Journal entry by Linda DeLuca

Here it is Sunday night after 10:00 pm and I'm just realizing Paul has been home five days already and I haven't had a minute to pick up the laptop to write on Caringbridge! In a nutshell, he improves a little every day; very noticeable. 

Sunday, October 7th, they removed one of the drains in his leg; leaving one for now. They also removed his trach and bandaged it up. They suture area needs to be cleaned to remove crusty dried blood. Paul is still complaining of his stomach hurting and feeling nauseous. Really not surprising to me since we go through this after every surgical procedure he's ever had.  To date the doctors are very pleased with his healing. :)

Paul was discharged on Tuesday, October 9th at 3:00pm. We had a bit of a challenge getting him into the house. He has a "walking boot" on his leg foot/leg and his balance is not the best on level ground. PT will be coming to the house to help him strengthen his leg/ankle, along with his balance. 

One of his major complaints was he never got any sleep :( Yep, anyone who's ever had to stay in the hospital knows you never get sleep because they will wake you up to give you a sleeping pill!! :)

We got some quick instructions on how to clean and dress his trach. Along with dressing his leg wound. The stitches and mound of flesh attached to his throat area only needs to be cleaned with peroxide and bacitracin. 

It's now Sunday and it's never ending. I honestly don't know how I would be managing right now with out Paul's sister, Barbara. We're changing and cleaning the trach area and dressing; we need two people to change the dressing on his leg, every other day but it's not as simple as removing one dressing and slapping another. The area is huge; it the entire length of the shin. It's also deep and very bloody. 

We finally got his walker delivered on Friday. We just have to put it together :)  It will be more for him to use outside or when we go to his doctor visits. We already have a follow up appointment on Wednesday. The week after, on Wednesday October 24th, we'll be heading back to GBMC in Towson for a swallow study. Those of you who've been following this journey since day one, will remember that Paul had many visits to GMBC for swallow studies back in 2011 and 2012. Then on Monday October 29th, Dr. Dyalram wants Paul to see a cardiologist. I have read that some of the side effects of radiation does affects the heart. I am assuming this is her motive; we will find out more on Wednesday what her motive is for this. 

Paul's trach has been a challenge with shirts, etc. Between his many sutures and the trach dressing, he can't have any material rubbing on this area. We've had to pick some specific shirts to cut the neck out to make it larger so it doesn't rub. 

We have a nurse who comes two days a week, we have a physical therapist two days a week, we have a occupational therapist who comes two days a week. Supposed to have a speech therapist since he still hasn't been able to talk with his trach out.  We haven't heard from the speech therapist yet so we will have to follow up on this soon. 

Well I am probably forgetting to mention something but it's after midnight; I have to go to work tomorrow and 6:30am arrives way too quickly! I want to thank everyone who has sent us messages of support and prayers. You have no idea how much this means to us.  Thank you to everyone for your support. 
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