Saturday, September 29, 2018

This has been just another week. We've gotten into the groove of the IV hook-ups every 8 hours. The one that gets the hardest is the one at night because we, or at least I have to stay up until it's done. That's the only one I give early. But, Ricky came yesterday and changed the dressing and everything looked good and both lines, they put a double one in flushed and drew back well. He drew some labs to be sent off at the request of Dr. Threlkeld. I won't get a copy and right now I can't access things from Dr. Threlkeld. He's joining the Baptist Group that I can acess, but it hasn't happened yet.

Bill has done fairly well, but he's still rather weak. Kevin came and re-evaluated him for PT. He can do about 3 more weeks before Medicare will start denying it. Since he gets stronger then has a set-back and has to pretty much start over, Kevin has said that they will say that he's not going to get much better than he is, as far as the physical therapy goes and the basics have been give to him to work on alone. That's going to be the hard part, getting him to do it.

I needed to go to Walmart yesterday afternoon and Bill said he wanted to ride with me, just to get out of the house. He stayed in the car and it didn't take me near as long as I thought it would to do what I needed to do. That was the first time he had been out since he got out of the hospital 10 days ago. Just the little walk to the car and back wore him out.

We finally got our rain and it rained all week-end and most of the week. The sun finally came out yesterday and it was pleasant. It's been cooler, into the 50s at night and 60s to 70s in the day. It's supposed to warm up again in the week, but not the 90s we've had. I thought it was a little ironic that last week we had a heat advisory for heat indexes above 105 and this week we had a wind chill. Not much of one but a wind chill none the less.

Bill is supposed to get his picc line removed Friday at Dr. Threlkeld's office. I still haven't heard back from the ENT about an appointment that same day, so will need to follow up on that Monday. I also still need to call the audiologist to see if we can see her the same day we see Dr. Burbeck. Keeping up with all of that is a full time job!

I had ordered Bill one of the OwnZone headphones, so that he can hear the TV without it blaring throughout the house, or so that he can still watch TV while I'm on the phone or talking to someone here. It took a bit, but we finally got them working and the change has been amazing! The volume on the TV is back down and we aren't having to yell at each other to talk over it. I'll be glad when he has his hearing test and see just how much hearing loss he has. But for now, these will work fine.

All for this week. The alarm has gone off for his first infusion of the day, so my quiet time is starting to wind down. He will stay in bed after I connect him, although he doesn't have to for the IV itself. It's still just pretty early! I'll update next week after the Dr. Happy Fall y'all!

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Just a short post this morning. Everything is going well with the IVs. Ricky came yesterday to change the dressing and Kevin came to re-evaluate him for therapy. He suggests we get a cane for him to use in the house. instead of using the walls. I guess when he had him walking he was a little unsteady turning a corner between the foyer and the hallway.

The worst part of the IVs is having to stay up at night. He gets the last one at 10, and it will come off at 11:30. That doesn't sound bad in theory, but we got to bed rather early, usually at 10. Bill can go to bed, but I have to stay awake until it is removed. The first one in the morning isn't bad, as long as the cats still get me up at 5. Kitty has been letting me sleep a little longer so it's been closer to 5:30. The medicine ball has to come to room temperature for an hour, which makes the morning one at about 6:30 instead of 6. But, we're managing to get them all in. 

Bill has fallen into some of his "old" habits since he's been home. While at the hospital he was constantly drinking something, usually tea or water. Since he's been home he's again just sitting and I noticed after he went to bed that he maybe drank 1 entire cup of coffee all day and only enough water to get his pills down. He's also very short of breath walking still. The new tubing with the mouth piece came in and it's not going to be useful. You can't feel any air coming from it. Unless it's a pulse piece, which means you only get the air when you exhale, it's not going to work. I'm going to do a little more research on it. And like I said, it only cost $5.95, so not out a lot of money. It also has a place to attach something for carbon dioxide, why I don't know.

The rain arrived some time after 3 this morning and it is only in the mid 60s! So, it's going to feel like fall today, for the first day of fall. I'll have to get my pumpkin put on the front door.

This is longer than I thought it would be! And another thought flitted through my brain while I was writing this, but for the life of me I can't remember it. Oh well, a topic for next week! Enjoy the first day of fall. There are a lot of festivals going on this week-end. We're going to sit here and watch the rain!

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Bill is home! We got home about 7:30 last night. Ricky, the home health nurse called on the way home and said he would come about 8:30 to make sure that I could do the IV infusion. They are actually really easy. The medicine is in a ball so there are no pumps to deal with, it works like a vacuum. When the line is attached and opened, the ball collapses as the medicine flows through. It takes about 90 minutes and is done every 8 hours. 

The person who ordered his regular meds sent them to the wrong pharmacy so we won't get most of them for a week, and our insurance has been trying to contact the dr. about 1 of them. Another needs prior authorization, so it will probably be delayed also. If only 2 questions had been asked to me, this could have been avoided. Fortunately they were able to get the 2 most important ones sent to our local pharmacy for a weeks worth, so we'll be good there.

