Monday, February 28, 2011

I Had A Bad Day

We had a few bumps in the road last night and today.  I almost punched a Dr.  That song was playing on the radio by his bed as I left tonight, it was fitting.

It's what the nurse (me) ordered.  My coffee, cherry brandy, knitting and the dvd remote.

Last night just as I was falling asleep I had a major panic attack wake me up.  My head was telling me something is wrong, danger.  Then the dr. saying, hopefully he doesn't throw a clot, came to mind.  I had just hung up with his nurse 30 minutes earlier.  So I told, my brain to shut up and went to my happy place, an English countryside, noted the time and finally fell back to sleep.   Sometimes, I have those attacks and something really is happening (which is scary) then other times, nothing that I know of had gone wrong.

This morning when I called up to the ICU, as I always do at 8am, after I know they finished shift change.  The day nurse told me they had a blip with his heart, like that Saturday night, only they were able to get him back into normal sinus rhythm with just medication and didn't have to shock him.  Then they had to turn his O2 back up to 100% because he was acidic.  I asked her what time that had all occurred.  Same time I had the panic attack.  My mother said, it's because we are that close.

When I came in, the renal team had a hard time with his femoral line. It's not working right.  His blood pressure went low and they were only able to take less than a liter of fluid off.  They were hoping for three liters like on Saturday. Right after they left, his blood pressure went right back up.  Tomorrow, they will put in a new renal line in a better spot.  One of the ones they put in for people on long term dialysis.  Not that they think it will be long term, it will just be more comfortable for him in the recovery process.

Tired doesn't begin to explain how I feel.  I'm getting pretty punchy now.  There's no getting on my last nerve, because I don't have any left.  Just some frayed wires hanging every which way.  I had mentioned that I requested a palliative consult to get a new perspective on managing his pain and anxiety.  Well, it's a new group, just a couple weeks old.  They are only handling hospice patients.  How was I to flipping know that? (My temper is coming back up at the re-telling.)

So this new Dr. was in on today.  I found out he is one of the Fellows.  I guess the chain of command is Attending, then a few Fellows, then residents, on down the line.  Well, he came up to me this afternoon and started telling me that palliative care was only for hospice, end life care.  He wasn't shouting, but talking really loud, very over bearing, wouldn't let me explain myself, kept talking over me,  every time I stepped backward, he stepped forward.  Just on and on and on.  Insinuating it seemed like I was requesting end of life care.  We will manage his medications, he said.  That fight or flight response really kicked in and I knew I was about to hit him.  So I put my hands up, in a back off stance and turned away from him.  I was so upset I was shaking, which is never a good sign.

My children will tell you, if Mom is shaking with tears in her eyes, it's because she's trying to control the urge to do some serious physical harm.  Lucky for him, he walked away and I went downstairs and smoked a whole cigarette.  (Yeah, quitting went out the window with this mess.  I'll try again later.)  I came back up and calmly told the day nurse who witnessed the scene that I don't ever want to be addressed by that Dr. again.  It will all end in tears if he speaks to me, mine and his.  She calmed me down and gave me a hug.  The dialysis nurse had witnessed it to and wasn't real happy with the way he spoke to me.

Later, they made sure I got to speak with the attending.  Apparently he realized he really messed up, because she said he told her he thinks it would be a good idea to stay out of my radar for awhile.  Yeah, that would probably be the best idea he had all day.  The attending said, he gets too excited and can be overbearing when trying to communicate and apparently this has happened once before.  Then she said, however, I'm still pissed.  It's a good thing he realized his mistake.  Otherwise, I would have to hope that one of you notices I've come up missing for a couple days,calls the Pima County Jail and posts my bail.

