Saturday, January 30, 2010

Safety Segment!!

Well, I’m sure we’ve all heard the horror stories about those nasty old fashioned road flares exploding in someone’s trunk or glove box – not a good thing to have happen! I found the perfect alternative – PowerFlares!! These things are beyond cool - very safe, very dependable, VERY bright, and virtually indestructible. They are shockproof, drive-over proof, waterproof – heck, they even float!!

They obviously cost more than those cruddy old flares, somewhere in the neighborhood of $50 apiece, but I wouldn’t have anything else in my truck. Being on a “budget”, I buy one every now and again and will soon have a complete set of four in the nice little pouch they make for them. I did not get the rechargeable ones, as I have been very very pleased with the performance of those little kick-butt CR123 batteries!

They have a built in set of about ten different blinking patterns, and they come with different color cases and bulbs. I have the red amber combos in orange cases. Oh my goodness, I just looked at their website and they now have cases in two shades of PINK!!!

Everyone should race right out and properly dispose of their old scary flares and buy at the very least, ONE of these awesome Power Flares!!

Watch this short demo – you’ll be impressed, I promise!! Power Flare Demo

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Deja Vu All Over Again...

Arrived home with my patient (again) just after sunset yesterday. He’s pretty darn sore, not quite able to get up by himself, so I’ll be sticking close to home today. Again. Daughter Lisa is coming up to fill in so I can get back to work. And here I was so excited at work last week to finally be working on DECEMBER stuff! Silly me. That's a shot of our driveway in the snow (back when the house was that hideous blue) which explains why, if possible, we wait to call 911!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Another Patient Update...

And you're thinking, "Well, THAT's not a good picture to see!!"

Friday, January 22: Hip patient doing very well, zooming right along on his walker and getting …. SCREEEEEEEECH!! SLAM!! (Insert horrid braking and crash sound here)…

Saturday, 1:30 am: Duke, while on his walker cruising for “snacks” in the kitchen, spots what he thinks is a dropped pill on the floor, and in the interest of saving our Electrolux Hound, Miss Libby, he REACHES OVER TO PICK IT UP. Falls. Yells for help. He does not want to move. Does not want me to call 911 “just yet” as we have the steep driveway-from-hell covered with snow. He’s in excruciating pain, and from the ugly twisty crooked angle of the leg, you know, the one with the nice new hip, I’m guessing he’s dislocated it. (By the way, it wasn’t a pill, it was a speck of carrot said hound had been munching on earlier. I suggested that in the future he should seriously consider just STANDING on the “pill” and yelling for me.)

2:30 am: We had him sitting up, leaning against the frig. Miss Libby wasn’t really sure why we’d all decided to try sleeping on the kitchen floor, but she’s easy and plays along.

3:30 am: I had moved every piece of short furniture we own into the kitchen and he finally managed to lift himself into a sitting position onto a 4” thick block of wood.

4:30 am: He had slid himself over in front of the pantry and has the “good leg” (more about that misnomer later…) propped against an adjacent cupboard.

5:30 am: Wahoo! He finally found the “right” piece of furniture and lifted himself into a low rolling office chair and I wheeled him into the living room to await sunrise and hopefully enough heat to melt the driveway.

6:30 – 8:00 am: I take a nap on the couch. Duke sits in the chair, and using a heavy duty elastic leg strap off of one of my horse blankets (hey, it was fresh out of the wash and handy…) valiantly holds his twisted crooked leg in the least uncomfortable position to wait for the morning thaw. ZZZZzzzzz…

8:00 – 10:00: I shoveled snow off the flat part of the driveway. Fortunately, the rest of our driveway faces south and as steep as it is, it melted and drained very quickly.

10:00 – 11:00 am: Called 911, told them what was going on, no hurry, no lights, and no sirens. Just like last time. Yep, they remembered the drill. “Aunt Nancy” next door would look after the hounds and we were on our way. Start the morphine!

12:00 noon: ER in Bakersfield. Yep, nice shiny brand new hip was dislocated, but because Duke is a big muscular guy they had to locate a “bigger” doc to wrestle hip back into place. By now he’d had enough morphine to drop a large circus mammal.

1:30 pm: Dr. Alade arrived. Wow. Yep, big guy. Could probably lift and twirl Duke over his head with one hand. Very kind and soft-spoken man who is on the Board of Directors for the Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas, and, not that this has anything at all to do with Duke’s hip, but I was totally impressed, is fluent in Korean, Spanish, Tribal African, and Vietnamese. One of those language accomplishments that I cannot even begin to comprehend! Anyway, they discussed the situation and x-rays, and Dr. Alade explained that this would have to be done in OR, and that he’d be knocked out and briefly paralyzed in order to do it. And then, Duke totally surprised the heck outta me and says “I don’t deserve to be knocked out, it was my own stupidity that caused this!” Musta been all that morphine! Since there was nothing left but the waiting for an operating room, I ran out for a quick bite to eat, but couldn’t get any food down – only the coffee worked.

Headed back to hospital where Duke had been moved to pre-op. Margo and Debbie arrived for moral support and to drive me & my truck home when all this was over.

5:00-something? All done, Duke was in recovery, everything went fine, and we hung out until 7:00 or thereabouts until he was in his room, charming the nursing staff, settled in for the night, and very happy that The Guns of Navarone was on TV. The man is lost without his wars and westerns.

We headed out for dinner and then the drive home.

End Saturday report.

Sunday: My, I mean San Joaquin Hospital’s patient was chipper and chatty this morning. Not sure if they’ll turn him loose today or tomorrow. (To whom and how much do I have to pay to make it tomorrow???)

Okay, more on that original left hip – earlier this month we learned from the 1st post-op x-rays that his old left hip replacement has, shall we say, rotated.

Here is a generic x-ray of what a normal replacement should look like.

Kinda shaped like the number “7”. Duke’s old hip does not look like that. His replacement does not resemble the number 7, it resembles the number “l”. As in perfectly straight line, no angle out to the side. Which means that the whole thing has rotated either to the front… or the back… NO WONDER IT HURTS AND THE LEG DOESN’T WORK RIGHT!!! I had wondered why when he walked that leg swung in and then out (or is it out then in?) with each step. Now I know. Yikes. Now what? Well, nothing for now, he has to somehow get this newest one all healed and strong, and I have to accumulate more vacation and sick time, and then we’ll figure out when is the least disruptive time for me to tackle this issue. Trust me; it won’t be in the winter! Not doin’ this again.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Our Big New Year's Eve Party!!

As I mentioned before, I am so not a “night” person, so we were able to celebrate early via satellite TV on an east coast station! With hubby being on all those pain killers, alcohol really didn’t seem like the best plan, so he picked his next favorite beverage… BUTTERMILK!!! No, really, that is his favorite! That goofy hat was a bit much, but he is such a good sport! Then we have our party girl… Miss Libby. She never even knew she was wearing a hat. She’s not much of a night owl either, and by 10:00 pm all of us were tucked in for the night!