Saturday, April 30, 2011

Happy Walpurgisnacht

Copyright: Miiicha, license: iStockphoto

 It's been an interesting few days.  We finally got the insurance paperwork finished, that was a nightmare of faxing proportions.  As soon as his job faxes their paper to the lady, she will approve him immediately.

The nurse case manager is scheduling a discharge planning meeting this week and said she will push for me to be his paid caregiver.  Cross your paws it works out. 

I didn't get quite what I had hoped for my birthday, but I did get the next best thing.  Discharge planning in the works.  D is walking 10 or 15 steps down the hall and can just about transfer himself from bed to chair via the walker.  He's now threatening to wheel himself home if they don't hurry things along.  

This morning I baked my cake and made scalloped potatoes and ham to take up for dinner.  I've been making my own cake since I big enough to get up to the stove and light the oven with a farmer's match and not singe my eyebrows off. How many of you remember those old gas stoves that the oven needed to be lit with a farmer's match? 

Because my friend is out of town, a residents wife picked me up and gave me a bottle of hand lotion for my birthday.  I told everyone I turned 90 today.  They all said I was well preserved for my age.  It's all the pickles I eat.  LOL   Saying I'm 90 is better than reversing my age and saying I'm 54 lest someone actually believe it.  How happy I was when my friend called this evening to pick me up, she had came home early.  It''s been 73 days today, and except for the 5 that she was traveling to San Diego she's been right there for me every day.  I really missed her.  

Like I said in a previous post, I stopped celebrating my birthday awhile back.  Instead, I celebrate Walpurgisnacht. If you'll excuse me, my familiars and I are headed out on my beat up old broom to see if we can find a bonfire or two to dance around.  

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

WIP Wednesday

Here we are again, another year has gone by since last WIPW.  My weeks are years, people.

Because of pushing to finish the sweater last Friday and all the other things that have went on, not much progress has been made to the sock.  I'm about finished with the first calf gusset increase and about to start the second one.  Pattern Lacy Cables Knee Socks

I have another ounce of BFL/silk fluff to go, maybe a little less than an ounce.  This was started back in January.  I 've needed a little meditation so I'm rewarding myself with a little spinning in between cleaning tasks.

I'm wanting to get this finished up and start on the merino/silk fiber K brought down with from Phoenix back when D was first in ICU. (too lazy/tired to look up the post)  I will be spinning that a two-ply laceweight.

 TUSAL is coming up again and I haven't added anything to my ORT jar.  Every time I pick up a skein of floss Butterscotch has magically found and tossed around, I sigh about how nice it would to spend an afternoon stitching.  A couple days ago, rather than get together all the parts to a WIP or SWIP, I pulled out a kit I hadn't started and took that with me.  I know, if you had any idea how many projects I have going you would be wagging your finger at me and calling the Finishing Police to confiscate my stash.

I found a picture on  Four Seasons Floral  Is what it will look like, should I actually ever finish it, or the hundred billion other things I have started.  At least, I did keep myself from starting another HAED picture that has been tempting me. One of many.

That is all for the stitching progress.

Isn't it great he is standing to the walker.  Today, he stood up and took four steps.  At this point, he meets my requirements from coming home.   Except now we are waiting on the agenda of the Dr.s, nursing home and the ALTCCS insurance.

Poor Dot Whooten. (I'm referencing. Standing in the Rainbow. For those of you who haven't read the previous few days. I've officially changed my name to Dot Whooten.)  Yesterday, the lady at the insurance company called and said they hadn't received the paperwork the nursing home mailed over a week ago.  She was supposed to get back to me today, but has not.  She said, if I haven't gotten it yet, I just don't know what to do.  Oh thanks. (rolls eyes)  Apparently he should "probably" be approved medically, just need this financial stuff finished.

Thanks to this weekend's adventure, I have extra cleaning and now I'm working harder trying to get it done.  I'm tackling the kitchen first.  I could really use the organization cleaning skills of Dina right now.  I'm betting if she saw the place she would tell me to just throw a match.  Yes, it's bad, with the clutter and dust.

This morning, I'm standing in the laundry area, washing the nasty towels full of toilet water, when the manager pokes his head in and startles me.  I knew there would come a point in time, I just didn't think it would happen days after upstairs BS.  The owner's son called and wanted to know what we are going to do.  He said, I don't mean to be a cold-hearted bastard, but they have gotten two months free so far.  Which, I just glared at the manager, it was agreed that we would pay the back rent. If he kicks us out it will be free, because I won't pay it.  So, I told him what I'm working on the SSD and being his paid caregiver or getting a job.  I can only do what I can.  Can't force government agencies to push paperwork any faster than they are going to. Once everything is settled we'll pay a month and half every month til we're caught up.

