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Friday
Apr142006

Grumpy old man

beret.jpgI suppose a great indication as to how anyone is, can be how much energy they can put into having a moan!  Well on that basis, Dick is improving.  He is not happy with the idea of wearing stockings because of his immobility and when threatened with them, he stood up and marched on the spot for half and hour!  Result one very sweaty man, one coughing fit and one chest cleared a little more.  He was really pleased but very tired as you can imagine.  He described it a a "green beret" moment! - and to that end I have included a rather strange looking head wearing his beloved beret.  All I can say is if his grit and determination now are the same as they were when he won it, then we have a good chance!

The NHS is over-stretched at weekends and bank holidays and it is the patients who suffer.  The poor nurses work so hard but there was one doctor on today to cover the Intensive Therapy unit and the patients on Dick's ward and the inevitable crisis in ITU mean that Dick's treatment was delayed by 4 hours today.  He was a very grumpy man.

Tonight he is exhausted.  Done too much, fought too hard and not relaxed enough.  I hope he has a better day tomorrow but boy am I pleased to see that the fighting spirit is still there.

Thursday
Apr132006

Continuing with the treatment

I think it is time to have a picture so I have chosen something which Dick is anxious to become acquainted with again after a long period of estrangements_glen_garioch.jpg!  I think he will have to take it gently otherwise he could be legless with just a couple of sips!

Today is a "plodding" day, Dick is still enduring the treatments.  They last for 2 hours every 12 hours but they are improving the situation on his lung and after another couple of days the team will introduce the talc which should glue the pleural cavity.  It is tiring, tedious and long but Dick is hanging in there and said that he feels that he is breathing marginally better which is excellent news.  But he was extremely tired today and coud ony manage a visit of about half an hour from Tom and I. 

He is still hoping that he can come home sometime next week but the jury is out on that one and I am keen that he is able to breathe without oxygen before he comes home.

I am going to stay for a few days with my parents.  I shall be continuing to try and keep the blog going.  Thanks for continuing to send your comments.  Dick is enjoying reading them all.

Wednesday
Apr122006

Time to get the gloves off

After a disappointing day yesterday, I am pleased to say that Dick is still being very positive and strong.  The barrier nursing is underway and the microbiologist was able to identify the exact strain of MRSA and has prescribed the appropriate anti-biotic so we are well underway to mounting the battle against that aspect.

Mr Weeden, Dick's consultant, has come up with Plan B which involves using a chemical to achieve the same effect as the operation would have and they have started to wash out the chest with this twice a day over a two hour period each time.  It has taken its toll on Dick today and I have left him feeling very tired and drained.  He is keen to have visitors which is OK but the nursing staff will guide you on the procedures which have to be followed if you go into his room.  May I suggest that if you would like to visit him that you contact us so that we don't overtire him.  He is so keen to have company but at times doesn't know his own limitations (So nothing's changed there then!!)

I have received lovely gifts today - flowers and other personal items  from friends and I am very overwhelmed.  Dick greeted them with his usual humour.  "Well you seem to be doing very well out of my indisposition!" he said.  "Too right!" I answered.  But seriously I am very grateful and I am also grateful for the practical help which so many of you offer.  My house hasn't looked so clean in a long time - thanks to Bev!

Tuesday
Apr112006

Therapy

This blog is a difficult thing and today is very difficult for me.  I am torn between sharing upsetting news with you and causing concern and worry but at the same time needing to tell his friends that things have not gone well.  Please do not feel a need to call me or to "do" anything.  I know how much Dick is held in high esteem and believe me when I say that I genuinely feel I can call on any one of you for help at the moment.  But perhaps we need a litte space and time right now.

The operation was not successful.  They were unable to "glue" the pleural cavity to the chest wall and the indications are that things are progressing more rapidly than we thought that they might.  Added to all of his problems, is the fact that Dick has contracted MRSA at the site of the drain and elsewhere and consequently is in isolation.  They must get on top of the MRSA before they can treat anything else.

I will let you know tomorrow if he can have visitors.  I hope you will bear with us.  Dick is determined to give the illnesses a good run for their money.  Our job is to stand on the side lines cheering him on and giving him a true feeling of possible success.  Thanks for being there.

Monday
Apr102006

Greedy men!

You might wonder why the title!  Well, firstly Dick had two visitors who came and ate his sandwiches at lunchtime.  I'm not sure if he encouraged it but somehow I think he did!  Again he has been visited by lots of kind people and he was full of enthusiasm for them.

Secondly it turns out that Dick has been so poorly because he has probably had pneumonia as well as the symptoms of mesothelioma.  Trust him!  Never one to do things by halves.  But I am delighted to hear that this may have been the case because we have been very worried about why he has been so very sick.  He is much better today - even walked to the end of the ward with me and is beginning to get his appetite back - when he can get the food!

The registrar has told me that the results of the biopsies will take 2 weeks to come through and that he hopes that they can consider sending him home next week if everything works out as they hope. 

Whilst some of our visitors have a large network as well as pinnies, other visitors belong to the UKS fraternity.  One of them has told me that she will be in the operating theatre tomorrow when Dick is in there.  I am much consoled by this. Do you think she will take photos for a layout???  Probably not!  I'msure she will be far too professional!