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...


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