Saturday, May 30, 2009

Medical Appointment

The Dawg has an appointment with the lung specialist, Dr. Handshoe, on Monday.
We'll know more then, or at least we're hoping we will know more then.
Keep him in your prayers!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Turn About

Well, there was a bit of a turnabout today. I had to have an injection in my back this morning, so Carroll went with me. The doctor won't release a patient who does not have a "designated driver" following the sedation and procedure.

The Dawg is okay driving. It's the walking that's a problem for him. I'm hoping we hear something soon from Drs. Handshoe and Bolster.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wednesday The Dawg is Driving!

Carroll is making progress and improving! Yippee!
Today he drove for the first time since he went into the hospital (unless he did some driving without telling anyone!) Thursday will be two weeks since he went into Summerville Medical Center.
Carroll said the driving didn't bother him at all. It's the walking that literally takes his breath away.

We don't know the results of any of the tests that were done last Friday. He has appointments with two of his doctors scheduled for next week. Maybe we'll know something then and let's hope it's good news!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Monday Update

Woo-hoo! We went to a movie this afternoon. This was The Dawg's first day going anywhere. I dropped him off right in front of the theater, then found a parking space. Even so, by the time we got to our seats, he was winded and tired. It takes a while to get strength back after what he's been through, but he's making progress! Yippee!

We also ate hamburgers and hot dogs with Vic, Edie, Jeffrey, Laura and Courtney. Vic & Edie live on the same street and only a few doors away, but we still went in the car. Carroll watched part of the Braves game there and part back home. The end result certainly wasn't what he hoped for.

Vic grilled some delicious hamburgers and Laura made scrumptious cinnamon bread that was like cake.

Pam and John from England sent a message but left it on my blog instead of this one, so I'm re-posting it as a comment below.

Why did I use this picture of the upper part of his face? I don't know. Maybe just to show that he still wears a hat. It's best if I don't try to explain myself.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sunday Update

The Dawg is still quite weak, especially if he moves around.

Loads of folks asked about him at St. Luke's today.

Vic called him today and reminded him to use his home breathing treatment. He feels better after each one, at least for a while.

Yes, the Braves won again today -- that's three in a row against Toronto -- so he's in a good mood.
The Dawg played baseball -- and basketball, by the way - in his younger years. In fact, he played baseball in Europe for the Air Force.

He has mentioned a certain movie he wants to see, but we're not certain he has the strength to even go to a movie.

Lisa, Jake and Ben visited him tonight and brought boiled peanuts.
Since Monday is a holiday, we don't expect to find out the results of the tests done on Friday but we certainly are anxious about them.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

First Day Out of the Hospital

During The Dawg's last two days in the hospital, he was just itching to get out. He had energy, he said; he felt better.

Well, he IS better, but he's also realizing that what felt like energy IN the hospital is not the same outside the hospital. He's still very weak, tires easily and is very short of breath. Just talking on the phone is a struggle.

He gets weaker just walking to the kitchen or lifting anything at all, which is why he needs to rest, relax and do nothing.

We went to the Waffle House today. Thank goodness, there was a parking spot right at the front door, but Carroll still got tired walking in.

He lost a lot of weight during his 9-day stay at Summerville Medical Center. Of course, a meal a day at the Waffle House like the one he had today will put the weight back on.

And, naturally, I'm not going to sit there and watch him eat without also eating, so I'll probably be gaining as well. It's the story of my life - at least for the last few years!

The Braves won last night, so that was a picker-upper for Carroll. It was a great game!!!

He misses all of the nice, attentive folks at the hospital, but there are two things he likes about being out: he can watch all of the Braves' games AND he doesn't have to wear that "dress" any more.

We have more pictures that were taken yesterday at the hospital. Most were taken while the wonderful folks were rolling him out of the room for tests or bringing him back in after those tests. The two chest x-rays were done in the room.

It's amazing how mobile such equipment is now. There is so much that can be done right in the room. Even the transesophageal echocardigram earlier this week was done in his room.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Day 9 The Dawg is OUT!

The Dawg had several procedures today, including a chest x-ray around 2:30 or 3 pm. He was able to leave the hospital at about 4 pm - finally. That means he was at his house to sit and watch the Braves win their game against Toronto tonight! Yippee!
It's wonderful that he was able to leave the hospital, but this does not mean all is well. We won't know the results of some of the tests for a few days, so continue to keep him in your prayers.
He is still tired and gets winded quite easily. There is no doubt, however, that he is better than he was - and that is good news!
More pictures tomorrow!

