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December 5, 2010 - Pray for Pain Relief


It's 4PM Monday as I write this from the hospital library. Greg is doing well, but is extremely fatigued and having a lot of pain today.

As you know, prayers were again answered and the Steelers won last night! He thoroughly enjoyed the game and joined in cheering and trying to wave his Terrible Towel and definitely raised his heart rate! Maybe a little too much cheering?? After we left, he used the bathroom and while doing so heard a "pop", followed by a ton of bleeding from one of his chest tube sites. He had bled quite a bit before the bleeding was controlled and today, his blood count is down a lot.

For those of you who are my medical friends, his hemoglobin is down around 7.5. It has been low as a result of his renal failure, but it did get even lower. At this point, they are not transfusing him, but will instead give him some other medications to help increase his blood count. The whole experience was quite frightening to him and exhausting, so by the time he got to bed, he was pretty spent and in a lot of pain.

This morning, Ruth, the physical therapist came to see him and since she is very "motivated" on behalf of her patients, she had him get up and walk 75 feet down the hall, stopping at each nurses charting station where there was a stool - getting up and down- and then returning to his room where she put him through the litany of other exercises that she has him do. He said he was trembling inside from pain and exhaustion by the time she was done with him, but that she announced in her British accent that he had done "BRILLIANTLY"! You have to hear him say it, to appreciate her tone :)

He finally had fallen asleep after all this and was awakened by the surgical physician's assistant and since he didn't wake up in a completely alert state, she feared that his blood gasses were bad and ordered that his pain meds be stopped. Needless to say, that made him feel really upset, understandably. He questioned it and so she ordered that they draw blood gasses on him, which is quite painful. Fortunately, they were OK, except for his oxygen level being a little low. This also is understandable because he was not breathing deeply since he had unresolved pain! In the end, Dr. Desai came in and offered a plan for pain relief that should work and when I left his room a little while ago, he was anxiously waiting for his first dose.

He had been told earlier in the day that he was going to receive dialysis today, but it had not been started yet when I left the room. His weight is up a bit, but he is not short of breath! His kidneys are working, but just not quite good enough yet. He said that he feels bloated in his abdomen and legs, but it's not overly evident.

He is continuing to be a true "Braveheart" and I told him today that I'm so proud of him for trying so hard to get better and for being so courageous. He said that he doesn't feel brave inside but I am continually amazed at how he takes so much in stride (politely and gratefully) - I don't think I'd be such a good patient.

That's about all I know for now -- if you'd please pray for good pain management that would allow for maximum deep breathing/ coughing and for an increased blood count that would provide more energy, we would be grateful.

Hope you're all having a good Monday! Please know how much you are appreciated!


Greg's mother

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