Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Appointment results

Dr. Moussa is a very good doctor but sometimes he is a little abrupt. Maybe that's what Ron needs; I don't know. He told Ron that he was killing himself and that he had to take charge of the situation and do something about it. Ron agreed that things needed to change and resolves to work harder on staying on the strict eating and drinking plan.

Dr. Moussa cut his fluid intake in half (from 64 oz to 32 oz) and that includes all fluids - milk, water, juice, etc. It's going to be hard for him as being diabetic he is thirstier. He also banned all sodium in Ron's diet (that is hard to do but we're trying). Ron had been on 2000 mg sodium a day; doctor wants it as close to zero as we can get. It is virtually impossible but I think we can get under 1000 mg per day.

Ron is to increase his Lasix for five days to 80 mg in the morning and 80 mg in the early afternoon. On Monday he'll need to have additional blood work to see how his kidneys are doing. His blood results from last week show his potassium is on the rise, which is a bad thing.

When we left Ron was pretty discouraged. He said what he got out of the appointment is that he's dying. I said if he didn't change things that he would probably be correct. We're going to work on this together.

He was off to a good start with sodium-free cereal with 1/2 cup of milk. He's planning on fruit and fresh veggies for lunch. I'll fix the chicken and veggies tonight for dinner (without added salt).

Grocery Shopping for Low Sodium/Restricted Potassium/Restricted Fluid Diet 101

1. Go to the store when you have plenty of time to read labels.
2. Go to the store by yourself, if possible, so you have fewer distractions.
3. Be flexible in what you’re planning because after you read labels you may need to adjust what you’re purchasing.
4. Buy fresh when you can and frozen when you can’t.
5. Take stock of your existing pantry and freezer items before you go so you have a plan.
6. Take a list of what you’re shopping for and stick to it as much as possible.
7. Educate yourself on what foods are naturally high in potassium, such as bananas and cantaloupe.

1. Pick up anything that remotely looks like it would be a snack item. Most snack items are high in sodium.
2. Purchase any canned vegetables or soups if at all possible. These have way too much sodium.
3. Cringe when you see the price of fresh produce. Just resign yourself to the fact that it is more expensive to eat healthy foods. That’s why there are so many overweight low income people. The stuff that’s killing us are the cheapest things to buy.
4. Go to the store hungry. It provides more temptation if you go on an empty stomach.
5. Go for the low fat or low sugar items. They’re typically higher in sodium than the regular stuff.
6. Buy soda. It’s empty liquid (especially if someone is on liquid restriction) and can be high in sodium.
7. Be in a rush. Purchasing quality items takes time.
8. Give in to your spouse whining that he’s going to starve to death if you don’t buy him pretzels or snack crackers.

Shopping just became another chore that I don’t enjoy. I went last night, spent $153 and the only meat I bought was a 1# package hamburger chub, 1# package of hamburger patties, 1# catfish fillets, less than 1# chicken strips for stir-fry, and one tuna pouch. The rest was mostly fresh produce (vegetables and fruit), yogurt, and frozen produce (vegetables and fruit). I also bought three boxes of cereal, some containers to help prolong the life of produce in the fridge, one bottle of salad dressing, one bottle of mayonnaise, one $2 package of trash bags, and $2 in tissues. It’s really not much in the grand scheme of things.

No milk, no eggs, no bread, no pasta, no cleaning products, and no other paper products. I even saved $11.15 in store coupons.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

And Isaiah says...

Isaiah got a new book, Puff the Magic Dragon, for being so brave when he got his immunizations on Friday. He needed four of them so you can imagine he was not too happy with all of the needle sticks.

I've been trying to teach him the song so he can "read" and sing along in the book. He has picked it up pretty quickly, but he is a bit confused.

Me: Puff the Magic Dragon lived by the sea. Now you try it.
Isaiah: Puff the Dragic Mountain lived by the sea.
Me: Try again... say it slowly. Puff the Magic Dragon.
Isaiah: Puff the Dragic Mountain.
Me: Say it with me, ok? OK. Here we go...
Isaiah: Puff the Dragon Mountain lived by the sea.
Me: Mountains don't live by the sea. The dragon lives by the sea.
Isaiah: No, Grandma. Say it slowly. It goes like this: honeylee.
Me: OK, Isaiah. You sing it really well. We'll work on the next verse later.

