Friday, March 23, 2018

It's Friday night and I'm tired. I've been tired most of this week, it has been a stressful one.

Bill has pneumonia again. His cough worsened over the week-end and I got him to the Dr. on Tuesday morning. The only reason I didn't take him Monday was because it was pouring rain and I didn't want to get him out in it. Tuesday was supposed to be a better day, but it was still rainy and cold.

We've had home health here every day since Wednesday to give him a Rocephin shot. The nurse decided that since it was only for 4 days, I didn't need to learn how to give the shot. He's coming again tomorrow for the last one and then he's going to check once a week to just see how he's doing.

Our nurse practitioner sent her nurse to the house this morning to draw labs so that Bill wouldn't have to get around all the sick people at the office. She had said that if his white count wasn't down by today, we would be going back to the hospital in Memphis, but his count was down from 13,000 to 11,000. She we have avoided the hospital so far. She does want to see him Monday morning for more labs and an xray.

Bill felt pretty good yesterday, but this morning he started coughing about 3 and coughed very hard. I finally got him to spit out what he was coughing up and it looked really nasty. It was hard to tell if the cough was a good thing (the pneumonia pocket breaking up) or if it was a bad thing (area getting bigger). But it's apparently good. I have some really good cough medicine that Connie said to give him. I'm going to give him some at bedtime since it will make him sleep. And, if he starts coughing again in the night he can have more.

We got some terrible news this morning. Bill's sister called a little after 7 and said that her youngest daughter Kim passed away this morning. She was a very troubled young woman (I don't think she was 40 yet) and had had a drug problem in the past. I think the cause of death will be a drug overdose, but whether illegal or prescription I don't know. I've only talked to them this morning. Bill thought they have probably been overwhelmed with people today and the need to make arrangements. He has decided that we will not go for the funeral, he's just not up to it. He made the decision himself, I just asked if he wanted to go. I think that is the right decision, especially in light of this illness. Hopefully they will understand.

 I did learn something this week. If you remember, it's been an uphill battle to get him to drink enough. Well...I've started buying the small bottles of water and he is drinking 3-4 a day of those. That works out to 1 1/2-2 of the bigger ones. He's slowed down on his coffee and switched to water. If only I had known that the smaller bottles would work!

So, that's been our week, more stress on my part wondering if I should be packing a bag for Memphis. But it seems like we've dodged that bullet. And, knock on wood, Bill hasn't fallen any this week. See you next week...and the month of March will then be over!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Top 'o the mornin' to you! Or maybe it's the bottom of the night since it's still dark out. It's almost 6 and still pitch black outside. That's the one thing I don't like about this time change, it stays dark so late in the mornings. And with it light so long in the evening, it makes the evenings seem longer. OK, rant over about the time change.

Bill fell again this week. I think he got his feet tangled in his tubing from the way he landed, and again he was lucky that he wasn't hurt. He was able to get himself up this time, but still had trouble breathing.

His breathing is getting worse all of a sudden, so we're going to start some breathing treatments and see if that helps over the week-end. Last night he went into the bedroom to get ready for bed and came back out and said he was having trouble. I checked his O2 and it was only 77. After sitting for several minutes and using his rescue inhaler it finally made it back to 92 (90) is the target number and I kept the oximeter on his finger while he walked to the bedroom and it stayed in the 90s but dropped when he sat down on the bed.

A respiratory therapist from Lincare, the oxygen supplier, came yesterday afternoon. She suggested that we see about switching nebulizer meds to a new one that she said Medicare would pay for that would help. It does mean that he would have to use it regularly instead of as needed as the one he has now. She also said that there is a new noninvasive ventilator that he could try at night. She said that it basically pulls all of the CO2 out as he's breathing to let more O2 get into his system. She's also going to talk to Dr. Burbeck about that.

We had looked at the mask that Chris had brought and it is for a child, so Miranda, the therapist gave us an adult size one to try and also a book on living with COPD to give some suggestions that may make things easier for him. 

McKenna was here most of the week getting help with school. Their church has a fine arts competition this week-end and she wanted to make sure she got all of her work done before they left yesterday. It's also Spring Break next week, so she'll have a good break. Brianna is also on Spring Break and I think she's ready for some down time, too. She's going to be babysitting most of the week for the kids she's keeps after school so she'll make a little money.

