Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Back To School

Yes, it is back to school!  Crying really doesn't happen here anymore when the kids go back to school.  I do remember crying my eyes out when all of them went to kindergarten.  They even had a "boo hoo breakfast" for the moms. Now I have two out of school and in college and the baby of the family has only five more years of school.  I am not in any hurry for him to graduate. Therefore, I am not looking forward to empty nest.  Actually I talked to two of my close friends last week, Laura and Debbie, whose sons have moved off to college.  Both of them are really not criers, but they said they both have teared up many times. I cried just listening to them.  Another thought on empty nest.  Since the two older kids are not around much and G is busy with his social life, Pat and I find ourselves spending a lot of time alone together.  What a scary thought to think what it would be like if I didn't enjoy my husband's company or if we didn't have anything in common.  So, I am thankful that Pat and I are best friends and that we enjoy spending time together.  But, I will tell you one thing.  I don't want to be that old couple sitting in Denny's just eating and staring at each other.  I refuse to do that.  I will make up things to talk about before we sit in silence! He probably thinks that I do that now.  
Pat had another good day today.  He sure did enjoy his two tacos tonight although he ate them an hour apart.  The doctor said today that he can drive now. He is also getting some exercise by walking each day on the treadmill.  He and Cash did go for a short stroll this afternoon.  Pat is also getting out of jury duty thanks to his doctor's note!  
Petals is getting busier!  I received several orders this week.  I haven't been upstairs for such a long time, and I am looking forward to starting up again.  If I have promised anyone florals, please call and remind me.  


Monday, August 25, 2008

Its A Good Monday Here!

Hey ya'll! It has been a great Monday here! Pat has had one of his best days yet. Actually, other than him still being at home, it felt quite normal as I had three hours of running errands. Pat was asking for Popsicles at 10:30 this morning, but I was not able to deliver his specific order until 4:30. I think it was worth the wait, since he ate two of them.
Bubba and Sis started classes today. I haven't chatted with Sis this evening, but she did call me this morning at 8:00 a.m. (I was still sleeping) all in a panic about her Spanish III class. With much panic, worry, and then praying, she had an answer to prayer. It seems that she dropped her class this morning and after thinking it through, she shouldn't have. She and I both literally sat at each of our computers selecting the "search" button for Spanish 2040. If someone were to drop the class we could pick it up. I gave up an hour later, but she didn't and a class became available at 2:00 pm today. This morning we actually sent out a SOS prayer to our prayer warriors out there. It worked! Bubba said he liked most of his teachers. You know what's cool? My cousin, David, is teaching his geography class. David is a fun guy to hang out with, so he will probably enjoy that class. Don't be to hard on him cuz!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Planted Life Tree II

The Tree looks great!

Life Tree II

Our future backyard

Life Tree II
Pat choosing the perfect place.
Brian and Lecia doing the digging!

Pat and I went to Hico Friday evening. It was so nice for new scenery for the both of us. He was anxious to get the second tree in the ground. Pat had the perfect place picked out. It is planted in the front yard of our future home. For the story on the tree, see August 14th posting.
Our stay in Hico was not long. We came back on Saturday as G had "Calling all Cougars" at school where they were able to get their schedules and meet each teacher. Everyone kept commenting to G "you sure have grown this summer". G is now 5' 7.5" per his physical three weeks ago. He is looking forward to football and seeing (girls)friends.
Pat is feeling better. He says his good days out number his bad ones. His biggest challenge is still eating. He sure is trying as the food that has been delivered is just wonderful. We are so thankful! We went to church this morning. Everyone was so glad to see Pat this morning. He felt like his clothes were too big, but he looked just fine to me! He has now lost 25 lbs. The sermon was perfectly fitting to us and the praise and worship was awesome. I like the quote I heard the other day. "There is no high like the utmost high". I agree.
I had a first today. You should have seen me on the zero turn mower. G was mowing the backyard and I thought I would have a try at it. I am glad that Pat was napping and couldn't see me. It is not as easy at it looks. I did get better after I scalped the yard a time or two. I can guarantee that the grass doesn't look as good as when Pat mows.


