Wednesday, May 16, 2012

What a Difference 24 Hours Makes

I'm hoping this is my last post as Paul will probably be able to blog for himself soon.

For a guy who probably got about 2 hours of sleep last night (does anybody really sleep in a hospital?), he is doing great.  Paul may not agree but we can see a real difference already.  One of his surgeons came in this morning and was pleasantly suprised when he looked at his incision and checked out his legs and their mobility.  Now we are talking incremental improvement but improvement non the less.  There have been some unoffical tests done unintentionally by yours truly (Suzy), when I have moved his leg or foot too quickly but the result was not a huge spasms.  He was also moved a lot overnight in a not so gentle manner and again, no spasms.  That doesn't mean he won't have them but so far so good.

The pain component is still to be determined.  As we were told before the surgery, the first few days after the surgery would be pretty painful.  Today he is feeling more pain than yesterday but that is to be expected.  Yesterday he had a bunch of meds in him.  Today he has been dialed back a good bit.  But the goal is still to stay ahead of the pain.  The main place he has pain is in the neck and shoulders.  Between the surgery and all of the moving around the day before surgery, he had to support his neck a lot more than normal.  Plus, with the stress of the impending surgery, that would give anybody shoulder pain.  As usual, Paul is very stoic about the pain.  But don't worry - he is not going to be a martyr.  He knows that the right combo of meds and physical therapy are the key to his recovery.  Willy, one of the PTs at NIH is starting the physical therapy today.   They plan to have him up tomorrow.  He has moved from ICU to his regular room (sorry - still no visitors).  His friend Carole is here now too.  She is a nurse and is amazing.  She flew on the red eye from California last night, got in this morning and is on her way to NIH right now.  She will be a big help.  His nurse from Monday (Victory) is with him today too.  She is a treat and takes good care of him. 

We expect Paul will be at NIH for about a week then probably move to rehab.  The rehab is in Rockville near Shady Grove hospital.  The great thing about the rehab facility is that it gives Paul access to an amazing Physiatrist (Physiatrists, or rehabilitation physicians, are nerve, muscle, and bone experts who treat injuries or illnesses that affect how you move - don't mean to talk down to anybody but I had no idea what that was) who previously was too booked to get into see.  Now he will manage Paul's care and be his main doc.  Great news.  The facility is also really excited to get him in there.  Paul's wonderful PT that he sees in Virginia, Valerie, also gave her stamp of approval on the facility and I toured it.  It seems like the perfect place for him. 

So I'm sure there will be bumps in the road but I think things are on the right path.  Thanks for your prayers and good thoughts.


  1. Great news. A little carrot cake should help with the stiff neck

  2. Suzy thanks so much for these great updates! Sounds like he has a great team both in family AND friends, as well as with the medical professionals from the surgeons to the rehab. We all all very proud of him and rooting him along for sure! Can't wait to see him.....take care!

  3. Thanks so much for the updates! This sounds like very encouraging news! My prayers for a good recovery and even better rehab will be with you and your family. I am so grateful that Carole is there!

  4. Suzy thank you for keeping us all informed. Rest assured Paul has an abundance of friends and family sending love and prayers to all of you. Please give him a big, but gentle, hug from his favorite cousin Maureen. xoxo