Saturday, October 14, 2017

It's a good thing that this blog is actually typed and not spoken into life. I woke up this morning with no voice above a whisper, and not a very loud whisper at that. So it will be pretty quiet in the house today, at least on my part. It's not going to bode well for the ballgame tonight if I can't yell at the TV, but I'm sure Bill will like it!

Our week has been so-so. I think Bill's trying to get sick again. He's coughing more and a couple of times seemed to be winded when he's walking. I did turn his O2 up yesterday, but somehow it had gotten turned down to 1 1/2 instead of 2 so it needed turned up anyway. I don't know if the cat did it jumping on top of it (she likes to lay there and watch the bathroom/bedroom doors, and there's a shield on the filter to keep the hair out) or if Bill did it when he got up in the night thinking it wasn't working.

I don't seem to have any hives this morning. They still haven't gone away completely but they are tolerable now. We're eliminating medications now before doing further testing and so far it seems that the culprit might be Lipitor, my med for cholesterol. I've been on it for about 20 years with no problems, but I guess an allergy can develop at any time, not just when it is first started. At first we thought it was Aleve and I haven't added it back yet. I really hope I can because I really hurt. It's true when they say getting old isn't for wimps! 

Kenna finished her testing for school. There are no results yet, and they may go to Emily and not me since she's the parent. The first 9 weeks has ended so it will be interesting to see her final grades. She's also caught this same crud that we've had. But, the weather has been so erratic. Started the week in the upper 80s/low 90s, middle of the week down into the low 60s and only in the low 70s in the day, but today will be back into the 90s. We did have a little rain, but I don't think it did much to clear the air. I've heard a crop duster a couple of times this week so they are still defoliating the cotton, and then picking it along with other crops and then burning the fields. The local weatherman showed some satellite pictures and you can see the smoke from space...and this is just from farmers burning fields, not the wildfires in California.

Our grandson is getting married this week-end in South Carolina. We haven't talked to his mother since we told her that we would not be able to go. But, since Bill made the decision himself, she couldn't say much. We have talked about travel, and prioritized which trips/visits are the ones that need to be made. Others will just have to come and see us!

So, that's our week. Our month of October hasn't been good so far with all of the sinus infections, hives, colds and whatever else we've suffered with. I have a feeling it will be back to the dr. this week for both of us. Other than that we have no plans to go anywhere or do anything. As for today, warm drinks for my throat and maybe some knitting. After all it's love yarn day! Oh yeah, and the Cubs game tonight!


Saturday, October 7, 2017

If all good things must come to an end, why can't all bad things do the same?

Bill is greatly improved and finally started using his treadmill again this week. He only went out and walked once, but at least he did. We had a little discussion about him needing to take a small oxygen tank out with him when he's walking from the house to the apartment and back. He doesn't think he needs it but I told him when he walks without it his oxygen drops too low and he could pass out. He got really testy after that until I told him to stop because he was just ticked at me. After that he was fine.

We ordered him a portable, battery powered concentrator this week. Dr. Burbeck had said that she would pursue us renting one for our trips to Florida, but we want to be freer than just those 2 trips. We want to be able to pick-up and go somewhere all day or week-end without worrying about how long we can be gone before we have to change tanks and all the other stuff that you've read about here. So, after some research for the one that would give him the flow he needs, we ordered it. We also ordered extra batteries and an external charger and the total was less than $3000, including shipping. The rentals are minimum $500/week so it wouldn't take much to get to the cost and beyond. They have to get the prescription from the dr. before shipping it so hopefully it won't take that long. I can plug him into the car and off we can go. Maybe he'll use it walking outside then too. We're still going to keep the tanks as back-ups for the back-ups, and having the little ones for a quick meal out will be better since the battery one is bigger than the ones advertised on tv.

My finger looked horrible for most of the week. The swelling didn't last much past dinner (I think it was keeping it cold that helped) but by Monday it was almost black in places. It looked like the skin of someone on blood thinners who have hit their arm on something. That has finally all gone away. Just another reason not to keep using the tanks!

