Sunday, December 27, 2009

Augustin Joseph has arrived!

Welcome little Gus! Born Sunday, December 27th, 2009 at 10:24 am weighing 6lbs. 11 ounces and measuring 19 inches long.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Stay Tuned....Baby News Coming

Merry Christmas to all. As Christmas festivities wind down we are really feeling the countdown to grandparenthood. Please join us in prayers for a safe, peaceful birth for our little grandson. He was "due" on the 23rd but we are all happy to have spent Christmas at home instead of the hospital.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Buddy Walk

Here's our Buddy that makes this fun day (and so much more) possible for us....Michael!
Bernadette (left =) and Clare (right) very busy putting Buddy Walk tattoos on about a gazillion kids and adults.

Peter, the master face painter two years in a row now.

The oldest (Jen) and youngest (Michael) of the Sherman clan.

Big brother Dan helping Michael get all the high fives he can fromthe volunteers who line the walk.

This is the forst year Michael actually walked for part of the walk.

Dan and John walking with their buddy. Mom pushing the empty (except for junk) stroller!

Great picture if Dan wasn't looking over his shoulder at the fire truck. He'll be driving one of those soon!

Big sis Mary who will get after me for chopping her head off in this picture.
We had a great time. This walk was a special goal of mine before I had my surgery. I wasn't absolutely sure I would be able to make it but am thrilled to say that not only did I make it to the walk, I walked the entire course, and had energy to volunteer as well as enjoy the party after the walk. My new (and very expensive :) ) heart parts are working just fine.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

I'm not the only patient here

As always, the Shermans don't see the pont in underdoing anything. Here's a rundown on who feels crummy and why. John and Bernadette are coughing but mainly at night. This all began before I went to the hospital and they finished a round of meds which left them feeling better but still coughing-a lot. Then there's Clare who also began with fever and sore throat and meds before my surgery. She's back down with the same. Yesterday Mary jumped in to join the fun with a fever. . All of this adds up to way too much to deal with around here but we plan to get everyone looked at again and hopefully on the mend. It's bad enough that these kids have to be of more help than usual to mom at this point but to be sick in the middle of July just stinks. I hope to soon be posting that everyone is happy, well and back to feeling like playing.

I really haven't ventured away from the house yet in the week I've been home. I'm actually kind of looking forward to my appointment on Tues. just to get out. I have been walking in the house and doing stairs. I haven't walked outside as of yet because I don't want to get so far away that it is hard to get back. That is a project for this week though.

My incision is healing beautifully. In fact whoever closed me up deserves whatever they pay him and more. I dare say, you may not even be able to see much of a scar from this in the future. Despite being a very long incision it is VERY thin with no stitches on the outside. Very good work by someone indeed!

I told Gil yesterday, I feel like a baby. I really need two naps a day. This is so hard. I'm not a napper let alone more than once a day. My job around here very often includes rousing various teenagers from one couch or another at any given time of the day. It goes totally against my grain to be the one lounging. I know...enjoy it while it lasts...I will try.

Michael has been so sweet through all of this. He has recently realized that I have a boo boo and is very concerned about it. I was afraid of what it would mean not to be able to pick him up but so far that hasn't been an issue. He's becoming more and more independent and there is always someone here who can grab him if the need arises. He loves to entertain us by having anyone who's near sit down and then he does his rendition of certain songs and breaks into some dance moves too. He's a riot. He's also becoming more verbal in stating what he needs or wants which is helpful at this time. The only thing Michael gets shorted on around here is outings. It's usually simpler for errands, baseball games etc. if he doesn't come along. Yesterday, though, Jen took him and John to McDonalds for lunch and today Gil took him and a couple of the kids to the mall just to play in the play area. A couple outings just for him without anyone else trying to get "something done" at the same time.

I've had some ups and downs with pain medications which leave me feeling awful like this morning. I ended up substituting tylenol for my usual narcotic and ended up in a cold sweat and almost passing out. I hope to have these things come to an end soon and get back to a little more of a "normal" me very soon. They say I will feel better than ever eventually. Being patient as I can here.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

9 days post op

I am going to attempt to type a little each day just to kind of keep the days straight here. I'm still at the point that I don't really care if I forget this whole experience, but I know at some point it is going to drive me crazy trying to piece the time together.

