Lilypie Countdown to Adoption tickers

Lilypie Countdown to Adoption tickers

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Three Weeks and Counting

It has been just over three weeks now since my surgery. Some days it is hard for me to tell how I am progressing from day to day, but than I think back to a week ago and that gives me some perspective. I can now go up and down stairs easily and get out of bed independently.

I started rehab on Tuesday, but yesterday was my first full session of exercises. I was able to ride the bike for 20 min and the treadmill for 15 min. I even did some exercises with 3 lb. weights! It felt really good to be moving like that! My short term goal is to be able to walk lake nokomis in an hour and my long term goal is run a 5k this fall. I have always been restricted to not run more than a mile so I am excited to be able to have the opportunity to be able to do this. Sam and I plan to run it together.

This week was a busy week between 3 rehab apts. and 2 Dr. visits! Elisha, Tara and Laura (UW-EC friends) came over on monday to 'babysit' me. It was nice to be with my girls and have some laughs! Mom and I also took a trip to Rochester on Wed. night and I had dinner with my dad, Brent, Kim and Livi. On Thurs. we went down to see my grandparents and took a visit to my uncle Daryl's grave site for a pre-memorial day. Grandma sure liked seeing the new gravestones and where people will be buried (most be an old people thing). We headed back to the cities on Thurs. evening so it was a lot of driving for my mom in a short period of time.

Also wanted to give a quick thanks for your visits, meals, help around the house etc. these past few weeks to the Schultz family, Ammy N., Tara. S, Brent and Livi, Elisha, Laura and Tara P! Thanks and love you all!

Laura, my sis, is coming in this evening. It should make for an exciting and fun weekend!

Have a fun and safe holiday weekend!

Friday, May 22, 2009

The First SNEEZE

These are the things that they don't warn you about in the hospital! I just sneezed and it felt like I was ripping every muscle in my chest! Uhhhggg, it was terrible. I hope to not have many more!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Home Sweet Home

It has been so nice to be home! Each day seems to be a better day and I feel like I am regaining my energy slowly but surely. I had a dr. apt. on Friday to get my INR checked and it was in a good range. INR is the measure of your blood thickness when you are a anti-coagulant. Therefore I don't have to give myself blood-thinning booster (lovenox) shots in my belly any longer!

Since I have been home we have had a few visitors each day. Ammy N rode her bike over on Wed. Ktj stopped to visit on Thurs. morning. Ammy came over and brought us pizza on Thurs. The Graners stopped in on thurs. evening. Ang and Avery came over for lunch on Friday. Tara Swedberg was just here and brought us lasagna! All the visits are appreciated!

My mom came up on Wed. to help take care of me so Sam can go back to work. He went back to work on Friday. My dad came up on Friday and we had a nice family dinner together. Today has been pretty relaxing. I went for a few walks (a walk to me is to the end of the block) and my mom and I are going to venture to Sams Club later. Sam, dad and Nick Stiles are going golfing later this afternoon if the weather holds out.

I hope to update the blog soon with some pictures from the hospital.

Hope all has a good weekend.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Christina Should Leave the Hospital by noon

From Sam - Christina is finalizing her departure and should leave the hospital within an hour or two. Dr. Fine just met w/ us and gave us some last instructions. We are setting up our follow up appointments. Christina looks great today. It is truly amazing she had open heart surgery six days ago. She's off to the hospital's version of a stair climber. I could use one myself after a steady diet of coffee, McDonalds and a splash of Chipotle.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

My last day - I hope

Dr. Kshettry just popped in and confirmed I should be released tomorrow. We expect Dr. Fine to stop in this evening yet. I had them both sign my heart pillow that all cardiac patients get. Dr. Fine signed it with 'To the best patient I ever met'! But I think there may have been some encouragement from either Sam or I.

I got my wires pulled out my chest this morning. There are wires that are about the size of fish line that are inserted jut below your sternum and are connected to your heart. It was pretty painful to say the least, but now I am wire free! I only have one IV left that will be taken out tomorrow.

