Sunday, March 28, 2010
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Oh, look! Another hospital story!! Let’s see…where’d I leave off on this series… oh yeah, March 10th with the pain management appt… so, on Monday night I was bandaging Duke’s foot and it looked WAY worse, as in red, infected, and downright scary. Tuesday morning Margo drove us over to Santa Barbara as I was a complete basket case with intermittent pounding heart and less than normal breathing issues. Duke's primary care doctor sent him packing across the street to the Cottage Hospital emergency room. They started IV’s to pump him full of antibiotics, and after about an hour or so, Duke, being the “fun” patient, asked the nurse “could I get a grilled cheese sandwich?” Huh? Who knew you could do that in the Emergency Room? Well, apparently you can, he did, and he got it! Finally got him into a room, Margo and I hit the road, and we were home by about 1:30 Wednesday morning. Lisa drove up that day and checked into a hotel, I still had to get myself recuperated and organized, and I headed back over on Thursday. I stopped by my favorite computer expert on the way through Bakersfield and he spent a couple hours getting my new netbook all properly set up. Very happy with it, one of my smarter purchases! So nice to be away from home and still in touch with everyone and everything, and not on a dinky little phone screen! Duke had offered to get me an iPhone and I declined ‘cause there’s just not a single thing I want to do on a screen that small.
Anyway, Duke was in non-stop vomiting mode Tuesday night and all day Wednesday, but they finally got that under control. Now he’s in leg spasm hell. Thought they were easing up, but they're every 12-15 seconds and they can't seem to get them under control. During the couple days I was there, they asked me, "has he tried Ativan? Baclofen? Celebrex? Cymbalta? Darvocet? Dilaudid? Flexeril? Lidocaine? Lyrica? Neurontin? OxyContin? Paxil? Ryzolt? Savella? Skelaxin? Valium? Zanaflex?" Sigh. Yes, yes, yes to all and no they didn't work, or not for very long. Hence, the referral to the epidural approach and possible subsequent implant, which we'll have to postpone until he's off the antibiotics. I should be bringing him home on Tuesday, if he can walk, which is scary, because right now he can't walk on that left foot, and the right leg is no sure thing either because of the new twice-dislocated hip which is missing LOTS of physical therapy appointments! Sure glad I bought that nice new wheelchair on eBay… and I still plan on dragging him down to Camp Pendleton for our “sisters and misters” camping trip. Have I mentioned that I need a vacation??? We have, in addition to the campsite, reserved a two-bedroom handicapped-equipped cottage right on the beach, so we should be MORE than good to go, right?? Don’t be surprised if you hear a Sig Alert about a crazy woman headed south on the I-5 hauling a beat up old travel trailer and gurney with some poor retired Marine duct taped to it… there’s a visual for you!
You can just barely see the ocean through the coastal fog... very low between the trees... honest, it's there!
Lisa and I did get out for a break on Friday – went down and walked along the beach, the pier, and then had Clam Chowder and Fish and Chips at Brophy’s.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
And then there's this day! I can’t keep track. One day it’s warm and sunny, the next it’s snowing, raining, blowing… I give up! At least the house is a nice color now… oh look, a little travel trailer in the yard! Nope, I do NOT drive down that in the snow!
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Well, I feel like I’m finally coming up for air. Hubby is doing really well - he’s done with physical therapy, down to a minimum of painkillers, and this week he washed dishes and spent a couple afternoons outside (yes, on his walker) installing new locksets on our front door and putting together the cart for his new welder that just arrived – a Millermatic 211 for anyone that’s interested! This welder does just about everything, hopefully replacing the stable of single-purpose welders he has. It will be nice to be able to repair aluminum window and door frames on these trailers!
I’m anxious to get working on our little trailer, but I’ve so much other stuff to catch up on that I’m not sure when that’s going to happen. On top of all the “routine” stuff that needs doing, I still need to paint our front, back, and garage doors, we have decorative frames to make and paint for the three attic vents, and we’re going to make those cool looking “storm window” summer shade screens for all the windows on the south side of the house, and sometime this summer I need to paint the shed to match the house.