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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thursday Update

I am sorry that I missed posting yesterday. Pat is doing so much better...actually he is getting a little feisty. I hear that is good news. Some days are just better than others, and that is what he is experiencing. I asked him if he was ready to kick the cat (although we don't have one) and he said yes, so I may be the cat! No, I am just kidding. He really is getting stir crazy. The diet change has worked tremendously. He is really eating well and he is digesting his food better. Pat did make the comment that this was a very long week.
I have been getting the guys ready for school which starts next. What I loved the most is that we made them do an overall of their rooms which means cleaning out closets, drawers, under the bed, etc. G went today to get his athletic gear for football, and Bubba bought his books on Monday. Sis has been sick for two days, but still trying to work. She also starts back to school next week. As far as me, I have been catching up on my to-do-list this week and I have been somewhat productive. I felt a little pampered today when I got a cut and color!
We are so thankful for the rain we received this week, all of your words of encouragement and prayers, and the wonderful food that has been delivered! We feel so loved!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tuesday Update on Pat

I am sorry I didn't post yesterday, but I actually forgot. Yesterday was really not a good day for Pat. I had to call the doctor because he has been running a low grade fever and his stomach and digestive system is not working properly. The doctor said to look up on the Internet about "Dumping Syndrome". Well I figured out the problem immediately. He has been eating the wrong foods. The doctor said he told me about this in the hospital, but I can assure you that I would have remembered this. In fact, I asked Dr. Lin if I would be seeing a nutritionist so that I could be educated in the proper foods for his condition. His answer was "no". Last night we began the new diet and he is feeling much better. His diet now consists of fiber and carbs such as potatoes and rice. He can also have dairy products and protein. His recommended fruit is apples and pears. Pat was so anxious to get our of the house today, so he went with me to Oklahoma (two hour car ride) to meet my mom and pick up our dog, Pope. Pope is a 10 year-old, diabetic, almost blind dog, who requires two shots of insulin a day. Mom graciously took him home for a month to take care of him so that I would not have to worry about Pope too. Mom, thanks again! Ms. Bear was sure happy to see Pope.

Have a great evening!


Monday, August 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Mom!

Happy Birthday Mom!

The Most Special Day

Mom,Your birthday is
the most special day of the year,
because without you I wouldn’t have
the all encompassing comfort
of a mother’s unconditional love…
your love, for me
You are always there for me, Mom.
Whenever I need you,
to cheer me up, make me smile,
bolster my confidence,
or sympathize with me and ease my worries,
you fill up my empty, hurting places
with your boundless affection.
Your loving presence in my life
gives me a reassuring feeling
of security and peace.
Thank you, Mom,
and Happy Birthday!
By Joanna Fuchs

Let me tell you about my mom! First of all I think she is so pretty and has always looked younger than her age! She lives in Oklahoma where she raises and breeds Mini and Toy Australian Shepherds. Mom's first love has always been horses and it is still her passion. She has always run the barrel circuit and has also trained quite a few barrel horses in her day. One thing I have always admired about Mom and that is that she has no fear! She can whip and ride! I always love to hear her tell me about riding barrels in the Fort Worth Stock Show.

Mom, the above poem says it all. You have always been my biggest cheerleader and you love our family unconditionally. One thing I remember growing up is that you gave unselfishly and sacrificially. I am so blessed and thankful to call you "Mom".


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sunday Update

It is 10:45 pm and I forgot I have not done an update for today. I hope that you had a good day. I woke up this morning and I had not really thought about going to church, particularly since Pat couldn't. He asked me if I was going. Then I thought, "I think I will", and I am so glad that I did. I feel like every song that we sang this morning in church during Praise and Worship, was chosen just for me. We sang songs of thankfulness and His greatness. I pretty much cried through every song! When I take a look back (and I do daily) I see how God's hand has been in every part of this journey. What I am most thankful for is that we caught this cancer so early and we can thank Keith Gilbert for this...what a miracle.

