Friday, November 30, 2007


Today my mom and I were sitting eating lunch when she started complaining to me about how her finger hurts. She was telling me about how it hurts to use the mouse and so she thought that she might be using the computer too much. And then she said that she had started noticing it while doing other things, like holding a puzzle book open. She seemed to believe that she might have a repetitive motion injury in her finger.

It was at this point that I asked her when she first started noticing the pain. She thought about it for a second and then said that she first noticed it Wednesday night. I couldn't believe that she hadn't put 2 and 2 together yet. You see, she fell Wednesday afternoon. I pointed out that most people's natural reflex is to catch themselves with their hands. She stopped and thought about it, and then realized that the finger that hurt was on the side of her body that she fell on.

We're not talking about the kind of fall where you jump up and hope nobody saw. We're talking about she laid on the sidewalk until a passing car noticed her and stopped to help. (They went in and got a chair from the salon that my mom had been headed into when she fell. Mom's not small, so having her pull herself up was the best solution.) This was the kind of fall that would lead some people into going in and getting checked just to be sure they were okay. So thinking that mom might have injured her finger when she tried to catch herself is not a far leap in logic.

So I bugged my mom until she called and made an appointment with her doctor. I want to be sure that there's nothing that can be done for her. Of course she can't get in until a week from this coming Tuesday, but at least she's going. And until the doctor sees her I had her put a splint on her finger. She barely has any range of motion, but when she tries to bend the finger it hurts. So I'm the Meany who's making her wear a splint so that she remembers not to bend the finger.

I was telling a friend about this and she told me something interesting. She said to cradle my mom's hand in mine so that my hand is lightly supporting the weight of her hand, with her palm up. She told me to then flick my mom's finger tip. If she doesn't scream in pain then the finger's not broken. I wonder how accurate that is. I also wonder where my friend learned this. Did a doctor or nurse teach her, or is this a trial and error thing that she came up with? And if it's something that she came up with, who was stupid enough to let her test it out on them? Or for the matter, who let a doctor test this out on them?

If I thought that my finger was broken I'd be decking anybody who said, "Let me flick it to see if you scream in pain." I'm sorry, but I don't want to know that bad. If you think that what you want to do might make me scream in pain then I don't want it done. Period. I do not enjoy pain, I do not want you intentionally inflicting it. Have you ever wondered how we came to know a certain piece of information?

Think about some of the things that we know. There are plants that are poisonous raw, but edible cooked. Who discovered that? What made a person think, "Hey this killed Joe, let's see if it kills Sally after we cook it." And who looked at a cow and thought, "Let's drink the white stuff coming out of that!" What made us take leaves that are rather gross to chew on and boil them to make a drink? Look around, we do some strange stuff. Have you ever wondered why?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Decisions, decisions

I had a job interview a couple of weeks ago. It was a group interview with about 30 people. It went well, and at the end they asked that we all take turns meeting with the district manager's secretary. She needed to get us put into the system so that our paperwork could be processed. This ended up taking about 3 hours. And of course I wound up being the next-to-last person. If I'd quit visiting and get in line then I probably wouldn't be last so often.

As I sat there waiting to be seen one of the more experienced preparers came in to the office for reasons that I still don't grasp. He sat down at the table where several of us were waiting and started visiting. The number of people dwindled and it ended up being just the two of us talking. We were having the usual conversation where we talk about what I can expect as a first year preparer and he gave advice about things that help improve your skills.

At some point in the conversation we started discussing what my expectations were. I told him that I wanted to pick up as many hours as I could. I then explained that this would be hampered because of Donny's health. He thought about it for a couple of minutes, and then he recommended a certain office for me. It wasn't the office that I had originally applied for, but I've spent a little time getting acquainted with the manager of that office. Her dad teaches my class and she comes in to help him, so we've spent some time talking. I originally applied for the office that my teacher works in.

After I was done with the interview (actually the computer broke and so I had to do my paperwork later) I was talking to my friend that worked for this company last year. I told her about my conversation with Al. I was surprised to hear her shock at the fact that he had told the district manager to hire me. Apparently Al doesn't normally get involved in the hiring process. And a suggestion that I thought could be shrugged off as somebody not knowing what they're talking about is now being taken very seriously. I guess Al pulled the office manager that he wants me to work for aside and told her to hire me. And he talked to the district manager again. And my teacher knew about it before I ever said anything. Everybody who is already in this business is taking this guy very seriously.

