Tuesday, September 26, 2006

What else is going on?

You ask...I answer. My hubby had surgery on his knee to fix some torn cartilige. It was outpatient surgery and he hobbled around home less than a week. Now he's doing physical therapy and will be better than new in no time!

My heel pain is constant and worsening caused by plantar fasciatis. The doc gave me a cortisone shot which had lidocane which eliminated all the pain for about an hour. So for that short, sweet time there was no pain and it became so clear how bad and how long this thing has hurt. The feeling of relief just rushed over me. But it crept back and hurts worse and in a larger area now - so back to the doc tomorrow. He said something about surgery if the shot didn't work....

Mattie (our french bulldog) has had some permanent nerve damage in her front paws and is taking a course of prednisone. She is still happy-go-lucky as usual.

We went to dinner for my daughter's 20th! birthday and had a blast! I kinda walked into a 'family joke' and the funny stuff went on and on. We laughed so hard, tears ran down our face. After all the stress about dad's stroke, the laughter was a great release.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Stroke effects

Dad was moved to Select Specialty Hospital within the hospital this week. The time spent in ICU seemed unending - a succession of days and nights - good and bad where we were hopeful one minute and waiting for the worst the next. Dad was in a morphine induced coma to help keep him calm so that his blood pressure wouldn't spike. When they tried to bring him out of that, they still had him on one med that caused headache, so kept up the morphine to keep him comfortable. There were days when he was very agitated. For more than a week, he didn't open his eyes. He was on a ventilator, feeding tube, IV and had tubes everywhere. He had a special air bed that would turn him slightly from side to side to prevent bed sores.

Trying to make him more comfortable and reduce the risk of infection, the nurses inserted a PICC line. A day or two after that, they put his feeding tube into his stomach instead of down his throat. He developed an infection last week. We thought it could be a turn for the worse. Once they got the fever down, they did a tracheotomy. Now nothing is down his throat!

Yesterday was his first day at Select. I got there about 8:30am. The place is busy; much different than ICU with nurses having about 4 patients each. Dad has a team of a few nurses, a couple aides, his doctors(family, infectious disease, intensive care, neurology) , and the therapists(physical and speech) Everyone needed to assess him and by early afternoon, he was zonked. The most exciting part was the speech therapist who really got him responding and he seemed happy about that. For the first time since the stroke, he looked me in the eyes, seemed to recognize me, squeezed my hand and even mouthed that he was hot, so I took his blanket off.

Baby steps, Baby steps

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Dad's Stroke

My dad had a stroke the week before last. He had been working outside. My brothers were going to visit and when they got there, he was sitting in a chair unable to move. He regained movement about 10 hours later at the hospital. He needed surgery on his carotid artery which was blocked. Since it was scheduled for the following Tuesday, he got to go home for the weekend. He was at my niece's 1st birthday party on Sunday. Tuesday's surgery was pushed to Wednesday because the surgeon had an emergency. During surgery Wednesday, he had another stroke. He had another surgery following that to make sure the artery was clear. They kept him in a coma to keep his blood pressure down and started to bring him out of it Friday. A scan showed small vascular disease in his brain. His left side is paralyzed, he's on a respirator, being tube fed and given pain meds. When the blood pressure and pain meds start to wear off, he starts to wake and his blood pressure spikes. He is very uncomfortable and agitated at that point. This morning when I called the nurse said he rested well during the night, so I'll be spending the morning with him. Yesterday he had tears. They are starting to wean him off the respirator. He is making small improvements like that. From what I can observe and what I've read surviving a stroke is not an easy process. He has been such a support for me; the parent I could count on for stability. Now I want to be there with him and for him. I hope it is some comfort to him that his family is there and not upsetting for him.

This is hard hard hard.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

girlfriday: my best advice

My best blog friend, girlfriday gives us a confidence boost.

I also love Stephen Colbert's article in Wired.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Mom, I have something important to tell you

Yes, those were the words on my voicemail this afternoon. My daughter found out she's pregnant today. She had told me about her period being late earlier this week. So now we are expecting two new grandbabies. It's a little different when it's your daughter who is pregnant. I'm concerned about her health and her pregnancy. She has endometriosis, so being pregnant will help give her body a break from that. She's been having unprotected sex with her fiancee for a while, so I think she was concerned about being able to get pregnant. She's petite and has some other health problems, so I hope everything goes well for her.

They just started college and are living with her dad's girlfriend right now. They planned to get work/study jobs and live there for a while. Now they'll need a place of their own. They are struggling financially. They were planning a September 2007 wedding. They have lots of things running through their minds right now. She went to the doctor and he focused them for the moment by saying that since she has endometriosis, this is a blessing and they should think nothing but positive thoughts. Good advice.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Artist or Actress?

Today our painting class was filmed by our local PBS station. For the first time, I was the first to finish painting and was filmed signing my painting! This was my best work yet - a scene of water crashing into a large rock jutting out of the ocean. If there's any broadcast, I'll be sure to blog about it.