Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The Slow Road Through The Hospital

This is Dan,

It is incredible to think that it has only been five days since Jess had her surgery. Time loses its meaning when you are lost in the hospital cycle of nurse visits every few hours, days bleeding into one another, sunrises bleeding into sunsets, living in three hour increments between administration of drugs. Sometimes it seems like it has been months since the surgery and other times it seems like it has been seconds. There is ever present fear and elation. There are actually times when the two can occur simultaneously. Elation that Jess can stand up on her own, and fear that her wobbly legs will not sustain her trip. Elation that her right hand can now almost fully open, and fear that it will not regain its sensation or dexterity (although Jess says its nice because she can use her numb side for getting shots from the Dr's, and she is getting really good at doing stuff with her left hand). The most significant journey while in this hospital has been attempting to get a handle on Jess's pain management. Jess's pain management has been our most frustrating aspect of our stay at the hospital and remains our largest hurdle to being discharged. In order for Jess to leave the hospital she needs her pain managed by oral medication only, as that is all we can administer on our own. Right now Jess has a regiment of oral medication, and a self-administered limited dosing of medication through her IV. As to date the pain management team working with Jess have yet to make any significant strides in an attempt to limit Jess's need for her IV dosage. We are not willing to leave the hospital until it has been demonstrated to us that their particular drug protocol has a longterm effect on managing Jess's pain.

Its hard to gauge what is working and what isn't because Jess's level of activity has been steadily increasing. She has recently began eating more solid food, going on walks around her floor, walking to the bathroom with minimal assistance. With this increase in activity Jess becomes strained and worn down, often needing a nap after traveling to the bathroom, or meeting with a Dr. It appears to me that it is simply exhausting for jess to be awake. Her body is working so hard on healing itself that there is little energy for other things. Deficits will come and go or vary in degree depending on the severity of Jess exhaustion, or severity of inflammation and healing. Jess needs a nap pretty much after any activity. In similar fashion to life before her most recent surgery, Jess insists she does not need a nap right up until the point she falls asleep.

All and all, Jess is her normal resilient self. Always seeing the best in things, talking with all the nurses, and continually making her parents and I laugh. She really appreciates all the support she has been getting. It has become somewhat of a ritual for me to read her your comments on Facebook and her blog. As of right now, Jess cannot interpret written language. This gives me the pleasure of reading all of your comments to her, and quite frankly I often need to take breaks to allow the lump in my thought to subside. She really wants me to express the fact that she is not in a state where she can respond to anyone but does want to thank you all for the kind words of encouragement.

Prior to Jess being able to walk on her own, we took her around the floor in a wheel chair, because she's Jess and she can't just stay put!!!!




19 comments:

  1. "So Cal" PattiMarch 8, 2017 at 5:50 PM

    Love this picture of you all, smiling and happy with Jess' progress! She does not look like someone who went through so much only days ago! My love and prayers continue to flow your way daily and I hope that the pain is controlled so that you can head home and begin the challenge, and joy, of daily accomplishments! Love You Jess and Dan and your darling Parents, "So Cal" Patti

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  2. Jess and Dan, you both are so awesome. Thank you for all you're doing, Dan! I love hearing that Jess is walking around and doing some stuff on her own or almost on her own. I love her personality showing through in your posts. I love that she seems to be making progress in many ways. As a nurse, I know that her brain swelling is still decreasing, and she probably will show more improvement and it's hard to know much at this point about "deficits" vs. swelling and pain medication's effects and all. ((At least that's a generic statement that gives me some encouragement.)) At any rate, we here in Washington thrive on your updates, Dan, and appreciate them so much! Bing even loves them! The walking group is especially "keyed in" to the fact that Jess is walking. She needs to be able to come back and walk with us, so laps would help, Dan. OKAY, EVERYONE, JUST KIDDING!!! LOL!!! Rest is important right now, sleepy headed friend, Jess. Follow the lead of your body. Rest. And know we love you like a rock! We've only had 2 wild parties at your house, so don't worry. There was one tiny little dried pepper in your file cabinet garden outside your front door, by the way. It was a shriveled up little red, curly guy. I ate 'im and then cried. It was friggin' HOT! Bing laughed at me, which I didn't appreciate. Love, Maureen R.

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  3. So happy to hear things are going well. I've even been giving my co-workers and friends updates about this girl I met on the side of a cliff at cancer camp. Lots of people are sending good vibes to you from the middle of the country!! I can't help but think of you re-enacting your cat, and wonder who's taking care of it right now! Much Love! ~ The Enforcer

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  4. Please don't stress about not being able to respond to us Jess, Dan is doing such an amazing job of keeping us all posted, I almost feel like I am able to be with you guys through it all... Almost. I know this must me so strenuous and we are all here loving and thinking of you and rooting for you both to have minimum pain through this process. Love you guys. <3

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  5. Dear Jessica, the dogs and I are cheering you on from rainy and windy San Juan!! I am continually amazed by your resilience and I know we don't know each other all that well but I think of you as an island sister and a friend and most of all, an inspiration. Let's hang out someday... jeez! We love you and are sending that love your way every day. Go Jess Go!!!!