Ryan and Amanda came and got Kayden and Kiyann for the week-end for the first time since Christmas. And, they ended up having to have Mistie come and get them. Amanda has had some issues again and the drs. can't figure out what is wrong. Her symptoms all indicate a stroke, but the tests say otherwise. She was in the hospital the first part of the week overnight and Ryan called and said by the time they got home with the kids her entire left side was numb and as soon as he got her into the house and on the bed she was out and he couldn't rouse her. So he called 911 and then had Mistie come get the kids. He was going to meet her halfway, but Mistie told him they would just go to the hospital to meet them. I know Kayden was disappointed because he was going to learn how to use the bow he got for Christmas and Kiyann and Amanda were going to do some craft stuff. But, since they are also on spring break they can always go back during the week. The last report I got from Ryan about midnight was that it was not heart related even though she was having chest pains and her tumor that was removed a couple of years ago has not grown back to cause he headaches, but something is going on with the right side of her brain. I haven't wanted to text this early incase he is getting some rest. She was taken to their local hospital and I don't know if she was going to be transferred to Jonesboro to one of the bigger hospitals or if she was going to be sent home. She did "come to" in the hospital and when Ryan told her the kids had gone home, she told him they could have stayed so she was back to normal thinking.

That's it from here. Happy St. Patrick's Day and don't forget the green! (I don't have to worry about it since my eyes are green)!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

This has been another week of ups and downs. And today for me is a down day, so I hope I can remember everything, at least the highlights.

Bill fell early Monday morning going to the bathroom. The only thing we can figure is that he either caught his foot in the bedspread or his bathrobe on the end of the bed, or he got tangled in his oxygen tubing. It scared him, especially when he couldn't get up and he had a panic attack. So, rescue inhaler and talking him into just taking deep breaths through his nose. He finally calmed down enough for him to get onto his knees and then he could pull himself up on the bookcase at the end of the bed. I just knew when he couldn't get up that he had broken his hip. He has some bone loss so it wouldn't have surprised me. He evidently hit his arm on something when he went down as he has some lovely bruises on his elbow, but he's not having any trouble walking or moving around and he won't let me look at his hip.

My engine light came on Monday morning and Bryan, Emily's husband, came over with his gadget that can read the error messages and it said that it is the sensor that reads outside air temperature. It did show that it was -40 outside!  I haven't called yet to get it fixed, and it doesn't affect driving, at least in town.

I finished the shawl I was making for my mother and got it in the mail Tuesday. She said she thought that it was going to be too short, but when she put her hands in the pockets it was just right. I thought the yarn would stretch some so all is good.

Thursday we had eye appointments and for the first time they put us in the same room. But, we were both seeing the same dr. so it made sense. We neither one needed new glasses and Bill's eyes are fine. Mine on the other hand...I have had a small hemorrhage in each eye that he suspects is just due to high blood pressure. He said my blood pressure was up, but it usually is there, but I did have a headache. He wants to see me in 3 months to see if they have resolved or if we need to explore other problems, such as glaucoma. But, my pressure was good in both eyes. I've also had a twitching eye/eyelid for a few days. He said that's usually caused by stress, so he told me to reduce stress. I just told him easier said than done!

Kenna came over yesterday for some help in math. It's the end of the 9 weeks and she was failing math. Her teacher was going to re-open some assessments for her to retake and we brought her grade from an F to a C. She worked really hard all morning. Brianna came to study some and have lunch. She has decided that she's not going to apply to the nursing program in the fall. She has 3 really hard classes she has to take and they recommend that she take them before she starts the nursing program. I think she has made a good decision on that. They left after lunch and about 3:30 we heard a sound like a moving truck was dropping a ramp. I looked out the window and a pickup truck had slammed into the back of a school bus. The bus stop is right in front of the house. The driver of the truck was injured and you could tell from the way the truck looked that he hadn't even attempted to stop and we heard no brakes. So, 4 police cars, 3 ambulances and 20 onlookers, plus parents from other stops coming to see why their kids weren't home yet were all in our front yard. None of the kids were hurt but the driver of the truck was taken to the hospital. This guy always races up and down the street and he was probably texting since he didn't even attempt to stop.

My lunch didn't agree with me yesterday so I was in and out of the bathroom. Some good friends that we haven't seen for a long time called and wanted to know if we wanted to meet for dinner. We went but I really should have declined. I managed to eat 1/2 a baked potato. But, I enjoyed the conversation and we stayed until Bill was ready to go, and was about to need an oxygen change. I still don't feel well and went back to bed after feeding the cat this morning and didn't wake up until the alarm went off for Bill's meds. He was just getting ready to go to the bathroom so I told him to get his meds and then we both went back to bed until 8:30. 

