Monday, April 30, 2007

Time for more prayer..

No pictures today. Dad took a turn for the worse in the night. We are at his bedside now, Judy, Henry and I, waiting for more info from the doctors. It does not look good, but God works miracles! Please pray. Thank you.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

My blonde era

Several years ago I decided it was time to try being a blonde. It worked for about 2 weeks and then I went back to my natural color. While a blonde, I made this, my first quilt-as-you-go project. It wasn't done the way I do the QAYG quilts now, but the squares were quilted first, then I attached them together with a quarter inch seam on the front and then hand stitched the back down. I gave this quilt to my co-worker, Carol, for her birthday that year.

Still at the hospital today, but now steps have been taken to begin the process of moving Dad into a rehab unit. That could happen as soon as tomorrow. We keep hearing conflicting reports as to how he's doing. For instance,the infectious disease P.A. came in yesterday and told us that the surgeon had seen fluid building up around the lung and might want to do another thoracentesis. Then, when we asked the heart doc and the lung doc about it, they both looked at us like we're crazy! Well, at this point, that's not a stretch, but still.. They both tell us he's doing ok, if not better! Who do we believe? At any rate, the doc who will sign off on moving Dad came in this morning to see him. He wants to put him in the long term acute care unit. Dad has not slept for 2 nights, again. Nor has he slept during the day. He's trying awfully hard to sleep right now, but his coughing is keeping him awake. He is so disoriented when he doesn't sleep. He doesn't seem to lose sight of who we are, just where he is and why he's here.

Henry is on his way from OKC as we speak. Once Dad is in the LTAC unit, maybe we can all relax a little. We can only hope. I would like to go home either today or tomorrow, but I really would like to see him settled in the rehab unit.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Joe's wolves

What fun I had making this little wallhanging. I used pieces of felted wool for the wolves, I think, that came in a stash of leftover fabric pieces given to me. I used fusible on the back of the pieces, cut them out and ironed onto a background. I can't remember now if I used invisible thread to sew the edges of the wolves. I really don't think I did since I didn't want to disturb the shaggy edge shape. It was a real challenge following the pattern, but I thoroughly enjoyed the process.

Judy and I were able to get out of the hospital last night to get a decent night's sleep at the hotel. It was hard to leave Dad, but we felt comfortable with the group of nurses that were on last night. His room is right across from the nurses' station, so they kept an eye on him. We were especially worried because the night before, he had nearly propelled himself out of the bed. Judy and I both jumped from our chairs in time to stop him. Our hearts were pounding after that incident.

We have started talking about his long-term rehabilitation. Seems that they have a skilled nursing facility here where he can go even if he is on antibiotics. We found out this morning that his staph infection is, indeed, MRSA and found in his blood. They still don't know the origin, but, if you ask me, it came from the site of his chest tube insertion. Who knows...

He's been the hardest thing to wake up today. We got back to the hospital around 8 and it's nearly 10 now and he's still pretty zonked out. The nurse came in to give meds and then left when he saw we weren't making any headway with Dad. Guess he'll be back in soon and maybe he can wake him. I say, let him sleep. They told us he slept all night, but I wonder if that means from 9 p.m. or 3 a.m. If it's the latter, then he might not be waking up anytime soon.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

First quilts

Seems like I read a blog recently where they had a picture of the first quilt they'd ever made. So, I thought I'd share a picture of the first quilts I made. I apologize for the poor resolution. I was doing a lot of cross-stitching at the time and a fellow co-worker decided I needed to attend a mystery quilt class at the local LQS. I did NOT want to go. lol I kept telling her that quilting was not something I wanted to attempt. Little did I know... Anyway, at the class, I got the pieces cut and some of them sewn. It was the first time I'd ever used a rotary cutter. I went home, determined to finish the quilt and take it to work to show it off and never make another quilt. Boy, was I wrong. I almost didn't finish the quilt when I realized that the corner block instructions were written wrong. But, I had the blocks done and I was not about to re-do them once we were given the right directions. The corners should have stars, not crosses. But, I liked the crosses, so I kept them. Maybe the realization that my quilts don't have to be perfect spurred me on. This was the first quilt I machine quilted, too, without a walking foot. I'd never even heard of a walking foot. You should see the back of this thing. Okay, no, you shouldn't. But, things like this help a person to see how far you've come.
My first paper-pieced project was this little floral piece. The pattern was a gift given to me for my birthday by the same girl that talked me into going to the mystery quilt class. She wasn't going to let me quit! lol This one is handquilted.

