Friday, March 28, 2008

Friday's a busy day AND NIGHT!

I "get " to go to the shop for the first time in a week today. I am psyched! I have tons of new merchandise to tag and put out and new art to hang. After we close at 2 I will head to Mt. Vernon and wait impatiently for the staff to discharge my hubby from the hospital!

Tonight after I get Bob settled in with a neighbor chaperone I am hoping to head over to the Falls Church Arts Show and Sale tonight at Don Beyer Volvo at 1231 W. Broad Street in Falls Church. This is a lively annual event with live music, tons of great art and light refreshments. The opening is tonight from 7 to 9pm. The show continues at the Falls Church Arts Gallery at 111 Park Avenue from Sunday March 30th through April 26th. See the web site for details!

Linda Morgan of Purple Cat Studios came in last week and broguth the CUTEST array of beaded keychains. If you click on the photo you can see them up close and marvel at the variety of colors and shapes she has put together. I can't imagine what her bead stash looks like. They are only six dollars so if you need a little extra gift or a sweet way to say you are thinking of a friend I don't think you could go wrong with these. (my kids tell me that they would love cool hanging from their backbacks as well!). The shop is open on Saturday from 10 to 2. I will be at Stifel and Capra and hubby Bob will be holding court on Pinewood Street so stop by; we'd love to see you!
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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Man Breaks Own Land Speed Record!

This is the view on the sidewalk out of Mt. Vernon hopspital. Quite picturesque but I am not feeling compelled to set up camp in Alexandria. Seems I won't need to after all as Bob outdid himself in physical therapy today. Not quite gamboling but stepping pretty darn briskly up AND down stairs (a flight of five) as well as a lap or two around the nurse's station. This qualifies Bob to enter his own home on his own two feet - a prerequisite for being discharged. So the big guy is again defying expectations and is ahead of schedule. I must admit I was hesitant at the thought yesterday but watching him work today he was very smooth. Bob is still in pain but it is from the surgery, NOT the arthritis, as far as he can tell. Amazing. Modern medicine is indeed a miracle. We are going to set up a bed for Bob on the main floor until he is well enough to traverse an entire flight of stairs. I have visions of him holding court from on high in the family room. High because I am propping the bed on risers so he won't have to bend so far!

Evonne, Bob's friend and fellow leg amputee, came to visit today sans crutches or cane. I think Bob was a little envious of her mobility but I predict he will catch up with her sooner than he can dream. Bob will be home Friday night so DO make plans to call and stop by, Mr. Extrovert loves the company!
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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

well, it WAS a thing of beauty....

Bob's ever supportive company, Project Performance Corp. sent over a great package to the hospital this morning of a cheery balloon, bear and an edible fruit arrangement. I left the room for a minute to fetch something and realized I missed the opportunity on my photo op. Can you tell my kids don't care for honeydew?

Bob's big PT adventure started with attempting to put his prosthestic leg on and realizing that it didn't fit the same way as before the operation. (Charlie if you are reading this, you are right again! As always.) But Bob muscled through and got him self suited up and ready to run! Bob, being Bob, passed all of his posted daily physical therapy objectives (and yes, they literally are on a poster, posted on the wall in front of his bed!) of standing up, walking 40 feet, panting like a dog (ok maybe that part isn't on the poster), resting, walking back and navigating the bathroom. That means he is free from tubes, of an internal nature (except one IV port).

They removed his epidural line this morning as well so know poor Bob knows EXACTLY how much pain he is in. Thank goodness for Percoset! Bob got to sit up and eat both lunch and dinner in his wheelchair. I was told that the wheel chair is not at the dreaded 90 degree angle they tell us to avoid. Apparently if yo bend past 90 degrees your hip can golly, just pop on out. ugh. The surgeon was happy with how his incision looked. I can't get over how the whole thing seems to be held together with clear packing tape. Don't they even use gauze any more? Apparently not!