And so now I'm not sure what to do. I mostly chose the office that I applied for because my friend was applied there also. But she's now been promoted to manager of a different office. The manager of the office that Al recommended has been asking me to go to work for her. She's even guaranteeing that she'll keep me on after peak, which usually doesn't happen your first year. But the other office has a lot of experienced preparers who would be able to help me if I need it. But the manager of the recommended office already knows about Donny's problems and is willing to cut me some slack for appointments and medical emergencies. I know that the office where I applied would hire me, but I can't be sure how many hours I could get there. All in all, I think that I may change what office I'm applying for. The manager of the recommended office has assured me that it would be no problem to change where I'm applying for.

The best thing about all this is that I've never been seriously recruited before. It's nice to feel so wanted.


One of these days we'll learn that I shouldn't be the one that takes grandma to her appointments with Dr. Late. I swear we came close to me doing something that would force my grandma to switch doctors. I just couldn't think of anything that wouldn't lead to me being thrown in jail.

I can't see any reason that expecting people to wait 2 hours to be seen is acceptable. If you have an emergency that puts you that far behind schedule then calling patients and telling them to come in later would be an acceptable way of handling things.

And how many emergencies are you having? Every time that I take my grandma in you are extremely behind schedule. To me that smacks of poor scheduling. I realize that you have a god complex, but my time is valuable too. There are much better things that I could do in those 2 hours if I'm not sitting in your waiting room.

And then , when you do show up, do not have the nerve to harass me about my obvious shortage of time for getting ready. I realize that big fuzzy slippers are not normal footwear for your office. I was hurrying to make it to the appointment on time, a concept that you clearly do not understand. And if you choose to give me a hard time about the slippers, don't get your panties in a bunch when I tell you that if I'd known you were running 2 hours late I would have taken the time to find my shoes. Just remember, you opened that particular door.

And is it just me, or is voicing concerns about nutrition something that should be done in the doctor's office? I can't believe that it would be wrong to point out that the patient hardly eats anything and so they may have nutrition problems. I was even nice in how I said it. And still the doctor seemed to get his feathers ruffled because I dare question what's going on with his patient. I presented it as something that I didn't think you were aware of because I was told that you weren't aware of her drastic diet. I really was not trying to be sarcastic, which is how you seem to have taken it.

(I must apologize for the rant, but that doctor tends to really piss me off.) We now return to our regularly scheduled program, which appears to be the sound of silence.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


I went into town today to pick up Donny's antibiotics. This means driving the back roads where the speed limit is 55. There's this long straight stretch with no stop signs where everyone goes a minimum of 70, and I was cruising it at 73. I know the exact speed I was going because the officer who ticketed me was nice enough to let me know. Now why the hell can't I ever remember the lessons that I've gotten in how to get out of a ticket?

My mom has a couple of stories about getting pulled over that end with the officer laughing too hard to write a ticket. Since I seem to be lacking in the humor department maybe I should get a fake ID. I bet giving a fake ID to a cop would get me into lots of trouble. At least then I'd have a good story to tell.

Well, since I don't have any good stories I guess I'll have to find another way to amuse myself. I think that I'll enter the contest over at Mommified Me. That is, if I can get blogger to work correctly so I can get the music. And if I can think of anything truly inspired.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Well, the experiment with Donny turned out about how I expected. While I was at school Saturday he slept. He slept the day away yesterday. He only woke up to go to the bathroom, where he forgot to shut the door and then fell asleep sitting there. The door thing wouldn't be so bad if there weren't 3 other women living in this house.

This afternoon I woke Donny up to check on him. I probably should have done so sooner, but I couldn't deal with things emotionally, so I failed him. When I woke him up today he seemed okay at first. He held a reasonably coherent conversation with me. He was a little out of it, but it seemed to be the kind of confusion that many people have when waking from a deep sleep.

