It's Thursday afternoon, about four o'clock, and I thought it was time for a little update on Mom. Lots has happened in the past 24 hours!
Mom did well in recovery and was moved to her room yesterday by early afternoon--thank you for praying, she did not have ANY nausea and that is just so helpful. She was pretty groggy all afternoon and evening, coming out from under the anesthetic as well as trying to get ahead of the pain. When I first saw her after she came out of recovery and was moved back to her room, her lips were dry, her throat was raspy, but her first word was "cancer?" I was so glad to tell her that they don't think so. She spent a pretty uncomfortable afternoon and evening but did sleep a lot, she was in a lot of pain but they provided her with a pump that she could self administer the pain medicine. The dosages were controlled so that she could not overdose, it would only allow her to receive the medicine every 15 minutes.
I got a much-needed nap yesterday afternoon as well as a hot shower while Mark and my dad stayed with Mom. Though we didn't plan this time as a family reunion, it certainly has been so nice to be together and eat meals together, talking and enjoying the time together! Last night I also stayed with Mom here at the hospital; our sweet nurse Emily was on duty again, what a blessing she was! Most of all, around 11:30 when I was ready to get some rest I went out to ask for some pillows and blankets, and she said, wait! I think I have a chair for you that turns into a bed! Sure enough, it looked like a regular armchair but actually folded out to a cot. Hallelujah! It was just fine to sleep on, SO much better than trying to sleep sitting up in a chair. Emily knew I had just come from Asia and so I joked with her that the first night it was like I was in business class (though I was on a chair at least I could put my feet up on a second chair!) and the second night I bought the first class tickets! That was a huge praise, I was able to sleep on and off during the night and feel more rested today.
Mom did fine overnight...we are watching her blood sugar carefully as well as I am making sure she sips water occasionally, has some lotion on her skin, lip gloss on her lips to comat dryness, and enough pillows tucked around her to make her comfortable. I am learning some nursing tricks about how to help an immobile patient turn over, and am even gaining some skills at pillow tucking and fluffing!
However that immobility is coming to an end. Dr. Rojas was in this morning and said, "I'm going to be a little mean to you today." It's time for Mom to get up a bit out of bed, get her legs moving a bit, and stretch out her legs and ribcage too. She now will have to get up to use the bathroom and they want her marching in place and maybe taking a few steps as often as possible. She already showed great improvement from her first attempt this morning until just now where she was able to get herself up off the bed (using her walker) and march in place just a bit. It's so hard for her right now (VERY painful) but it's really what she needs to do for purposes of circulation, prevention of blood clots, stimulating her bowels to work again, etc.
Today Mark and my dad are driving back to Rock Valley to pick up a few needed items, we have decided now that we'll all stay in Sioux Falls until she is released from here. It just makes me feel better to be with her overnight.
So, that's the news for today. Keep praying for her recovery! Dr. Rojas said this morning that since we don't know about the tumor yet, we have to focus on recovery and healing. Pray that the Lord would quickly heal this large incision and that she would be feeling stronger and stronger. Pray that her appetite would return and her pain would be managed well with the nurse. It might sound silly, but anyone who's had surgery also knows, pray that she would be able to use the bathroom soon! And pray for the doctors and nurses we are seeing, that we would be a witness to them--there's been a steady stream of people in all day, it seems.
And today, we're thankful for how we've seen so much progress in the last 24 hours! Thankful for caring nurses and comfortable beds, for an excellent doctor and for pain meds that work. We are most of all thankful for our Father's great and precious promises, that are true no matter our situation. HIS word cannot fail, He is always faithful, He will carry us, and His grace is sufficient for us. Last night I spent a long time reading in the Psalms to Mom--she just wanted to hear Scripture, so I read Ps. 34, 40, and then 90-100. How encouraging to just let the Word flow over us, encourage and strengthen us. Praise the Lord for his gracious love and care!
"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, 'My refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust'...(the Lord speaking) "Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation." Psalm 91:1-2, 14-16.