I took the kids to visit Bob this afternoon and had the grand adventure of eating hospital cafeteria food for dinner and doing homework on tables and chairs with wheels. Those of you without eight year old boys may not realize how challenging this can be. We said our goodbyes, passed out all of the kisses from you all and headed for home. Rest easy and AmBob in Baghdad please, keep your head down.
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Wednesday morning update

Ashleigh is kind of enought to hold the store down (literally!) while I tend to my family. Thanks Ashleigh!

The vampires (aka the blood squad) came in this morning at 4:30 to take Bob's blood and woke him back up at 6 to give him his sleeping pill (just kidding his morning meds). His blood preassure is still low (perhaps the blood loss, perhaps because of the epidural) so no blood preassure meds today. They have removed his pain epidural and have started by mouth pain meds. Bob had 2 percasets in him by 7 am apparently. The orthopaedic surgeon came in this morning and looked at the surgical site and gave it a"thumb's up!" It all looked good to him. The wound is still packed with ice and they hadn't gotten him up yet but Bob has 2 therapy sessions scheduled today. One for 11:ooam and one for 3:00 pm so that is going to change very soon!

Bob has been VERY diligent about doing his hourly exercises. He is fired up about going to PT. As we have been joking he's "old and chubby" in real life but at the hospital he is "young!" and "Strong!" even with one leg! I am sure he will be running circles around his thearapists again soon....

Thank you everyone for all of the prayers, good wishes, and offers of help. They are much appreciated and we wouldn't be where we are today without the power of prayer. Thanks again!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Tuesday at Mt. Vernon with Bob

So after I had made way too elaborate plans to get the kids covered for getting off to school this morning, my beloved husband looks at his paperwork last night and says "oh look we don't have to be there until ten, not nine!" Weeellllll, somebody mucked up the paperwork because when we walked into Mt. Vernon this morning at 9:58 some stern woman was calling "Robert Stiff-el?!?!" and Bob, proud of his 2 minutes early status said "YYEEESSSS, with great aplomb". And she said "Come with me, sir." Apparently it was last call. Surgery was at 11 not 12 (I guess when we postponed after last week there was a communnication issue). Well, I have never seen anyone prepped and slapped up on a table so fast. It literally caused a breeze! Well, he was quite a sight with his artificial leg tucked under the gurney with its shoe hanging out. Caused a few second glances as he wheeled down the hall I reckon!

As if to make up for all of the trauma of surviving sepsis and the agony of his amputation last year, today was as smooth as silk. Bob went in at 11, the surgeon was consulting with me by 12:20 telling everything went "textbook" and other than losing a "fair amount of blood"(!!) everything went very smoothly. Bob took 2 hours to recover, then was shipped up to the Ortho ward. As I headed up and the elevator door opened, I was a bit overwhelmed with feelings. The last time we were there it was extremely triumphant as Bob had survived and MADE it to rehab. I see Bob being the poster boy for rehab again soon so it was encouraging to be on the floor again.

Bob looked a little gray but as he started warming up , wiggling around and eating a bit, his color came up and he looked a lot better. He is still on the IV pain drip so keeps saying, "Huh, I'm not in pain!" When the nurse reminded him that they could turn down his pain meds to solve that situation he settled down! Brian came by and kept us company for awhile and then headed for home when Bob nodded off for a bit. He ate a robust supper. I left him watching bad TV and went home to my kiddies...

Signs of what I call my husband's "pathological social-ness" are already showing. HE is SO excited to be on the back side of the surgury. It will be hard for him to stay as still as he should so, if you want to schedule a visit at the hospital or at home, DO drop me an email! :o)

Bob's out of surgery!

Hey all, Robin (Theresa's sister) reporting on Bob.

He is out of surgery! He went in earlier than his scheduled time and is in recovery now. He is expected to be in recovery for 1 1/2 to 2 hours and then should be heading for a room. Theresa said that the surgeon proclaimed Bob's surgery to be "textbook".

Will report more later.

Yea! Thank you all for your prayers and good thoughts for Bob, Theresa, and the kids,
Robin LeTourneau