fevers but the sponge bath planned may set that off when it happens.

Like Pam said last night one feels so helpless when sitting by her bed and there is nothing we can do for her directly. Yes I empty bags including colostomy bag, I put cool cloths on her head, make sure her covers are right, discuss all meds going in and do anything she might ask for but mostly one sits and waits for something to happen or for her to move about and have moments of being awake. Since noon today there have been few such moments indeed.

I walked back to the same place we ate yesterday with Art and Connie for another bean burrito and ice tea, perfect! Then walked on to find a stationary store, it turned out to be a long ways away so I had a good walk in nice weather. Found graph paper which will work. For awhile today I had 4 appointments to see properties tomorrow in Oakland but then the cancellation train started up so now I have two appointments left. Oh well, people get cold feet when they get close to doing a loan, especially older people who never know if others are trying to rip them off or not.

I've been working for several hours this afternoon getting stuff fixed and out. I sit about 2 feet from Nan's side so can respond to any need she has. Right now we are waiting for a clean gown since she threw up on this one, aids have come in a couple times but so far no gown so I put a fresh towel over the soiled place so she won't put her arms on it. Mostly the care is top rate but there are a few weaknesses from time to time with some people.

Steve drove to Las Vegas this evening with friends and tomorrow afternoon Nikki and Keanna fly to Vegas for a few days. I'm glad they are getting away and I wish we were too. Nan and I love to travel cheap and due to her travel connections she always finds a deal for less than normal. However we will not be traveling for awhile. She has weeks of being in bed to overcome when she feels better. We had both hoped to get her up walking this evening but I don't think we dare do that, just too sleepy. Dr. Ganey is having a brain scan done tomorrow to be sure there are no issues there. I think not based on her clear and active morning.

This is sort of stressful sitting her 24 hours a day just hoping for a bright smile, a clear word, a stable temperature but this is what we must do now. Can you possibly understand why a message of hope and encouragement arriving in the laptop carrys such a powerful force for good to me. It allows me to not feel so alone or like the lone ranger. It reminds me that we are not alone and that many love her and treasure her like I do.

At this moment two ladies are giving her a sponge bath and I don't think Nan is too excited about it. Her temp dropped from 101 to 100.7 in the last hour and she is not enjoying the bath with luke warm water, they really poured the water over her and now they are changing her bed clothes in hopes this will make her cooler. Nan is moaning softly while they work and her skin is sensitive to touch due to all the extra fluid she is carrying. My heart goes totally out to her as she endures yet another stressful process. What a brave little lady she is.

So far this is what is taking place, levels are doing good, fever is not beaten yet, sleepiness is passing gradually and at this moment Nan is awake and yelling loudly in pain. She will certainly sleep after this.

Please keep the prayer channels going for our dear precious Nan this evening.


tim and nan


  • At 9:19 PM, Anonymous Marilyn in Lincoln said…

    Hi Tim & Nan ~
    We have been out to a musical program at the club - very good one with people that live here.

    When I got home I checked to see if there was another blog and sure enough there was. I know those long days at the hospital can be trying to say the least!! Do they have a little shop where you can get something to read - of course, I was so tired that I couldn't read very much without falling asleep and that could be with you too. Walk those halls, drink lots of water and that's good that you found a few minutes to get outside and walk in the fresh air. When Nan takes a little nap, get that exercise in - makes you feel good.

    Hang tough, God loves you both!!

    Hugs and prayers, Marilyn

  • At 9:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi Tim and Nan,
    Got home Wed night- The drive from MO took 3, 12 hour days of driving- All went well. Mother took turns riding with me and with her friend who was pulling a 6x12 U-Haul containing all her worldly goods with his Suburban. We were stopped at Emigrant Gap by a slushy, icey storm. After a half hour it had passed and the lines of cars were escorted down hill by 2 snow plows. Welcome to CA!
    I had not gotten to a computer until tonight and have caught up on the blogs you wrote while I was gone. Steve had told me that you were on your way back. Sorry it was a short trip but glad you are where you are for now.
    Concern, optimistic hope and prayers for both of you-

  • At 11:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hello to our dear friends, A nice bath and clean sheets should let Nan have a good sleep.
    Mike has been with us for a few days but tomorrow he heads back to Maui. Tonight we ate tostadas with lots of sweet onion, the first real meal I fixed since Mike has been here. Ger & Mike are working in the garage, going through some of Mike's stuff and reorganizing things. It will be less of a maze now! We leave in two days for our trip to Las Vegas and Grand Canyon -- maybe we'll see Nikki and Steve while in Las Vegas!??
    It will be nice when Nan can be strong enough to take a little walk. Have a good sleep tonight, Tim and know that we are praying for you both. Lots of love, Barbie & Ger

  • At 11:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    The pictures are great. It seems that the next chapter in Nan's saga is starting out well. There is the handsome protagonist, the beautiful nurse, assorted other characters played by Connie,Art, Sylvia, Pam, Steve, Nikki, Keanna, Sharon & Marilyn. These are just the characters on the first page. For a complete cast list see the other 400 blogs and comment pages.

    Let's see what happens next. Maybe we could spice up the lead character with a spicy burrito or two. If things get too hot we will cool things down with some cold ice tea.

    I'll play the antagonist!



  • At 4:12 AM, Anonymous roger and carol said…

    Good Morning, Tim, from NC,

    What a long and stressful day you had yesterday! All the ups and downs of temperature, consciousness and sleep, pain, bath.. hours of "just waiting". Not a fun day for you. You are a faithful, loving husband and at this time you would be no where else. Yet, you are also in the arms of Jesus who sustains you.

    My thoughts were with you throughout the day as we enjoyed DollyWood. Tell Nan that Kingdom Heirs has a new pianist and they have ugly shirts again this year. She will know what I mean. Something solid would be much better. This year the shirts are striped orange, yellow and light red ~ very ugly I think. Oh well, Steve is losing it. The festival shows were great this year! I missed enjoying it with Nan! That's just what we do each year ~ even last year just before her Boston adventure.

    Our thoughts again will be with you both today. So glad you are taking time to take a walk, get something to eat and clear your head at least once a day.

    Love and continued prayer ~ Carol

  • At 6:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Good Morning Tim,

    Rise and shine, who knows what this day might bring. New clean gowns, sponge baths and more awake time.

    Just a little small talk below:

    I am doing an event here in Indiana for the Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society, granted it is not GIST but I am the team captain.

    My Rotary Club is the main sponsor for this event but I will be doing the main legwork on team members and so forth. It may not be the best this year for our group because I have a very late start.

    We cannot really designate who the money will go to but Nan and the rest of the GIST family will be on my in honor of list.

    This is an overnight walk at the local High School, not sure if all of the Relay for Life walks are on the same day but certainly all in the spring.

    We have so very many in our Rotary Club that have had cancer or a spouse with cancer. As we age, it strikes more people.

    I know this may not be very interesting to you right now but I wanted to just break up the conversation a bit with news of other things happening.

    I will be watching for "good news" about Nan today and will have you guys on mind.

    "Thy will be done".

    Sue M


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