Posts

Showing posts from 2022

Remember Your Purpose

Image
I am so thankful to be home.  This does not mean it’s been easy.  We’ve struggled to set up routines and bring in home health three or four times a week.  In addition, I’ve had several appointments with various doctors requiring uncomfortable rides to town and back.   I found myself wishing I wasn’t so busy.   Then I started thinking about the reason for all my meetings.  It was about healing.  Isn’t that my goal? So I’ve taken a new perspective of gratitude and responsibility.  Healing is my job right now and I’m blessed to be able to do it at home rather than in a hospital.  So when I feel like life is too busy I remember my goal and it makes it easier to endure. Where do you find purpose? How can you be grateful for it?

I’m Home!

Image
  Yes, you read that right. I’m home in my house in Bozeman! After several weeks in the long-term hospital in Billings, I was discharged yesterday. I’m not completely healed, but I’m well enough to be home. When I arrived at the house, I was greeted with flowers in my planters and balloons across my living room, courtesy of my generous family. I felt loved and at peace. It will take me a while to settle in and get into a routine, but the mountain view out my window makes it worth it. Thank you, all, for your continued support and prayers along the way. I look forward to seeing you in person later this summer. Love, Lisa

A Montana Address Again

Image
Three months ago, Shawn and I drove to Rochester, Minnesota planning to stay for a week, maybe two.  If you have been following my blog, you know how those plans went awry.   With lots of good medical care, hard work and time for healing, I’m finally strong enough to leave the hospital.   Due to my pressure sores, transportation has been the sticking point for my release.  The social workers here persistently sought a solution.  Yesterday I learned that my full medical flight would be funded through one of Mayo Clinic’s programs.   I fly out tomorrow! I’m not going home just yet but am traveling to an acute care center in Billings, Montana, a two-hour drive from home.  The focus of my stay there will be wound care and physical therapy.   I’ll be letting you know my new Montana address soon! As always, thank you for your prayers, support and love. — Lisa

Answered Prayer at Mayo Clinic

Image
I have been doing dialysis over a month for acute kidney failure. Each day labs have been reviewed and checked for progress and each day my kidneys were still not functioning. During the last week, the labs indicated my kidneys were showing signs of waking up. Thursday’s dialysis was postponed followed by Friday’s and Saturday’s.  On Sunday, right after viewing church on line, the kidney doctor came in and announced my kidneys had improved enough I no longer needed dialysis. All at once, I smiled, clapped my hands, and my eyes filled with tears of profound gratitude.  I was overwhelmed by the positive impact it would have on my plans to come home.  However, I still have a big obstacle yet to overcome in healing my severe pressure wounds. This and physical therapy will be my main focus as I look toward discharge.   Thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers. They’re working! Love, Lisa

The Long Road Ahead; When hope seems out of sight

Image
I wanted to give a short update on the progress I've made and the long road ahead to recovery.  My heart rate has improved as well as some critical lab numbers. I’m off of all IV medicine, too.  I go to dialysis three times a week because my kidneys still aren't functioning. This is the biggest barrier to going home as I need to have the strength to sit in the chair for four hours. This is difficult because I have severe pressure sores on my bottom. I'll require several months of inpatient rehab and we are unsure where that will be.  Sometimes I feel hopeless but I'm determined to find bits of beauty and slices of joy amidst the pain. Some days are better than others so I have to remember to be kind to myself and trust that God is writing my story.

Mayo Update: One Day at a Time

Image
I’ve graduated out of the ICU (again!).  I’m now in a slow holding pattern of waiting for my kidneys to heal and start functioning and also work with physical therapists to regain some of my strength.   This last part, physical therapy, is exactly that.  It is very physical, taxing my energy to the limit, and is sometimes painful.  But I push myself to follow the therapist’s instructions as I know whatever gains I make will assure a better future.   My day consists of many visits by medical professionals.  They come in one at a time, in pairs or in groups.  There always seems to be a line at my door.   Your cards, flowers, and facebook comments lift my spirits each day.  Many times, it has been your support that I have needed to keep me going.  Thank you! Love, Lisa