Dr. Threlkeld's office called this morning to check on Bill and we have an appointment the day of his last infusion. They are going to do some labs that day and remove the picc line, the home health nurse can't do it. If he still needs another IV they will do it there in the office. I need to set up an appointment with the ENT for around that time also. I don't know if I should do it the same day because we don't know how long the other appointment will last, and she wants him to be off all of the antibiotics when we see her.

Bill still can't hear out of his right ear. Hopefully it will clear soon. Then we can get the appointment with the audiologist for a more comprehensive hearing test. She said that she will be able to squeeze us in any time. We have an appointment with Dr. Burbeck on the 11th, so I'll see if we can get in on that day. Those 2 offices are right across the street from each other.

The cats, or at least Cat, was very glad to see Bill and she's started to meow again. I've found several places of vomit in the house and one of them had a hair ball in it so I think that's what was bothering her all along. Most of the vomit has just been liquid so easy to wipe up. I have to wash one of the throws again and there's a spot on the couch, but it should come out with just warm water.

I wish I could say that we've spent a quiet day here at home. Bill has but I've had lots of places to go, and I had to go to Walmart twice. I bought a small 3 drawer cabinet on wheels to hold all of the medical supplies that came with the IVs. The balls themselves have to be refrigerated, but there are saline syringes and heparin syringes and alcohol pads and an emergency epi-pen and then some supplies that Ricky will need to change the dressing. The first one I bought only had 3 wheels included so had to take it back. But, got it filled and since it has wheels I can move it around. After the IVs are done it can be used for lots of other things, so for $10 it's a good investment. I also had to get a few groceries and of course the meds.

It's supposed to rain tomorrow and most of the week-end so all of the cleaning, laundry and paperwork can be done then. We were supposed to go to our great-grandson's first birthday party but I don't think we're going to attempt it. It's too risky for Bill to be out among people right now. I hate that we have to miss it, but such is life.

We got to meet Brianna's new boyfriend last night and he's a very nice guy. He's also quite taken with Bri and she is with him too. They are just starting their relationship but they've already discussed what they are wanting out of life. They're still pretty young, only 19 and 20 so they have lots of time to get to know each other.

This will probably be the last daily post. I don't know if I'll post anything this Saturday or not, just check-in to see. We're going to go back to trying to live as normal a life as possible. Have a good week-end!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

It's getting closer! We saw every dr. except the one we needed to see, the one who holds the discharge decision in his hands!

I got to the hospital a little earlier yesterday. I needed to make a Walmart run for some sinus meds yesterday so left early. When I got to the hospital, Bill was in his chair, his bed had been freshly made and he had eaten his breakfast. He said he had had a good night but that his right ear was completely deaf. I think the fluid had moved around with a nose blow. At one point I told him that he had to stop talking so loud. I knew it was just because he couldn't hear himself, but he was practically yelling.

He had physical therapy and he still got a short of breath after walking, but recovered after a minute or two. He would recover faster if he would just quit talking! They did some standing exercises also. He didn't see occupational therapy, but he doesn't need help dressing or self-care so they may not come back as often.

Cardiology is satisfied and is just waiting for Dr. Threlkeld to say that he can be discharged from his standpoint.

The ENT dr. came in and when she heard that he couldn't hear because of the fluid, she said she wished she had gone ahead and scheduled the procedure to clear his sinuses when it was first mentioned. She checked with cardiology and he would have to be off his aspirin for 5 days before the procedure which would put it into next week. She then consulted with Dr. Threlkeld and they agreed that they would continue with the nasal sprays and antibiotics and after all the antibiotics are finished, then we would see her and she would do the procedure as an outpatient, if necessary. 

As I had expected, he had not gotten his sprays or inhalers. I gave him the inhalers and asked his nurse about the sprays. She said she had offered them to him and he said he didn't need them. So, I told him he had to use them and I told the nurse she may need to just use them which is what Brian did over the week-end.

Dr. Fox came in and said that he sounded better. When I told him that we already knew that he would be going home with IV antibiotics, he said that as far as he was concerned, whenever Dr. Threlkeld gave the OK to discharge, it was fine with him.

So, it looks like everyone has signed off....except for Dr. Threlkeld! And, he hadn't come in as of 5:30 last night when I left. Of all the days for him not to come in! Anyway, I don't know how long it will take them to contact Home Health to get the IV supplies set up for delivery and all of that. But, it's getting closer. I would imagine by the end of the week he'll be home, unless there is some kind of set-back. I've already made sure the calendar is up to date with appointments already scheduled so there won't be any conflicts when they start making the follow-up appointments.

