Saturday, December 19, 2009


Amidst the advent of our first major winter storm in a decade, husband had his four-way bypass yesterday morning. Surgeon is pleased, husband's color is the best it's been in a long time, and he's recovering as expected. Lots of pain to deal with right now. Today will probably be his worst day, and I'm stuck at home because of the snow. I am resolved that I will not be able to get out today, but I know he is in the best of hands and just a phone call away from his nurse. He will probably stay in ICU today, but ICU is good for one-to-one care.

The snow is expected to end about 9 this morning (inches look like they might total ~12), and our back road is not high on the county's scrape list. I left my car in the hospital parking garage and rode home with my daughter. The hospital is about a normal 50 minute drive; with the snow falling heavily and the traffic snarling, it took almost three hours to get home. I need our driveway and lane to be cleared so that packed snow won't turn to ice and create a luge. Later this morning, I'm going to call a neighbor with a blade and see if he will clear everything.

As I said, today will likely be husband's worst day. I just talked to his nurse who will introduce oral pain meds shortly and see if he can take these without any nausea issues. If so, the oral meds will last longer than his IV pain meds. Last night, he had some issues with his blood pressure not stabilizing but that seems to be resolving, so he was extubated about 10 p.m. He's in a lot of pain--remember that for bypass surgery the sternum is split open, so until it begins to knit together some, pain is major, plus the body's general reaction to the major trauma of surgery itself. But his cardiac function is great. He will endure this but today he will think everything was a huge mistake. Tomorrow should be a little better day.

So, for now, I'm snuggled under my flannel sheets and electric blanket, Meagie is enjoying husband's half of the bed, my coffee cup is full, and I plan to finish Nathaniel Philbrick's The Mayflower and the Pilgrims' New World and listen to a beautiful Serbian Christmas carol, "Angels Sing." Lyrics follow. It is beautiful; take time to listen.

The night so grand and placid,
A star shining over the cave,
The mother sleeping in the cave,
Where the angel of Jesus hast been.

The angels are singing,
The sheperds are fluting,
The angels are singing,
The wise bring it forth:
What the nations awaited,
What the prophets had said,
Here and now it is announced,
It is announced and brought forth:
Christ, our Redeemer is born!
For the Salvation of us all.
Hallelujah, hallelujah,
Lord, have mercy!

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