Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Living for Today

This month I trusted Donny to go to the doctor by himself. It's the first time that I haven't gone with him in a long time. He came home reporting that he had gained a little more weight and that everything else was the same.

The following day was my appointment. (I lost 4 pounds and my blood pressure dropped a little.) I walked in the back and the nurse starts telling me how good Donny looked the day before. The doctor was in the hallway there and he chimed in telling me how good Donny looked and how he could actually carry on a conversation. They both went on and on about how good he appeared to be doing. The doctor said that whatever I'm doing I need to keep it up. He actually said that the improvements are mmore likely to be due to me than him. It was nice to hear.

Things are going better right now. Not only is Donny's health doing okay right now, but things between us have improved. Every day I fall in love with him all over again. Things are going really well right now and I'm soaking up every minute of it while it lasts.

I can't help but worry a little though. Even though Donny looked better, there were no actual improvements in his health. No matter how pretty tthe wrapping is, his liver is still destroyed. But I can't help that little flame of hope that comes through when he's doing well. I know it's pointless since his health is still awful, but I can't quite extinguish it. It gets hard to remember how sick he is on the inside.

I'm afraid of the heartbreak that I'm setting myself up for. Donny's going to die sooner rather than later. All the doctor's agree about that. I want to enjoy what we have right now, but there's a part of me holding back. I'm terrified that I'm going to fall apart when I lose him. The worst thing is that there's nothing that I can do about it. I'm already head over heels for him, how do you undo that? How can you want to undo that?

I know that I'm borrowing trouble from tomorrow, but I can't seem to stop. So for now I ignore that nagging voice in the back of my head and just live for today.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A wonderful little adventure.

Last night on my way home from work I hit a pothole. This wasn't just any pothole, it was the biggest damn pothole ever. For 2 weeks now I've been passing by it and talking about how it's big enough to really do some damage. Apparently I decided to test just what it'll do.

I hit that pothole going about 50 mph. I instantly heard a very fast leak in my tire. I pulled over to check out the damage and saw that I had a very flat front tire on the driver's side. I was going to change it myself, until I realized that the jack wouldn't fir under the car.

This is the point where I become very greatful that my husband insisted that I get roadside assistance for my car. I called the 800 number and told the nice lady where I was and that I needed a flat changed. She let me know that it'd be about an hour. And so the waiting began.

I was out in the country, parked in front of a dairy farm. The wait wouldn't have been too bad if it weren't for the fact that I needed a restroom NOW. I tried getting up and walking around, I tried just sittinig there. I tried to think about something else, but my bladder was very insistent on needing to be emptied. Donny called and he could hear the distress in my voice. When I told him what was wrong he said to open the door and go next to the car. He seemed to be incapable of understanding that on one side of the car was the road and on the other side was a bunch of farm hands. It just wasn't happening.

As I sat there being miserable because I'm way too shy to ask the guys working there if I can use the restroom the owner of the farm drives up. He pulled his pickup next to my car so that we could talk and checked to make sure that I was okay. I let him know that I had called for a tow-truck and it should be there soon. We chatted for a minute and then he told me where the bathrooms were and where the office was in case I needed anything. I instantly loved that man.

A few minutes after I came back from the restroom another pickup pulls up beside me. At first I thougt it was some concerned passerby. It took a second for me to catch on to the fact that this was the guy sent by my roadside assistance company. Considering the fact that I was concerned about further damage and considering having it towed, I wasn't too pleased that the guy didn't have a tow truck. Fortunately the car was drivable so there wasn't a huge issue.

I got home and Donny jumped in the car and said that he wanted to try and get to the tire shop before it closed. So we pull up as they're shutting the doors and Donny begins begging them to sell us a tire. A couple of guys stuck around a sold us a tire, fixed my bent rim, put the old tire on the front and the new one on the back, and put away my spare for next time. They were so nice about staying late. Also, if you show up when the guys are trying to get out of there, they're fast.

So today I'm taking my car in to get checked. I saw a couple of wet spots under it yesterday that concerned me. I'm still not convinced that I didn't do more damage than just a flat tire and bent rim. We shall see.

Monday, February 11, 2008

And now back to our regularly scheduled program...

Donny's out of the hospital. My hours at work have been cut back again. Life is returning to normal. Or our closest possible imitation.

Next week my grandma is having knee replacement surgery. She finally lost all the weight that the doctor wanted gone and so she's been cleared for surgery. I almost typed cleared for takeoff. Can you tell that I'm tired?

