Monday, July 28, 2014

So How Was Last Week for Y'all?

As promised I'm going to tell you how my week was last week. From the pic I think you can guess. Now as I face another Monday, I'm wondering if my sanity is intact and I pray this week isn't more of the same. It was insane like the movie, Spaceballs. Just to let you know, I watched this movie again and it was close though not as funny.

I had a sitter come in for my hubby while I went to therapy. No biggie there. We've got it down to an abby normal in routine. Our regular aide was on vacation which meant a new person was coming in for my hubby's bath. Raising my eyes heavenward, my hubby does not like or trust new people. Of the three CNAs that my hubby does approve of and even likes: one was on vacation; one was sick; and the other was working two counties over.

I try to prepare him with "this is the aide that Chrissy thought you would like when you first came on service." He wasn't having it. It was a stranger to him. I can see his paranoia creeping back into his eyes.

"She's older almost as old as Chrissy," I hedged. "She's been with hospice for a few years."

The look got worse as he waited for this aide to come. He grumbled about showing his bare backside to half the county. I reminded him this county's population was close to 100K people and that he barely has ever seen a quarter of them in his 20 years of living here. He snorted and responded that it felt that way. I gave him an extra Ativan and prayed that this woman was as good as I heard she was. I had only met her once. She was the matron of honor at a wedding I officiated at two years prior. We go back and forth with him threatening to call hospice and canceling service for three hours!

She arrived and he liked her. He thought her very professional, experienced, and funny. Not too bad now that I think about it. Hindsight is such a wonderful thing.

 By Tuesday, I was able to leave them alone for his shampoo and shave. I was hoping to get the shopping done, but he wasn't THAT comfortable with her.

I had therapy again. As I said, the spasticity is coming back but wanted to get some good stretching in. I also had to be fasting for a blood test. I figured I could get it done before rehab but I slept in. I just made my therapy appointment. I walk into the lab to have my blood drawn and confirmed I had been fasting since midnight even though it was almost lunch time. She punctured the vein twice and set about digging for it. Bruising had already started. I stopped her from digging and pointed out another vein. Yes, it was tiny. Yes, it wasn't straight. But I looked her in the eyes for a moment and said just listen to me. I talked her through it. It wasn't necessary to thread the butterfly all the way into the vein. Just get the flash and start the tubes. I guess she'd never had a patient tell her how to draw blood before. At first she was irritated but after she had drawn the three tubes, she thanked me.

I rushed home to relieve the sitter. The heavens opened up with a thunder/lightning show quickly followed by rain. I hear this crash of a tree limb hitting our roof just as the power goes out. I counted to ten and waited for the solar batteries to switch on. Nothing. I grab the battery powered lantern and go to my husband. Switched him to the portable oxygen. Shut off his condenser and bed which were making enough racket to raise the dead. About then his cardiac monitor decided to kick in on the noise.

My hubby gave me a strangled look and pointed to his tank...empty and he's gasping. I grab the last full tank of oxygen and switch out the regulator. I asked him if he was okay and he gave me a waving thumbs up and down. He takes a couple deep breaths of oxygen and says pain. I pick up his morphine and measure up one 30 mg liquid dose. I put it under his tongue. He lets it sit there a while before he swallows to allow it to get into his system faster. Thank God I don't have to do syringes any more.

Then  the solar backup kicks in, the lights come on while I'm dialing the power company to report the outage. By now, the storm passes us by. Not too bad for my Abby normal life. Another frenzied fit but soon over. Boy, hindsight is great.

The social worker calls and tells me there is no more money in the fund unless something catastrophic happens like the car needing major repairs. No biggie. An extra hundred dollars would have come in handy but everything is paid for once except for the lab company and a couple of doctors this month. I'm only running a month behind, but not overdue for a couple of weeks. She'd check back in with us next week.

