Thursday, April 21, 2011

Just A Little Update

     It's been a little over a week ago that Harris had his surgery, and he's been home since Friday.  My folks came for a visit on Sunday and some friends stopped by on Sunday night, but other than that, it's been pretty quiet on the home front.  "Quiet" is a relative term when you have a family like ours, but let's just say we've all been doing our best to just do what we need to do while caring for him to the best of our ability without a lot of extra hubbub or visitors, which has probably been a good thing up until now.  However, as the days drag on for him in this recovery phase, I'm sure that he would love an occasional visitor to provide a little distraction.   

     For me it's been a week of "wearing my nurse hat" much more than I've done in a long time as I'm spending much of my time doling out medications, trying to come up with appropriate foods and drinks, consulting with doctors and nurses, and making several runs to the pharmacy, grocery store, and clinics.  That's kind of replaced the time I'd normally spend at our office, but I'm just thankful that I'm able to be here for him and that we can work through it all together.  Anytime I'm tempted to even think about complaining, all I have to do is put myself in his shoes, and it doesn't take long for me to realize that I have the better end of the deal here.  It's been a rough few days for him. 

     In the hospital already, he had a rash on the left side of his face and on his neck, but since he's been home, it's gotten much worse.  His entire chest and back have both been very red and splotchy, and yesterday it even made its way down to his legs.  Thankfully it's not been real itchy, but it's just something that we've been trying to figure out how to eliminate.  Last night it finally seemed like it was starting to disappear just a little bit, so I'm hoping and praying that today we'll see more progress.  We're not sure if he had an allergic to the bedding in the hospital or to some medication, but it's not been a pleasant thing. 

     For many of his days at home, he's felt extremely bloated and somewhat nauseous, so he's not been very comfortable.  His whole digestive system is not working flawlessly yet, so we're trying to figure out the right combination of medicines and foods, and it can be so tricky.  The motherly instinct in me wants him to follow the BRAT diet (bananas, rice, applesauce, toast) in an effort to get things more solidified.  Our regular doctor advised him to eat anything he wants, even if it means a regular diet of Whitey's ice cream.  He's supposed to be staying away from caffeine and a few other things per instructions from his GI doctor in an effort to clear up his esophageal ulcers.  His surgeon's nurse told me to really push anything with lots of fiber.  Help!!!  When I was trying to figure out dinner a couple nights ago and was asking him what sounded really good to him, he came up with broccoli of all things.  That meal ended up being the first one that has really tasted good to him in a while.  His pain meds had been leaving a bad aftertaste in his mouth, but now that he's not taking any more of those, he seems to be doing better overall. 

     For anyone who knows Harris very well, you know that he loves watching movies.  You'd think he'd be in heaven just having all this time to kick back and have an excuse to watch a lot of them, but he's not even felt up to doing much of that, and he's already tired of sitting in front of the TV.  This could be a long recovery!  Yesterday he finally seemed to have a little bit more of a desire to engage his mind in other matters, so we sat here together and dealt with a few phone calls and paperwork issues.  He wanted to take a walk, but because the weather was less than desirable and because he didn't want to aggravate his already hoarse throat, he decided that a trip to the grocery store with me would be a good outing for the day.  He showered up and came down dressed in jeans for the first time since his surgery, so that felt really good to him.  I can honestly say we saw some good progress yesterday!

     We have a long ways to go before his body is completely back to normal, but overall, he's getting along well.  Keep praying for complete physical healing . . . for patience for him to keep resting and not pushing too hard too fast . . . for wisdom and discernment as he has lots of time to ponder various things going on in his heart and mind . . . for the peace and presence of God to invade every part of his being.  May God use this time to totally rejuvenate and restore Harris into someone even better and greater than he was before this all started!

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