I kept him awake so i could get a better understanding of how he was doing. I laid in bed with him and we watched TV and talked a little bit. At one point he looked over at me and said, "I love you honey." I told him that I loved him too. A minute later, for some reason that I still don't know I asked him who I was. He couldn't answer me. After thinking about it for a little while he decided that my name must be honey. It makes sense since I answered to that.

I continued questioning him and found that he didn't know where he was, what day it was, or who he was. I became concerned. It seems to me that after 50 years he really ought to remember his own name. I finally convinced him to get in the car and we went to ER. If I had to be a little misleading about where we were going, I had the best of intentions at least.

We arrived at ER at 4:30. By 5:30 he'd been triaged. Sometime after that the lab people came and got him and got his blood work started. Around 7:30 he went to a bed. By the time he got a bed his labs were already back. By 8:00 he'd seen a doctor and been told that he'd be staying since his ammonia level was 117. The doctor said that he'd go call the resident that covers for our doctor to come admit Donny. He then sent Donny for a chest ex ray just to be safe, since he has COPD.

The resident got there and decided that Donny didn't need to stay after all. He told me to take Donny to see our regular doctor tomorrow and also to take him to get his ammonia level ran again. He then told me to take Donny's pain meds away since they were probably adding to the confusion. He walked out of there and I just started crying. Our doctor never gives same day appointments. And I couldn't figure out who was supposed to get the results from the lab for us. But the biggest problem was I didn't know how I was going to deal with Donny while he was doing without pain meds.

Donny in pain is not a pretty sight. And if he happens to know that he has pain meds on hand then he yells at me to give them to him. He doesn't care what the doctor says, he's hurting and he wants his medicine. Normally him yelling at me wouldn't really phase me, but right now it's killing me. We fought through what was probably our last Thanksgiving because I was trying to force him to follow the doctor's orders. I'll never get another Thanksgiving to make up for this one. It's not fair to expect this of me.

I pulled myself together after about 10 minutes of crying, and then the first doctor came in. He let us know that the ex ray had shown some bronchitis. He started Donny on zithromax and talked to me about how to care for Donny. He helped me so much. He told me to give him his medicine as prescribed, just to try to cut back as much as possible on the percocet. He also told me not to bother with the doctor tomorrow. He said that was pointless since there's no way that Donny will be better by tomorrow. He told me that if Donny's not better in a couple of days to just take him back to ER. He said that since his doctor would just send him there anyway we could skip the doctor and go straight to ER. He also said that Donny's regular appointment in 2 weeks was a good follow-up time for today's visit, unless of course he needed to go back to ER before then.

As I was writing this I realized that the biggest reason that I preferred the first doctor that we saw was because he didn't treat me like an idiot. I wanted so badly to tell the resident to call our regular doctor at home and ask him if I was somebody that could be believed. Dr. Cohen listens when I say that Donny's different. Most of the doctors that we deal with realize that I'm intelligent enough to know what Donny's usual behavior is and whether or not it's altered. But this resident acted as if I couldn't be trusted and treated me like an idiot. It was really nice to have the more experienced doctor come in and validate that I'm not wrong in trusting my instincts. I think he knew that I'd been crying, because right after he walked out after the last exam he did he came back in and told Donny that he's lucky to have me taking care of him. He really helped me calm down.

One thing that I've been thinking about lately is that I want to know what the ER is pumping through their air ducts. I've noticed that as soon as we walk in whoever is ill starts to feel better. It's happened with me, and I've noticed it with my mom and with Donny. Whatever they've got in the air I want to just pump through my house. It would save me and them a lot of time and hassle if we didn't have to go in for it. I've even considered taking sick people down just to sit in their waiting room. If you know what it is, please let me know.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Good News

We got our finals back today. I got a 96% on mine. It was the highest grade in the class. The teacher announced it because he found it amusing that I scored higher than my friend who was taking the class for the second time. (She passed the first time, she just wanted a bit of a refresher.) Out of the four sections on the test I got a perfect score on three of them. The one where I made mistakes I knew walking out of there last week that I'd made mistakes there. And I still got most of them right. I am so happy! :)

Friday, November 23, 2007


I have done something that may prove very stupid. I turned my husband's medicine over to him. The last time that I did this he wound up in the hospital. We'll see how this goes.

