Saturday, March 25, 2017

Good Rainy Morning!

Our week started out so good, and ended badly, at least emotionally.

Monday we drove 3 hours north into southern Illinois and met my sister and sister-in-law, who drove 3 hours south, for lunch. It sounds pretty crazy to drive all that way for lunch, but the town we go to has several nice restaurants and is almost exactly halfway between our homes. We've done this several time to meet my mother, and we usually have a grandchild or two with us, but this time it was an "adults only" time. My brother was unable to come since they had just moved and he didn't want to leave the dogs alone in a strange house for several hours. We were tired by the time we got home and it did take us a couple of days to recover!

While we were on the way home I got a text that Ryan's father-in-law had been admitted to ICU and it was not looking good. He's been ill and in a nursing home for a long time. We stopped by the hospital as we got back in town, only because I saw Ryan and Amanda in the parking lot. They stayed with us Tuesday night so they wouldn't have to drive the hour back home and then back the next morning. I kept them in coffee, replenishing as needed. He passed away either late Thursday night or early Friday morning. I got the text a little after midnight.

The funeral is Monday with the visitation Sunday evening so all flowers had to be done today. Because the church is a little country church, nothing could be sent to the church. I've been to the florist this morning and got an arrangement from us, and Amanda asked if I could get some white roses to be put in the casket at the end of the service. They were out of roses so we settled on carnations, but with baby's breath and some greenery, it is a nice bouquet. They will pick them up sometime this afternoon.

We also had news that Emily's husband had an abnormal EKG yesterday, so he's being set up with a cardiologist in Memphis. The one he is seeing is the first one I saw after Bill's last heart attack. The first words he said were "He's still alive". Although we don't agree on which higher power, we both agreed that a higher power was at work!

Bill has said that he's been tired all week and his appetite has been off some. He said it was just from everything going on the first part of the week, so I hope that's what it is. He said he felt OK other than that. I've got to get him moving some again, or he's not going to move!

I think that's the highlights of the week, hopefully next week things will settle back down some. Have a good week!   

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Sorry I'm so late today but I've been very busy...stalking Facebook! I have dealt with a few emails and did make a quick run to Walmart, but the rest of the time has been Facebook. I thought about updating this last night when I couldn't sleep and I guess I should have done that.

The snow last Saturday started mid-morning and snowed all day. It was absolutely beautiful. I have never seen flakes as big as they were when it started. When they became smaller I knew it was going to start covering. We ended with about 2 1/2 inches. It got warm enough Sunday to melt everything, but then it snowed again Monday morning. It didn't stick but then it got cold all week. We didn't get out of the 30s much.

Monday I checked to see if Bill had a schedule for his check-up and he did...for the wrong dates! Of course when I checked it was after hours so I had to wait until Tuesday to call. I called Stephanie and she then transferred me to Kate who was handling schedules before they get to the schedulers. By Tuesday afternoon we had a revised schedule for the proper dates. We start on the first day at 6 am and the last appointment is a 1:15, covering 7 appointments.The next day is easier, only 2 appointments in the afternoon. The last day is a heart cath and we again have to be there at 6. The good thing about the really early appointments is that we will have handicap parking available and not have to valet or walk from the north 40!

Bill's car was ready Tuesday morning. I told Bill to take the back way home instead of going through town. I meant to take the road that is the most direct way to the house without going through town. I was following him and signaled to make the turn but he went straight! We were on the frontage road next to the interstate and we took it until it ended. I think he just wanted to drive the curvy roads! He did fine but the garage door opener was not on the visor. I disarmed the alarm system with my phone and then got out and punched the code in to open the door. We still haven't found the opener, but we also haven't looked for much.

The rest of the week was pretty quiet. Last night we got some storms again, but nothing very severe. There was one clap of thunder that shook the house and we heard lots of things rattling. I walked into the laundry room and one set of shutters was standing wide open! The rattling we heard was the slats shaking. I also saw that the clock had fallen off the kitchen wall. That was really some thunder! We had a couple of brown-outs and the power did go off once just long enough to need to re-set clocks. I had another one of Bill's tanks ready since I wasn't going out while there was so much lightning. We usually don't have much standing water but there was quite a bit in the back yard so we got a lot of rain.