My daughter, Chrissy, came over to do a job search. Yes, she's still employed with hospice but needs a change. Four years working under this kind of stress is hurting her and causing her arthritis to flare more. She helps me gather the trash and puts the cans out at the road for me. My hubby mentions that I need a girly day break. She agrees. She is off on Thursday.

Cardiology appointment for me. It was just a quick follow up to make sure I'm okay from my congestive heart failure episode. I say quick, but a half an hour wait to be called to the back, vitals taken, another 45 minutes until I see the doctor, the lecture, and no solutions on how to lighten my stress load or kick back and stop stressing my sick heart so much. She wants to see me back in two weeks. I ran into the convenience store to grab essentials because I still haven't made it to the grocery store yet.

I came home to find my daughter had left because one of her boys got hurt and my husband was alone. I fixed him a late lunch. He wasn't hungry but he's lost four more pounds. I'm trying to force feed him every chance I get.Where he lost it from I don't know. He's already skin and bone. He would make a severe anorexic look fat.

He told me that my stepmother stopped by because she couldn't get an answer on either phone. With a tell Jo Ann to call, she left in a huff. Immediately, I rushed to call her thinking something had happened to my dad. I was relieved to learn that my uncle was in town for the day. I had not seen him in ten years.

I had decided earlier that I would go to my fiber art meeting that night because I needed a non death and dying conversation. But this changed quickly when I got invited to dinner. I agreed to meet up with them at the restaurant at 7. Well you know what they say about best laid plans. There were three voicemails on my phone by the time I got home. I can't drive and answer the phone at the same time.
Call  #1 from the hospice re-certification nurse. I call her back and set up the appointment for Friday.
Call #2 was from my youngest daughter in AZ I called her back and it was just my 2 year old grandson wanting to talk to me. He loves me and misses me. Would I come and spank his mommie cause she's being bad?
Call #3 was from my natural sister. She read me the riot act for not keeping in better contact and checking on our father. After I talked to her a bit about what has been going on she understood why. She apologized. But that led to further conversation about family matters. An hour's worth.

I look at the clock and its after seven. I called my uncle. They had waited but had ordered
already. I pass a State Patrol car on the side of the road as I'm driving to the restaurant. No, I wasn't speeding. Yes, I was driving with one hand. No, I wasn't wearing a seat belt because I have a medical exemption properly filed with the DMV. He pulls out behind me and as I turn into the restaurant there are blue lights flashing behind me. I pull out my license, insurance card, a copy of the seat belt exemption, my carry-concealed gun permit, and tag receipt knowing he will want all of it. I can see my father, my uncle, his son, and my stepmother looking at me through the restaurant window.

I had a tail light out. I got a verbal warning. My relatives had completed their dinner before I got inside so I just chatted with them. No breakfast, no lunch, dinner after 8:30 PM and I was ready for bed but couldn't go to bed until my last med pass at 11 PM so I dozed off and on in my rocker beside his bed.

Bright and not so early Thursday morning (9AM) my daughter calls me. She was at the Toyota place getting her oil changed and knew I was due for one too. It's my half day off to do girly stuff and not have to be the caregiver. I'm exhausted but excited! It has been months! My other daughter was in from Savannah so it was just Chrissy and me.

I took my Sienna in for its routine oil change and car wash. While the work was being done on my car we'd romp in hers. I might mention at this point that her car sits low to the ground and getting in and out of it is a royal pain. The first order of business was hit the ATT store and add a line to my cell phone so my hubby will stop confiscating mine. Yeah, I know he's deaf but somehow he can heard most of a conversation through the speaker of my phone. Go figure. Since I disconnected our land line to save money the cell is our only life line.

I lose about 200 minutes a month because they expire and can't rollover anymore. So why not get him a phone on my plan? It would be cheaper than a pay by the month phone. I ran into a major snag after 30 minutes waiting to be served. The phone is in my husband's name. He has to be present to add a line. We leave in a huff. Can you say frustration level high?

