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Monday, 16 July 2018
Busy Week Ahead

We have a busy week ahead.  Today, I have jury duty in Watauga.  Tomorrow, I have my bi-annual visit with the dermatologist.  Stan will be home supervising the power washing of all the stained surfaces on the house Tuesday.  Thursday, Platinum Painting will be redoing the stain on the cedar.

Stan is doing quite well.  He is feeling pretty good except for a little soreness.  My annual with my Oncologist Friday went well also.

We are feeling really blessed that most things are going really well.

Posted by stormi36 at 7:56 AM CDT
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Friday, 13 July 2018
Home from the Hospital

Stan didn't tell me until night that he had been pretty worried about the procedure because it was his heart.  He is much more relaxed now, but pretty sore.  He has been sitting outside most of the day just enjoying life.  The doctor said the procedure went really well and the monitor tech said it is working properly.  He showed us how to set up the monitor that sends data to his doctor.  (Basically, you just plug it in.)  He will have his arm in a sling for a week.  He can take the bandage off and shower on Tuesday.  I'm going to try to keep his arm in the sling until he sees the doctor on the 24th.

I have my annual appointment with my Oncologist today, so Walter is coming over to try to keep Stan out of trouble.  I made them chicken and dumplings with an extra serving for Walter to take home.  I also made sweet potato casserole - one for today and two for Walter to take home.  Stan won't eat sweet potato anything and I used real brown sugar, so I can't have any.

Everyone says he will have more energy and feel better because of the pacemaker aspect.  It will stimulate the lower chambers to pump at the same time.  

Posted by stormi36 at 11:11 AM CDT
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Tuesday, 10 July 2018
Surgery Tomorrow

Stan was supposed to have had surgery today to implant a defibrillator but they called late yesterday afternoon and moved his surgery to Wednesday.  We had already done all the stuff that needed to be done considering he will not be able to do any lifting, yard work or carrying things in like water or bird seed.  He won't be allowed to put his arms over his head for either a week or a month.  The two doctors had different instructions.

 I used today to get a whole list of pesky chores done.  I cleaned up a little in the office, got the laundry done and did all the hot glue projects that had accumulated.  I hate getting the hot glue gun out so I keep a list of all the things I need to use it for and do them all at once.  It worked really well.  I fixed a jingle-bell necklace, put beads on Kathy's Readers Digest Christmas tree, put moss hair on a soda pop bottle doll, upgraded a fall wreath, and made some fake cotton stalks.  I used oak twigs and cotton balls for the initial stage.  The cost was pretty minimal - free twigs, 20 cotton balls, and 1 glue stick.  To make the seed pod, I will use felt and craft glue.  I'm guessing I'll have 6 stalks for way under $1.

 Stan has been through so much the past five years, but I think we can finally see an end to most of the bad stuff.  The defibrillator will resolve issues caused by a left bundle branch block.  (I know - doesn't even sound like a real condition.)  The lower chambers of the heart are supposed to beat together but this condition causes them to not be synchronized.  The defibrillator will have leads that stimulate the muscles and resolve that.  The third lead will be the one that will activate should he go into an irregular heart beat.  It helps prevent sudden death from arrhythmia.   The first two leads should help improve blood flow through his heart.  Both cardiologists said he will notice a difference once that happens.

 The surgery only takes about an hour, which is a real blessing for me.  I will be worried until I see his smiling face after the procedure.  

Posted by stormi36 at 5:38 PM CDT
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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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