I'm still dealing with the hives! I had my thyroid tested this week as a nurse friend had sent me an article on hives being a sign of thyroid problems. It came back within the normal range. Normal is .4-4.0 and mine was .67. I talked to that same friend this week and she said she's been on thyroid medication for years and sometimes her test will show wacky numbers and the dr. will ask if she's taking her medicine. I remembered, or seemed to remember, that I had an under-active thyroid when I was a teenager and had to take meds for a while. I confirmed it with mom and she reminded me that I went from a size 7 junior petite to a misses 14 then! Why did that have to be the result of kick-starting it! Anyway, that's when I had the test done. Thursday evening I looked like I had the measles, little red spots (they weren't even bumps) over my entire body!

Yesterday morning I woke up at 4 and got up and had no hives and felt wonderful and rested and had energy all day. I did buy groceries and while I was at Walmart the hives came back on my arms, but after coming home and sitting for a bit they went away. I still wasn't tired during the day and only got sleepy about 9:30. Didn't sleep as well last night and woke up to welts on my arms and a rash on my neck! The Zyrtek and Prednisone are working again and they are fading, but I can still see them under my skin.

I read a blog this morning that I follow and this writer detailed that she had been to her semi-annual check-up and her thyroid numbers were out of whack again so they were tweeking her meds. She then said that she has suffered from hives caused by thyroid problems since she was a baby and can have outbreaks that last for 5-6 months! She did say there is a new treatment, an infusion of some kind, that will stop the outbreak almost immediately, but she said insurance sometimes balks at paying it and some drs. don't want to give it. But, after reading that, I think I'm going to pursue the thyroid angle. I don't think it is dermatological, I think it is all internal. And, depending on the cost, what price sanity? It's only money!!! If it means that I'm not itching and grumpy (Kenna said yesterday was the only day I haven't been crabby) it's worth it.!

I'm taking the kids to see the baby this afternoon. Bill is staying home so we won't stay long. We also have to take the cat in for her allergy shot. Hopefully her new skin treatment will be in so that we don't have to keep taking her. 

I know I've told you about the neighbors across the street that have borrowed so much money. We had finally just quit giving it to them. The father came over at some point in the last 2 weeks and need 150 for the dr. for his son. He said he needed to be in the hospital but wouldn't admit him without the money up front. We didn't give him any (mainly because we didn't have the cash on us) and I noticed over the next few days that their car was gone, even though there were lights on in the house. I read early this week that the son passed away Sunday. He was only 57. The dad has only been back to the house a couple of times. I think he's staying with a daughter in Jonesboro. I feel kind of bad for not giving them the money, but I know it's not our fault. He had some major medical problems, including a leaking aortic valve that he wasn't getting treated. His mother passed away from the same condition at about the same age, if I'm remembering right.

OK, enough bad stuff! The Cubs made it to the playoffs and won their first game last night, defying all of the pundits, including the game announcers who were singing the praises of the opposing team and pitcher...until the Cubs scored the first run. Then it was how brilliant the Cubs pitcher had been and yada, yada, yada. Game 2 starts late this afternoon...hope the kids want to listen to it on the radio!

See you next week, I'll keep you posted on the hives!



Saturday, September 30, 2017

I can't really say it's a good morning. I've had a miserable week. Bill is somewhat better. He's still a little congested and is white count is still elevated, but is cough is easing. He's on another round of Prednisone and a new antibiotic and the really good cough medicine, that he hasn't needed, so maybe this time it will get knocked out. She also increased his Zyrtek from 1/2 a pill to a full pill. He doesn't have to go back to the dr. unless he relapses. She told Emily, although she didn't tell me, that because of his diminished lung capacity, he will take longer and longer to recover from things like this. Of course I know this and a time will come when he won't be able to recover. His lungs are only going to get worse, what we are doing is just buying time. I know that sounds morbid, but you don't recover from COPD and emphysema unless you have a lung transplant, and that's not going to happen.

So, while he is feeling better and can't wait to be able to get back to his treadmill, I'm totally falling apart. Sunday afternoon I noticed that my left side was itching and when I looked there were several huge welts. I had just been outside feeding the cat that lives under the house and noticed that there were several mosquitos hovering around her. So I thought I just got bit through my clothes. But, by the time we went to bed I had a good case of hives starting. Hives aren't a new thing for me but I haven't had any outbreaks since we've come home from the transplant and that will be 5 years in December. So I took some Benadryl thinking that it would be gone the next day. I was definitely wrong! I was covered when I got up. The only places that didn't have them was my face (although my neck looked terrible), my calves, and my hands. The dr. was more concerned with me than with Bill and offered me some Prednisone, but I get a rash if I take it so I'm was stuck.