Up, Up, Up

Ron’s been gaining fluid weight again. He had lost 20 pounds of fluid from his last hospitalization but this morning he was back up eight. That’s eight pounds in two days. This is not a good thing as he’s also increased his Lasix from 10 mg twice a day to 20 mg twice a day, then to 40 mg in the morning, and finally to 80 mg in the morning. As much as I don’t want him to go back into the hospital, I’d rather see him go in for a couple of days if needed and have this fixed than to see him continue on another downward spiral like he did in March. His sister will be here Friday from Florida so I know he wants to be home and feeling better when she gets here.

Each time he has an episode on CHF his recovery time is increased and his chances for long-term survival are slightly diminished.

I have to stand on my faith and know that everything will work out and that God is in control.
Psalm 121: 1I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
2My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.
3He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
4Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
5The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.
6The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.
7The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.
8The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

Monday, April 28, 2008

What a blessing!

Ron got a visit today from one of his co-workers and he brought an envelope with about $200 in it. That was such a great, timely gift! I was really wondering where I was going to get grocery money for the next two weeks and this will take care of it nicely!

God's timing is soooooo good!


Amy said my blog has become boring and that I needed to spice it up a bit. LOL, not sure exactly what she means by spicing it up but I’ll try.

Maybe I complain too much. I don’t know. I don’t feel like I’m complaining when I state the truth. The truth is life is not much of a bed of roses right now. I think I landed in the thorns somewhere about 2000 or so and each time I climb out of the thorns, something pushes me back into them.

We were blessed this weekend by our good friends Kenni and Terry with some fresh produce. Ron’s already eaten about half of the strawberries and he said they were absolutely wonderful. He wanted me to bring the rest to work but I’d rather leave them for him. They’re something easy that he can grab and not have to worry about fixing. I plan on sautéing some of the other veggies tonight. Yellow squash, zucchini squash, red pepper, green pepper – yummy! They ought to be very good and I can bring them for lunch tomorrow.

Yesterday was Amy’s 27th birthday. We had some family over for cake and she got a couple of gifts. Isaiah “bought” her a $15 iTunes gift card and we got her a $15 Starbucks gift card. That girl likes her music and her Starbucks coffee!

Today was another trip to the foot specialist. All in all, the foot looks better. The bone is still exposed in one place and he may need further surgery on it. Dr. Heady will decide at our appointment next week if that is the case. I pray not. I know it’s hard for Ron to keep an upbeat attitude about all of it because I know it’s difficult for me to do so.

Next week Ron has four appointments. Monday back to the foot doctor, Wednesday to the infectious disease doctor, Thursday to have a Holter monitor put on, and Friday to have it removed. That’s at least 10 hours of work that I’m going to miss next week. Oh joy. Hard to be upbeat about that, that’s for sure.

Amy graduates from college next weekend. I’m very upbeat about that. I’m very proud of her as she’s worked very hard to get where she’s at. Her former Navy chief was so disappointed when she got out of the Navy. He said she’d never amount to anything without the Navy. She’s sending him a graduation announcement. I said she should circle or otherwise highlight the part that says she’s graduating with honors. Eat your heart out, Mike! We know he just said it because he was concerned about her coming back to Kansas and moving back in with her parents. Sure, living with us made it easier but she still had to do the work and put out the effort. I sure didn’t do it for her.

My back is in misery. I feel like I could absolutely break in two. I don’t know if it’s the bed, the scooter, or both. Amy said I should just get a new bed. LOL, that would be fine except I think I might need the $500-$600 for something else, like a house payment. I won’t need a bed if we don’t have a house so I’ll just make do with what I’ve got. She says that if I had a better bed, I’d get better rest and not be so rundown, which makes me miss more work because several times when I’ve taken Ron to the doctor I’ve come home and gone to bed because I didn’t feel well. Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe going to bed was just an excuse and a way to temporarily forget my troubles and my responsibilities. Who knows. I try to not analyze myself too much. I might find out things I would rather not know.

I’d go to the chiropractor but I don’t know when I can do that. I came in at 11:00 today. I should work until 6:00 in order to get 7 hours in. Ron wants to go to the grocery store this evening when I get home so I can’t stay any later than that. (Selfishly, I don’t want to take him because that’s more lifting I’d like to avoid. I know he wants to get out but it’s just tearing my back up. It needs a rest.) I can probably pick up the other hour by working 15 min or so extra each day this week. I am taking Friday afternoon off because my SIL is coming to visit and I have to pick her up at the airport. Ron wants to go so I will need time to go get him.

