I'm just now getting back to the hotel after a long day with Mom and Dad in the ICU. I know everyone is curious as to how her first day after surgery went, so I wanted to give a quick update. It will be quick because I promised Mom we would show up early tomorrow after she told me and Dad "Don't leave me before my longest night ever." Talk about giving us a guilt trip!! We can't spend the night with her in the ICU, so we didn't have any other choice but to leave.
Mom looked much better today (more color in her face), but she seemed to have a lot of pain all over her body. She has a lot of stomach pain and nausea, headache and her left foot is swollen, hot and painful. The doctor checked her feet late in the day and said that the left one has extra blood flowing through it, not something he usually sees. He said the right one was the "normal" one (it was ice cold, but that is to be expected post surgery.) He didn't seem too concerned and just told her to keep moving her left foot to avoid blood clots in the legs (this is in addition to having the leg cuffs on.) Her back is the least of her pain complaints, which is surprising to me. The only time she complains about her back is when she is moved. She has to be shifted into different positions throughout the day so she doesn't get too stiff and because movement is the best thing for her healing at this point.
The milestone for today was that she stood up next to her bed. She had the help of the physical therapist in addition to Dad and myself. Upon standing, her blood pressure dropped and she felt dizzy, so she didn't do any walking today. She couldn't really walk far anyway because she is hooked up to so many things right now (oxygen, central line, IV, vital monitor, wound drain, etc...) She sat back down and eventually got back to a comfortable position after the nurses shifted her all around and she yelped in pain. I must admit, the nurse she had today (Jason again) was very agressive when moving her. I realize he does this all the time, but every patient has different needs and Mom likes to take things slowly. Jason was a "mover and a shaker" as Mom referred to him and did things really fast. Once the new nurses arrived for the night shift, Mom was like a different person when being shifted around. I didn't even hear a peep from her when they were moving her and she kept thanking them profusely and telling them how nice they are and how Jason just didn't understand. It was kind of funny if you ask me :). These nurses made me feel much better about leaving her for the night because I think they will take good care of her.
Mom was supposed to be casted for a new back brace today, but that didn't end up happening for some reason (not really sure why.) Nothing is really clear around here and each day is an adventure where we learn about things as we go.
Mom had to get a blood transfusion today also. Her hemoglobin was low, so they gave her one unit of blood this afternoon. They were just about to give her another unit of blood when Dad and I were leaving tonight. It is expected that she won't need anymore after that.
I think I covered the major issues of the day, but I will try to update with more details if I have some time tomorrow. Today was Mom's toughest day yet, but I am confident that all of the "lemons" being tossed her way will get less and less sour and will eventually turn to the lemonade that we are all hoping for!!
Let's hope for a better day tomorrow!!!!!