She (the attending) told me, she hates this because it's so traumatic on the patients and their families, tomorrow is her last day and she's going off service.  The next Dr. doctor she said is very nice and really likes him, so try not to be scared.  She really wished they could follow their patients through to the end.  I said, I realize they need some time off, like everyone does, but this is really crap.  I just got to know and trust this Dr. and she's going away. *cry, tears*

On a lighter note.  There is this funny thing playing out up there.  To get on the unit, you have to push a button which rings a bell, then the receptionist pushes another button which makes the door open.  There is a window beside the door.  A short hallway of about 20 feet on the other side then the big main desk.  The day receptionist is a greying redhead, like me, maybe ten years older.  Every time, just as I get about 3 feet to the desk before I turn to go down the other hall, I always look at whoever is sitting there, and say thank you.  She's getting a kick out of it, and always says your welcome.  So, she started the other day, when she notices I'm getting close to the door to leave the unit, she pushes the button and the door comes open.  The first time, it surprised me, when door opened by itself.  I turned around and looked, then shouted (not really loud) thank you,  she shouted, your welcome.  Now, we have a game going.  After two weeks, I'm starting feel like the unit's mascot.

This is a picture of me, looking at a picture of my oldest son's new lip piercings on FB tonight.   He likes my reaction.

I'm going to finish my coffee and brandy.  Do some knitting and put Led Zeppelin dvd in for Dammit.  Then I will head to bed.  Bootise is being bad.  She took all the junk flyers and scattered them around the living room, mainly under the bird cages.  She pounces them and the noise sends the birds into a frenzy.  

Thanks for reading and commenting.  Things have to calm down soon, at some point, right?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Waiting To Exhale

Picture that mountain half covered with snow.  I wish I had my camera with me this morning, it was mostly melted by afternoon.  High of 45F today and it felt pretty cold to me.  Don't laugh all of you up north, it's what I'm accustomed to.

D stop rolling your eyes at my title.

I don't know if it was the day that was tiring or the cold that made feel so tired today.  Just tired, not the overwhelming fatigue I felt on Friday.  I came home at three and just crashed for a couple hours.

It's been an emotional roller coaster.  This morning he became a little acidotic when they turned his sedation down, so they turned that and his vent oxygen back up.  The dr.s did order some longer acting pain and anxiety meds to try to wean him off the drips with boluses as needed.  He's still becoming very agitating when they lower the sedation and I really can't blame him.

The night nurse is someone he had a few nights ago.  She's ok, but I do like the nurse he had the past couple nights better.  They do need time off and I can't have my favorites every day, every shift.  She asked me how I was doing, and I told her, I'm really tired.  Just waiting for him to come off the vent and be conscious so I can relax a bit.  It felt like I was waiting to exhale.

The attending was making rounds just before I was leaving.  So I went out to the hall to listen.  Some of the nurses don't like me to do that, but I tell them, "As long as they are talking about my person, I want to hear what they are saying and give my input on decisions.  Until one of dr.s tells me not to do that, that's what I'm going to do."  They mutter about HIPPA laws and I just restate the above. Some of them act a little shocked at my audacity, but I don't care. I'm not there to make friends.

The attending asked me how I was doing and I told her about feeling like this was marathon with no mile markers to tell me how long this race is or how far I have left to go.  She said that she loved my analogy and was going to remember to use it in the future.  Score one for me.  It's always good when you can impress an attending with intelligence.  So, she took a step back and really explained where we were at.

Normally, with this serious a case of ARDS, they take usually 4-6 weeks.  However, he's made such good slow progress he's ahead of the curve.  She's thinking a week more maybe less on the ventilator.  She took me over the machine and really explained the questions I've been asking and not getting the answers.  How frustrating it has been to ask a direct question and get an answer to a totally different question that I never asked.

She said, she won't necessarily put him on the CPAP vent the day nurse was mentioning.  That as long as he could tolerate 50% oxygen or less without becoming acidotic when the sedation was lowered she would be will to pull the tube and let him come to full conscious.  About a week she's figuring, maybe less.  That is if all goes well and he doesn't have any ICU complications like new infections or throws a clot. (Crossing fingers, toes, wings, paws.  Knocking on all the wood including the plastic wood.  Salt over my left shoulder or is it the right. Hell both shoulders just to be safe.)  She said this is a 26 mile marathon and we're at mile 20 mark.  Coming into the home stretch, I hope.