Then I mentioned the carpet.  He asked if the leaking had stopped.  I if it hadn't I would have already been at his door.  I told him, I poured Lysol on it while it was still drenched.  Now that it is damp, I've sprinkled baking soda on it, to cut down the smell.  Then once it dries I'll use some Woolite rug cleaner I have.  He said, if you really need it, I can call some cleaners in.  (with a please don't ask me to tone)  I said, that' ok. I'm taking care of it and trying to save you money not cost you more.  (Inferring upstairs stupidity.)  He said, ok, I'll talk to the son again and see what I can do for you.

My friend is leaving for San Diego tomorrow.  She will be gone until Sunday.  I'm trying to work out with staff to catch rides in and back with them for the next few days.  It's good thing we live pretty close by.  That mile walk in the heat on Monday was a killer.  I'll do it again if I have to.

How nice for me.  Google says it should cool down to 80F on Saturday for my birthday.  I'm turning 90. (Wait, I've seen your picture on here.  You're not turning 90 years old.) Yes, my birth certificate says I'll be 45.  However, I figure I've been through more in my lifetime than two or three people, so I'm turning at least 90 in life experience. I've only wrote about the tip of the iceberg.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

With all that's going on right now, it might be a week or two before I can get stuff sorted to list for sale.  I really want to thank those of you who have donated and bought some time. There isn't words enough in any language to express my appreciation and gratitude.

Just to show D and I aren't sore losers, we want to congratulate the Canucks on winning.  D says they deserve it, it wasn't an easy game.

Thanks for stopping by.  Please take a minute to say hello.  It's the best part of blogging is to read everyone comments.

Monday, April 25, 2011

There's Something To Be Said For Bunnies

I wasn't going to post again until WIPW, but then when I spoke to D late this morning, he had great news.  He stood up the to walker for the first time today and lasted for 1 minute, then did it again for 2 minutes.  Then they had him sit in that most uncomfortable chair on the planet for and hour and a half.  It's uncomfortable for me because the chair legs are too tall and my legs are too short so it puts my low back on a bind.  Since he's a foot taller than me, he said it was just perfect for him.

The therapist figured out that, I guess from being on the vent for so long, that when he breathed his diaphragm was inverting the wrong way.  I guess they did some exercises to fix it. It makes sense to me.

He also had me bring his guitar up last week.  He can only lift 4 or 5 lbs so he can't pick up his 9 lb guitar by himself.  He's been practicing he says.  His fingers still know how to fret he just doesn't have the finger strength to hold down the chords.  It will come in time.  He's grateful he doesn't have to relearn how to play and still has his finger dexterity.  Of course, we all know who to thank for that. Ahem.  (Looks around the air.)

I forgot to mention yesterday.  I took Dammit out into the lobby and dining hall so the other residents and staff could pet him.  They just loved him and I think they especially liked saying his name.  One elderly resident wanted to hold him and I didn't realize the nursing home mascot, an employee's little dog was there.  That was until I set Dammit on her lap and the dog saw him, barked. Dammit shot straight up in the air.  I did catch him in time.  They took the dog out of them, as everyone was more interested in the bunny on Easter. Now everyone asks me where my bunnies are when they see me.

Dammit says I owe him hours and hours of non-stop Zeppelin video watching for that one.  He was really well behaved and deserves it.  The nurses all thought it was the funniest thing that Dammit sits in front of the tv and watches his Zeppelin DVD's.  It's the only time he will watch tv.

 It was reported to me that while Betty was home alone, enjoying the peace and quiet without Dammit, she was listening to Ram Jam.  20 points to the one that gets that reference.  We'll see who and I'll reveal on Wednesday.

Thanks to my neighbor, my flowers were especially pretty this weekend. They'll burn to a crisp soon, so I need to enjoy them while I can. Only two out six petunia plants survived that hard freeze we had.

I think I'm going to officially change my name to Dot Whooten.  So when I go by everyone can say, There goes Poor Dot Whooten.   There goes Poor Denise Seffens just doesn't have the same ring to it.  What do I mean by that?  Well, as my mother always says, Denise, you just can't win for losing, can you?

I didn't have time with yesterday's schedule to cook the ham I bought.  So I baked it this morning and made macaroni & cheese to take up with me.  Just as I was about to start the sweet potatoes before A came to pick me up, D called and said A called up there and left a message that she was having car trouble and her phone was locked in the car, so she couldn't call me.

I said, I guess I can take the busses up.  He said, Well, you can if you want to.  So I had to find a container suitable for bus travel.  Scrapped the sweet potato idea.  Looked up the schedule and took off for the bus.  Between the two bus stops and the last stop to the home is over a mile walk, in the hot dessert sun, almost 90 degrees, carrying a 20 lb bag of laptop, food, knitting and other stuff.

There is a CNA that works evenings, she reminds of another CNA I worked with back home.  She makes sure I get a dinner when she's on, if it's something good.  I told her how far I walked.  She said, that's good, good exercise.  I mentioned the temperature and hot sun.  She said, still good exercise.  Then I mentioned carrying the bag.  She said, Well, that's just not cool, carrying all that weight too.