Day 9 in the Hospital Procedures

Well, the Dawg had two procedures this morning. During one, he said they removed a quart of fluid from his lung. That ought to make a big difference, don't you think?

He'll have a chest x-ray at 12:30, then should be able to go home around 3 pm.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Day 8 in the Hospital Part 3

Uh-oh. The Braves didn't win tonight. In fact, they got clobbered! That made this 4-game series with the Rockies 2 and 2.

But The Dawg can't really be upset when he's surrounded by such nice people.

Here's Latoria. She was laughing about something. You think it might have been his pulse rate??? Nah, I don't think so.

Anna is back after a vacation. She looks all rested!

Ernie "Pete" Black came by to visit tonight. Carroll had calls from Elke, as well as from Pam in Charlotte and Billy in Brevard.

I think Hazel called again from Scotland. We've gotten loads of calls and e-mails asking about Carroll: Rosa and Don, Ed & Diana, Pat, John, (brother) Shawn, Mom and more. The days are beginning to run together, as are visits and e-mails.

Tonight, after it was pretty obvious the Braves weren't winning, we worked on today's crossword while eating Edie's boiled peanuts and half-way watching the game.

Although Carroll is eager to leave the hospital, I think he has enjoyed all of the attention he has been getting.

Day 8 in the Hospital Part 2

When I got to the hospital today, The Dawg was out of his hospital "dress" and in his regular clothes. No sheets on the bed and he was packed up. He was ready to go home. Dr. Bolster told him early this morning that he might be able to go home today, but that it would be up to Dr. Handshoe.

Here he is with Stephanie.

If you look closely in the above picture, you'll see a container of boiled peanuts next to The Dawg. His daughter-in-law, Edie, made them and brought them to him today. She also sent some on Sunday. Here's Edie:

Son, Vic, looks on as Stephanie checks Carroll, probably wiring him up to machine he took off when he got dressed.

Well, he's not going home today. More tests Friday morning; however, Dr. Handshoe has already said Carroll can go home Friday afternoon.

Here is Dr. Handshoe giving him the news:

He'll have fluid drawn off his lungs tomorrow to testing to determine what kind of fluid it is and what's causing it. There will also be biopsies.

Cancer has not been ruled out but Dr. Handshoe said the spot on the upper right lung didn't look like cancer, although, as he mentioned, cancer can look different some times. There's also a possibility of "bird fancier's lung disease." There are probably other possibilities as well. We should know more after tomorrow's tests are read, which probably won't be until Tuesday since Monday is a holiday.

Everybody at Summerville Medical Center has been wonderful, but The Dawg still wants to go home.

Here's another one of the nice people. She's Jenny, and she shares Carroll's last name. She's a Smith.

Thank goodness, the Braves are playing tonight on a channel Carroll can get in the hospital room.

Day 8 in the Hospital

There's a chance that The Dawg will be able to go home today!!! It's not definite, though. Dr. Bolster told him this morning the infection is not totally cleared but that he would let him go home IF Dr. Handshoe releases him as well. Even if he goes home, he will return on Friday for the bronchoscopy, based on yesterday's discussion.

We'll see.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Day 7 in the Hospital Part 3

Earlier this week, we posted a picture of the flowers from St. Luke's. Now there are more; his room is beginning to look quite floral!

These arrived today from Elke and Pete. Aren't they gorgeous?

These are the ones Starla and her daughter, Tora, brought by on Monday night. Beautiful yellow roses in this arrangement.

Mom sent something to Carroll today; she said it was to take the place of flowers. We'd better not show the picture, though! You'll just have to wonder about this one!

Day 7 in the Hospital Part 2

Krissy, Jackie, Connie, Lauren and Tiffany

Krissy, Jackie, Connie, Lauren, Tiffany, Jennifer and George were among those caring for and helping The Dawg today. Dr. Bolster was back today; Dr. Handshoe came in and ordered the CAT scan.
Carroll is feeling so much better tonight. The Braves won!
After a breathing treatment, George said Carroll sounded much improved but he could still hear some wheezing.
There have been loads of calls and e-mails wishing Carroll well. Thanks so much for all of them. Again, feel free to leave your comments below any of these posts.

Day 7 in the Hospital Part 1

Today the Dawg had a CAT scan which took about 30 minutes. This wasn't until late afternoon, so we won't know the results until sometime tomorrow probably. A bronchoscopy might be done on Friday.