She's going to put in for a palliative care dr. consult first thing in the morning.  To get another perspective on how to manage his pain and anxiety.

I was sitting and thinking today, now that I'm far enough away from it, just how sick he was.  That was the worst I have ever saw.  That first Friday, I thought it's just a really bad case of double pneumonia, they'll put him on the vent for a few days until the antibiotics kick in.  Then Saturday really hit me from out of no where.  The damage the virus did, I think I can only compare to getting hit with a truck.  Then I'm not sure if that even describes it.

It's times like this when blogging should be great.  You know, if my family came and read the posts, like I tell them to.  I haven't called my mother since Thursday, she'll be ok with it.  She'll know I'm just really busy and as long as there isn't any tearful, panicked shrieks on her answering machine things must be going in the right direction.  My daughter pm'd me on FB for the second time wanting me to call her as she feels left in the dark.  I pm'd her back that I'm just really busy right now.  There is no reason to feel in the dark when she can go on my profile, click on the links, read the updates and any further questions pm me and I'll respond when I can.  It's 1am where she is, I'm tempted to call and say I finally have a minute to chat.  Yes, I can be evil. *grin*

My neighbor is reading after I told her to and then scratch on my window with any further questions.  It's just if I spend a half an hour with everyone who would like a verbal update, then that's 2 -3 hrs that I just don't have.  I just don't have it, not with being up there for 12 hrs, taking care of pets, myself and sleep in there when I can.  It's just so much easier to type it up here, everyone can come and read when they are able to.  I noticed some people from my hometown are reading through FB links, but I don't know who they are as they aren't saying anything.

Phew, end of rant.

Today, I brought Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe to read to him.  Reading aloud for so many hours a day is really tiring, especially when you have no interest in what you are reading.  I needed to give myself a break and read something I liked.  Besides, I think it might be just the sound of my voice more than anything that is comforting.  That's what the nurse tells me.  If he wants me to stop, he'll just have to get well and tell me to stop.

If nothing else, maybe these posts will be helpful to someone at some point.  I noticed someone came to my blog searching the flu.  Someone might have a loved one with Hantavirus and be scared out of their wits and come across my story.  Who knows what we say or do will have an effect on someone else.

So that was today's saga.

Thank you for reading, caring and commenting.  Once he is conscious and off the vent, I might be able to bring my laptop to the hospital with me and spend sometime online catching up with the rest of you.  I hope you all are ok, out there.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Keep On Keeping On

It's getting harder to think up titles.  His nurse said we made great progress today, but I think that was because the nurse had to work extra hard.  Luckily, he's had a male nurse the past couple days, the added physical workout.  They moved him onto a regular bed with an air pressure mattress to prevent pressure sores.  They are all well aware of the fact they are dealing with old-time long term and rehab care nurse, me.  I'll admit I can be kind of a witch with b.

 It's just that I've seen some pretty nasty stuff come out long term ICU stays, that were preventable.  I was told they were focusing on just keeping the patient alive and didn't have the extra time.  I wasn't working on those ICU units at that time so I can't make judgement.  However, his nurses just have him for a patient with me there 12 hours a day.  I might not be able to help lift him with my back, but there is other stuff I can do other than sit and read.  I do make sure to exercise his hands and fingers every couple hours while I'm there, so they don't stiffen up on him.

If you have ever been in bed for awhile with the flu, and you know how stiff and weak you feel when you try to get up and move around.  Imagine what it must be like to be sedated for now eleven days with a virus so bad it caused multi-organ failure. When he did become somewhat conscious there was no chance of him reaching up to pull tubes because he's just too weak to lift his hand off the pillow more than inch.

He was more wakeful over night and most of the day.  Which caused his blood pressure and heart rate to really soar.  It's the anxiety of coming semi-conscious to all those tubes, machines and alarms.  The blood pressure medicine wasn't really bringing it down, so the nurse got an order for a different shorter acting sedative and increased his pain medicine.  When I left he was pretty well sedated not opening his eyes.  He had became alert enough that he was opening his eyes to voice and touch.  Not focusing to try to see anything, just half opening his eyelids.  His fingers did start to curl around my hand when I was holding it today.  That really made my day. It's been like holding a limp fish until this point.

