911 — Another Update

Well, I survived the week but the congestion did not disappear. I had an awful cough and saw my (new) doctor again Tuesday. He decided to double my Advair dosage — new dispenser, not use original one twice as often. The pharmacy didn’t have any in stock so I had to pick up the new one yesterday afternoon.

Don’t know if it worked quickly but my coughing is down and I was able to get some uninterrupted sleep last night. Also using Mucinex at his direction.

Got a nebulizer treatment during the Tuesday visit and again on Wednesday when I went in for my Medicare “Wellness” exam.

So, results: prostate is OK; lungs are clear and BP and heart rate are normal — but he’ll keep me on the BP meds for at least six months or so (high normal readings) and may give me another steroid series for inflammation if the new Advair isn’t working well enough by Friday afternoon. Also, blood tests and Cologuard . . .

And, . . . I need a cardiologist (yes, I’ve already scheduled an appointment). I have an aortic aneurysm (ascending). While in Emergency last week, I had both a chest X-ray and a CT scan, and it was discovered there. It’s big enough to be checked at least twice a year but not yet large enough to be operated on. No history of heart disease in my family.

And, both Di and I had our stitches taken out today from the skin surgery of two weeks ago. Di now wants (and we’ve scheduled) a complete skin exam as the mole that was removed was first spotted by her PCP. I have my basal cell removed at the end of the month.

–  –  –  –

Commentary: I’ve got our appointment calendar next to me and, if one discounts the two days I was in the hospital, we have a total of fifteen (15) visits to various doctors scheduled for the month. I don’t know that you have to be tough to grow old but it sure helps. I do know you need good insurance.

Stay healthy everyone and    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClQcUyhoxTg

. . . and Smoke wants my lap, bye.

Our House — Our Cats — Our Rules

House Rules — Remember: We are only the cats’ staff.

  1. Our cats live here. It is their home, not yours, so show some respect. If you have been invited around, you know us well enough to know we are cat lovers.
  2. If you want to sit down, find an empty seat. Do not expect the cats to move.
  3. If you do not want to get covered in cat hair, then do not sit down, bring a lint roller or strip off at the door (although I rather hope you don’t).
  4. Do not ask us to remove the cats from a room; they live here.
  5. If you are allergic to cats, do not whine, just take a pill or use your phone to call.
    Mist and Smoke "Resting"
    Mist and Smoke “Resting”
  6. Do not shoo away the cats. If they decide to say hello, please, say hello to them. Should you be rude to them, we will see you out the door.
  7. If one or both cats chooses to sit on you, feel honored rather than annoyed. Do not upset the cat — see #6.
  8. You have no need to give us your opinion regarding the cats being allowed to be cats and do cat things. Neither we, nor the cats are interested.
  9. Saying, “They’re just cats,” is offensive. They are part of our family. We love and respect all of the members of our family and do not discriminate against those with four legs and fur. Indeed, we tend to discriminate in their favor.
  10. Finally, remember this at all times: We prefer the cats to you.

NOTE:

These are, of course, not original with us, and they have been adapted because we have multiple cats — I just couldn’t read the url the jpg came from.

911 — Health Update

After a day-and-a-half in the hospital I’ve been home a week now. Seen the doctor, taken my meds and have done little but rest. Been shopping and to the library, taken care of Charlie — tea, meals, meds, back and forth to the loo — laundry, cats and the litter boxes and little else.

Exercise

Took two walks yesterday, a two-mile in the morning and a three-mile in the afternoon — no ill effects and it felt good to get outside.

Read the papers this morning and had a couple of cups of coffee. Took a shot from my “rescue inhaler” (which I was told to do before attempting any exercise), and sat on the exercise bike for my usual 100 minutes. I wasn’t going to do more than half-an-hour, but I felt good and Arsenal was ahead of Man-U, I was reading an interesting book, so on I went. Felt good.

Pulse

In the hospital my heart rate was in the 90s – 100s. On the exercise bike it stayed in the 80s, or in the low 90s when I upped the resistance for a few minutes a couple of times, just where it was before 911. In bed last night and early this morning it was in the 60s and just now, it’s in the 70s.

My breathing is good. The only issue is a cough. I’ve got some congestion and a tickle in the back of my throat, but I see the doctor on Wednesday. Thursday, Di and I get our stitches taken out from the moles we had removed two weeks ago — test results show the areas on both of us are clear. The basal-cell on the lower-right of my back comes off at the end of the month.

Thank you

David, Di’s brother, stopped by during the week to sit with Charlie while I went and did a bit of shopping and brought a bottle of wine for Mike and Sandy to thank them for helping us.