By Tuesday I was so miserable I decided that I was going to take the Prednisone anyway. My reasoning was that I already had a rash so what could it hurt! The allergy to it doesn't affect my breathing, just the rash. I also remembered the concoction they give Bill when he has a heart cath. It's a mix of Benadryl, Zantac, and Prednisone. I'm not taking the megadose they give him, but I'm taking that every morning. Thursday all of the hives were gone, and I felt really good. Got some stuff done around here. But, at bedtime they were starting to come back. They were hit and miss yesterday, coming and going, and last night they were coming back. This morning they are everywhere again, including my face and hands and behind my knees.

The mystery to all of this is that I haven't changed detergents, soaps, shampoos, perfumes, no new foods...nothing! The only things I can think of that would have any effect is the cat's flea collar (we've since taken it off) and I finished my antibiotic on the Friday before they first appeared Sunday. So, all I can think of is stress, even though I don't feel any more stressed than usual. But it could be. Emily thinks that it's a mix of Bill not recovering from this infection and having McKenna here every day, even though she's no trouble. Plus Ryan lost his job the week before they started on Sunday, so maybe it is just a culmination of everything. Anyone want to come and live in my house so I can have a vacation alone? I would probably worry the whole time anyway!

Kenna finished all of her schoolwork for the week on Thursday, so she got a day off. We decided to go to Jonesboro to get me a new phone. We stopped at Olive Garden first for a late lunch/early dinner and as I was switching Bill's tanks, I had a blood vessel pop in my middle finger on my left hand. It swelled so much I though it would split open! I couldn't bend my finger at all! I held on to my drink glass to keep some cold on it and pressed it into the table to kind of move the blood around and by the time we got to the ATT store next door, I could somewhat bend it. I got a newer phone than I wanted and which cost $200 more, but I think I will like it when I finally get it all set up.

We were going to go see the baby today, but Amanda said that next week would be better. I don't know why, and it doesn't matter. Maybe he's not sleeping good and they're all exhausted, who knows. I hadn't said anything to any of the kids except McKenna, and she'll be OK. Kiyann can't wait to hold him and Mistie has said that all she talks about is being an aunt!

It doesn't seem possible that October is already here! It has gotten somewhat cooler, at least in the mornings. It is still in the mid 80s in the day but that is better than the 90s. Some of the cotton is almost ready to be picked. I didn't even realize they were defoliating this year. I guess when you don't go out much anymore you do miss things! I noticed they were cutting something yesterday. I think it was rice since the beans haven't dried enough, but it could have been an early planted field. Hope everyone has a good week ahead! Who knows what ours will bring!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

This has been another week of doctors for us. Tuesday night I started seeing flashes of light at the side of my vision with my right eye. This happened several years ago with my left eye, and it's a sign that the retina may detach. So, Wednesday I got in to the eye dr. This also happens with normal aging when the eye dries out and pieces of the viscous pulls away. The eye is fine, I have a new floater and the retina is fine. But, he wants to check it again in 6 weeks. McKenna was very interested in it. When I got home I told Bill that they had dilated it and she told me I wasn't supposed to drive with it like that! I had my sunglasses so it was OK. She was also interested in keeping track of how dilated it was. She told me at one time I looked like a frog!

Wednesday night Bill started running a low grade fever and was chilled. He also started coughing again. He had just finished the Prednisone Tuesday but we were both still taking the antibiotic. He coughed most of the night and stayed in bed all morning Thursday. I messaged the dr. and asked if she just wanted to do another round of steroids or if she thought she should see him. She did call in more Prednisone, but she wanted to see him Friday and do more bloodwork and a chest xray.

The xray was clear but his white count was still up so she gave him a Rocephin (sp) shot and take the steroid through Monday and repeat the bloodwork Monday. He seems better today. I told him the shot should knock out whatever was working on him.

Today it was the cat's turn. It was time for her shot to clear up the place on her neck. They are going to try another hormone the next time if it has come in. They've been waiting for a trans-dermal form instead of pill form, because we will never get a pill down her. I did get some more Neomycin gel since I can get that on the sore while she's laying down on my lap.