Bill has a strange spell during the night. I think he just swallowed wrong which got him coughing and he couldn't catch his breath. I finally got him to turn on his side and that worked. This sounded different than just needing to cough from the emphysema so I don't know what actually happened. But just the sound woke me.

I'd better get busy and get something done that doesn't require the computer, although I do have a tax return to tweak. But since I have twiddled away the morning, I'd better find something else to do. See you next week!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

This week was pretty tame after the excitement of last week.

I had a text from our daughter-in-law Amanda asking if we would feed them if they came to town on Sunday. Of course, what mother would say no, unless they weren't going to be home! We had a nice visit with them Sunday evening and I sent home a couple of plants and some old canisters and coffee mugs. They match a set that she has.

On Wednesday I called about Bill's car. It was supposed to have been picked up last Monday and we had heard nothing. I was told that they lost the paperwork and had no way to contact us. The number I gave them was the house number, it was in the phonebook, and we've always taken the car there for service so we are in the computer. But, that's neither here nor there. I also called to see if my new glasses had come in and they had, they were just behind in contacting patients. After I picked them up I got and email and a text telling me they were ready! I'm having a hard time with them. I can see, but it sometimes feels like my eyes are straining, especially my left one. This morning I tried putting them on as soon as I opened my eyes and while every once in a while they bother me. I have a very slight headache, but there's also a front coming through and I'm stuffy so it could just be that.

Thursday morning I had to take Amanda to see her neurologist. Bill stayed home and did fine, as I figured he would. I made sure he had eaten and taken his medicine. He had to get up a little earlier than usual to get the meds in. I left at 7, drove the hour to pick-up Amanda then the 45 minutes to the dr. We were only there 20 minutes! Then 45 back to her house and an hour home. I was back between 10:30 and 11! Very quick trip! The car got picked up Thursday afternoon and Bill's been on pins and needles ever since.

The dealer called about the car yesterday morning and to fix everything that they say needs fixed would cost almost $9000! That's right, 9 with 3 zeroes! We talked it over and decided to fix only the major things, to make it driveable again. It will still cost about 3000. I've really been working on him to sell it. My new reason, which he seems to think is right, is that we have enjoyed it and now it might be time for someone else to enjoy it. We won't be taking any long trips in it anymore with all of the oxygen equipment that we have to take so it's only going to be driven around town now. He didn't just flat out nix the idea, so maybe there's hope.

The nurse from our oxygen supplier came by yesterday afternoon and seemed pleased with the way he's doing. He's a very nice man and we enjoyed talking to him.

I've already been to the grocery store this morning since it's supposed to start snowing any time now. It's already rained a little and the temperature has dropped from 41 at 6:15 this morning to 36. There's no reason now to leave the house and I'm going to put on a pot of chili this afternoon.

I think that's it for this week. We don't have anything planned for next week except to pick up the car when it's ready, and that's supposed to be Tuesday. Stay warm and dry today! I think this front is affecting most of the country!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Just when you think it's going to be just another week...

Bill's oxygen concentrator started running really loud on Monday. It is generally pretty quiet although not as quiet as the one in the apartment (aka Bill's mancave). I changed the air filter which was pretty dirty, but that didn't change anything, so I brought the other one in. When I unplugged the loud one, the cord was pretty hot, so something was going on with it.

Tuesday morning I called the supplier and got a recording that the number was disconnected! I knew that there was a change in ownership and name so figured there was a new number, but only got that it was disconnected. I then called the 800 number...and got the same recording! I found another number online (one of the drawbacks of not getting phonebooks anymore) and it was for the tube feeding department. I was given another number but it rang straight back to the tube feeding department. I scrolled through Caller ID and found the number for our delivery man and left him a message. When he called back he told me that he had to be in Blytheville that day and he would load up another concentrator. He finally came about 5:30 and, although the concentrator tested fine as far as the concentration of oxygen, he could tell that something was wrong with the way it sounded, so he swapped them out. We discussed the weather some. We were supposed to get some rough weather coming in and according to radar it was still about 3 hours out. He had several stops yet to make and we hoped he would get home before it got bad.

