Saturday, January 31, 2009
I got up and felt like I was walking through mud most of the day. Really fatigued. And hot. Only a few times was I cold today. Fortunately, we had a great group working together. We were all glad to see the night shift come in.
On the drive to work this morning, I was recalling how nice of a day we had yesterday. And how tired we were when we got home. And that we had driven Dan's car to the train station. And that we didn't pick it up on the way home. Ha!! I laughed out loud.
I called Daniel about 9:30 this morning. We chit chatted a little; I gave him time to mention about the car. He didn't. So I asked him if he knew where his car was? He said "in the garage, why?" I told him that I had remembered that we had driven over to the train station, and we had both forgotten to stop there and get the car. We both laughed out loud. He said he'd call around to get a ride...
Before leaving the hospital, Dan had sent a message that he hadn't gotten the car, so when I got home we could go over together. oooookaaaayyyyyy. I'm really tired. It's not really very far away, but I did have a stop I had wanted to make on the way home. I decided to pass on the stop and go on home.
An uneventful drive, thank you God, and when I got home I went in to let Dan know I was there. He came right out, we went over to get the car, and got back home again. At first he didn't see it in the lot and wondered if it was still there. A larger SUV was beside it, blocking it from view.
I put a load of work clothes in the wash and worked on this post. If it's fragmented, I apologize.
That load is done now, and so is this post.
Thank you for reading. Hugs.
Friday, January 30, 2009
We got to the Amtrak station in East Lansing with maybe 5 minutes to spare, and the lady at the ticket window (you can purchase tickets online, but only print a bar-coded confirmation slip which you present at the station) said the train was "a little behind". Twenty minutes or so, as it turned out. Dan and I were surprised that the station was full and overflowing with passengers to board--we counted about 50.
The Superliner pulled up. The trainmen with their uniforms which include the distinctive hat (love the hat) help passengers off the train, then onto the train. Dan and I sat on the upper level of seating. Being up higher we could see a lot more.
Wow, was it beautiful! Shortly after pulling out of the station we passed a wooded area where a deer was standing looking at us, and next to that was another deer lying down looking at us. With the snow on the trees and on the ground, and new snow freshening the world outside our window, I could only thank God for giving me the life I have and be humbled by the overwhelming beauty of it all.
We pulled into Union Station in Chicago. We all got off the train. The station is built over the tracks, but since it's open on each end for the tracks/trains, it was windy in there. And COLD! I think it was single digits in Chicago this morning.
We had about 25 minutes before our next train left. After sitting so long I had to walk around. Dan took a few pics of the station which I may post in a couple of days, as I'm scheduled to work Saturday and Sunday.
The Metra train pulled up and we boarded that one, going up on the second level there, too, but the windows were much smaller and the view was somewhat blocked. None-the-less, it was fascinating to take the train through the heart of Chicago, then continue on through the towns that have rippled out from there. About 40 minutes later, we were in Roselle. We got off the train.
And after the train left, we could go across the street to the car dealer, Dick Wickstrom Chevrolet, Roselle, IL. We were greeted at the door by Victor, met Karrie, and treated like royalty. Beverages, a walk around the vehicle, a test drive, another walk around it, and Dan and I were both pleased.
It's very pretty, maroon with gray custom interior. The family that owned it bought it there, had it serviced there, and traded it in on something different for the teen-aged driver to be seen in. Worked out well, for us anyway.
It seemed to take forever for Dan (owner/manager?) to get the paperwork finished, but we did, and we headed on back. First, we stopped and ate. We were driving into Chicago about 3:30. Six lanes, bumper-to-bumper. It also seemed like forever to get through Chicago.
We finally did, and got home about 9:20 pm. It's been a long day. Dan has gone to bed. I stretched a little after putting things away.
The 2005 Chevy Astro van is very nice. Dan and I took turns driving home, and we both like it. "A good find," Dan said. I agree.
Saturday and Sunday I work, and I'll have to see how the pictures came out that Dan took with his phone. I hope there's at least one good one....
I've got to get to bed.
Thank you for reading. Hugs.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
You know, I don't sleep at long intervals for the most part. If I'm lucky, 45 minutes to an hour and a half and I'm awake again. And I don't have the sense of how much time has passed, so I look at the clock. Most often, I'm surprised at the length (or brevity) of the interval.
Last night Daniel had gone to bed shortly after 10 while I was finishing up on the computer. And, having finished, I set the computer aside. I thought it was about 10:30. I sat here just a minute before getting up to go to bed. 11:34!! Huh?!? I must have dozed off.
After I got into bed I fell asleep, and woke up later, expecting it to be somewhere around 1 am. Nope. 4:21. No kidding? I had no sense that I had slept for a few hours or a few minutes. Of course I got up during the hot flash, used the restroom, wandered around the house until I had cooled off, and gone back to bed. Next time was 6:30 ish, and I listened to the radio for about a half hour before turning it off and going back to sleep. We both got up about 8.
I did a couple chores, repacked a Christmas box, took several of the Christmas decoration boxes over to the storage unit and put those away. Back at home, I had lunch then went to Jackson for a meeting. When I got home I pre-treated and laundered my winter coat. Daniel had made sandwiches for our trip to Chicago tomorrow, and I cut up celery, cucumber, apple to take, along with baby carrots, and waters. The Amtrak leaves at 0743. We'll be there!!
Daniel's blood sugars are finally in the 100's, with an occasional low 200. He's still itchy but the skin is so dry and flaky. It's not a rash making him itch.
Tomorrow we're up early. Both of us are looking forward to this trip. I hope the weather holds for a safe drive back to Holt.
Thank you for reading. Hugs.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
I got up and showered, doing the exercises and trying to move some of the fluid in my arm, which is feeling "spongy" these days. And itchy.
I left for Jackson about 11:30, and was surprised at how much snow we had gotten. Maybe 3 or 4 inches. Beautiful.
