Thursday, July 29, 2010

Going home!!!

Mom just got the clearance to go home tonight! We are so excited and thankful! I started doing my dance again! He has "turned our mourning into dancing!" I will update more later tonight.

An update and a special request

Dear friends and family,

Sorry I didn't get a post on the blog last night. We didn't get home until very late and I only had enough energy to eat a quick bite and fall into bed. Mom stayed here at the hospital without us last night because she felt well enough to be alone. During the night, she didn't seem to get much sleep because she became very nauseous and the nurses were in a lot trying to help her with this. Mom's nausea is better today.

The doctors told her yesterday that there was a possibility that she could maybe go home today. I sang a song and did a dance as soon as the doctor left the room... but I probably should have waited for today to do that. Mom continues to be doing very well today, but they are beginning to give her a couple of new things in her IV. The surgeon is supposed to be here soon and should be able to give us some more information about Mom's current progress and the possibility of her going home sometime soon. He was very encouraging yesterday, so we are hoping he will be that way again today.

While our family has been here at Santa rosa, we have met and become friends with a lot of different people- nurses, doctors, transporters to x-ray, other patients' families,etc. We have all really enjoyed meeting these people and learning their stories. We have learned a lot about suffering and how many people go through things much, much more difficult that a bowel obstruction. While we have been loved on beyond measure during Mom's stay in the hospital, we have thought so much about how other people live through hardships without prayers or support. I just can't imagine.

We met a family like that this week. We would like to bring their names to this incredible group of prayer partners and ask you to pray for and support them in the same ways you have for us. While Kasey and I were on the elevator a few days ago, there was a little two year old riding on it with her dad. She was as cute as they come! I started talking with her and quickly fell in love with her. She told us that her name was Faith and that her little brother, "Zacky," had a "boo-boo.". Her dad said that he actually was a 7 month old who was very, very sick. We told him that we would keep him in our prayers as they got off to go to the pediatric ICU on the 7th floor. We took Faith a balloon yesterday and then met up with them again this morning in the main floor waiting room. We got to sit and talk with them for a long time and learned more about their story. They had been stationed in the Army in Germany when their son, Zechariah, was born. He has had multiple health issues, including heart disease, since he was born. The Army sent them here for their son's care and he has been in the hospital since May. The dad comes to the hospital every day with Faith and sits in the waiting areas while Zechariah's mom sits with him in ICU. We asked the dad about what their family is needing, and we hurt so badly for them when he told us that their family all lives in California and that they don't know anyone here. While I know there are probably a lot more families here like them, we felt so touched by their story. We ask you to pray for the Reese family as you pray for Mom. We want them to feel God's loving arms around them in the same way that we have felt them around us.

If you are able to pray for or somehow encourage this family, please take a moment to do this. We have been thinking about how this sweet family can be supported. The dad told me this morning, "I know God has a purpose. I just don't know it yet." I guess that is how we all feel at some point (or many points) in life. We continue to be thankful that He loves us and is in control.

Kelly (for all of us)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Blessed beyond measure

What a great morning! Mom is sitting here (in a chair and not the bed!) eating little bites of a cinnamon roll. She fought hard to get what she wanted! The doctors just left the room and said she is making progress in "leaps and bounds." What a wonderful way to describe her progress! There was even a good bit of discussion this morning about when she may get to go home. We are so excited! She still has a few more tubes/iv ports/ etc. to have removed before she can get to that point, but we are so thankful that it is even on the radar.

Her pain level this morning is at a 2 on a scale of 1 to 10. I haven't heard it that low (or even close to that!) since I got here 11 days ago. 8's and 9's have been much more common. I am more thankful than I can put into words that Mom is finally feeling some relief from pain. She said she is able to be attentive to the surgical pain now, since the ng tube was removed. That had been causing Mom a great deal of pain, discomfort, and distress. She has felt such relief with it out, and is continuing to progress as the doctors had hoped. Mom drilled her doctor with questions this morning and we talked about how glad we were that she was able to drill them herself today...instead of us being the ones to drive the doctors crazy this time :)

Mom just told the doctors she is "blessed beyond measure." We definitely all feel that way. Kasey and I were discussing yesterday how we have been so encouraged this past few weeks just knowing we were in people's thoughts and prayers. It has been such a support to all of us.