Someone from the alternative medicine dept. stopped by this morning. This dept. focuses on a holistic healing approach. Dr. Kshettry is a proponent of this practice and was instrumental in getting the program started. They did some breathing techniques with me and gave me a shoulder massage, which was wonderful.

Sam arrived here around 11, just in time to help me with my shower. Today was a little different than yesterday. Yesterday it was Sam and another male nurse who gave me a shower. I think Sam forgot to mention that in the blog yesterday. I was just happy to shower, but it may have been a little awkward for Sam...or the other nurse! Ha! I was just happy to be clean and not smelly!

I am looking forward to returning home tomorrow, but must say that the Abbott staff has been wonderful and we are grateful. I am excited to see my pups and sleep in my own bed, assuming I can make it up the stairs. Our neighbors, Sybil and Vince are bring us over dinner tomorrow night! I can't wait to have some home cooked food!

My mom is also returning tomorrow to help with my recovery and Sam is going back to work on Friday.

Take care,

Monday, May 4, 2009


Dr. Kshettry (surgeon) and Dr. Fine (cardiologist) just stopped by and visited with us. Dr. Fine estimated Christina will go home on Wed. Her heart beat is around 109 or so and they want it under 100. Her rhythm is improving. By the way "rhythm" is a really good "hangman" word. They will put her on some medication (beta blockers) to lower the heart rate. Typically, patients heart beats are too low. I'm guessing that is more typical in older patients.

Christina had a 1/2 shower today and she is looking great. She's had these visitors today: AmyJoe, Angela King, Tara Swedberg, Ammy Norgran (again) and her folks.

I met CD White (Chad Daniels) and Fritz for a Juicy Lucy at Matt's. It was great to be back into the world and out of the hospital. Chad has an interview on WGN (out of Chicago) from the Bob and Tom show that is on tonight. We don't get the channel, but you should check it out.

To good health - Sam

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Gossip Girl, McDonalds and Visitors

Kathie AND Nick Stiles gave Christina a DVD set of the show, Gossip Girls. Therefore, I'm updating the blog. I don't want to get hooked into a girly TV show like Nick Stiles did. Hi Nick.

I'm on my third meal from the golden arches located within the Heart Hospital. Why is McDonalds the only restaurant located in the Heart Hospital? Weird.

Christina went on her fourth walk of the day. She is getting a little anxious to leave, but we will follow the Dr's advice. We've been informed it may be Tuesday or Wednesday when she leaves.
she's accepting visitors and they help pass the time. Enjoy your evening- Sam

Sunday Funday

This is not my nomral sunday funday, that is for sure. Overall things are going pretty well. Last night Ammy Norgs stopped up for a visit. Along with Brent, Kim and Livi. They were going to celebrate their anniversary at a bed and breakfast. I guess it wasn't quite like my bed and breakfasat. It was nice to see some familiar faces yesterday.

Last night wasn't the greatest, but managable. The hospital taco dinner combined with stool softeners wasn't the best combo. Who serves taco hotdish in the hospital anyway? I was up about every two hours which seems to be about typicall due to pain or just being uncomfortable. I was awake for the day at about 4:30 this morning and Sam was up by about 7. It seems that when I get up in the morning my lungs go back to where they were the night before. They get congested over the night and filled with fluids. To release these fluids I have to cough into a pillow, which is painful, or blow in a machine which usually makes me cough anyway.

I had an xray at about 7 this am which everything looked good. The surgeon stopped in as well and is impressed by my progress. There only concern at this point is the my heart rate is higher than what they would like to see. They said this is liklely becuase I have a low homogloben level as a result of losing blood during surgery. They said they antcipated this because it was my third surgery. With multiple surgeries you have more bleeding and scar tissue. They said Dr. Fine may request to have me medicated to regulate this or to just monitor it and have it correct on its own if it doesn't lower in the next day or so.

The dogs had a doggie party yesterday at the Stiles household so they were able to get out and about and I guess were pretty tired out last night. My parents left the hospital around 7 and Sam stayed the night with me. He doesn't fit real well on this hospital lounge chairs but he is a trooper about it and doesn't complain.