Many of you are new to reading my blog and may not know exactly how we found Pat's cancer so early. Our very good friend, Keith Gilbert, lost his fight a year ago to esophageal cancer. One of the major symptoms he had was reflux. Since Pat had reflux in the past, he asked for the endoscopy procedure to be done at the same time he was having his colonoscopy for his 50-year-old checkup and physical. The beauty of this is that Pat has not had reflux in over six months, but because of Keith and Jeanie's encouragement to be scoped, he did. Finding esophageal cancer at stage one is the miracle.

Pat was feeling better today and had better rest last night. His low grade fever did not appear today. So, that is good news!


Saturday, August 16, 2008

Saturday Update

Hello! Again,it feels so good to be home. I am afraid that I have slept much better than Pat has. He has had a low grade fever and he says he feels like he has hot flashes. We are still working on finding the right amount food and eating slowly. Food tastes so good, so it is hard to eat small amounts because we have had wonderful food delivered these past couple of days. He is still losing weight, but I am gaining at this rate! He is now lost 18 lbs. He has told a couple of people that he would recommend Jenny Craig over this diet! Pat really looks good and even more handsome since he was able to shave today. I am going to have a hard time keeping him home because he is ready to go back to work. Thanks again for stopping by.

Friday, August 15, 2008

We Are Home and It Feels So Good!

Yes we are home! I am sorry that I have posted so late, but you know that I am now the nurse, mom again, the dog's mom, and the secretary! We arrived about 9:30 last night. We knew that Dr. Lin would stop by late so we were just waiting around for him to give us the green light to go home. When Pat got home he had a few surprises waiting for him. Below I have a slide show for you to see.

It was so good to arrive and see the welcoming lights of our home. We walked into the door and we saw streamers everywhere. The boys and their two friends, Arty and Jessica were here to give him a card and a few presents. (Sis was suppose to be here, but her brothers didn't tell her the exact plan...she was not happy.) These gifts were from the friends of our kids. The card had every one's signature who contributed to his welcome home surprise. I can't describe to you how touched Pat was after reading all of the sweet words of love and encouragement that each person had written to Pat. Next, he received a hammock that was sitting right smack dab in the middle of the living room. His third gift were some awesome new tennis shoes, and lastly two trees (one for here and one for the ranch in Hico). The tree that the boys planted in the front yard is in honor of Pat and Life. They call it the Life Tree. They explained that if we or any of you, our family and friends, have someone who is sick and needs prayer, to please come by and tie a ribbon on the tree with the person's name. Please do this in honor of your loved one and know that prayer will make a difference for each individual. Needless to say, Pat and I were overwhelmed and truly speechless. Please drive by and see the tree when you get a chance.

Pat came home with just his feeding tube. The J-tube is just a backup in case he is unable to eat or if he needs more nutrition than he is getting by eating. Pat is feeling pretty good today. He did not sleep well and the eating is a huge adjustment for him. He is only able to take about five bites at a time and usually doesn't feel very good after he eats. He said that he feels like his food is stacking up in his esophagus. Dr. Lin said that eventually Pat will develop a system of eating that works for him. We will follow up with Dr. Lin in about a month and we have an oncologist appointment on September 9th.

It felt so good to come home to a sparkling, clean house and a loaded pantry and refrigerator filled with food and drinks. I am still excited. I am so very grateful to those who provided these luxuries for us. I also had a weeded flower bed....thanks Alison. The boys got up to mow at 6:00 this morning so that dad could enjoy his mowed lawn.