On to some girly stuff. We decided to get our hair cut. The last time the stylist talked me into a bob which I hated. Too much fru-fru time to get it to look decent and it was hot. I wanted my Sharon Stone tossled pixie cut back. Even when I don't have time to brush it, it still looks good. Granted, I'll never be as gorgeous as her, but the style works in my life now. It definitely looks like my lifestyle now...all frazzled.

My daughter even got her hair cut. In spite of her husband's dire warning about not doing so. He might like her with longer hair but he doesn't have to care for it or wear it. Besides, it's hair. It will grow back. She did compromise though. She only cut it off just below her shoulders. She said she didn't have a death wish.

We got back to the Toyota place just as my car came out of the wash. How's that for timing? These were freebies for life and I really enjoy it. Then came the bad news...$1495 of repairs were needed on my vehicle! Would I like to schedule it now? Not no, but HECK NO!

A moment of panic set in as I looked at the list. There was the usual fluff stuff like alignment, tire rotation, air filter, wiper blades and spark plugs but a couple of things jumped out at me like oil pan leak, valve cover seal leaking, and timing belt. The last three were major repairs that had to be done or I wouldn't have an engine to go. How was I going to pay for all this? I remember the call from the social worker as a self fulfilling prophecy thing.

I calmed down and drove home to give my hubby the bad news. I called my usual mechanic and friend. I was still on the verge of a full fledged panic. He had replaced the timing chain two years ago but he'd check it. He asked how many quarts low since my last oil change three months ago and I told him none. How's it running was his next question. I told him fine -no skips, backfires, wasn't running rough at all. He said rest your stressed brow your car is fine. Could I bring it in by his shop in the morning? Yeah, I could do that.

I did finally make it to the grocery store for a relaxing shopping expedition. I bought gas on the way home and paid $16.00 for 17 gallons. Thank you Winn Dixie fuel perks!

My last OT session until after my Botox on the 14th of next month. Needless to say it was dismal. I can no longer straighten my elbow or wrist. But the fingers did try to straighten. My pectoral major and minor won't budge. My bicep is screaming at me.  My OT doesn't need to tell me it's our last session until the Botox, but we both know.

My heart is acting up with my heart rate at a constant 112 while laying down. 130 when walking. I'm wheezing. The swelling is back full force in my semi paralyzed leg to the point where it's bulging out the openings around the straps. I don't need the doctor to tell me the congestive heart failure is back in full force.

I pay a trip to my cardiologist two buildings over from rehab. An hour later after a bag of IV fluids and Lasix, and thankfully a catheter. I dumped 2000 CC of urine. My heartbeat stabilized, my breathing eased, and I felt human again. With a stern warning under threat of hospitalization, the cardiologist said go home, get in bed with feet elevated for the weekend. If I get like that again, go immediately to the ER. She knows I'll do it to the best of my ability. I have a lift recliner I can sleep and relax in the living room for less steps.

But I did bend the law a little bit. I took my car to my mechanic's shop. Well, it was on my way home. He checked everything they found. The timing belt is fine. He blew out the air filter, the leaking valve cover and oil pan is minimal and nothing drastic. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. His cost for all of this peace of mind he gave me $0.00. He said my smile was enough.

I went home relieved on multiple levels. I got in the lift chair and mostly stayed there all weekend...that is after the re-certification nurse left and hubby was fed leftover beef stew and rice courtesy of my stepmother. We dined on the fine throw away type of china and utensils for all meals. Even had pizza delivered. One large pizza feeds us for four meals.

I was a good girl. The swelling is totally gone and so is another 10 lbs. I go back on Tuesday to confirm it, but I'm on the mends. Heck with washing dishes. All our meals may be served on our fine china from here on out. Nah, not really.

How was last week for you?
And the Murphey Saga continues...

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sunday Stroke Survival~ Odds,Ends, and Thanks!

Thank you for all the good wishes and concern about my hand and my fall. Y'all make it the best of a bad situation. I do appreciate you. My left hand is better. See all you naysayers out there it wasn't broken. You know who you are.