The longest part of the walk is from the bus to the home, so I was beet red in the face as I came puffing up the driveway.  Two residents and one family member were outside and asked me what had happened as they know I usually have a ride.  I told them.  The family member said I should have called and they would have come got me.  I said, I didn't think anyone would have done that.  One of the residents is a 70 year old man whose been there for three months after his heart surgery.  He gives me fresh coffee he makes in his room.  We found out last week that he has rented a studio in the building next door and is supposed to go there in May.  D invited him over for barbeque when he gets out.

W (that's the 70 yr old) went around and found someone to take me home.  But I got a hold of my next door neighbor and she agreed to pick me up.  I will probably need a ride from somewhere Thursday and Friday this week as A is going to San Diego again to visit her father. I have a feeling W will be on the case to make sure I do. W asked me what did I do to piss Murphy off.  I said, Oh Murphy, when I get my hands on that guy, he's been deviling me all my life.  W said, Killings to good for him when you do get him.  Take him out to the desert and torture him like the Indians would.  He's an old rancher from out at Three Points, where ever that is. He's just staying in town near the hospital while he recuperates.  Seems like a good friend to have.

Our routine this past week, except for the weekend, is D gets in his geri-chair after supper and we sit out on the front patio and watch the birds for about an hour.  On the way in, I noticed the little prickly pear cactus is starting to bloom.

I've not tried prickly pear yet.  Even though they grow all over the place, as soon as they start to ripen they come up missing.  D said, the ones at the grocery store didn't look good last year.  I might have to wait to get a house and a yard, just grow my own.  Set a big mean dog to guard it for me.

Lots of cactus blooming right now.  I'll try to get pictures and post them.  Since they aren't the usual thing those of you up north would see.  A is teaching me a lot about the dessert as she is a native and grew up here.

I really am taking the time to enjoy all the good things that are happening.  It's just with so many other pressures those blips, like leaks and unexpected bus rides really throw a wrench in things.  Like the straw and the camel's back.

D is planning on doing a guest blog post after he gets home.  He wants to come home first.  Catch up on reading my blog and be around his own things. Plus, fix his own blog which he was trying to do just before he got sick.

This song was our family song when my kids were little.  We used to turn it up on the car radio and sing along.  We turned it really loud because a dying cow sounds better than my singing.  It always makes me feel good even when things are going wrong.  I've played it so much the last couple days, it's become an ear worm. It's got the lyrics, so everyone sing along. Enjoy.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Hoppy Easter Everybunny

We wish you all a happy Easter here from the nursing center.  Dammit and Nippit came together for a visit.

A man and his bunny.

A man and his Dammit.

He's able to hold and snuggle with his little friends now.  Both allowed two long sessions of snuggle time. He was afraid our pets wouldn't remember him.  However, both rubbed his face and groomed his beard.

While he still isn't able sit up for very long needing to rebuild his diaphragm and lung muscles. He can flatten the bed and scooch himself up.  No more lifting. The past two nights he was able to sleep on his side.  We're getting there slowly.

Friday, I was up all night.  Water pouring down from the ceiling fan and coming through the light switch.  Called the manager every few hours to get his answering machine.  I was tempted to pound on his door.  There was no sleeping to be had with the constant sound of drip, drip, into the buckets three feet from my bed.  I tried to put a towel in there, but after they were soaked it was the sound of splat, splat, drip, drip.  I was scared of either the ceiling falling down or an electric fire.  Both have happened to me in the past, so it wasn't paranoia.  Yep, I've survived a fire and ceiling falling down my head.  Thankfully, not at the same time.

Every time I heard someone walk around up there, I would go and knock, but they wouldn't answer the door. Six am the manager woke and came rushing over.  He took one look at the mess and went upstairs.  Had to pound and shout for about ten minutes.  My neighbor said they finally opened the door when he threatened to call the police for a welfare check.  Her toilet had stopped and she went to bed and left the thing running all night, water pouring.  My neighbor said, how do you not just reach in the back and turn the water off the toilet.  How do you not call someone to come fix it?  The manager said the carpet was soaked all the way out to the middle of the bedroom.

I'm trying to soak up the mess still with towels and hanging them to dry on the fence over night.  The lady who has been taking me back and forth all this time, asked tonight.  So what are they going to do about your carpet?  Nothing.  I'll soak it up with towels.  But it will go up the walls and mildew and they will have to replace the walls.  Nope.  Since the manager isn't hassling me about the rent during all this, I can't really hassle about the slum.  Sadly.  I'm just grateful to have a ceiling over my head, be that as it may.  I'm sitting here at ten o'clock on Sunday night with all sorts of pounding above me.  Happens quite often.  Sounds like they are building a house up there. (rolls eyes)

Di had told me to go up and talk to her about the noise.  I said, it would do no good.  She said, maybe she's up there blissfully unaware she's disturbing anyone.  I said, anyone who vacuums at three am isn't blissfully unaware, they just don't give a damn or are too stupid.  Di finally realized after the toilet episode and said, You're right, she just doesn't give a damn about anyone else.

