Thursday, June 22, 2017

Day 2737

Janet is home again. They definitely don't keep you very long in the hospital anymore. As much as I hate hospitals, I'll have to admit that I was very impressed with the doctors and staff at Baylor. Not only were they very well trained and professional, they were nice. This isn't always the case at hospitals. So far, everything appears to be going smoothly. Janet's doctors are pleased with her progress and the nurses reassured me that all the tubes and bandages she went home with are completely normal.

Once of the head nurses gave me a short course in wound care this afternoon. For the first week or so there are drains that must be emptied several times a day. The fluid that collects in the reservoirs is supposed to diminish each day, and when it stops the tubes are removed. You have to keep a log and measure the amount of fluid you remove each time, making sure to keep everything completely clean during the entire process. There have never been this many antibacterial products in our home before. I'm sure they are necessary. The doctors didn't mince words about the dangers of infections. Most of the complications resulting from surgery don't happen during the surgery itself. They are usually caused by infections that happen later.

I'm careful and methodical, even though my hands aren't as steady as they once were. It's going to be a miracle if we make it through the entire week without spilling some of the fluid that is removed several times a day. Everybody calls it a pink fluid but they're not fooling me. It's blood.

Dash is being very good. He was our only real worry, since he's probably the dirtiest thing in the house. He has slept on our bed the entire time he has been a party of our family, so he's not going to change now. I make sure he doesn't get too near Janet when he's active and excited. Dinner time and food seem to excite him the most, so it is pretty easy to lure him to the kitchen and out of harm's way. Basically Dash is a very lazy dog. If he's on the bed, he's usually sleeping.

I spent most of the morning getting the bed ready. There were new sheets, new pillows, new pillow shams, a new comforter, and unfortunately a new mattress cover. The old mattress cover slid over the mattress like a fitted sheet. This new one had a zipper and you had to slide the entire mattress inside it and then zip it up. Our mattress is very heavy and this was not an easy job. I almost gave up at one point, but I finally got the thing on. I didn't think anything was wrong with the old mattress cover, but Janet reminded me that dogs have peed on it several times. Basically sterilizing a house with dogs is an exercise in futility. All things considered though, I think we've done pretty well.

Things will be quite different for a few weeks and then should gradually return to normal. I don't think we'll need the home nurse for very long. Changing dressings and emptying the tubes is actually easier than we'd thought it would be. There will be follow up visits with the surgeons and an oncologist. I think there's a physical therapist too. In many ways this all seems very similar to what Dot and Dash went through a few years ago.

Kirby is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day