Saturday, September 7, 2019

Ten things I am thankful for today

It does not take a lot of time to tell you what I am thankful for - not today or this week or....

1. I am happy because my wound care doctor released me last Friday. I 'graduated' in a sense. It has been a long 8 month ordeal between surgery, hospital stay, home health, doctor's appointments, etc.
2. My wife who has taken care of me, watched over me, kept me in line - I love you Jean!
3. My fur baby children - four cats and one dog.
4. My granddaughter, if though she won't admit it - loves me, and my two grandsons that won't talk to their mom but will talk to us.
5. My church which has meant so much to me/us for 48+ years.
6. Taking less meds that ten years ago.
7. Dr. Chung and my gastric bypass surgery.
8. My weight loss dropping from 450+ to 200 now.
9. My doctors currently who helped bring me through my recent problems, from surgery to wound care to my quarterly check ups.
10. To this and previous blogs and web-pages.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Trivia during six months of.....

It seems like there were lots of trivial things that were said or done during my six moths of medical rehab/hospital stay. Strange as it sounds this one was the strangest...I had one guy say that when he found out about my heel wound, just suggested that I just cut off the foot because he did. I told him NO God has better plans for me.

Former students who are now nurses had to wipe my butt, change my diaper, help me change clothes etc. But they all said that they would do it again just knowing how much I did for them over the years.

I fell once in the bathroom at the hospital. The nurse who was suppose to just outside the door had gone to the next room to answer another patience question.I did not hurt myself as I just dropped a package of wipes and bent over to get them and fell back and landed in the trashcan. Everyone seem to come running but I told them I was OK, I just could not get up. The nurse had to wipe my butt, the OT guy had to pull me up, the PT had to help me to the wheelchair - all the while I was more embarrassed than anything

There were times during the night I would just try to sleep in a wet diaper instead of calling the nurses back again. But I just had incontinence and could not control myself.

I had a Catholic parishioner who came every morning about 6am to give me the host, say a prayer and talk to me.

I also had nurses who came every night, two or three time to check my BP, check on me, give me pills, waking me up, not letting me sleep well.

I had a home health nurse who was fantastic and she spent "way too much time" with me doing everything in her power before they finally sent me to the Wound Care Center

My wife has helped me take a shower numerous times during my rehab which is cool but not cool. I have about a week left before I think I can take a shower by myself.


Saturday, July 6, 2019

No doctors?????????

It has been six months - over six months now - and we get a full week without having to see a doctor. WOW ! What an exciting time. My BS, BP, and weight are all great but have been getting better since my last personal doctor's quarterly visit.

The Wound Care Center doctor is planning a visit with the AFO, leg brace nurse to replace my OLD one from when I had my mini-stroke years ago which left me with a "drop foot" on my left side - which is where the heel wound is.

For six months I did not have to deal with the drop foot because they wrapped my leg with Coban Non-Sterile Self-Adherent Wrap, but now they no longer wrap it and I'm in a regular shoe I might need it.

I got up early this morning, did my excel sheet for my own doctor, read the paper (online), checked emails, ate my breakfast of yogurt and started washing some of my clothes then working on this blog. Later, I have to work on a couple of my TPT lesson ideas.

Friday, July 5, 2019

January 24 to July 5, 2019

Coming home from seemed almost surreal after in in the hospital for nearly a full month. I know we talked about all my upcoming appointments, my life changes, my weigh loss and what really happened to me. I had Christmas presents that had not been used, clothes that needed to be washed and pets that I have not seen "in forever" it seemed.

My wife and I stayed up late just talking before I finally wore out. We talked about me just riding with her as she made several stops. I was just chaperoned around as she made nearly half dozen to a dozen stops. I just enjoyed being out for a change. 

When we got home that evening, I took my shoes off there my wife smelled an odor, As she helped me take my sock off she noticed it was wet and smelled. The bed sore on my left heel had burst. I did not feel a thing but it was nasty.

I could barely walk. My wife called one of our nurse family members and told them what she treated it with and they agreed that she did everything right. We had a home health nurse coming the next day and they could treat it.

The next day, home health said it was treated right and was probably just going to burst anyway - home or hospital. The nurse treated it and wrapped it and said she would return day after tomorrow.

