Sunday, August 23, 2009

To Stand

A few days without an update! How are you all doing it? Like the music? We needed some comic relief.

Clark is doing well. He was moved to an isolated room which is pressurized and we continue to wear gloves and masks to visit. His white blood count hasn't dropped in the last day but it isn't coming up yet either. He had a bad reaction to the Dolotin yesterday. The room was spinning, he felt nauseous, his body was shaking and twitching, he felt flush, and it was very difficult to breath. They immediately pulled it from his line and are going to put him back on Fentanyl. Hopefully this will keep his pain level down without the reaction.

Clark looked very gaunt for the first time. Even though he hasn't eaten in about a month, he didn't look thin because of all the fluid retention. Now that the fluid is coming off his body, you can really see how thin he is. We're glad that the swelling is coming down though because it means he's that much closer to being sewn together.

They inserted a chest tube into his rib cage about 4 days ago. Clark said this was so painful! His nurse, Dave, said that Clark was in so much pain that he himself felt physically ill to watch him. Dave said he has never seen anyone in so much pain except for maybe a woman in labor. I told him I have had two babies completely naturally and I bet Clark was in worse pain. Thankfully, the chest tube did its job of draining the fluid that was trapped there and they were able to remove it. Clark told them they could take it out but they would probably hear some words. I asked if they did hear any words. He said that it didn't hurt at all to have it taken out and now doesn't have any pain.

We hooked up the web cam on Clark's laptop and were able to make a couple calls to Kellen, and Carson, Jen, Roger, and Elliot. Clark's voice is very weak and labored so they couldn't hear him but it was still fun for all. Hopefully we won't run into any technical difficulties the night of Grandpa's party so Clark can join us through web cam.

The day before yesterday Clark actually stood up. They moved his bed into a chair position so all he had to do was stand straight up. He just stood by the bed, with help for a short time but even this much movement is very helpful to Clark. He was very proud of himself and felt very confident. Mom and I weren't in the room so Clark asked how far the waiting room was. He wanted to walk in and surprise us. Of course that was too lofty of a goal for now, but hopefully soon. He also asked them how long it would be before he could run. We're glad he's so optimistic. They will continue to work with him each day and aim for slow and steady progress. It has been weeks since his back has left a bed. I thought of what a great accomplishment it was for Clark to just stand. No steps were taken. He was supported the whole time. But still he stood. Often times we take simple acts like this for granted. Today, I'm grateful.

Thanks to Eric and Kate for the great pictures.


Bart said...

Hey Clark, looks like you need something to eat but STANDING is a step in the right direction. Keep going your making progress everyday. Thinking of you all the time. Again many back home keep asking about you and wishing you all the best. Love ya buddy Bart

Karla said...

Good job Clark I'm so proud of u!!! It's a great battle and I know that in the end u will be ok!!! much love ur way

susie stroup said...

Clark, I suppose the wrestler in you makes this not eating thing a piece of cake, huh? The lying on your back is probably pretty tough though! And since we are talking wrestling, I will say that is truly the best stand up I have ever seen!! :) Seriously though, your story is unbelievable. We're still praying for you-- you have so many cheering you on!
God Bless, Susie (Althoff) Stroup & family

Stephen said...

Yes, Eric & Kate, thanks for the photos.

I want to let myself feel excited at this development, but there have been so many ups and then downs. Still, it IS exciting.

Karla said...

Kate and Eric called me on the way home from the hospital to tell me you STOOD. What a GOOD day!!!

I watched a special on KUED about Hep-C and three people who had different issues and treatments, one w/meds, one w/liver cancer and chemo, and one guy (age 50+) had a transplant after being on the "List" for months. All doing good at this writing.

I paid special attention to his story. The liver looked huge to me, and watching his recovery was amazing! 6-7 months later they showed him riding his Harley, and he felt really good and was back to full activity. So hang in there. Standing is the first step!

FYI~There must be another Karla writing to you as well. Either that or I am writing in my sleep and not remembering ;-)

You're in my thoughts and prayers every day.

The Karla from St. George

Patti said...

Clark, Rhonda and Family,
I didn't know about this until today when I talked to Ron. I am ever so grateful that he told me about this blog.
I have never been on one so this is a first and sure hope I don't mess it up.
Anyway, you all just know that you are ALL in our thoughts, hearts and prayers at this time of you life.
When things like this come at us, they come with double open barrels don't they.
Clark, hang in there, I know that it will be a long road to haul, BUT, you are a KIMBLE and with that alone I know that all will be well in the end. I have never known a family so strong in the gospel and that Heavenly Father is watching over not only you at this time but also ALL of your family. This is just one of those (tests) that we are told that we need to endure to the end. You WILL and so WILL YOUR FAMILY. I know this with all surety.
May our Heavenly Father bless you and know that all of our thoughts and prayers are pouring out to you at this time. KEEP THE FAITH CLARK, AND YOU TO RHONDA AND ALL WILL BE WELL.
We all send our deepest Love,
The Gullickson's in Montana
Patti, Duane, Jon and Nic

Anonymous said...

You are still in our prayers and thoughts Clark! Keep going...YOU are a SURVIVER!

Love ya,

Shane & Beth and kids

Janeanne said...

Good morning, Clark. This morning some words from Clark Kent:

"Superman is what I can do, Clark is who I am."

Keep on doing your superman thing! It's working for you.

Ashley Blanchard said...

It sounds like it was pretty nice to stand to get off you back! I hope if felt great :) I have a question. If family and visitors have to wear masks and gloves then where are clark's nurses masks? Im guessing he is on reverse isolation to protect him from us... I was just curious why they aren't were there ppe's....

Diane said...

Clark, Rhonda, and family-Our thoughts and prayers are with you. You are a very tough young man. Hang in there. We don't often understand the challenges God allows to happen but can be grateful that He also helps us through them.
Diane R and Charles, Sandra, and Tiffany Lowery