Nan Mustard's Recovery

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

Saturday, October 13, 2007

104.1! / Rainy trip to Dr./ Hospitalized / Comfortable

Dear Family, Dear Friends, Dear GISTers,
Oh the heart break of this terrible disease. On a morning when Nan would have loved to be home just listening to the rain fall fate had other things in mind. I woke at 7:30 to hear Nan throwing up only she was not completing the process. I jumped out of bed and around to her side, spoke sharply to her to get her attention and held the basin and told her to finish throwing up, I could tell by her eyes she had no awareness of what was happening. I finally got her mouth clear and cleaned up, then quickly took her temp, it was 104.1. Almost paralyzed by fear and dread I began to do what I know by instinct. Reach of the baby ibuprofen, give a small dose, I had to tell Nan each step to take, open mouth, swallow now as she looked blankly at me, then prepare ice packs for under each arm, where had helpers put the ice packs? I found one and created a second with plastic sacks, then into a pillow case and under the arm, then off with the covers, on with the fan, soak small towels and place one on the forehead, one over the legs, give hydration stat, fast drip to increase fluid levels, then take temp every few minutes, now its 103.7, now 102.8, now 101.7, now 101, Nan you can have a sheet over your freezing limbs, now its 100, you can have your blanket back, now its normal 2.5 hours later. My heart is beating fast just reliving those anxious moments. At 9 am Terry came to take blood cultures and urine samples. She helped with everything and gave me a break emotionally. Then when Nan was strong enough I helped her out of bed and we moved together like slow dancing step by step to the stair chair where she sat and rode down. Then I ventured into the office to care for some overdue promised work, then back to dress Nan and begin to prepare the car with TPN, stomach pump, blankets, air bed, mattress, pillows. Then it was time to load Nan into the van and I found I could not get her into the bed by myself. LeAnn came to the rescue as she has so many times before and together we pulled her into place and placed the heating blanket Nikki gave us and plugs into 12 volt over her to ward off the chill and damp. We drove through driving rain to the Dr. office in Concord and arrived late and in driving rain. In the process of unloading Nan we both were soaked to the skin including her fuzzy socks. In the doctors office the girls found blankets and wrapped her to get her warm again. Dr. Melynk came in and quickly assessed the situation determining that she needed to be admitted to the hospital. He took all the literature I had assembled about Nexavar but said we needed to deal with the now issues first. Then back to the car in driving rain once again getting even more wet. Two blocks over we pulled in to the hospital and found the roof over the entry was leaking so wet yet again. Dr. had arranged everything and we went directly to a floor where we have been many times and we have only had great care. Right into a private room by the nursing station, room 17. The nurses went into action, bringing armloads of warmed blankets to surround Nan and within a few minute she was warm, into her gown and resting more comfortably. Vitals revealed a temp of 103.3 and within a few minutes antibiotics arrived stat and were started. Heart rate of 150, strange blood pressure and Nan was very much out of it, almost in a coma. She asked for and received ice water and sipped a couple cups, suction was started to drain fluids off and a new TPN was ordered from pharmacy. The nurse worked as a team and very quickly gave Nan the support and help she needed. It was totally clear to me from the moment Dr. said, admit that we were in the right place at the right time. I had alerted Nikki and Jason to our situation and Nikki and Keanna called to say they were on their way. They brought dinner to me and Keanna played hide and seek with curtains and gave Nan some smiles. Nikki was her normal wonderful helpful self providing me with emotional support and love. Gradually as they were with us in the room my heart calmed down, however the backside of my jeans and shirt remained soaked. Only by the time I left to come home this evening had I finally dried off totally.
Yes there were moments today of special difficulty, helping Nan get in and out of the car was as tough as it gets, trying not to hurt her and move her at the same time, trying to keep the rain off with a tiny umbrella and yet needing both hands to keep her from falling, also talking to the doctor about whether we were willing to not restart her heart should it stop, not installing a breathing tube if needed, tough decisions but I know Nan does not want to kept alive as a vegetable, she has been clear about that, also a nursing decision that she could only have ice chips when Nan had asked for ice water with chips, I let them know that this was the only thing she can have and she would have the ice water with chips as requested. She did.
Just before I left Nans side this evening at 10:45 or so the results of the antibiotics were showing signs of working, she became much more aware of her surroundings and me as well. Unfortunately that meant she also began to notice the pains that she had been unaware of as well. They use a mixture of Dilautid and Adavan together which seems to be very helpful for the short term. They also bumped the pain patches up to 150 from the 100 we went in with. So she was fully aware when I left and agreed for me to go.
I wish the doctors office would have ordered the urine and blood work when I asked them to earlier in the week but at least on Thursday they took me serious and did order the tests so Terry came this morning and by the time we were in the hospital some of the results were already back so we saved a day on that front.
As you might imagine I am pretty tired as I write now. Its 12:30 and I will have the luxury of a full nights sleep but at the cost of not being with my pretty baby. But I firmly believe she is in good hands and I have my cell number plastered to the wall if they need me.
We got an unwelcome call from our Provident Home Health, they called to tell us we had someone new for next week, we said we did not want anyone new but they said Bean was being requested by someone who had enjoyed her in the past and so they assigned us someone new. We are not amused but meeting our "new " person will be postponed as Nan is in the hospital and we will not be needing anyone to help at home until she returns.
All in all this has been a very big day with trauma, risk and resolution.
Please ask God to watch over Nan. She needs God's peace and comfort. She needs to know she is OK in God's arms.
Thank you each for your kind blog comments today. They were a great comfort to me as I read them this evening upon coming home. You do make a difference for our family and for Nan.


tim and nan


  • At 3:49 AM, Anonymous roger and carol said…

    Oh Tim, what a day you had yesterday. You could go a long time without that kind of excitement. I'm surprised that the Dr.'s office even had you bring Nan inside in all that rain. She certainly didn't need to get soaked. I hope you got one or two of those nice warm blankets at the hospital! My heart goes out to you as I read what you went through yesterday ~ the emotional pain as well as the physical stresses of the day.

    You have become quite the nurse knowing just what to do for Nan in time of crises. You did well. You acted quickly and did what was best for Nan. You also need a break and left her in the care of professionals. I hope you slept well even though I'm sure you you had one ear open for the phone.

    You and Nan are both in our prayers today. May you have peace knowing you have done your best and entrust the outcome to our loving Lord who loves us all more than we can ever comprehend. He IS near you today. May you sense His presence and His peace as you face another day.

    With a special amount of Love and Prayers ~ Carol

  • At 8:17 AM, Anonymous Bob & Carrol. said…

    Hi Tim,

    Some how I knew something was wrong last night. I had a difficult time sleeping soundly. I would Pray silently to the Lord for You & Nan and then some sleep would come but only for an hour or so and then repeat the process. I am much relieved to read this morning that Nan is in a place where She can be cared for every minute and that You can rest a bit easier too.

    We will continue to Pray for Nan this Sabbath Day. Oh Lord comfort & heal Our Dear Nan, Thy Will Be done.

    We have a special Lunch today at Our Choir Directors Home, (Bob Tan) He is doing the lunch (Asian Feast)for all of the daily "Lunch Bunch" at the Senior Center. Looks like the weather is going to be kind to Us as this event is planned for Outside. We will remember Nan when the Blessing is asked. There are many very Caring Folks at the Center every day that are dealing with Illness in their Family's, Spouse's etc.

    Love & Special Prayers Today,

    Bob & Carrol.


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