Short Version: After a fairly challenging 36 hours in recovery, Janet is now in the ward. She’s still having 1 on 1 nursing care, but is progressing well. Thank you for your ongoing prayer, care and love.
Longer Version: Janet’s time in recovery was fairly intense, with lots of checks, visits from physios, speech pathologists, dieticians, as well as the follow-up from the various teams involved in the surgery (ENTs, Plastics, Anaesthetics, etc). For the first 15 hours she was breathing totally through the tracheostomy (throat tube) and then yesterday morning they released the cuff/balloon that blocks the passage to the mouth so she could breathe through the tube and her mouth (much more comfortable). It also means she can speak with a hoarse whisper, which tires her but is better than writing everything out on an electronic slate. Yesterday morning they tried to get her out of bed and onto a chair briefly (with a view to transferring her to the ward in the afternoon), but she felt too dizzy when they sat her up, so back to bed. At this point they decided to keep her in recovery/HDU for another night. This morning she was well enough to be moved.
What a procedure! It took a full hour to unplug all the machines she’s attached to and then plug them in again at the other end to the journey down the corridor to the ward. She is now in a private room with her own dedicated nurse, and a view down to the Westgate bridge.
She is being fed through a naso-gastric tube with an all-in-one liquid diet. Hopefully she will transition to mouth-feeding before discharge, but the dietician assures me that if not, I could learn how to feed her at home. I would have to keep her away from the teapot – she’s longing for a cuppa! Her tummy is still getting used to the diet and a bit unsettled. She’s in good spirits considering everything. The plastic surgeon said that today would be the hardest, with the swelling at its peak. Hopefully it will decline in the next few days. When the tubes start coming out and she can get out of bed she will feel a whole lot better.
We are so thankful to God (and the generous tax-payers of Victoria!) to have such a marvellous hospital with such dedicated staff. Every detail is looked after and checked so thoroughly. When we think of what’s available in other parts of the world we have lived in we are extra grateful.
Give thanks that :
- the flap is ‘taking’ and the blood supply is good (doppler checked about every 30 mins).
- the care is so good – no infections
- her stomach to settle
- the incisions, graft sites and the flap to heal
- stamina for her in all that’s happening.
- the staff in all the details of caring for the complex needs of the recovery.
We thank God for his goodness to us – we don’t deserve it, but are so grateful for his grace and love, and for yours too. Thanks for all your messages and encouragement. Janet and the family join me in sending our love to you all.
PS: I’m trying to get the balance between keeping you informed and spamming you, so will update this every couple of days.