Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Hmmm... no catchy title today. LOL!

It's Hump Day! Not much going on these days except more medical stuff. That's ALWAYS fun, right? hahahaha!

Ron is having a procedure today to look at his bladder and kidneys. I guess he's got new problems and they're looking specifically to see if he has an infection (which is my guess) or if he has a tumor somewhere. I may have blinders on, but it just seems odd that now that he's on Coumadin he suddenly has blood in his urine. He doesn't seem (to me, at least) to have any other symptoms of a tumor, but what do I know? He has had several episodes lately of nausea and vomiting. Medication? Disease processes? No clue but I'm hoping for some answers this week. (Update - test results show no tumor but the blood is coming from his kidneys due to kidney disease {no real surprise there}. His prostate is very enlarged - again, that is no surprise either. No treatment for either unless he begins to have more problems going to the bathroom.)

He also had a Thallium stress test a couple of weeks ago (after his diagnosis of A-fib and the procedure at the hospital to shock his heart back into normal rhythm). The doctor's office called him the other day and said there was an abnormality and they'd like to do a heart cath. He declined and said he'd just rather not go through any other heart treatments. His choice. He's had an enlarged heart for years and we know the pacemaker is working, so I understand why he doesn't want to do anything else. It's not like he'd be a candidate for any "big" treatment, such as any surgery.

We took him out on Sunday for his birthday and he looked awful. He was barely able to keep his eyes open for the first hour (it was a loooonnnnnggg lunch - poor service) but he did end up eating pretty well. I had to hold his plate down and remind him to either put the food in his mouth or how to get the food on the fork. At one point, he was using one hand to dig in the palm of the other hand. I asked him what he was doing and he said he was getting his dinner roll. He had a tub of butter in his hand but no roll, which he'd already eaten.

Sunday morning, the nursing staff found him on the floor of his room with his lift chair turned upside down on his head. He said he was looking for his TV remote and got down on the floor to look in the chair. He doesn't remember to put the remotes in the basket that is setting right next to him so it's a constant struggle to remember where they are and to find them. I found his iPod on the floor under his chair and it probably would have been crushed. (This is the same iPod he "lost" in early December and thought it had either been stolen or had been thrown in the trash. Actually, he had put it on the heater grate and it had slipped between the grids and landed on the elements below. Because he wanted to adjust the temperature in his room, he removed the grate and found the iPod. Of course, this was AFTER I had purchased another one to replace it. {sigh} That was not an expense I was expecting.)

Yesterday, he seemed just fine again. I'm not sure what exactly is going on with him but it's constantly up and down. I can no longer trust taking him out on my own and he just doesn't understand that. I can't risk him not being able to get up or down or lose his balance. My shoulder is still not well and I am not supposed to lift more than 5 pounds for another six weeks.

I try to have conversations with him stressing the importance of calling for assistance with things that he shouldn't attempt on his own. Although I no longer have the physical care of him, I still have the mental and emotional care. He's called me at bedtime before to tell me of electronic issues with his phone or tablet and wanted to know what he'd done and how to fix it. Very frustrating. I tell him that he cannot expect me to solve those types of problems over the phone; I need the device in my hand to see what he's done. There is still one setting he's changed on his phone that I can't quite find how to change back. He's purchased things on Apple (subscriptions to Pandora and Rdio unlimited) that I've had to beg Apple iTunes to refund on. I've disabled the auto-purchase on his account so I hope that fixes it. The Pandora subscription is annual so he's good until next year on that (it's only $4.99 so I kept it) but the Rdio was going to be $14 monthly. That's a no-no. :)