While Sandy was staying with Charlie, and I was in Emergency, the street sweepers came by and ticketed her car (dirty word, dirty word) and Mike paid for my meds when we stopped at the pharmacy after leaving the hospital, so I wrote them a check for both and dropped off the wine Friday. Mike’s going to hold the bottle until Charlie and I come over for dinner some time.

Never really thought too much about that old saying about March: “In like a lion, . . . ” but it roared for me.

Arsenal beat Manchester United — 2 – 0.

Best wishes everyone.


Smoke, on my "coffee" arm, and Mist earlier this morning.
Smoke, on my “coffee” arm, and Mist earlier this morning.
Smoke and Mist assisting with this posting.
Smoke and Mist assisting with this posting.

 

911 — Know What’s Scary?

Signs

I’d had the sign before: shortness of breath. Always cured with decongestants and Benadryl — hay fever.

Only this time it wasn’t.

And another sign: sitting on my recumbent exercise bike my exercising heart rate for the last few days was not 84 or so but 100+. HUH?

March 1st — woke up because I was having difficulty breathing, took the usual pills, which didn’t help. Charlie woke up and I took her to the bathroom and then to her sunroom — I was out of breath. Over the next few minutes it got worse. For practical purposes I couldn’t breathe.

911

Not being completely clueless, that is, if you beat me up the side of the head with a clue-stick, I called 911.

You know what’s scary? Trying to tell the 911 Operator what’s wrong when you can’t breathe and talk. But a few minutes later the paramedics showed up at the door and I let them in. They quickly clued in on what was wrong and I was on my way to the hospital. The initial treatment they gave me was helping — I didn’t feel good, but I was no longer scared spitless.

Emergency Room

Emergency wasn’t busy — a lull between spates of overflow beds in the hallways — and I had a room with nurse, doctor and treatment. (This was 5 am on Saturday morning.)

Charlie called Mike and Sandy and Sandy came to spend time with and help her and Mike stayed with me most of the day, until I was finally admitted and given a bed in the main hospital.

X-Ray machine brought into the room — hmmmm . . . possible congestive heart failure.

Later a CAT scan.

At any rate, there is too much fluid in my lungs and I don’t get enough oxygen. I get steroids to reduce inflammation and bronchial dilators. They work and I feel better.

Admittance

About 2:00 pm a bed opens up in the main hospital and I get admitted upstairs. It’s a nice double room and I’ve got the window bed — a view of the parking lot and other hospital buildings. I’m feeling better but going from the wheelchair two steps to the bathroom and toilet and then to the bed convince me that ten steps is more than I’m ready for.

Nice bed and get fitted with monitor connections, etc. Nurses and aides come by and introduce themselves and doctor tells what drugs I’m going to get by this rather large catheter in my left arm and other treatments via face-mask and pill — all explained again when the nurses actually give me the stuff.

I get a roommate who came into Emergency about the same time as I, some of the same symptoms but with a different problem — blood clots in the lungs. When I checked out, they had just told him that he was staying at least one more day under observation. (He’s 6′ – 7″ a coach and former basketball player and the bed isn’t quite long enough. And, yes, every new nurse and aide at shift changes asked if he played basketball.)

Mike returned with a couple of books and my cellphone and charger and earbuds — ahhh, music and I can “read” the e-editions of my newspapers.

The hospital social worker got Charlie in touch with a homecare service to stay with her and her brother, David, also came over to spend some time and help out.

Without going through the minutia of things (and I got a vaccination for pneumonia) my condition gradually improved, although I still got no more than a few minutes of sleep in short bursts during the night — better than my four-day stay at this hospital a dozen years earlier when I got no sleep at all and left feeling worse than when I’d come in but for a different reason.

They were going to release me at noon today, but ran into problems with our insurance, meds and the pharmacy. That took a couple of hours to clear up. Then I was released, Mike and Sandy picked me up, we went to the pharmacy and got my drugs. (Which Mike paid for as he’d taken my wallet back to my house rather than leave it in the hospital after they’d photocopied my insurance, Medicare and ID cards.)

Ah, home at last. My wife and cats were happy to see me, but not, I think, as happy as was I to see them.

Sunday — March 3rd

Do you know what I appreciate? Waking up in a warm bed next to a sleeping loved one and her cats curled up around my legs. Then rising and, after feeding the cats, having a delicious and hot cup of coffee. My stay in the hospital would have much closer to pleasant if they’d allowed me coffee.