I call this blog the Murphey Saga because nobody would believe what life throws at us on a daily basis unless I write about it. My tagline remains the same although I'm not writing (book or article wise) right now. Because my stroke and my life IS getting in the way of my love of writing and storytelling.

I thought I would explain this to the fifty odd new followers and readers (maybe more) of this blog that didn't know. The title came about in the Compuserve Writers Forum too many years ago. It was in answer to a response I got to a post. I don't remember what it was about now.

I answered, "The Murphey Sa-a-aga-a. The ongoing story of a family in a small town in Georgia. Where the Luck of the Irish and Murphy's Law collide in writing. A soap opera so unbelievable that if it was truly on-air you would not watch it because it had to be fake."
There you have it. That's the reason behind my title of this blog. Any questions?

  • I reached 100,000 hits on my blog this week. That figure boggles my mind. Maybe if I had written 1,000 blogs it would be feasible, but 100,000!
  • The second thing is I've written just over 500 blog posts. That has to be a record of some kind for me. I didn't think I had that much in general to write about my life. But there is so much going on, I can't help myself.
Thanks to the Stroke Tribe.( Amy, Dean, Barb, Rebecca, John to name a few) No matter what. They've got my back. Through them I gain
valuable information so I at least sound more creditable. When I talk to professionals about what works and what doesn't, new innovated techniques, and their support has been invaluable during this recovery period since my strokes.

My cheerleaders along this journey from the Compuserve Books and Authors Forum (Zan Marie, Sara, Lara to name a few). We tag-a-long after each other like long time pals though we have never met in person. Thanks! You brighten my days.

Without all of you I couldn't have reached these numbers. Aw shucks! Y'all have got me bawling now just thinking of y'all. OR, maybe it's just my PBA kicking in again. Got ya!

Well, rehab has stopped for the time being while I wait for my next series of Botox injections. Spasticity has raised its ugly, fat head once again.

But something is different this time around. The spasticity doesn't seem as bad. Yes, I'm hampered from moving as much as I did when the Botox first started working. But I am still able to move instead of being drawn up. I'm happy to say the Botox has worn off totally in my leg. The ankle was so unsteady that walking was down right a dicey proposition at times. And no, it didn't stop another pressure sore from coming up.

Speaking of pressure sores, I'm not so sure that's what I have going on with my foot. A large blister will form under the callus on my foot where the AFO rubs. Sort of like you get when you wear tight shoes. When the blister pops it takes the callus with it leaving an open wound. This wound gets bigger and deeper with each occurrence. In that way it's like a pressure sore. It is also from pressure of walking while wearing my AFO. Still fighting the insurance company for a new one.

Yes it takes ointments and wet/dry dressings to heal like a pressure sore. It takes a doctor or me to cut away the dead tissue with a scalpel at the edges to heal.  But is it really a pressure sore...I dunno. I take the same attitude with it as dealing with Southeastern Legless Lizards...
  1. If it looks like a snake
  2. If it moves like a snake
  3. If it has a forked tongue like a snake
  4. Has dead, glassy eyes like a snake...
It is a snake! Quick kill it!
Therefore until I'm actually told otherwise...these are reoccurring pressure sores. I don't feel like taking the same advice about this lizard though. As long as it stays away from can live.

Probably sometime next week I'll tell you how the week went. Once again, it's the continuing s-a-ag-a of the Murphey household.

Nothing is impossible with determination.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday Stroke Survival~ What Goes Up...

When I was in inpatient rehab, I made the statement..."It's not if I fall but when I fall." Well, I did it again Wednesday.

Let me backtrack to Tuesday's OT. I awoke later than usual so I decided to double up on my Baclofen before therapy. The tightness in my bicep and pectoral muscles gave me an inkling that therapy may have to stop after this week. Higher tone is the precursor for me that the Botox is wearing off with the spasticity to follow quickly after. Therapy confirmed it even after ice and heat were used but the fingers still stretched.