I will continue to post everyday. Please allow me to thank each and every one of you who has prayed, called, texted, phoned, emailed, sent cards and flowers, and prepared food or services for us. My prayer is that we can pay it forward to you some day should you need it. We honestly could not have gotten through this without all of the love and support of our family, friends, and church family at First Baptist Church. Hugs to all of you from the five of us.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Thursday Update

Good Morning! Pat felt like a new man yesterday. His pain is being maintained by his medications which he is taking orally now. Dr. Lin popped in last night about 6:00 and said he would start soft foods and remove the remaining drain tubes. His first meal was some pasta, some kind of meat and some zucchini. This morning at 5:00 they removed his IV from his neck. On his morning breakfast tray he had an egg omelet with cheese sausage, oatmeal, milk and juice. He did find out quickly to eat less and eat slower. He was just so excited to see real food instead of the "liquid" bag that has been going into his feeding tube since surgery. Now he just has his heart monitor and feeding tube which is called a J-tube. He will go home with the J-tube for about a month. Pat now has a t-shirt and shorts on he looks to be in "ready mode" to head to the house. We will be waiting today to hear if we do get to go home today. Pat did lose another pound today so he is down 17 lbs. now. He will definitely have to go shop for new clothes before he returns to work. Yesterday he actually said he wished he could go to work Monday. What do you think I said about that? My kids are anxious for dad to come home and they have done so well and have been by the hospital everyday. I hope the next time I post it will be from home!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I Know, I Was Bored

Yes, I was bored today, so I thought I would change my blog layout. Can't decide if I like it for sure, so don't be surprised if I change it again. You see I don't have time for this idleness when I am home, so this has been relaxing to me. We are having a great day. Pat is still watching his movies, but I think I see him dozing off in his chair!


This Is A Glorious Day

Elated, joyful, blessed, relieved, proud, excited, prayerful, and so very thankful! These are just a few words that describe how I feel today. It just brings tears to my eyes. To look back at this journey that began June 19th until today, I wish I could share those little moments that have brought me joy even in the midst of the worry and uneasiness and most of all the peace I have felt. Many of you told me you have prayed for our peace and that we would not fear. That is an amazing feeling. It is really something I have never experienced before this all began. Truly God does equip you for exactly what you need when you need it and not one minute before. In one of our goody baskets, there was a book entitled "When God Winks at You". We have experienced many "winks". I just don't want to forget any of them. I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to (who/those who) hired Angela to clean my house. When Angela called me yesterday to tell me that one or more of my anonymous friends had hired to clean I just cried. That is a major gift to me as I have not had time and to tell you the truth, I have not felt like cleaning. Therefore, my house is in desperate need of a good clean. All five of us are very grateful. The boys will be especially because they have to clean their own rooms and bathroom. I would hate to guess when the last time they dusted! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
After they removed Pat's NRG tube yesterday he said he felt so free. He said removing that tube gave him that "willy feeling". Shortly after that he had a grape pop sickle. He also had the luxury of sleeping until 5:30 this morning and had his coffee first thing. He said that it tasted wonderful. He also drank some apple juice and had some jello, but he passed on the broth. :) He has now lost 16 lbs., but this has been an advantage for him, because he was trying to drop weight via diet and exercise before his hernia surgery in May. Right now he is watching western movies...thanks Markie! We are hoping to go home tomorrow and how great it will be to be home again. We miss our home, our bed, our dogs, the ranch and those little things that happen in our daily lives. We can't wait!
We hope that you have a blessed day too!


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pat Passed The Swallow Test - Tube Out

Just after I posted a bit ago, Dr. Lin came in and said everything looked good to him! He said let's get that tube out, start on liquids slowly and shoot to go home Thursday! We are so pumped and high-fived immediately! We Praise You Lord!