One of the doctors was here earlier and told Mom that she has handled this horrible illness with such grace and that the whole team has been honored to be a part of her care. Mom said that this has been a very humbling experience, and that it is not such a bad thing to be humbled at some points in our life. I am continually amazed at Mom's attitude and am so thankful that I have such an incredible mentor to watch and learn from.

Kara is headed out to Madrid in the morning to finish the work she has for her Master's degree there. I am headed to back to Abilene in the next couple of days to be a mommy again. I think my little ones and I are starting to really miss each other. I will continue to give thorough updates, even as I am away from San Antonio for a little while. Kasey is going to stay here for a bit longer to help Mom get transitioned back home.

I have had several requests for Mom and Dad's address. It is: 6519 Pemwoods, San Antonio, Texas, 78240.

Thank you all again for your care and concern,
Kelly (for all of us).

(By the way... I got a new phone- well actually i had to get two new phones because the first one was broken out of the box! My new phone erased all of my contacts... grrr! This phone situation has been a quite long and frustrating process! If you are one of the people I normally talk with... Or if you have my number in your own contacts, send me a quick text and tell me who you are so I can plug your number back into my phone. Thanks!!!)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Afternoon Update

We are thanking God for answered prayers this afternoon. Mom was able to get her ng tube removed this morning! She cried tears of joy and thanked the doctors and the Lord for her relief. I know many of you have been praying specifically for that today, and we thank you.

The doctors continue to watch her blood levels to determine whether a transfusion is needed. The doctors do not seem overly worried or surprised that her blood levels are low- due to the number of procedures she has had the past 14 days (including 2 major surgeries!).

Mom is sleeping comfortably right now. When she wakes up, she should be able to take a few sips of clear liquid. She has been really looking forward to this. (Well, what she is really looking forward to and wanting is a cinnamon roll!)

We continue to read comments to her as well as people's names who have commented on facebook about her. Thank you for those. She is amazed at the number of people who are lifting her up in prayer. If you have a scripture of encouragement you would like to leave (or a song- she has us sing to her when things are difficult), that would be very encouraging for her as well.

Thank you for checking on her,
Kelly (for all of us)

Day 14

Mom is having a very hard morning. She was in a great deal of pain throughout the night, but they were able to somewhat manage this with medications so that she could sleep. She is in extreme pain this morning and very frustrated to still have her "ninja tube" in her nose (down to her belly). The doctors came in the morning very early talking about a possible need for a blood transfusion. This was the first time we had heard about this possibility. Our specific prayers right now are:

1) That Mom is able to get the ng tube removed today. This is causing her a great deal of pain and anxiety right now. As soon as this is removed, she will be able to eat...which should aid in healing her body.

2) That Mom's hemoglobin levels would increase and she would not need a blood transfusion.

3) That Mom's pain would decrease.

Please keep her in your prayers today,
Kelly (for all of us)

Monday, July 26, 2010


Today was filled with some new positives. Mom has done well following surgery yesterday and seems to be (hopefully) on the road to recovery. We fully expected her to be in a lot of pain and asleep most of the day, but we were pleasantly surprised when we were wrong. Mom talked to us a good bit of the day and seemed to be in good spirits. We worked a good bit of the day trying to figure out some of her pain medications, but as of tonight, we think that is all settled. We have been amazed at Mom's strength. She is incredibly tough. I think I have always known this, but it has been amazing to be reminded of this as she has been in the hospital these past 13 days. Mom has been poked and prodded, cut on and stuck, but she takes it all without complaining....usually with a smile on her face as she tries to ask the nurse or doctor about his or her family. Mom currently has an ng tube in her nose helping with some pressure in her belly. (She is calling this her "ninja tube".) This is really, really bothering and hurting her. We are hoping things look good enough for this to come out tomorrow. We met with the surgeon this afternoon and he was very pleased with the results of the surgery and her condition today.

We were very encouraged today that Mom seemed to desire food. Over the past week or so, Mom has been extremely turned off by the smell and even the mention of food. Mom had been very specific about what foods she wanted since nothing sounded or tasted good to her. We were driving all over town to get barbeque pizzas from Lifetime Fitness, steak brazos from J.Alexanders, biscuits and gravy from Cracker Barrell, etc. just for her to get a few bites of something that tasted ok to her. She had even mentioned the fact that everything smelled differently than it had before. Now that they have cleared her body of that awful infection, Mom is ready to eat again! We had donuts this morning and Mom told us that they smelled so good to her. She said food sounded appetizing to her, though she still isn't able to have anything to eat until at least tomorrow...and then it is only clear liquids...but still! We are thankful for small victories!!!