I'm a bit frustrated at this point.  The nurses want to keep him really sedated it seems.  They said, he needs to stop getting agitated when they turn down the sedation, then they can really start weening him off the ventilator.  I just don't see a way around him not becoming agitated with becoming conscious to his condition. I think the more conscious  he is, the more he's going to work his lungs to come off the machine.  But what do I know.   I'm just taking every day as it comes, it's all I can do.  So, no progress was made with turning down the vent, today.

He came off the continuous dialysis and is now on hemodialysis for a few hours daily.  The renal team was telling me, we don't know if he'll regain kidney function.  I'm saying, look you can't tell me for sure he'll regain function, let's not drift off to the negative just yet.

It's just one day at a time, slow and steady.  I'm remembering eight years ago this past week.  My 20 year old daughter and I drove from Rochester, Ny to Tucson to bring him up to NY.  She came along to help drive, but I ended up doing most of it.  We went through a terrible ice storm in Ohio, that I slid off the road twice, figured out how to get myself back on with old newspapers I had in the back.  Then in Indiana, I drove through a snow storm that came after the ice storm that had already went through.  Clear in Illinois and the northern half of Missouri.  Just as we were headed for flat lands and I thought I could let my daughter take over for a bit, we hit a huge blizzard in Springfield to Tulsa.  I just kept on driving through all of it, slow and steady, letting cars pass me and seeing them crashed on the side of the road as I went by.  Slow and steady, with complete stubbornness, I made it.  It took me from 3:30 pm on Saturday to 2:30am Tuesday, but I did it, 2750 miles.  Yes, solid driving, I only pulled over to rest a few times.

I do half to admit, there's this little part of me that wants him to prove that nurse wrong when she comes back on Wednesday.  Hey, I'm not perfect.   Except, he wasn't aware of what she was saying and he doesn't quite have my rebellious, oh yeah, well I'll show you, attitude.  That and I would really just like to see him get better and off those machines for his own comfort.

My friend was able to make it down from Phoenix for a few hours today.  She got to meet the crew and especially the infamous Dammit bunny. Everyone was quite excited to meet a new person.  Even Tennessee let herself to be petted, which is very rare.  I have to say, I think Dammit and Bootsie were especially excited about the attention.  I got Dammit to allow me to pick him up and hold him so she could pet him.  He became a little rambunctious as he prefers D to hold him. They're bonded buddies. Me, he sometimes tries to bite me on the shoulder when I hold him.  Hmmm, there seems to be a theme here with Dammit and Bootsie and their Pop bonding.

Butterscotch let himself be pet a little bit, but acted skiddish.  Which is rather strange for him.  I noticed when I came home he had a nice long scratch down his nose.  I think the girls cornered him and beat him up at some point while I was gone.  They like to do that because he's so docile and gentle.  I'll tell Dammit to do some cat bowling on the kitty pile when he gets the chance.  He likes to run into the bedroom and jump in the middle of the cat pile on the bed and send them scattering like furry bowling pins.  Dammit has more personality than ten rabbits have the right to have.

I was thinking when things settled down, it would be nice if she came down and I arrange the bunnies schedule so Dammit and Betty are out frolicking and playing tag.  But you know, they are so ornery, if we went to all that trouble, they would probably just sit under futon and play act like they are stupid.  Animals and small children never do what you want them to, when you want them to do it.

She brought me some alpaca fiber which she knew the alpaca's name from which it came from.  Plus some merino/silk which she said was too pretty to sit around and not be spun as she is currently wheelless.  I'm going to spin it and bring the finished yarn up to her to knit.  I'm running low on spinning fiber, but I have a ton of yarn and most of my knitting planned for the year.  I think the yarn will be too pretty to sit around waiting to be knit.  It's a lovely turquoise and brown.  I noticed we like the same colors. It's dark and I can't get a decent picture.  Will post when I have some decent daylight.