Tuesday Update

6:00 pm - Today Pat went for his swallow test at 8:30 a.m. and he couldn't swallow the drink. They wanted him to stand in front of the x-ray and drink at the same time. He was able to drink a little, but not enough to do the x-ray. The doctor in radiology was not very patient, therefore Pat wasn't either. He said it was a horrible experience. Pat has not been swollowing befor this test, so to be able to drink a huge amount seems pretty impossible to me. He was having trouble with ice chips. We just talked to the nurse and we have to wait until we see Dr. Lin tomorrow and see what he has to say. Pat is very disappointed because he was so looking forward to having that tube removed. Good news is that Pat slept from 11:00 pm to 4:00 am last night. He has had a very good day and starting to feel bored and fidgety!
Have a nice evening!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Monday Update

9:00 a.m. - Good Morning! Pat took the Ambien last night about 11:00 and only slept until 2:00. Why did that Ambien not work I wonder? So, he was up the rest of the night. Maybe he has his nights and days switched like babies due when they are born. He does take good naps in the mornings until about lunch or after. His mood is good and alert. He just took his shower and ready for our routine, which has been pretty predictable. Pat is excited about tomorrow when he does the swallow test. Hope everyone has a good Monday. I will post this afternoon. Lord, please send us more rain!



8:30 pm - I had a major discovery today. I asked the nurse late last night if she was giving Pat his Amitriptyline and she said they were giving it to him in the morning. This medication is used to help Pat sleep at night. If he doesn't get enough sleep he will get a migraine. This morning I asked the nurse to check on this and sure enough he has been getting it in the morning instead of right before bed. Then I figured out that is why he was sleeping most of the day. I hope he sleeps like a baby tonight. Tomorrow is the day we have been waiting for, so please remember Pat in prayer tomorrow as he goes for his swallow test. Dr. Lin stopped today and said that he will drink a old cough-like syrup and then swallow it and they will watch to see if his newly created esophagus does its job. If so, he gets to remove the NRG tube from his nose. He has actually been bored today and walking around a lot. He looks even better than he did yesterday. The worse is behind us.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Pat Says Hello

Our Life Group Praying (Minus two couples)
Mutt and Jeff
Pat sends his love to everyone! Isn't he a great sport for allowing me to put his picture on my blog! Again...doesn't he look great! He had a good day today and slept alot of it. The picture of above is our life group (minus two couples) praying before they left this evening. What an amazing blessing to have couples that you can live life together, study and pray together and most of all laugh together. We were laughing so hard tonight that Pat was trying not to so that he wouldn't hurt! You guys mean so much to our family.

We Celebrate

Lord, we give you all the glory! You have heard our cries, bent down to hear us, and answered our pleas...

Dr. Lin just stopped in for a visit and gave us the best news we could possibly get. The pathology report came back and there were no lymph nodes involved and he felt like he got it all. It was still at Stage One. The cancer was found at its earliest stage. His recommendation was no further treatment. I brought up the discussion that Pat and I had with the first oncologist about microscopic cancer cells that can't be seen. He said that we should keep our oncologist appointment and discuss it further, but he said you have to weigh the effects of chemo and radiation. So, Dr. Lin's final recommendation is no further treatment. We will see the oncologist on September 9th and go from there. Also the CAT scan came back on his head and all is well there. The plan now is to continue to allow Pat to rest and heal this next week. He will do the swallowing test on Tuesday. If that test is successful we will start introducing liquids, but keep the feeding tube. Actually the feeding tube will go home with us for about a month. Pat did not sleep well last night, but is more comfortable than the night before. Dr. Lin prescribed a sleeping aide for tonight so that Pat can cut back on the pain medication. Pain medication is prescribed as needed from now on. He is still requesting the medication about every four to six hours as well as ibuprofen for his headache every four to six hours. This morning at 5:20 he got his shower, blew dry his hair and went for a walk. Pat looks absolutely normal except for the NRG tube coming out of his nose which drains his stomach and he has his feeding tube. He also has about a 8" scar on his stomach and about 5" scar on his neck. He is getting stronger each day and he is able to get up and down by himself. He is being a good patient and I am so proud of him. He did tell me yesterday "this has been hard". Pat and I knew that surgery would be a difficult one, but I guess we weren't prepared for how tough it has been! I guess if we really knew what we were facing it would have scared us even more. I slept good last night and went back to bed after 6:00 this morning for a couple of hours. I feel more like myself today after I showered and put on makeup for the first time in two days. It is going to be a great day! Pat was too drowsy to really comprehend what the doctor said this morning, so I get to tell him this great news when he wakes up from La-La Land! I am so excited!