Update on Dad...still in the hospital. Now that they've determined that he has a staph infection and are working on it, he seems to be gaining a little strength. PT walked him down the hall this morning and have promised to come back this afternoon to do it again. His legs seemed stronger when they got him up to potty, too. It's still a waiting game. "Keep doing what we're doing", the docs keep telling us. The surgeon who put in the chest tube was in today and said he'd check the output to determine when the tube comes out. I'm making a prediction here that it comes out sometime today. :-)

This is Wednesday and I would like to go home to work Friday and Saturday but that remains to be seen. Who knows? If they can kick this infection in the next few days, he may get into rehab soon and we can leave him for longer than just a few hours. Judy and I ran to the hotel to shower and change clothes last night and grab a bite. I think he gets a little frantic if he wakes and doesn't see one of us sitting here.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Tuesday already!

One more long night in the hospital. After staying awake over 48 hours, Dad finally fell asleep at 2 a.m. This was five hours after they gave him Xanax! Maybe that's how long it took his body to assimilate it. Actually, about an hour and a half after they gave it to him, you could tell he was a little more relaxed. But, those eyes of his just would not give it up. His speech had become so slurred that we couldn't understand him. It's 9:30 in the morning now and he's still asleep. He barely stirred when all the morning personnel started coming in. We'll let him sleep until about 10 a.m.

We now know that he has an infection. They've had the Infectious Disease doctor come in to look at him and review his chart and they started him on antibiotics. As of this morning, his white blood count had dropped, which is good. Dad's been coughing a very productive cough. I hope that means something good, too. We're here for a while longer, but I can hear it in the doctors' voices that they're ready for him to get better and get out of here.

Here are a couple more quilts for your pleasure. :-)

These wallhangings were made for golfers. The male golfer was made for my son from a commercial pattern. I knew I wanted to make a female version for a friend's granddaughter so I had to draft the girl to fit her into the picture. I'm very happy with the results.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

More reminiscing

I'm so thankful for my laptop! I wish I had more of my quilt pictures stored on it, though. I may be running out of pictures to share with you while I'm here at the hospital with Dad.

This tesselating star quilt was made especially for a good friend's great grandbaby. This one is at least 6 years old, I think. Thank goodness I do label these but a lot of these quilts end up miles away from me.

Yes, still at the hospital. Dad did not sleep for about 48 hours. He was hallucinating and so the nurses did not give him any drugs, to speak of. They gave him some Extra Strength Tylenol and Benadryl, but that didn't even slow him down. Judy was so worn out from staying up with him the whole night and the next day that she slept all night last night and most of today. The boys took turns sitting with him last night after I gave it up around 11 p.m. I spent most of today sitting in his room while he finally slept. Around 10 a.m., the surgeon came in and reinserted the chest tube. The only anesthetic he was given was the topical they used around the point of insertion. Then they gave him some Loritab. Tonight, there's an order for Ativan in case he becomes agitated once he begins to wake up again. It's so sad to see a man who was once so active, lie in bed and deteriorate. I find myself crying without realizing that I am. His hair is still jet-black, though! lol It's MY hair that's turning grey-er.

When I went home Thursday night I had the most wonderful pile of "squishies" waiting for me. I received several of my birthday blocks from the gals at QOR plus some birthday FQs. And, I got my siggie squares hosted by Cynthia. Thank you so much! I love them all and can't wait to get home to put them together. Thanks to all the ladies that participated in the swap.

Friday, April 20, 2007

I miss Pat..

I must be feeling a bit nostalgic today. I did get to go home and worked until around 2 p.m. My customers are my biggest fans and I love them all! I wish I could've worked on all of them today. I had planned to work tomorrow, too, but Dad was not doing very well and Judy had not had any sleep in over 24 hours. I'll get back to that in a minute...

The picture I'm showing today pays tribute to the oldest client I have. I mean, she was the client I've worked on the longest. Pat passed away several years ago. She commissioned me to make this quilt using blocks that had been hand-pieced by her mother many years ago. I was happy to be able to put the blocks together in a quilt so she was able to enjoy it for a few years. I miss her..

So, I had to hurry back to Lubbock tonight because Judy spent all night last night with Dad and neither of them slept. We think he is having a reaction to something. He is acting like he did when he had a bad reaction to Phenergan and Ambien. He is hallucinating at times and at other times he seems very coherent. The charge nurse says there is such a thing as ICU psychosis plus the fact that he hasn't slept in 2 days. Joe and Rob are with him now and will give us a chance to sleep in the waiting room tonight. These couches are not the best beds, but when you're tired, they are wonderful.