We have a big storm coming tomorrow, which will be today when you are reading this.  High of 45, ugh.  Will feel pretty cold to me, compared to what I have become accustomed to.  Possibility of snow.  Hurry up Wednesday, when it will get back up to 80, which is where I like it with the low 20% humidity. Everyone tells me to enjoy this cool weather while we have it. The 110+F temps will be here soon enough.  Amazingly there are days I enjoy those hot temps, when I'm all stiff and achey.  I go for a walk around the block and when I get back I feel like my joints got a nice hot oil treatment.  Weird, I used to hate hot weather when I was younger.

It was good to get away and be human for a few hours.  I came back to the hospital feeling more refreshed and able to take on whatever new challenges were headed my way.  The nurse I liked came on for the night shift and I left a little earlier than I normally would as he was well sedated at that point.

The past couple nights, I haven't need any Advil pm to get to sleep.  I'm out cold just as my head hits the pillow, I'm so tired.  I'm getting 7-8 hrs sleep a night.  Eating just a little more than normal, because of all the extra activity and drinking 3-4 of those big hospital styrofoam cups of water a day.  So, I am taking care of myself as well as I can.  It's just all the stress, I think it's the stress, that has me on these every other day fibro flares where I'm just so fatigued, achey and kind of foggy.

Again, I hope I haven't bored you to tears.  Thanks for sticking with me during this marathon run.  It is like running a very long marathon with no mile markers to show me how much is left to go of this race.  The last leg of this journey is going to be hardest, when he becomes conscious and starts to rehabilitate, that's when he'll need a lot of my support.

Teresa, I know you would come help me if you could. Oregon is one heck of drive to Tucson. .

Friday, February 25, 2011

Slow and Steady Progress

I believe that mountain is sitting on my head tonight, so I'm going to be pretty short. (That's right, I'm already pretty short.) I'll brief and to the point.

He's off all the blood pressure medicine, but now it's going in the other direction, too high.  They say it's because he's becoming more aware.  His oxygen levels are great today and they are now decreasing the pressure of the ventilator very slowly.   It took about 24 hrs from the time they stopped the sedation for him to start opening his eyes just a bit.  Just a bit.  Like a butterfly wing flutter.  When he got to the point that he fluttered his eyelids when I stroked his forehead and turned his head just a bit towards my voice, they turned the sedative back on very low.  At this point, they are just checking to make sure he can be aroused.  They do NOT want him fully conscious just yet.  Really, who would want to be made fully conscious with all those tubes and wires.  I know it would really freak me out.

The Hantavirus!  Grrrr, gah, blip, bleep.  (Many words that would make some of you blush to hear me utter.) How flipping, bleeping confusing this is getting.  So today, we have a new attending Dr.  They work on a one week rotations.  She seems good, a bit more hands off than the Dr. I liked, but I haven't really spoken much to her to make a clear judgement, just yet.  The residents all said that now it's not Hantavirus because the second test came back negative, so that makes the first test a false positive.  I asked the Dr. yesterday, three times, slowly and precisely, was there a chance of it being a false positive.  He said, no, they are very exact in their testing.  The residents, students, interns, who the hell knows who these laptop people are, and right now, I don't really give a damn. (can you tell how frustrated I am?) stood there and argued with me about the conversation I had with their attending Dr. the day before right in front of them.

The infectious control Dr. came and talked to me shortly after and said that yes, it is Hantavirus, the negative result was for the strain they most commonly see in US around these parts.  They are doing tests for other strains and will get back to me.  They keep asking me if he has traveled to Asia in the past couple weeks.  No, Doc, we lead boring lives, the farthest he's traveled is ten miles across town on the bus to work and back again.  It is not contagious person to person contact.  Puzzling to say the least.

There is no specific treatment for Hantavirus anyway.  With any virus the only treatment  is supportive care, which they have been doing and wait for the virus to leave the body and clean up the mess it leaves behind.  I just wish they would tell me stuff when their definite is actually definite.