So, it was another semi-eventful day. As I was on my way home, I rounded a curve and there was the biggest, most beautiful rainbow I have ever seen, right in front of me, and not a sign that it had rained. I have never seen one as bright as this was, or as wide. It was absolutely gorgeous! I then got a few sprinkles on the windshield and could see out in the fields that there was a little shower. I was actually sad when the rainbow started to fade. There were some places after that that I could tell that it had rained, but other than a few sprinkles, there was not rain during the drive.

That's it as far as yesterday went, baby steps in the process of getting to come home. Bill is really anxious to get home, and I'm anxious about him being home! I'm not anxious about the IVs after talking to Mary-Rose about them. I'm more anxious that he will fall, or get so winded that he has a panic attack.

Oh! I almost forgot! I found online that they make oxygen tubing that has the nasal cannula, but coming off of the nose piece is a prong, like a big J or hook that fits into the mouth, so it doesn't matter if the patient is a mouth breather or not, oxygen will be delivered! It was only 5.95, so I ordered 2 of them. I paid more for the shipping and they should arrive Friday! If that works and is not too uncomfortable for him to wear, that could be a life changer for him! Let's keep everything crossed that it works!

OK, now I'm really done. See you after today's adventures!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Good Morning!  I came home early with a really bad headache. It's still trying to linger some but hopefully the early meds will keep it at bay. I'm also copying this from an email I sent out to some family members so it may have other info in it, although I'm trying to edit as I go.

Yesterday was eventful! Bill said that "some girl" came in before I got there. He didn't know who she was and I'm suspecting it may have been the ENT. When I walked in the door he was in the middle of a hearing test. The person I thought was just a technician was actually the audiologist. She suspects, and wants to retest in a month after the fluid in his ears is gone, that he actually has pretty profound hearing loss in his right ear and moderate loss in his left. He and I had recently talked that he needed to get his hearing checked. She works out of the hospital and she said that any time we are down there for appointments, if an appointment is not scheduled at discharge, just to call her directly and she will squeeze us in, she does it all the time. She also said that since he is a veteran, if we then go through the VA, the hearing aids will be free. But, you've heard the horror stories about dealing with the VA and a lot of them are true. So, we'll also look at the options she has.

As soon as that was over occupational therapy came in and worked with him, standing and then reaching up and out and down. While he was standing, Dr. Threlkeld came in and had a listen. He said that nothing is growing still, and if something did grow, they were using the right antibiotic and it was killed. He said that's a good sign and he will only need to be on home antibiotics 2-3 weeks instead of the usual 6 weeks. 

Next came cardiology and since they are just monitoring meds for the most part, there wasn't a lot to discuss there. She said the heart sounds good and all tests indicate that there are no problems in that direction.

Physical therapy arrived shortly after that and his lunch came 30 minutes early, right after they walked in the door. So far all of this took place between 9 and 11:30! PT wasn't happy with the oxygen level they were getting, he was only at 86% and Bill wasn't happy that his lunch, which was a huge portion of lasagna, was going to get cold. So, PT said they would come back so that he could eat. They did talk to his nurse and came in and upped his oxygen from 3 to 5.

Shortly after lunch an associate of the lung doctors came in and made note of the O2 change and said he would tell Dr. Fox to come by. When he came in he listened to him for 2 seconds, said that he was still hearing crackles, and said he would see him tomorrow. I don't know if he is afraid of questions that he might get, thinking that he couldn't answer them or if that is just his nature, but his bedside manner and dealing with family members/caregivers leaves a lot to be desired.

Physical therapy came back and he did the exercises he's been doing here at home with home health. They only walked in the room instead of the hall. His O2 still dropped into the 80s but after resting for a minute or 2, if he would keep his mouth shut and quit talking, the level would go back up.

That's about when my headache hit and nothing was helping. I thought it was because I had switched back to drinking water and needed the caffeine, but a coke didn't help and neither did the Tylenol. I finally told Bill about 3:30 I needed to go home or I wouldn't be able to drive later. I got home right at 5 and just sat. I did eat although nothing sounded good, or even tasted good, but I did eat, and kept it down. Not even the Cubs game helped. I'm also stuffy this morning. The air is stagnant again and farmers are burning fields so I've been driving through all that smoke. Even with the car on recirculate the smell gets in. It was really heavy yesterday coming home, enough to need headlights. So dangerous to cover the interstate like that.

I've got to check this morning and make sure the nurses are administering his nasal sprays. He won't remember to do it unless they give them to him. Right now they are just on his tray table and he doesn't remember when I ask if he used them or not, so I'm going to tell them they need to do it. I suspect he's not been getting his inhalers, even though they are also on his table and they are listed in his medications. So, another task for me this morning.

There's still no time table for discharge and that's getting really discouraging for him. He feels better and wants to be home, but he still can't walk as far as the bathroom or bedroom without getting winded. He also doesn't understand that when his oxygen drops so low, he could pass out with no warning and who knows what would happen then. So, we'll see if they continue to work with him on building on strength.