Saturday, August 9, 2008

Saturday Update

Saturday Evening - 8:45 pm
He has had a good afternoon. This evening he still has a headache, but we did find somewhat of a solution for this. We didn't know that we had to request the ibuprofen every six hours as we thought it was a scheduled medication. So, if we keep him medicated maybe his headaches will be less. Pat also got a CT scan about 3:00 this afternoon just to double check the droop of his face. We had some visitors today and our room is filled with flowers, balloons, candy and snacks, snacks, and more snacks. One visit was unexpected today, so I was surprised when my dad, Buster, walked in. Of course, I know my dad quite well so I should have been looking for him to walk in that door at anytime. He is my hero! G had a game tonight at 8:00 and will play again tomorrow. They are one and one. I just got a text from G and I think he is coming for a late evening visit to surprise his dad. Sis and Bubba had to work today, but popped in. Bubba works at a local sporting good store and since back to school shopping has begun, he is busy selling!
Love to all!
Saturday Morning - 9:00 am
Pat got a new bed yesterday and slept in it last night without too much complaint. Yesterday afternoon got better and he was relaxed. Last night he didn't sleep much and had the headache. He slept with a heating pad and that helped his back. Another change is a slight droop on the left side of his face. Dr. Lin was informed and he just wants to watch it. It is very slight. I understand that this can be caused by his medication. His nurse, Su, is very sharp and attentive. She took such good care of him last night and allowed me to sleep. It is 9:00 Saturday morning and he went for a walk by himself around the floor and is now sleeping in his chair. G had another game tonight at 8:00 pm. His team, Heat, has now won one and lost one. He will play in the morning too. Bubba had to work today as well as Sis. Bubba works at a local sporting good store and he says school shopping has begun and he has been busy selling!
Lots of love to all!

Now the latest with Matt's shoulder. Radiology wanted him to come over and do another x-ray on his shoulder. There is no separation or fracture. I am so thankful. Matt says that this was one of the most embarrassing moments in his life. He was at Bartlett Park and was walking along a small dock over a pond with a girl he just met. His foot slipped and he grabbed hold of the chain that was there. He flipped over the chain and he slammed into the dock. The pond is low of water, so the dock was over mud and he fell into it. He was covered with the mud and he said it stunk. He just through his shoes ($5.00 canvas shoes from Walmart) into the trash, took off his clothes, and walked to his truck in his boxers. Can you picture that? That makes me laugh. He also said that the truck wasn't near the dock. Oh how I wish I had a picture of that. What did the girl do? It scared her and she thought he was seriously hurt....but she called him the next day to check on him. What a great first impression, Bubba! He was laughing at himself along with us. G has a basketball tournament this weekend and the Ogdens are taking him to and from. They won their game last night. Sis has been coming before and after work. She has been given more responsibility at work and says that it is a little more stressful. She has been staying with a friend who is only a few minutes away from the hospital.

Hope you have a great weekend!


