Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Update on Vivian - 6/15

VCM Resting in room
Vivian resting quietly this afternoon

I apologize for the delay in posting an update.  

Vivian went in to surgery at 7:55 this morning and Dr. Brown came out to speak to us around 12:30. Shortly after that we were taken back to sit with Vivian in recovery, and we were brought upstairs to a room around 2.

Vivian came through the surgery well; there were no problems with anesthesia.  Dr. Brown was disappointed, however, with the amount of improvement in Vivian's range of motion that he was able to achieve. He removed almost all of the hardware from her arm and shaved away two cups worth of excess bone, but there was still a lot more that could not be removed without significant risk of damaging a nerve or weakening the integrity of Vivian's arm.  Dr. Brown was able to realize about 10 degrees of improved motion in each direction (opening and closing), but he fears that may tighten back up before he is able to remove the cast. 

Certainly we would not have put Vivian through the trauma of the surgery if we had known this would be the outcome, but there was no way to predict the result without undergoing the operation.  I am thankful that at least we didn't make things worse. 

VCM Status
The status screen in the waiting room. Vivian's coded name is third from the top. The Band-Aid next to it showed she was in recovery. When she was in surgery, the symbol was a little scalpel; finishing surgery was a little row of stitches like a railroad track. The monitor was very handy for tracking Vivian's progress. We were so glad to finally see that bandage!

Earlier this afternoon Vivian was awake, she ate a bagel and she drank a Sprite. She was in good spirits and not in any discomfort. Dr. Brown came by to check on Vivian and was pleased with how everything looked. Vivian politely asked him to take out her IV, which is wrapped in a splint on her good arm. He told her it could come off in the morning if she did well tonight. Vivian looked at Dr. Brown and said, "Will you go get the lady?" (meaning "You're no help. Maybe that nurse will rescue me!"). It was pretty funny. She also instructed Dr. Brown, "Don't take off my pink cactus."

VCM Dr Brown
Vivian with the wonderful Dr. Brown

About an hour ago, however, Vivian began to cry and pleaded with us to "take it off, it's hurting me" as she attempted to pull at the bandage covering her IV. I crawled in bed with her (shades of last summer) and restrained her feet while Robert stood by the bed and held her hands to prevent her from grabbing the lines. Her crying turned into desperate sobs of, "Take me home. Please take me home. I want to see Percy.". It nearly broke Robert's, the nurse's and my hearts. Finally Robert suggested that Vivian's pain perception might be misplaced and that perhaps her arm that just underwent extensive surgery might be hurting her. The nurse gave Vivian a small dose of morphine, and within five minutes she fell asleep.

I hope that tonight and tomorrow are better for sweet Vivian. I definitely plan to try and stay ahead of the pain.

Please pray that Vivian's pain remains manageable and lessens markedly each day. Pray that she is protected from any infection. Please also pray that Vivian is able to bend her arm even a little bit more after her cast comes off than she was before the surgery.   Praise God for Dr. Brown and for the wonderful nurses caring for Vivian. Praise Him for keeping our sweet Vivian safe during her surgery. 

Thank you for your love, support and encouragement.  Special thanks to Robert's mom Dorothy for meeting us at the hospital with breakfast early this morning and for sitting with Robert and me all day. 


The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. Psalm 28:7

Robert and his mom
Robert and his mom in the waiting room during Vivian's surgery

Mimi and Eloise
His mom and me - I'm working on my stocking - hooray!


12 comments:

The Entertaining House said...

Needlepoint??!!! Yes, stay ahead of the pain... poor Vivian. I love her Pink Cactus!

Nora said...

sending hugs to your sweet Vivian for a speedy recovery and return to her Percy :)

Jan M said...

Prayers for all of this, and so much more. Vivian is such a champ, she just may surprise Dr. Brown with what she and that arm can accomplish!
Since you gave us a peek, you know we now expect to see that stocking finished and waiting for Santa in about 6 months!
May all of you have a restful night.

bea said...

Prayers continuing for Vivian and you Meachum parents! Do you need me to go pick up Percy and sneak him in? Please tell Robert that his mom NEVER ages (and here we are 20 years later). Thank you for the update. Let me know if you need anything out there (e.g., a big ole cat) and we'll get it out there to you (even coffee or iced tea)! Hope the night is restful for V and you!!!!

Mona said...

Bless her heart. Continued prayers for all concerned. I'm sure Percy is also missing Vivian. xoxo

Grove Gals said...

you entire family will be in my prayers. such a sweet girl! i hope you can stay ahead of her pain. iv's and kids are the WORST combo. Mini k would scream to take it out the moment she woke up from every surgery

Jane said...

Praying that Vivian and Percy are reunited in short order!

Princess and the Pea said...

I am soo thankful for Dr. Brown as well! This post made me smile and tear up, I'm glad the morphine calmed her! Very proud of you for working on your stocking. I pray for a smooth night and easy transition home with no complications.

Ruby's Fairy Godmother said...

Thank you for the update...I have checked your blog a couple of times today looking for updates. I am praying for Miss Vivian and the "ladies" that are caring for her, including you!! Please keep us posted. Let me know if you need anything, as you know I am a neighbor (and a Chi O sister)...so please don't hesitate to ask!
Norah

Jane said...

Thanks for the updates, whenever you have time to give them. All of you will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers. And maybe you'll inspire me to do get some knitting done... One never knows!

linda said...

Dear Lord, bless, Miss Vivian, your family, and the entire medical team that helps her. What a sweetheart your Mother in Law is.
-linda,ny

Me said...

Prayers for Sweet Vivian :D