Mom was in a great deal of pain this evening. Please pray that she is able to get some rest tonight. Kasey and I are staying at the hospital with her tonight so Dad can get some rest. He has been an amazing caretaker and needs a night of good sleep in his bed. Kara is taking care of getting us dinner (yes, dinner at 11---you kind of lose track of time here!) and clothes for the morning.

A couple of nights ago, our family sat and watched Evan Almighty on TV. Strange choice, I realize, but there wasn't much of a selection. It was a timely show for us though. In one of the scenes, God (played by Morgan Freeman) said that when people pray for patience or courage, they aren't just given those things....They are given opportunities to be patient or courageous. When a family prays to become closer, they just don't automatically become that way...they are given opportunities to grow together in love. Now, I'm not sure who it was in our family who was praying for all of these things (I will have to investigate that!), but our family has certainly been given opportunities the past 13 days to grow in courage, patience, and as a family in love. As frustrating and long as this ordeal has been, it has been such a blessing to all be together. We have spent time in prayer and in song, laughing, reading scripture, eating, talking, drilling the doctors with questions, playing Scrabble on our iphones, giving each other a hard time, taking turns holding Mom's hand, giving her ice chips, or wiping her head with a cool cloth, etc. It has certainly been a time of growing closer. While I in NO way am happy that Mom is having to endure this awful illness, I thank God that He is using it to strengthen our family in new ways.

Thank you for your constant expressions of care and concern for us, and for continuing to bring our sweet momma's name to the Lord to ask Him to heal her. We love her so much and want so badly for her to be well again.

Kelly (for all of us)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Post-Op (#2)

Mom is back in her room following her surgery. She still hasn't come fully out of the anesthesia yet, but she has been able to talk well enough to ask about the surgery and ask my dad for a kiss. We were hoping for a definite answer and fix from the surgeons, but did not get that. We did, however, feel encouraged by the surgeons and felt like the surgery was a success. Mom's surgery took about two hours. During her surgery, we were surrounded by sweet friends who brought us food, prayed with us, and even made us laugh. We are continually thankful for the outpouring of love that has been shown to us through this ordeal.

The surgeons were able to go through Mom's bowel inch by inch more than three times looking for a hole, tear, etc. They did not find one. Their only answer to this was that she had a perforation at one time that has now healed. We know that prayers have been lifted up for Mom's healing...and that He is answering those.

The surgeons were able to remove all of the infected fluid that has been building up in Mom's body. We are so thankful for this. As this fluid has been draining the past three days, she has been showing improvement. We are prayerful that by all of this infected fluid being removed from her body, she will not only feel much better, but be able to begin to heal.

In addition, the doctors removed Mom's appendix. They felt that the infection was beginning to affect the appendix and wanted to make sure there would not be any further problems that could arise from that.

Summary - The surgery gave us assurance that there is no tear or perforation causing new infection. They stated that the bowel looked healthy. Furthermore, they cleansed her body of infectious matter that should pave the way for healing.

So...again we wait. Max came and read Psalm 40 during Mom's surgery..."I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry." As we wait now to see our next step, we trust that God is hearing and answering prayers for Mom. We thank you all for offering those in her behalf. Over the next 24-48 hours, we will watch to see how Mom responds to the surgery and to see if the infected fluid returns. Our strong prayer is that it does not return.

Thank you again for your love and concern,
Kelly (for all of us)

No More Waiting

After waiting and hoping for the infection in mom's abdomen to improve, the doctors decided this morning to perform emergency surgery. She has just been taken back to the operating room and the doctors are currently working on her. The surgeon feels like there is a perforation in mom's bowel that is causing the wide-spread infection throughout her abdomen. His hope and our prayer is that he will be able to find the tear or hole and repair it. He said there would be several different ways for this to be done, and he would have to determine this during surgery.

This surgery is exploratory in nature and will be much more extensive than the last one. We are sad that she has to have surgery again, but so hopeful that this can be a step in the direction of recovery.

In the pre-op room, our family sat and sang together (kind of our church service for the day). Kasey, Kara and I sang songs she requested and she sang along with several of them. It was a strange time of blessing for all of us. We discussed lessons we have learned through this... lessons about family, friends, and caring for others during hard times (and how we have felt so cared for the past 12 days). Our biggest lesson is that God is in control... and we are thankful for that.