Our granddaughter had her baby yesterday morning. He was born about 5:30 and weighed about 6 1/2 pounds. They have already been discharged this morning. I told them we would wait until our infections were cleared up before coming to see him. McKenna can hardly wait to see him. She wants to kidnap him! We'll also have to take Kayden and Kiyann to see him.

That's been our week. I don't think we have anything going on next week, but we didn't have anything going on this week either! Happy Fall everyone!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

And again, all good things come to an end. We both started feeling a little odd Wednesday evening, like we were getting a cold. The weather had changed from hot and dry to cool and rainy, so it wasn't surprising. Thursday I woke up feeling absolute horrible. Not only cold symptoms, but upset stomach and diarrhea, but Bill felt fine. I started pushing fluids (as soon as I took care of the bathroom problems) and taking some cold medicine. Felt worse as the day wore on and had a miserable night. Woke up yesterday morning and hit the couch, still feeling queasy. Bill asked if I needed to go to the Dr. and I said yes. I haven't felt this bad in years, ever since I had strep way before Bill had is transplant. I noticed that his cough sounded a little worse, so we both went to the Dr.

The good news is that I don't have strep. But, we both have severe sinusitis. Mine is worse than Bill's but we both have it. We are both moving air well so it is not in our chests, which is also good, especially for Bill. So, meds for both of us. We have the same antibiotic but Bill has Prednisone and I have Sudafed. I can't take Prednisone and the pharmacy was out of Sudafed. Even though it is over the counter, since it is one of the main components of meth, Arkansas made it so that you can only get it by prescription, and it has to be a paper script, it can't be called in. Brianna took it in for us and got the other meds. The Sudafed should be in Monday.

We started the meds last night and I already feel better, but I'm having a reaction to the Augmentin. It is aggravating my rosacea. I have a red streak starting down my cheek and my face is started to itch after only 2 doses. So, I'll call Connie and stop taking it and see what she wants to do. I thought I was better when I got up, but when I walked into the kitchen to feed the cat, I was suddenly so weak I could hardly stand, so I know I still need to take it easy again today. Coffee and food helped, but I told Bill that loading the dishwasher may be the only thing that gets done today.

Our Florida family made it through the hurricane with minimal damage. Bill's sister didn't get power back until yesterday afternoon. Don said he was very grateful for air conditioning! A niece lost part of a fence and some branches. They also lost power, but have a generator. Our part of the hurricane just brought cooler temps and rain, which probably contributed to the illness.

That's pretty much the gist of our week. We're going to just keep things quiet for a few days. Things around the house will get done eventually. I really need to mop the kitchen floor. I was opening a bottle of ginger ale and it exploded. Even though I wiped everything up, the floor is still pretty sticky. But I don't think it will get done today...maybe tomorrow!

Hope everyone has a good week, I'm going to curl up with my book!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

It just now hit me that I hadn't updated this yet! I'm sorry for those of you who look at it in the mornings. It's been a busy day and it just slipped my mind. I guess since I slept an extra hour might have had something to do with it.

We've had a very boring, normal week, although I'm beginning to suspect there is something going on with Bill. He seems fine, but he walked to the front door from the loveseat, which might be about 10 feet and got really winded. He has also said he's tired and just has no energy. But he denies feeling bad or that something is wrong. So, being extra vigilant again.

His burn is healing but it's going to leave a scar. A friend suggested looking on Amazon for the burn spray that is so good and I did. Alas, they make it in a cream but not in the spray anymore. I don't think the cream would have the immediate effect that the spray had. It was instant cool and the burn didn't have to be touched. Oh well, Elizabeth, it was a good suggestion that I hadn't thought of.

We took the cat back to the vet today for her shot. She's having to have shots every 2 weeks for a place that got inflamed on her neck that is taking a long time to heal. She's also got fleas, and this week I noticed some worms in her stool. So, the allergy shot, a worm shot and the 3 month flea treatment and she's been a miserable thing all afternoon. She roamed the house and was on things she knows she's not supposed to be on, like the hutch and piano and dining room table. I think she was looking for some place to cool the itching from the fleas moving so much after the treatment. She finally settled down about 5 and slept until just a few minutes ago. She did eat a little but she's back on the back of the recliner and, she's moaning in her sleep. It's just pitiful. Hopefully tomorrow she'll feel better and be back to her old self. I guess we'll know if she jumps on the bed in the middle of the night or early in the morning for breakfast.