I was supposed to go shopping with Emily and the girls today. It was my idea, I'm just needing to get out and do something and since Bill can't walk far and is still so far against the wheelchair, there's no fun in him going. He thinks that this is Emily's idea and I'm just going to let him keep thinking that. But, I don't feel like going now. I'm probably not going to get dressed. I'll just have to get Bill settled in one day this week after lunch and go by myself. I really just want to wander through the mall and window shop, there's really nothing I need to buy.

So, that's been our week and my energy is about gone for now. Until next week, enjoy the time change!

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Sorry this is so late today. We've been without internet all morning. But, it is finally back, at least for now.
We've had an interesting week. Saturday evening we had some thunderstorms with tornadoes in the area. Two small towns close to us were hit, one had a hotel destroyed and a factory lost part of its roof. The other wasn't as lucky, most of the town is damaged or destroyed. We were fortunate that we didn't have the tornadic winds. Brianna did have some damage at her house, but nothing severe.

Monday was a beautiful day so we went to Jonesboro. We got my ring inspected, bought an extra charging cable for my phone and had lunch at Olive Garden. They have some really nice little lunch suggestions, smaller entrees. Bill ate really well, most of his salad, all of his spaghetti and 1 1/2 breadsticks! Then made a quick stop at Office Depot for some printer ink and then headed home.

Bill didn't do very well walking. We were parked in the second space from the door of the mall and I thought we were going to have to stop. He only made it halfway down the hallway and then sat and waited for me while I went on to Zales. Because he's having such a hard time walking and breathing now I've made the decision to buy a small, travel size wheelchair. He's not too keen on the idea, but I'll keep talking about it so he can think about it more. I told him that if we don't do that, he's going to end up totally housebound. We always use a wheelchair at Mayo now since there is a lot of walking there. Part of this decision is selfishness on my part too. He also doesn't do well by himself, although he did very well while I was sick. He also doesn't think that there's anything wrong with his thinking except for not being to remember things. But, I'm not comfortable leaving him and he won't hear of anyone coming to stay with him while I'm out for more than an hour. So, since I refuse to become housebound, we'll get the wheelchair. That may sound harsh, but since he wants to continue making plans to do things, this will take care of it. I suppose that we could request Medicare pay for one with his emphysema diagnosis, but these small ones are around $150 and we can afford it, so why go through the hassle.

It continued to rain Tuesday and Wednesday and we set a record for the rainiest February on record. I've never seen water standing in our backyard before and we've lived here 20 years. I did get some tax returns finished up and in the mail, but that was about it.

Thursday morning was rainy but it stopped mid morning. Our neighbors came over to get their taxes done and almost as soon as they left Ryan, Amanda, her brother Daniel, and the baby came for a visit. I knew they were coming to town Friday so I was really surprised to see them Thursday. While they were here Bill got his medicine delivered, and shortly after they left our oxygen rep came. 

Friday Ryan and Amanda and the baby were back and I had to dig out the baby toys and wash them up really quick. He's cutting teeth and was really chewing on them, just talking away. He's starting the babble stage now. He weighs 17 1/2 pounds and is only 5 months old!

Since we didn't have any internet this morning it threw my entire routine off. I decided to do some cleaning, but I had forgotten that I had used all of the bathroom cleaner. Then I decided to clean the fireplace of the ashes, but our galvanized bucket has disappeared. I did sweep the hearth (all the wood chips into the fireplace) and knocked all of the fireplace tools off the rack. That made me decide that nothing I touched was going to go right today so I would just do nothing today! I have a couple of small steaks thawing that I'm going to marinate in a little while for dinner tonight. But should I really be cooking?

All for this week. We have our eye appointments next week to break up the monotony of every day life. Hope to see you next week...if the internet stays up!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

We've basically had a good week! I think all of the sickness is finally leaving the house. I have 2 more doses of medicine to take and I will have taken it all (for once). And Bill has not gotten sick, which is the best thing.

It has rained most of the week and before it is over today we will have gotten between 3 and 8 inches. I'm not sure how much we have actually had here since all of the weather stations seem to forget that our area exists. Anyway, yesterday our backyard looked like a small pond and now it's just a quagmire. 

I cancelled and rescheduled our eye appointments. We neither one needed to be out in the rain. There wasn't a problem with the late cancellation since I did it 2 hours prior to the appointment time, but I didn't make the decision until the night before.