I got home to find the sitter gone and daughter #2 and her youngest son at the house. Triston (15 next month) is my yard man. They'd been at the house long enough for him to mow the front and half the back before I came home via the tractor. Next came the mandatory Skype call to our #4 daughter in AZ. During that time daughter #1 comes in from Savannah with daughter #2's oldest son and her two boys (13 &7). A houseful! I set each of them on a task, mostly outside to keep them busy. As you can imagine, my hubby and I were both exhausted by the time all of them left.

Wednesday morning was bad from the start. I had slept hard so everything decided it wanted to play at Rice Krispies (snap, crackle & pop). With a groan and several attempts, I got out of bed. I waddled my way into the living to administer my husband's medicines and empty his urinal. Then it was, hop into the shower for a bath before therapy at 11. Needless to say, all the energy from a good, solid night's sleep was diminished by half by just these simple acts including getting dressed. Getting dressed was more of a chore than it usually was. I got my panties in a wad, fought with my compression knee-highs, and my shirt wanted to bunch up and make life difficult. But I fed the animals, watered them, and gave each of them undivided attention that they craved. So now I've used six of twelve spoons via the spoon theory of energy.

Before leaving and the sitter arriving, I checked in with my hubby to see if he needed anything. Coffee. Keep in mind that the pressure sore on my foot ruptured three days ago and walking is difficult, I waddled to the kitchen and made his coffee. Thanks to my #2 daughter buying him a Keurig one cup coffee maker for Christmas, this was a quick fix.

But then he mentioned the bottom sheet on his bed had worked loose. I managed the tug and pull the fitted bottom sheet back into place. I might mention at this point, his mattress is an air mattress with a hose that is attached to the electric compressor unit... another spoon or a spoon and half gone.(7-8 spoons expended with 4-5 left until nap time at 3pm) Knowing I had therapy (2-3 spoons, fix lunch, administer meds, and odd & end things before I got a nap another 2-3 spoons worth).

The sitter arrived and I headed out the door. Fifteen minutes to get to the rehab place. I stepped onto the ramp and surfed hanging ten halfway down the ramp. It had rained heavily the night before. I landed in a half split and on my rump. For once I was thanking God for my six ax handles across bottom...plenty of padding to land on.

I did a quick assessment. Everything moved without much pain so I rolled over and ungracefully got to my feet. I rushed at top speed, a glorified slow walk, to my car and drove to therapy...not even concerned what I looked like. I was going to be late and I hate to be late.

All seven traffic lights were green and no serious idiot drivers were met. All the handicapped spots were taken. I mean really! There are only twelve of them! I ended up parking in a regular spot about three hundred feet from the door. That doesn't sound like much but try doing it with an open pressure sore and opening your car door wide enough to get out of your car in a regular size parking space.

Anyhow, I wobble through the door and look at the clock over the check in, three minutes late. My OT escorted me back into the therapy room a moment later. I began telling her about my morning. She asked ice or heat? I answered both. Ice on the spastic muscles in my bicep, pectoral, and left wrist that was beginning to smart and swell. Heat to the shoulder, neck, lower back, and the tricep which were knotted up from the fall. She off offhandedly mentioned I might want to get an x-ray but bit her tongue at the look on my face.

Well my therapy session did not go well, but then there is always Friday. Come Friday we'll make an assessment on whether or not to do another week or stop until after my next Botox injections. While I was resting between stretches, she grabbed a towel with a bottle of alcohol and cleaned all the scraped areas that I didn't know I had. Believe me when I say I felt every single one after the alcohol. My wrists, right hand, and knees had too many to count sharp intakes of breath.

We both examined my left, only one working right now, wrist. No point tenderness, but swelling, pain upon moving the thumb and pinky fingers but not sharp enough for a break. Yeah, I know what that feels like. A humongous bruise turning shades of black and purple on the outside edge of the palm, but both of us didn't think anything was broken. So I wrapped it up in an Ace bandage and called it a day.