Friday, August 8, 2008

Friday Morning Update

TGIF for most of you, but Pat and I can't remember what day it is and he argued with me this morning that today was Saturday and even asked the nurse. He was not happy that he gained a day. I wish I could report that he is feeling better, but he is not. He has had a miserable morning and reaching he is on the grumpy side. I can't blame him, but just giving you "nothing but the truth". Gladys, our nurse today, is so accommodating and has a great team spirit. The biggest culprit is still Pat's back pain. Our friend, Conny, brought up his back massager early this morning and I am giving him a lot of massages and hopefully, it is giving him some relief. Dr. Lin will be stopping by after he is out of surgery and address this with us. Pat is also feeling the effects of a bloated stomach, which is normal. He likes sitting in the recliner better than the bed and he actually asked for a new bed this morning. :) The charge nurse did say that these beds on this floor were made for patients who are not ambulatory and that is one of the complaints from patients like Pat. He is walking around a lot and likes to stand. Poor guy! I wish I could trade places with him.
Got a call from Bubba at 1:00 this morning complaining of a hurt shoulder that happened earlier in the evening, but I can't remember what the details were. He is at the doctor now and his throat has been hurting for several weeks now. It seems to get better with antibiotics, but keeps coming back. I will know more when he comes up here to the hospital after his doctor appointment......just got back. He may have a fractured shoulder and has his arm in a sling. We are waiting on the doctor to call with a report from the radiologist. His throat hurts because of allergies. Oh brother!
Thanks to all who are sending food to the house. Wendy has been coordinating the food along with Yolanda. Thanks guys! I appreciate you, Also, a big thank you to Greg Ryan of Chic-fil-A, as he is providing meals twice a week for a month. I was speechless and my boys were pumped. Thanks Greg so much! Some of you may not know that I am addicted to sweet tea and my favorite tea is from Chic-fil-A. I usually see Greg a couple times a week when I go through the drive thru. Thanks to my sweet, sweet friends who have been thoughtful and brought me my tea. Also those have helped us in so many ways and I don't want to say thanks again. It is 11:35 am and this is the latest here at the Harris Hilton. Please continue to pray for us all. I am feeling a little overwhelmed, but not complaining..just a new journey!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Update on Pat

It is 10:40 pm and Pat is settling in for the evening. He has had a headache and back pain for the past hour along with a low grade fever. He and I just took a long walk around the floor. He is in fair spirits and not so edgy this evening as he was mid morning. I washed his hair and he felt so much better. He has slept pretty good all day. This room is so nice and large and I will be able to sleep in here. It has two recliner chairs and one that lays out flat, so it will be better than the waiting room. He is also being fed continuously through his feeding tube. He has been a real trooper and a good patient and he has been proudly showing off his scar on his stomach. I am so very proud of his progress and others that have visited with him agree. He has had some funny things to say that cracked us up. Mr. P and G along with Bubba were here today and Pat said that it was time for Mr P and G to take off and I asked him why. He replied "to go pull weeds". I don't know about Mr P, but G has never pulled a weed in his life! Now I am going to try to settle in myself. I thank God this evening for His grace and mercy and even the joy He has given me during this second day when I am so tired and could be grumpy myself. I am thankful for Pat's progress and our many friends and family who have supported us so much. Goodnight!
Good Morning!

We are so excited because we have just moved to a room! I feel like I am at the Hilton. The room is huge and my window faces the corner of Henderson and Pennsylvania with a wonderful view of downtown Fort Worth. We are in room 414 in the Heart Tower. The nurses in ICU were wonderful and I hated leaving his favorite nurse, Jill. It takes such special people to work in ICU.

Last night Pat did well and was resting comfortably. He slept from 2 until 8 pm without waking up. He also slept really good from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 this morning. He was uncomfortable for an hour or two, but they gave him some Lortab and this is the best pain medication for Pat. He actually won't remember we moved to a new room! He is snoring away as I type.

I slept from 12:30 to 6:00 this morning on the couch in ICU waiting. I was thrilled when my friend, Martha, a nurse here at Harris, found me a place to shower and brought me a muffin.
They are now using Pat's feeding tube and he is now having Nestle's Nutritional supplement...yum! They also removed his catheter this morning.
I will post again this evening.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Update on Pat

Isaiah 41:13 "For I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand, Whos says to you, 'Do not fear, I will help you."
It has taken me awhile to get this laptop up and running as I was having problems connecting to the server here at the hospital (thanks Martha Hadley)!