Another developement with Dad has been the fact that his chest tube, which is draining fluid off the lungs, has clogged up. So, they have planned to reposition it. I hope they get it done tonight. It's really bothering him. And, I asked that the Foley catheter be checked because he has been flinching and grabbing himself when he passes urine. The nurse agreed with me that he might have an infection.

Enough of hospital talk. I was pleased to find out today that there are several people that actually read my blog - on a daily basis! lol And worry about me when I don't post. So, here's a big THANK YOU to Vickie W. and Mary C, who I know read this pretty often. I appreciate you, girls!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

8 year old picture

Wow, I can't believe it's been eight years since I had foot surgery! If you look really close, under the quilt, you can see my bandaged foot. I made this quilt for my granddaughter when she was born and she'll be eight in August. I think this is one that I handquilted, too. I think I made this one and the Sunbonnet Sue quilt around the same time.

Another day at the hospital with Dad. Were hoping that the chest tube comes out today. It has caused him more discomfort than anthing they've done so far. This beeping IV has caused ME more discomfort than anything else! LOL Thank goodness Dad can't hear that well. I think he thinks it's coming from the television so he just deals with it. I've learned how to silence the heart monitor, now if they'd just show me how to stop the IV from beeping!

He gave me a little bit of a scare this morning. After his potty break, they sat him in a straight back chair. He and I were just sitting here and he decided he was tired and wanted to go back to bed. Did he wait for the nurse, or even just me? NO He got his little butt up off the chair before I had a chance to jump over the bed to get there! Not really, I didn't jump over the bed. I was walking around the room when I turned and he was standing up, on his own, weaving a little. As I ran to get a hold of him, he sat back down. I think he just wanted to see if he could do it on his own. Still too weak, I say.

Judy ran home last night in order to take care of business today. As soon as she gets back this afternoon, I hope to go home for a few days. I'd like to work Friday and Saturday. We'll see...

Monday, April 16, 2007

Gift quilts

When my oldest son's half sister had a little girl, he asked if I wouldn't mind making her a quilt. Mind?! Of course not. I made this quilt for Victoria when she was born and she is now almost 8 years old, I think. Her mom loves dolphins so this fabric just fit the bill.

The pink and green quilt was made as a going away gift for one of my hairdresser friends several years ago. I machine embroidered on some of the blocks and the other blocks were signed by all her co-workers. You can see a little bit of the embroidery in the close-up.

Day 19 in the hospital...I haven't been able to post in the last few days because I was having some technical problems here at the hospital. I was finally able to log into the site to post. Yesterday, April 15, Dad had a chest tube inserted to remove more fluid off the left lung. The thoracentesis that was done on Friday worked to some extent, but the fluid began to build back up. The lung doc said this morning that he felt sure it stems from the congestive heart failure. He does not see any tumors or anything that might indicate a malignancy. That's good news. So, now he will keep the tube in for a few days until it no longer is draining. What a ride we have been on!

I ran home Saturday afternoon, spent the night, turned around and came back to the hospital on Sunday because they were doing the chest tube. I spent the night with Dad last night while Judy ran home for the day. What a night! At 2 a.m. they gave him Ambien to try to help him sleep. WRONG! It had the exact opposite effect on him. I have not slept in over 24 hours now. He had me up all night. He was having hallucinations, talking gibberish, wanting to get out of bed to go home, yada, yada, yada..So far this morning, we have not had a moment's peace what with doctors, PT, bath and meals. Maybe after lunch we can both get some sleep.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Star of the Four Winds

The name of this quilt has always stuck with me. It is one of the most fun quilts I've ever made. Hmmm...I think I say that about all my quilts! lol This one was made for my friend, Leota, back in 1999 or 2000. Can't remember and I'd have to look at the label. It's an applique quilt made with fusible bonding. I cut the white pieces of the design with the fusible on the back and fused them in place on the red blocks. I would like to make another one someday with blue and white.

Update from the hospital...Dad had the thoracentesis done today. They drew off a quart of dark, straw-colored liquid. I told him it looked like ale with a foamy head! The renal doctor told him, "so, that's where you've been hiding that beer!" He is breathing much better and his physical therapy went very well today. He walked over 250 feet down the hall and back. His cardiologist from Clovis - the one we credit with saving his life - came to see him today. That was a nice surprise.