Monday — March 4th

Woke up this morning feeling better. Fed the cats, had a cup of coffee and read the papers. Di woke up and I got her going. Ate a banana and took my vitamins and drugs with a glass of vegetable juice. Went to the med center and got an appointment with a new doctor (my GP retired a few years ago) for tomorrow morning. Came home and printed the test results from my hospital stay (I doubt my new doctor will have them from the hospital before I get there tomorrow.) from their on-line access. Breakfast, another coffee and I’m ready to, slowly, continue with my day, which includes taking Di to the dentist this afternoon. Thanks for your concern folks, but it seems I’ll be around for a bit longer.

Tuesday — March 5th

911 Update: I’m still doing OK. I’ve a tickle in my throat which leads to some coughing but no breathing issues. Saw a new PCP today, my first younger doctor. He says my lungs sound good with very little congestion. I’m to keep using the Advair inhaler for the next several months and also the BP pills I was given at the hospital – high normal readings. Full physical next Wednesday. Thanks for all the good wishes.

3s

Remember that things come in threes? Well, we have Di’s tooth, my ARDS 911 and now — wait for it — the water heater doesn’t heat water. Called the plumber and he’ll be out early tomorrow. Hope it isn’t serious or take too long as Di has a dentist and two doctor appointments Wednesday. Ghads, retirement can be exciting.


Mist on my lap as I type this post.
Mist on my lap as I type this post.

Thanksgiving — 2018

It’s Thanksgiving Day, November 22nd, 2018 and the sun is shining here on the Left Coast, the land of fruits and nuts. Today’s temperature will be in the mid-60s and no rain. (We got some in the early hours this morning–maybe, up to half an inch.)

Charlie woke up about 6:30 am and I helped her to the bathroom and then to her sunroom, including her pills and a cup of tea.

Fixed myself a cup of coffee and read the newspapers with the CBS Morning News on in the background. Then, into the spare bedroom and some time on the exercise bike; it was about 90 minutes while re-reading a Recluce novel, The Mongrel Mage.

Realized I’d forgotten the onions for stuffing so I walked a half mile to the market; busy but all of the registers had checkers and there was no waiting. Passed a Polly’s Pies which had a large number of people getting their Thanksgiving desserts.

The Target parking lot across the street had cars which, I assume, were those of workers getting ready for their 5:00 pm opening. Quite thankful I’m not one of them and even more thankful I’m not one of those shopping there today, or tomorrow.

The combination of arthritis, neuropathy and Parkinson’s has made it impossible for Charlie to cook any more and, therefore, I will do the honors. Of course, under her direction and input, I’ll make her version of stuffing — yes, she insists on the stuffing being cooked in the turkey and not in a separate dish.

We have a 15 lb Butterball that’s been thawing in the fridge since Saturday. Since it’s only the two of us dinner will be: turkey, stuffing, potatoes and peas. And, an adult beverage.

Well, it’s after noon and time to get busy.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

– – – – –

Well, it turns out I made just the right amount of stuffing to put under the skin and in the bird — with the cavities fully stuffed and nothing left over. Put the thermometer in, oil and crushed rosemary all over the skin and into the oven. Left the skin uncovered for the first hour to crisp the skin.

Cleaned the kitchen and showered. A glass of wine and an hour of football and then on to the potatoes. Found a new roast potato recipe the other day and will put them in our lower oven. Will also make some mashed potatoes in case the roasted ones turn out less than stellar.

It’s nice that we like re-heated potatoes with turkey leftovers — nothing wasted. Charlie’s peas won’t take long; hmmmm, maybe I’ll make some lima beans for myself.

The turkey should be ready between six and six-thirty; so, we should eat before seven.

Ahhh, now for another sip of wine.

Hope your Thanksgiving Day is going as well.

– – – – –

The turkey was as close to perfect as I’ve ever done. Di’s stuffing was excellent. The roast potatoes were good enough that the uncooked mashed potatoes will remain uncooked until Saturday and tomorrow we (or at least Charlie) will have re-heated leftover potatoes — and there aren’t enough for the two of us, at least, with my appetite.

I had lima beans and Di had peas, and added gravy and red currant jelly to her plate. A delicious meal.

Smoke and Mist enjoyed their usual repast while our dinner was finishing in the ovens. They don’t generally bother with our food and tonight was no different with one small exception. When I went back for seconds, Smoke had a piece of turkey skin on the floor and was munching. Into the trash it went. Otherwise, the turkey was untouched by the cats. (And, I don’t know if I’d dropped the skin on the floor or if Smoke “stole” it.)

I’ll finish my glass of wine and then to the kitchen for clean-up and leftover storage.

Thanksgiving — 2018