We knew that this storm system was coming in for several days and weren't really surprised when a tornado watch was issued. The bad part was that the storms were coming in 2 waves, the first in the late evening, the second during the night.

I decided to get one of Bill's large tanks ready. Usually the regulator is on a small tank so that when we are going out it's ready to go. So I swapped the tanks. I also put some folding chairs by the pantry door just in case. We do have a storm cellar, and we can access it from inside the house, but we have gotten too unbendable to get through the small opening! So, the pantry it is. We got a small storm about 9:30 and I heard it rain some after we went to bed. My cellphone went off several times during the night for storm warning and watches. Our tornado watch was extended twice. At 4:15 "the" storm started. Lots of thunder and lightning and wind and then the rain started. I got up to check our front window. Sometimes the rain gets behind the gutters and then comes in under the window. I had just gotten into the kitchen to get the flashlight that I had set on the counter when we lost power. Bells and whistles everywhere from Bill's concentrator to the alarm system. Got the extra tank and woke Bill and got him swapped over, then looked at my phone. We had a tornado warning, so off to the pantry we go but by that time everything had stopped and it was eerily quiet. We didn't stay in the pantry long, it gets very warm and stuffy. So, put Bill back to bed but told him I was going to stay up. I also told him I wasn't going to start the generator until daylight and the storms were over. Since it is a manual switch-over I didn't want to be outside with the lightning messing with the electric!

Once daylight arrived I did start the generator, and I'm so glad we made the decision to buy it after the ice storm of 2009. Our justification was that if Bill ever needed to be on oxygen we needed it. And that time arrived! I checked with the power company and they estimated that it would be 6 pm before it was one. Half of the town was out of power, the schools were closed and the hospital was damaged. They had several windows blown out. Emily brought McKenna in as she didn't want to stay home. Brianna decided it was a good day to sleep so she stayed home. Emily's office didn't have any power so, after Bill was medicated and fed we girls decided to go look at damage. The damage started about 3 blocks from our house and covered an entire neighborhood. Lots of trees down, some roofs damaged and a couple of windows shattered. In the late afternoon an update was given that it would be 6 pm THURSDAY before power would be restored. Our neighbors Joe and Barb came over for some coffee and to charge cellphones. We were talking about programs we watch and Barb said she would miss the finale of one they had been watching. We hadn't seen it, but told them we could watch it here. They went home to eat and came back a few minutes before it was to start. We were going to watch the next program too. It was one we did watch. All of a sudden Joe jumped up and walked to the dining room and when I looked up I realized I could see the street light! He had seen the bedroom light come on next door!

Things were back to normal Thursday and Friday, but we were pretty tired from all of the broken sleep.

I did find out that the phone problem at the oxygen was just a problem with the phone system and it had been resolved. Our original deliveryman came by Wednesday. We hadn't seen him through the changeover. I asked him about the portable concentrator and he said the main problem with them, for Bill, would be the amount he's needing when walking. Most of them only deliver 3 liters continuous feed and he needs 4. He said to get what he needs it would be about the size of a small wheeled suitcase. But, since I pull a backpack through Mayo with 3 extra small tanks, pulling one of those wouldn't be bad. I can also find a place to plug in and recharge. So, something to think about before we have to go. Billy suggested getting several of the larger tanks, but when I told him that sometimes the appointments start at 6 in the morning and last until 4 in the afternoon, the tanks don't last long enough. So, we'll have to do some thinking and research and talking. Low batteries and needing to find an outlet don't bother me since he was battery-powered for 6 months with the LVAD before the transplant.

Hopefully there won't be too much drama next week. The only thing that I know that is happening is that I have to take Amanda to see her neurologist. I'll need to leave early in the morning so Bill will probably get his meds early, along with breakfast. I'm a little apprehensive since I don't know how long I'll be gone. Hopefully he won't get into too much trouble.

Oh, Bill's car was supposed to be picked up Monday but so far nothing. We've not heard from the dealer, or the tow service at all. Will have to call them Monday to see what's what. The dealership has recently changed hands and this doesn't bode well!