We've been fighting non-stop for a few days now because of his medicine. He wants to take more painkillers, while I think he needs to take less. It's not that I want him to be in pain, but the percocet seemed to be causing some confusion and possibly some hallucinations. In an attempt to get his brain function under control I forced him to take the medicine as prescribed. He wanted more than that.

The problem with getting fed up and turning the medicine over to him is that I know there will be consequences that I don't like down the road. He's going to run out of pain killers before the they can be refilled. He very well may put himself in the hospital. But I just can't take the fighting anymore.

One of my biggest worries when I'm doing his medicine is that he'll accuse me of withholding medicine in the presence of somebody who has to report abuse. I don't know how to prove that I gave him his medicine. The pills being gone doesn't prove that he got them. I'm hoping that the medicine would show up in a drug test. And the worst part is that he believes himself. He forgets that he's already taken his pills and he wants them again. I'm going to have to be vigilant about watching for signs of overdose. And yet that's easier than fighting with him all day every day.

Well, here's to good results from a bad experiment.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Things that confuse me

Because of my current obsession with medical stuff I tend to read a lot of medical blogs. In theses blogs medical professionals are a little more honest and blunt than they can be at work, for obvious reasons. Several of them have now referred to fibromyalgia in a way that suggests that it's not real in most cases. This prompted me to look up what it is.

O my God, I could have fibromyalgia! If I tried hard enough I could get a doctor to say that I have it. I mean, muscle pain and fatigue are a constant part of my life. And all this time I thought that my back hurt because of the extra weight that I make it haul around. And I thought that my shoulders hurt because of poor posture. And I could have sworn that the fatigue was because I'm up all night on the computer instead of sleeping.

I seriously believe that I could convince a doctor that I have this. That is, if I can find a doctor who believes that it's real. I now understand why healthcare professionals don't automatically believe that there's a real problem just because you have a fancy name to put to it. If I wanted to insure that I get narcotics I suppose that I could get a fancy name put to my pretend pain.

I understand that there are probably people out there who really do suffer from fibromyalgia and are not just in it for the drugs. For their sake I really wish that people wouldn't use this as a crutch to get meds. Nobody is going to take it seriously if 99 times out of 100 there's really nothing wrong with the patient other than an addiction to strong pain meds. I hate it when people fake an illness because it really does make it harder on people who are legitimately sick.

I sometimes wonder why people feel the need to fake an illness at all. I've found that when I go to the doctor with a problem that may cause pain the doc is usually very liberal about giving pain meds. The only time that I ran into a problem was when I was visiting my grandparents out of state and had a toothache from hell. The first doctor that I saw looked at the fact that I was from out of state and had no insurance and wouldn't prescribe narcotics, but that was okay since she gave me the antibiotics that I was after. When I showed up three days later looking like a pregnant chipmunk (which is how my mother described me) the doctor was very nice and gave me vicodin. I wanted stronger antibiotics, but he seemed to think that what I had was plenty strong. Whatever, it got me through long enough to get home and see my dentist. My point being that I almost never have problems getting the pain relievers that I need. Drug seekers just baffle me.

Wish I May, Wish I Might

There are times when I wish that I was a doctor. This is one of them. Donny is confused again. He's doing this weird thing where he says one word, but means another, and he doesn't realize that he's saying the wrong word. I've upped his dose of lactulose and I'm hoping that will fix things. I wish I was a doctor so that I could figure out whether or not he needs to go to the hospital. I know his ammonia levels are probably elevated. What I don't know is how badly. I also don't know at what point he needs to be in a setting that can deal with a medical emergency. I really wish that he came with instructions.

Right now this is somewhat of an academic debate, since I don't have reliable transportation to get into town. The cars will be home in a couple of hours and so I'll give it until then to see if he improves. If he can't wait I'll start calling friends, or worst case scenario, I can call for an ambulance. I just hate the thought of tying up an ambulance unless there's no way to safely transport him to the hospital myself.

Yesterday Donny had all of his teeth pulled. (There really weren't that many, it took all of an hour.) The oral surgeon gave him percocet for the pain. Since the surgeon and his doctor have been talking to each other, I'm assuming that the doctor approved of this. So he's been getting one every 4-6 hours since we picked them up. I can't help but wonder if the increased percocet is responsible for his confusion. And I'm back to the question of whether or not that deserves a trip to ER.

