July 26, 2009

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Patio Time

Patio Time

Hi all! Colleen was discharged from the hospital yeserday, July 25th. As much relief as I feel having her home I am also extremely grateful for her experience in the hospital. It is absolutely fascinating to see how fast the body heals and changes.

I can’t help but be amazed, grateful, and not just a little shocked at all the external “hook-ups” that had to be connected to Colleen during this time:

  • Catheter – Well, we all have to pee don’t we? (no pun intended!)
  • “Pain Pump” – This particular device delivered morphine directly to the abdomen. I can’t really give many more details about this one since none of the nurses knew how to use it!
  • Blood Monitor – A very strange light connected to the end of Colleen’s finger, this was responsible for measuring the amount of oxygen her blood was carrying around. Effectively, this monitored how she was breathing.
  • Oxygen tube- As a result of the blood monitor going off, additional oxygen was needed for proper breathing, particular during periods of sleep. You know, the little tube under the nose…
  • IV – Ahh, the “intake tube” we’ve all seen in the movies.  I don’t really know how to describe seeing somebody not needing to eat real food and having everything (including medication) delivered ‘on-demand’. “Convenient”, “scary”, “miraculous”, “bizarre”… I could go on and on, but this is certainly one of the most critical components to Colleen being ok, for sure.

Needless to say, I am so happy to see her up and walking around and not needing one of the previously mentioned connections.  I know she has a long way to go before she is 100%, but what she has been through has been fairly eye-opening to me in my little software writing world.

Hematocrit Levels

(Grain of salt warning: I may have the numbers wrong here, but I don’t think so…) We were slightly worried that she wouldn’t be able to come home because of her “Hematocrit Level“. 38% is about average for a woman. Fortunately, thanks to Colleen, her level was about at 42% when she went in to surgery. After surgery it was about 28%… Then 25%… Then 22%…   So, this was the piece that made me nervous during recovery!   Her last test went back up to 25! Yippie!  The doctor told us that this can fluctuate quite a bit due to various factors – drugs, hydration, etc… so a particular number is not critical. Since this can mean internal bleeding, however, it is critical that this number stabilize. Seeing it stabilize was crucial.  I suspect she will have another test before week’s out, but it looks good!


I don’t really know what else to say besides “thank you”.  Thanks to everybody who has had a kind word for Colleen, sent a flower, or just had a moment of contemplation about how really valuable the people around you are.

P.S. I probably won’t post as much as I will be quite short on time come tomorrow.  I am hopeful, however, that Colleen will be back to her bloggin self in no time!