Saturday, June 9, 2007


I just got back from a drive with Big Daddy & the girls. He took us around his hometown & some of his ol' stomping grounds! It took us all of 60-70 minutes to see all of it....told you it was small!!! The scenery was beautiful, but as I said the homes & architecture are dated back to the early 1900's. Some of the architecture is INCREDIBLE though! The churches are just beautiful with their "bell towers" & steeples. It's strange to wake up to the sound of church bells on a Sunday morning, but at the same time very you that "small hometown" feeling.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Road to Recovery....

Big Daddy is slowly but surely returning to his ol' self. He's still a little slow in getting around, but has been able to cut down on the "pain" meds quite a bit! He actually even got out & about with me for a bit yesterday...was a little more tired than usual last night, but that was the most activity he's had since before the surgery.
Aunt Babe is still doing EXTREMELY well! The doctor's are amazed at how well she is doing for a "donor receipient," especially with her given medical history. So other than that "bump in the road" from Big Daddy, all is going great!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

A Bump In The Road...

So sorry I haven't been here lately to update y'all on the goings on....but needless to say I haven't had the time!!! Let me explain....Saturday morning as I was getting ready to go pick up Big Daddy from the hospital, he calls. He tells me that things aren't going too good & that there was the possibility that he would not be going home, due to his O2 levels were EXTREMELY low. So even though I was disappointed with the "bump in the road," I pretty much prepared myself for the fact that he wasn't coming home & the drive back to Ford City (a.k.a. Mayberry) by myself. I did not prepare myself however for what I saw when I entered his room! There was Big Daddy laying there with this "EVIL MASK" was called a Bi-pap. He couldn't talk to me, his lips were dry & seriously Big Daddy wasn't looking so BIG at the moment. My eyes filled with tears, fear of NOT knowing what was wrong with him....after all I was suppose to be picking him up to take him home!!!
As the day went on, they were fearing the worst....the possibility of a blood clot in his lungs and were trying to get his breathing stable enough to send him for a VQ-Scan to verify if he had a clot or not. Dr. Tan felt that Pete didn't have one, but he couldn't rule it out until he knew for sure, because his breathing was so bad. Finally around 2:00 they were getting him ready to gurney over for the scan. By the time Pete got out of the bed & walked to the gurney, his breathing had gotten worse. The nurse hooked him back up to the O2 & waited to see if his O2 levels would increase & his heart rate would decrease.....but by the look on her face I knew things weren't good!!! She immediately was asking him if he was having chest pain or if he was dizzy or lightheaded....all Big Daddy said was that he was cold & very thirsty. By this time her phone rings & it was the "on-call" soon as the nurse clicked her phone off, the doctor was in the room checking Pete's O2 levels & his vitals. She then informs me that she is definitely NOT comfortable sending him over for the scan in his current condition, but was in fact sending him down to ICU. That's all it took for me to lose it!!! As she was trying to reassure me that it was just a precautionary method, that he was fine, all I kept hearing was ICU....ICU...."Mr. Brauers are you having chest pains?"......"are you sure Mr. Brauers that you are not having any chest pains?" So as you can imagine I was thinking the worst....."OMG, they think Big Daddy is having a heart attack!!!" They again tried to reassure me that all was o'kay that this was just "precautionary." By the time I was able to go & see him in ICU they had "The Evil Mask" back on him, as well as a couple of other machines. Dr. Tan explained that he still didn't think that it was a blood clot, but they could no longer wait for the VQ-scan to verify, so the went ahead & started a "blood-thinning" IV to be on the safe side....just in case it was a blood clot, the medicine would begin to thin his blood & break-up the clot. He also said that he ordered ultra-sounds to be done on his legs to see if there was any clotting there....due to clotting usually starts in the legs & then can break off from there & enter into the chest....but that if there was no clotting indicated there, it was very unlikely that he would have one in his chest. As time seemed to drag on....we did get the good news that there was NO CLOTS in the legs, but that didn't mean that there wasn't still the possibility of one in his lungs, but that they still had to wait for his breathing to stabilize before they could send him over for the scan. So we waited & waited & waited.....finally about 7:00 pm they remove "The Evil Mask" from him to see how he would do, just on the regular O2 mask. The nurse told me that he still needed to stabilize more before they could do the scan, but that his levels were looking good thus far. By the time I left for the night, I was an emotional mess. His nurse told me that I could call later that evening to check on his at 11:00 pm I called. She informed me that he was doing just fine, that they went for the VQ-scan & that according to what the tech indicated there was "low probability" of a clot. She said that Big Daddy at this time was no longer on "The Evil Mask" & that they were even weening him to a smaller O2 mask. She would however call me at 7:00 am to let me know for sure what was found on the scan after conferring with the doctor. As promised, Valerie called at 7:00....there were NO CLOTS found!!! I of course was elated, but still questioning what the problem was. As I arrived at the ICU on Sunday, Big Daddy looked MUCH better than he had the night prior. He also informed me that they were getting ready to transfer him back up to a "regular" room!!! Again I was totally happy, but still wondering what the problem was! Finally, later that afternoon, Dr. Tan explained that Big Daddy had some damage to his right lung from NO MORE SMOKING & that his left lung had something "funky" going on....possibly pneumonia. Big Daddy said that he had been coughing "gunk" up, so the good Dr. prescribed him an antibiotic to clear that up & nicotine patches to help with the "nicotine" withdrawals. If all went well Big Daddy would be released on Monday....6/4/07. In between all this going on, Big Daddy was having "nightsweats," running a fever, & had a rash all over his legs & arms. Dr. Tan thought that Pete might be having an allergic reaction to one of the meds, but was unsure of what, because he had had so many.
The good news is....Big Daddy is home where he belongs!!!His staples were removed today & his incisions look GREAT!!! His pain is slowly subsiding, he's getting up & moving around a little easier with each day, we now have his "nightsweats" under control (Doc thinks it was from nicotine withdrawal) & are working on getting the rash taken care of with Benadryl & Hydracortizone.
Again I apologize for not updating everyone sooner, but I'm sure after the above explanation, y'all can understand why!

PS: Pictures to be coming soon!!!