I would love to be able to call the hospital and ask them whether or not I should take him in, but they're not allowed to tell me anything over the phone. They definitely are not allowed to tell me not to bring him in. There's just way too much room for a lawsuit in that, no hospital will allow it. Some insurance companies have started hotlines where you can call and talk to a nurse. Of course, when you're on the county MIA program there's nothing like that available. So I'm back to wishing that I were a doctor.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


I took my final today. Boy am I glad that I went to that extra study session. I was the first person to finish, and that had me worried. There were 4 parts to the final, and one of them was to complete a return that combined all the different areas that we've been learning about. The instructor was able to tell me that the bottom line on the return was correct, but I don't get my grade until next Saturday. But at least there's nothing left to stress about. What a relief!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Patience Pays

I got to teach Donny a good lesson today. For a long time now he has had no patience. When we're having to wait somewhere I usually send him outside until it's our turn because he's so bad at waiting. He gets so frustrated that he becomes verbally abusive.

So today was medicine day. At the pharmacy that we have to use the wait is usually about an hour. I took a textbook in with me to study while I waited. I left Donny in the car to try to nap.

After I dropped off the prescriptions I sat down in the waiting area and started to study. I heard a lot of grumbling around me about the long waits, but that's par for course. I realized that I'd never remember what I was reading so I closed my book and started talking to the people near me. This is usually a good way to get amusing stories for later.

All the people around me were normal and so time seemed to drag by, but I continued to sit there hopefully. At some point Donny came in to check on me. I let him know that I was fine and sent him back outside.

Finally the really nice lady that I prefer to deal with caught my eye and let me know that I would be next. I gathered up my things and stood behind the "privacy line" to wait my turn. Donny came back in so I let him know that we were next and told him to wait in the car for me.

When I got to the window the lady made a comment that led me to figure out that we had been bumped up in the line a little because she appreciated how patient I was. It was obvious that she was frazzled and so I felt bad for her when it turned out that his medicine had somehow gotten strung out between four or five different places. She even found my refill in the process. I told her that I'd have to come back for my meds since I had failed to bring my insurance card with me. She asked me if it was up to date and I said yes. So she told me that she'd vouch for me and let me get my meds while I was there anyway.

So after this was all over with I was talking to Donny about it. I finally had proof for him that a little bit of patience pays off in the long run. In fact, if everybody would be more patient there would be a lot less crabby people in the world. Or at least I think so.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Time Well Spent

I have the final on the first part of my tax class coming up on Saturday. I have to get at least 70% to get certified by the state of California and with at least 80% to get hired where I applied. This has me very worried since this class is kicking my butt.

And that's why I went to the lab class today. It's not required, but I figured that I could at least get some more computer time in, since the program we use isn't available for home computers. These labs are a great way to make up missed classes. I really like the fact that the teachers are taking turns doing these for us.

I got to lab today to discover that there were only 2 of us taking advantage of the opportunity. The other student is taking the course as a refresher since she passed it last year. (So much is covered that it's highly recommended that you take it 2 years in a row.) She was only there because she wanted more practice on the computer. That meant that she didn't really need much help.

All of that adds up to me getting a lot of one on one time with the teacher. The guy that was teaching today isn't my regular teacher, but he's the one that taught this course to my regular teacher however many years ago. He was great. I told him that I was studying for the final, so he grabbed his copy and started quizzing me. He actually went through and read each question to me straight out of the book and helped me find the answers that I didn't know. I now know exactly what areas I need to really concentrate on as I continue studying. It was great. He really boosted my confidence level. I am so glad that I went.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Another Round Please

I went to the doctor again today. I had taken my last dose of zithromax last night and I just wasn't feeling any better. In fact, I now am having problems with one ear. So I actually managed to get in to see my doctor. He seemed rather surprised to discover that I developed an ear infection while on antibiotics, but the infection is definitely there. So here we go with another round of antibiotics, but this time it's amoxicyllin. I just hope that works.

On to happier things. Mielikki posted about Christmas trees, asking whether people prefer real or artificial. Her post got me to remembering. My family always uses fake trees because my mom's allergic to the real thing. When I got out on my own it just seemed natural to buy a fake tree, I never even considered going for a real one.