I'm just hopeful for the day when both of us are working again and save up for a nice house on a quiet street. Unless, my pipe dream happens and when he gets a lottery ticket for the mega-millions, and wins the thing.  He never buys lottery tickets, but I think after all the rare bad stuff that has happened to him, karma should swing around and let a rare good thing happen.  Then we'll buy a ranch and start a stitcher's retreat.  You'll all will be invited to come down and escape the winter snow.  After that, we'll find people who have fallen on hard times and anonymously make their lives a little better.  Might as well, dream big for that dollar.

We hope you all had a happy and healthy holiday where ever you are.  I want to thank everyone who sent donations to help me through. I'm eventually going to send you all a little something made by me as a thank you.  I really can't thank you enough.

Friday, April 22, 2011

FO Friday

Finally I have an FO. Can't remember if it's the first this year.

Taken by Mr. Shaky Hands at sun down in his geri chair.  Those are his feets.

The back.

 It's not blocked yet.  But good enough for an FO at the moment.

The particulars: Yarn is merino/angora/silk that I dyed then spun into a light 3 ply fingering weight.  Yardage unknown.  Knit from the top down in a pattern I made up as I went along.  Started I think sometime in January.

The sleeve. I did one pattern repeat of the lace bottom then finished with seed stitch border.

If you don't care to comment about the following I'm about to type, please at least comment on the sweater.

It never ends here at man, I don't know what to call it.  If I don't have enough on my plate, my master bathroom is leaking from the fan and the light switch outlet.  This is the third or fourth leak from somewhere since we moved here a year ago and I'm just sick of it.

The place is a mess since I haven't been home much in two months.  I was just starting to take some longer time at home to clean up.  Now, I'm going to be invaded with rude maintenance workers.

Did you hear that?  The awful sound that made your hair stand on end.  That was me, mentally screaming.

As far as himself.  He unfroze his shoulders last weekend, himself.  I can't make fun of him any more and call him tyrano rex or help me, I'm a short arm person and can't do anything.  It's all in fun.  He used to make fun of me when my legs would give and I would be in the middle of the floor in a heap like a ragdoll.  Crying doesn't help, might as well joke about it.

Today, he was able to sit up on the side of the bed for 3 minutes before his oxygen started desating.  The respiratory people have been turning his oxygen down to wean him, meanwhile PT and OT can't do much that causes any exerertion.  RT came up with the brilliant idea that maybe they should turn his oxygen up when he does his PT/OT.  (rolls eyes)  It reminds me of the ICU days when pulmonary would try to turn his oxygen down during dialysis then wonder why he had a bad reaction.

Basically, it's a long slow process of his lungs needing to heal and for him to build up his strength.  He lost almost 70 lbs from February 16 to April 1, so it's no wonder it's going to take awhile.  He needs to build the muscle in his diaphragm and lungs.  He lost one third of his body weight.

Bootsie calls him every night to talk when I get home.  She literally sits in my lap and listens on the phone and mrows to him when he finishes speaking.  "I'm coming home soon, Bootsie."  Mroow   "I'll be there to pet you soon." Mrooow Mrooow  "Are you being good?" Mrooooow  It's funny as hell.

It doesn't look like he'll be home for my birthday, next week.  It's a good thing I stopped celebrating years ago.  The last day of the month is always the end of the money and just before the next months rent is due.  I just gave up a long time ago. With as unorganized as things are, I think even if we had an Easter Sunday miracle and he rose from his bed and walked to the doorway, it would still take them a couple weeks to work on a discharge.

I want to thank those of you who contributed to helping me.  I really can't thank you enough. You can't imagine my relief and tears of joy when I saw I had enough to pay the internet and phone bill.  I'm just amazed and so grateful to those of you who have stuck by me during this overly stressful time.  It would have been hard to make it this far without you all there encouraging me.

I look back and as unimaginably stressful  it has all been, I can't think of doing it any differently.  I don't really think I've done anything all that extraordinary.  It needed to be done and I just try to take one day at a time and get through it.  I'm currently reading  Can't Wait to Get to Heaven: A Novel (Ballantine Reader's Circle) just before I go to sleep.  There is a paragraph that talks about Elner Shimfizzle, the main character and how during the Depression her husband was in bed with TB for two years and she got up every morning at 4:30 and plowed their field, took care of the farm and fed half the neighborhood to keep them all alive.  She didn't think it was extraordinary to do that, it just needed to be done, so she did it.

I just love Fanny Flagg's books about Elmwood Springs.  When I read them, I always hope I become more like Elner as I get older.  In reality my life reads like Dot Whooten. But, I guess there is a part of me like Elner, after all.  If you have read those books, then you know what I mean about Dot Whooten.  If you haven't read them, I highly suggest getting Standing in the Rainbow.  They are a very well written, light-hearted read. Her characters are just so full of life. Makes wish I could go there and have a cup of coffee and piece of cake with Neighbor Dorothy.