Amy says I should ask people to help me with Ron’s transportation to appointments. I don’t want to do that as I figure everyone else has just as much on their plate as I do, they all work fulltime jobs, or they aren’t physically capable of lifting the scooter. Besides, everyone in my circle already knows I’m missing a lot of work and pay and if they could or would, they’d let me know. If they don’t offer, I’m surely not going to put them on the spot by asking.

Amy asked Ron’s ex-wife if her husband and their son could help out. Her husband had heart bypass surgery not too long ago so he definitely can’t lift the scooter. The son is a lazy bum (just kidding – I love him, but he is lazy; sleeps all day because he stays up on the Internet gaming all night) and he said mornings are really tough for him and he works some days in the late afternoons/evenings. I think Karen felt put on the spot because she didn’t just jump right on it and say that she was sure they could work something out. I kind of backed out of it by saying that I didn’t want to ask them to do something like that and I didn’t know Amy was going to do so. Amy can’t do it because she’s taken off a lot of time with Isaiah (he’s had a rough winter) and she’s got to save what’s left of her PTO for him for next fall. Keith can’t really do it because he’s been sick this year, too and used up a lot of his PTO. Neither one of them can afford to take time off without pay so that leaves me. I don’t mind the time for him but I sure hate to see my paycheck afterwards. LOL!

I guess I do complain too much. So, here’s my resolution… I won’t say I’m tired, or my back hurts, or I don’t feel good. I won’t talk about money (or the lack thereof). No one really wants to hear it anyway. I know Amy doesn’t and she hears it the most. Isaiah doesn’t need to hear it. LOL, he’s already aware of when people feel sick or well and he frequently tells us we can do something with him because we “feel better.” I don’t really say much to anyone else if I’m feeling less than 100%. I will keep a positive outlook and rely on God as I know that He is in control and He already has the answers to our prayers covered.

If I write it here, then I’m really not saying anything and I’m not complaining or whining. Right?

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Gas is up again

I know I should not be shocked when I drive by the stations. After all, they've said on the news casts that gasoline was on its way up with no end in sight and we'd probably see $4.00 per gallon this summer. Still, seeing it up nearly ten cents every week is a big shock. Some increases have been as high as twenty-four cents in one jump. It's truly sticker shock.

I filled my van on Monday and it cost nearly $63 to do so. I paid $3.299 per gallon (had ten cents off compliments of Dillon's grocery store). Today the cost is $3.499 per gallon. With as many trips as we take all over Wichita I am filling the tank more and more often.

While I was out on Monday running Ron to his various appointments I spotted a Medicab service. I got a card and called to see if it would be more cost effective for me to have them take Ron to some appointments so I don't lose as much pay by taking off so many hours per week without pay. I was totally shocked! I realize they have a lot of overhead and they're in the business to make money but at $35 per trip (that's one way, not round trip) it's something that's totally out of the scope of our budget. That would be $70 each time he went to the doctor and it's payable at the time of service. No way, no day so it's back to the drawing board for us.

God has always met our needs, above and beyond most of the time. If we are in need of something He has the power to create a response in someone to provide that need. As odd as it sounds I'm really not stressed about finances or what we're going to do. Isaiah 12:2 says, "Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation." This is so true and such a comfort to me. I have it on my computer monitor at work and I frequently read it to remind myself that He is able and will always be there for me, no matter what - even if gas is $4.00 per gallon and I have to choose between filling the tank or filling the pantry.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

And so it goes...

I took Ron to the infectious disease doctor this morning. All in all, it wasn’t a bad appointment but he did stretch my ever-dwindling resources a bit more. He wants Ron to see him bi-weekly and to have blood work every week. He added two more oral antibiotics to Ron’s medication regiment. One we started today and the other one we’ll start when the Levaquin is done next Thursday.

This week we had $60 in doctor visit co-pays (3 x $20) plus new medications ($25). We have to pay the co-pays at the time of service, which isn’t always convenient but I do it anyway. Next week we “only” have one co-pay to handle. Then, the week of May 5th we’ll have at least two co-pays.