What was it, Sunday, when I said my fibro and sciatica was staying at bay? It feels like a year ago.  I knocked on all the wood and  missed a piece somewhere.  Monday, I felt like crap, Tuesday a bit better, Wednesday I was trying to push a mountain, Thursday better.  Today that mountain turned around and sat right on my head and neck.  I've been up there from 9:30am to 7:30pm with pain and fatigue so bad I wishing they would sedate me and put me out of my misery.   I just really wanted to be there when he did start to come to the surface so it wouldn't be as stressful as only hearing a stranger's voice.

I read when I could and sat back in the chair with my eyes closed when I needed a rest.  Luckily, the nurse I really liked on Tuesday is with him tonight, and I feel more confident coming home and leaving him in her capable hands. I passed her coming in on my way to the bathroom, and I said, "Oh I hope you have him tonight."  She said, She would do best to fight to get him assigned to her.

So here I sit updating you all (and him when he's able to read this) having eaten a Marie Callender's Pot Pie. My headache is feeling a little bit better.  Then I'm going to take care of the menagerie I have here, call to check on him, and go to bed very early.  The neighbor's upstairs better not wake me up or I'm calling the manager and he's going to be shocked at the language that can come out of this tiny red head's mouth.  (Sorry, Susie, I really don't have time to cook from scratch, it's that prepared processed crap.  However, I'll have you know Marie Callender is the top of the line and actually tastes almost as good as homemade.  I do have a roast I'm going to put in the crockpot with some veg over the weekend.  Thanks for calling me Super Woman.  I think my cape has tear and I know I saw a run in my tights today.) (I'm being funny, if you can't hear the tone of my typing. *grin*)

In case you're wondering at the change in my writing voice, it might be because I've been reading Hunter S. Thompson for the past two days.  If you are unfamiliar with his work, I highly suggest you go to your local library and read a few pages of whatever novel they happen to have.  You'll understand after that.  He's a pretty wild ride.

Hopefully, I haven't bored you to tears.  Thank you for reading and commenting.  It really helps to get through the day.  Hopefully, you never do, but if you ever need me to return the favor, my bedraggled self will be there if only in spirit helping you to fight through whatever.

Oh by the way, Dammit and Betty were very odd today.  This morning while I sitting here thinking about how little energy I had to chase them back to their cage, Dammit lead Betty out from under futon, into the bedroom and right into the cage. No chasing what so ever.  It was so odd behavior for them,  that after I shut the door, I stuck my hand in the top door to let Dammit pounce me a few times, so I knew I hadn't dreamed it.  I think I should give him an hour of Zeppelin while I get ready for bed as a reward.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Almost Like An Episode Of House

Bootsie says, "This quilt is nice and all, but I would rather lay on my Pop."

Did you ever have a moment where reality has seemed to shift? Am I awake, is this a dream or did someone just slip some hallucinogenic in my coffee?  You know that part on medical shows, namely House, where the answer finally comes in?  That's what happened during rounds this morning.  Right while they were talking and deciding the plan for the day, his bronchoscope, the results of a test came up on someone's laptop.

  It was another one of those moments where part of my brain shouted, "Oh pulease, this only happens on tee vee."  My reality seemed to shift a bit and for a second or two I thought I could see string theory happening. (Sorry, I've been reading quite a bit of science fiction these days.)  At least it wasn't like Saturday, when I shouting for everything to stop so I could argue with the writers of this episode.  I do have a few bones to pick with them, though.

It's Hantavirus. The CDC is being called and will make their descent.  It's caused by rodent droppings, most specifically the deer mouse.  I immediately asked if it could be caused by our house bunnies.  The Dr. said nope, not likely.  Besides, I'm the one who does all the dirty work taking care of our (my) pets.  They are specifically looking at his workplace since other people became ill around the same time.  We'll see what the CDC finds out.

The Dr. said it looks like he should make a full recovery.  How long that will take, no one knows.  He's still in the acute and critical stage at this point.  They only information they could find was it takes 2-3 weeks convalescence after he regains renal function.  How long until he regains renal function, they don't know.  There is still a slight chance things can go south again.  I'm happy dancing with cautious apprehension.

