Saturday, December 6, 2008

Week 3 of recovery & 1st Snow of 2008/09

Saturday 6 December 08
This week’s healing progress has been slow but Nan is still improving. She’s able to go a lot longer between med’s but she’s was hoping no pain pills would be required by weeks end. The relief society sisters have been awesome this week. Nan’s had two sisters each day from 9 AM to 2 PM and some even brought in lunch. It was great for me, because Nan still doesn’t have the strength to take care of her self without someone around. She’ll be on her own next week so hopefully all goes well. I’m really grateful for all the sisters and their help this week. It’s been a good week. Can’t believe its only three weeks until Christmas.

Our house @ 1PM "Looks like its night"

It’s been butt cold this week and it’s snowing today for our first real snow storm of the year. It’s a great day to watch college football. I’m grateful for conference championships or else I’d have to watch chick flicks with Nan, ha! ha! Looking North
Looking South

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving

Thursday 27 Nov 2008
This was my humble table decorations. Nan wanted a candle light dinner and this is the most I could get in touch with my feminine side. I was told later that my napkin and utensils were on the wrong side, oh well. What can I say. My culture was learned from the Archy Bunker show, ha! ha! The Alexanders brought over Thanksgiving dinner. It was a little wired being without our children. No fun!!!
This is our lazy cat Carrot. He is taking good care of Nan...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Day 9: Baby Steps

Sunday 23 Nov 2008
Nan actually slept from 2 AM to 7 AM this morning. She got up, took her pain pills and is still sleeping. It's 9 AM and I'm still reeling over the Utah BYU game last night. I still can't believe Max Hall played so poorly as my gamer... Hopefully today will be a good day today for Nan.
Nan's looking pretty good considering what she has gone thru for the past eight days. I just finished giving her a PTA bath and dolled her up in her new polar bear pajamas.
I removed her dressing. Her incision looks great. No swelling, drainage or infection. Boy I'm a good nurse, ha! ha! She should heal nicely and with the stitches inside, this wound should heal without a scar. Should be interesting...to watch this develop over time.
Saturday morning breakfast
Nan wasn't feeling to well but I still made her do 14 NASCAR laps around the kitchen. Once I had her settled and cleaning up breakfast, she hollered at me to come quick. She was upset to her stomach and was ready to throw up. I didn't know what to do. I just keep looking at her and he brace. I finally flew into action, got her out of bed and stood her up, threw her brace on as good as possible and grabbed her pink hospital bed pan and let her throw up at her bed side standing up. It as horrible watching her be in so much pain. Each time she got sick, her back with spasm and shoot horrible pains. Hopefully these next two weeks will go better.

Utah takes place as preeeminent Non-BCS program

My man Hall, had his worst game in the past two years. Five interceptions and one fumble he was credited with. This was the X-Factor and really the turning point of the game was just before half time where BYU could have taken the lead but they turn the ball over and Utah scores. I give my hat off to Utah's defense and their scheme. They were the turning point for Utah.