I've been home since Sat. night and coming home itself felt heavenly. I mad a mistake during discharge complaining that the pain meds were making me too sleepy. They switched me to something not as strong that didn't have the sleepy side effect. BIG mistake! It took me a few nights of misery to realize that sleepy at this stage isn't a bad thing. We called the surgeon yesterday and long story short I am back on the right pain meds and had a much better night last night. My friend who is a nurse practitioner was wise to point out to me that when they cut the sternum open every breath is a movement and pain control is important for the first two weeks. Needless to say I'm watching the clock (thanks Chris!).

It was wonderful to have Judy (Gil's sister) drop by and lend a hand with lunchtime today. Thanks Judy! We have been blessed beyond belief by family, friends' and neighbors' care and concern.

This is going to be slow and this is in part why I am writing. I think it might help me in a week to look back and see the progress made. So here goes the whining part of what exactly hurts and what this feels like.

The ten inch cut really doesn't hurt belive it or not. The smaller horizontal incision near my right shoulder hurts much more. That is ewhere I was attatched to the heart lung machine. The pressure is worse than the pain. I feel pressure from my shoulders to my waist and it is impossible to take in a full breath. When pain med runs low it is painful to breath. I keep getting very lightheaded/naseous and experiencing some visual disturbances which are very annoying. Periodic sweating episodes make me wonder if I have a fever but I think it is my body getting rid of some fluid. I just went up a flight of stairs this afternoon and felt a tightness in my chest. The other day I was ambitious and tried to begin my cardiac rehab excercises and got that same very tight feeling. I need to learn how to start slower. That's not really my thing. I slept in the recliner for an hour this afternoon and felt awful afterwards. I'm just not accustomed to laying around and just plain don't like the way it makesa me feel mentally. Physically, right now, I have no choice. Lat night was much more comfortable but I was still awake a large amount of the night which I guess can be common. Not hurting in the middle of the night was a God send though and I'll take it.

My time is up comfort wise. More tomorrow.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

I'm home with a mended and grateful heart

At the peak of a dose of vicodin, combined with another pain med, I am able to sit here for just a quick moment. What an adventure indeed! I will type more down the road about what this surgery entailed.

I appreciate all who have been checking in here as it would be impossible for Gil to keep in touch by phone with all of our dear friends.

It seems that my dear husband has been enjoying his first adventure in blogging. Didn't I put someone in charge of hitting him over the head with his laptop if he posted pictures of me? I'm too stiff and sore to do it myself now so....oh well.

Thanks for being here for us.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Day 4 - Going Home

Day 4 is a bit of a misnomer. It is really Day 6, in that there was one day of pre-op, the day of the operation and 4 days in the hospital post-op. That said, I'm pretty sure that no matter how much one wants to go home after an operation like this, even if the patient is ready, the family isn't sure that the patient is ready. At least, that is how I felt.

The day was a series of small victories. After giving 11 vials of blood for a genetic testing study, by mid-morning, Barb called to say that her blood count was low (somehow not surprising) and that they may have to give her blood. In that case, she might not be coming home today after all. They took another sample around noon and by 2 pm she was cleared for discharge. About 3:30, the nurse came in to remove all the heart monitoring equipment and various leads and then Barb took her first shower - which went swimmingly (pun intended). She said it felt great (also not surprising). After her shower, she dressed in her own clothes, also a glorious feeling and we waited for the nurse to give us her discharge instructions.

About 4 pm, the nurse came in with a ream of paperwork, including a wad of prescriptions, a list of other otc medications to purchase and of course all the going-home instructions. At about 4:30, transport arrived to wheel Barb to the door and it was time to say goodbye. For my part, I don't want anymore of us to have to experience all this fun, but if you gotta do it - these folks certainly seem to know what they're doing. - Gil