Trying to do anything with an Ace bandage on your only working hand is ridiculous! Everything else I'd planned to do went out the window. The exception was changing out my husband's M6 oxygen tank. It was so much fun changing out the regulator with three working fingers. I won't even bother to go into it here. I'll leave it to your imagination. But you gotta do what you gotta do. I did leave putting it back in its bag for my hubby to do. I did try but bent my thumb back farther than it wanted to go. Stifling a scream, I grabbed it all and carried it to his bed.

Thursday morning was a bear. All the abuse I put my body through the previous day told the tale. Accidents always feel worse the day after. I basically took it easy. The hospice aide was here and daughter #2 and our oldest granddaughter (14) were here to pick up my slack, but God knows I needed the help. Shuffling around like a little old ( much older than I am think 90+) lady was an improvement. I got on Facebook and my emails typing with three fingers. I didn't think that there was one part of my body that didn't ache.

I looked at a pair of fingerless gloves that's on my loom for my eldest granddaughter for her birthday and knew it would have to wait. What's to sense of having a do nothing day when you can't do something you want to do? It's one of those Grumbling, growling moments.

Friday was OT again. One more week of therapy and we'll be done until after the next series of Botox. (sigh) How was y'all's week?

Nothing is impossible with determination.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sunday Stroke Survival~ Back in the Saddle Again Finally!

Well, most of my Facebook friends know, but y'all don't know that I've started OT again on my arm. This was my first week back since September of last year. Why the delay? I couldn't arrange (read afford) a private sitter for my DH (darling hubby) for me to arrange for my therapy sessions...

 $15 an hour (1 1/2 hours with drive time)X 3 times a week X 4 weeks in a month = a HUGE expense on a very limited budget. Our insurance will pay for hospice but not for private sitters for my care issues. I just couldn't justify the extra expense nor did we have the money to spare for me to be in therapy. Although my insurance will pay 100% of the therapy bill, I've been borrowing from Peter to pay Paul for some months now and see no end in sight. No, I'm not whining.

When I spoke to an old friend of over twenty years, who is also a minister and volunteer with hospice, about my dilemma she flat told me it wouldn't do to hurt myself because of my husband's health issues. She arranged for a slew of volunteers to sit with my husband for free while I took therapy.

The only problem was my husband's paranoia about too many strangers in the house. This friend got volunteers who were off duty police officers and their spouses. Although most of the officers I worked with many years ago have retired, their children now work on the force. It becomes old home week playing catch up with all of them.

I started OT with a new therapist. My old therapist works strictly in pediatrics now. I was really leery about having to train a new therapist. My old therapist and I understood each other perfectly since both of us were willing to try anything to get results. I expressed my concerns with the director of rehab services when he stopped and talked to me. So in walks this new therapist. I do mean new because she only graduated last August. I begin clearing the air. I've never been shy to say what I want and what I expect. It's the only way to open a meaningful dialogue. AND, there has to be a meaningful dialogue for progress to occur.

She stepped out of the room for some heat packs for my shoulder, arm, and hand when the rehab director poked his head into the room. I could see the question in his eyes...'Well, what do you think?' I gave him a thumb up. The young lady was open and honest. It was a starting place.

The witch with a "B" about my stroke is paralysis with high tone and spasticity. While the Botox reduces the amount of spasticity in the bicep and pectoral muscles the tone is still in play. This is most obvious in my wrist and fingers.

We've only had one mild disagreement in the past two sessions about paralysis. In school she was taught that true paralysis dealt with only flaccid muscles and no voluntary motor response so because I exhibited high tone and spasticity I wasn't paralyzed. Well, she was wrong. To prove it I Googled the definition of paralysis on my Kindle in a medical dictionary. I left her with one sage piece of advice. Learn something new each day.

The second session I heard something I hadn't heard in over a year. I believed it. I'd worked towards it. But had not heard a medical professional say it. There is hope for almost full recovery of my arm. I had expressed if I could just get use of my elbow back that I would be happy. Then I got a cramp in my hand as she stretched my fingers out one by one. My fingers out stretched like a gnarled, old witch's hand during the cramp. Both of us stared at it in surprise. Our eyes met and "Did you see that!" came out of both of our mouths in unison. The hand curled back into a fist after it was over.

