Saturday, May 25, 2013

Update on my main squeeze

Ron's doing pretty good. His potassium went down to 5.0 with the "acute care" treatment he got, but as soon as they stopped those medications it went right back up to 5.2. The doctor came in and we talked quite a bit. He's going to do some further testing - wants to check him for Addison's disease and other adrenal gland problems. They did a 24-hour urine collection and that testing showed the potassium is mainly coming from outside sources. That could mean medication and the only thing he's currently on that can increase potassium is Benicar (for high blood pressure). So, he's stopped that drug and increased the dosage of his other blood pressure medication.

In addition, he prescribed kayexalate oral medication, which is another drug that binds the potassium and flushes out of the body, in the form of "solid" waste. Ron wanted to come home because he's feeling better, but Doc said if he went home today at 5.2 he'd be back in the ER by Sunday or Monday at 5.7 or higher. He wants to get the potassium level below 5.0 and would prefer closer to 4.0. He did say the creatinine was going down, so that's another good sign. (I told Ron that it's not like we were going somewhere - we didn't have any plans that needed to be canceled. Sitting there and watching TV or sitting at home watching TV - not much difference...)

He says that Ron has Stage III kidney disease now. I think he's been in Stage III for quite a while. At Stage IV, they recommend dialysis. Ron says he won't do dialysis. We'll see... :) I can be very persuasive.

He was complaining that he wanted the IV out, he wanted the heart monitor off, he wanted blah, blah, blah... LOL - I finally told him to quit his bitching and that he wasn't the only person this affected when he was in the hospital or sick. That did shut him up and he apologized. I don't mean to be snarky with him, but this is exhausting to me, too.

I only stayed about three hours today but I'm so tired I can't see straight. I needed to do some housework, yard work, and laundry and the only thing I've managed to do is two loads of laundry. My house needs some TLC but I don't think it's going to be from me today! My herbs are growing and my tomato plants are growing, too. I have flowers in pots in the front of the house and they're doing quite well. I bought two more pots but too tired to do anything with them. Maybe tomorrow...

If the tests go well, and the potassium continues to go down, I expect Ron will come home tomorrow afternoon or Monday morning.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Well... it's that time AGAIN!

And what time might that be? Hospital time, of course!

Ron's managed to stay out of the hospital for a grand total of 18 weeks. That's 4.5 months. Doesn't sound like a long time, does it? It doesn't feel like one, either. In the 4.5 months that he's been home he's fallen three times (a couple of them could have been bad) and not felt too great overall.

He's in the hospital now because his potassium level was dangerously high. It's down some today but they're doing a 24-hour kidney function test since they think he's had too much trouble with his potassium lately. He doesn't drink more than the specified amount of liquids in a day, we stay away from the "known" high potassium foods (bananas, tomatoes, asparagus, broccoli, potatoes, etc.) as much as possible, and he's eating healthier at home (when he feels like eating). He doesn't "go" very much and it's really hard for him to get the job started and to finish. I frequently have to ask if he's OK in there. His blood pressure medication was changed (again) in January but that was after his last potassium problem. I'm not sure what the culprit is this time. Maybe his kidneys have finally decided they're done.

In addition to his regular problems, he's been having problems with his mouth, throat, and esophagus. He says they feel like they're on fire. He says he's having trouble swallowing and feels like food gets stuck half-way down. The doctor has scheduled an endoscope test for next week.

I feel like all I ever have to say is something negative. Or, I sound jaded and calloused. I'm not. I'm more tired of anything else and I feel guilty for being tired of this whole process.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Undercover Boss

We've been watching Undercover Boss just about ever since it started on the television. We've missed a few episodes but usually get them either on reruns or record to watch later.  The last couple of weeks have been looking at employees who were "Wow!" either in a bad way or a good way, and then bosses who have made a difference.

I recorded the show featuring the bosses and watched it today. I have to say the ones they profiled were episodes that I did watch and the bosses were really good. Some of the undercover outfits were hilarious (and I wondered how they ever pulled it off!) and I loved the looks on the faces when their real names/positions were revealed.

I think I was most impressed with Stephen Cloobeck of Diamond International Resorts. He actually did two undercover episodes (only one to do this) and although he is a stern employer, he was also the most generous to those he worked with. I was quite impressed. The world needs more bosses like him. Compassion for others is something you either are born with or not. You can't teach it.

He seems to have a lot of compassion of his employees and I was impressed to watch him.