Pat had a very rough night last night. He didn't sleep at all last night and is finally snoring away and I can tell you honestly that I love that sound. He moaned, groaned, and shifted all night. He wasn't a happy camper. His nurse, Sharon, was awesome last night and she was bargaining away with Pat through the night. She had a great sense of humor and Pat really liked her and even joked with her. She had to put mitten-like gloves on his hands in order to keep him from jerking the tube out of his nose which was surgically placed. They started him out last night with morphine with small doses every hour and a half. This continued through the night. He also was nauseated and his herniated disk was hurting as much as the incision. He has the incision on his neck and a long incision on his stomach with the feeding tube in place. They were finally able to give him some medication for his nausea. This was about 2:00 a.m. and I checked out for a visit on the waiting room couch until about 5:20 when all of the lights were turned on in the waiting room. I guess this was to wake us so that we could visit before visiting hours were closed from 6:00 to 8:00 a.m. each morning for shift change. (This applies for visiting hours in the evening from 6:00 TO 8:00 p.m.) I also heard every coke and candy bought in the vending machine while I tried to sleep!

Pat's pain wasn't much better at 5:30 this morning and he had a severe headache. When he doesn't get good sleep he gets a migraine. Although she did let him take his mittens off. He was so glad to see me! I told him that I had to leave at 6:00 due to the shift change and he said "no you don't...just hide until they run you off." I said no, I am not a rule breaker. When I came back after 8:00 he was sitting in the recliner chair and he was so happy and he had so much more relief for his back. His new nurse, Jill, saw the surgeon on duty and he ordered some Demerol. Around 11:00 Dr. Lin came in and reiterated what he said yesterday and that was everything looked normal and he was very pleased. Dr. Lin ordered his migraine medication to be administered through his feeding tube and he also ordered some Lortab for the pain.

Pat has been such a trooper and a good patient. He loves seeing visitors and he loves seeing his kids. Today is G's birthday and he and Bubba came up for about five hours today. Alison brought up a cake for him and I got to sing a little happy birthday to him (Pat was snoring I think when I was singing!) Sis was here early this morning and we will see her again after she is off work.

We will probably move to a room tomorrow and they will start feeding him through his feeding tube. He is still snoring and enjoying his snooze as I continue typing. Gosh, what a relief that is. It is kind of like when you have a new baby and you think "just sleep please"!
It is now 5:00 p.m. I know that I have written many details here, but you know my mom and his mom like to know all the little things!
Thanks again for loving on us!
The Easterling Crew

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Pat is out of surgery

Wanted to post that Pat is out of surgery and will be going to ICU shortly.  Dr. Lin plans to remove the breathing tube by this evening.  Pat will be so relieved.  I hope to see him in 45 minutes or so.   Can't wait.  He was very, very anxious this morning, but now it is over.  

I will post again this evening!

Hugs to all!

Monday, August 4, 2008

G's 14th Birthday Party

G celebrated his 14th birthday two days earlier tonight at the Cheesecake Factory. He received an iPOD from us along with an ITunes card, a necklace from his grandmother, and some crazy cards! Yes, G ate all of his strawberry cheesecake and would not share. Below are some pictures for you to see. Glad you could join us Mr. P.


Well the waiting is almost over and hopefully 7:30 a.m. will arrive early and not drag through the night. Pat is ready. We both are a little edgy, but really doing okay. The calls, texts, emails and cards have been so overwhelming and they are carrying us along with God's gentle hand. I plan on blogging each day, so please save this website as a favorite or type or copy the blog address on your internet explorer or URL address. For you beginners, you can right click the link and choose copy and then right click again in the address bar and click paste. I do not plan on sending an email out each day saying that I have updated my blog. Email me though if you are unable to reach my blog.

Saturday night our friends from Hico gave Pat a wooden sign that says If Got Brings you to it, he will bring you through it. Doesn't that say it all...............