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Saturday, 16 June 2018
All is Wonderful

I really don't have much to say - all is wonderful.  Stan is getting better every day.  He is so much better now than before the hospital stay.  We are upgrading a few things around the house - mostly upgrades required due to aging infrastructure. 

After several years where Stan couldn't really do much in the yard, he has learned to do a little at a time and really pace himself.  I contribute more than I used to, and that helps.  The yard is really looking nice again, but still has a way to go.  The grass is still recovering from the irrigation system installation.  They did a lot of trenching.

I have finally adjusted, for the most part, to the constant pain from the metal rod that was installed in my foot in March 2017.  I am much more able to walk and do things now.  I learned from watching two acquaintances become addicted to pain meds that I don't want to use them unless absolutely necessary.  With all pain meds, I have to choose between pain and extreme itching all over.  I have a slight allergy to all of them and even Benadryl doesn't help.

I love sitting in our office, watching the flowers bob in the wind and the birds at the various feeders.  

Posted by stormi36 at 2:12 PM CDT
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Friday, 8 June 2018
Back to Normal

Life is getting back to normal for us.  Although Stan's heart issues aren't improving, they aren't getting any worse.  He will see a doctor soon to talk about having an internal defibrillator implanted.  It would help in cases of arrhythmia and might help his heart get stronger.  Although there is no indication of improvement, he is feeling better.  He has far fewer instances of asthma and the COPD seems better.  His energy is also getting better.

 I am still doing the heavy lifting (carrying groceries, mowing the lawn, etc.)  He has started helping with making the bed when I'm busy cooking breakfast.  He is doing a few more chores to help me out.  I am watching his foot very closely to ensure a complete recovery.  Over the past month, I self diagnosed my post-surgical issues and began doing very different exercises to try to get past the horrific pain I was still experiencing more than a year later.  I think much of the problem was the flexor tendon and have been doing very simple exercises I found on line.  I have seen a real improvement the past two weeks or so.  It will take time for all the surrounding muscles to regain strength now that the ankle is functioning more normally, but I'll get there.

 Because we are seeing improvement on several fronts, we are beginning to make plans for future outings.  Stan is doing very, very light and short term yard things (picking up sticks after high winds and watering the pot plants.)  He feels really good about being able to be outside and a little more productive.  I have more time now for embroidery and cross stitch projects and some other things I had put on hold while I tended to his recovery.  As I said, we are slowly getting back to normal.  It is all good. 

Posted by stormi36 at 9:35 PM CDT
Updated: Friday, 8 June 2018 9:38 PM CDT
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Thursday, 7 June 2018
A Rainbow
This morning brought back memories of a rain storm and a rainbow that we literally ran into between Waco and Fort Worth.  In the 1980s, we frequently went to Lake Belton to visit Stan's parents.  We usually came back late Sunday afternoon and for some reason, there was often a rain shower north of Waco.  On this particular day, the rain moved across the road from west to east.  Off in the distance to the east, we could see a rainbow.  As we drove north, the arc moved closer to us.  It seemed to be chasing us.  As it drew closer, we could see the colors reflected off the wet grass.  That was really amazing.  Finally, after watching it for about five minutes, it crossed the road right on top of us, reflecting off the hood of the car.  I've always said we were blessed because so few people have actually been touched by a rainbow.  

Posted by stormi36 at 9:55 AM CDT
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Saturday, 17 March 2018
Server errors
I have reported the server error numerous times to my web page host, but it keeps happening.  If you ever try to reach my blog and get an error message, don't give up.  Come back the next day and is usually works.  I wasn't able to access it all day yesterday, but now it is working.  

Posted by stormi36 at 11:35 PM CDT
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Monday, 12 March 2018
The New Normal

I'm up at 5:30 to set out Stan's IV stuff.  It's a little parade across his TV table - alcohol swab, saline, antibiotic, saline, new cap for the IV.  He has to put the antibiotics into the pic line over five minutes.  I also set out his glucometer and his morning meds.