That first Christmas that I decorated my own place was hard for me. Our family tradition had always been to decorate the tree together. We have a hodge-podge of ornaments that have been collected over the years. Many of them my sister and I made. As we decorate we talk about the memories that go with the various decorations. We even enjoy the annual debate over who the crocheted ice skate ornament belongs to. (For the record, it's mine.)

That first Christmas on my own I was homesick. I went and bought a tree, and then I put it up in my living room. I then cried to my best friend about how my tree looked like a Charlie Brown tree and about missing the tradition of having ornaments that mean something. I just couldn't bring myself to go buy decorations for my tree, because it just wouldn't be the same.

A few days later I was at my friend's house and she handed me a couple of bags. She explained to me that she had bought a Christmas starter kit for me. In the bags was a turkey baster, meat thermometer, and tree decorations. There were even lights and a star for the top of the tree. She told me that way there would be a memory attached to my decorations as I started a tree of my own. It was one of the sweetest things that anybody has ever done for me. That has become one of my favorite Christmas memories.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

More Medicine Please

I went to see the doctor today. I didn't bother trying to get in to see my PCP. He never has same day appointments. I went to the Urgent Care Clinic instead. That was interesting.

The good thing about Urgent Care is that it's faster than ER. For that reason alone I prefer to go there unless I think that an ER is absolutely needed. I reserve ER visits for if I think that an admit to the hospital is likely, or for sudden injuries like a broken bone type of thing. If all that I think will be needed is a prescription then it's Urgent Care if I can't get in to see the PCP.

The bad thing about Urgent Care is that the only way somebody can accompany the patient to the exam area is if the patient is a minor. This isn't a problem when I'm the patient, since I don't need help. But when Donny's the patient it's a whole different story. I can't rely on him to understand what the doctor says, or to correctly relay the information. It's rather frustrating to me.

But for today, Urgent Care was a godsend. I needed a doctor to tell me that I have a cold and there's nothing that can be done so that my family would quit worrying. I really thought that's what would happen.

According to whoever that doctor was, I have bronchitis. I'm not convinced, but that's what the doctor says. Usually, when I have bronchitis, I feel way worse. And I've barely even had a fever, and even that's been off and on, emphasis on off. And besides, can a cold really turn into bronchitis? I think that the doctor just didn't want to tell me that there was nothing that could be done and to quit my bellyaching. However, he was nice enough to give me cough syrup with codeine, so I love him.

My aftercare instructions made for an interesting read. They included instructions that I was to see my doctor if I have any dizziness. I didn't think to tell the doctor that I've been having dizziness, I really didn't think it was important. I hope that I was right, since I didn't go back and tell him. But I think that the dizziness might have predated the bronchitis, in which case it's unrelated anyway.

Well, I need to take more cough syrup and go to bed, so I guess that's all the confused ramblings you get tonight.

The Real Me

Jogger-Abducting Monster from the Isolated Earth

Get Your Monster Name

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I give, I give...

Okay, it finally happened. My hectic schedule finally kicked my ass. I have been down all day with either a hell of a cold or a mild flu bug. Either way, it's not been fun. The up side though is that I've had a day at home where nobody expected a damn thing from me.

I really should have used today to get some homework done, but I just couldn't stay awake long enough. Maybe if I hadn't taken a benadryl it would have been easier. However, I did rule out allergies as the culprit. I just hope that a good night's rest will cure me.

Tomorrow mom has a doctor's appointment at 9:30 in a town about an hour to the east, and slightly south of us. After her appointment I have to take her and my great-aunt to a town about a half hour north of where mom's appointment is. I'm to drop them off with a friend of my mom's so that they can continue on to a town about an hour north of there. (They have to drop my great-aunt off so she can make sure that her son turns himself in on Thursday.)

In the same town where I'm dropping folks off I need to attend another make-up class, because I missed school last Saturday due to being up all night with Donny at ER. I'm getting worried because one of the finals for this class is in a couple of weeks, and class is kicking my ass. I'm normally good at school type stuff, but I'm having a really hard time keeping up. I have got to get better study habits.

