Sunday, November 11, 2007

November 11: First Full Week Home

Hi everyone,

Jeff had a great first week home. On Monday we spent of time getting all the ducks in a row for his outpatient follow up treatments at the burn clinic, and at Physical and Occupational Therapy. Fortunately we have a great advocate at the hospital who helped us cut through a lot of red tape.

Jeff had some good days and some tougher days but overall he is doing well. On Wednesday they took the bandages off his arms and now he has these pressure garments to wear that he'll have for up to a year. They are really tight so they cause him some discomfort but I think he's adjusting. As soon as the graft on his leg is ready, he'll get one for his leg, too. What the garments do is help his new and grafted skin grow smooth and flush with his existing skin. He's getting some blisters on his hands and I'm not sure if that is from the garment or not so hopefully the clinic on Wednesday will give him some insight in to that.

Jeff came to church with us this morning, then out to lunch and then to our house this afternoon and he had a full day of activity yesterday so we've been excited at the continued increase in his energy and activity level. They also decreased his pain medication so he is more uncomfortable but is tolerating it well and I guess it's a good sign that they thought that he was strong enough to do that.

Thanks for continuing to follow his progress. We're praying for another great week!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

November 3: Homecoming

God has brought Jeff past another hurdle:

Jeff is HOME!

The doctor was in today and Jeff did his PT and OT first thing in the morning so the doctor said that as long as he stayed at the hospital all day, he could come home tonight. So right before supper time, he was released. All 10 of us and 2 dogs had supper together at home and Jeff did a lot of walking and visiting. He's gone to bed early and we're praying that he gets a good night's sleep in preparation for his first full day home.

We're home now too and we're going to take advantage of going to bed early. I'll likely update less often because there will be less day to day change, but I'll try to keep in touch as much as I can.

Thank you all for praying and for continuing to pray as we continue on this journey.

Friday, November 2, 2007

November 2: Coming Home?

Jeff did ok again today. He's still uncomfortable but the promise of getting off the medication to go home really motivates him to push himself. The prolonged hospital stay is really getting to him, and because he doesn't really have any concept of time, nor of how badly he was injured and how MUCH treatment he was receiving initially, it's hard for him to have much perspective about the insignificance of a couple more days in the grand scheme of how far he's come. If it were up to him, he'd get up and walk out tonight, and he's having a hard time seeing the long term goal of rehabilitating himself as thoroughly as possible before moving on.

That being said, 6 of his friends drove out today, including Becky and Chris, so that should really lift his spirits. The other 4 haven't seen him since before this all started, so I am praying the reunion really lifts his spirits. He has such wonderful friends.

However, with all that said, the doctors are talking about a release date of this Sunday! He was really hoping for tomorrow, but his Physical Therapist called in sick today and the rest of the unit was short staffed anyway so he couldn't do the walking they need him to do first, so the plan is to do that tomorrow and if all goes as planned, release him on Sunday. The extra day really upset him, but again, we're trying to help him see the perspective of the grand scheme. If he goes home on Sunday, it will be exactly 3 weeks since this all started. I just can't believe how quickly things have progressed. God has indeed been merciful and generous in His healing of Jeff's body. Even the doctors have been surprised at how quickly Jeff has been healed.

He still has a long road in front of him. He can't expose his burned skin to sun for at least a year. Since all of his limbs were burned, that means long pants and long sleeves. Fortunately, it's fall and not overwhelmingly hot. The doctors said that for the first couple of weeks that he's home, he'll feel like a truck ran over him as he tries to regain his strength and continues to re-sharpen his motor skills. He'll likely have to undergo Physical Therapy and when he returns to work, he'll have to start out slowly, on light duty. Plus, as the pain continues to subside, it's likely that he'll focus more on the psychological trauma of the fire so he will have that to deal with as well. But coming home is such a HUGE celebration and we're so grateful for that.

Tomorrow will be a busy day. His friends moved all of his stuff from California to his new house so tomorrow will be a mixture of unpacking in preparation for his homecoming and visiting him in the hospital. I'll try to update tomorrow night but maybe the next time you hear from me, he'll be home!

Praise God for His generosity of healing and His provision of great friends for Jeff. Please pray for extra protection around Jeff's spirit as he enters the next phase of this journey.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

November 1: GREAT News!

The tech and one of the surgeons just looked at all of Jeff's wounds and said they look great! They've undressed all his wounds and have replaced the heavy bandages with just a light transitional cover! All of the grafts look to be taking with his own skin.

The same surgeon was the one who originally gave us the timeline of this weekend. He had said "if everything looks good when we undress the wounds, he could go home this weekend." He didn't say that today, but he did confirm that both the wounds and the donor spots did look great. His own doctor was not able to look today so I think that's why we don't have a firm timeline.

Two major hurdles have to be overcome before he can go home--he has to start walking again, and he has to wean himself off the IV Pain Medication. Once those two things are done and presuming the wounds continue to heal in the mean time, I think the end could be in sight!

October 31: No Update

Mom just got home in the last hour and I was able to chat with her about the hospital visit today (I still can't go because of my sickness). The doctors wont be reviewing Jeff's grafts until tomorrow--we misunderstood that it would be today. There was little change in Jeff's status so I don't have any updates in that regard. Thank you for your continued prayers for the post-surgery assessment. I'll update as soon as I know more.