We still don't know the plan for rehab, if there is one. If he continues to improve as he has the last few days, I don't see why they won't release him to go home in a few days and have his PT there. I think I'm going home tomorrow to take care of things then come back on Sunday so Judy can go home and work on Monday. We're going to have to do a tag-team thing for a while.

It snowed in Clovis today! I wasn't there to see it, but everyone I talked to went on and on about it. Should get down to about 27 tonight, I hear.

I am so tired I can hardly keep my eyes open. I only got about an hour's sleep last night and napped for a few minutes today. Hope I can sleep tonight.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Two week mark at the hospital

WTIL (Wrap Them In Love), a group I was more active in before I joined QOR. I made this quilt for WTIL. I'm ashamed to say I have not made as many quilts to send to this group as I would have liked. If I were as prolific as Linda is in making charity quilts, this is where I would send them. I think that this quilt was one of the first that I actually machine quilted with a walking foot. I was hooked!

Thursday, April 12, marked two weeks that we have been in Lubbock at the hospital with Dad. I told Jim earlier than it has been the longest, yet the shortest, two weeks I've ever spent. He says it feels more like a month! Does that mean he misses me terribly? lol I certainly miss being home but I cannot tell you enough how firmly I believe that I am exactly where I should be right now, with my dad. Yes, my two siblings are here, well, Henry has had to return to work, but Judy and I are here. I cannot leave him until I know he is well out of danger.

Speaking of danger...the lung doctor came in today and told us the left lung is still full of fluid. They just about dried him out using diuretics and the fluid just won't come off the lung. So, they'll do a lung tap (thoracentesis) in the morning. They'd do it today, but his blood is too thin right now. Otherwise, he's doing great! He's walking, with help, down the hall and back to his room. A little further every day. So, taking the fluid off that lung will aid in a quicker recovery. Please pray that all goes well.

Once I know that Dad is settled and rehab procedures in place, I will head back home. Judy and I had planned to go home on Thursday so I would be able to work Friday and Saturday. Best laid plans... So, now maybe I will have a friend come for me on Friday, work on Saturday, then return to the hospital for the weekend. Hopefully, Dad will be doing well enough to go home in the next few days.

I'm sitting here tonight, it's about 1:30 a.m. watching movies on my laptop and writing this. Judy has been sitting in a straightback chair while I'm lounging in a recliner. I feel guilty every time I'm in this chair, but I think she concedes that my age warrants the chair! LOL She just left the room to lay on one of the couches in one of the lesser occupied waiting areas.

Back to the movie..

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Sunbonnet Sue

My granddaughter was born in 1999. I decided she needed a Sunbonnet Sue quilt. I hand appliqued this one and hand quilted it as well. This is one of the few quilts I have hand quilted. Once I discovered machine quilting, I can't bear to spend all that time working on quilts "the old-fashioned way" when I can finish them faster with the machine.

We're still in the hospital with Dad. He walked twice today, first time about 60 feet, second time, 80 feet. He's working on filling his dance card to dance with the PTs and the OTs and the nurses! lol He did a little jig, sorta, while standing by the bed with the physical therapist holding on to him. He's feeding himself easily, he scratched off several lotto tickets that April brought him yesterday, he's able to sit on the porta-potty and his mental state is improving daily. It's been a real treat to watch his progress. We are still waiting on his cardiologist to come by today. Actually, he came by around noon when Dad was "indisposed" and said he'd return. He forgot to mention that it'd be tomorrow! We need an order from him to request the rehab people to come in for an evaluation. That probably won't happen until tomorrow, but I hope it's early enough to allow us time to go home for the night. Judy then plans to return on Friday and I will work Friday and Saturday and come back on Saturday night to spend the weekend. Hopefully, he'll be ready to go home by then. If not, then at least the early part of next week. Everything just seems to move at a snail's pace. Of course, they're still working on removing the fluid off his left lung. The right lung is fine now, they say. He must've just been drowning in fluids when we got him to the hospital!

Alright, enough of that. I've seen several movies since I've been here. This laptop has been the best thing we've bought in a long time. Thanks, honey! Speaking of Jim..I'm grateful that he's been home, holding down the fort and working, while all of this has been happening. He knows it's been hard on me and I know he wishes I could be home, but Dad needs us both right now. Once we get him home, my boys and homecare will play a bigger part in his care. But, I digress...Rob and April brought us tons of DVDs to watch on the laptops. I think they're mostly April's movies. Thanks! They've been a lifesaver. I watched a movie until nearly 4 a.m this morning between jumping up to help Dad.

