Thursday with Kramer

Thursday was a set back day is some ways and a boost in other ways. Let me explain….

Let me start with the good:
Kramer has managed pain now.  It’s much better than yesterday.  I think just knowing the epidural was a fail was helpful.  Previous to knowing this he couldn’t figure out why the pain was so intense.  Now that he knew, he could understand.   I think it always helps anytime we have more knowledge about our situation.  They had opted to keep the epidural in place just in case it was helping just a little but that got removed today.

Kramer has been up and walking and feels good about walking.  Like Kalissa told you yesterday, he is listening and doing exactly what is expected of him.  To be honest, I anticipated him being a little “bucky”.  He has been a time or two with me (Like any husband) but here he’s been kind and considerate to his nurses even when he hasn’t felt very good.

He is walking further each day and that makes me feel really, really good.  It gives me more confidence that he’ll do okay when he gets home.

For the bad news…
His chest tube hasn’t been draining a lot and his cough has been more fluid like.  He’s coughing and spitting up quite a lot.  This is good to get the fluid out but painful for him.  On my part, I hate hearing him cough as I know it’s painful.  Every time I have to remind myself that it’s actually good that he’s coughing.

He went down to x-ray again and will again until the chest tube comes out and he’s doing a little better.  The x-ray has been hard to read as the mass is still in his lung and it’s hard for the doctor to differentiate what is mass and what is fluid. an ultrasound is what he needed.

The morning had a lot of bad news…his oxygen levels went down overnight so they had to put a different breathing mask on him..then he couldn’t sleep.  He hasn’t slept the best at all while he’s been here.  I am convinced that once I get him home he’ll sleep for a full 24 hours.  He has expressed that it’s very hard to sleep because he wakes from all the beeping machines.  Poor guy.  Typically sleeping is never an issue for him.

People have been so great and kind to us.  Roger’s boss had food sent to us today.  Four sandwiches and four soups along with cookies.  It was great to be able to stay close and the food was good.  We so appreciate the kindness.  All of you have been great with your kind comments and words cheering us on.  Kramer reads all of it and is so appreciative.

33 thoughts on “Thursday with Kramer”

  1. I’ve always thought the worst thing about being in the hospital was trying to sleep with all the noise and nurses constantly coming in to check on you. Now that they have a handle on his pain things should hopefully get a little easier. Fingers crossed for fast healing so he can get on with the rest of his treatment.

  2. The kindness that surrounds you and Roger and the kids has come full circle from all the kindnesses you have been showing as you live your lives. It makes perfect sense to me that you have been shown thoughtfulness and compassion and caring throughout this process. I believe it will continue as there are many more people who also want to return the kindnesses. Rest in the good. The other stuff will be worked out in time.

  3. Hang in there! There is light at the end of this tunnel. Hospitals are not a good place for sleep. About the time you doze off they come to poke or prod plus all the slamming doors and beeping machines. You’ll be home soon.

  4. As both a patient and a RN, the hospital is no place to go for sleep. 2h max at a time if you’re lucky.

    Praying for his lungs to clear and get you all back home where he can rest and heal and ya’ll can snuggle into your nests.

    Take good care-each of you. The road ahead is bumpy.

  5. As both a patient and a RN, the hospital is no place to go for sleep. 2h max at a time if you’re lucky.

    Praying for his lungs to clear and get you all back home where he can rest and heal and ya’ll can snuggle into your nests.

    Take good care-each of you. The road ahead is bumpy.

  6. Thanks for the update. I have been thinking alot about you two Kramers. It has to be very long days for both of you. Hope he can heal fast.

  7. Glad to hear Kramer’s paninis being managed better! That always helps. Here’s hoping you are able to go home soon. Keeping you in my prayers.

  8. This is so close to home for the past three years with my hubby. I. can feel your pain and I pray for you both. Heal quickly and there is never anything as comfy as your own bed. Be sure to take care of yourself too

  9. Small progress is good. Keeping Kramer in my prayers and for you the strength and patience to take care of him when he comes home.

  10. Jo, I had lung surgery 42 years ago. the coughing is horrible. Have him try and hold a pillow under his arm to help with the pain. Especially when he is coughing. You mentioned he said the recliner was better and I agree. I used a heating pad after I got home to help with the pain. I can feel his pain. Also they are the hardest on the ones they love when they are suffering. Each day will get better. Praying for all of you. Chris

  11. The good news does sound good. I hope that the bad news gets turned around quickly. Thanks for update.
    Positive thoughts and prayers coming your way. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Positive thoughts for both of you. I had bronchitis once and the coughing definitely was painful, so I can sympathize even though I’m sure mine was not as uncomfortable. Hang tight.