Enjoy your sunday!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

4 Walks, 3 movies, 2 tubes out, 1 great day

It's actually Sam writing this post. Christina Lynn has been making progress today. She had the two chest drainage tubes pulled out this afternoon. She has been on four short walks today. She's snoring like usual on my right hand side. Go Celtics. Take care of yourselves and each other - Sam

Day by Day

Today has been my best day so far. The first night was rough to say the least. There was not much sleep to be had, by myself or Sam, and there was quite a bit of pain. However, each hour I start to feel better and stronger. I had my tubes pulled today, which hurt at the time, but I feel much better without them in. I only have few wires/tubes etc. left! I have taken 3 walks today, which is good. My Dr. said he anticipates I will get out on Wednesday.

Sam has been absolutely wonderful and by my side through everthing! My parents have been a great help too. Thanks to them for my inner and outer strenght.

Also, thanks to everyone for the visits, gifts, and caring messages!

Have a good night!

She is ready for visitors

Christina is ready to accept visitors today and tomorrow. Please get your own directions online. Call Christina's cell phone for me with any ?'s at 651-253-9914 Room 5082.

"It's the walk of life"

Christina just went for her first walk. It was around twenty feet each way. Dr. Kshettry just stopped by and informed us the two drainage tubes in her chest should be taken away later today. She just fell asleep and had a much better night of rest and therefore recovery last night.

She has been eager to stand, move to a chair and walk. It appears not every patient has her ambition judging from the nurses reactions. She is going to be okay. She is ready for visitors tomorrow (Sunday), but we do have to keep her rest in mind. Please remember to use the hand sanitiser and"foam in and foam out." Or wash your hands before you enter the room (#5082).

You can grab a meter along the streets (north/south) for an hour or so. You can also enter the main parking ramp along 28th ave (one way). Thanks for the posts. Christina is always curious who has added a post.

To good health,


Friday, May 1, 2009

Thinking of you

Liz and I are thinking about how strong you are, Christina. We pray for a full recovery. It is great to hear that you have strength to stand. We are thinking of you too Sam as you are her rock in these tough times!

God Bless,

Steven and Elizabeth

No News is Good News

Tina is progressing well. We plan on a walk around midnight tonight (or just to stand up). She is slowly getting rid of some of the fluids she is retaining. She just took some more pain medication.

I'll stay the night again tonight. - Sam

Christina has left the ICU

Christina moved from her bed to her chair around 9 am today. She is feeling much better after a long pain filled night. Evidently, the anastecia was leaving her body and this lead to some pain. She was also getting over the "rush" of surgery.

She just ordered some perciset. She'll get her happy hour in one way or another. She's crafty.

She left the intensive care unit (icu) around 3 pm. She is now in room #5082. Her room # is 612-775-5282. She starts her coumadin (blood thinner) medication at 5 pm tonight. She will be reliant upon a blood thinner for the rest of her life. She can actually hear the mechanical valve, from St. Jude, in her heart. It sounds like an old wristwatch. Dr. Kshettry has stopped in to check on her. He stated the old valve was pretty damaged and had signifcant scar tissue. He informed us it was time. I'm proud of Christina for her bravery through this life event.

I'll update everyone once she is ready to start receiving visitors. Once again we are at Abbott Northwestern Heart Hospital in room #5082. - Sam

Blogging, drinking black coffee & watching infomorcials

Christina just had the blog read to her. She apprecaites the comments. She stood up for the first time tonight around 9 pm w/ Nurse Mary's encouragement and push. We feel fortunate to have her knowledge, experience and caring touch to ease this process. She feels like a family member and has even teased me about wearing socks with holes in them. Great choice, Sam. Although it was 4:15 am yesterday.

Christina has been sleeping on and off. I just got two hours (10:30 - 12:30). This blog feels like I'm giving "facebook" that people may not care about.

Tina had a popsicle and has been gabbing on the phone. Maybe she hasn't changed that much since her last surgery at 13.

We also plan to use this website for our adoption process. We are able to start the paperwork on our anniversary of 06/07/09. We are leaning towards adopting a child from Ethopia (possibly Columbia).

To good health - Sam