My mom is starting the process for gastric bypass surgery. Her doctor asked for a personal favor from the surgeon to get him to take her on even though he doesn't take her insurance. Things have gotten bad with her. Her legs are having a hard time holding her, so she falls a lot. Her bones are getting real brittle, so she breaks something every time she falls. Her doctor wanted her in a wheelchair, but she refuses to let it go that far. So they've compromised, she uses a walker, and she's getting the surgery.

So life goes on. All in all I'd say that things are good here. I hope that all is well with all of you.

Still There

Donny's still in the hospital. He didn't even switch to a different hospital. His roommate sat in the hall all day yesterday, which seems to help him keep his clothes on. At breakfast time yesterday they gave the roommate his tray and left him to feed himself. Apparently something wasn't good enough because the guy threw his tray hard enough that his glass dented the floor before shattering everywhere. From the way one lady told me the story it saounds as though Donny's lucky that the curtain stopped the flying glass from reaching him.

The saga of the roommate goes on. Yesterday it was his inconsiderate visitors that got on my nerves. They set a chair up in the doorway to the room and sat right in the way. Donny kept wanting to go for fresh air, but it meant him having to maneuver around whoever was sitting down at the time, since they wouldn't move out of the way. This wasn't so bad for me, but Donny's unsteady on his feet and he had to get himself and a walker through there. And it never occurred to these people that maybe they should move.

Last night Donny called me, all upset, because the roommate had kicked one of Donny's favorite nurses. I'm waiting to see how they deal with it. Some of this reminds me of how combative Donny can get when his ammonia levels are up. I really want to see how well they deal with combative patients.

Donny's lungs are still having a lot of problems. The pneumonia isn't too bad, we caught it early. The problem is that the emphysema is closing down his lungs. Yesterday the doctor said that Donny'll be there until they can get his lungs under control again. They're also planning on testing him to see if he needs to be on oxygen at home. We'll see how this visit goes.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

I swear I didn't die.

Things at work are finally slowing down. I've been working 7 days a week lately. By the time you add in my family wanting time with me I just haven't had near enough time for blogging. But now I'm supposed to only be on the schedule for 3 days a week for my tax job. And now that the year is closed out at my other job it should go back to 2-4 hours a week. The truly great thing is that all of a sudden I have time to breathe again.

Donny did really well at taking care of himself while things were so crazy for me. However, as the dust settles we find the damage. Donny's in the hospital right now with pneumonia. Since we finally got his insurance changed over we thought that we'd try the hospital that our doctor has privileges at.

We got to ER yesterday and talked to registration. This ER has a nurse out at registration that does a pre-triage and decides who needs to be triaged first. She talked to Donny and assured us that he would be next to be triaged. Triage saw him and got him right in a bed.

I never realized before yesterday that when Donny's having a hard time breathing it imitates a lot of the signs of a heart attack. In no time at all he was in a bed having an EKG done. They also did blood work lookiing for signs of a heart attack. And then they gave him low dose aspirin just to be on the safe side. I asked the doctor about all this and he said that it was standard procedure for when an older person comes in with Donny's complaints.

Being in a different ER was an interesting experience. I think that I like this ER better. We had arrived right after breakfast, so when lunch time rolled around Donny was hungry. The ER tech brought him a lunch tray. After dealing with an ER that had no food that was a nice change. They also allowed us to set up his portable DVD player to keep him entertained. The only problem that we ran into was when the doctor came in ready to discharge Donny because the tech said that Donny had said he was ready to go home. I was in there with Donny and I know he never said that. The doctor left the room and the next doctor that came in was the one who admitted him.

This hospital is okay, but I still haven't learned the lay of the land. I never could find the caffeteria last night. I did find some vending machines that had food in them, so I had a burrito from a vending machine for dinner. I think that today I'll figure out where things are.

And then this morning Donny calls me and tells me that I need to come get him. He says that he'll go tothe other hospital if needed, but I need to get him out of there. When I asked him why I just had to laugh at his answer. Last night a man in his 80s who has dementia was put in Donny's room. This morning that man decided that he didn't want to wear any clothing. So this guy keeps getting up, stripping, and then wandering around the room. Apparently the staff is having a really hard time keeping this guy clothed. I told Donny that he can't sign out AMA and that I'd see him after church. We'll see how this goes.