Friday, August 18, 2017

Decided to post tonight instead of in the morning. I don't think anything will change between now and then except we will go to sleep.

We made it through the first week of school at the Have Homeschool Academy! Actually McKenna did much better than I expected she would. She didn't have to be prodded to keep working and she got most of her hours in. She lacks about 2 hours and she can do those over the week-end. By Arkansas law they have to attend 30 hours per week.

Bill did quite well with the extra commotion. I can tell he's feeling much better, although he did more coughing today than he had. But, the weather was so strange this week, it's not surprising. I've been stuffier the last couple of days too. It's supposed to rain through the night and then clear off by afternoon.

Tomorrow is the baby shower. I still have to wrap everything but since Kenna isn't here tomorrow the dining room table will be available. I'm leaving Bill alone, but that will give me an out to leave the shower. It doesn't start until 4 and it's about an hour each way. I'll need to head back to make sure I'm home before pill time. I'd like to be home before dark, but don't know if that will happen. We went out to eat tonight to a place I knew we'd bring some home, so he now has supper for tomorrow and I don't have to worry about him trying to cook something.

We're heading off to view the eclipse Monday. I don't know how far north we will go, it will depend on how heavy the traffic will be. We're going to get 90% coverage here so we won't have to go too far to get almost total coverage. We have our glasses and I'll use this weekend to make sure we have plenty of water and sandwiches and snacks in case we are delayed on the road. I did find out that this will count as an education outing for McKenna so she will get credit for the hours we spend watching.

That's been the rest of our week after the Dr. appointment Tuesday. We'll get back on to our regular posting schedule now, I hope! See you all next week. Remember, if you're going to watch the eclipse, make sure your eyes are protected!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The pneumonia crisis is over! We moved his appointment from yesterday to today since the weather was awful in the morning. It was also the first day of school for McKenna and since she is doing online school at our house most of the time, I really didn't want to leave her alone.

After waiting for 2 hours past appointment time, she said that he was moving air nicely again and his white count had gone back to normal. She just advised that if he started wheezing again or coughing more or having trouble breathing to use a breathing treatment to see if that fixed it, and if not to come back to see her.

The weather is really awful now. It rained most of the morning and was so very humid today that it was hard for anyone to breathe, let alone someone with problems. It's supposed to be more of the same tomorrow, so he will probably stay in.

We didn't do too much last week, just normal stuff. Kiyann and I went shopping Sunday for baby shower gifts for Tori. Since Kiyann is going to be an aunt, I let her pick out a couple of outfits to be from her. The shower is Saturday afternoon. I think Kayden is going to go too so that he can hang out with Ryan. I'm not sure if Bill will go or not. I'll just have to make sure he's got something for supper since the shower is not until 4 and it's an hour drive there and back and I don't know what all they have planned. Of course I can always leave if necessary.

Kenna is doing pretty well with her online classes. She has to do 6 hours a day of school work. That is a state requirement. So we have to log how much time she has to spend in each class. This week is a little different than what it normally will be, but they wanted the kids to be able to navigate the site before they really get into it. I've noticed she does better listening to music as she reads and she does better in the mornings than the afternoons. So, we'll get things adjusted as far as schedules go.

We found out when we're going to Florida. We have to be there the Monday after Thanksgiving. It was either then or the 8th of December. So, we opted for the early one. We checked with Don and Shirley and it was good for them, so we're going to visit them for Thanksgiving and then go on to Jacksonville. I know that traffic will be horrible, travelling on Tuesday and Wednesday before the holiday, but that length of visit is just about right for all of us. It will be more driving, and coming home we're taking a different route because of hotel availability, but I'll have time to rest after we get home.

So, you've gotten updated on all of the doings. I'm tired today. The cat was restless all day yesterday and started again about 3:30 this morning. I finally got up about 6 and she was still pacing and meowing and wouldn't settle down anywhere. Before getting Kenna started I vacuumed and then after she settled in I started laundry. The cat finally settled down in the afternoon and slept most of the time we were gone, but has paced again this evening. I don't know if it's this weather or if she's detecting the earthquakes that have been happening in northern Tennessee. They have been small and we haven't felt them, but something is bothering her. She can't be in heat since she's been spayed, so I'm stumped. Maybe she'll sleep better tonight!

Hope the rest of your week is good!

Monday, August 7, 2017

After another long wait at the Dr, Bill is doing better. The wheeze is mostly gone, but his white count was up today. That leads the nurse to suspect that it was pneumonia that was brewing. I also remembered that he had done some choking and when I mentioned it to her, she said that explained it better than getting it out somewhere. He probably aspirated some.