Walter stayed with him Sunday afternoon so I could do the second round of grocery shopping.  We all had lunch when I got back.  Well, I say lunch but it was about 2:30.  I fixed taco salad for Stan and me and loaded nachos for Walter.  He doesn't do lettuce well.  I used organic, grass-fed beef, so it is a little healthier than normal ground beef.  Before Walter went home, I made him chicken salad with cranberries.  I forgot to put it in the bag with the things I picked up for him at the grocery store so I dropped it off with some sliced French bread on my way to Walgreens.  Stan had been a little jealous of the chicken salad (he really likes it).  I altered the meal plan some so he could have a chicken salad sandwich for dinner.  (Happy Stan)

Stan is getting a little stronger every day.  He finds it easier to stand up.  He will be in the wheelchair until the podiatrist says it's OK to walk on the foot. 

Posted by stormi36 at 6:12 AM CDT
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Saturday, 10 March 2018
Home from the hills for the Hills

Well, home from North Hills hospital, that is.  What an experience.  We were never told Stan actually had a heart attack until his nurse was reading the discharge orders.  He only had shortness of breath when he went in.  The admission was for sepsis. 

We had a few glitches with the IV antibiotic delivery and instructions.  The delivery was 3 hours late and we had to get the rep to come do the instructions.  The lady from home health lives one street over and is coming today to change the dressing around the pic line.

I went over the discharge summary meds and found a glitch or two there also.  I got all the meds he is supposed to take and lined them up on the dining room table by morning and evening.  I referred to the bottles and the list and made a checklist of when he is supposed to take each one.  I also made a checklist of when he is supposed to do the IV antibiotics.  I'm going to get pill cases for him today when I do grocery shopping so I can have one side of the table back.  On the other side, I have his IV supplies lined up so I can put them on his TV table in the order of use.

I'm pretty sure I've got this!

We went to bed at 10:00 p.m. last night.  That is a little late for me but I spent two hours working on the first week's meal plan.  He went to bed then too and that is early for him.  He woke up at 3:00 a.m. and got up.  I got up at 4:30 to get his IV stuff out and in front of him.  That's the longest either of us has slept since the February 27th.  I've been staying with him all the time except for an hour or two to come home, take a bath, wash my hair, and change clothes.

Walter's sister is in a nursing home and he has been trying to visit her and Stan every day.  I talked him into not coming to the hospital on a couple of the days he visited his sister.  He came by our home when Stan was discharged just to be sure I didn't need any help.  I filled up a large shopping bag with all the stuff in the freezer that Stan really shouldn't have until he is showing substantial progress with the heart stuff.  The heart stuff was scary, but he won't be having bypass surgery.  He will have one stint in his left leg.  He had a blocked artery in the calf and that may have contributed to the infections despite the really good circulation he appears to have in his feet.  He will still need to have minor surgery on his left foot to remove a small bone.  That will be done in the podiatrist's office.

Stan has promised to be a good patient.  I really hope so.  He needs to be off the foot until the doctor tells him it's OK to put weight on the ball of his foot.  So far, he's done really well with that.  This is a new chapter in his health quest.  Time will tell!

Posted by stormi36 at 7:24 AM CST
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Monday, 5 March 2018
Test Day

Stan is having an angiogram and bilateral lower extremity runoff angiogram this morning.   My concern today is the anti-coagulants and if they do the angiogram through the leg.  He bled badly for about 45 minutes when he had that before and hadn't been on anti-coagulants.  If he needs stints, they will likely be done during the procedure.  I spoke with one of the cardiologists last night about his heart and the symptoms.  He has been really short of breath upon exertion and we assumed it was the COPD.  The doctor said some of it may have been the heart.  If that is the case, he will be better after they fix whatever is weakening his heart.  He was asking me stuff about what he should have done as he was reading the release.  I told him to do whatever is going to make him better.

The infection doctor came in last night and said the cultures showed a non-resistant staff in his blood and no infection in the bones.  I knew about what he had before we went to the emergency room.  Fortunately, it isn't as bad this time.  He will only need a couple of weeks of IV antibiotics. 