Please pray for mom as she is in surgery now as she tries to recover. Pray for the doctors' hands and minds as they care for her. Please pray that this surgery is the answer and that she can begin to get well.

On a side note... My cell phone is not working. The buttons and the screen are both broken. It has been the worst timing ever for a broken phone! If you need to reach me, feel free to text 210.857.2158 or 214.405.1914. I will have these phones with me until Tuesday when my new one arrives.

Thank you for loving us and for loving our mom. We will continue to keep you updated.

Our scripture for today was Isaiah 40:28-31. We pray that the Lord will renew her strength in every way.

Kelly (for the family)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Saturday- a better day

Mom had a better day today. It was quiet at the hospital, due to the weekend, so there was much less noise, traffic, rounds of doctors, etc. Because of that, Mom got some good rest. She ate well today and is moving around a little bit better. The nurses moved her to a new room this afternoon because her bed had been hurting her back. Her new room has a different type of bed that should make her more comfortable. It seemed nice to have a new view...and a lot more space in the new room. We had a meeting with the doctors this morning and they were encouraging about Mom's continued progress, though it is very slow.

I read Psalm 27 to Mom today. The last verse is "Wait for the Lord; Be strong and take heart; Wait for the Lord." That is what we are doing right now. The doctors have done what they can and we are waiting for the Lord to heal her. We thank Him for watching over her this week and pray for His continued protection and healing.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday Night

Today was a day of waiting. After all of the reports we received yesterday, today was spent watching and waiting for Mom to get better. We saw improvements this morning in her energy, appetite, and mood. She was able to get her hair washed, put on a little bit of make-up, and she even chuckled a time or two.

The doctors are still working very hard to kill the infection in her belly, as this is going to be a very slow process. The reports today were encouraging, but we still seem to have some questions to be answered about the origin and reason for all of these extra complications - we continue to pray that the extra complications are over. We are beginning to hear some mention of treatment/therapy at home, so that has been very encouraging to us.

Mom was very tired this evening as we were leaving. She is still not up to having visitors. We are hoping she can get some good rest tonight, as it will help her continue to heal.

She will have a CT scan in the next few days to give the doctors some more information. This will help them analyze progress and determine needed treatment. She is NOT happy about having this test done, since it was very hard on her body having to drink the liquid that is required for it. But Dr. Martin is trying to work out a way to make this test easier on her. We continue to be so very grateful for Dr. Martin.

Thank you for your prayers, scriptures, calls, comments, emails, facebook messages, cards, and other expressions of your love. They have all been uplifting to her and to all of us.

Kelly (for all of us)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thursday Night

We all just got home together after a long and eventful day. Kara arrived safely and was able to give my mom a nice surprise tonight by coming into the hospital room.

Mom's morning started out bright and early with testing to determine the extent of the infection in her abdomen. In the radiology department, scans were done to determine where pockets of infected fluid have collected in her abdominal cavity- fluid that has caused Mom to be extremely swollen and in great discomfort and pain. The decision had been made yesterday by Mom's surgeon that a small amount of this fluid would be removed and tested to make sure the correct medications were being used to fight the infection. When this fluid was extracted, the doctors decided that the infection was severe enough that the fluid needed to be drained from her abdomen. Two drains were inserted to try to release this pressure and remove as much of the infection as possible. This procedure was uncomfortable for Mom, but she agreed that it was needed to help her heal.

We met with a large team of doctors this afternoon and discussed many questions, concerns, etc. There have been many issues that have come up since Mom's surgery that have been unexpected complications... issues involving her kidneys, protein levels, infections, etc....and the doctors have done an amazing job of treating Mom with each new issue. The team is looking for a reason that all of these complications have occurred. There is still not a definite answer for that.

In the next 24 to 48 hours, we will be watching and praying for the infection to be gone from her body. The doctors are continuing very strong, broad-spectrum antibiotics through IV to attack the infection. The hope is that along with these antibiotics, the new drains will help by pulling infected fluid out, and that no more will return. We are watching and hoping for a drastic improvement in how Mom feels within the next 2 days, giving indication that the medications and treatments are working. We also pray that the unexpected complications are finished! The surgeon told us today that we are just having to take her case one day at a time. It has been a wild roller coaster ride, and tonight, we feel like we are headed back up. I think we are all (especially including Mom!) ready for the ride to be safely over!