SALT LAKE CITY — Mountain West Conference commissioner Craig Thompson was smiling as if he had just won the lottery. And, well, he had.
Utah beat BYU 48-24, capping a 12-0 season and clinching a BCS bid. The victory also means Utah is the Mountain West champion, but that's like a door prize compared to the BCS grand prize.
The bounty: about an additional $400,000 per Mountain West school on top of $300,000 or so each team already is guaranteed in the BCS arrangement. Utah, of course, will take home a bigger additional share, estimated to be about $3 million. It's fitting for a league that stood above every non-"Big Six" conference in America this fall.
"Please remember you have one more one more bowl left," Thompson told Utah coach Kyle Whittingham in a postgame ceremony on the field as he presented him with the Mountain West championship trophy.
Whittingham clutched the hardware, grabbed a microphone and told the crowd, "Utah fans … how about that!" The crimson throng that had flooded Rice-Eccles Stadium roared.
Why not? This has become the premier non-BCS team in America. That's right. It's not Boise State, not Fresno State, not TCU and certainly not BYU. It's Utah.
Since 2000, the Utes have more victories (15) over "Big Six" schools than any other non-"Big Six" program. Since 2004, Utah is 10-3 in those games. And its 16 victories over "Big Six" foes since the BCS era began in 1998 are tied with Navy for the most in the nation.
This BCS business is nothing new to Utah. The Utes were America's original BCS-buster, breaking through in 2004 to beat Pittsburgh in the Fiesta Bowl. Most Utah insiders don't think this Ute team is as good as the 2004 edition that featured Alex Smith, Paris Warren, Morgan Scalley, Bo Nagahi and Sione Pouha. Doesn't matter. This edition of the Utes has forged a spot in school lore. And it has quarterback Brian Johnson to thank.
touchdowns, time and again making smart decisions and checking Utah into advantageous plays to spark victory in a vicious rivalry known as the "Holy War."
"I'm just grateful for the opportunity to play for this team," Johnson said. "We've been on the verge of another BCS season, and it was just a great job by the coaches, seniors and all that are a part of Utah football."
The biggest loser Saturday: Boise State. The Broncos beat Nevada and can wrap up a 12-0 regular season with a home victory over Fresno State next week, but BCS by-laws state that only one non-"Big Six" team is guaranteed a berth if it finishes in the top 12 of the final BCS standings.
That's unfortunate because the Broncos might be better than the champions from the Big East and ACC. Why not let two non-"Big Six" teams into BCS bowls if each ranks in the top 12? The BCS bowls should be about rewarding teams that perform at an excellent level all season – not about rewarding mediocre conference champs.
Fortunately for Utah, its list of accomplishments – which includes victories over Michigan, Oregon State, TCU and BYU – is more impressive than Boise State's. And who knows: Maybe, just maybe, Utah will wiggle its way into the BCS championship game.
"Now all we can do is sit back and let the rest of the season unfold," Whittingham said. "It would take a perfect storm for us to get [into the BCS title game], but there are a couple more weekends of football left and it will be interesting to watch."
BCS title game or not, Whittingham is one of the hottest coaches in the nation; he's 36-14 and has three bowl victories since being promoted from defensive coordinator to take over for Urban Meyer after the 2004 season. Will Whittingham bolt Salt Lake City? Meyer did after he led Utah to the Fiesta Bowl, leaving to coach Florida. Whittingham's tough style would work well at, say, Washington.
But he's not talking about that now. Instead, Whittingham has his eyes on tomorrow's possibilities with this team. Chatter on talk radio speculated all week on what bowl the Utes would go to and who they would play. The destination doesn't matter. The foe does. No offense to Pitt, but Utah fans didn't think the Panthers were a marquee foe. The Utes hope to be paired with a traditional power. They know the accolades Boise State received for trumping Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl after the 2006 season. Utah wants its chance at a name-brand foe this time around.
"Miami? New Orleans? Arizona? It doesn't matter," Johnson said. "We are going somewhere."
And the possibilities are many.
TURNING POINT
Trailing 20-17 late in the first half, BYU was driving for a game-tying field goal. But QB Max Hall was intercepted by Joe Dale. After an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Hall on the return, Utah took over on BYU's 44. Three plays later, Johnson threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to David Reed to give the Utes a 27-17 lead.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

It's time for the Holly War

GO BYU Cougars
Today’s the “Holly War” Heathens against Christians (running scared Utes), ha! ha! I have been waiting for this game all season. It brings out the worst in BYU and Utah Fans. I miss living in Utah and getting caught up in the fun banter at work that is associated with this game. My Sister-in-law thinks that Utah will win 48 to 24. I told her she’s smoking dope. I do feel that it will go down to the wire for the third straight year. Utah’s defense is extremely good but BYU’s offence is better than Utah has faced all season. If BYU can cause a turnover or two and block a kick, then BYU will win for sure. I have mixed feelings for this game. I want BYU to win, but at the same time I want the Mountain West to be represented in the BCS. My hopes are is that BYU wins this game, Boise loses to Nevada at Nevada and BYU goes to a BCS Bowl. I would like to see BYU and Utah at BCS bowls. After watching a ton of college games this year, I think they both would represent the Mountain West better than any team from the Pac 10 except for USC. I’m hoping to see Texas Tech play Florida for all the marbles. My prediction is BYU 24 & Utah 21

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Day 6: Home at last in my own bed, not!

Thursday 20 Nov 08
It's been nice being home. No more nurses checking on you every two hours. I have this hospital bed set up in the family room and our home wheelchair proof now. I even have a NASCAR oval track set up for Nanny to cruise around the kitchen while I'm working on the kitchen table. Progression each day but slowly. She actually climbed 14 stairs to the shower today. It wasn't too bad going up, but coming down was brutal to say the least. It will be nice when she feels well enough to play cards.
Nan in her "Hersey Kiss" nightgown from Hersey Pennsylvania.
Carrot our cat wanting loves with Nan. I wanted to take a side shot but as I moved he moved with me. He's been real whiny since we've been back from the hospital. We leave him in good hands with our neighbor and classical rock on our radio to keep him company, but he still puck's somewhere in the house just to show us who's really the boss!

Day 5: Checkout

Tuesday 18 Nov 08
Checkout: Nan couldn't wait to get out of the hospital
Nan and her aid checking out.
Nan and I checking out. Nan wasn't looking forward to a 1.5 hour ride home. There are many bumps along the way because of the many miles of road construction from Columbus to Dayton.
Nan's new recovery area. I was able to rent a hospital bed and fix up our family room so that Nan has a comfortable place to recovery. My boss has allowed me to keep my priorities straight and work from home until after Thanksgiving.