I’ve missed so much work taking Ron back and forth to appointments that my paycheck was 28 hours short. Taking the extra money we’re paying out plus the money I’m not getting, and it’s very painful. Add in the rising cost of gasoline and food and we’re starting to really feel the pinch and do without some things.

I told my boss today that maybe I could go stand on a street corner and play the guitar or violin and people would pay me to stop. LOL! I don’t know how to play an instrument so it would be very bad entertainment, if you could even call it that. I need to look around the house and see what I can put up for sale on eBay. Wonder how much I’d get for Ron???

Just kidding…

Friday, April 18, 2008


That little $20 each for co-pay sure does add up. They’re killing my budget and wreaking havoc with our finances. Ron goes to no less than five doctor appointments per month, each charging $20. That’s $100 right off the bat. I know it doesn’t sound like much but when he’s not bringing in a paycheck (only short-term disability) it makes things difficult.

In addition to the $20 per visit co-pay, Aetna makes us fill out the disability paperwork each month and that’s an additional $20 each time (no free ride anywhere these days).

Next week we have three appointments – cha-ching! There goes $60. It was four but I had to re-schedule one. I just couldn’t fit it into the week.

I know it sounds like I’m whining but I’m really not. I’m very thankful that we have insurance or our out-of-pocket expenses would be much higher. It’s just that there are so many medical expenses coming up and so many statements arriving that it’s hard to keep them all straight. The doctor’s visits I have to pay that day. The home health care sends a bill (which I haven’t gotten yet for any of his services and I’m dreading it), the wound vac company sends a bill (saw a statement for insurance but don’t know my cost yet), and the lab sends a bill. I’ve paid out quite a few bills in the past couple of weeks.

His hospitalization co-pay is $100 per visit – so we have $300 due, plus we have the wound care treatment that he got before hospitalization - $189. Since March 17th I’ve paid nearly $300 in medical bills – and that’s only checks being mailed. It doesn’t count prescriptions or the amounts I’ve paid in the office. That amount brings the total to $658.10. That total surprises even me.

Of course, we are getting disability pay. It’s $250 per week and that is pretty much absorbed by the out-of pocket stuff.

I know I haven’t seen the last of medical bills. There are a lot the insurance company has paid, and a lot the providers have written off. Two hospitalizations were over $60,000 just for the hospital services. Then there was several thousand dollars for various doctors who came to see him - cardiac, orthopedic, infectious disease, the hospital residents, etc. Those were paid by insurance, so that was a big relief. I have no idea what the surgery last week cost. IV medications and supplies were over $5,000 for two bills and over $4,000 for another. The wound vac was $7666 for the first bill.

Can we say “payment plan?”

Thursday, April 17, 2008

My mother thinks she’s dying…

Unfortunately, a lot of times when people think they’re dying, or they’re planning on dying, they really are. It makes me very sad to think of life without my mother. I try to not dwell on the fact that we are all mortal and everyone must leave this earth – some for a better place and some not. I’m sure my mother will be in the former group. She believes that Jesus is the Son of God, that He came to earth to live as a man, died for our sins and rose again on the third day. She knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that she’s going to be in a better place once she leaves this earth and she says she’s ready to go. She said she needed to go back to church so she’d have someone to preach at her funeral. (She’s not gone in quite a while because of the bad winter and when the weather was nicer she was not well. It has been a rough winter on her.) The neighbor came over and asked her for family phone numbers “just in case” she needed to contact anyone.

Last night she told my sister that she sees no reason for her to still be on this earth.

The bad part is, none of us are ready for her to go or leave this earth. I call my mom every week. Sometimes it’s on a Friday as I drive home from work and sometimes it’s on a different day of the week. We always talk about how she’s feeling and how a lot of times what’s going on with her is also going on with Ron. They both have had diabetes for a long time, both insulin-dependant, and both with uncontrollable sugars in the past. This has done a lot of damage to both of them and they’ve both suffered with it. Since mom is quite a bit older (she’s currently 77), it’s been harder on her body these past few years. Plus, she’s never fully recovered from my father’s death. She seemed to be doing very well while she was caring for him but once he died, she went downhill very much. I know she loved him very much and misses him terribly.