As we left Mom tonight, she was tired but in good spirits. It was good to have all 5 of us there together. Mom was very sore and fatigued from today's procedures, but seemed more comfortable than she has been in many days. She was able to eat a few bites of dinner for the first time in 9 days and even enjoyed a few sips of a lime slush from Sonic. We look forward to and pray for more progress tomorrow.

I took many of the comments from the earlier blog posts up and read them to Mom at the hospital tonight. She seemed to really gain strength from knowing that so many people are praying for her. Thank you so much for your love and prayers. We feel surrounded by them.

We have all been discussing lessons that we have been learning from this ordeal today. We are grateful to God for health, family, and friends. He provides for us in every situation, and we give Him thanks for how He has worked in this situation this week.

It has been amazing to watch and learn from Mom this week. Even in her most difficult moments, she shows care and concern for the people who are taking care of her. She knows the name (and usually the life story of) every person who has come in her room, and she continually asks how their mother, child, grandchild, etc. is doing. She is truly amazing.

Thank you for checking on us and thank you for your continued prayers. We will continue to provide updates.
Kelly (for all of us)

Thursday Morning

This morning, Mom went to the radiology department and had several tests done to determine how best to treat the infection in her abdomen. The doctors were able to do some procedures that will hopefully alleviate some of Mom's discomfort and pain, as well as give us some more needed information. They sedated Mom during the procedures, so she is kind of groggy coming out of that right now. We continue to pray that the doctors are able to find out more information and that they are able to treat whatever comes our way. All of the specialists that have been working with her have been wonderful and have taken very good care of her. Mom is allowed to eat at this point, so we are working on finding her things that sound good to her and that will give her strength. Please pray for her strength, as it is so hard seeing her body go through so much.

We are with Mom a lot during the day and would love to give her encouragement from this blog. If you have a minute, we would love it if you would leave a comment for her and sign your name(s) at the end so we can read it to her. We will print them off and be taking them to her daily. We know that even though it is too difficult for her to visit with friends in person right now, she would be so encouraged by getting to hear from you.

Thanks for loving us and especially for loving and caring about her.

Kelly (for all of us)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Updates on Mom

Last Tuesday, July 13, my mom, Sharon Wilson, experienced an onset of stomach pain that quickly developed into an unbearable, debilitating and frightening ordeal. My dad rushed her to the hospital where they immediately admitted her and began testing to identify the issue. Right away, the diagnosis was made that there was an intestinal blockage. After a couple of days of conservative efforts to try to let it resolve itself, the decision was made to operate. As it turned out, the cause of the pain was the best of the possibilities (by the way, my dad says he doesn't recommend consulting the internet for self-diagnosis…scary); last Thursday, surgery was performed to cut away some scar tissue that had caused entanglement of her intestine. The surgery was successful and the outlook was one of relief and quick recovery. However, complications arose over the days following surgery. Those issues included the diagnosis of an infection in and around her stomach, blood chemistry difficulties that caused physical challenges with pain, and other messes, all of which have made her very sick.

An extraordinary team of caring professionals, led by Dr. James Martin, our fabulous longtime physician who is the Chief Medical Officer of the Santa Rosa Hospital System, has worked day and night to identify the problems and reign them in. Two nights ago, Dr. Martin described the last few days as “filled with uh-ohs.” He told us he was greatly relieved that they now don’t see any more “uh-ohs” on the horizon and that all of the challenges are being met with careful strategies to get her well. He told us that she should feel better in the next few days, and we were sure ready to hear that pronouncement instead of the scientific medical term, “uh-oh.” We’re counting on her feeling better real soon. And we have discussed the useful lessons already learned from this experience.

My mom is still in Santa Rosa; she still doesn’t feel well enough to have visitors, and although she agrees, that really bugs her. While this was all happening, my sisters and I were literally around the world. We have all come together now (Kara is in route) to be with my mom and dad during this scary ordeal. We have been so thankful for all of the prayers, thoughts, expressions of concern, and offers of help we have received. We promise to let you know if there is something we need.

Mom is due to have another hard procedure in the morning for the doctors to gain more information. Please continue to pray for both her physical health and spirit. This past week and a half has been filled with many ups and downs, and we continue to pray for a lot more "ups." Thank you for loving us and for loving our sweet mom. She is one amazing lady and we have been even more convinced of that this week as we have watched her fight. We know and are convinced that God is watching over her and giving her what she needs.

Kelly (for the whole Wilson clan)