Friday, October 9, 2009

. . . Or stroll!

Looks like running as fast as he can isn't as fast as we'd hoped. Clark is doing well but making slow progress. Still progress though. You can imagine it would be hard after not eating or walking in months to learn those things again. Clark has become somewhat complaisant and needs much coaxing and motivation from Mom and staff. They have been very firm with him as they explain what is expected of him. One even said, "Clark, if you don't get up and move, you will get blood clots and that will kill you!" That would be motivation enough for me.

He has graduated to a puree diet which are things with a thick consistency like yogurt and mashed potatoes. Clark usually loves these things but isn't hungry nor has the desire to even taste them. This tray consisted of ground salmon (which I wouldn't like either - Mom quickly scraped that off his plate and took it away!), mashed potatoes and gravy, peas, pineapple sorbet, two kinds of yogurt, 2 kinds of pudding, 2 kinds of ice cream, and a soft dessert of some kind. Talk about a buffet. He took one bite of sorbet and fell asleep. He is still on IV Nutrition of 2000 calories per 12 hours so I can understand why he wouldn't be hungry. He has managed to gain 1 pound so he is now at a whopping 139 lbs. They plan to switch his IV Nutrition to go into his stomach instead of his vein. However, it is vital to his recovery that he eats. They are satisfied if he only takes two bites at a time. He also has to do swallowing exercises. He is to press his tongue hard against the roof of his mouth for three seconds 20 times per hour. They hope his swallowing will improve soon so they can switch him to oral medication.Getting mobile is another obstacle. He needs to get up at least four times a day, even if he just takes two passes back and forth around his room. The day before yesterday he did get up and take a shower! A real shower, not a sponge bath. Then he walked the hall a little bit. He complains of pain in his right foot when he puts weight on it. The only other pain is from his incision but this is managed by pain meds. His incision is healing very well. Dr. Hutson said it will be about 4 weeks before it's healed completely.

Hopes are for him to be transferred to rehabilitation on Monday. This depends on the bacteria that reappeared in his urine. Once he is in rehabilitation he will have more freedom and less of a hospital atmosphere. They will work him hard though, about 4 hours a day. They will also do speech therapy. They expect rehab to take 2-3 weeks. When Mom asked one of the doctors how much longer Clark would be in the hospital, without hesitation she answered, "A month." Dr. Hutson estimated 2-4 weeks. See, maybe you can catch him!

Yesterday was a rough day. His platelets were low which caused him to get a bloody nose very easily. The blood drained down his throat and into his stomach. The stomach hates blood and rejects it immediately so he was vomiting all day. They did give him a bag of platelets but the vomiting continued. He ate one small bite of Mom's homemade peanut butter pie and one small bite of yogurt. Hopefully today is a better day.
Mom had hoped to see Clark walk out of the hospital doors but unfortunately she will have to be heading back to South Dakota soon. Home, family, and work are calling for her there. She has been by Clark's side for hours on end so I'm sure he will miss her company, service, and support.

Visitors are welcome! There aren't any restrictions on his visitation anymore as far as the number, children, or hours. You do still have to wear a gown and gloves though. He is on the 5th floor, room 8. I'm sure he would love to see you!


Anonymous said...

Hello Clark and crew!! As you know, we've been the misfortunate recipients of some premature winter weather around here. I spent the week in KC with Adriann and we accomplished a lot with their new home. Of course, every trip is multi-tasked of some sort with horses and this one was no exception. I had a horse to bring home. The trip back north last night with a pickup and trailer was no fun at all!! I was thankful when I finally made it to this terriblely rutted gravel road of ours!

Rhonda, I messed something up with your email addy and it was returned to me. I am comfortable posting it on here because I trust that those who love Clark as we all do are trustworthy folks!! It's

Clark, when I went outside to clean barn this morning in this cold, icy wind I reminded myself that you would be happy for the opportunity to be out of that hospital and healed up enough to be doing what I was doing. You are constantly in our thoughts and in our prayers. (And, I would've turned my nose up at ground salmon, also. What WERE they thinking?!?!?!)

Bart said...