His stay has not been without incident.  He has managed to survive everything.  Dietary has been very accommodating.  He isn't eating so when I asked for just soup, they send two bowls.  He's getting lots of jell-o.  He just isn't hungry.  He got a sandwich and two bowls of chicken noodle soup last night and ate both bowls and about half the sandwich - quite an improvement; however, he didn't digest the food well and was almost sick.  He's had too many antibiotics. 

Well, back to the hospital to await the procedure and hopefully more good news.

Posted by stormi36 at 5:52 AM CST
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Sunday, 4 March 2018
Sunday Update

All is progressing as anticipated.  His irrigation system test should be Monday morning.  Once the doctors assess the circulation in the heart and legs, they will make a decision on their course of action. 

The foot surgery to remove a small bone on the outside of his foot is the least important part of the treatment right now, but his doctor said the infection isn't an issue as long as he has really good circulation. 

Walter and I went to Red Lobster for lunch yesterday after Stan had eaten and was ready for a nap.  Stan said he wanted a Cheddar Bay biscuit.  The nurse said it was OK since he wasn't eating.  He had one for an afternoon snack then actually ate better for dinner.  He wasn't too hungry at breakfast this morning.

He had to have a new IV put in around 1:00 a.m.  The nurse had already pulled the tape off and a LOT of Stan's arm hair trying to fix the other one.  He had to pull new tape off the second time.  Stan told me it was worse than the first time. 

Stan is doing really well on the Sara Stedy.  For people who can pull themselves up to stand but can't walk, it is a really great design.  It is so much safer than a walker.  There really isn't too much way to fall and get hurt.  It does require a driver.

Keep Stan in your thoughts and prayers Monday.  We are praying for a good outcome.

Posted by stormi36 at 9:56 AM CST
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Saturday, 3 March 2018
Update for Saturday

Stan is doing OK mostly.  He is running a fever most of the time and when they give him something for it, it breaks and he ends up soaking wet.  This usually happens in the middle of the night and the nurses have to change all the linens. 

Yesterday, after reading all the foot doc's notes, everyone finally agreed with me that Stan was not to put any weight on his foot.  They had been letting him use it for balance.  Now they transport him to the bathroom on a Sara Stedy.  It is so much easier than the walker. 

He will have tests on Monday to study the vascular system from head to toe.  He still isn't eating.  He had been OK with a new protein shake, but yesterday, it started tasting bad to him.  He got a bowl of chicken-noodle soup for dinner and got a straw and drank the broth -no noodles, no chicken.

I hope we know more after the tests Monday.  He is really getting sick of all this, pun intended.  All his doctors are very optimistic, which is a plus.  

Posted by stormi36 at 8:16 AM CST
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Friday, 2 March 2018
Update on Stan

I've been pretty busy taking care of Stan for the past month.  He had a wound on his foot and had to be off his feet completely to help it heal.  Monday, he was running a fever, nauseated and too weak to stand up.  I called 911 and the ambulance took him to the emergency room.  Pretty much everything from head to toe has been examined and tested because the wound was infected.  He is doing well now, but still running a fever and needs more tests.  It's a good thing, really, that once you are in the hospital the doctors can look at anything and everything over your stay to ensure there isn't anything else lurking that could bring you back for another stay.

 Stan is going to be scheduled for an angiogram sometime before he goes home. When he was admitted, there were cardiac enzymes showing up in his blood. They put a wound vac on his foot and put a walker in his room instead of crutches or a wheelchair.


We are almost set up with home health for when he comes home. He will be doing IV antibiotics at home because the infection is in his blood. That has happened before and he responds well. It took somewhere around 4-6 weeks last time. He will have a nurse come and change the dressing on his wound vac three times a week. They said something about occupational therapy for his sore shoulders that theymay set up for him. Once he's past the infection, he will have more permanent surgery on his foot, but it will be done in the doctor's office - nothing major here.

 I have decided this is a staycation with medical benefits.  So far, everything is positive.  He will have a couple of months of healing from everything, but should be better than ever once he gets through it.  

Posted by stormi36 at 4:21 AM CST
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