I was planning on listing stuff on Artfire to help buy pet food and personal items (you know tp and that week of the month stuff).  But I just don't know how messed up my weekend will be with this damn leak going on. I'm going to start with stuff I've needed to get rid of (it's good stuff, but I just won't ever use it) then work my way up, to the I'd like to keep it, but won't be heart broken to sell it and hopefully, I won't have to dip into the I'm heartbroken to sell it stuff.  D was amazed that I made his last partial paycheck last over 7 weeks.  I've been that frugal.

If you would like to contribute to the pet food fund, there's the donation button on my sidebar.  You don't know how absolutely sick it makes me feel to have to do that.  Or you can' e-mail me for my address.

I've decided I'm giving it till May 10th to see where he is at in his progression.  By then I will know if the state's long term care is approved.  Hopefully, he can sit up longer and stand to a walker.  If it looks like he will be there much longer, I will have to look for a job. Just pray the insurance goes through and they accept me to be his paid caregiver at home.

I did apply for him for SSD/SSI.  It was part of the process I had to do for the application for the long term care.  If he's still in the nursing home and SS approves him, the state will only let him keep $100.00 a month, they will take the rest.

Half my life is playing a waiting game while the other half of it unapologetically marches forward, with added bumps just for entertainment.

I have been trying to read your blogs when my brain can think straight.  Just the other day, I poured a cup of coffee, looked at my sink full of dishes, thought about how I should get those washed up, then picked up the dish soap and squirted a nice big dollop, yes, right in my cup of coffee.  I just looked at the bottle in my hand and my coffee and laughed hysterically.  Good thing I noticed what I had done before I drank it.

Thank you for stopping by.  Thank you if you can and want to help me.  If you can't or don't want to, that's really ok too.  Please comment on my sweater if you don't want to comment on anything else.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

WIP Wednesday

It seems a year goes by between Wednesday's.  I'm getting more knitting time now that he is able to do a little more for himself.  This morning during the baseball game, I pulled this old thing out of the bag.

To recap, this is a cardi, I'm designing myself, well just knitting as I go along.  The yarn I'm using is a light 3 ply fingering weight merino, angora and silk blend that I dyed and spun a year ago.  Started sometime around January, I've been knitting on this while D was in ICU.

This will be short sleeved to wear over my sleeveless sundresses.  I knit one pattern repeat of the lace for continuity, then will knit an inch of seed stitch border.  I need to have some continuity in my life somewhere.  Almost finished with this sleeve, and I might (fingers crossed) have an FO for Friday.  Just in time to fold it up and put it in the drawer.  It's getting a bit warm down here, sunny and in the 90's F 32.22 C  all week.  Soon it will get hot 100F/37.77C and then damn it's HOT at 110F/43.33C , it becomes crispy critter time at 115F+ / 46.11C+ about July.

I'm slowly progressing up the leg on my sock.  For details about the pattern is on last week WIPW.  I'm running short on time and need to run back up to the home.

The pattern is a recipe and it's a bit vague.  If you like your hand held through all the steps, then this one should be avoided.  I, however, enjoy a challenge (like my life isn't challenging enough).  Misread the increase chart and had to tink back about 6 rows.  I need to pay more attention to what I'm looking at.

My pansies and petunias.. They might not be around much longer now that the sun is getting hot.  The French lady across the way has been watering them for me this whole time.  She was afraid she was going to kill them as she hasn't had much luck with pansies.  I told her they would die anyway and not to worry about it if she did kill them.  I finally got to thank her this weekend and she's thrilled how well they are doing.

Now for an update on my longest WIP, D has plateaued the past couple days.  The problem is his lungs need more time to heal.  The next step is for him to sit on the side of the bed, in order to be to stand, then walk.  Every time they sit him, he gets short of breath and his O2 sats go down into the 70's with 60 seconds and he has to lie back down.  One of the PT guys understands that and is working on helping him strengthen his core muscles.  Unfortunately, that guy is only there 3 days awake.  All the other therapists, I guess are complaining that they think D isn't cooperating.   Except if you can't breath there isn't much else you can do.  Have to resist the urge of wanting to punch some people.

Being sedated in the ICU for about 45 days, he's lost over 70 lbs and that is muscle mass from lying there and steriods.  It's not like he just went on a diet.  I'm up here now and he told me that yet again, a PT person confirmed his O2 sat dropping when he sits up.  So they've increased the exercises for his core strength while in bed.

I put my back out last Thursday and had to spend a couple days in bed on the heating pad.  I did go up for a couple hours on Friday and Saturday, but it hurt like hell.  The CNA that was "supposed" to help me lift him did it, or rather didn't do it.  That is she didn't lift her half, just said 1, 2, 3 real fast then didn't lift and I unexpectedly lifted a 170 pound man all by myself.  I probably could have done it if I was prepared.  I've been helping lift him since the beginning, even when had 90lbs of excess water weight and weighed over 300 lbs.  Never had a problem.  I'm better now.

Here's the hard part that is making me nauseas to write.  I'm between a rock and a hard place and I just don't know what to do.  The long term care insurance that would pay me to be his care giver is reviewing the case to see if he qualifies medically.  Then it will be up to the community case manager about the time he comes home if they will hire me to be his care giver or hire someone else.  That will just burn both our butts if we have to let strangers take care of him and they snub me.  But, it is what it is.