An uneventful drive on wet, salty highway, there was a parking place conveniently near. I parked and join the presentation on fibromyalgia pain that was in progress. It was very interesting. Afterwards, my co-worker and I walked over to the "education room" where we were going to interview candidates for a position. As it turned out, only one other person was able to join us, so the three of us went through the processes.
A few hours later we were done, I left and went over to the credit union to finalize the loan for the van. That done, with check in hand, I left.
The roads were almost dry on the way home. I was surprised at how much snow we had, and that the plowing is just about done.
Daniel started dinner for us. We ate, caught up with ourselves, and I tried to catch up on email and write here. I had a very enjoyable phone call with Diane, then finished here.
Tomorrow is another meeting in Jackson. I'm ready for bed.
Thank you for reading. Hugs.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
The drive to Jackson started out with a mostly dry right lane, snowy left lane, and somewhere around Leslie the roads were wet-looking and had been salted. Maybe Jackson County salted. Anyway, there were a few areas that were questionable so I had to pay a little more attention to the road.
I got there safely, parked, and the shuttle arrived. Cool!
We had a good group of co-workers today and ended up steady-busy all day. We all were happy to see the oncoming shift.
The shuttle arrived shortly after I had gotten to the lobby. Twice today. Woo Hoo!
Dry roads on the way home, though I was puzzled to see that a car had spun out and was in the median. It's passengers were out of the vehicle looking at it. (and that's all I saw of it, being the highway and also dark) I don't know. I took that as a message to be careful.
Daniel was happy to see me, but he's got a new phone, so he's playing with that, looking on the computer for downloads and such.
Tomorrow I have meetings from 12 until at least 3, then other errands while I'm in Jackson.
I'm tired tonight and hope to be able to sleep.
Thank you for reading. Hugs.
Monday, January 26, 2009
The morning half of the workday was pretty nice, but as the day went on it turned into Rocky Road. Bumps and unusual events, and we dealt with it all very capably. (I have wonderful co-workers.) Eventually the night shift came in and we were able to leave.
It was snowing pretty good on the way home, beautiful medium-sized clumps of snow splatting on the windshield. I got home safely, thank you, God.
Daniel and I caught up on our day, researching the trains to Chicago again. We made a choice and bought the tickets. Woo Hoo!!
I wrote here while he is watching something about the Templar's(?). I don't know, something strange.
I'm going to go to bed so I can get up early again.
Thank you for reading. Hugs.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
I have checked the settings on this side and they are all appropriate. I read the Help section in the bloghelp, and a few others have had this same or similar problem just recently. There were no responses that I found from the Blogger Team.
So, if you Comment, and it doesn't go through, please consider sending your comments directly to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope the problem is resolved soon. I look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you for Reading, and Commenting. Hugs.
I showered and breakfasted and got a notepad and pen ready for the representative of the online education to arrive. He was due at noon.
12:10. 1230. I had written his phone number down, but whatever I wrote it on is elusive. And I had given them my phone number, so he could have called. Never did. No call, no show. I hope all is well with him, not that he got in a wreck or something.
So Dan and I enjoyed our afternoon. I explored more on the internet, had a phone call from my "other son", fixed dinner for us, "ripped" some discs. The evening went on.
Dan has another fine red rash on his abdomen and is itchy. He's put lotion on, thinking it's dry skin. And, oh yeah, he switched over to the Plavix again today. Time will tell...
Tomorrow is Monday, and I am scheduled to work.
Have a great day, thank you for reading. Hugs.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
I was just checking email when my phone rang. It was brother Jim--inviting us to lunch. Ok.
We met at the Los Tres Amigos on S. Cedar and had a good lunch and good conversation. Thanks, Jim and Polly.
Dan and I came home, and I looked on the internet about train travel to Chicago, then on to Roselle, where the 2005 Astro van is. And since the sun was shining, I had to go out for a walk.
I walked maybe 2 miles, maybe more. It was absolutely beautiful, but cold.
When I got back, I fixed us a couple of lovely salads.
Another quiet evening. I finished catching up on the email and wrote here.
Tomorrow I have an appointment with a representative of an online nursing program about advancing my education. We'll see what that information is.
Thank you for reading. Hugs.
Friday, January 23, 2009
An uneventful drive to Jackson, thank you God. We had a good group of patients and staff. I think we all had a pleasant day. Even though it was busy.
I was waiting for my "love message" (my text message from Daniel). I had thought about it several times during the morning before realizing that I didn't have my phone. Oh, that's why I haven't heard from him. After thinking about it, I realized that I had left it on my bedside table.
I called Daniel from another phone, mainly to ask him how he was doing today. He must have been going stir-crazy, because he offered to bring my phone to me. Ok, thanks.
That was a nice visit to break up my day.
I got through the afternoon, fighting fatigue, and was finally able to clock out.
An uneventful drive home, thanks again. I did see a dead deer on the shoulder of the road. That's the first one I've seen in several days--maybe a week or so?--since the cold spell and snow.
I was happy to be home. I changed into my ' jammas, put my work stuff away, and wrote here.
Daniel is looking somewhat better and itching less frequently. The blood sugars are still elevated, but doctor said it might take several weeks for his body to settle back down.
Tomorrow I hope I'm sleeping in. No other plans at this point.
Thank you for reading. Hugs.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
That appointment went well, with Doctor increasing the insulin dosages starting Saturday. Dan's weight, blood pressure, and pulse were all good. So, return visit February 2.
After that we went next door to Meijer and picked up a few items before heading home.
We fixed our lunches and ate, and settled in.
I've been looking for a 2005 Chevy/GMC van, found one via Yahoo Autos, and have looked at other vehicles and options, etc, for a week or so. Today I called the dealer outside of Chicago to negotiate a price. Although they wouldn't come down on price as much as I would have liked, they did offer what they could. I told the nice lady that I would let her know tomorrow. Dan and I made a list of questions that we hadn't thought of prior (like, has it had an oil change, safety inspection, warranty, etc?), and I'll call Michigan Secretary of State to verify how to make the transaction. A few other housekeeping details, and I'll be ready to call the salesperson back.