Our family in Florida is riding out the hurricane at home. At least they were before it turned and is now going to be a more direct hit. Some of our friends have evacuated and others are staying put. So, until everyone checks in, we'll be on pins and needles.

We went to Dyersburg Sunday for our anniversary. We hadn't really planned on doing anything. But, I got a coupon text from Joann Fabrics and Bill said that we hadn't been there for awhile so we should go shopping and then get something to eat. So, I got the yarn for Kayden's afghan and then we had lunch at Applebees. It was a pretty day for a drive and we both had a good time.

That's about it. Like I said, just a normal week. We don't have anything going on next week either as far as I know so it will hopefully be just as dull and normal! See you then!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Another week in the books!


I forgot to fill you in on Bill's burn last week. He dropped a plate of spaghetti and it landed on his calf and foot. He just kind of sat and looked at me and McKenna jumped into action! She pulled his shoes and socks off but it had already burned through his sock at his ankle. While he went in to change she even helped me clean up the floor and get him another plate. The burn spray I have, which is the best stuff in the world that can't be found anywhere, is almost empty and it didn't do anything to help. I looked through every medicine bin in the bathroom but couldn't find anything for burns. I finally thought to look in the first aid kit in the car and there was 1 little packet of burn gel. So, I used that and then covered it with a big bandaid. It is healing and doesn't hurt anymore, but it looked nasty that night. So, that catches you up with what I forgot last week.

The week was mostly quiet. Kenna is doing well in school and I hardly need to do anything at all.

We got some rain from the hurricane but that is all gone now. The weather is supposed to be much cooler the next 2 weeks so maybe we can turn the air off.

Yesterday McKenna had a school fun day at Barnes and Noble in Jonesboro. She didn't really want to go, but I insisted. Brianna also needed to go to Jonesboro so she went with us. We had a nice time. Went to Hobby Lobby for them to get some craft things. McKenna likes to do the easy cross-stitch things and Bri got some big yarn to crochet something. Ate at Chick-fi-let and then went to the mall. Kenna was a little stand-offish to start with but she did participate and actually won the first game. There was another 8th grader there and they finally started talking together and spent the rest of the time together. She even told me to just go away! We all got some books, although Kenna thought that making a friend should let her off the hook on a book. She doesn't like reading, but that is more due to her mild dyslexia. But she got a Sudoku book and a family tree book. She worked on that all the way home. That can also be counted as supplemental education so she got some hours in, including the outing hours.

I had told Bill that all we had for lunch was peanut butter. That is easier for him to fix a sandwich. When I got home he told me that he had eaten some pasta in the refrigerator. I looked and he had eaten 3 week old lasagna that should have been thrown out long ago. Luckily he didn't have any ill effects from it!

His memory has gotten much worse it seems, which makes me reluctant even more to leave him alone for any length of time. But, he won't hear of having someone come in to stay with him if I have to leave for several hours. Makes it harder on me to get some free time and not worry about him.

He's also still coughing more again and choking more on liquids. He had the swallowing problem after he had the trach and it took quite a while before he was able to have liquids without needing them thickened. But it may come back to that. I don't know if it's because he doesn't sit up straight much or it he's just forgetting to swallow, which really concerns me. I mentioned it to him about thickening his coffee if it continued, and reminded him that that is probably what caused his pneumonia.

Our grandson got married yesterday in Oklahoma. Bill made the decision that we wouldn't go back in July. We didn't hear anything from his mother so don't know if she is upset or not. We have another grandson getting married in October in South Carolina and he's already said we are not going. He knows that being in crowds and out of his comfort is very hard on him. The kids (his) will just have to understand that now is the time to visit him if they want to see him. They always have excuses, working or children or distance, but circumstances change. He has decided that the trips to Mayo and on down to his sister's once a year while we are in Florida, or a shorter trip to Illinois are the only trips we will do and they will just have to understand. I haven't declined the invitation yet, but have a couple of weeks yet.

I think that is everything that happened this week. Our anniversary is tomorrow. I don't know what we are going to do, if anything. I'll let you know next week!