She return when she said she would and a PT/OT nurse also came that day to help get me started on home training. They both worked me over but the PT/OT was really tough since I was still week from a month in the hospital. Over the next 3-4 weeks they did what they thought I needed before suggesting I go to the Wound Care Center of the hospital.

During all this time I also had doctor's appointments almost every week plus my own personal doctor. They all wanted to check my heel, my hernia incision and my kidneys plus my physical health. It got tiring to say the least.

Finally, the Wound Care Center put me on a hydrotherapy machine for several weeks which did help my heel wound. after that they tried a V.A.C. system on my heel which work really well but it was awkward to wear around 24 hours a day for weeks on end. It got old after a couple of months.

Then, they released me from that and cut my Wound Care Center visits to only a couple of times a week then that got narrowed to only once a week. All this mixed around other doctor visits. One for my scalp (a dermatologist). a kidney doctor and others. 

Finally, I was "released" from each of them because they said everything was looking good and my weight kept dropping - now down to 190. I kept having to order other pants because those kept changing too - now down to a 36x30 - which looks good.
It has been six moths since all this started and I had another
Wound Care Center visit and everything looked good. My heel wound , as the doctor said "Looks really good, looks like it has completely healed up with only a very small scab. I'll see you in TWO weeks for a routine follow up. Don't wrap it and you can wear a normal shoe now. We will schedule a visit so that they can make a new AFO for you. Any questions?"

July 5, 2019 just became my favorite day. 

Thursday, July 4, 2019

From December 28, 2018 to...

A little more than six months has gone by since I went to the emergency room with what I though was a stomach ache. My wife later told me the whole story since I don't remember any of it. I do remember the emergency room, being taken back to a room an made to lay on a bed and wait and wait and wait. Finally a doctor came it a poked my abdomen near where I said the pain was. He then walked out saying he was going to get a second opinion. A nurse came in and gave me a shot then she too walked out. All the while I chatted with my wife and.....

Next thing I remember was waking up in the recovery room and sort of wondering where I was, what happened, and then I blacked out again....

When I came to I was in a room, I was visiting with my wife and a nurse and they were about to wheel me to my room which turned out to be a 'football field' length away. Hen they got me there the nurse asked me one question. "Where was I at?" She had covered her name tag so she wanted to know what I might know. I gave her the name of a local hospital, then she moved her hand and told me I was in the same local hospital I came into the emergency room the other night. "The other night?" That's when my wife began to tell what had happen the previous week. "A WEEK?"

First, my own doctor, did a hernia surgery on my that emergency room night. Then he had to go back in to stop the bleeding the next day. My wife said they almost lost me that day. The nurses and doctors were all worried. But my doctor packed the wound and stopped the bleeding. The next day he had to go back in take the packing out and check the bleeding, ("I have a incision scar from 'stem to stern' to prove it.") After that, I was in ICU for nearly a week before being moved to a private room. None of this do I remember. My wife said I was talking to daughter and her husband just fine and seemed to be clear headed but I don't remember any visit.

Finally, I "woke up enough" for the nurse to wheel me to my private room where she asked me that one question and I must have been dreaming about the TV commercials about that other hospital, that's all I can guess. I stayed in that room for what seems like several days before I became more clear headed.

All of the before items took place in about a week. I had lost all track of time. It's now what I believe to be early January and OT nurses a coming in to work on rehab with me. One of my room nurse's is a former student of mine. Nurses kept coming by an asking me lots and lots of questions about OT, PT and ST and a transfer to another hospital.

I and my wife chose the hospital I used to work at years and years ago. Little did I know how long I would be there. Little did I know what would greet me there. When it was time to make the trip over the bridge to the next stop on my road to recovery, I was given an ambulance ride there. My wife followed in her car. It was a nice trip.....I guess.

I was put in a double room and told they would get into a single as soon as one came available. Good enough for me I thought. He was an old former teacher who loved his "Dr. Pepper" and was not afraid to holler at the nurses ALL NIGHT long wanting one, keeping me awake most the night. Two days later they managed to get me into a private room.

