Archive for February, 2009

One sickie, two sickie, three sickie, four…

Oh my am I behind in my record-keeping. That’s problem because we’ve had SO many sickies here lately.

Dad’s back in the hospital and has been for a week.

BOTH kids were put on 4x daily nebulizer treatments last week.

I’ve been slowly (SLOWLY) getting better after pretty much being completely out of commission for all intents and purposes since Jan. Had another med change last week after I called my doc to ask a ? and he had the nurse call me and tell me to “be here at 1:30!” lol

Turns out my tendons had been on the verge of rupture for several weeks. Go figure! He changed my meds, wished he could do more tests but opted not to since I have no ins, and told me to ride along with my folks when we brought my dad in the following week (would be tomorrow).

Dad’s appt is currently cancelled, though, since he’s still in the hospital.

Anyway.

I haven’t gotten much laundry or dishes done at all, just barely enough to get by. I have been getting a meal plan made up and have been keeping the groceries under the $80/wk I just haven’t been getting the details posted or recorded.

Besides everyone being sick, my computer is really sick, too. In fact, it may be dead. I can’t even get it to turn on. =(  ALL my pictures are on there for the last 5yr at least, and of course all my emails and bookmarks and personal files.

I’m hoping my brother can rescue the important stuff somehow. In the meantime, I’m having to use Mike’s computer to do anything. That means I pretty much don’t use the computer. lol

One thing about it… I have had way more time to get stuff done. I’ve been spending WAY too much time reading blogs apparently!

It does make it difficult to keep up with coupon deals and the like, though.

Guess that’s it for now. I’ll try to get some of the counts better updated in a day or so.

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Groceries and Dad again

That seems to be the standard theme around here lately. Probably because I’ve been too sick/busy to even THINK about anything else… let alone blog about it.

Went grocery shopping for the first time this month. I spent $80.82, so 82¢ more than my budget for the week, plus I still need bread. =(

BUT!!

I didn’t go grocery shopping LAST week at all. I’m still not ‘ahead’ because the week before I stocked up on the chicken which used most of last week’s budget.

However… =)

I am almost (I still need to get a little more ground beef stocked) at the point of being able to float by each week needing only the bare essentials replaced… milk, bread, cereal, fresh fruits, and toilet paper. LOL

I bought some soaps today, so aside from laundry detergent (which I will likely be making up a batch of DIY stuff soon) and dishwasher soap (which I will likely be trying to replace with vinegar and baking soda), I shouldn’t even need much in the way of non-food groceries for awhile.

I have shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, liquid dish soap, bath soap, lots of ziplocs, etc. I even got stocked up on cat food (well, the canned stuff anyway).

Also, I got the kittens collars and bought a new phone. Both things were on my list to purchase with ‘leftover’ grocery $$ when I could, so I can scratch those off the list now and move on to the next thing. =)

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Tomorrow is going to be an interesting day.

Dad is still in the hospital, but they tried to send him home today. Mom said uh-uh because they still hadn’t gotten him eating anything more than clear liquids, nor have they given her any kind of instructions on his care or told her what is going on or what the plan is for his surgical site (still held together with what they call “spoons and wires”). Also he has been VERY disoriented and confused, not to mention depressed. He’s hallucinating, too!

He is aware that his brain is not functioning properly and when Mom said that if she needed to exercise her medical power of attorney to refuse discharge from the hospital (he wants to go home so bad, poor guy!), he told her that he hoped his brain cells would be functioning enough to realize that she is only trying to do what is best. So it seems that he is worried his brain is getting worse… or maybe he knows for sure it is getting worse… or something.

Anyway. It’s gonna be real interesting to see what happens tomorrow since the hospital’s infectious disease ‘person’ (an RN, not a doc) will be reporting Dad’s extremely positive ehrlichiosis (a tick-borne infection) test results to the CDC. His primary doc HAS been informed of the test results and so far has done NOTHING with them. This is an infection that is supposed to be treated if even SUSPECTED. In other words if the docs think you MIGHT have ehrlichiosis, they are supposed to start treating you with doxycycline before the test result comes back to confirm it. Why? Because it can kill you if they wait too long to treat.

Now obviously it did not kill him before the test result came back, but he should have been prescribed the antibiotics back before they drew the blood even! That was a month ago!

*sigh* It’s all just so frustrating and my poor mom is about at her wit’s end trying to get someone to take care of Dad!

If I only had a license…

So Dad is doing better each day, and yet each day nothing changes. That is the causes of his problems have still not been addressed. Nor does it look likely they will be anytime soon. Granted there is not much that can be done about the fact that he scars horribly. I mean in a big-bad every-doctor-that-actually-SEES-his-scar-tissue-is-mystified kind of way.

We got some test results back (finally) yesterday though, that should… in theory… make addressing at least one underlying issue a simple matter of course. Unfortunely we’ve yet to find a dr to actually look at and then DO something about the test results.

He tested CDC positive (as in, should be reported to the CDC) for Ehrlichiosis which is a big-bad nasty tick-borne rickettisal disease. The treatment? A simple antibiotic found on the $4 list at Wal-Mart. In fact if this infection is even SUSPECTED this antibiotic is supposed to be administered…*just in case*… before the test results are even back.

