Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Day 4 Good Morning!!!

Day one of at least three full days in a hotel, it is certainly great to be out of the hospital and for a whole raft of reasons, but two things the hospital was good for were, bedside med, and food delivery. Meds are not so much of a problem, I'm going out after rush hour to pick up Lis' OTC meds, food on the other hand that's a wee bit of a problem.
Challenge 1:
There is only one microwave in the hotel, it is downstairs and very small, we do have a dorm refrigerator. Chewing anything tough, or hard, is a problem for Lis' the entry path to Bob (her tumor) required cutting most of the mastication muscles on the right side of her jaw, finally there is my own ignorance, I have been for all my life, nearly a complete carnivore, and most meat is off the plate for Lis, at least with current preparation facilities, so what exactly would omnivores eat within the above restrictions?
Challenge II:
This much I know absolutely, Lisa must get up to walk at least 5 times a day, well maybe 4, if she instead sits in a chair and does some lower leg raises, that's my own idea, the first is the hospitals. I totally get this, it would be penultimately stupid to have such an incredibly successful surgery ruined by a preventable stroke caused by a blood clot that formed in the leg. Now Dr. Al-Mefty who is perhaps the best skull base surgeon in the world right now(not my opinion, although I don't doubt it), has very aggressive post op activity notions, pushing for a resumption of normal activity levels ASAP.
It is hard for me to argue with such a professional. On the other hand his expertise is in the OR, there were some who thought some of his post op strategies were a bit extreme. This is really not fare to a caregiver, and I'm not at all sure there is a solution to the dilemma but, I know there ought, at least be, more definitive guidelines. I love my lady dearly, the idea of causing her discomfort or pain is completely repugnant to me, on the other hand allowing her to come to catastrophic harm due to inaction on my part is absolutely unacceptable. There needs to be more information on this:
How far do we walk?
How do you tell how far is enough without being too much? (all cases are different there could not be a standardized chart, there ought to be some evaluable, observable criteria.)
How much time should be spent sitting up and awake?

Well I have to git to the stores, and Lisa is stirring so time to play drill sergeant (her term).



  1. Kevin, You are going to need to be a little tough and get her up to do the 5 times a day walking. I haven't had brain surgery, but I have had other major surgery and a person really does recover better if they are strongly encouraget to move as directed. You will feel a bit mean, but keep reminding yourself that it is for her own good.
    By the way THANK YOU for the updates - we are all so relieved things are going well.

  2. Get a few boxes of Mac & Cheese maybe. That is soft and fairly easy to make.
    In other news - Marco brought you guys a present today. It has small paws and a tail.... I took care of it. :)

  3. Kev, She needs protein, so I would recommend Greek Yogurt (it's higher in protein), cottage or ricotta cheese, Soft goat cheeses, etc. She needs fruits and veggies so go with canned because they will be SOFT. Another alternative is baby fruits and veggies.

    And yes you simply MUST be a drill sergeant for her. She will heal faster the more she moves. How far should you walk? She needs to become very aware of her strength, when she says "Let's turn back." make her take a couple more steps then turn back. Each time, go one or two steps further.

    It may be difficult now, but this will help her much more as she recovers. Good luck!

  4. The other people sound like they know what they are talking about. As to the food, they have some good suggestions - and there are a lot more prepared foods these days in the dairy cases. Like the cottage cheese, yogurt, puddings, a bite of cheese dip on the end of a plastic knife, etc. Your reports are so great, Kevin. Almost like we are there. Love, Mom Cass

  5. Ditto the mac and cheese, and the reccod for protein. Chewing gum helps gently stretch the cut muscles. IME, actual pain will ease up soon, but it might be a few days before she can chow down on a sub or steak or things along those lines. Does she like tuna fish? Chicken salad? Hummus?

    My surgeon was Al Mefty trained. ;-) I was up and walking around as you have described, but I disagree that you should push Lisa to the point of pain. (yikes! Did they really suggest that?!?) I was told to increase activity as tolerated--i.e. no heavy lifting, no bending, or since I had recently moved "Don't let her carry bureaus up staircases." Walks around the block, making my own soup, short trips out with friends--all fine very early on.

    Walks of the sort she took around the hospital are excellent. getting up to do self care things, get her own drink, snacks, etc. as much as possible make sense. It will also help ease any lingering dizziness/vertigo/weird off kilter feelings, and it also helps with mood.

    Also, IME once the steroids really kick in, you might have a few days of making her REST. They sometimes make the newly post op neuro patient think they are invicible.

  6. Basically, I don't think you need to be a drill sargent with a dash of Richards Simmons, but you want to encourage independence and movement.

    If it helps, I slept ALOT for the first few months post op. (Aside from a few days totally wired before tapering off Decadron.) I would say she should listen to her body in terms of how much sleep she needs, and within reason, how much activity she can tolerate.

  7. Good evening -

    Hope everything is OK. It has to be great to be out of the hospital.

    Talked with Greg tonight and he said to say HI!. His computer broke and he'll be back on-line soon.

    Kick back and take it easy. Till later.

  8. Sounds like she is doing great!!!!!!! :)

  9. How about soup? Nice clear broths, chicken based for protein, veggie based for, well veggies. there can be a few little bits of pasta in there, or small bits of mushed up veggies or meat that is easy to swallow.

  10. I am so happy to hear that Lis is doing all right! Phew! It's been on my mind.

    For easy food--braised meat until it's really really tender might work. ground beef or tofu are pretty easy to chew, I think. Mashed potatoes are a must, of course.