That's about it. You all know that in some way, shape or form, I'll keep you all updated.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Yesterday we had a breakthrough...of sorts. More on that later, we'll start at the beginning.

I got to the hospital at the usual time and Bill told me that a dr. had already been in. He couldn't remember which one, only that he was tall. Brian the nurse and I decided that it was Dr. Threlkeld, even though Brian hadn't seen him on the unit. Maybe he was going to try to get to a church service, but most drs. don't round at 9:30 Sunday morning! And, I didn't seem him all day, so it must have been.

The cardiology practitioner came in and said that some of the cultures had come in and Dr. Threlkeld might make some changes to meds. She said he sounded good (compare to Dr. Fox saying he heard every bad sound possible the day before) and maybe he could go home in a couple of days (also compare to Dr. Fox saying ain't happening any time soon).

We asked Brian if he could take a walk, even if he didn't walk but had a ride in a wheelchair to the end of the unit to look out the window. His view is of a rooftop and another wing of the hospital. Brian thought that was a good idea.

I got Bill's razor out and he shaved, again using the trimmer first. But he did a really good job. Then we put on a clean T-shirt and got him cleaned up a little.

The ENT came in after lunch and she's another one that I like. I don't remember her name. She said that his CT scans weren't too different when she compared them, but this latest one did show some infection, and the swabs she took bore that out. She also checked his ears and he does have fluid in both. The left is not as bad as the right, which explains somewhat why he can't hear. Right now she is content to treat with nasal sprays to see if that clears it up. If not, there is a minor surgical procedure that she can perform that involves a balloon. I'm not really clear on it but I think the balloon goes in through the nostril and is inflated to keep the sinus open and then it is rinsed out. She's reluctant to do that right now as it does require some sedation. But, if the sprays don't work that will be the next step.

We didn't see Dr. Fox. Well, let me clarify that. I saw him walk by the room twice, once coming into the unit and once going out. He looked in the room both times and kept walking. I just don't like that man! He was also keeping his assistant, whether he's a resident or nurse practitioner or just another dr. from the practice about 4 paces behind him.

Now for the breakthrough part. Brian brought in a wheelchair and a portable oxygen tank with a mask to use. We had talked it over and thought that it might be easier for him to use since he breathes through his nose. That actually turned out to be a big mistake! He didn't even make it to the door of his room and he was having a panic attack that he couldn't breathe. We sat him down and showed him that the O2 was on full blast and he just had to breathe though his mouth if he wanted, just breathe however he wanted. Nothing worked to calm him down except to put the nasal cannula back on. Once his O2 got to an acceptable level, which is 90 and above, he started walking again. I could watch his oximeter since I was behind him and it was steadily dropping, but Brian said he could hear him take big deep breaths through his nose. Now, Bill's room is the first one as you come onto the unit, and I don't know just how many rooms there are but he walked the entire length of the unit which is a pretty good length. When he said down in the chair his O2 was 80 and he asked Brian if that was good and Brian said that it was pretty bad, that 90 and above was what it needed to be. So, he sat and just breathed and it came up, faster than I thought it would without a lot of prodding. 

While we were sitting there, Em, Bryan and McKenna came to visit! I knew they were coming but hadn't told Bill. They brought him a goody bag of all sorts of things he really shouldn't eat, but Brian said they would just adjust his insulin. And I can tell Bill's feeling better because he's wanting to snack some, whether out of boredom or actually being hungry I don't know. They stayed about an hour or so and I could tell that Bill was getting tired.

Up until the walk he had made the comment that the days were getting longer, meaning of course that it was the same day after day with no variation. And I agreed, they are seeming longer for me too. 

I have still been debating on taking Kitty to the vet, but she seems somewhat better this morning and when I got home. She's still not meowing but she's been playing a little with her toys and she's still eating and using the bathroom. She's "chirping" more, and that's how feral cats communicate instead of meows. Those are saved for people. The kitten has just started to meow some and I'm wondering if, since they have been alone so much lately that she's not reverting to a more primal level with him. Maybe when Bill gets home she'll become our old Kitty.

That's it for this one. It's time for more coffee, blood pressure and feeding the outside cats. Well, not quite time for that. I don't like going out there in the dark incase there are extra critters out there. Hopefully today will be a good day and we'll get some more answers.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

I tried twice last night to update this and got interrupted each time. So I guess update time will be 5:30 in the morning when the only thing that will bother me is the cats fighting. But, Kitty isn't feeling well so she's staying away from Mousie most of the time.

Yesterday was a boring day. The only dr. to round early was the ENT and I missed him. I got to the hospital at 9:30 and he had been and gone. The cardiology nurse came a little after lunch and it was a new one. Cindy is on vacation this week. We didn't see anyone else until about 4 and that was Dr. Fox the pulmonologist. I just do not like him, and I don't say that about many people. He's very brusque and blunt, and blunt has it's place, but not in a hospital room with an elderly patient. Bill asked when he could go home and Dr. Fox answered with "Ain't happening any time soon" and walked out the door. I was stunned! No explanation as to why he had that opinion (I know why, but Bill doesn't understand), just the statement. Of course he only spends about 3 minutes in the room anyway.