Our heat went out again Thursday morning, and of course it was one of the coldest days this week, not that it was cold, but compared to the 70s we had had, 40s seemed cold. It was also damp. Our repairman had some family problems and wasn't working but Bryan came and figured it out and got us up and running. The coolest it got in the house was 61. I did break down and light a fire. I just told our neighbor that if he saw flames shooting out of the chimney to let me know. I used all of the dry wood we had and then went to Kroger and got 3 of their bundles. But, once Bryan had us going again we let the fire die down. I did have to get on Bill twice for messing with it. He forgot that he is flammable with his oxygen! He also made a comment that he didn't think he would ever not be able to do things he used to do all the time. I know he feels bad when he can't help move heavy things or just do a lot of the little things around the house that he used to do.

We got our dates for Mayo already! We are back on track for the beginning of May. He's got appointments May 1-3. He doesn't need a heart cath this year so that's good. That means they will do a nuclear stress test instead. I've got to get our hotel reservations made, but since we are there before the TPC Sawgrass golf tournament I shouldn't have any trouble.

We're supposed to have some severe weather this afternoon and evening. It's already started raining again, which makes me really glad that I went to Walmart early this morning. Didn't need much and was there and back in about 30 minutes.

Because of the weather we weren't able to do anything special for Bill's birthday yesterday. It's supposed to be nice for the next 3 days and we need to make a run to Jonesboro so we'll have his birthday meal out then.

That's about it. Lots of little things going on and nothing major as far as health goes, so all is good! See you next week!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

I'm feeling much better and so far Bill hasn't shown any signs for getting this, so I think all will be well.

I still don't have much energy or stamina so I'm still just taking it easy. I've got a roast in the crockpot so there won't be any cooking tonight to tire me out. It just about did me in last night, and it was only Hamburger Helper!

We both have eye appointments Thursday and Bill's birthday is Friday. We're planning on going to Jonesboro. It's time for a ring inspection and we're hoping to use the Olive Garden gift card got for Christmas. I also need to get a charging cable for my phone. But, it may have to wait because the first spring training baseball game is going to be televised on Friday. I can't wait! Maybe we'll go on to Jonesboro on Thursday after we see the eye dr. Hmm, have to think on that!

It's cold and rainy today and supposed to rain off and on for the entire week with wild temperature swings. By the middle of the week it's supposed to be in the mid 70s! No wonder everyone is sick.

Our 5 month old great grandson is in the hospital with the flu. He's not keeping anything down except for water. They did a procedure today to see if there was a problem with his swallowing and everything looked good. They are talking about getting a GI consult and if they do that it will have to be done in Memphis. Ryan and Amanda are exhausted from being at the hospital. And of course with one that little, he doesn't understand what is going on, which makes it that much harder on them.

That's all for today, since there were a couple of updates earlier in the week. We'll get back on schedule next week. Have a good week!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

It's official, sickness has come to our house. I woke up yesterday with nausea and diarrhea. Before long my head was pounding and my sinuses were full. I started on the normal OTC meds and slept most of the day, but nothing was helping much. I wasn't running fever, although I think that our thermometer needs replaced because it was extremely low, 94.2. The highest it got was 96.5. I told Bill if I didn't feel any better today I would go to the Dr.

This morning, after sleeping on the couch, I felt even worse and started a dry cough with body aches, although that's probably from sleeping on the couch. Emily came and picked me up and snuck me in the backdoor of the clinic. The lab techs were waiting on me and did labs and a flu test. As I was in the work-up room the practitioner came in and said she thought that it was probably flu, which was my fear.

But, the flu test was negative and since my white count is elevated there's an infection somewhere. She doesn't know if it is gastric or sinus. Everything coming out of my nose is clear, but I coughed up some nasty yellow gunk, yet I'm moving air well in my lungs and not wheezing. So, 2 different antibiotics and some cough medicine if I need it and if I'm not way better by Monday she wants to see me again.

I haven't been able to eat anything without it going straight through, but I came home and had a popsicle and felt much better...for about 15 minutes. But then I slept for 2 hours. I've had another popsicle and some crackers now and feel like they will stay down. In I'm not sure of. I've taken so much Imodium and pepto bismol that under normal circumstances I wouldn't be going to the bathroom for a week!

We're making sure that Bill doesn't get this. I've stayed away as much as possible. He's done well on his own. He's fixed his own breakfast the last 2 mornings and yesterday he fixed a "mock" grilled cheese sandwich for lunch (2 pieces of toast with cheese stuffed between them and then put in the microwave). Emily brought him some chicken strips when she brought me some more ginger ale and she's bringing him spaghetti tonight. I may try scrambled eggs if the crackers settle.

So, keep us in your thoughts. I'll let you know Saturday how things have gone the next few days.