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  6. Happy International Women's Day! Seems like you are a hella strong woman Jessica! I'm cheering for you!

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  7. Dear friends...thank you again for the post! So wonderful to see all of your smiling faces! Dan, you are so right...time stands still at times, then in a moment it flys by! Is this what to everyone...who is going through life changing experiences? I'm on 2 years that I found Jessica's blog...tomorrow will be my 2 year craniversary! What a beautiful, inspirational lady she is! Sending positive prayers and healing hugs to you all. Xoxoxo

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  8. We are all thinking of you, praying for you and loving you! Your smile and fight give us much to hold on to, in these crazy times!🐱 🦅💪🎡🏇🏼

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  9. To Jess and Team Jess support crew,
    It is such an honor to be included in your lives as you make your way forward through this challenge. All of you teach us about devotion and unconditional love.
    It doesn’t matter if Jess is writing to us on her blog, all you have to do is see her smile, know her courage and feel how everyone that comes into Jess’s orbit gets drenched with love.
    There are so many of us who are grateful to be touched and inspired, by someone as brave and beautiful, lovely and wise, amazing and determined as Jess Oldwyn.
    I am believing in a safe path forward, plenty of rest and resilience, leading to excellent recovery and healing. Top surgeons, a stellar support crew, willpower and faith, all combined with the uplifting energy of spring, I see brighter days ahead. Be patient and gentle with yourselves. I am asking all available angels stay beside Jess, protect her, soothe her, watch over her, share some of their angel magic with her, bless her through and through. Love, C.

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  10. I am a new follower and Jess fan. Am so inspired by Jess's perseverance and to your dedication (Dan). What beautiful people u both are. Lifting y'all up in thoughts and prayers.

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  11. Sweet, beautiful, tough, amazing Jess. One of the most incredible people on this earth, no doubt. That's just what comes to mind reading these entries...
    -Kris

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  12. Don't know you but feel like I know you from this blog. We are friends of the Creedens and have been following your progress. You and your husband are amazing!! Your fight will get you through this. As an "old" nurse who just retired after 44 years of nursing, I can say, without a doubt, that the inner strength is what sustains you. Some patients just don't fight at all and others commit 100% and progress beautifully. These patients overcome the hurdles presented to them and thrive because of them. Our prayers and those of our church will be for your complete recovery. God bless you and your husband for your love of each other and willingness to face this head on.

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  13. Love the picture of those beautiful smiling faces. Thank you for posting. Dan, you are as articulate as Jessica when it comes to the use of words to explain how your precious girl is doing. We will pray for her pain to be managed with oral meds so she can leave the hospital to a more quiet place to rest and heal. You hear that Jessica, naps are a good thing :-) :-)
    So many of us who have never met you are so touched by your love and courage, the strength beyond words in both you & Dan.
    Prayers,prayers & more prayers for healing !!

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  14. Sending big love and quick healing from Mexico. You are AMAZING!!!

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  15. We are your cheering squad Jess! We have always had faith in you and your resilience. So thankful for your spirit, Dan, your parents and this community you have surrounded yourself with. Go Jess go ❤❤❤! Xx, Cian, Liam, Sean & Meghan.

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  16. Coconuts,

    You are such an incredible human and I am so happy we got to meet on the FD San Juan Kayaking trip this past July. I always remember your positive, kind, and goofy attitude that made the grueling 19 mile kayak more enjoyable and fun. The First Descents crew is sending you all the love, hugs, and encouragement from Denver! You are a gem, and I am thinking of you daily.

    Hugs,
    Dizzy

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  17. Thoughts, love and care to you all from Janie McCauley, who grew up in Leavenworth and is now in San Francisco as a sports writer. My brother Evan and sister-in-law Petra Slapnicka McCauley live in East Wenatchee.
    I've been watching Jess' journey from afar and cheer her strength and courage. Much love and hugs! All my best.

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  18. Jess I have been diligently following your blog for years after stumbling across it when looking for help for a friend. I'm constantly inspired by your humility and humor. You deserve so many beautiful things in life! Thank you for the encouragement that you provide to so many people each day!

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  19. Hi Jess, I have followed your progress and continue to pray for your recovery but you are the one doing all the work. Your amazing positive attitude and spirit fuel your progress. You are a hero for all and embody the true meaning of progress through positive thinking. You amaze me and you are in my heart. Much love to you and your family. Stephanie

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