Dr. Edwards, the cardiologist, finally came in right before I left. This was the first time in the last 2 admissions that we've met him, even So today I'm going to talk to whatever nurse he has, hopefully Marcus or Brian, and see if they will walk him. I would even be happy if they got a wheelchair and let him go to the end of the hall and look out the window at something other than a rooftop and another wing of the hospital!

Bill's son Harris suggested last night that we try to compromise with Bill a little. If he wants to walk, he needs to use a mask instead of the cannula. Since he breathes through his mouth so much the cannula doesn't do much good. But, the last time we tried a mask here at home he threw it across the room, so I don't know. But again, if it means he can leave the room, maybe he will consider it.

Dr. Fox did say yesterday that he heard every bad sound in his lungs that you could hear, yet the day before he was moving air well and the congestion we were hearing when he coughed sounded worse than the lungs. So, I don't know what's going on there. Maybe since he stayed in bed all day Friday and was still in bed Saturday when I got there it has built back up in his lungs.

I think Emily, Bryan and McKenna are coming down today, or at least Em and McKenna. She asked if visitors would help and I told her he's been asking if anyone was coming. So they got him a little gift basket of things I think he can have with no problem and are coming down after church. Bryan is going to come and get the thunderbird and clean it up and have the tires looked at. There are some flat spots in them, but his brother-in-law thinks that they will round up as it's driven and he's a mechanic who works for an auto repair shop.

That's about it. Other than the complaints about the drs., it was a very boring day and will probably be just as boring today. I am going to make him get up and cleaned up today since he will have visitors. He has clean pajamas to wear and his electric razor is there and he can wash up a little to be presentable for his visitors. I'll let you know how today goes!

Saturday, September 15, 2018

I was so busy on the phone when I got home last night I didn't even unpack my laptop until this morning. I feel totally exhausted this morning and would really like to stay home. But I hate missing when the drs. round and I know Bill gets lonely. Maybe after some coffee I'll perk up.

Yesterday turned into an eventful day. One of our favorite nurses was assigned to Bill and he is so nice and good. He had a student shadowing him and he was very patient with her. I know he's still going to school but I don't know if he's studying to be a nurse practitioner or just getting a lesser degree.

Bill's IV site bit the dust yesterday. They had been using the one put in at the emergency room here, so it lasted quite a while. They were trying to get another site and the veins kept blowing and I told Marcus that they had needed to use a midline the last time. So he called the dr. and got the paperwork ready, and then the dr. called and said to do a picc line instead because he would be going home with IV antibiotics. So, more signatures and then had to wait for the speciality nurse. Since this is a sterile procedure, I was surprised that she let me stay in the room. She just gave me a mask and proceeded to insert the line. Bill doesn't really understand what this line is and we finally told him it's just a souped up IV and that worked. When she was finished he was worried that he would catch it on everything. They used one with a double port. Anyway, Mary-Rose is also a picc line specialist and she was texting me different things during the procedure. She told me there is a mesh sleeve that can be put over it to keep it from just dangling. I went over to the bed to show him on his arm and he was bleeding all over the place. I got the nurse, and it was the student who came, Marcus was busy elsewhere, and wrapped it in towels and then called the picc group. The nurse who came to look at it said that it was OK. The catheter they use to insert the line is of course bigger than the line and it hadn't clotted well enough yet. The student asked about changing the bandage, (one of those window ones) and the picc nurse said that it needed to stay at least 24 hours or it would just pull the clot loose again. It looks nasty but it wasn't bleeding anymore. However, there was blood all over his bed and his t shirt and pajama pants, so new clothes today. When I talked to him last night they still hadn't changed his bedding, even though he had been taken to the bathroom so they could see the blood everywhere. So that will be one of the first things to request done when I get there today.

Bill really wants to come home. He even asked Dr. Threlkeld when and he just said that we were on the right track but not there yet.  He had asked for the ENT consult and said that should tell us more. Then the young lung dr. came in that I liked and listened and looked and he was very interested to know they were now going the ENT route also and thanked me for giving him that information. Dr. Fox, the lung dr. I don't really like, came in shortly after that and said that Bill was moving air well and didn't sound as junky as he had. He actually said he sounded better than Bill's coughing indicated. So I think Bill has moved some of the junk to his upper airways now and he just can't cough hard enough to expel it.

I decided to come home then to get to the bank and it was a bad traffic time, so I took the extra hour and drove through town. Even there was a lot of traffic and stop lights, it was actually a little relaxing than trying to get onto the highway, since I have to immediately merge 4 lanes to the left, while a lot of that traffic is trying to merge 4 lanes to the right to go to Nashville. It will be easier this morning since it's the week-end, but I don't know if they are still closing the highway for construction and I will have to take the detour.