All for this week. Need to get to the grocery store before it gets really busy. Have a good week!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

This morning is the total opposite of last Saturday. Last week was damp and dark but warm. Today is a beautiful sunny day, but cold! It was only 32 this morning when I got up. It's been in the 70s for most of the week and today the high is supposed to be 49.

We were pretty busy this week. I went shopping with Ryan last Saturday. He's missed so much work with Amanda being so sick that they couldn't afford groceries. So, we went grocery shopping. I would rather do that than just send money. Bill stayed home since there would be a lot of walking and he didn't want to just wait at their house. I don't know about him, but I enjoyed the alone time. He didn't have any problems. I made sure he had lunch before I left.

Monday we went to Jonesboro. We both needed new shoes and I needed to get my anniversary ring inspected to keep the warranty valid. We were successful on both counts and had lunch out. We hadn't done that for quite some time. It seems like we go, do what we have to do, and come home. But, this time I decided we were stopping to eat. There are so many more choices there than here. It was warm and light traffic, at least on the highway, so it was a good day.

Wednesday we both had eye appointments, or I thought we both had appointments. The card we had said we did, but Bill didn't get put into the system. Dr. Jones said he would see him anyway. It's nice that both of the drs. know his condition and know that coming at the same time is just easier. Bill didn't need new glasses again, but I did this time. I wasn't surprised since it had been a couple of years and I could tell a difference when doing things. The new ones should be in next week.

Thursday was Bill's 74th birthday. We went to Applebees in Dyersburg for dinner. It is always good and there wasn't any wait. I didn't like coming home in the dark. I'm finding I don't see as well at night anymore, and I don't think that will change with the new glasses. It's a very dark drive with very little light on the highway, not even at the exits. But, we made it home safely.

We also arranged to have Bill's car picked up to go to the shop. We still can't get it to start so it's supposed to be picked up Monday. I've started the process to get Bill thinking about selling it. He hasn't driven for almost a year and every time he had talked about, before the car conked out, he would not follow through. I think he's beginning to be afraid to drive. I don't think he's considered that he will have to have a little oxygen tank with him now. It won't hinder his driving since the tubing won't droop to get in the way of his feet, but I don't think he's thought of that.

We're going to watch some pre-season baseball this afternoon. I'm so glad it's starting again. We watched a little of a game yesterday, but there is a full line-up of games today. I'll need to get all my chores and shopping done before they come on!

That's it for this week. We have no plans for next week as far as I know now, but who knows what will pop up! Have a good week!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

It's a dark, rainy morning, although it's fairly warm for February. Hopefully the sun will come out this afternoon. I'm so tired of dark!

This week was a bit frustrating. I checked in with the oxygen supplier Monday morning and found out exactly what they wanted. Then I called the pulmonologist's office and spoke to Dr. Burbeck's tech. She said she would call the supplier. When I checked with the supplier they had received NOTHING! Lauren told me she would call the Dr. herself. Lauren also told me that we wouldn't receive any refills until this was straightened out. If you think that it might not be so bad, there is so much sickness going around that we don't need to go out, picture yourself in this situation. Your entire world is limited to a 50 ft. area. That's the maximum amount of tubing that can be used from the concentrator. Bill can go from the bedroom to the bathroom to the living room and part of the kitchen. He can go to the front door and bring in the mail, but he can't take out the trash or get a fresh trash bag from the pantry. He can't help me carry in groceries, or sit on the patio when it's warm enough. Not only does that make me have extra chores, not that I'm complaining, but it makes him feel useless. Again, they want you to use oxygen to live as full and normal life as possible, then make it extremely hard. But, there is a happy ending to this story. While I don't know if it has been straightened out, our delivery man, Billy, called early Thursday morning to see if we needed anything! I told him what Lauren had said and he said she hadn't told him anything so he would bring what we needed. So, we got a new 6 pack of small tanks.

