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Wednesday, 27 June 2018

A month and a half ago, I started my own physical therapy to try to recover from the surgery.  I started working on the flexor tendon using exercises I found on line.  In a week or so, the pain was dramatically reduced.  I was able to do a lot more and walk almost normally most of the day.  My foot still hurts quite a bit in the morning, but gets better after being up for a few minutes.

 Two weeks ago, I decided to try walking.  I did 1/2 mile for a week.  This week, I did 3/4 of a mile on Monday and a mile today.  It hurt a little the last lap, but I kept going.  I may never fully recover from having a metal rod implanted along the length of my foot, but I am determined to be the best I possibly can.

Posted by stormi36 at 8:36 AM CDT
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Monday, 25 June 2018

Last week, I started walking again.  It has been fifteen months since the foot surgery and it sill is pretty painful some mornings.  I haven't need crutches when I first get up for about three months.  Last week, I started walking again.  I did half a mile four times last week.  This week, I have decided to go to a real track at the middle school and do 3/4 of a mile.  Today was good.  I'm definitely not as fast as I was, but I made it.  My goal for this week is to do that every morning.  Stan goes with me to be there in case I have problems.

 This weekend, I finally found the perfect work table for my craft room at a charity resale shop.  It was the perfect size an height and was only $15.  If I get hot glue or paint on it, no worries.

 Stan has an appointment to see about an internal defibrillator today.  He sees the foot doctor later in the week.  I am having to monitor him pretty closely because he thinks he's well when he still has a ways to go.  He tries to do too much and is getting a small callous on his foot.  I put him back in his altered surgical shoe for a week or so to relieve the pressure.   I cut an insert from two layers of heavy-duty craft foam then cut out an ellipse out where he needs to relieve the pressure.  I also bandage the callous with triple antibiotic cream, a non-stick pad, a cushioning pad an wrap it with a gauze bandage.  A week or two of that should help the callous go away.

 I made baked cod last week for the first time in almost forever.  There was enough left over to make fish tacos for lunch the next day.  We use La Tortilla Factory low-carb tortillas so one taco doesn't blow our carb count for the day.  Last night, I tried a new recipe - crock pot applesauce chicken.  It was pretty good.  Our meal plan is pretty set for some meals.  We have salmon with avocado salsa on Monday and trout on Friday.  We have oatmeal four times a week.  Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday are chicken days.  Wednesday is fish or shellfish and Saturday is beef.  We do have low-fat all natural beef lunch meat every now and then in a sandwich for lunch or rolled up as a snack.  Most days, we have salad or low-fat ham on sugar-free wheat bread for lunch.  I've switched to Miracle Whip light and don't seem to notice much difference in taste.  I'm not trying to eliminate all the "bad" foods from our diet.  I'm trying to be really strict on serving size and variety. 

 Well, off to make today's Jell-o and fix a morning snack.

Posted by stormi36 at 9:26 AM CDT
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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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