Monday, November 28, 2011

The power of the pee prayer (day 33)

Good evening, everyone.

Today I get to report... Nancy's kidneys seem to be back to normal :-) Yesterday she cranked out a full liter of urine, and today she is on track to match it. In fact, they are starting her on a diuretic to encourage her body to surrender the rest of her excess fluid -- and they wouldn't do that unless her kidneys were good. I suspect they will cut back on her dialysis, as Nancy's (BUN and creatinine) blood tests are all showing normal values. No further signs of infection, either, as her white blood cell and other counts are pretty normal too.

One of our friends spent the morning here, and encouraged her to work on her breathing and hand exercise. Nancy's comment: "she's bossy!" Then she got visited by physical and speech therapists, who tried her on the Passy-Muir valve again. She still cannot exhale much air past her tracheostomy tube, so she won't' be able to use the valve and talk until the tube is exchanged for a smaller one, or the remaining swelling in her neck subsides. We also had another great nurse today, Robert, who mostly works in an oncology ward at Mt. Zion Hospital. Nice to have someone experienced with cancer patients.

So I'm sitting with a pretty tired girl tonight. We're mostly just doing the ritual of rubbing her sore neck muscles, scratching her head, and moisturizing her hands and feet. No fever or any other kind of problems, so we are a day closer to moving out of the ICU. One of my friends wrote me of her experience of reclaiming her body, after major surgery and a lot of time in the hospital. I shared her note (along with others) with Nancy tonight, and I think the perspective is going to be very helpful. Nancy has a couple of months of reclaiming ahead.

Janet (her sister) is also here with me, and we're hoping Tina (who married us five years ago) can stop by later tonight. Tina's been a great source of support through our entire year.

Tomorrow I'm taking the day off from work to handle a bunch of overdue tasks, legal and financial, get stuff delivered, etc. But I'll be back here in the evening, and I'll continue sending daily notes to you. These notes help me keep a healthy perspective, as well as keeping you all up to date.


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