I was rereading my old posts and realized that I didn't really describe the last ER visit. It was actually really interesting. First of all, we got the same nurse that we'd had a couple of weeks ago, and she's wonderful. Once I got Donny in front of a doctor he stopped acting sick. He would wake up just fine for them. He'd carry on a normal conversation with them. It's like he was out to make me a liar. My only saving grace was that this nurse remembered him, and she told the doctor that the sleeping wasn't normal for him. It was really nice to have somebody there who knew that I was right in what I was saying.

This nurse also let me know that I wasn't overreacting when I took him to ER. Because she saw the same things that I did she was able to tell me that he did show signs of hepatic encephalopathy, and that I was right in thinking that he needed to be evaluated by a doctor that night. I was really worried that I would be seen as just another hysterical wife. It was nice to know that my judgement wasn't that far off.

In the middle of the night every now and then a nurse will catch a break and all her patients will be asleep at the same time. If she's really lucky they'll stay that way long enough for her to catch up on her paperwork and be able to take a break. During one such break we started talking. I was really surprised when, in all seriousness, she told me that she lives in Florida, and just comes to California to work. Her husband and her son both live in Florida. Talk about a commute!

There was a couple in there that had everybody misty eyed, they were just so cute. They're in their 80's and they've been married for over 60 years. She had a minor fall at home and came in by ambulance. She didn't break anything, but other problems were found and she was waiting for a bed in ICU when we left.

When she arrived she immediately started asking if somebody would call her house and tell her husband that she was alright. She was sure that he was fretting, and wanted to soothe him. There was no need to call though, since he was pacing in the waiting room. They brought him back, and he sat there and held her hand and soothed her forehead. After they knew all that they would for the night, and she was fast asleep, he had to be strongly encouraged to go home and get some rest. In fact, he wouldn't leave until the nurse pointed out that his wife would need him to be in top shape the next day. They were just so darn cute together. I know that's how my parents will be in 30 years. I wish that I could be that certain about Donny and I.

With any luck it'll be a while before I have any more ER stories to share with you. I have to stay away from the hospital, I'm sick. :)

Monday, November 05, 2007

Tag, You're It

I've been tagged. No, it's not a toe tag, it's just a game. So, here are the rules.

1). Link to the person who tagged you and post the rules on your blog.

2). Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself.

3). Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.

4). Let each person know that they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Okay, let's see if I can think of 7 things that I'm willing to share.

1.)  One time, when I was around 7 years old, my sister and I convinced a bunch of kids that we lived in an igloo, had a pet killer whale and rode a polar bear to school. (None of that was true by the way.) We were living in Alaska at the time and we were visiting my grandparents in California. We were sick of all the misconceptions that people had about our lives, so we played along with the kids next door, just to see how dumb they really were.

2.) I love spaghetti, but don't care much for lasagna. Most people seem to assume that if you like one you'll like the other, but they really are 2 different things people.

3.) I used to be a minister.

4.) The guy that I had my first date ever with turned out to be gay. He came out of the closet on

5.) I went to my prom alone, after my date bailed on me a few days before the prom. While I was there I ended up inheriting my friend's date, since they had a huge fight. It turned out that he was gay. There seems to be a pattern developing here.

6.) I didn't get my driver's license until I was 20 years old. I started trying to get it when I was 16, but I couldn't pass the driving test. It was until I spent a summer in Wyoming that I finally passed a driving test. If you're having problems getting your license I highly recommend going there. the test took less than 20 minutes and it included making 3 right turns, turning around in a driveway and making 3 left turns.

7.) I lived in Arkansas for a year and fell in love with it. I know that this likely means that I'm a redneck, but it's a gorgeous state. And they have 4 distinct seasons, which has always been a requirement that I've had for my dream home. I loved it enough there that I wouldn't have moved back to California if my sister hadn't needed me so badly.

Okay, there's 7 facts. That was harder than I thought it would be. I'm only tagging one person, since she's the only one that I 
know well enough to feel comfortable tagging. I've known her 
since junior high, so she probably could have done a better job answering for me than I did. I don't know how to do a link on here, but her blog is linked on my sidebar. It's called Mom's the Word. Go check her out.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

It keeps going, and going...