Bill called last night and said another dr. came in after I left and cleaned his nose, so I'm thinking it was the ENT and he was not only cleaning his nose but taking some samples He said it felt really weird.

Bill's sats still drop when he moves, but the lung drs. said they don't really care how low they drop as long as he recovers quickly. But that's not what happens. He doesn't recover quickly and when it drops so low he can't breathe so he panics and just gasps for air. That's a total normal reaction for anyone, but it just makes it that much harder on him. I don't want him to come home if he still can't walk to the bathroom or bedroom without get winded, or at least as winded.

So, we still have lots of questions, and a lot of waiting to do. I need to get the main home health number to give to them to set up the home IVs. They will show me how to do them and I always have Mary-Rose to fall back on by phone if necessary. Of course any of the nurses from Em's office would be glad to come and do it, but none of them will want to come in the middle of the night. Right now the meds run for 30 minutes every 6 hours. There will be some broken sleep for a time. Marcus, the nurse, thought that he would be on them for about 6 weeks. That's right about the time we head to Mayo, which should make for an interesting trip. I'll have to really look at the calendar. I don't know if Memphis has consulted with Mayo so I need to call Stephanie and see. 

I think I've covered the highlights of everything. It seems like Cat is getting sick again. I would like to stay home and take her to the vet this morning but they are so busy on Saturday mornings that I wouldn't be able to leave for the hospital until noon. So, I'll just watch her. It could be nothing too, just showing her displeasure of me not being her the last few days.

Better get busy. I still have the outside cats to feed, the alarm sensor for the garage door is not answering its ping from the company so it needs taken care of, I need to put trash bags and some money out for Ryan. He's coming to trim the hedges. When he came last week-end it was too wet to trim. And then it will be time to gather things together and head to the hospital.

Oh, I stopped and picked up some ribs last night. They are about my favorite thing to eat and the last time I tried I just couldn't get them down. Last night...success! I still ate smaller bites and ate very slowly, but they went down with no problem! Lunch yesterday was a little more difficult. I had chosen something that couldn't easily be eaten in small bites and I made the mistake of putting mustard on it. The mustard burned and although the food went down fine it was a little painful, in a different way. Breakfast was wonderful, so I think that just taking things slowly, even though I can eat anything I want, will do the trick.

OK, I'm done for now. Another update either tonight or in the morning.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

It has taken me an hour to get my computer up and running. I don't know just what the problem is, but it seems like it wants to stay in an endless loop of something.

We finally saw the drs. yesterday. They sucked a bunch of junk out of his lungs again and this time they could tell the infection. There was a lot of pus. One young dr. explained that it was just a waiting game, waiting for the culture to grow and then testing different antibiotics to see which one killed it. He's still coughing a lot and his lower back muscles are very sore.

Dr. Threlkeld said that they too are waiting to see what the cultures show but is still treating with the same antibiotic as before. He said maybe he just needed to be on it longer than he thought. Emily had wanted to know if the recurrence could be because of his nose either draining so much or staying so congested and he thought that was a great possibility. So today while I was gone, they did a CT of his sinuses and it showed chronic sinusitis and they were all full. So we are probably going to have an ENT consult. He's feeling better and getting a little cranky again. I threatened to go home with Emily if he didn't straighten up and all of a sudden the evil Bill was gone and the good Bill had returned.

When Caleb, his aide today got him to the bathroom he got him a basin of water and had him bathe as much of himself as he could while he made up his bed and then brought me some bedding. He then showed me where the nutrition room was with coffee and a fridge with juice that we could use any time.

Bill really wants to come home, but his sats are still dropping when he stands up, although today they didn't drop as low. He had gotten into a little distress yesterday from all the coughing and he hasn't done that today.

My procedure was a success! He was able to dilate the bottom of my esophagus to normal size and he told Emily that the cartilage was breaking apart while he was doing it, so he doesn't think it will grow back. But, he said if it does, we'll just repeat the procedure. My throat is a little sore and I'm on soft foods for today but can eat anything I want tomorrow. I'm still really tired and took a good little nap this afternoon. I also have a lingering headache which is probably a combination of bad sleep, the anesthesia, and being under caffeinated. It started hurting before the procedure so I know it was no caffeine, but it has stayed around all day. I've taken all the Tylenol I had with me and I'm sipping on a watered down diet coke. I'll make up my bed before long and get some sleep.

I told Bill I will probably leave pretty early tomorrow to replenish my cash account and get some good sleep at home. They said today that if I were to try to drive today and get stopped I would be considered legally drunk. I could have gone home with Emily if I had wanted and someone would have brought me back tomorrow to get my car, but I think I'll be fine here. I also think Bill will like it that I'm staying.