That done, I caught up on email. And in my inbox was an invitation to view this post, reprinted with permission:
A little over a year ago my Aunt was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. It was very difficult for me to think about. She faced it head on, with courage and strength. A few family members decided to cut their hair short or shave their heads. I chose to "pay it forward". In support of my Aunt's struggle I decided to grow it out long enough to donate it to "Locks of Love". Well, today, I decided it was long enough and donated the full 10 inches in respect to my Aunt. So, I did it for her. She is amazing!! I'm very proud to know her and love her and lucky to be related to her.. xoxoxo *Cheers*
Oh My Gosh!!!! This is my beautiful niece, Amber.
I just had to call her! I am humbled and honored that, by my journey, someone else has taken an action to make a positive difference. Amber, with love and sincerety, Thank You. The child who receives the hairpiece made of your hair will no doubt be energized with your strength and positive outlook.
p.s. To my great-niece Chelsea, who has also donated to Locks of Love--Your beautiful hair has done the same.
I'm proud to say that we are Strong Women.
And to all of you Readers out there,
Thank you for reading, for sharing, and continuing to share, this journey. Hugs.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
As a result I was a bit, shall we say, reserved, today. Or maybe quiet. I woke up hungry and fixed myself (Dan wasn't ready to eat yet) a small potato, egg, small sausage link, english muffin, milk, half of a banana, coffee, and a large water. Reading that line, it looks like quite a lot to eat. I guess it kind of was. At least I wasn't hungry for a while.
I went in and showered, trying to move that fluid in my arm/shoulder/breast. I'm about ready to call Dr. Bolmer's office and ask for a referral to see Ike again. Everything is full and uncomfortable. Lumpy and sore, too.
I took down the Christmas tree and other seasonal decor and got that repacked. The outside lights are still up but will be taken down as soon as the ice melts to release them. I also sorted and repacked a couple of other totes/storage boxes. And did a couple loads of laundry, and made food for us, too.
I fixed some angel hair pasta with fresh tomato, broccoli, zucchini, and olive oil. I had a tilapia fillet with mine; Daniel had shrimp. Then I went to my massage at 5:30.
Boy, did I need that. I felt much better at the end of the hour.
Back home, Dan said he had started itching again. Oh?? Sure enough, a fine red rash on his abdomen and inner forearms. And his eyes are puffy. Hm. You know that shrimp?? Maybe the previous reactions were from the "dye" used in the heart cath procedures. I suggested taking a couple of Benadryl.
He paused a few minutes, then decided to take 25 milligrams, keeping the other 25 milligrams as an option if he needs more. Then, about a half hour later, he started having that raspy voice, too. I told him not to make me call 911 again.
It's a couple of hours since the benadryl; I don't see him scratching any more. I hope that's the extent of his reaction. In fact, he has just said that he took the second tablet and is feeling better. Whew!
Tomorrow we see the family practice guy, Dr. Al-Sheikh, for a follow up on the blood sugars/insulin/hematomas in the groins. I have a meeting in Jackson in the afternoon, too.
Thank you for reading. Hugs.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
The shuttle pulled in as I finished parking and took us over to the hospital.
The morning started out ok, got busy late morning/early afternoon, and I was finally able to have lunch at 1:45. One of my co-workers came in to work so that I could attend a meeting. I was glad for that, as I was "burning out" from trying to get everything done and trying to keep everyone happy. I gave her a quick report and went to the meeting.
The meeting was a welcome reprieve from the unit's activity. Our discussions were lively and somewhat productive. After 3 hours, I had to go back to the floor.
I caught up with my team-mate and took over from her. Thank you, PV, for coming in for me. I finished up the shift, started the car, changed my shoes, caught the shuttle again !! and headed home. When I pulled into the garage, the dashboard thermometer showed the temperature as 1 degree.
Daniel was happy to see me. He's doing pretty good, overall. His blood sugar is still somewhat elevated and he's scratching as I write. I think he's just resigned to the skin stuff.
This morning I was doing morning stuff and I had a sharp pain in my breast. A really sharp pain that made my eyes leak. I tried to describe it--like a sharp burning pain in the woundbed. And it lasted for several minutes. It was very weird, and the oddest thing, I think, is how long it lasted. Tonight it's just sore. (just?)
Tomorrow is a quiet day, with a massage in the late afternoon. I'm ready for it.
So, that's my day. Thank you for reading. Hugs.
Monday, January 19, 2009
We had a good day with good c0-workers. As the patients were discharged and left, we sent staff home, ending our shift with me and one other nurse. Very odd, but very ok, too.
The drive home was even better--the roads had melted and dried. Just in time for more snow Bring it on!!
Daniel was winding down his day. He's feeling better all the time. Still not at "the top of his game", but better.
I'm off to bed. Tomorrow is more of the same.
Thank you for reading. Hugs.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
We had a leisurely morning, and after looking at the grocery ad online, we went to the store. Daniel (who made sure he had his glasses this time) spent a lot of time reading labels and choosing foods that were lower in sodium. And sometimes leaving them on the shelves. He's doing very well with the dietary changes--I'm proud of him. He's finally feeling better, too, with minimal itching. He does say that his skin feels dry and "sore".
We enjoyed the rest of the evening watching the football playoffs.
Tomorrow (Monday) and Tuesday are workdays.
Thank you for reading. Hugs.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Daniel went over to a friend's house to help with a new computer, leaving me home alone. Which was ok.
I showered and mostly lazed this afternoon,. When I tried to read, it seemed like "too much thinking". So I putzed around the house, picking up a little, browsing around the computer.