She's added another antibiotic and wants him to continue the breathing treatments, at least twice a day. If not that, she wants him to use one of the spirometer things hospitals give out to use to keep from getting pneumonia while in the hospital. We have several of those so I'm going to pull one of those out.

As long as he's doing better by Thursday, he can start using his treadmill again, but for only 30 minutes max. He goes back next Monday to see if his white count is back down. She didn't do a chest x-ray today and she said it wouldn't make a difference in treatment since his white count was up. So, the x-rays Friday showed a haziness in the lower lobes and his white count was normal. We were really lucky that we caught it when we did, since his body hadn't even had time to start fighting it yet.

He does feel better and is not coughing near as much, so I know he's on the mend. I'm not sure that I'll update this Saturday since he goes back to the dr. on Monday, but who knows. If there is nothing new on here then, I will update after the Dr. on Monday.

Have a good week!

Friday, August 4, 2017

All good things must come to an end. We haven't had a good week. We went to Kiyann's birthday party Saturday afternoon, and early Monday morning, I woke up with diarrhea. I wasn't nauseous, just felt all over lousy. Luckily, Bill was fine and I was wracking my brain trying to figure what I had eaten that he hadn't, and we had eaten the same things, all 3 meals. I felt better Tuesday and by Tuesday afternoon felt absolutely fine, as if nothing had happened. I talked to Mistie that afternoon and she said she and her mother had both done the same thing. They were thinking it might have been all the sugar icing on the birthday cake. There was a lot of it, but Bill's piece had more than mine, so go figure.

Wednesday was Bill's appointment with the pulmonologist. She heard a little congestion and a slight wheeze but wasn't real concerned, just said to keep an eye on it and that if he coughed anything up to look at it for color. She also wants him to start taking 1/2 a Zyrtek to see if that will help with his nasal drip. We started that last night and it helped through the night, but didn't last for the 24 hours so he may need the full dose. We'll give it a few days.

We also talked about the problems with the oxygen the last 2 trips we've made and she's going to get us set up to rent the portable concentrators. I told her I had tried to get one before we went to Florida the last time and she just looked at me and said "But I haven't called them". She was going to get them going on it immediately since we go back to Florida in November. So, we shall see. I did find one that can handle the flow that he is on, and the purchase cost ranges from $2000 to $6000. The difference is just who it is purchased from. The weekly rental rate is $500 and $70/day. We're actually considering purchasing it since we know we will use it more than just the 2 trips to Florida and the rentals would really add up. We will probably try the rental first to see how it works out.

Thursday night Bill was short of breath after he walked to the bedroom and he had been coughing even more and had to use his rescue inhaler. He also had to use it this morning and was winded walking into the kitchen. I told him I thought he needed to have a chest x-ray to make sure there wasn't anything brewing, so off to the dr. we went this morning. Sure enough, there was some haziness at the bottom of his lungs. Right now the diagnosis is bronchitis since we caught it very early. Connie (the nurse practitioner) said his wheeze was not slight now. So, antibiotics and steroids for a few days and started breathing treatments again. I could tell Bill didn't feel real well this afternoon. He was pale and his lips were nearly colorless, but after supper he looked a little better. He's now had one dose of prednisone and 2 doses of the antibiotic and 2 breathing treatments. He's already gone to bed and I may follow before long. He goes back to the dr. on Monday morning to see if things look any better.

He choked a couple of times this week, which is something we have to watch for since he was on the vent and had the trach so long. Those muscles forget to work at times. I'm thinking that one of those times he may have aspirated whatever it was a little which was causing the problem. 

So, this was not how I wanted to celebrate my birthday. We had planned to go to Jonesboro to get my diamonds inspected and then have dinner out. They have so many more nice places than here. But, I think we're going to wait until he's all clear. Connie told him no exercising until she sees him again to see how his breathing is.

I'll throw in an extra post after he sees the dr. on Monday to let you know how things are going. Until Monday...

Saturday, July 29, 2017

We've had a busy morning already! Cat had a check-up for the sore she's had on her neck. She needed another shot and he (the vet) said she will probably need one every 2 weeks. But, he said it wasn't as bad as it had been so she didn't need to have the IV antibiotics, so we got to bring her home. We were just about home, turning the last corner when she started making a really funny noise and as we turned into the driveway, she threw up. She did that the last time she got a shot and then traveled, so apparently the shot plus the motion upsets her stomach. I just have to remember not to feed her before the next visit.

We've had a dull week. It was still beastly hot so we stayed in as much as possible. We got only a little relief from rain, unlike some areas that got several inches. It's much cooler today and is supposed to be pleasant all week-end.