  13. I don’t know if he has an IV or not, but I ALWAYS feel better when that is out! I bet he does sleep a bit when he gets home! And above, Chris mentioned a pillow, a good idea to try.
    Thanks for the update. Keeping you ALL in our thoughts and prayers.

  14. Susan the Farm Quilter

    Praying for you all!! When I had abdominal surgery I would press a pillow into the area of my incision when I coughed and that helped with the pain a great deal. Sure hope you get to go home soon and that the roads will be clear for that trip!!

  15. Jo;

    I am sure once you are able to get him home it will be much more rest for him. How anyone can sleep in a hospital is beyond me. I am sorry for the little setback, but it will get better I am sure. As a faithful blog reader, I am sure you are just receiving back some of the kindness that you spread everyday. Karma, whatever you want to call it, always returns good for good.
    Sending prayers

  16. Sending more thoughts and prayers your way. It’s so frustrating when the recovery isn’t a straight path, but getting some answers is definitely good. Here’ hoping they can get the fluid in his lungs dealt with and his body can work more easily on healing.

  17. Hospitals aren’t the best place for ‘R & R’! Hopefully each day will bring more good news than bad. If you are having the same forecast as us…you might be in a good place in the midst of a blizzard!! Take care!

  18. I’m sure he’ll rest better when he gets home. Hospitals are not designed for getting any sleep. Machines beeping, people coming in to get vitals, draw blood, whatever.

    So nice of Roger’s boss to send food up. What a welcome change to hospital food.

    You all remain in my prayers.

  19. Coming from a longtime ICU RN…Having a chest tube is a very painful thing. Having one that’s not draining effectively is even worse!! My heart aches for you, Jo, being the loved one who sees his suffering and can’t do much about it. My heart also aches for you Kramer. You are in the worst kind of pain. I would suggest keeping a very close eye on your pain score. Once your score reaches 5/10 you need to press the button on your PCA or request some pain medicine ASAP. Too many patients try to be too brave or fear becoming addicted to pain meds. Addiction and/or dependence is not much of a risk if pain meds are only used for moderate to severe acute pain (like yours). It’s hard to deep breath or cough or ambulate (walk) much when in pain. And a lot of pain and little sleep will also impact the healing process in a negative way. With all the nurses and first responders in your family, I’m sure you likely already know everything I’ve just said. I guess the nurse in me just wants to you to feel better soon!! Your family continues in my thoughts and prayers.

    P.S.: Jo—I received my Farmstead Gathering quilt kit today! I love the fabric!!

  20. Did you say KRAMER is reading the blog comments ??? Oh heavens, child, get that man some better reading materials – – a copy of Field and Stream, or maybe American Heiffer or a tutorial on Plowing a Straight Row or something !!!! And he needs a robe made out of camo fabric, pronto.

  21. Dear Jo and Kramer;
    Just want you to know that you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. My husband unexpectedly went through open heart surgery last year and we understand what you both are experiencing. Keep a positive attitude and do everything the doctors and nurses tell you. With diligence and perseverance, you will eventually get to where you need to be.

  22. So glad that you have the pain under some control, it sounds like each day is better. Hope he continues on this road to recovery

  23. Keeping Kramer and your family in my prayers and sending healing thoughts your way. Yes being in the hospital is not a way to get sleep.

  24. Katherine Gourley

    I am also a retired RN, OCN (oncology) and I can confirm what the other RNs have posted. Thoracic surgery involves a lot of pain and Kramer needs to stay ahead of the pain by asking for his pain medication when his pain level is about 5/6 to remain comfortable. Controlling pain makes it easier to move and breathe and avoid other complications. Addiction is not likely and should not be a big concern. I like the suggestions about using a pillow over the incision when moving and coughing. It is a time tested way to ease the pain with movement.

    I have used a recliner for my mom, my husband and myself after surgeries and it has been the best way to sleep. I cut down a foam bed topper to fit the extended recliner. Then I put it on the recliner and used a twin fitted sheet on the topper and recliner seat and made it easy to change the sheet and keep the recliner clean. When you are lying around a clean soft sheet a day makes it so much nicer.

    Jo, I send Kramer and the Kramer family my prayers and hope for a good recovery without complications. As nurses, your daughters will be a huge source of support and knowledge.

  25. Jo, I’m so thankful you and Kramer are not only surrounded by nurses in your family but on your blog as well. It seems sometimes one nurse will have an idea that another one forgot about or just didn’t think about. Kramer is a lucky man to have so many nurses and you Jo to watch over him. I continue to pray for each one of you daily. I actually had a dream last night of you posting a picture of Kramer in his tractor cab (the tractor that Carver got to ride in) you said (in the dream) that Kramer went to work the day after he was released. I know the dream was a bit over the top but I truly believe that he will heal quickly. Hugs and Prayers for you and yours

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