Daniel got home after dark, had his food, (I had already eaten), and we caught up on the day. My phone rang--Jim and Polly were in the area for a grandchild soccer game and wanted to stop by. Ok!
I asked Dan to turn on the oven while I enjoyed shoveling the walk without a coat on. I can't believe I get so hot. When I came in I put some cookies in the oven. Our guests arrived not long after.
We had a nice visit, enjoying warm cookies and hot coffee and good company. They left a little after 9.
Dan found a Swartzenegger movie; I wrote here. Off to bed soon.
The temperature reached positive teens here today; hope you enjoyed the balmy weather.
Thank you for reading. Hugs.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Another drive to Jackson at "minus teens" temps.
We have a lot to be thankful for. The car started. The furnace came on. We can pay the utility bill. We have 2 incomes. The sun was out. We are both alive, living through our respective health treatments.
We were busy at work today, but a good group of co-workers makes a better day. I also had the concierge service take my car over to Auto Images to get the remote starter to function correctly. Evidently it was not me, it was the unit. It took over an hour, I was told, but it works now.
I had a hard time today staying focused, staying on track. I noticed it mostly with charting, transferring data from my worksheet into the computer. I got really tired this afternoon, too. I wonder if the fatigue is related to how hot I've been the last couple of days. Geesh. No kidding, I walked outside with my jacket open. Not very far, but how far do you need to go in sub-zero weather to cool off??
So, I'm home now. Daniel looks like, and says, he's feeling a little better, and has a little more energy. But his blood sugars are rising instead of coming down. He's been calling the doctor every day as instructed. I'm hoping doctor makes some kind of change in the insulin dosage.
We don't have any plans that I'm aware of for the weekend.
I'm about ready to go to bed. Thank you for reading. Hugs.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
It was so cold this morning. -14 when I left home this morning, going through an area where the temperature dropped to -20, then back to -18 when I got into Jackson. The shuttle pulled in right after I did so I didn't have to walk across the road.
We had a good day, busy, but we had a good crew. After 12 1/2 long hours it was time to clock out. I got bundled up as I stood in the lobby, hoping the shuttle would come. It did!! Yea!!
The drive home was ok; the car thermometer fluctuated between 3 and -1, 0 when I pulled into the garage. The garage door doesn't like to go up when it's this cold. It takes several times pushing the button and moving it several inches until it opens beyond the area where it's pinched.
Daniel and I caught up on our days. He sounds a lot better. His blood sugar is still holding in the 200's and low 300's. We'll see what doctor says when Dan calls his sugars to him tomorrow.
So I've written here, and I'm ready to go to bed to get up and do it again tomorrow.
Thank you for reading. Warm hugs.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
We ventured out to get groceries. Dan is doing well reading labels and making better, lower sodium choices. And he fixed us a lovely, healthy supper.
Not much else today. Breon stopped by after work for a few more items from her closet. She's just about got it emptied out.
Tomorrow is a workday. I get to go out in the single digits. I hope there is a shuttle....
Thank you for reading. Hugs.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
We had a good day. Dan went up to the clubhouse and did a light/medium workout, the first since the first cardiac catheterization/stents placement December 22. He came back feeling good--both physically and emotionally.
The sun came out in between the snow squalls. I got very bundled up and went outdoors for my walk. Yes, it was a little cold on the little bit of my face that was exposed, but it was lovely. Beautiful waves of snow in the open areas. Intriguing to me how the drifts grow and shift.
Dan had laid down before I went out, and was sleeping when I got back in. I changed clothes and drove up to the pharmacy to pick up prescription refills. He was up when I got back.
We had a pleasant evening together. He has drifted off to bed while I finish writing here.
Thank you to those who "came out" and commented on National Deblurker Day. I hope that other readers, like those in Florida, California, and New York, and where ever else is a red dot on the reader map, will at least say Hi.
I appreciate each of you, taking the time to share our lives. Hugs.
Monday, January 12, 2009
Dan drove us today to his appointments. The first was Dr. Al-Sheikh, the family practice guy, who is managing the blood sugars along with his other meds. Even with the insulin that Dan started last week, his sugars are still in the 200's and low 300's sometimes. The lowest was 133. Doctor changed the medication protocol again, including changing the insulin to 20 units in the morning and 10 units at night. He felt that the hematomas in the groins were "normal" and will resolve. Dr. Al-Sheikh wants Dan to call him every day with his blood sugars, and gave us both the office number and his personal cell phone number. Ok, thanks. We go back next week Thursday.
Next stop, cardiologist.
We waited in Dr. Shah's office, too. I thought we were seeing Dr. Karve, but evidently not. (Later, Dan said that Karve was booked full, so he took an appointment with Dr. Shah. Oh.) Anyway, Kathie called us back, got Dan's weight, took his blood pressure, reviewed medications, and did an EKG, all before the doctor came in. When she was done, we waited only a few minutes before he knocked and entered.
He was definitely more personable this visit, I thought. He took the time to listen to Daniel, then looked at his skin about the rashy stuff. He was concerned that Dan is still somewhat itchy and suggested that another visit with the allergist might need to happen. Then he checked the hematomas in the groins and thought they were "normal", too. He did caution Dan not to push, pull, or lift any greater than 10 or 15 pounds though for a few more days, and if he noticed an increase in the size of the lumps below the surface (the actual hematomas) to apply pressure and seek treatment either in the office or the emergency room if after hours. Dan made a follow up appointment for 3 weeks, and we left.
We had left the house about 10:25 this morning, and it was now after 2. We were both getting hungry, but Dan had not been doing well in either of the waiting rooms today. When we got home, I helped him get food around for himself, and then for myself when his was ready.
Dan settled into his chair, covered with a blanket, ready for a "rest". I headed to Jackson for a haircut and a stop at the credit union.