They were able to turn down his blood pressure medicine quite a bit during the night.  Had to go up just a little bit on his oxygen.  The nitrous oxide is off.  They are turning off his sedation after the scope to see how he does becoming conscious.  I told them that I want to be there as he heads towards the surface.

Yesterday evening, they turned it down to 3 and he was fighting the ventilator, respirations up in the 30's every time the bed turned away from me.  They are going to stop the motion of the bed after they turn off the sedation.  So, I'm headed back up there in a little bit.  I came home to get some lunch as they are doing things that I would have to be sitting in the waiting room for hours anyway.  Then I'm going to read and read and read and read some more.  As he becomes aware it's going to be my voice he hears sitting there reading until they make me go away or my voice wears out.  Vocal chords must be like a muscle because it's not bothering me to read for hours on end like it did the first day or two.

If I miss a day of posting, just know it's because I'm sitting up there reading The Great Shark Hunt: Strange Tales from a Strange Time by Hunter S. Thompson.  Unless he becomes conscious and finds a way to request something different.  I'll try not to miss a day posting and keep you in suspense.

Thank you all for your continued support, prayers, positive thoughts. It helps me to feel not as alone as I do sometimes.  Also, it makes me feel if I come up missing someone's going to notice, somewhere.   Carole, can I have a daily shipment of that high-test mojo?  The rough road starts when he regains consciousness and I'm dealing with his impatience and frustration.  It's ok, I'm tough cookie, I can take it.  Some high-test mojo would help though.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

WIP Wednesday - Holding On

Lousy bathroom mirror photo shoot.

It was just a few weeks ago, I overheard D telling J that I blog religiously, with just a note of pride in his voice.  It made me raise an eyebrow, because when I started blogging he and I used to argue about the worth of blogs.  He said, most of them are naval gazing.  Imagine my surprise when a couple years ago he started one. Except wordpress ate in an update last month.  He was attempting to start again just before he fell ill.  Anyway,  when he started lurking after the Herbie video, he mentioned to me on how my writing has improved.

I've gotten a little knitting accomplished on the sweater during those times, I'm sitting in the waiting room while they are doing things with him.  Sunday, I had decided not to rip it back.

Taking a closer look, I think I will rip it back and so I can start the ribbing closer to the breastline.

Butterscotch gave his opinion on the matter, as well.  When I laid this out on the futon, he reached over and pulled out one of the circular needles.  It's either rip out or tink to fix at this point.

No change on D today.  O2 is still the same.  Blood pressure, still having a bit of trouble lowering the medication.  His bed is up a 50 degree tilt with 2 minutes on each side.  Bronchoscope tomorrow morning.  Still waiting on tests, taking more tests.

Yesterday evening, A took me up to the hospital.  I had straightened out the bag I'm using and forgot to put his book back inside.  You'll not believe this.  I ran (walked very rapidly) 1/2 mile up to the bus stop, caught the bus just as it came, ran the 1/4 mile down my street to retrieve the book, then all of that back again in less than 45 minutes. It had to have been that high test mojo Carole sent my way, that I was able to do that.  Yes, I was winded and had to wait a bit to start reading.  He had a different nurse last night and when I told her what I had done, she said I was her new hero.  If they doesn't say love......

I don't know who that tired old lady is that jumped in front of me.  It looks like she could use a nap..

I thought I was tired on Monday.  Today, I'm just thoroughly exhausted, feeling like I'm trying to move one of those mountains surrounding us.

Thank you all for continuing to visit and you're support means so much.  Even though there is a ton of things that need to be done around here, I think when I get home, I'll read some more blogs to catch up with all and relax.  Put on Dammit's Led Zeppelin DVDs.  He'll enjoy that.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tiny Baby Steps- Millimeters

I wonder if Mom is ever going to unwrap this package.

Yesterday, the nurse told me not to expect to see an improvement for several days. Limbo.  Today his chest x-ray finally shown some improvement.  Yay!  The Dr. finally gave him a good dose of steriods and they think that's what did it.  I was wondering why they hadn't given them sooner, and figured it was because they were trying to figure out what was wrong and didn't want it to mask any of the tests.