I tell her all of the time to go to the doctor. She promises that she’ll call and then she doesn’t. It’s hard being 200 miles away because I can’t go pick her up and take her to the doctor. My siblings go visit her on a regular basis, some just visiting and some taking her out to eat or shopping. I’ve invited her to come here to stay a couple of weeks but she says she doesn’t feel like it. Thing is, unless she gets up and starts moving around, she’s not going to feel like it.

She was going to come here with my sister for Isaiah’s birthday but said she doesn’t feel like it. Another of my brothers invited her to his house for the weekend but she doesn’t feel well enough for that either. He will come get her and take her home – his family lives a bit south of Topeka – but she’s not sure about that either. My sister told her to go and let someone take care of her for a change. She can “not feel good” just as easily at my brother’s as she can at home alone. She promised Amy that she’d come to her college graduation, which is May 10, so she better plan on being around for that.

I know it’s a rite of passage, a natural progression of life that there’s an end to the earthly body and our soul returns to God. I know it’s got to happen. I’ve been blessed to have my mom through my adult years. She’s seen her grandchildren grow up, she’s welcomed five great-grandchildren into the family (Isaiah was first), and she’s witnessed our trials and our tribulations. She’s cheered our accomplishments and cried when we hurt. She’s been there to lend a hand, a hug, or an ear when someone needed her. She did her time as the chauffeur and sat through countless “kiddie” movies at the theatre. She’s been the one that has held it all together.

I’m just not ready to let my mom go. Really though, is anyone ready to let their mom go? After all, she’s “mom” and no matter what we want to keep her around.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


I wish there was something positive I could say about these. I guess saying that I've completed them is a positive. But we owe. BIG TIME.

I had gotten behind in filing due to Ron's ongoing medical problems and when we had a lull in them, my hard drive crashed. I didn't want to re-enter all of the information into a new program since I'd depreciated some assets for home business use and I was really trying to retrieve the information that was on the drive. So I sent my hard drive to a friend for him to retrieve the information and it took him a year to get it back to me. By then Ron was having medical problems again.

In 2005 I got 2003 and 2004 completed and today I did 2005, 2006, and 2007. We are getting a small refund for 2006 but owe quite a bit for 2005 and 2007 - both Federal and State. Part of it is our own fault for not checking Ron's deductions sooner. Part of it is how his share disbursement was handled.

In a nutshell, we're going to be making payments to the IRS and Kansas for a long time. I hope they take it easy on us. We might have to contact one of those lawyers who can help you get your tax burden reduced. LOL!

Friday, April 11, 2008


I should have told them at the hospital that I was allergic to Betadine. I'm sure you know what it is if you've ever had any surgery. It's that nasty orange stuff they wash the area where the incision is going.

Unfortunately, the nurse wasn't too careful when she washed the area for the heart cath tubing as I've got orange stripes from my naval to my knees. I look like a home tanning job gone bad! It's a good thing I'm not planning on wearing shorts or a swimsuit anytime soon as that stuff has got to wear off. I've scrubbed until my skin was red and there's no change at all. It's just really lovely. Not!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The medical stuff

Here’s a quick update on both Ron and I. God truly has His hands on us and I am very thankful!

Me… My heart cath yesterday was pretty uneventful. They gave me enough Versed to make me not realize too much of what was going on. They gave me the first dose and gave it time to relax me. The nurse asked how I felt and I said that I was way too aware of things and that was not enough. They gave me a second dose (same size as the first). I remember telling Dr. Francisco that “it” hurt and I assume that was when he created the opening for the catheter tube. Then I said it hurt again and he said that it shouldn’t because it was numbed. I said, “Too bad, it did.” That’s the last I remember. LOL!

Ron obviously couldn’t be there and Amy had meetings so she was late getting there, so our pastor was there during the test and the doctor gave him the news. I have no evidence of heart disease and my heart is a normal size, with good muscle tone. I have elevated blood pressure which he said was very treatable. I’m sure a lot of the blood pressure problems are the ongoing stress. I never had BP problems until this year after Ron started having so many more problems.

I came home about 4:00 yesterday and spent the evening resting. Our pastor’s wife brought over dinner, which was very nice (spaghetti with homemade sauce). I did Ron’s IV about 8:00 last night and rested some more. When he got into the shower I started laying out his clothes and felt a “pop” in my leg, followed by excruciating pain in my leg – so bad I thought I was going to throw up (and I have a pretty high pain tolerance). We ended up calling 911 because that’s the instructions I had been given – mild pain normal and OK, sudden severe pain call 911. They checked me out and said I probably pulled a stitch and didn’t think I needed to be transported unless I wanted to. With Ron going in this morning for his foot surgery I opted to go to bed and see what happened. Obviously, they were correct and I am fine but it was nice to be told so. I didn’t know what to expect so the unexpected was startling.