I got the banking done then went out to Michigan Center to Auto Images to have them reset the engine light, but there was not a technician available to do that today. Oh well. On to the salon. Lauretta was surprised at how long my hair was, and how "normal" it feels. We both think that the hair is what it is going to be. Definitely thicker than it was, and still straight. I'm happy to have it (even though chemo-bald is easier/faster to groom). I thanked her and went on my way.
On the way home, I drove through the Ford car lot, dreaming. There is a new vehicle, the Flex, that I wanted to see. OOOOOOOOOO. XOXOXOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm liking this vehicle. I'm going to have to be real creative if I'm going to actually purchase this vehicle. Right now, I'm just thinking.
Back home, Dan was in a better mood, and feeling a little better. He's extremely disappointed about his health status interfering with a desired Florida hiatus, but he wants to make sure he's in optimal health for a planned Myrtle Beach golf excursion in March. We had a bite to eat and continued on with our evening.
I find the snow to be beautiful. The puffs of white on the evergreen branches, the snow mounded on bare-branch trees--I could only exclaim how beautiful it is and thank God for allowing me to see it and share His beauty.
Tomorrow is household day, catching up on routine; nothing else that I'm aware of.
I did not know until just today that it is National Delurker Day. That’s when blog readers are asked to stop just silently reading…and to comment and let writers know who you are and that you ARE actually lurking out there reading what we are writing. GO AHEAD, expose yourself...
Thank you for reading. Hugs.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
I was glad to see the snow being cleared in our complex. I hope the expressway is plowed, too.
It was. Much better roads today. I had a good workday today, too. And a good drive home.
Dan seems to be feeling better this evening. His voice is sounding stronger and he's not itching as frequently.
Tomorrow we see both Doctor Al-Sheikh (family practice) and Doctor Karve (cardiology).
I'm going to bed. Thank you for reading. Hugs.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
It had snowed during the night and the highway had not been plowed. What a drive! Not the worse, but 40-45 mph. I saw 3 cars off the road. I got there safely; the security guy swooped me up in one of the vehicles, and I got onto the unit at just 0630. Thank you God.
We had a nice group of co-workers today, and an overall nice day. It was snowing all day, too, and at one point coming down pretty good. I wondered about maybe staying overnight at the hospital instead of driving home if it continued. But the night shift girls came in, saying that the roads were yucky but passable. And the weather channel showed a break in the storm. I clocked out and headed home.
The side streets hadn't been plowed, the city sidewalks hadn't been cleared, and the employee lot where I was parked 2 blocks away wasn't plowed either. I plodded over following tire tracks in the road. There was maybe 6-8 inches of snow on my car and it took me 20 minutes to get it cleared off. Then I wondered if I would be able to drive through the piles of snow I had just brushed off! Yes, I did, but if that snow was much deeper I wouldn't have been able to.
I made it to the highway--if it had been plowed it was a long time ago. What a mess. Traffic was moving 40-45 mph again.
I got home ok (thanks again, Lord) and Daniel was laying down in the bed. He said he was tired of sitting. He had gone out to Meijer for a few grocery items earlier today. He said that was enough, that he wasn't ready to do much more. Dan is still itching, though not as intensely. He's doing really well with the dietary choices. We are both surprised that his blood sugars are still holding in the high 200's. We see Doctor Al-Sheikh (the family practice guy) again on Monday, and also Dr. Karve (cardiology) Monday afternoon. I started a load of laundry then snuggled up next to him. We caught up on our day. After a bit he turned the tv on, and then he got up and joined me in the living room while I write this.
The snow has let up quite a bit, but our complex hasn't been plowed yet either. I'll be going to bed soon. I hope the roads are better in the morning.
Thank you for reading. Hugs.
Friday, January 9, 2009
He had already had his breakfast and done his own insulin. He looks so much better today--his color, his gait is a bit more steady, and his voice is a little stronger. He did have a nap this afternoon.
I putzed around, moving a few things, household chores, etc. While Dan was sleeping, I went out to the library. It was a beautiful snowy day.
Dan was up when I got back. His blood sugars are still elevated, but a little lower than they were.
Tomorrow is a work day for me. I hope I can sleep a little better.
Thank you all for your kind words and phone calls. Knowing you are out there is nice. Hugs.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
We each got ready for the day. Dan looks horrible this morning--gray tinged, listless--I'm glad we're going to his doctor. His blood sugar is high 200's.
It's the first I've met Dr. George Al-Sheikh. He seems like a nice guy. He listened as Dan was telling him what was going on, but Dan doesn't have much of a voice and was getting fatigued already. I took over with a synopsis of the heart cath of December 22 and what has happened since. We told him our concern of the blood sugars being so high and having insulin in the hospital and not having that addressed at discharge.
He reviewed all of Dan's medications, adjusted a couple, had the girl come in and do an accucheck (321!), and an O2 sat (96%), and said that we would start insulin. After he looked, listened, and felt Dan, he went out and came back with two "insulin pens" and instructions to check blood sugars at least 4 times a day, and to take 10 units of insulin when we have lunch, and to call him at 3 o'clock with the result. Ok! We thanked him and made a follow-up appointment for Monday at 11.
Dan wanted to stop at Zeus Coney Island for a gyro sandwich. Since this was the first time out since January 2, he wanted to go "in", so we did. Surprisingly, to me, it was a fairly nice place. My spinakopita (spinach pie) was fair to good, and Daniel enjoyed his sandwich. When we got home I gave him the 10 units of 72/25 Humulin insulin as directed.
About 30-45 minutes later, his color was better, his eyes looked better, and he got up and walked around, putzing at this and that. He said he was feeling a little better. It wasn't too much after that he started itching again. It was time for that medicine, so he took it and went in to lay down. At 3 o'clock I took him the accucheck--321. Wow. He called the office as directed and they took the information down. Dan rolled over and went back to sleep. I went upstairs in the loft and used the computer up there.