We've had some bad news today. A woman who was in my sister's class at school passed away from breast cancer, a dear friend has been diagnosed with lung cancer and is having the lower lobe of his lung removed tomorrow, and one of the kids cousins has a cancerous brain tumor that has come back and Emily just told me that he is deteriorating rapidly and is being admitted to the hospital hoping they can get him stabilized to start his treatment.

There you have it, you're all caught up. Hopefully this machine will let me post this. It's still acting very strange. I'll update again tomorrow, but since it's so hard to do it at the hospital, it may wait until I get home. Goodnight!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Bill had his bronchoscopy yesterday morning and all I know is....he survived. He was the 1st one of the day at 7:30. As soon as they left the room with him I ran to the cafeteria for breakfast and wasn't gone 15 minutes. He came back to the room at 9:15 and that's all I know. I didn't get a phone call, from either the dr. or the nurse and I stayed at the hospital until 6 last night and we never saw a dr. The only person we saw was the nurse practitioner from the cardiology group.

Bill does feel somewhat better, although he is very weak. When he got up to use the bathroom, with help from 2 pretty good size guys, he was very weak and got very short of breath again just walking the 10 steps to the bathroom and then the same 10 steps back. He was still doing quite a bit of coughing but that is normal for after this, to clear the saline they use to rinse the lungs.

He's back on the same antibiotic as before, so I don't know if that is just a precaution, thinking that it is the same bacteria or if that culture had come back already. There are so many questions! His oldest daughter, Mary-Rose who is a nurse, thinks that he will probably, or should probably, come home with a picc line and at home antibiotics. I've been against that, just out of fear on my part, but after talking to our home health people, I'm pretty sure I can probably do it. And, any of the nurses from Em's office would be glad to come and do it, I'm sure. I talked to our home health nurse Ricky yesterday and he said to call him if we needed them.

Bill called me on my way home. We had had a little tiff, he was turning into the evil Bill and I finally told him I didn't know if I was coming today or not if he was going to act that way. Anyway he apologized for his attitude, and I apologized for mine. I know I was just tired and frustrated. I had been up since 4:15 and it was after 6, with nothing to really show for the long day. And he's just tired of being sick. I told him if a dr. came in to write down in the back of his puzzle book what they said and reminded him that he can't go home before Friday because of my procedure tomorrow. Whether he remembers or not, I guess I'll find out when I get there this morning.

I don't know if I'm taking my laptop today or not. If I have it I can always update at the hotel tonight and after the procedure Thursday. Like I said yesterday, I've not tried to update this using my phone and I don't know how it would go.

So, there you have it. I need to get busy and get my suitcase packed and gather my paperwork for tomorrow. There aren't a lot of special instructions, mostly about my medications. I don't know if I can get 1 pill down with only 2 tsps. of water, but that's all I'm allowed tomorrow morning, just my blood pressure medicine. If I don't take this, it will be Friday probably before there are any updates.

OK, I've to get busy. The kitten is into something he shouldn't be. Kitten/cat stories are going to have to wait for another time. Wish me luck tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

This may be a very short, fast post this morning. I've got to leave in 10 minutes.

Bill is back in the hospital. He really deteriorated over the week-end, with his O2 sats dropping into the 70s when he walked and stood. We had made a deal that he would go to the emergency room in Memphis yesterday anyway, but he told me when I woke him that he needed to go to the hospital. He was burning up with fever and very weak. Emily came to help me get him to the car and he could only make it to the foyer. So, we called 911 and he was taken to our local er.

One of my good friends is the receptionist there now and it was so nice to deal with someone I knew. The dr. was new and young, but very nice and thorough, and understood that he needed to go to Memphis. They only did a few tests before shipping him, although we were there almost all morning.

So, he's back in the transplant unit and this morning they are doing another bronchoscopy to see why it keeps recurring and what may be growing. They were all dismayed that he had only be home 10 days, so maybe this time they will keep him until he's completely well from this.

I'm still having my procedure Thursday, so I'm insisting they keep him until at least Friday when I'll be able to drive again. Emily is coming tomorrow after work to stay with me and be my driver.

Gotta go, his procedure is scheduled for 7:30. I'm not taking my computer so I don't know if this will get updated before I come home tonight or not. I've never tried to do it on my phone so I'm not sure how it will go.

Until later..

Saturday, September 8, 2018

It's going to be a long day! Hopefully it gets better as it goes. I had this post about 1/2 way done when it disappeared, all but the first sentence! Oh well, now if I can just remember what I had written!

My body rebelled over the week-end and I felt horrible for a few hours, headache a stomach issues. I think it was just telling me that enough is enough and to quit pushing! My blood pressure has been up again and then I realized that I had stopped drinking water and was back to coffee and diet coke. It was the highest yesterday morning and when I checked it again because my cheeks were tingling, it was perfectly normal! 

The home health nurse came Sunday afternoon to evaluate Bill and since there are no orders for nursing or shots or IVs, he won't come back unless something changes.