My OT, PT and ST began almost as soon as I got there. PT about killed me at first. OT was not as bad but it got tougher as the days wore on, and ST turned out to be easiest. PT made me get up walk every day, first with a walker, then with a canes, then sitting up, laying down, claim stairs, getting into a car model, walking long walks around the floor, teaching me to go to the bathroom by my self, eating again - my daily routine.

OT taught me how to use my hands again with tasks like stacking stuff, getting things out of the fridge, sitting up properly, sitting down without "plopping". more daily routins that I would need later.

ST just talked to me and made me take a few simple tests, and found that my brain was still sharp and quick. one quick 20 minute session a day.

I did not eat much because I knew "what goes in must come out" and before PT taught me how to go the bathroom 'by myself' the nurses had to come clean me daily. One of my nurses there was another former student. At least she liked me and I liked her- basically 'my in-habitations went out the window'.

When PT finally taught me to go by myself - with a nurse standing just outside the door I was much happier. OT "taught" me how to take shower/bath while she looked on documenting everything - but I passed with flying colors. She also had to document me getting dressed just to see me do it all - I again passed.

No date was given to get out of the hospital but a general date was given and I began to count my days down. Doctors came and went, checking off what they needed to see. Nurse-Practitioners came and went.  They talked about my heel wound and what they had recorded, everything.

OT, PT, ST gave their reports and finally the day came when they were going to release me. I had been in the hospital for nearly a month and finally the day arrived as the head nurse came and went over EVERY page in his/my long list of notes, list of doctors, home health nurses, etc, etc, etc. Now it is wait and wait and wait and wait and...  

Finally, another former student came to get me and wheel me down to the car. "I finally get to go home. Nearly a full month after I went to the emergency room." I said my good byes and thought about what I had been though and what laid ahead of me.

Tomorrow: Part Two of my Rehab

Around the corner

Death is just around the corner and I see it, feel it, acknowledge it every day. Some days are really good and others not so good. I keep on plugging along knowing that the end seems to be getting closer and closer.

I wake up each morning and thank God that I am getting to see the morning rays of sunshine. I feel the aches and pains as I stand up but that goes away soon, I feel my back ache but that is because I seem to sit so much due to my medical issues. I sit my chair to put on my shoes and end up leaning back and napping but that is due to the chair being old and I wake up too dang early I guess.

I do finally take the dog out each morning, then come back in a feed all out furry children, clean their litter box, do much o my morning chores etc. The TV never goes on, the outside heat is oppressive, my computer only brings bad news, the paper much the same.

I eat my dry cereal, read my book on my phone, then go back out and sit on the porch and rock my life away it seems. All before my wife gets up.

This week she is teaching at HARP Camp and is gone from about 8:15an to about 7:30 pm on Monday and who knows when from there on. I just stay home, wash cloths, empty trash, take catnaps during middle of day  when the cats all nap. I generally do nothing much, My sister is out of town, all the neighbors are at work and that just leaves me to 'talk' to the dog and cats.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Who I Am

words by Jessica Andrews and my own tweaks from my own geonology research....
If I live to be a hundred
And never see the seven wonders
That'll be alright
If I don't make it to the big leagues
If I never win a Grammy
I'm gonna be just fine
'Cause I know exactly who I am
I am Helen's son
The spitting image of my father
And when the day is done
My momma was still my biggest fan
Sometimes I'm clueless and I'm clumsy
But I've got friends who love me
And they know just where I stand

It's all a part of me
And that's who I am
So when I make big mistake
When I fall flat on my face
I know I'll be alright
Should my tender heart be broken
I will cry those teardrops knowin'
I will be just fine
'Cause nothin' changes who I am

I am Alva's son
The spitting image of him
And when the day is done
My daddy was still my biggest fan
Sometimes I'm clueless and I'm clumsy
But I've got children who love me
And they know just where I stand

It's all a part of me
And that's who I am
So when they make big mistake
When they fall flat on their face
I know they'll be alright
Should their tender heart be broken
I will cry those teardrops knowin'
They will be just fine
'Cause nothin' changes who I am

Ten things I am thankful for today

It does not take a lot of time to tell you what I am thankful for - not today or this week or.... 1. I am happy because my wound care doc...