In the meantime, our funds have run out.  The internet and phone bill is do again and I need $100.00 and change by the end of the month to keep it on.  I borrowed the money last month from my mother, whom I need to pay back as soon as I start earning a paycheck, somewhere.  She on Social Security, so she can't help me anymore.  My kids are barely getting by themselves.  Plus, I found out that my daughter is expecting in early October (not happy news).

I just don't know what to do or where to turn.  Do I look for a job?  When I get a job that might delay his coming home and bump me from the caregiver job. I'm in limbo while life is dragging me forward.  So, it kills me to do this but I'm opened a Paypal account in my name and am putting up a donation button.  If you would consider helping me it would be so much appreciated.  If you would rather send me a money order you can contact me at catlady43066 at yahoo dot com or on FB or knittingbunnies on Ravelry and I'll give you my address.  Even $5.00 will help.  Ten cans of cat food is $5.00 plus tax, bird seed is $3.50 that will last a little over a week each.  The bunnies still have a ton of pellets from the bag my friend bought them last month. I did call the Humane Society for help, but the take donations, not give them.  However, they will take my pets from me when I get to the point I can't take of them anymore. *sigh*

Now, that he is able to do more for himself, I have a little extra time.  This weekend I'll try to list stash for sale on Artfire.  I've started reading blogs again on Sunday night, so if I stopped by your blog yet, I'll make it there eventually.

Have to put the second game of the double header against the Padre's on.   We one the first game.  Go Cubs. D watches Sportcenter and told me the Blackhawks won last night.  They are playing the Canucks tomorrow.  Sorry, Nikki.  GO Blackhawks!!!

Thanks for stopping by and considering my situation.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

WIP Wednesday

I missed last week, this week I'm still exhausted just not in a foul mood.  I think I can pull this posting thing off this week.

Excuse my messy floor.  The damn maid hasn't shown up in a couple months.  I may have to beat her if I ever catch her.

I turned the heel and am coming up the leg.  I'm using the Lacy Knee Socks for the pattern.  It's just a basic pattern of the lace.  If you haven't made toe up socks before, such as me, you need to go searching for instructions on how to start the toe and make the heel.  I found Wendy's basic pattern to be the most helpful.

This Lacy Knee Socks isn't a very good pattern for a beginner, if you haven't made socks before, or if you are new to toe up socks.  Unless of course, you're a crazy person like me, then I say go for it.

No progress made on the sweater.  While I tote the thing back and forth everyday, it's bulkiness just isn't feasible with all the jumping up and down I do in the course of a day.  I'm really grateful to Nikki for sending that nice package.  The sock is small enough that it isn't problem to work on, as well interesting enough.

We are making progress, and I'm not having to jump to assistance as nearly as often as last week.  I've succumbed to the idea that exhaustion is going to be a way of life for me for awhile yet.  I'm just dealing with it. After 8 or 9 hours sleep, I yell "seriously" at the cats or the alarm clock, which ever is brazen enough to wake me up.  It's usually the cats.  The alarm clock remembers what happened last time.

I can't believe in a couple days it will be two months since I called the ambulance and this whole nightmare began.  What is it like 8 or 9 weeks now?  I lost count awhile back, somewhere around 6.

His pneumo thorax is slowly dissipating.  It was so bad, I could feel the rice crispies (air from the lung) all the way down his arm and into his hand.  They removed the trach today.  A bit of scary progress.

Yesterday, he tolerated being in the recliner for 2 and half hours.  We even went outside and sat on the front patio for the first time.  Today, we did it for 3 and half hours.  After I threw a hissy fit at the OT person, I got the foam things to put on the silverware, yesterday.  The OT person said he wasn't ready for them.  By tonight, I had him feeding himself dinner, with a tiny bit of assistance.

The OT person is a bit lazy, I think.  D says he's tired, and the OT person just goes away and complains D doesn't want to work.  He says that to the PT guys and they say, ok, well let's just work out some of the kinks.  He agrees and by the time they are finished he's done his full work out.  Then tells me they tricked him into doing his work out after all.  I say, yeah, they're good like that.

The nurse that said it would be harder when he comes home is both right and wrong.  Right in the fact that when I get tired, I can't just come home and someone else take over.  Not that anyone really does, they're so short staffed.  Wrong in the fact that most of what tires me out is getting ready to go, dragging my stuff and stuff he wants up there.  Then sitting in what must be the most uncomfortable chair on the planet.  I'm serious, a rock would be more comfortable than that damn chair.  Then sitting and thinking about all the things I need to do at home.

They finally have the temperature control fixed.  The vent above the door blew ice cold air at what must have hurricane force (a magazine blew off the shelf) at the wall, which came back and hit me right in the back.  Then the room would heat up to an oven, then frosty artic. It's no wonder he got a second case of pneumonia.  I'm pretty sure I caught a cold myself last week.