"We've got to work harder on this!" she said. "Heck with only your elbow. We're gonna get your hand back too!"

Now, I can't wait for my Tuesday therapy session. It won't happen overnight, but with time, I may just do that. It was just the hope renewal I needed.

Nothing is impossible with determination.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sunday Stroke Survival~ Striving for Perfection

Something has weighed heavily on my heart this week. It caused me to stop and rethink my attitude of where I am in my life. I honestly do this quite often as a reality check.

The gigantic WHY question.
No, not the why did the stroke happen to me? I know why. It was genetics and poor life choices I've made.

I still say the delay in my recovery in part is due to God teaching me patience. I still don't have that battle won, but I've come a long way in two years.

No, not the why haven't I recovered more of my body by now. I'm a victim of circumstance that overloaded my "golden" one to six months optimum recovery time with an injury.

These things I knew the answer to. My "why question" deals with something deeper.Which is why it made my heart heavy. Why do I want to recover what I've lost so bad?

Previous to my stroke I'd accomplished many things. In fact, I'd accomplished more than most people in my life both good and bad. So why couldn't I just be satisfied that this is the way my life should be now? Are we as human beings always so dissatisfied with our lives that we constantly have to strive to be better? Have more? Do more?  
I've got everything I need. Sure I have wants but my wants won't kill me. I can take care of my basic needs for me and others. That's saying a whole lot! I came to the realization that I needed to be content with my life. Admit, for probably the first time with acceptance, that there are just some things that won't happen today, or tomorrow, or even ever. Yeah sure I want a full recovery of everything I lost, but whether it happens or not, I have to live this life and it is a gift that I was given.

I was being my own worst enemy. I was playing a killer mind game on myself. So I decided to stop. I hate mind games. They only hurt me and those around me. The mind games I'm talking about are not the same as I did when I was writing. Those are benign what-if games, but I'm talking about the hurtful ones. Yes a certain amount are useful to achieve anything like walking that extra forty feet when you are exhausted, or tricking yourself into believing you might just succeed in some task.

Does this realization mean I won't be going to rehab next week? Nope, because I still have to try to regain what I can or at least slow down my spasticity from invading my body once the Botox wears off. Every little bit helps. Every little success is paramount. It is still worthy of patting myself on the back when I wash dishes or cook dinner. Sadly that is few and far between in part due to my energy levels and in part because it increases the difficulty in my husband's breathing efforts. Most nights it is still a TV dinner split between the two of us. 

This week I've had another bout with congestive heart failure which spurred my contemplation. (heavy heart, get it?)My cardiologist wanted me in the hospital for a few days, but my home life isn't conducive for that right now. So I stayed home off my feet, or as much as I could on 60 mg of Lasix. Extra potassium and low salt on top of a less than 1000mg of salt diet. I've been eating a lot of salad instead of TV dinners which are loaded with salt. 

At times like these, I really want a catheter instead of getting up to go to the toilet every ten minutes with a full bladder. I dropped ten pounds in just fluid the first 48 hours. The good news is that I'm coughing less and can breathe easier now. My heart has settled into its usual Abby Normal rhythm. After two days I went back down to my maintenance dose of Lasix. Whew! Thank God! I dumped a total amount of fifteen pounds of unnecessary fluids in four days and I'm back to my normal heavy weighted self again. So all in all, things are back to normal.

No, I still have a damaged heart. I'm still paralyzed. I'm not in congestive heart failure for right now. My husband is still dying in slow increments. He is still on hospice services. I'm still his primary caregiver. I'm still maintaining a household.

It's just is what it is. And for that, I am thankful. So I got my answer to this WHY too. I'm satisfied and not discontented with how my life should be.

Nothing is impossible with determination.