Friday, March 20, 2009

Medical Updates

Ron’s blood count is low so he has to take Procrit injections again. If his hemoglobin drops below 12 (the doctor said his should be between 15-17 if he were healthy). The Procrit injections are to help him but they’re just a total inconvenience since they can only be given at the doctor’s office by St. Francis. It takes longer to unload him than it does to get the actual injection, not even including the drive up there and back. They don’t have wheelchairs so I have to take the scooter. Since they’re so expensive (about $700), insurance is very picky about who can give them. It would be really nice if they’d let the nurses at our family doctor handle it but they won’t.

His blood work every Monday is also a time drain. At least they have wheelchairs that I can use to take him in there and I don’t have to do his scooter.

He had an appointment Tuesday morning to see about his left knee. While we were at the orthotic office this morning, his left knee popped and I think he tore something in it. He was already having serious problems with it but now he can’t walk on it, can barely put any weight on it, and can barely transfer from point A to point B. I don’t know how he’s going to get around this weekend. It’s quite the mess.

The skin on his right heel is breaking down. I noticed it last night but didn’t want to say anything to him about it. He said he thought there was a dark spot, and there is but I down-played it. I’m afraid he’s going to need surgery on his left knee, which introduces a whole new set of things for me.

I canceled my mirror repair on my car (I broke the driver’s side mirror on my garage door the morning I had to go early and pick Ron up from the sleep study) and changed his Tuesday appointment to Monday at the same time. He’s got blood work at 8:30 and the doctor at 10:15 so I don’t expect I’ll be able to get to work before noon. The good news is Tuesday I will be able to make it by 9:30. I hope I can schedule the mirror repair for a Saturday morning because there’s no other time that’s convenient.

They made a right-heel insert for his shoe that is kind of a brace, too. It comes up on his ankle on either side to help support it and keep him from rocking to one side. He’s to wear it for 30 min twice a day for 2 days; then one hour twice a day for 2 days, and then build up from there. If his heel is already breaking down from the little bit of walking he’s doing, I don’t see how the brace/insert is going to help him.

I honestly don’t know how people deal with and take care of chronically ill family members year in and year out, for years on end, while they have any semblance of a life outside of that. I don’t want to sound whiney or say I can’t cope, but it sure is draining. I guess I’m going to get the paperwork to apply for FMLA again for this year. I didn’t want to and had hoped that it would not be necessary. Financially, I don’t see how taking time off without pay is going to help us out but I can’t risk having my job in jeopardy without the FMLA. Every time I think I see a light at the end of the tunnel, I realize it’s just another flippin’ train. It doesn’t help when he tells me that I could always pray that he’ll die in his sleep. Oh yeah – that just makes my day even better.

But – my chin is up; tomorrow is still another day and an opportunity for things to improve! I’ve got my big girl smile on and things are better than they could be.

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