Day 4: First Snow

Monday 17 Nov 09
It snowed all day Monday and all I brought to the hospital was shorts. It was 55 and rainy, now it's 33 and snowy. We both enjoy snow for the holidays.
An enjoyable trip to the restroom...
Return (Rafeen) was Nan's nurse at night for two nights. She was really good and helpful. Very carrying.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Day 3: Stomach gas & back surger doesn't mix

Sunday 16 November
Today has been another rough day. It started out a lot better than yesterday but we quickly learned that stomach gas and back surgery does not mix. With surgery, they loaded Nan up with warm prune juice, milk of magnesia, and the silver bullet to help bowl movement for the past two days but it just has created major discomfort. This has put us back another day, bummer!!!
This is Dr. Mullins handy work. The nurse just keep raving on how perfect the cut is compaired to other surgeons. She stated that Dr. Mullins is in charge of the Nero surgeons in Columbus. Yes, we are lucky that we found him. It has taken us a long time to determine why we are in Springboro Ohio and we have finally figured it out. 1st-My job gave me the opportunity to go to graduate school and get experience in many facets of manufacturing. 2nd-It has been a God send finding Dr. Mullins. Nan would have never received this type of care in Virginia or Tennessee.
Nan's drain. Doctors use these types of drains now to help with healing. It's been amazing to see how much fluid has come out in the past two days from this wound but after seeing the length of the wound, now I know why...
Nan's wound, prepared and ready for another day.

A mental therapy nurse Sally Malaret came our with her lab to help patients tonight. She saw my BYU tee-shirt and had to come in and tease me about the upcoming BYU -vs- Utah game. She stated that she was a member of the church and that her children when to the University of Utah and I told her that I was sorry; we laughed. Sally and her husband, far left will be heading to the Utah game this Wednesday. I told her that I hoped that she was traveling all that way for a lose. I have mixed emotions. I want Utah to represent the Mountain West but I also want BYU to win; Go BYU!!!
Sally's husband Robert (high priest group leader) on the left and his friend Ted (Columbus Temple Sealer) came over and helped me give Nanny a priesthood blessing.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Day two of surgery "College Game Day Saturday"

Saturday November 15, 2009
Day 2

Can you say pain! With her neck surgery, she didn’t take her pain meds but this morning she was at 12 with a pain rating from 1 to 10. She felt horrible early but now that it’s 1 PM, she feels somewhat better. Today, physical therapy showed up, rolled her out of bed, and had her go for a walk down the hallway. She made it 20’ or so and then wandered back to room 522. I’ll have to say, last time at Mount Carmel East Hospital the care was horrible. This time, the staff is very caring. It may have to do with back patients get top priority but who knows. At least I don’t have to complain.
Can you say, Ebony & Ivory (Paul McCarty & Stevy Wonder)… This is Nan’s day nurse Ebony. She has been real helpful today.
What else can I say… These pictures are worth a 1,000 words! Pain…

Oh, my aching back!

Nan with her physical therapist
Liquid beef broth soup, Mormon jello, and apple juice, yum!

7 PM tonight and with good drugs, Nan is feeling somewhat better. She looks a whole lot better and her spirit is climbing. After this morning, there wasn't any where to go but up. This morning was very challenging for my darling wife. Thank goodness she has so many people praying for her. This is her third trip up today. Her hemoglobin levels were low this morning and this may be part of her feeling so poorly. Thank goodness this day is winding down... Oh by the way, BYU beat Air Force tonight, yahoo.... It's the big one next Saturday with Utah.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Nanny's L5/S1 thru L3/4 Back Surgery

November 14, 2009

These past few days has been quit a challenge. Wednesday when Nan went for her back brace fitting, she had a horrible pain in her chest and numbing down her left arm. She started to sweat and became nauses. Dr. Mullins assistant wanted her to get to the emergency room, but what does she do, she goes to lunch with her friend Lisa Alexander. Duh.... Nan didn't go the emergency room until she drove 70 miles from Columbus Oh to Springboro Oh. Her left arm was still numb but the doctors didn't find any thing unusal except for her "left bundell branch blockage" (her left side of her heart overlaps her right where each half should beat in unison). I had a friend Craig Neslon come over and help me give Nan a priesthood blessing. I felt that all would be well and we had a nice spiritual evening together.

