News from the hospital

Dec 19

I like to think I’m getting pretty savvy with hospital life.  For example, I remembered to bring an extension cord with me so that I can charge/access my electronics without getting out of bed.  A friend loaned me her aromatherapy mister, so I now have the prettiest smelling room at the hospital.  I’ve memorized the menu from which I can order my meals, and the blessing of people who bring me meals on a tray as if I am the queen does not get old!  I’m pretty well versed in all of my medical bullet points, so I can advocate for/against various drugs/treatment/therapies, etc. based on past experience and knowledge.  I’ve had a steady stream of visitors which makes the day much more interesting.  Brad has been here almost everyday–juggling me, work and the girls–, and even spent the first night with me on the teeny tiniest couch you’ve ever seen (and he’s 6’4″)!!!  Maren and Greta haven’t seen me yet;  Greta’s sick and Maren said she would rather stay home and play on the evening we had arranged for her to come down.  (Fine by me!  I’m thrilled she’s adjusted well!)  I’ve kept my vow of not watching daytime television and have actually been reading books… in that regard it’s like I’m on vacation!  What can I say?  I’m doing the hospital well!

I’m pretty sure there is a direct correlation to your number of cords and your dischargability.  No discharge for me tomorrow; I counted sixteen wires/cords as I am sitting here tonight (Friday, day four post-op).

Yesterday morning and today I had chest x-rays, and they are showing that the middle lobe of my right lung has collapsed or partially collapsed.  It’s quite common for this to happen and it is reversible, and I have another new -ologist to monitor this particular situation.  My pulmonologist is having me do PT for my lung(s) with respitory therapists four times per day, and to work on my breathing as much as possible.  Since moving/unplugging/winding/untangleing the sixteen cords is such an ordeal I do spend most of my time in my bed, and I really have no excuses not to comply with doing a LOT of lung therapy.

All of the hospital staff seem to be high-fiving themselves about every other aspect of my care.  I’m compliant, I’m young and relatively spry, I can (mostly) stand on my own, I can (mostly) sit down on my own.  I’m a demographic they don’t see a lot of on this floor, the Cardiovascular Surgical Unit.  Every day, twice a day, I am visited by an exercise physiologist, and his job is literally to walk me around the floor.  It takes us twice as long to pack up the cords–it’s like a bizarre Christmas tree wind-up–as it does to do the actual “exercise”.  The staff here have been wonderful across the board; I am grateful.

It’s 10:45pm now, and my nurse just came in to say that the pulmonologist and the thoracic surgeon just talked on the phone about me, reviewed my films, and then posted a note to my chart.  These doctors are dedicated!  All of them are concerned about my pain, but I feel foggy most of the time, which means the pain medicine is working.  There have been a few episodes (maybe four?) where my pain rockets up to a 12 on a scale of 0-10; it lasts for abut 10 minutes until the drugs start kicking in.  Most of the time I’m quite comfortable, I’m making friends with the staff, and I am excited to get home for Christmas once all of my docs feel comfortable letting me out.

I’m very relaxed in knowing that my girls are being taken care of by Brad and the village.  I feel grateful that I (again!) have No Evidence of Disease.  Thank you!  I’m foggy, but I’m going to try to answer text and emails and blog more this weekend.

Blessings to you and yours this holiday season!


  1. Margaret /

    I am thinking about you Jen and I sincerely hope that you will be home and feeling well enough to enjoy Christmas with your gorgeous family. You are an inspiration to us all.
    love from Margaret and Ian

  2. I am so thankful to hear the surgery went well and you are doing your hospital days well. Continued prayers of thanks for NED and prayers of healing. Prayers for a joyful Christmas and many many many Happy New Years to come.

  3. I always stop what I’m doing to read your updates, each one is a reminder to slow down and do My Today Well. ☺️ Praying for you, your sweet family, the village…and praising God for NED!

  4. ohiofishergirl /

    Hoping that your “Christmas cords” will vanish and you’ll be home with Brad and the girls soon. Keep doing your hospital “vacation” well!!

  5. Sending love and prayers from our little piece of the world to yours. Blessings! Stay well 🙂

  6. Lori6NV /

    Thinking of you, and meals on a tray sounds like a nice “perk” — if there can be one in your situation, you’re always sure to find it! Hoping you’re home well in advance of Christmas.

  7. So happy to hear that you’re doing well after the surgery. Your doctors are soon going to ask you to teach a class about how to be the ideal patient!! Thinking about you and praying for the 16 lines/tubes to be removed as soon as possible. Love you lots!

  8. You have an Amazing spirit! So happy about NED!

  9. Smiling…actually giggling at how you can put a positive spin on recovering from lung surgery in the hospital only days before Christmas! I LOVE that you have an aromatherapy mister in your room (no doubt filled with a Christmas tree scent!). Only you could equate being served hospital food on a tray as “Queen Treatment”!!! Your positivity is incredible! Your “village” and “prayer warriors” are supposed to be taking care of your needs, yet I feel as if you’re the one sprinkling glitter on us! That attitude, young lady, is more than likely going to result in you living a lovely 48 plus years! KEEP IT UP! ♥p

  10. Stephanie /

    Keep your positive attitude and amazing strength and before you know it you will be home for Christmas. God Bless you and your family. xo

  11. Bonnie J /

    Christmas cords BE GONE!!! Love specific prayers 🙂 praying you’re home soon with all those that love you so completely. Read on Jen, rest well and come home soon!!

  12. So glad to hear things are progressing as smoothly as possible. It’s no doubt that your wonderful positive attitude is playing a big part in your healing process!
    Gentle hugs to you!

  13. Prayers for you to be home for Christmas! I love that you are reading, rather than getting caught up in the daytime TV. It’s so easy to do! I also pray that the “12” doesn’t happen to you anymore. Even if it’s only 10 minutes, I’m sure it is seems like an eternity. Healing hugs to you!

  14. Aunt Annie /

    Uncle G laughed when he read # of cords vs dischargability! Peggy’s post perfectly sums up what I was thinking – your positive positioning on life’s challenges is incredible! Your blog is helping so many souls, including mine! Continue to stay calm, become cordless and carry on! Lots of hugs and love!

  15. Kathi Roth /

    Oh God love you! If I could send hugs through this post I would! You inspire me