I watched a couple of orientation presentation with McKenna for her virtual classes. She's doing the K12 home schooling this year and I'm one of her learning coaches. She's really going to have to apply herself and be disciplined. She's supposed to get her schedule next week and the classes start the 14th when regular school starts. Doesn't seem like it should be time for school again already!

We took both McKenna and Kiyann out for breakfast on Thursday for their birthdays. They share the same day, just 3 years apart. Kenna is now a teenager (or as she says, no longer a child) and Kiyann is 10 (finally made it to double digits). We took them shopping afterward for presents. Kenna just wanted a visa gift card and Kiyann is an easy shopper, makes her mind up quickly and doesn't need to look at everything first. I think she thinks about what she wants before we get there. Her party is this afternoon/evening. We're going for part of it, cake and ice cream and presents only. The kids are going to swim after that so we can come home then. Kenna had cake and ice cream with Bryan's family last night. There is too much turmoil there with the other grandkids so we didn't go, and Kenna is fine with that. She knows that the commotion is hard on Bill. So, our birthday breakfast makes up for that.

Bill sees the pulmonologist next week and I'm going to ask about an order for a portable concentrator so that we don't experience the problems we had the last couple of times we travelled. We don't have any plans to go anywhere until November when we have to go back to Florida, but if we want to take off for a week-end it will be so much easier, and easier on the hands.

That's about it for this time. Getting back to normal feels pretty good! I'll let you know how it goes with Dr. Burbeck!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

The heat is on! No, not in the house. We have had heat advisories all week and yesterday and today it was elevated to an excessive heat warning. We're expecting the heat index to top 110. I've already cancelled the outside work we were going to have done today. It's only 8:30 and it's 83 with a heat index of 92 already. So, we will stay in.

Our recent trip was very traumatic, at least the first part. We arrived at my mom's around 3 Tuesday afternoon. The drive was uneventful with sparse traffic for the most part. There was one construction zone where 2 highways come together and we were bogged down there for a while. But, we knew that it was coming from 7 miles out. For the most part drivers were courteous, but there were some that were impatient.

After unpacking the car I set up Bill's oxygen concentrator and it ran for about 15 minutes and then it malfunctioned. Of course I don't travel with the owner's manual so got on line to see what the warning was. It was that it wasn't making the correct amount of oxygen. So, back to a tank he went while I called the company. The person I got was determined that I was talking about one of the portable units. I finally got him to understand that it was the "at home" unit. He said he would overnight a new one and I made sure he had mom's address. We had enough tank air to get us through the night so I wasn't too concerned. 

Wednesday morning I called our supplier at home to arrange for more tanks. She was quite put out that we had not made prior travel arrangements. I told her that we arranged for extra tanks before we left and this event was something that couldn't be anticipated. I told her where the nearest service center was and she said she would call me back. We waited all day for the concentrator to be delivered, but it did not arrive, nor did I get a call-back from Tammy. By this time we were getting to the danger time of running out of oxygen. I changed his flow to pulse instead of continuous and told him he had to breathe through his nose more than his mouth. 

Thursday morning I called the local supplier to see if ours had called and they had not. They also told me that they couldn't do anything without the travel orders, and besides, they didn't have any tanks! They could pull Bill's file and see that he was indeed a Lincare patient. I was very angry by now, and didn't want to talk to our supplier until I calmed down, so I moved on to the replacement concentrator. I was given a tracking number and when I tracked it, it showed that it was being sent to Richardson, TX instead of Ridge Farm, IL. I called them back and the rep I got was as helpful as she could be, including listening to me rant. She called UPS to see where the package was was sent to Arkansas! She said she could re-route to Illinois, but we wouldn't receive it until Monday! At that point I threw the pen I was holding and said "by that time my husband will be dead"! I ended up having the address changed to our neighbor Joe and then called him. He told me he would take care of it, not to worry! As if...!

By this time Bill is down to 1 1/2 hours of O2. The only option I could see until I could get some replacement tanks, was to take Bill to an ER, explain the situation to them, and hope they would hook him into their system. I called my sister and she found a number for Lincare in the town she lives in. So, another phone call. I spoke to Lisa O'Brien and after explaining the situation for about the 15th time, in tears, she very quietly said "I have tanks". She pulled up Bill's file and saw what tanks we had and said she could take care of him. So, off to Champaign we go. While we were headed that way, I remembered that we still didn't have a concentrator and that we would be in the same situation in a few days without one. So, when we got there I told her that and she said no problem and added a concentrator to the order. She had already generated the paperwork for the tanks. It was so refreshing to have someone who works in customer service know how to deal with a customer! We arranged to have my sister return the unit for us so that we wouldn't have to go an hour out of our way on the way home and off we went! 