Time to help with dinner. Hopefully, the next post will be from my sewing room, at home! If you don't hear from me in the next few days, it's 'cause I'm working, doing taxes, sewing, etc., etc...

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Just sitting here, thinking...

Sitting in a hospital room gives a person lots of time to think - and to go through pictures on the computer! I've been browsing through my picture album and realize there are many quilts I haven't shown yet. So, since I'll be here for a few more days, I'll post a few of my past projects.

This little quilt is one I made for my granddaughter. I can't tell you which magazine I got the pattern from since I'm not at home to look it up. It was a series so the instructions came out in two or three different issues. The pattern called for the dolls to be made as well, but after trying one, I knew I wouldn't have the patience to do more. So, I just bought little dolls to fit in the beds.

This little quilt I made for a hair client's new little granddaughter several years ago. I had the bear panels and just bordered them ala log cabin style. The border was new to me since I wanted to try something different. I found this ribbon style in one of my many books. I love the way it looks as though the ribbon is winding through the border

Dad's doing much better. Getting stronger by the day, but not by leaps and bounds. Well, actually, considering the shape he was in just a few days ago, it might be classified as leaps and bounds. Physical therapy came in today and had him sit up in a chair for almost two hours. He had lunch there then they came in with a special walker that allows them to tie him to it and help him walk. He was able to walk from the door of the room to the bed, about 20 feet. He was really tired. He likes the PT ladies 'cause they make him hug them in order to get him out of bed. lol

Time to help Dad with his breathing treatments. I hope we all get some sleep tonight. Henry and Shanon went home today so we'll miss him tonight.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Hospital quilt

Judy has decided that this quilt will probably end up being Dad's. He's had it on his bed in the hospital and has gotten rave reviews.

Dad is doing better, little by little, day by day. They are working on getting him of the ventilator today and have already had him on the CPAP machine and, this morning, have unhooked him from the ventilator, but is still intubated. It is so frustrating for him and us since he can't tell us what he wants.

My boys will be coming to see us tonight. Hopefully, the ventilator will come off this weekend and I can run home for a little.

Thank you all for your prayers!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Quilt friends at the hospital

Dad had a fairly restful night after they gave him a little bit of a sedative. He has begun to be awfully anxious now that he's more alert and he realizes he has the ventilator down his throat. He can't talk and he is trying so hard to tell us what's on his mind. We haven't seen a doctor yet so we don't know the whole story for the day. But, we do know that he is improving, thank the Lord.

11:00 a.m.
Finally saw the pulmonary doc and the cardiologist. They concur that he is improving, albeit, slowly. They do not want to remove the ventilator until the lungs are clear and there is still quite a bit of fluid on them. They don't want to push too many diuretics because that would put a strain on his kidneys. Still a waiting game...

A quilty note...I met two ladies in the the waiting room that quilt! I saw one of them the other day and she had a shirt on that read "I'd rather be quilting". I hadn't had a chance to find her again until this morning when I saw her in the waiting room. She and her mom are from a town near here and we have mutual friends! How's that for "it's a small world"! I hope to take my laptop to show them some of my quilts.

Brother H. has gone to shower and bring back lunch. Think we're having Quizno's today.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Hospital party

I wrote this post just past midnight, April 1.

Today is my birthday. Well, April 1st was. I think this will post with the 2nd as the date. It's Dad's 4th day in the hospital. They implanted a defibrillator on Friday. He is doing well, but is still on the respirator. He is also still working to remove excess fluid from his lungs. So, the respirator will not come out until the lungs are clear.

Since today is my birthday, I was so hoping that Dad would open his eyes for us. He has been responding to commands such as, "squeeze my hand", "open your mouth", and my favorite, "stick your tongue out!" LOL Well, he finally opened his eyes this evening. Just for a very short time, but it is very promising. He seems to be recognizing our voices, but I think we're in this for the long haul.

I haven't been home since Thursday, so I haven't done anything remotely resembling quilting. The only "quilty" thing I've done is to receive a gift bag full of quilting supplies for my birthday from my friend, Deborah. She came to the hospital with a carrot cake, paper plates, forks and my bag full of FQs, assorted quilting notions, a Pink Ribbon travel mug, and a quilt magazine. Was not how I'd planned on spending my birthday, but with friends and family surrounding me, what more could I ask?

I better get to sleep. I sense it will be another long day tomorrow. I don't know when I will get home. Hopefully, I can make the 100 mile trip for one day and get clean clothes and see Jim. I think he's missing me a little bit.