In Sickness & In Health, Part II

rainbowI saw two rainbows in the matter of two weeks, one before and one after Ethan’s surgery.  I must say, I took them as signs that Ethan would recover smoothly and quickly.  Little hopeful beauties, rainbows.

After being discharged from the hospital on Wednesday, we had a bumpy and not so fun car ride to base where his higher-ups were telling him he had to report back to submit paperwork we didn’t have.  Our stress levels were high, and we all felt rather tense, but it started to wane once we got Ethan up our two and a half flights of stairs and settled into our apartment.  Simon was quite thrilled to have his daddy back!!   And I was quite thrilled after figuring out which local pharmacy took Tri-Care.

Thursday and Friday Ethan’s mom was still around, which was helpful so I could run some errands and not worry about leaving my hubby home alone.  He did however request the use of a cane to help him move around without putting so much strain on his back.  It makes taking walks together around the apartment complex to keep his blood pumping much more appealing to him.  While there is no real schedule to his medicines or breathing exercises, I’ve been doing my best to handle each day’s challenges.  We took off his neck dressing first (from the central line) and then the next day his chest tube dressing.  With the removal of each new bandage Ethan looks a little more human.  All that is left now are the steri-strips holding his incision closed until our follow-up appointment Wednesday.

The most frustrating thing of all is how the military still expected his presence the day of and after his hospital discharge.  On Thursday I had to drive back into Anchorage for a formal letter from his doctor’s office specifically stating that he is to stay home and recover until further notice.  Ethan has a limit on what he can lift (10 lbs) and couldn’t even drive himself into work with the medication he is taking.  And his ankles are swollen.  Not very able-bodied at this point, and yet he may only get four weeks off after our next appointment.  Kind of really scary.

The things that make me most happy about Ethan’s recovery are little victories.  He has much more of an appetite now than he did in the hospital; to celebrate I made him homemade biscuits and country sausage gravy on Saturday.  He can sleep longer through the night without waking up from the pain– I actually woke up before him on Sunday!  He can step in and out of the shower just fine and can also dress himself now.  It has definitely taken some getting used to over the past few days, but he is doing better and better each day.  And has reached 2000 mL for his breath volume more frequently than 1500 today.  He hasn’t done that since he had the epidural in his back!  I just can’t wait to see my man fully healed.



  1. Mary Ellen · · Reply

    Nurse Dana, it sounds like you are taking excellent care of hubby-patient !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. I’d like to think I am! Thank you =)

  2. so glad you posted…i was getting a bit worried.
    those rainbows certainly are blessings…i saw one the night we found our house.
    keep up the good work my dear – you are a saint 🙂

    1. Thank you =) I love love rainbows, and they seemed to be just the natural sign I needed that my Ethan would be just fine. P.S. I need to know more about your housie!!

  3. YAY on Ethan’s recovery!! Dana you are doing a great job caring for him too!!

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Jayne.

  4. thanks for the update dana – and sounds like ethan is slowly but surely getting back to normal! something tells me those rainbows were indeed signs for you…

    (I cannot believe they were expecting him to report so quickly, and essentially making you jump through paperwork hoops when he has clearly endured such a serious medical situation!! reading that frustrated the hell outta me…)

    continuing to send positive vibes!

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