Can't remember if I mentioned it,  Mr. Dammit bunny did very well on his visit Monday.   D who used to not be anxious about much, is now anxious about every thing,  Was afraid Dammit, was going to have a heart attack.  Dammit was just lying on the bed with his paws on D's stomach, chilling out and being very well behaved.  Dammit did say he was disappointed at the lack of Zeppelin there.

My birthday is the last day of the month.  He had given up his goal to be home by then last week, he's taken it back up again.  I'm just hoping he can stand to a walker and take a step or two by then.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Never A Dull Moment

Yes, it's that same picture of Dammit.

At the request of the nurses, Dammit is making a visit to the nursing center tomorrow.  It should cheer up, D.  He really needs it.  Man, what a week.  I missed posting WIPW for the first time through all this, because quite frankly nobody would have wanted to read anything I would have typed.  It was a very bad day.

First of all, the call lights haven't worked since arrived last Friday.  They gave everyone these cowbells to ring. The rooms on either side of him are constant cowbell ringers, so the aides take their time about answering.  It sounds like a damn cow pasture, with all the cowbell ringing.  There is a respiratory tech, D and I go around saying, "We need some more cowbell."

So, Saturday through Tuesday he was gung ho.  Actually, thought he would be walking by the end of the week, he did.  I just shook my head and said, well, you go ahead and work for that.  Saturday, he could barely bend his knees or pull the blanket on and off.  I've been busy doing all the things for a person that can barely move.  The hospital just cold turkeyed him after having him on all those narcotics for all that time, dumped in the home with nothing.  That was fun, NOT.  After much yelling, we have him on a mild dose to keep him calm.

Tuesday night, he went without oxygen for almost 2 hrs.  The resp. tech was new and inexperienced somehow unplugged the cord and left him like that.  Wednesday morning, we had a care conference for going home planning and he threw a fit about it and that the call lights didn't work.  They worked on them from Wednesday afternoon and by Friday had them working for all of about 5 hrs.

Wednesday afternoon, he was a bear.  I was exhausted.  At one point, I was standing in the hall and a nurse asked me if I was ok and I burst into tears.  It just wasn't a good time.  That's why I didn't post.  He was snapping and I was snapping.  My worries were confirmed on Thursday.

He became listless and sleepy on Thursday, running a fever.  I kept bugging the nurse until she called the Dr. to order a chest x-ray.  That evening he desatted and the RN resp. tech and I worked on him for over 30 minutes suctioning.  The results came in that he had another small pneumo thorax on the right side and a new case of pneumonia.  There are other people on the hall that have pneumonia as well, and I let you draw from that what you will. Not saying much more.

The RN tech found the crispy cracklies up on his right shoulder and told me that was where it was and drew a circle.  She's really good and I trusted her so I went home at my regular time.  She writes both my numbers down on her daily sheet and promises to call, even at 3am if anything should happen, even an anxiety attack.

Friday morning I went in and everyone said, oh he's doing great, resting comfortably.  Then I saw him for myself.  The cracklies spread and he had a huge lump of mushy air under his right breast.  He calls it his man boob.  He was alert and joking around.  I think he was putting up a front so they wouldn't send him back to the hospital.  I pestered until they told me the Dr. would there in an hour to talk to me.

The Dr. was unconcerned and said he didn't need a chest tube, they would put him on antibiotics for the pneumonia.  On top of it, D was insisting he wanted to stay and not go to the hospital.  You know how I couldn't wait for him to be alert and making his own decisions?  At that moment, I wanted to knock him back out and tell them I insist he go back and get checked out.  But, I'm just the paper signer now.

We went from 95F on Monday to 45F and all day rain on Saturday.  My back has been killing me the past three days.  I've mentioned before how my sacral iliac joint is displaced.  The top left corner of bone sticks out a little bit and the right side is sunken in.  Tonight I put it back in place by helping to lift him up in bed.

Today, he just slept and didn't eat any breakfast or lunch.  I stopped Fry's on my way home and got the stuff to make my meatloaf.  He doesn't eat more than a few bites at each meal all week.  I joked with A of how I was going to work my butt of to make a meal he would only eat three bites of and be done.  He ate seven bites of meatloaf, three bites of mashed potatoes and a half of a baby carrot.  I meant to take pictures but I'm such a slacker. He says I make the best meatloaf, so I'll share the recipe.

2 lbs ground beef
1 can diced or stewed tomatoes
1 package Ritz crackers crushed
1/2 chopped onion
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp Coleman's dried mustard (that's the now not so secret ingredient)
dash garlic powder
dash of kosher salt
dash of freshly ground pepper
many strips of thickly sliced applewood smoked bacon

Mix all the above ingredients together except for the bacon.  Form a loaf shape in a baking pan. Arrange the bacon strips on top to cover to the loaf.  Bake at 350F for about 1/2 hours.