Breon, Dan's daughter, called me about 4:30. I went out to meet her at a Meijer store. We both got what we wanted then went on to Horrock's. We picked up a couple of things there, too. They have such nice produce. My "motherly" duties done, we each went on our separate ways.
I finally got home around 7. Dan was up. He said his next blood sugar, before he ate his diner, was 320. He finally spoke with the doctor about 5:30 ish, who advised to take 15 units in the morning. Ok, thanks.
I fixed my dinner and ate. My shoulder is sore, as is the breast and around to the side, and I have tylenol/motrin on board. Daniel still looks somewhat better tonight and is quite tired.
Me too. Tomorrow is household day. (yay) I'm off to bed.
Thank you for reading. Hugs.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
I was sleeping when my alarm went on at 0830. OK, up time. Off to the shower...I did the exercises for my arm and shoulder and breast. I got out and finished getting ready for my appointment with Dr. Bolmer. Dan was still in bed, though now awake. He wasn't quite ready physically to go with me this morning. I told him that if we were discussing treatments or something, I would like for him to go, but since it's just a routine follow-up, I was ok by myself. I told him I could record the visit, but he said it wasn't necessary. He was scratching again, and since it was time for medicine, I brought it to him with a glass of water, then he went back to sleep.
It was snowing out, a fine, blowy stuff, with the temperature in the mid 20's. I got to the doctor's office and signed in. I had to wait; I was finally called back by one of the unbadged girls that I recognized but don't know her name. First stop, scales. Off with the coat. I had snowboots on, and the digital number display kept going up, over 150. 151.6. Uh, Oh. I've gained weight. I made a note to take my boots off and re-weigh myself before leaving the building. (well, yeah, they're heavy...) She led me to room 11, took blood pressure (106/71) pulse-99 and temperature (97.7). She reviewed the medication list and said doctor would be with me soon. Ok, thanks. I looked around.
New pictures--on the wall I was looking at were 2 framed photographs of great white egrets or terns--long legged, long billed birds--nesting. The photo on the left was one of the birds walking toward the camera with long sticks in it's beak. The photo on the right was of the nest--one bird deep in the nest with it's head visible, the other bird standing guard. As I looked around, there was another photo on the opposite wall, above the chair I was sitting in. This photo was a close-up of the head of the bird on the nest. Interesting. They were neat photos. I got up and walked to the window and looked out, watching. Not much to see. A guy shoveling, a delivery truck at the back of the building, finally a knock at my door.
Dr. Bolmer came in about 11:05. She greeted me warmly and talked fast in her rambling way. The first thing she asked about was the hot flashes. Yep, still having them, I confirmed, and she said "still nothing we can do about them. Sorry. Have you had a period?" No, I replied. Not since last January, with spotting in February. "Good," she said, "but we don't call you menopausal on tamoxifen until you haven't bled for 2 or 3 years." She grinned. "But, you probably are. We'll just have to wait and see." She wrote out the refill for the effexor 37.5 mg, ordered the lab draw for today, and wrote for a bone density scan. The scanning people will call me to schedule. The mammogram was negative, so that means a follow-up in 6 months on the left side only, and a return office visit in 3 months. However, she said, "I won't be here." Her eyes filled. She went on to explain that her mother was very ill and she was leaving practice to go to her. And that she expects that her father will pass soon after. I told her that it is a good choice; difficult, but she won't regret it. She nodded. And she mentioned that I took care of my mother. "Yes," I said, "and she died just before my last chemo treatment." She nodded again. "I'm glad I did, and I believe she knew I was in treatment. I cherish the connections we had during the last few months. I was honored to be able care for her. It's a good choice that you're making." Her eyes filled again. "You'll be ok," I said. She nodded again.
So, I asked her what happens to us, her patients? The two other physicians in the practice are happy to see us, and are each excellent. Or there are other cancer doctors around, whatever. Hm. I told her I'd come back here. Good, she said. She went on to say that they both have a different style of practice, that they won't spend a half hour talking with you, but they'll take good care of you. Ok. I make lists and take notes anyway for my doctor visits, so I think I'll be ok. That was a good fore-warning, though.
Doctor turned to the cabinet to get out a gown. "Here, I'll go make some notes then come back and listen to you, check your breasts" she said. I told her she didn't need to leave the room, I don't need a gown, and pulled off my shirt and bra. First thing, right off the bat, she thought I looked "a little full, there's some fluid there." She was looking at my upper arm, breast, and around to the side. We talked about the therapy, and she said she would make a thorough note so that when I call for an order for therapy, whoever is reading it will find the need well documented. I thanked her for that. She listened to my heart and lungs, and declared me good.
Good. She turned to write on the chart, I got re-dressed and waited quietly for her to finish.
When she was done, she said it was a privilege to take care of me, an honor to know me, and she's glad I responded so well to treatment. And I thanked her for being so kind and taking good care of me. And that she's making the right choice in going to Leland, about 200 miles away. I hugged her, she cried a little, and told me the girl would be in to get my blood, and hurried out of the room.
The badgeless girl came in and said Amy would be with me in a minute to draw my blood, and led me back to the waiting area. I put my things in a chair, and while I was waiting, I went back to the scale. Each boot weighed 0.8, for a total of 1.6 pounds. Then I stood on the scale--149.6. Not liking that number. Another female patient walked by and we made comments about the vanity of the weight of the footwear, and one of the other physicians smiled. I went back out to the waiting area.
I made my follow-up appointment with Dr. Williams, the physician I had seen in the hallway, and paid the co-pay. Amy came up to get me for the blood draw.
She had to poke a little, but got the two tubes of blood, wrapped my arm with the stretchy stuff, and I sat there for 10 minutes or so until the wooziness went away. Yep, needles going into me is a "recoverable" moment. I made sure I was ok, then got up and left.
I thanked God for my caregivers, and asked for angels to be with Dr. Bolmer and her parents.
Next stop, Lansing Ophthalmology to have my glasses adjusted.