I got up twice last night with some pain but not anything that concerned me.

On to Ron… We got to the hospital at a wonderful hour of the morning – for roosters! 5:30 am was his check-in. They had him wheeled to the pre-op room by 6:40 this morning. Dr. Heady came out about 8:45 to say the surgery went well and that Ron’s foot doesn’t look too bad. He has a 3 cm tunnel along the plantar side of the foot from the heel toward the toes. He cleaned that out and wants the home health nurses to pack that tunnel with white granulofoam in addition to using the silver foam on the main wound.

He was back in his room by 11:00 and sitting up in bed. His foot is draining quite a bit, which is good (the wound VAC is catching it). We came home about noon and he’s resting in his recliner with his foot elevated.

I’m resting, too because I’m beat. I plan on going back to work tomorrow so trying to get rested up today.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Back to the hospital

Looks like it’s back to the drawing board for us, or in this case, back to the hospital for additional surgery. Dr. Heady isn’t thrilled with the amount of healing one portion of Ron’s foot is showing so he’s decided to re-do the surgery. He’ll irrigate and debride a “hole” in the foot that tunnels along the outer edge of the foot. It’s my understanding that he’ll open that area up, clean it out, and then re-attach the wound vac to encourage the area to heal.

I’m averaging missing about 10 hours a week of work. It’s getting pretty expensive. $20 co-pays for each office visit really can add up. I also found out the doctor’s office charges us $108 to change the dressing, and I provide the dressing material! It’s amazing that the charge is so high. I don’t know yet how much insurance is actually paying for the wound vac and dressing material, so I could be paying a lot in the long run.

Since I can’t take any Metformin two days prior to my heart cath, the day of the procedure, and for two days after, my sugar has been up a bit. I’m extremely tired and I think it must be because it’s up there. I ate lunch hours ago and it’s still 215 (just checked it). I don’t know what to eat tonight to keep it down. I’m used to running in the mid-100’s so I’m g-r-o-g-g-y right now.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Entering a new era...

My oldest son will turn 30 on April 14. I don't feel like I'm old enough to have a 30 year old child. My mind still thinks I can do the things that I did many years ago. I understand how the elderly get so upset with the passing of time and how it robs them of their ability to function in a way that they want to. I understand all too well.

When I lost the hearing in my right ear several years ago, I suddenly understoon why my MIL had so much trouble understanding what was being said. Although she used hearing aids, if there was any background noise, that's all she heard. I'm the same way. I have a set of hearing aids but I rarely use them. They pick up everything but conversation so it's really a waste of time and a constant source of frustration. Some days I think I'd like to try them again, and I use them just long enough to wear down the batteries. I'd like to try some of the updated ones but our insurance will no longer cover hearing aids. Bummer...

I look at the commercials on TV with the young couples, or even just younger women, and I think to myself, "I used to do that." Age is an insidious thing that creeps up on you without you even realizing it's done so. We have the "before" age and the "after I turned..." age. My closeup eyesight was great until I turned about 45. Then all of a sudden I couldn't see what things said on the labels. I still tried to ignore the fact that I had to hold things farther and farther away from my eyes just to read it. I reluctantly went to bi-focals, but got the lineless ones. Three pairs later, I still can't read the closeup things and use the distance portion at the same time. I can't figure out where my eyes are supposed to focus in them so they spend most of the time in the holder on my desk at work. $20 readers from the drug store help more than the others. Of course, I still have my single vision glasses for distance. I just have to take them off and switch into the readers. Oh well...

I also look at people enjoying the outdoors or working in their gardens and I think that is also something that I'd like to do. But, I get too hot or too winded or I just don't know what to do - so I do nothing. I've discovered that inactivity can age you just as fast, or even faster, than real time. My goal for me this summer is to get out more and enjoy the wonderful outdoors that God has provided. We have a great view and the possibility of a great outdoor space. I still don't like to get too hot and I'm really a wimp when it comes to getting dirty (I hate it), so I'm not too sure how much of the outdoors I'll "remodel" myself.