Bill did well for most of the week. He was up and dressed in the mornings earlier than usual and his appetite has returned. He had gotten down to 147 at the hospital and was up to 152 on Sunday, and it was not fluid. He was eating everything in sight. A lot of it was empty calories, but he was eating! He had started eating well at the hospital when he started feeling better and it continued through the first part of the week.

Tuesday he was re-evaluated for physical therapy and was approved for 4 more weeks. Even though the exercises seem simple enough, Tammy and I can both tell when he gets tired.

Wednesday we followed up with our regular dr. and Amy said that his white count was high again, 22. It was 16 when he was discharged and 12 when he was admitted, so we were going the wrong way. Connie was going to check with the Infectious Disease dr. to see what he suggested. He has also been complaining that one of his ears was stopped up so both were checked and completely blocked with wax. So both were washed out and we got some antibiotic drops. One still fills up when he sits up but the other seems fine. The one that still bothers him gave Amy trouble getting the water to get past the wax. We went out to eat for lunch after the appointment and it was the first time out since my birthday. We went to a favorite little restaurant and he ordered his usual philly cheese steak sandwich and ate every bit of it, and they are pretty big.

Thursday he didn't feel as well and had no appetite. I called the office and Connie was out until Tuesday I think and no one knew if she had called Dr Threlkeld or not. So, yesterday morning I called and talked to Janet one of the nurse practitioners. She said she would look over his record and talk to Dr. Threlkeld and get back to us. Tammy came for therapy and said that Bill looked better and she worked him pretty hard for 45 minutes. Not only did they do his sitting exercises, she walked him some, but his O2 dropped to the mid 80s, which isn't good. Janet called back and said Dr. Threlkeld had given 2 options, go back to Memphis ER for a chest xray, or get one locally and have the report sent to them. So, we went back to the dr. office and got that and bloodwork done. We had to see the dr. we don't like and he just said, because his white count was 22 that he needed to go to the hospital again. Bill pretty much refused to do that and the rest of the day just went to hell (sorry Mom). Bill acted like there was nothing wrong and couldn't understand why I was in such a bad mood and that I better be out of it by the time supper was finished cooking! I finally went to the gas station, mainly to have a good cry.

He said he is tired of drs. and hospitals (I know this and I am too) yet he also says he wants to feel better so he can do things, but he doesn't want to do what it will take to get to that place. We finally came to a compromise, and if he dies over the week-end it will be because of my decision, but so be it. I told him that we would wait through the week-end. The weather is crappy anyway due to the remnants of Gordon and a front moving through so we are getting heavy rain all week-end. We are getting bloodwork done again Monday morning and if his white count is still high, we will go to Memphis, no questions or complaining. He agreed to that.

When I told Emily the decision, she set him up for a repeat CBC for Monday morning so that we can see what his white count is. We then started talking about his results from to day and his ears. His white count Wednesday was actually 25, not 22, so it has gone down. We think it is from the ear drops, which are cipro based. His right ear is still bothering him so we are going to get it looked at Tuesday if we are not in Memphis. She and I are now thinking that that he has a severe sinus infection and it is showing itself in other ways now that his ears are clear. I have some amoxicillin and started giving him some of it last night. I'm only going to give him 1 a day instead of 2 since he's also got the ear drops. If his white count is coming down, we'll stay home, but if it is 22 or more off to Memphis we will go.

He's doing a lot of coughing this morning again. It started about 4:30. It sounds like it's all bronchial located and not deep into his lungs, and very wet sounding. I'll see if he wants some cough, although it will make him sleep...we have the good kind!

Ryan is coming over today to do some work for us. He was going to trim the hedges and clean the gutters but it's still raining. He may be able to do the gutters, but not the hedges. Wouldn't be a good idea with electric trimmers in the rain. But I also need a piece of furniture moved and where I want to put it, it will have to be lifted so I told him to bring muscle. He's bringing Kayden to help him, and probably Kiyann too so that he can spend some time with them. His situation is not good, not only in the job department but other ways, so he's needing to get away. I think he and Em are going to spend a little brother/sister time together while he's here by himself.

So, that's our week. And to top everything off, we have a sick cat! She's got what every human in the area has...a cold or sinus infection or allergies. The kitten got his first shots this week, too. They still aren't really getting along, although it's a little better. 

Oh, our neighbors moved out last week-end and left their animals here for several days. They finally came and got the adult dog, but left the puppy. At least he's loose. I see him every afternoon waiting for them. Yesterday it was early enough that I called Animal Control, although I just had to leave a message. I took him some smoked sausage to eat, but he was gone when I got back outside. He's a cute little pit mix. I think I'm also going to call the landlord. If the inside looks anything like the trashed outside (broken window) and the backyard is a mess from the animals, he won't be happy.

OK, now I'm done. I'll let you know what happens Monday!