Tonight when I helped the aide lift him up in bed so I could feed him his dinner, the darn bed broke.  It was brand new bed.  I know this, because they kept telling me it was a brand new bed from the time we arrived. It was a comedy trying to fix the bed then find a new one.  Put him in a recliner, move the old bed out, the new one in.  That got him alert and amused.  He said it was the most fun and entertainment he's had since he's been there.  Weirdo.

He'll be reading this at some point.  I told him how I've been blogging this whole time.  He didn't have a problem with it and was glad I was keeping it documented for him to read later.  Quite upset about losing over 45 days of his life, says he doesn't even remember being.  Had me take a picture for him, so he could have a before and after picture.  I'll let him post that.  Then he asked me if I took a picture of him in the ICU.  Weirdo. I said, no, I was afraid it would freak out the nurses if I had.   He doesn't need to see that anyway, it'll just scare him.  Hell, it scared me every day I went in.

He's really working at his dexterity, wants to play the guitar again.  Grateful that I was exercising his hands while he was sedated. He's planning his guest blog post. Well, he's giving his website to everyone who will listen, so I'll post it here. Planet Moderan  Go take a look, he'll appreciate it.  The music he made himself and there is his stories and recipes.

Since this is supposed to be a fiber arts blog, there has been some knitting through all of this week, believe it or not.  I know, I'm amazed too. Had to have some knitting just for insanities sake.  I would be further along, but I went to far on the foot and had to rip back a couple inches and re-start the heel.  I'm using the heel from this pattern. (Rav link)

It's April 10th and I'm just starting to take April pictures.  I'm such a slacker lately, somebody should come beat me. This is my TUSAL picture, it's a week late.  Hopefully they don't hold it against, considering, you know.  No threads added.  I do find a few skeins of floss here and there that Butterscotch finds to play with.  I just pick them and sigh.  How I would love a quite afternoon in my chair to stitch.

If you don't have a sense of humor, stop reading any further.  I probably shouldn't write this as someone could take it the wrong way, but seriously if you can't take a joke......

Wednesday when I had my breakdown, the nurse told me to spend more time at home to rest.  It will harder when he comes home, she said. You don't think it will, but it will.  Saturday, when it was so cold and rainy and I just didn't want to go back out for my evening shift, I thought about what she said. Then I thought, no, it would be nice if he were home and I didn't have to go back out.  Just send him home with the same narcotics they are using. When he gets all antsy, I can just say, "Here honey, have some butterscotch pudding."
Him: "No, I don't want pudding. I want ...... (name it)"
Me: "But I made it, just especially for you." (said sweetly)
Him: "No, I don't want it."
Me: "Just eat the damn pudding."

On that note, I'm taking my sore, aching back to bed. It's supposed to warm back to the 80's tomorrow, I can't wait.  Yes, I'm fitting in the eating, drinking and sleeping thing in.  I am tempted to just take my dinner to bed and let the cats feed me while I sleep, they would eat it though.

Monday, April 04, 2011

On To Our Next Adventure

That place Mom took me was weird.

Sorry I haven't updated in awhile, but I feel like I've raced around in a speeding car through crazy town. I'm sitting here in a long term care facility with him next to me watching the Cubs game on TV.

Wednesday was an awful night for him.  They had just abruptly taken away the ton of narcotics he was on, no ween down.  I'm told he became combative and refusing all care.  I threw a fit when I came on Thursday morning, because they never called me.  I could have came in and settled him down if they had. Even though he's been conscious for a few weeks, because of the narcotics, he doesn't remember much before Tuesday or Wednesday.  Upset that he lost over 45 days of his life.

Thursday morning I came in an he wasn't in his room, an old lady was.  I literally flipped out.  They moved him to another room across the hall during the night.  Why, I could never get a straight answer.  One of the ICU Dr.'s was by his bedside and they were considering taking him back to the ICU.  Then they thought he had a pulmonary embolism and he had a ct-scan.

Dammit's visit didn't go as well as I had hoped because of the ICU Dr. being there.  One of the rude residents.  Even his nurse commented on how rude she was.  Then I found out he didn't want me to take Dammit out to visit because he was afraid he would give Dammit what he had.  I did bring him out for a few minutes before it was time to leave.

Thursday afternoon, the speech therapist upgraded him to a ground food diet.  He had a cheeseburger ground up with mashed potatoes and gravy for dinner. Just a few bites, he had the tube feeding still going..

Friday morning, the Dr.s came in, asked if he ate yet.  We told them yes.  They said, well you tolerated food well, you're out of here.  Seriously, just like that. Friday evening, he was transferred to a long term care facility up the street.

I've been busy ever since.  He's been busy working his legs and arms.  First thing he managed was being able to operate the tv remote.  No problems with the speaking valve.  Mr. Man of few words is now Mr. Chatty Chatty.  He tells me when I'm not here, he sings to exercise his lungs.

There's a few issues with this place, but I don't want to get into it.  Hopefully, he won't be here long and will be home soon.

Even though it's going to cause me a hardship, I spent 20.00 for so he could watch the Cubs game Friday.  The hospital didn't have WGN but they do have wifi.  The look on his face when he watched the game: priceless.  He became so animated and full of life.