I waited about 10 minutes for my turn. I told her where the nose pieces were bothering me, and when she brought them back, I remembered that I wanted to ask if the nosepieces could be changed from the hard plastic ones to something different. Sure, she said. She got two other types of silicone ones to show me, I picked one, she changed them out, then had to adjust them again. All in all, they're good. I'm still playing with them, but I think they'll settle in. And if they don't, I'll go back for another adjustment.
I called Dan to ask if he wanted anything from the store; he gave me a short list and I headed over to Meijer. I spent quite a while in the store, looking at the sodium counts of many things that we buy. I picked up the bread and eggs and a few fresh veggies and stood in the checkout line for another 10 minutes. Done.
Back home. Dan was up and looking....fair. He had eaten, his voice is still raspy. I told him about my appointments, then went to make my lunch. A big plate of nachos. Yum. I shared.
After a bit, Dan went in and laid down. I was checking my email when my eyes got heavy, too, and next thing I was laying down on the couch. I woke up with the door chime. Breon had come to see her daddy.
We had a nice visit. After she left Dan and I put dinner together and ate. The evening passed. He went to bed about 10, I wrote here.
He's been itchy about 1/2 hour before medication time, whether it's the benadryl or the atarax.
Tomorrow we see Dr. Al-Sheikh for Dan at 11:00. The prednisone causes the blood sugar to increase; Dan has been in the high 200's and getting insulin at the hospital, but it was not addressed at discharge as to what to do at home. So we're going to find out.
I see that this post got long again. Thank you for reading. Hugs.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
And was it busy. Whew! I was glad to be done.
I stopped at the pharmacy on the way home to pick up Dan's medications but they weren't ready yet, so I waited while they were finished up. That done, I got home.
Dan was happy to see me, and I him, and happy to be home.
He looks quite drawn, as he's lost a lot of weight. His voice was raspy and sparse. He was very fatigued. He went off to bed about 10.
I wrote here.
Tomorrow is another 6 month appointment with Dr. Bolmer. I'm pretty sure it's just a routine follow up visit.
Thank you for reading. Hugs.
Monday, January 5, 2009
He spoke with the physician assistant, Jason, and Dr. Karve. Dan has tried to not use the IV medications today to see if this can be managed by the oral medications so that he can be discharged. His IV sites are only lasting 14-18 hours, too, and he's had several restarts already. The needle that was put in yesterday went bad this morning; he wanted to try not using the IV meds.
I worked today, and we were busy. The roads were dry each way. That was nice. After work I stopped at the house to change clothes before going up to the hospital.
Dan was dozing when I got there, about 8:45. He was itching again, and scratching. He said it felt like "ants coming out of my skin." He finally asked for more medicine--vistaril--and a sleeping pill. Maybe the combination will facilitate getting over the hump of this. He's discouraged and frustrated that no one has any other suggestions or ideas on how to treat what's going on, nor does anyone know the cause of it.....????
I stayed there until 9:30, then left.
I'm really tired tonight, and work Tuesday, too. I'm off to bed.
Thank you for reading, and praying for Dan's recovery. Hugs.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
I finally dozed off to sleep. When I woke it was just about 9:15. I got up and got started on my morning. Dan called at 9:30 saying he had finally gotten some relief and had gone back to sleep.
I had breakfast, did a load of laundry, put away a couple more seasonal things, general household stuff. I got things together to go to the hospital, had a bite to eat, and called Dan.
The doctor had been in--I think he is a hospitalist (not the cardiologist that was in yesterday). He and Daniel had gone over the medications and gotten Dan back on track. Dan was feeling much better.
He looked better, too, after I got there. He was still itchy as the meds wore off and the time was nearing time for the next dose. We had a nice afternoon/evening together, and I left about 10:30.
I'm doing ok, having done my exercises both in the shower and out. Still hot and cold. Tomorrow is a work day for me. Time will tell if Dan is able to be discharged.
Thank you for reading and for keeping us in your hearts. Hugs.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
I had a nice morning at home, breakfast, shower, got things gathered to take up to Dan (clothes and shoes to go home). I had a light lunch, then left for the hospital. I got there about 2:30, just as the nurse was giving him more benadryl and prednisone. His rash didn't look too bad, blotchy red areas, but he was itching anywhere and everywhere, the whole time I was there. He was a little quieter after the meds for maybe an hour or hour and a half, and it was interesting to see different areas of his skin turn bright red and swollen for 20 minutes or so then fade out.
Dan has a roommate now who also has a recliner that he's sleeping in. The semiprivate rooms are on the small side, and Dan's bed and tables have been moved over as much as possible, not leaving much room for a chair for me. After the nurse had been in and gotten both of the guys taken care of, it quieted down for a while in the room, and I got next to Dan on the bed. It was then that he finally drifted off to sleep. (((smile)))
Of course, the nurse came in with meds and woke him.
Overall, I think he's had a fair day. He's in the right place to be monitored and treated for this reaction. He thinks he might be ready to go home tomorrow. We'll see.
My shoulder is achy and the breast is full. My upper arm has been itchy, too. I think it's the fluid accumulating. I'll do the exercises again this evening after I get home and hopefully it will help. I've been taking the claritin and sudafed--the right ear has cleared up pretty good, and the left ear is trying hard. Maybe by tomorrow...
Dan and I thank you for the warm thoughts, colors, phone calls, and prayers for us.
Thank you for reading. Hugs.
Friday, January 2, 2009
This morning, after a night of frequent wakefulness by both of us, we got up about 8:30. Yes, I was scheduled to work today, but I called at 0425 when the alarm went off and was told I was "on-call". Ok, back to sleep.