I still haven't heard from our supplier except for a new delivery driver this week. He restocked us Thursday, and even replaced the extra tanks, so we are a little freer to go than we would have been.

Joe called me Friday and told me that they wouldn't leave the concentrator because the shipping order said that the new one had to be unpacked and the old one put into that same box to be returned! Wouldn't have been a problem if it had been sent to the right place! So, UPS said they would deliver again Wednesday.

My high school reunion was fun and Bill did well for not knowing anyone. Several people who have kept up with us here and on Facebook were so glad to meet him and see for themselves the miracle he is. The class is already planning the next "major" one, which will be the 50th! How can that be!?! 

Mom had a mini ice cream social Monday evening. My sister, brother, sister-in-law, niece and nephew, great-nephew, and 2 cousins with some of their grandchildren/spouses were there. It was a pretty good time, but we made it an early night. It seemed like all were tired.

We headed home early Tuesday morning and again it was a pretty uneventful drive. Traffic was heavier than it had been on the way up, but I've see it worse. We got home about 2:30 and then I headed out to pick up Miss Kitty. We ended up taking her to the vet instead of Brianna coming to stay with her. She scratched open a sore on her neck and when the vet looked at it he wanted to keep her.

Wednesday I put the old concentrator in it's original box and took it to Joe since we had to be in Memphis. He seemed to think that the replacement unit was in a smaller box. I was afraid that one of the rechargeable units had been sent instead of the at home unit. And, for any of you who are wondering, the unit we have is an extra one that Bill keeps in the apartment to use while he's on his treadmill. We have another unit provided by Lincare for in the house. I told Joe that if the box didn't say Inogen at Home to just have it sent back as the wrong product.

I found out that the problem with my foot is Achilles Tendonosis. The Dr. said that I had probably injured the tendon at some point even though I didn't remember doing anything. He gave me exercises to help stretch it. He said I will probably always have the "bulge" since it is mostly scar tissue, but the exercises should help with the pain. He said if it doesn't get better there are some more aggressive treatments. I also have to have shoes that have a small wedge heel. Now, I don't like shoes anyway, so that is a big challenge to me, she says as she sits barefoot typing this! At least it doesn't mean surgery!

We both woke up with headaches this morning and the cat is sneezing. I think it's probably from this dome of air just sitting over us. We're supposed to get some rain next week so maybe that will help clear things out.

That's it for this time. Hopefully I remembered everything that happened. I'll see you next week!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

It's a gray, muggy morning and feels really oppressive outside. But, it's comfortable here in the house, so it will be another day of staying in as much as possible.

We made it through the 4th but I didn't think the neighborhood fireworks would ever stop! Just when we thought they were finally finished, only a little break and then start up again, I knew they had gone to buy more before the stands closed. Fireworks are only sold here before the 4th and sometimes New Year's Eve. Of course they give really good discounts the closer it gets to closing time.

When I went out on the 5th to feed the cats I was greeted by a very aggressive growling, barking dog under the house. I couldn't get it to come out to chase it off and I couldn't find the number for animal control to come get it. The number in the new phone book was not the right number. I called every vet in town and they were all closed for the holiday. I guess they took Tuesday and Wednesday off. I finally called the non-emergency number for the police and got the number. I didn't get a call back until late in the afternoon and the dog had finally left by then. I didn't see it leave, but I could at least open the back door. I was worried about the cats, but finally started seeing them that evening. Have only seen 2 of the 3 that are usually around, but there are others in the neighborhood that feed them, so hopefully it has just moved to another house for a few days.

We had some heavy rain on the 4th and I noticed some new water spots in the laundry room/computer room, so it looks like a new roof will have to be done. We had a roof put on shortly after we moved here and then have had it patched 4 times. No-one can seem to get the join sealed where the add-on is. I think I'm going to get quotes for both shingle and metal. I don't really like metal roofs but if it will solve the problem permanently I will get used to it.

Bill was pretty lazy this week again, mostly just sitting and working his puzzles. I don't think he walked any. I'm thinking we need to bring the treadmill into the house and maybe he would use it more, but he doesn't want to do that. I have noticed that the past few days he hasn't been coughing as much. I don't know just what that may mean, whether good or bad. But, it's something to ask Dr. Burbeck about when we see her next month.

I think we're going to see if Brianna wants to stay here with Miss Kitty while we are gone instead of boarding her. She's gotten so used to having the run of the house I hate the thought of her being in a cage for a week. But, they have been on vacation this week so I haven't been able to ask her. They are supposed to be home sometime today so I can find out then.

That's all for today. I probably won't post next week. I'm not taking my laptop with me and since we are going to be busy visiting with friends and family, there probably won't be anything to write about. 

Until we meet again...