Tuesday we got a call from Mayo with out tentative dates for Bill's annual check. They try to schedule it as close to the transplant date, which for him is May 3. The dates they gave us were May 8-10. I got online to start checking hotels's the week of the TPC Sawgrass golf tournament and there are no hotel rooms, at least that are affordable. I told Bill that even though this was very important, I was not spending $300/night for a room! The next week is Brianna's graduation so that week is out also. I called them back and left a message with Stephanie. The same person, Kate, called back said that it couldn't be pushed back to April because it was full and June was too far away from his date. I told her that I would not drive for 2 days to then spend 4 nights sleeping in the car! She checked with Stephanie and he's being scheduled no for May 22-24. That means that we will leave the morning after graduation, but at least we will be there. 

There have been little things falling apart, one of our shutters in the laundry/computer room came apart at the top and all of the slats fell out of their holes. So that's sitting on the dining room table to be repaired, computer glitches with having to reinstall hardware, just little things that are frustrating.

Bill's birthday is next week and we're trying to decide what to do. He still wants to go somewhere, whether for just a day or an overnight he hasn't said. We do need to do some shopping, we both need new shoes among other things. We may go tomorrow or Monday to do that. The weather is supposed to be nice, sunny and in the 70s.

We also have eye dr. appointments this coming week. I will probably need new glasses but I don't know about Bill. He seems to be able to without them because he'll come out of the bedroom without them on.

That's been our week. When I think about how boring and normal some of weeks are without nothing interesting happening, I want SOMETHING to happen. But, we when we have a frustrating one like this past one, it makes me appreciate the normal boring ones more! 

I'll let you know what we did for Bill's birthday next week! Have a good one!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

The beginning of our week was a little unsettling, but it did settle down into a nice boring week.

Our daughter-in-law Amanda was rushed to the hospital Sunday afternoon having continual seizures. At first it was thought that she had had a stroke and the seizures and numbness was due to that. But, when the dr. saw her having one of them, he said that it was "just" a seizure. She had to be intubated and moved to CCU. She didn't stay on the vent long, was taken off early Monday morning.

Since we had to be in Jonesboro Monday, and the lab is only about 2 blocks from the hospital, we met Ryan after to see how she was doing. We weren't able to see her since it is a closed unit with only certain visiting hours, but we stayed with him until it was time for him to see her. We also bought him some breakfast, and for hospital food, it was pretty good. It turned out that he didn't get to see her because they had just taken her for an MRI. All of the tests came back normal. She was moved to a regular room later in the day, and was discharged Tuesday afternoon. I think it was determined that it was a drug interaction. Ryan said they asked if she was on Tramadol, and her back dr. has her on that. I'm thinking that it interferes with her seizure medication, hence the seizures. Ryan said that she's feeling better, but still very tired and sore.

Bill's lab results were good. His kidney function has actually improved some, which surprised me since it's still a battle to get him to drink. The level of one of his anti-rejection meds was a little high so an adjustment was made. He will need to have the test repeated in another week.

Wednesday night a lens fell out of my glasses. We have a repair kit, but we couldn't get the lens lined up right to keep it in. I have my old pair and could use those, but I could tell that they weren't quite right. So, Thursday morning it was off to the eye dr. to get them fixed. We have appointments in a couple of weeks, and since I haven't needed to get these changed for a couple of years now, we're probably looking at new ones.

The rest of the week was pretty normal. Our weather was up and down, 80 one day, 39 the next! It's warm again today and cloudy. We must have had some rain in the night as the patio was wet this morning when I fed the cats.

I woke up aching all over this morning, headache, legs hurting, shoulders hurting, just hurting everywhere. I'm hoping it's because I vacuumed Thursday and then did 5 loads of laundry yesterday, which included stripping and remaking the bed. Getting old is not for the faint of heart!

We have no plans for anything coming up which is good since we are low on portable O2. We have not gotten a delivery for 2 weeks now, and with the change in flow, the tanks don't last long. Our supplier called Thursday and said that Medicare is denying the claims because of something to do with the prior company. Emily tried to call them yesterday to see what they needed but they are playing phone tag now. Hopefully it will get straightened out soon. We still do have 1 1/2 big tanks and most of a small tank so it's not a really dire situation yet.

All I can think of this morning. Will probably take it somewhat easy since moving hurts! We also have no plans for Valentine's Day. Bill realized it was coming and said he hadn't gotten me anything yet, but I told him I didn't want anything. See you next Saturday!