Ron has lost the ability to think beyond the confines of the "here and now," which I refer to as a box. He can only see what is in that box and not how a choice he makes (i.e., sliding out of his chair onto the floor) can have more consequences than him being down there to take care of something. His nursing home bill is very high and our share is considerable. I tell him that although he needs to be aware that they are busy, he still needs to call for assistance for things that involve his well-being and safety (see chair issue above). That's what we are paying for. Every time his butt hits the floor, it's considered a "fall," even if he slides out of his chair on purpose. He says he's got a "system" to do it safely... He takes off his prosthesis and leaves the liner on. That way, he can use the padding to protect his knee while he drags himself back into his chair. More often than not, he gets caught trying to do this and gets in trouble. The nursing home has rules and regulations they have to follow and there is no selection for "Patient slid out of his chair because he wanted to be on the floor" when filling out paperwork for incidents. Ron just doesn't see that his actions should be an issue.

He continues to try and buy things that he doesn't need. Years ago, he had a Farfisa keyboard that he sold (gave) to our church. When the preacher left the church, for some reason this keyboard went with him. I'm not sure how or why that occurred, but it did. Ron would like to buy it back and has asked this person more than once about purchasing it. I've told him that it's not an option. The preacher now lives in NC and the shipping cost would be extensive because it's very heavy. Ron and I have had this discussion more than once. Yesterday, while I was sitting in his room, he tried to call the preacher again to ask about the keyboard. Luckily, he doesn't really have a phone number for him (just a Facebook contact) so nothing happened. He said he thought if he paid for it a little bit at a time, then Al could ship it once it was paid for. I looked at him and asked, "Ron, where is this money going to come from 'a little bit at a time'?" His face just went blank. It never occurred to him that the money would still need to come from "me" and it's not in my budget (especially now) to try and fit in another expense. Plus, I don't believe Al wants to be in a lay-away situation and wants more for the keyboard (with shipping) than the keyboard is worth.

Ron had decided that since I borrowed enough from my 401k to pay the huge balance on the nursing home bill (and the attorney), that I didn't have "that" payment any longer and could handle it. Well, I have to pay back the 401k loan from my paycheck each payday. There is that "box" again...

My therapy continues to go well. I do have better range of motion (ROM) but still a lot of pain. Nights are rough because it stiffens up and then I try to put myself in positions (while sleeping) that then wake me.  I'm off work until the 27th because I don't have enough ROM to do my job (too much reaching with my left arm). I did water therapy yesterday and I'm having quite a bit of pain today. But, it's all good. I put some heat on my shoulder and am feeling much better - ready to do my first exercise set.

I'm working on getting back into crafting again and made a card for a friend. I'd like to make some Valentine's cards to sell. I went into my craft room and out of everything in there, I do not have ONE SINGLE stamp for Valentine's Day (not even a heart!). I was very surprised. LOL - I looked at Wal-Mart last night for a stamp but they didn't have one. If I get to a Michael's or Hobby Lobby between now and the end of the month, I'll have to pick up a heart stamp. I have plenty of papers that would work. I'd like to make some simple post cards that I can sell cheaply (like $1-1.50 each).

Better get myself going for the day... Take care and God bless you all. Although I write for my own sanity, I do appreciate the uplifting comments that you all leave.

3 comments:

joanne said...

I had no idea that Ron's situation had changed so drastically. I'm so sorry. He and I share many of the complications of that wretched disease and it hurts my heart to know how much he is suffering. My prayers go out to him and to you dear, dear, friend. I believe that you are handling this with so much grace and dignity and the day will come when you will know how much he appreciates all you do for him. Meanwhile, please take care of yourself. Do your ROM exercises and stay safe and warm. With healing thoughts...;j

Mynx said...

I can only imagine how hard it must be at times in your situation. At least Ron is being cared for and you have time to care for yourself now.
It is good that you can now think about getting back to doing some craft.
I hope you post pictures of your cards
Sending hugs and smiles
xx

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Do you think his mental aptitude is affected by chronic pain? I believe that's fairly common and probably affects his behavior quite a lot. Poor man.
I'm glad you're getting some rest now--heal your shoulder and MAKE THOSE CARDS!!!