Hospital time is a thing

Dec 20

I know, I know, you’re all dying to hear what the big news is from hospital today, right?

Here’s the newest update:  I need a haircut.

It’s both the real update and the facetious update.  My brand new pulmonary team seems play in the “watch and wait” realm–not where I am used to setting up camp.  Each morning I have a chest X-ray, and the radiologist reads the film, and the pulmonologist compares the image(s) to the previous images.  One pulomonologist also ordered a lung CT with no contrast, so that one is in the mix too.  Respiratory therapists visit me every 4-6 hours and work my lungs out.  By the time the reports trickle down to me in my hospital room, I get the line:  “Everyone hopes “tomorrow’s films” will show that the lung is no longer collapsed and that there will be no more air leaking out of the lung.  So, we wait for tomorrow, okay?”

And I nod and agree.  “Okay.”  And it really is okay.  Remember?  Nice people bring me meals on a tray.  My nurse shampooed my hair for me today.  My goals for the day are: eat, walk two laps in the hallway, pee, poop, take medicine, breathe, and don’t let the pain get ahead of the pain meds.  It’s hardly intense–except for that last one about the pain.  That can be intense.  Once the films show improvement, things will happen quickly: they’ll detach me from my seventeen cords, they will make sure I’m stable, and they will send me home.  Ahhhh, home.

I feel confident I’ll be home by Christmas Eve, and I’m not stressing about it.  I’m doing my breathing exercises and making the most of hospital life.

Haha… so, some stream-of-consciousness writing now; I just had the respiratory therapist come into my room for “treatment”.  This involves him putting some foul tasting/smelling liquid into a nebulizer (aka air compressor) and has me try to breath evenly with that in my mouth.  I did this for the first time last night and I had to have the lady give me countdowns like you do in sports.  “Okay, Jen, you’ve got two minutes, you can do this.  Okay, you are twenty-five percent done–go girl!”  I have to seriously put my mental game on so that I don’t choke on air.  Which sounds bizarre, but man I have a whole new level of respect for asthmatics!

And, I really do need a haircut.  I seem to be in mullet-land, which is a sad situation.  Are salons open for walk-ins on Christmas Eve?  Haha!

Love to all.  I hope you are having merry merry days this season.


  1. You are amazing!

  2. Lisa Smith /

    Prayed for you after my beach run today. Sending all my love and merry thoughts to you Jen. Every last one of them. Sent to you. God Bless You. xoxoxoxoxoxoxxo

  3. ShannonK /

    I’m praying you are home by Christmas Eve and maybe a haircutting elf will visit

  4. Lisa Marker /

    Praying and counting on a pre-Christmas release!!! Love your attitude and faith!! 🙂

  5. Wishing you peace as you continue to tackle one step & one day at a time… hopefully all the way through a pre- or by-Christmas Eve release. I’m so sorry for the episodes of pain you’ve had to endure when the pain/pain meds don’t align properly 🙁 – I hope those episodes become fewer and farther between…
    Thinking of you each day and always sending positive thoughts your way!

  6. Jen powers /

    Praying 17 becomes fewer and fewer by the day.
    Love to you!

  7. Praying you are healing well and will be home for Christmas! Thanks for staying in touch.

  8. Penny Kellam /

    So that breathing thing? Got my Happy Thought Bubbles yesterday and was explaining to my husband how your wonderful Sister breathes Happy Thoughts into each of them. You are literally surrounded by Happy Thought Bubbles. Tons of them. Real. Virtual. Tons! And breathing is never over rated. And breathing Happy Thought Bubbles? Off. The. Charts. Sending Peace…and Healing…and a bizillion Happy Thought Bubbles to remind those silly lungs to do their job. Love from the West Coast.

  9. Jen, Jen, Jen … the real reason you’re still in the “hospital hold” pattern is you’re a cute young thing! You’re the only breath of fresh air (pardon the analogy) on the floor. All of the staff is probably thrilled that you’re still tethered to a multitude of wires & garden hoses! Seriously ~ you’ve got this. You’ll definitely be home for Christmas Eve (remember…believe, believe, BELIEVE!!!) I’m sending you gallons of positive thoughts, as, I’m sure, is the same for everyone else reading this blog. You’re probably gaining weight from all the good thoughts! Keep “doing today well”…and be ready to hop on Santa’s homeward bound sleigh. (BTW…I’ll just bet someone knows a stylist who might come to the hospital to take care of that mullet!) ♥p

  10. Peace and joy and healing and rest and love to you. I keep thinking of that old song, “…this is the air I breathe…Your every Word, spoken to me…” The breath of God, filling you today.

  11. Tonja Hemmerick /

    Today I read the updates on your progress after surgery, and you never seem to amaze me with your determination. We here at thie Hemmerick household have been praying for your recovery and “NED” status. Now onto the prayer of your Christmas wish…..home with your beautiful family celebrating “NED” for a lifetime.
    Love you ‘”Sister”,

  12. Lindsay l /

    Praying for that Christmas Eve or sooner release and that your body continues to heal!

  13. Sue Brelsford /

    Home! MyChristmas wish for you. The BEST present your family could ask for.

  14. Praying that you & your NED can be home for Christmas.
    And because I believe God cares about small things, too, I’m praying that a hair fairy will come to YOU for a little trim in your hospital room. ♥
    Heal, lungs, heal!

  15. Laura Murphy Ranochak /

    My friend Alicia is a great stylist and said she’d come to you. Just email me if you’re still in search of a haircut.

    you have an amazing spirit!

    Praying for you to have a speedy recovery.

  16. Prayers from WA! For healing, comfort, and to be home by Christmas…the greatest gift of all! You are a warrior.

  17. Bonnie J /

    Breathing in and out…. Praying your lung fills with air and breathing became easier. When I read your comments I couldn’t help but think of that worship song where he sings, “breathing in Your Grace, breathing out Your Grace”. May that be Jen, Praying for release… Soon!!!

  18. Marsha Vonderwish /

    You can do this and do it with style! Keeping you in my prayers!

  19. Gave platelets this morning and prayed that your “connections” to the hospital will be pulled and that you can fly home.