Update on Lisa - Guest Post from Kara Nelson, Lisa’s Sister

Image
  An Update From Kara:  Lisa is in the Mayo Clinic ICU still, but improving. Over a month ago, she came here for a feeding tube placement. And, after overcoming major complications with internal bleeding and kidney issues, she was all set to go home when about a week ago, she came down with a sepsis blood infection and her body went into septic shock. She was extremely fatigued, her kidneys stopped functioning, she had hypotension (low blood pressure), and a lot of fluid retention. Lisa was very sick, and to be honest, we didn’t know if she was going to make it. Doctors treated Lisa with many life-saving medications (up to eight IV bags hung at one time), several rounds of paracentesis (removing fluid from her abdomen), blood transfusions, and dialysis. The sepsis infection is now gone, her numbers are stable, her fluid retention is much better, her eyes are brighter, her voice has returned, and she’s been able to sit up once or twice a day. Currently, she is still on dialysis full tim

Week Four at Mayo Clinic

Image
I've been at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota since February 15th. More than three quarters of the time has been spent in the ICU and the hospital. How am I doing? Honestly, it’s been a rough roller coaster. Although my body is SLOWLY healing, my mental health needs support.  I stand in the shadow of anxiety, loneliness, fatigue, frustration, and sadness.  Then gratitude, peace, strength, and optimism shine through the clouds. Eariler this week, I had my first and second panic attack in a series of lucid dreams. Mild hallucinations and imagined voices set in, too. It was scary. It was confusing. Some of what I imagined was kinda funny! When I talked to my doctors, they told me that I likely had a mild case of delirium caused by the disorienation, loud noises, and changing faces of a hospital. They told me my nightmares were typical and reassured me that I was safe. They gave suggestions for relief. Keep your mind occupied with puzzles, word searches, or other hobbies. Move aroun

More Mayo News

Image
 Hey friends, After a rough week of being very sick in the ICU, I finally graduated yesterday to a regular hospital room! I still have several days of recovery ahead of me but I’m grateful for the positive progress. I appreciate your love and support. It sustains me and gives me comfort.  I will write more later. Love, Lisa

Hubby's update from Mayo Clinic

Image
 This is Shawn (husband) writing.  Any misspellings and grammar anomalies are intentional because Lisa would appreciate it😀. Lisa is in the ICU at Mayo hospital.  There was a complication with her feeding tube placement (internal bleeding).  She is in stable condition at this point, the bleeding appears to have stopped.   The image associated with this post is her words to y'all.

Mayo Clinic Update

Image
Hello everyone! Here’s an update about my time so far at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota…   Travel :  We had about nineteen hours of driving, including stops, over two days. February weather is unpredictable across the northern part of the US, so we were prepared for anything. However, both days were clear and sunny, the roads completely dry with just a bit of wind.   I was worried about Covid risks with bathroom and meal breaks. We brought a cooler with food, and we sought out rest areas instead of gas stations. Each time we stopped, there were either no people around or they were just leaving. Every rest area but one had a family bathroom, a separate, single-stall room, that was perfect for us to use, especially since I needed Shawn’s help.   It was so smooth, it’s almost like Someone cleared the way.   Appointments & Testing : My week has been packed with appointments! This has meant early, early mornings to arrive on time, and late returns back to the hotel. That said, the

Beautiful Distractions: How to stay focused on joy and peace

Image
Well, friends, I'm beginning to sound like a broken record. My health issues (that stem from my muscular dystrophy) just keep progressing and pushing to the front of the line, so they become the biggest part of my day. It seems like it's all I have to talk about. I want to change that. For the most part, I have no control over any of my symptoms (one of the MOST frustrating things). If I think about this for too long, I start to spiral into worry and anxiety. So, despite feeling yucky, or even when I get little pockets of energy, these are the distractions I use to keep my mind off of my complaints and focused on joy. Watch a Show Selection depends on my mental focus, so it could be a mindless competition like America’s Next Top Model or Blown Away. More often, I gravitate towards uplifting, feel-good shows like Queer Eye or Long Island Medium. Sure, they might make me cry, but in a good way. I’ve also found joy in rewatching movies from the nineties and early two-thousands. On