Hey bud its been awhile since last posted. You are in the home stretch so do what they say and get out of there. There is lots for you to do when you get out. One more month in the scheme of things is just another step (ya I know easy for me to say) but keep your chin up and get out and get back to life on the outside. Am looking forward to seeing you back in South Dakota. Keep up the good fight Clark you are so close to winning. Love ya Bart

David and Cori said...

You don't know us, but we have been following your blog and had a family home evening on how God answers prayers differently and I shared Clark's story with my kids. They love to pray for Clark daily, especially my 4 year old. She never forgets to bless Clark. Thank you for giving our family he opportunity to pray for you, even though we are strangers.

Kristin Kimble Purles said...

David and Cori - Thank you so much for commenting on Clark's blog. It has been quite the experience! I don't think we will ever know how far this has reached, the impact it's made, and the ripples that continue to grow. You have such a cute family. Thank you for keeping Clark in your prayers and using his trial to strengthen your family. If no good came out of all this it would be a shame. God works in mysterious ways. I'm humbled to see the power in His hands and the mighty work he is performing. Again, thank you for letting us know how He's touched you!

Stephen said...

That walker sure looks good on you. You can DO eet.

Cher said...

Hi Clark,

Hope you are feeling better today. Keep up the good work. You are doing a great job.

Ground salmon?? Sounds like they're trying to slip some omegas into your diet. You watch em, Clark.

Remember the story about the tortoise and the hare?? So now just go slow and steady w/ your eyes focused ahead. On the finish line. Keep moving forward. You can do it. Go home.

Janeanne said...

Hey Clark. Wish I could convey how much my heart aches as you struggle through challenges and rejoices as you make progress. What a journey this has been for you and your family.

Few of us can truly understand the pain and suffering you have endured. But, the Savior knows. He has suffer[ed] temptations and pains even more than men can suffer. Msh 3:7

Call up Him and His Holy Priesthood to help you through the dark times.

My prayer is that He will bless you with the desire, determination, and strength to conquer the rehabilitation phase. It won't be easy, Clark, but it will be worth it.

Can't remember who said it, but these are some great words of wisdom: "Men are what they think about all day long." Clark, this is the time to think about all those things you have yet to accomplish. Think about your dreams.......and think about them all day long. Before you know it, you'll be out of that hospital and living them.

Know that you are surrounded by hundreds, if not thousands, of people pulling for you. We love you!

Make this a great day!

Anonymous said...

Hey Clark, It's Lance's Mom Roxie,
Remember how hard you used to work to lose weight for those matches? We need you to work that hard to gain weight now buddy. I wish I could give you some of my fat, we'd both be happier. I know that you will miss mom but she will be with you in your heart. Come back home soon! Love & Prayers are with you.

Karla said...

Hey Clark~

Just checking in from St. George, and so glad to see the update on the blog.

I cannot begin to grasp what it feels like to have been through what you have experienced so far on this journey, and then to be rewarded with hospital Salmon (arggghhh). However, I would never turn down pudding!

This much I know for sure from having witnessed the healing process for many years working in hospitals and doctors offices, however long it took your legs to get weak, it takes "almost" half that long to get them back in "optimal" shape! So keep on pushing and striving for the front door. I promise it will come back, and the strength will come back fast once you get going. Also, once you are mobile, your internal organs will start functioning better too.

I am rooting for you and praying the good prayers for a speedy recovery and days filled with fresh air.

Love and Good thoughts,
Karla (in St. George)

Janeanne said...

Good morning, Clark.

Just wanted you to know I was thinking about you today and hoping this will be a good day!

Janeanne said...

Hi Clark,

Hope this Wednesday finds you better than Tuesday. Like climbing a mountain, it's just one foot in front of the other.

Be strong and look toward the sun!

John H. said...

Clark, it's great to see you up and walking around. Keep up the great work. It's hard, but you can do it. It takes lots of baby steps to finish this journey that you are on. Praying that you get stronger everyday. Hoping you can digest solid foods soon, and put some weight back on. We continue to pray for you back here in Watertown. Maybe some day we can compare scars. Mine is 12 in across and has a 3 vertical, the mercedes cut. Take care, John Hanes

Janeanne said...

Good morning, Superman! I didn't know until this morning that one of Superman's nicknames is "Man of Steel". That sure fits!

Keep on getting better, Clark. We're thinking and praying for you each and every day! Love ya. Have a good day.