Carroll has still been somewhat nauseated today. He's still doing the breathing treatments, getting three antibiotics through IV and taking other medicines.
But, he seems to be feeling better today than he did yesterday - and a lot better than he did on Monday. Whether this is because of time and medication or because the Braves won last night is anyone's guess!
And, then again, it might be because Mary Meynardie from St. Luke's came in earlier and had devotions with him.

Day 6 in the Hospital Part 3

The Dawg and I were both in his room when we started hearing a strange noise, which is not terribly unusual in the hospital. Something's always beeping. Maybe his IV monitor; maybe one down the hall. There are all kinds of sounds.

But this one was different. After the loud noise sounded a few times, we heard an announcement over a speaker system -- except that we couldn't understand it. I thought I heard something about behind the administration office. We heard scurrying in the hallway.

Then someone came to the door and confirmed our suspicions. It was a fire alarm!!!!

Now, here we are on 3rd floor - and he's hooked up to machines and such. (And him wearing what he calls "this dress" that's open down the back.)

The lady at the door said it was indeed a fire alarm, and then she started shutting the door. I asked what we were supposed to do.

She said to just wait. No one smelled any smoke. If there was anything to it, they would keep him (The Dawg) safe.

A short while later, someone else came and opened the door and said everything was okay.

Oh, well, so much for excitement in the hospital!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Day 6 in the Hospital Part 2

Yippee! At some point tonight, The Dawg started feeling better. He's still on antibiotics, insulin, breathing treatments and several other medications.

All afternoon, he felt nauseous and was in pain. He didn't want to eat (except he was in the mood for peanut butter and thought he could handle that!) He hurt too much to talk and was too nauseated to sit up.

In the early evening - around 7:30-ish - he started feeling better. We aren't certain why.

Maybe the pain medicine kicked in, maybe the anti-nausea medicine kicked in and maybe the medicine that made him groggy for the TEE procedure early in the day finally wore off.

We both believe, though, he started feeling better while Pastor Bob Holley was there. Carroll really enjoys those visits from Bob Holley.

Not to take away from Bob, but it was right after his visit that Carroll learned the Braves were leading in the game against the Rockies. That certainly didn't hurt anything!

And, then again, maybe he perked up because he knew I was leaving after about nine hours of being there and bugging him!

You know the old saying: Some people make others happy by their arrival - and some by their leaving!

Day 6 in the Hospital Part 1 - Good News

Carroll had the transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) today and the report is good. Dr. Coker said there is no vegetation on the other valve.

Team members look almost TOO happy to be starting this process, don't they?

There's still some infection in the lungs, based on yesterday's tests, so he's still on antibiotics. There's also a yeast infection in his mouth.

He has his cell phone and is able to receive calls on that, although he gets very winded while talking.

The Dawg has had some nice visitors this morning. Danny Seay came by, as did Ruben Grooms. Carroll's son, Vic, was at the hospital before, during and after the TEE. I wasn't in the room when Danny & Ruben stopped in, so I didn't get photos of them. Vic is pictured below.

Pat Gerwig, who works at Summerville Medical Center and who goes to church at St. Luke's, came by shortly after the procedure. Wanda Garris called to check on The Dawg today. She and Carroll worked together at the shipyard a "few" years ago. Wanda was stuck talking to me because Carroll had just been given the medicines to make him groggy for the procedure.

Courtney, his granddaughter, came by last night after I left. He enjoyed her visit also.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Day 5 in the Hospital Part 2

There are absolutely no complaints about personnel at Summerville Medical Center. They have been wonderful!

Below are Lauren, Jennifer, Nancy and Kelly. Ella was back again today also.

Carroll saw three doctors today: Quinn, Kaelin and Coker.
There have been phone calls from Vic, Edie and Chelsey. Unfortunately, Carroll gets too winded doing much talking.
Just as I was leaving to teach a class tonight, Starla Pickens and her daughter, Tora, came by with some beautiful flowers, including yellow roses. Thanks!
Feel free to leave your messages for Carroll under the Comments section beneath this post.

Day 5 in the Hospital Part I

These beautiful flowers were one of the arrangements at St. Luke's yesterday. How nice that Carroll was the recipient of one of the vases!

Carroll has been nauseated today and he had a headache. He finally asked for medicine for both - instead of trying to "grin and bear it." Well, actually, he wasn't doing a whole lot of grinning.

It seems there's a new infection in his mouth because all of the antibiotics they've been giving him have been so strong that they've also killed off the "good" bacteria.