Thursday night when I got home, she still wasn't feeling well so I picked up some Kentucy Fried mash potatoes and gravy, her favorite, but they didn't set well on her stomach. By 10 PM she was praying to the porcelain gods. I quickly ran to Speedway and got her a warm coke. Called my sister Annette (nurse) because she couldn't take any aspirn before surgery, so we put hot compresses until she was settled to sleep. Before we knew it, it was midnight and our alarms were to go off at 3:45 AM. Feeling like "death warmed over", we drove to Columbus this morning and checked in at 5:40 AM. By 7 AM she was dressed in her nighty and ready for her cocktail. Nan then had me write on her back a nice little message for Dr. Mullins: "Hey Dr. Mullins, have a nice day and be kind to my back":) The prep staff washed it off so he wan't able to read it before the procedure, but when he came for his rounds tonight Nan asked him about it and he got a good laugh. I think he thinks we are a little crazy. He is very, matter-of-fact and never smiles until he see's Nan a coming. Enought surgeries and she'll have him broke.

Nan at 3:30 PM. She just came from post operations where she was suppose to be for only 1.5 hrs but she couldn't keep anything on her stomach. She will love this picture when she feels better.... ha! ha! Can you say, please just put me out of my misery!!! (Her face is really swollen from blood pooling in her face and hands during the procedure)

This is her bandage. It's approximatley 14" long. She should have at least a nice 8" incision.
Nan getting her vitals after surgery. She's probably thinking, Cliff, please put that x!>#@ camera away.

5:30 PM after vitals and some delicious liquid dinner, yum yum.

This is where Nan ran into OJ, but he didn't do it.
Back on July 25th, 2008 Nan had surgery on her neck. She had cervical stenosis and required surgery before Dr. Mullins would perform back surgery. I didn't know how to blog then. What has my family created....

It's 11:30 PM and it's time to get up for the first time after surgery. Nurse Christianna had Nan pant to help with the pain while she rolled out of bed and sat up.
This picture shows her twin drain tubes into the wound drainage reservoir that are used for drainage of excess fluids after surgery. This helps with the healing process and infection. Who is this mask women? I don't even recognize her... Now I know what she would look like at 250 lbs. Can you say, "please pop me with a pin".

Nan's hands are so swollen, it a little freaky...

12:30 AM... This is Nan's night shift nurse Christinna from Africa. She has such a strong accent I'm having a hard time understanding her but she seems to be really nice and has been super helpful...

This is the care givers domain. At least it's better than a uncomfortable chair recliner! Enough fun for one day. Good night!

Chris Saling & Kimberly Cook's Wedding

November 1st 2008
Nan and I traveled to Utah to celebrate Chris & Kimberly's wedding. We were a little concerned with Nan's back because she needs back surgery Nov 14. The flight wasn't to bad but setting in those little seats wasn't too much fun for Nan. It was a nice flight and flying over the Wasatch mountains in Provo brought back a lot of memories when I was a young man in "Happy Valley". I couldn't wait to see our families...
Chris & Kimberly at the Bountiful Temple. It looks like it was worth the wait for Chris.
Chris, Kim, Dad, & Mom at the front door of the Bountiful Temple

Front of Bountiful Temple


This R/R bridge brought me lots of enjoyment when I was a kid. I just learned that this Pleasant Grove icon will be torn down and replaced with a four lane bridge. I walked these tracks many a day and flattened many a penny.

Of course, I couldn't travel to "Happy Valley" without visiting Lavell Edwards stadium. Boy how I wished I still lived close enough to have season tickets.
This is how I found mom Thursday morning. It was nice visiting mom and dad but it is hard watching them grow older each year. Its harder on me living so far away that I'm not around to help. I'll probably drive dad crazy though, so maybe it's a good thing I live 30 hrs away...
Tom & Tammy at their favorite Chinese restaurant in Salt Lake City. They came and picked us up from the airport. We always have lots of fun with them.
Here we are after our four hour plane ride. Boy we look like we had been road hard and put away wet!!!

This is our friends Brian & Tammy Dickerson from Draper Utah. We meet Thursday night at Goodwoods barbecue and reminisced about our "good old days" at Hercules from 1983 to 1991.

Mike and Cindy Montgomery. Mike worked with Brian and I. It was a ton of fun and we laughed until we decided we better leave before we were kicked out.

My niece Tammy Thomas; thinks she's "Miss Blogger", oh she is...

There we are. Boy we clean up well, ha! ha!
My darling wife. I think this is the first photo in 23 years she didn't pull a goofy face and say, don't take my picture.

Can you say, "The queen of England" but I didn't get the wave.

Now you know what it's like when these two get together. "Nan & Tammy"

Finally after some 20 years we finally got us all togeher for a family photo. The only one missing was Jeanettes husband Bruce who was driving up from Nevada.

What a motley crew. The Woods and Salings at the Bountiful Temple.















































































Nan and I flew to Utah to be with mom and dad and attend Chris and Kimberly's wedding. We were a little concerned because of Nan's back. She will be having surgery on Nov 14th and the four hour flight was a little rough. It was really nice to fly over the Wasatch mountain range