Month: October 2013

OK – One More Update

I went back to the hospital – had to decide, watch Survivor or check on husband …

Glad I went back – he is doing 100% better tonight. The nurse got him up and had him sitting in the chair. Even though he was alert, he wanted to sleep. So I kept him awake (he was watching The Voice on TV !?!?!). He also did his breathing treatments with the spirometer, and did well. The pain seemed much more manageable,and he sat up for 30 minutes.

He asked where I had been all day (they said that would happen). It's funny – he has a clear memory of everything that happened early this morning, but not much after that until late in the day. He remembers his nurse, Frank, being there a couple of times – the nurse was there virtually all afternoon. Again,that's normal.

Let's hope he continues his model patient performance tomorrow.

Last Update Today, & News from the Homefront

Lou continues to make good progress. They took the breathing tube out at about 3:30pm today which was right on schedule. He was semi-awake off and on – he's on pain medication since his chest hurts. There is no way to avoid that right now, which is why he'll be sedated, but they will gradually reduce the pain meds.

At 5pm, they had him standing up and then had him sit on the side of the bed for 10 minutes. So, he is doing everything he is supposed to at this point. The fun will start with his respiratory therapy, 'cause deep breaths are painful.

And, before I forget – Happy Birthday, Tiny!

Kathy sent some photos from home – it looks like life as usual for the pups:


She also took some progress pics for Lou – new plantings on the side and in the back by the new rocks. And, the new granite steps on the side of the house…


Good News

I spoke with the surgeon, and he said everything went well. He was able to repair the valve, so no replacement needed. That will make Lou happy. he did say Lou was a “Big Guy.” Guess he had to use extra thread to sew him up.

I saw Lou as well – he’s out cold (literally – they slowly raise his body temp). He looked much better than they said he probably would – good color and all his vitals are stable. No pics – even I wouldn’t do that.

They will wake him in a few hours and have him sit in a chair to get the circulation going. That should be fun.

Bleeting Again

Bleeting is when you post short, frequent updates – like tweeting, except on a blog.

I still hadn't heard anything by 10:30am. Seems there was a miscommunication – someone from OR called earlier, and Person A didn't give the message to Person B because they thought they already knew. Finally, just when I finally stepped away to grab coffee, they figure out there is a reason I don't know what's going on – no one told me! No big deal, once I heard they were almost through with the surgery. It will still be awhile before he comes to the Cardiac Surgery Unit where he will spend the night, and until I see the doctor.

In the meantime, I took this photo outside the cafeteria window – they are demolishing a building and doing major construction at the hospital. It feels just like home.


The Waiting Game

We arrived at the hospital before 5am. Registration and the first stage of prep went fast – he had to take a germicide shower, then vitals. By 6, they zipped him down to the prep room for OR for IVs, etc. Still waiting to hear if he's actually gone into surgery.

The long walk from the hotel to the hospital - they are connected by spooky underground tunnels

After walking what seemed like a mile, we get close

Lou plays solitaire while he waits. Perhaps too anxious for his usual Sudoku, although he is very calm on the outside.

The empty waiting room - is that like a restaurant with no cars in the parking lot?

7:30am - no word yet

It's 8:20am, and the nurse just said she hasn't heard if they've taken him into surgery yet, but they usually hear by 8:30 to 9:00.


Happenings in Maine

As some of you know, Lou goes in tomorrow for heart surgery.  If you didn’t know already, don’t panic – it’s proactive, to take care of a leaky valve.  He really likes the cardiologist here in Belfast, and is happy to have a diagnosis and treatment plan.  His surgeon is head of Cardiac Surgery at Eastern Maine Medical in Bangor. He’s probably not looking forward to the surgery, but he won’t admit that.

But, before we tell you about our day, here’s some random photos from the last two days:

Lou bought a bicycle – Maine Sports Outfitters was having a sale on rental bikes, and he found a good deal on a bike.  I questioned the idea of buying a bike 2 days before he’s going into surgery (I was nice about it!), but it will be good exercise once he’s into rehab.

Getting the new bike into the car

Getting the new bike into the car


Our Halloween Girl for the porch - it was raining, we had to put her on the table so Stitch wouldn't eat her.

Our Halloween Girl for the porch – it was raining, we had to put her on the table so Stitch wouldn’t eat her.

Kathy & Steve are staying at the house with the pups.  I think Kathy also wants to make sure Lou doesn’t starve when he first comes home from the hospital.  (That’s why there are four steaks in the photo above – because Kathy & Steve came on Saturday).

We left Northport at 10am for the hour drive to Bangor, where Lou had to check-in for pre-op stuff.  I was expecting to hang out and read a book, but they called me in too.  He did have blood work, a chest x-ray, and and EKG, but the main purpose of this was to give us a bunch of info about the surgery, how the day would go, his recovery period, etc.  They were very thorough, and it was impressive how they involve the patient and the family.

Here’s just part of the conversation:

Nurse (said to me, the loving wife):  The worst thing you can do when he gets home is hover over him…

Lou:  That’s not likely to be a problem …

Here are a few more pics from the day.  Perhaps it is insensitive to blog about this, but we know there are folks who want to know what’s happening.  And, when Ben asked if I was going to blog about the surgery, Lou said, “I’d be surprised if she didn’t.”  So, I’ll take that as his official OK.  Don’t worry – we’ll be mostly sharing the story, not gruesome or compromising photos.

Driving into Bangor - it was raining

Driving into Bangor – it was raining



An interesting name for where we were going


I had to laugh - I hadn't seen this until we were in the waiting room.  Not surprised - he made a binder with all his test results and research on valve surgery ...

I had to laugh – I hadn’t seen this until we were in the waiting room. Not surprised – he made a binder with all his test results and research on valve surgery …


And, what do I see when I open his binder?

And, what do I see when I open his binder?


The Anesthesiologist spent a lot of time telling Lou all about how things would go tomorrow ...

The Anesthesiologist spent a lot of time telling Lou all about how things would go tomorrow … We also saw 2 different nurses and a Physician’s Assistant.


After a cheeseburger for dinner, we’re back at the hotel and will try to get a good night’s sleep before going to the hospital for his 5am start.  They said he could have whatever he wanted before midnight, and also could eat anything for a month after surgery, although most people don’t feel like eating much.

Will check back in tomorrow with an update on how his day goes.