Tuesday morning, The Dawg will have a transesophageal echocardiogram. Here's the info I found on the Internet from the Cleveland Clinic:

During the transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) test, an ultrasound transducer (which produces high frequency sound waves) provides pictures of the heart's valves and chambers and helps the physician evaluate the pumping action of the heart.
The ultrasound transducer is positioned on an endoscope (a long, thin, flexible instrument about 1/2 inch in diameter). The endoscope is placed into your mouth and passed into your esophagus (the "food pipe" leading from your mouth into your stomach) to provide a close look at your heart's valves and chambers without interference from the ribs or lungs.
TEE is often combined with Doppler ultrasound and color Doppler to evaluate blood flow across the heart’s valves. TEE is often used when the results from standard echo studies were not sufficient or when your doctor wants a closer look at your heart.

Dr. Coker says this will take about 15 minutes. It is not for treatment but rather for evaluation purposes. There's a chance there is something wrong with another valve (the aortic valve is the one that he's to have replaced during open heart surgery once he gets well.)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Day 4 with The Dawg

Well, there was a minor problem today, or perhaps it was major, depending on one's perspective. The Atlanta Braves' games don't always come on the same channel. Up until today, their games had been on channels that we couldn't get in the hospital room. Finally - today - the game between Atlanta and Arizona was scheduled on a channel available at Summerville Medical Center.

There was a rain delay. Actually, it was delayed so long that it was finally postponed! No Braves game today.

Most of Sunday, The Dawg was tired, sleepy and not feeling well, although he was breathing a bit better. By the evening, he had improved a little.

For a while his arm was hurting a lot where the IV entered his right arm. The nurse said he probably bent the tube a little and it was likely pressing against a vein or something. It hurt, but he also didn't want it taken out, having to reinsert it. Laura said she had to take it out. After it was done, Carroll was glad it had been done.

In this picture, he and Sonia are both smiling. I guess she hadn't stuck him with a needle or done anything to bother him at that point! The truth is that she never did anything to bother him. I'm not so sure how she got that big smile out of him, though.

Sandra is another of the Summerville Medical Center personnel taking care of him today. Like Sonia and all of the others, Sandra is very nice.

Here's Betty, so friendly and so polite -- and always smiling.

The Dawg had several visitors today. Before I got to the hospital, Edie, Jeffrey and Laura came to visit. Jeffrey and Laura are busy planning a wedding, but they were nice enough to take time to come by. Edie made some boiled peanuts for Carroll. He LOVES boiled peanuts!!

Sunday afternoon, "the twins" - Mary and Helen - came to visit. They are always lots of fun.

John and Deb came by for a while and brought a book for Carroll to read. Wasn't that nice? John is one of Carroll's best friends.

Another of Carroll's closest friends is Chuck. You should have seen the umbrella he was carrying! Carroll and I play a card game called "Fan Tan" with Chuck and his wife, their son and daughter-in-law. We also play Fan Tan with other folks from time to time, especially Mom.

Pastor Sue Briner from St. Luke's took time out of her very busy schedule to come by, chat and have a prayer with us. She's getting ready to go to a "Preaching Festival" in Atlanta for five days. She's looking forward to it, but it doesn't sound like much fun to me. However, Desmond Tutu is the opening speaker for the festival, so it must be a pretty big deal.

Sunday night Lisa came by with Jake, Ben and Kelly. Those boys are growing!

Carroll got a call from his son, Vic, tonight and he was glad to hear from him. Loads of people have called or e-mailed. Some of their messages are in the comments below this post and also below previous posts. He even received a call from Hazel in Scotland.
Mandy and Lorri called to check on Carroll; Wendy and Susan sent messages.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Day Three

Well, Day Three wasn't so good, but that's primarily because the Braves didn't win tonight. In fact, they didn't win by a whole lot.

The Dawg was still tired today, wheezing and short of breath, but he's certainly better than he was on Thursday.

Now, let's talk about the personnel at Summerville Medical Center. Have you ever seen people who seem so delighted to bring the needles to stick the patients?

Laura, Jenny, Lori, Bobbie and Pam certainly seem to enjoy their jobs! They've been wonderful!

In fact, I almost hate to leave at night. They seem to enjoy The Dawg too much!

Here, I think Bobbie is having the same problem with Carroll that Mindy had yesterday. He's not supposed to talk when he's taking the breathing treatment (i.e. "smoking the peace pipe.")

He had some nice visitors today, including Vic & Edie, Lisa, Pete & Mary, and Pastor Holley from St. Luke's. Pastor Holley, who had just arrived (two hours earlier) back in the area from his daughter's graduation in Chicago, had devotions with Carroll.