Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas is gone for another year!

I was worried that this holiday was sneaking up on me and coming at me with both barrels. I was right - I did get everything accomplished that I wanted, but it was a lot of last minute work and switching some things around here and there. But, it was totally worth it to participate in the festivities.

Even though the weather was less than desirable, we drove to KC to see my family and play "the game" with everyone. It was fun. Thank you to Rex for doing all the driving. I'm usually the one behind the wheel and yesterday he braved the bad roads and frigid temps to take me to see my family. It was greatly appreciated (Amy can give him a big ole kiss and hug from me). The snow was blowing, the roads were awful, and the temperatures were bitter cold, in part because of the wind.

We didn't leave here until about noon. We would have gone sooner but couldn't decide if we were braving it or not. Amy didn't want to make the decision, Rex didn't want to make the decision, and I didn't want to impose on them because I knew it would be an up and back in one day trip, which is hard in good weather. If I drove myself, I would have spent the night and come back today (maybe - maybe not; the weather has not improved there) but no one wanted me to have to make the trip by myself and to drive on the horrid roads by myself. It was nice, because all of my siblings were there and all but a handful of the 2nd generation was there. Quite the crowd at my sister's house. My mom's health is not good and we all just wanted to spend the holiday together.

The game is an added benefit to the annual dinner. This year, I took a 12-inch seasoned cast iron skillet and 4 packages of corn bread mix. It was a hit. My sister Kris opened it, my brother Jerry stole it, and then my sister Michelle stole it from him. Michelle had brought a set of three cast iron skillets and was hoping to get one or the other of the gifts (she almost stole hers back but decided she could go get another set from JCP if she really wanted the other sizes). I ended up with the gift that Amy bought to take, which is a really nice wine bottle opener. Yes, I like wine. Not all the time; not every day or even every week, but I do like some every now and then and red wine is good for your heart. Doesn't do me much good if I can't get it open, though. hehehehe!

One of the gifts that Kris got was a table-top orange juice dispenser. It's made for a party - maybe a brunch - so people can help themselves. I wanted it but knew that it would be a dead item before I would get to it (my number was 29 out of 30; an item can be touched only 3 times before it's dead). My SIL Susie opened it, my brother Rob stole it, and Brandy's husband Bryan was going to steal it from him. But, he spoke too soon about wanting it and the course of action went like this... Michelle stole the frying pan from Jerry, Jerry stole the tools from Rex (the same tools that Rex had stolen from him), and Rex stole the drink dispenser from Rob. Bryan was not happy but that's how the game is played - buy the best gift you can for $15-$20 and see how many people really fight for it.

Rex said he took the tools originally because Jerry was talking about how much he liked them and how badly he wanted them. LOL - Amy had wanted Rex to steal a remote control car from her so it would then be dead and Isaiah could have it. Amy was #20 and Rex was #21 so they were good; Rex took the tools instead so then her cousin Jamie took it for her son Aiden. Rex said everyone expected him to take the car for Isaiah, but it was more fun for everyone for him to take the tools.

On the way home, he said that if Ron could use the drink dispenser he'd leave it for him. What do you think?

You put ice in the middle tube, hook it to the lid, and then put the water in the carafe - turn the handle and get nice, cold water.

Amy brought home a game for Isaiah after all - an electronic basketball game. He'll love it. Another SIL ended up with an ant farm. Unfortunately, she doesn't have any young sons to give it to and I'm afraid that we'll see it again next year.

Ron and Keith stayed home because Ron didn't think that he would be able to get into Michelle's house very easily. It would have been tough with the snow on the ground and probably not too safe for him to try. Keith's housemates were going to bring dinner to them but the roads were too bad, so I asked Ron's ex-wife if they would mind feeding them. She said no problem, they'd have plenty of food so she brought over enough dinner for them both - and as an added bonus, two of Ron's kids came and three of his grandchildren. It was nice for him to see them and he enjoyed it. We'll see the other grandchildren on Wednesday evening and then we also will see two from yesterday another day because I didn't know they were coming and I didn't leave their gifts where he would be able to get them. Oh well - that just means that I get to see them next week, too! LOL!

We're looking forward to seeing Shaun and Jenny next week! Alexander and Kaitlyn will get to have their Christmas with us on Saturday and then Sunday we'll go back to KC to show everyone the new baby. Fun, Fun, Fun!

I hope you all have a blessed New Year!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Doctor updates

The main hole looks pretty darn good. It's only just slightly below the surface, which is amazing. The new hole isn't bad yet and we caught it pretty early, so hopefully we got it in time. Doc cleaned them both up pretty good and just put a light dressing on them both. We decided that maybe one of the reasons the brace isn't fitting well is because the dressing was too thick. So, a thinner dressing it is.

The knee surgery is on hold for a while. The next appointment is January 11 and if Ron has problems between now and then, we'll discuss surgery. So, maybe we won't need to go down that road.

So - basically all good news.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Two years…

That’s how long we’ve officially been working on keeping Ron’s foot attached to his leg. The first hole was the most severe and took from December 2007 until November 2008 for it to get to the point that it no longer needed the wound VAC, but didn’t completely close until March 2009. Since March, we’ve been dealing with a new hole that was caused by the first brace they gave him. Ron’s skin is so sensitive that it breaks open very easily. Just the crease of the seam of something across his skin can cause it to break down, and that’s what happened in the 2nd instance.

It’s finally almost the same level as the rest of his skin after having been doctored and trimmed on for several months. During this time, he’s developed what can only be called a callous on the side of his foot just past where the NEW brace hits. I’ve been watching it and last week I told him I thought it was seeping some fluid. That is not good where he is concerned.

I changed his dressing on Saturday evening and it was a little damp. We changed his dressing on Monday evening and the callous has broken completely open. It wasn’t solid underneath – but instead became a soft issue. Last night, not any worse but not any better.

Honestly – I know there are people in this world who are dealing with much worse problems than what I’m dealing with. They’ve taken care of health issues in their loved ones that completely surpass what is going on in mine. My hat is off to them because I don’t know how they keep a “stiff upper lip” and keep going. I greatly admire them. I work really hard at putting on a cheerful face at work but if people ask me how Ron is doing, I don’t lie. I say he’s not good. He moves from the bed to the chair. Then he’ll move from the chair to the bed. In between he’ll take himself to the bathroom and maybe – just maybe – go into the kitchen for something to eat that’s easy for him to fix. He goes nowhere unless I take him, which isn’t to much more than the doctor. We will occasionally go to the movies or to eat breakfast together. Not much more than that. Now that the weather is bad he probably won’t go out as much as before because he knows it’s really hard for me to take care of the scooter in the cold.

I really think he will be having knee surgery soon and I hope we can get it scheduled for while Shaun and Jenny are here to help with him. He sees the knee surgeon and the foot surgeon on Monday morning. I hope the knee doctor can schedule surgery right after Christmas and I hope the foot surgeon has good news about the foot and can tell us what to do for the recurring holes in new locations.