Once you pass 50, you get all the medical tests that are reserved for seniors. Oh my! Most of those are really no fun. I "get" to see what a heart cath is like and I'm really not looking forward to that. Anxiety attacks happen without warning and I'm afraid while I'm not supposed to be moving, I'll have an instant urge to get out of bed. I told the doctor that I needed to have some help for relaxation and he said that was not a problem. Good.

I look at people on television that I've seen for years and all of a sudden I realize how old they look or how old they must be. Then it hits me.... I'm that old, too! I pass women in the stores and wonder, "Do I look that old?" Or, I'll wonder if I look as young as they do. I'm not terribly vain but I do have a few things I'm concerned about. Losing my hair, getting varicose veins, and the skin on my face and neck looking old and tired. I don't wear makeup and I don't spend a lot of time on my hair (but, maybe I should). I just don't know what to do to make myself look younger or to look better. I know I'll never be a beauty (never was, never will be), but I'd like to look the best that I can for my age. I just don't know how.

You'd think that once I got to the age that I am, I'd quit worrying about how I look to others. That is a definite sign of vanity that I have. I don't want people to think I'm ugly, or to think I'm fat, or to wonder what people see in me to love. I can wonder it but I don't want them to! I'd like for my teeth to be whiter and straighter. I'd like to be comfortable in my skin. I'd like to dress in a manner that's comfortable but yet stylish.

That, even with age, doesn't change.

Some improvement!

I haven't had much time this week to keep things updated so I'll post a run-down of events from my last post.

On Wednesday we went back to see Dr. Heady. He could not find where the bleeding is coming from but advised us to stop the 81 mg aspirin (which I had already done). He did do some probing into the tunnel and said it's just not healing like he wants. If it's not better by Monday then he'll probably schedule Ron for some additional irrigation and debridement on Wednesday. He wanted him to continue with the IV treatment at least through Monday. I'm sure that if he's planning on more surgery on Wednesday then he'll extend the IV treatment.

The nurse came Friday to change his wound vac dressing and do his IV. She says his foot looks really good (but she can't really examine the tunnel). He was down a couple more pounds yesterday but forgot to weigh himself this morning.

Neither of us have felt very well today so we've just been laying around watching TV. Ron has slept the better part of today (which is what he normally does) so I hope he's able to sleep tonight.

We also had our patio poured yesterday afternoon. It's under our deck and will be a great place for Isaiah to play with his cars and trucks. Amy can get a lounge chair to sit and read while he's playing. It should be great for them.

Our yard is supposed to go in on Monday. We have a drain issue still that my step-son hasn't taken care of yet. If I could figure out how to do it myself, I'd go out there tomorrow afternoon and do it. I just don't think I'm up to digging a trench to lay the tubing in. I'd rather see it done before the yard goes in because I really don't want to damage the sod, which is quite expensive.

We will see Dr. Heady again Monday morning so I'll be sure to post an update after that.

May God bless all who are reading this and praying for a good outcome for Ron. He is such an important part of our family and I hate it that he's laid up like this. He is very uncomfortable and very tired of not being able to do things.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Ugh! More blood

I don't know what made me notice that Ron's "diaper" bandage was bloody, but something made me look down as he was transferring into his chair. It had soaked through the wound vac dressing, through the bulky wrap, through the exterior wrap and into the diaper.

I was in the process of hooking up his IV when we saw it so I continued with the infusion and put a call in for the foot specialist to call me back. He had me turn off the wound vac and put a wet-to-dry bandage on it. Basically, I had to remove the dressing and the sponge portion of the wound vac. The foot was incredibly bloody and had a definite odor. Yuck! I was not expecting to quite be assaulted by the smell.

After getting his foot all cleaned up, I re-dressed by putting silver infused calcium alginate in the hole (which actually looks lots better), followed by wet gauze pads. I wrapped that whole thing up in bulky Kerlix, added a diaper for good measure, and then another roll of bulky. His foot looks lovely but I don't think it will bleed all through those layers by tomorrow. I hope...

I'll check it in the morning while I'm doing the IV and redress if I need to. Dr. Heady wants to see Ron tomorrow afternoon. He's not sure what's causing the bleeding but wonders if there's a capillary that is not cauterized well enough and it is being suctioned with the vac.

We'll just have to see.