Tuesday, March 2nd 9:30 am, Duke calls me at work to tell me that he dislocated his new hip. Again. Thank goodness 1) I work so close to home and 2) he actually had a phone on him! I raced for home while Margo called 911, and poor Duke, who was outside installing new locksets on our back doors, had to stand there on his "good leg" and his walker until the ambulance arrived. They loaded him up, and off we went to San Joaquin Hospital. Once there, they gave him the "Michael Jackson" special to knock him out. Sadly, the anesthesiologist says, "Hey, I remember you guys!" Well, isn't that just great. Heavy sigh. Duke was out maybe ten minutes – the doctor actually stood on the gurney to wrestle the hip back into place, and me with no camera! Darn! Anyway, we were home by 6:30 that night, with Duke terrified to leave his big ol’ chair in the living room. He did figure out that he may have tripped when starting to come in through the sliding glass door – it’s hard to tell since he has no feeling in his feet. Hopefully it was a trip, and we can maybe avoid a “three-fer” by him being more careful, if that’s possible.
Part of this was kind of amusing - the Fire Dept showed up to help load him, and we knew two of the three firemen - one was the guy that actually built our house back in '87, and the 3rd one (didn't know him), maybe wants to buy Duke's Unimog! I told him to stop by and see me at work later on and I’d make him a deal! It's not like Duke will ever be able to get in the darn thing again, and he’s ready for it to go to a new home where it will be used and appreciated. Anyone out there interested? Buy it now for $10K! Entire box is rebuilt with aluminum, new steel cab, new custom canvas door, and it comes with a additional BIGGER Mercedes engine... you know, more power and all that! EVERYONE needs one of these - you just never know when you'll need to chase down a bunch of military tanks! Uses plain ol' leaded gasoline, can go a whopping 55 mph fully loaded... so long as you're going downhill, mileage... not so great... 10 maybe??? But, you will be the envy of every off-roader on the planet! Can't even being to describe how fun it is - your buds are crawling along in their fancy 4x4's, easing over bumps and ruts, and you, in this, can literally floor it, sail past all of them and not feel a single bump thanks to the type suspension and articulation! Did I mention you can actually drive OVER a Hummer with one of these? And then there's that dinner-plated-size Mercedes emblam on the grill - always a head turner in the supermarket parking lot! Before, during and after pics:
On Sunday, March 7th, Duke was complaining that his left foot felt “stiff”. I looked down and it appeared that someone had placed a half of a grapefruit on top of his foot, inside the sock. I “assumed” it was general swelling which he has a lot of, peeled off the sock and nearly passed out cold. It was a blister. Three inches in diameter, one inch tall. I refuse to post a picture of it, as you will never visit my blog again after seeing. Not even going to discuss the management of it. On to March 10th.
On March 10th Duke had appointments in Santa Barbara with his neurologist, his pacemaker checkup/tuneup guy, and his orthopedist to update him on the latest dislocation. Pacemaker check went well; Duke’s heart just keeps getting better and better with each visit. Orthopedist placed him on a couple antibiotics for the foot thing, and another couple months of physical therapy, and made sure he knows that one more dislocation and he’s back on the operating table. Neurologist determined that all the issues with Duke’s legs (numbness, pain, spasms, swelling, different color and temperature every day) fall under “Complex Regional Pain Syndrome” and referred him to a pain management specialist later the same afternoon. And so will begin the process of exploring various treatments possibly including the “placement of stimulating electrodes next to the spinal cord which provide a pleasant tingling sensation in the painful area and appears to help many patients with their pain.” Yikes. But you get to a point where you will try anything.
Other than that, I’m just trying to get caught up both at work and home – not like I think it’ll ever happen, but I do keep trying! Our weather has been tough to keep up with – one gorgeous warm sunny day, the next day a blizzard, then rain, then wind, back to sun. Tough to plan your outside chores! Here’s Miss Libby enjoying one of those sunny days – she’s planted herself in our dormant veggie garden!