The last few days have been crazy. I spent Wednesday in town getting my stuff done. I had a physical therapy appointment and then in the afternoon I had to go to a make up class. (Not learning how to do cosmetics, I was making up for missing a class to take Donny to ER.) That evening I was supposed to go to work, but when the boss brought his kids by trick or treating he let me know that he still wasn't ready for me to come in. I ended up passing out candy. Which made trying to eat dinner an interesting ordeal.

Thursday morning I took my grandma to her doctor's appointment. This was with the doctor that I don't like. He was so bad that I made my mom switch doctors. (Which has worked out very well for her.) Dr. Late has been doing better lately, but I still don't like him. My grandma had a 10:50 appointment. I figured that left plenty of time for me to leave town at 12:15 to go to my physical therapy appointment. Boy was I wrong.

At 11:16 my grandma was called back to have her vitals done and be put in a room. At 11:55 I went out and found somebody who works there to point out that we were still waiting and I needed to leave town in 15 minutes. At 12:10 the doctor came in to see my grandma. I know that doctors are busy people, and that their time is valuable. I'm busy and my time is valuable too. And you just put me behind schedule for other appointments. It really pissed me off.

After my physical therapy appointment my mom and I went to a big city that's about an hour away from us to go pick up my cousin. He had my aunt worried because he told her that he had nowhere to stay until he turns himself in on the 8th. (Yep, he's spending the holidays in jail, and he can't wait to get there.) He told his mom that he was sleeping under a bridge. On Saturday my parent's had gone up to get him, but he had decided to stay there. And he pulled the same damn stunt again. After having us run from one side of town to the other and back again several times, he decided to stay with a friend there. So we let him know that we wouldn't come rescue him again, and managed to get home around bed time.

I had plans for Friday. My mom and I were supposed to get my 2 year old nephew in the morning and take him swimming. After swimming we were going to the park until it was time to meet his mom for lunch. And then in the afternoon I would go to work, since I still needed to get this week's stuff done. In the evening I was going to do homework to get ready for class today.

What ended up happening was that my nephew slept in until it was too late to go swimming. In fact, by the time we got him dressed and ready for the day, and got the extra errands that we were given at the last minute done, we barely had time to go meet my cousin who's a truck driver for lunch. He happened to be passing through a town about 20 miles away at lunch time, so we got to visit with him. It was great to see him again.

After lunch we returned the kid, having properly wore him and us out. I came home ready for a nap, only to realize that my husband had now slept for 2 days. This was not a good sign. I managed to wake him up, but it was really difficult. He was not exactly "with it" mentally, so I knew we had a problem. I went in my mom's room, had a nervous breakdown, and then asked her to make some sandwiches to take to the hospital. It took an hour, but I got Donny to get in the car so we could go get him some medical help.

We got to the hospital around 5:30 and it was already a mad house. Yesterday seemed to be the day for toddlers falling and hitting there heads on sharp corners. It was amazing the number of little ones there with head injuries. It was 6:40 when Donny got triaged. I only remember so well because we were discussing the fact that it was almost change of shift. The triage nurse decided that she really liked me when I offered to reset the clocks to say 7:00. I really think that 12 hour shifts are cruel and unusual punishment.

Somewhere around 8:00 admitting finally did the paperwork to get the insurance to pay for Donny's visit. It was around 8:30 when he was taken to a bed. Not as bad as I had feared time wise. Friday night in ER sucks. I strongly urge you to do everything in your power to avoid going to ER then. I've yet to find an ER that's not crazy on a Friday night, but definitely avoid the county hospital at that time. It's not a pretty picture.

I think it was somewhere between 10:30 and 11:30 when we got Donny's lab results back and I knew that he wouldn't be admitted. It was a long time until the doctor said that, but with an ammonia level of 54 I knew that he didn't need to be there. It was around 2:00 I think when the doctor said that all we were waiting on was for Donny to wake up and pee. She wanted to run some urine tests, and we weren't leaving there without them. The nurse and I woke him up and wouldn't let him go back to sleep until he peed. That did the trick.

It was 4:00 when he was finally discharged. I'm glad that the doctor was so thorough. We found out that he has a UTI because she insisted on some tests that the nurse and I thought were pointless. Needless to say, school didn't happen today. Later I have got to remember to tell you about some of our other experiences last night.