It boggles my mind that the dr could actually look at this test result (which is clearly positive to anyone who knows how to read because the paper TELLS you how to read it…hello!!) and say, “Well I don’t understand this. You’ll need to take care of this on an out-patient basis with an infectious disease dr.”

Ok, so I get that you do not specialize in infectious diseases. Fine and dandy. Neither do I. I haven’t even been to medical school. Not a single day. And yet? I am pretty sure that if you know a patient has a bacterial infection, the obvious course of action is to, oh I dunno… TREAT IT!

Seriously! This doc wants Mom to wait until Dad is released from the hospital (like a week and half, two weeks from now) and then make an appt with an infectious disease dr to treat an infection. The reasoning behind this totally escapes me.

Why, oh WHY can they not just call a dr in for a consult and treat this infection NOW?!?!

It’s times like these when I feel so utterly fed-up with myself for not getting myself prescribing capabilities! I want to just grab my nonexistent Rx pad and solve the ridiculusly simple problem myself.

In other news… I think maybe, maybe we might have gotten the old refrigerator sold finally. I’m not holding my breath, of course, but someone called Mike today and said they would come out Monday to pick it up. We’ll see.

Found the camera!

Ok. I found the camera, so I snapped a quick pic of the stocking a minute ago.

santachefprogress2

Yes, that is an ashtray. No I haven’t started smoking again. My mom and both my youngest brothers (15y and 16y) are staying here while Dad is in the hospital. So those would be my mother’s cigarette butts.

Anyhow. I’m going to work on the stocking a bit today, then go over to a friend’s house for some coupon swapping.

Dad is actually doing tons better! He’s off the ventilator and out of ICU. His kidneys are doing better, too. No word yet on how long he’ll be in the hospital, though.

Why is it…

whenever I finally manage to get an interesting pic to put up here I lose the stupid camera??

My brother borrowed our good digcam, so I had to resort to using the old one to snap a pic of the progress on the stocking. That was probably Sunday night. I went just now to find the silly thing so I could retrieve the pictures and I can’t find it anywhere! Go figure!

I’m too tired to mess with it much more tonight. I’ll look again in the morning. If I can manage to find it, I’ll snap another shot of the stocking (since I’ve worked on it a bit more since Sun.) and post both pics at once.

It’s somehow gotten buried under a pile of papers or something somewhere, I’m sure.

Things have been getting piled higher and higher over here the last couple of days because we’re back in “crisis mode”.

Dad ended up having emergency surgery (again!) Sunday morning, so I missed the am services at church for a start. The surgery went ok in that they removed a TON of scar tissue that was basically twisting and gluing his intestines together with his bladder and everything else. The surgery went not so ok in that they had to really pull him closed tight and hold him together with wires which is putting pressure (too much? they’re not sure) on his kidneys making his kidney failure more problematic. Then to top that off, they could not get a central line in (either time they tried) because of scarring from his PICC line before so they can’t monitor the pressure his kidneys are under. On top of *that* his left lung collapsed and they ended up putting two chest tubes in (one on each side) to reinflate it and prevent it from happening again. He’s also still on the ventilator.

He hasn’t eaten or drunk anything since last Tues, so they’re finally considering giving him some IV nutrients in the am. He “might maybe” be developing pneumonia. Oh and he weighed 122lb before surgery (he’d lost 8lb in about 4 days from not being able to eat or drink) and now weighs 142lb! He has been pumped so full of fluids he is swelled up like a balloon! His kidneys aren’t working properly so it’s all just accumulating in his tissues.

The biggest problem is that about a week and a half after intestinal surgery the intestines turn to tissue paper consistency and any minor irritation causes perforations. The docs are worried that the wires holding him together may do more harm because of this. The other possibility is that his kidneys can NOT survive the pressure caused by keeping him held together in which case they will reopen the surgical incision and leave it open. If they do that, his intestines will end up, according to the surgeon, as a mound outside of his body. Ordinarily they can then use a mesh screen of sorts to hold things in place while the skin heals. With Dad? Not so much. He scars so badly his body would just grow attached and around the mesh… like a tree grows around a rope or hose over many years. For Dad the only option would be what the surgeon described as a specially designed “plastic bubble” that they would put on him to protect the literally HANGING OUTSIDE OF THE BODY intestines!

*shudder*

That is NOT an image that sets well, is it? =( That’s not much of a LIFE, either. More like survival just for the sake of surviving. =( If that’s the only option, Mom and I both feel like it would be better for him to just go home to glory. We know Dad would not want a life like that either. =(

Basically he is as the surgeon put it… “between a rock and a hard place”, in which any one of a number of things could “do him in”.

Meanwhile, he seems to be doing somewhat better today. His hands were not as swollen or cold, he was calmer (probably because he was being reminded over and over where he was and what was going on), and he was less afraid he said. Well… he wrote actually, as he can’t talk on account of the giant tube down his throat.

I’m off to bed for now. Gonna snuggle in and read some before I go to sleep, I think.


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