Dan got in the shower, I stripped the bed and started the washer. I was at my vanity sink, outside the bathroom, when I heard him faintly call "Kathy..." I turned off the water and looked in the bathroom. Dan was sitting on the toilet with his head in his hands. "You ok??" I asked him. "I'm really hot. Feel me." Yep, extremely perspirous. (like that word?) And his skin color was quite gray, no lips to be seen. Hm. "Dan? I'm going to call 911." He made a grunting noise, told me he had tried to get his blood pressure but the machine read error. Hm. He's still got his head down, still perspiring. I put the blood pressure cuff on him and pumped the bulb. I kind of wanted to get a blood pressure but mostly wanted to observe him. The machine read error again. "Dan, I'm calling 911." No response. I put the bath towel on the floor and encouraged him to get off the stool and lay down. No, he said. "Ok," I said, "I'm calling" I was going for my phone.
I called, gave the dispatcher the information, and she said something about the call being sent out. I thanked her and hung up, watching Dan. I wanted to get him on the bed, so I got a clean set of sheets, put the bottom one on, and went to get Daniel. He was not looking good. My mind was going a thousand miles a second...
He was wobbly, but we got over to the bed. He looked yucky. He must have put underwear on in the bathroom, but I helped him with his sweat pants. He was still diaphoretic but a little more responsive. I gave him a nitroglycerin tablet, put the bottle in his hand, and ran down the stairs to open the door for the EMTs when they get there. (Where are they?? I didn't hear sirens yet.) I ran back upstairs, got a bag, and started throwing things in it. Then I realized I wasn't dressed.
I hurriedly did that, brushed my teeth, and saw that the ambulance was pulling up. I ran downstairs to meet them as my phone was ringing. Was that them, looking to verify the address? Nope. The 2 guys brought the gurney into the foyer. We went upstairs.
They went in the bedroom and began evaluating him, and my phone rang again. I looked at the number--my hospital. I answered it, because, after all, I'm on call. I spoke briefly to my co-worker who heard the tone in my voice--she asked if I was ok. "Um, yeah, um, no, um Dan's having a heart attack and the EMTs are here right now and I've gotta go..." Sheesh. She told me that she would call the other person on call to come in, and would pray for Daniel. Thanks, I told her, and I would call later when I knew more....
So, the guys decided they were ready to transport. It was then I realized they hadn't brought the gurney up the stairs. Dan stood up, then right down onto a chair. One of the guys got another dining room chair and Dan got into that one, and the two guys carried him downstairs to the foyer and got him on the gurney. After strapping him on, they loaded him into the ambulance, where they put the AED (automated emergency defibrillator) leads on to see what his heart was doing.
I was busy running around like a crazy woman, trying to remember all the things I wanted to take to the hospital. Dan had asked me to call Dr. Karve's office, so I did that. I told the girl what was going on, and she said she would notify the doctor. Ok. I hadn't had breakfast, so I mixed an instant breakfast, grabbed a banana, an apple, a small bagel, and the container of cut up veggies. There. That should help. I went downstairs to the garage.
They were still sitting there. Hm. What's up?? I went around to the back of the ambulance to look in the windows, but it was too high for me to see into. So I climbed onto the bumper of the ambulance. Dan was sitting up smiling. Whew. I saw they were starting an IV line, saw the rhythm on the monitor, they finally got a blood pressure (100/50). Good. The guy opened the door and I stepped in while they were finishing the IV line. They were ready to go. I told Daniel I loved him, that I would see him soon, and climbed out of the truck.
In my own car, I thought I might want my laptop; I went back upstairs to get it. I got to the hospital about 20 minutes after they did.
I was led to the room where Dan was. He looked much better. He said Dr. Karve's PA, Laurie, met him in the ER and had things ready to go. There was heparin infusing, and Dan said he was being admitted. It was a couple hours later when we were transferred to 409-1, the same room and bed he was in a few days ago.
The nurse asked Daniel about his pain. She wanted him to be pain-free, so she asked again. Dan told her he was having the same discomfort as before, and she gave him another nitro tablet. About a minute and a half later, Dan said the pain was gone! So, the discomforts he's been feeling have probably been heart related all along. Dr. Nagapan (or something like that) came in; he said that Dr. Shah would do a cardiac catheterization this afternoon sometime. Ok.
Shortly after that, someone came in and drew blood, then he went down to x-ray for a chest x-ray. When he was back in the room, about 20 minutes later, I went home to get some lunch for myself, as well as the few items that Daniel wanted.
Dan called just as I was getting back in the car; they were taking him for the procedure. Ok. And Jim and Polly had come in about 15 minutes earlier. Good.
The rest of the afternoon was waiting for him to be done. Dr. Shah came out afterwords and said that the left ascending artery had a 70% blockage and he put one stent in, saying the other area didn't need a stent at this time. I hope so--Dr. Karve had said two stents, but that's his view.
Nick and Bre waited with us, too. They left after Dan got to the recovery unit, then Jim and Polly left, too. It's now just before midnight, and I'm about ready to go home.
Dan is back over in 409-1 with a 10 pound sandbag on the left groin, which is wanting to bruise. He's had a light lunch and evening meds and will probably doze off shortly. If all goes well, he'll be able to go home tomorrow afternoon.
We are truly blessed that the angels were watching over us today, what with me being on-call and such. Dan and I have thanked God several times today.
And thank you, too, for reading and praying for us. Hugs.
Thursday, January 1, 2009
We had a nice morning. His rash is mostly gone, although he's still itching in places. He took another benadryl (he's also on the prednisone taper), and before long, he announced he was going to lay down. He ended up sleeping another 3 hours or so. !!!
I putzed around, getting some of the seasonal decor down and put away, cleaned a closet, showered, put dinner in the oven. When he woke it was close to 4:30.
We ate and didn't do much the rest of the evening.
Tomorrow he is to call Dr. Karve, the cardiologist, to check in I think. Dan thinks he wants to go ahead with the cardiac cath and stents placement on the left coronary artery on Monday. I am scheduled to work tomorrow.
So that's our big new year. Thank you for reading. Hugs.