Starting on Sunday, he had started taking breaths on his own, between the ventilator breaths.  Last night they turned the machine down from 16 bpm to 11 bpm (breaths per minute.)  They have also been slowly decreasing the O2 flow down from 100% to today 70%.  His blood gasses are coming back good with the decrease.

They have the tilt going at 30% for 2 minutes each side when I left this afternoon, and so far tolerating that well.  They want to get it to 60% tilt.  Not sure for what duration each side.  The nurse had his sedation down to 3 when I left.  She said she doesn't want to turn it down too much while on this bed as it gives the patient a sensation of falling.

He's a science fiction fan (the quality kind, not syfy channel crap).  I'm reading him a book by Roger Zelansky.  I told him to pretend the bed was a space ship and he's towards Mars.  He would like that.

His blood pressure is still requiring quite a bit of medication support.  That concerns me as they don't have much to play with should something happen.  The dr. wants to do a bronchoscope tomorrow and make sure he doesn't have a super infection in there.  Crossing my fingers that he is stable enough to tolerate that.  I would hate for them to do something to send him backwards.

So, while I remain hopeful and celebrate the tiniest improvement, I'm also a bit apprehensive about what unknown monster might be lurking around the next corner.  I'm still a bit nervous about his being conscious while on the ventilator, though I know it's necessary.  I'm looking forward to the day he's conscious and can respond to me.  Wish this were a book so I can skip ahead a few pages to see what happens next.

Oh boy, these bunnies of mine.  Nippit was good about going to her cage for a few days, then last night she made me chase around the living room several times. Betty was just a little bad the morning, that is in comparison to Dammit.  Oh my, it was like he was young Dammit again, when he made it so hard for us to get him back in his cage, we just left him out.  He ran circles, round and round the living room, then he ran circles around under the futon.  He had so frustrated, I called him by all three of his names GFD. (Figure it out and don't be offended.)

Bootsie is so desperate for attention she actually let me, the cat slave, pet her last night.  Then got upset that I wasn't D and bit my arm.  Hang in there, Bootsie.

I took the bus this morning.  A was going out of town, I wasn't able to leave as early as she would need me to and I wanted to give her break since she has been transporting me back forth the past three days.  Not that it's that far.  She live 5 minutes north of the hospital and I'm 5 minutes east from there.

The bus came down the street and was just arriving at the stop at the same I did.  What a refreshing change.  On the way back, a car shot out around the corner just as I stepped off the curb when the light changed, almost made me a grease spot.  Her window was open and so was her mouth shouting something.  I shouted a few curses, and was glad I didn't trim the inch long nail on my walking finger (same as most people's driving finger. *grin*)  Got on the wrong bus back, jumped off at the next block and crossed the street just in time to catch the right bus.  I thought only the one bus went down that street. Oh well, lesson learned.

That's today's update.  I hope to have more good news tomorrow, even the tiniest bit is welcome. I read to for five straight hours this morning.  Headed back up now for my evening session.

 Thank you all for sticking with me and letting me know you are thinking about us.  Amazed.... me....   I have started reading blogs again, the very rare few moments I have a chance.  Eventually I'll get around to you all.  Need to get a bit normalcy to my life and the world at large.  Hope everything is going well in your world.


1745, from Medical L., from Gk. stasis  "a standing still," related tostatos  "placed," verbal adj. of histemi  "cause to stand," from PIEbase *sta-  "to stand" (see stet).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper 

That's the word I thought of when I spoke to the Dr. today.  He's not improving, but he's finally not declining either.  It could take several days to weeks before we start to see an signs of improvement.  He's requiring so much support just to maintain, the least little thing could send him in backwards direction.  The Dr. told me again, he's glass half full kind of guy and that's how he is looking at things.  Thankful for a glass half full Dr.

He's receiving excellent care.  I'm really, really impressed and I'm not an easy one to impress, my standards are pretty high.  I had pretty high standards for myself when I worked as a nurse and I tend to judge by that same standard I set for myself.  I have to say, I'm just blown away by the care he's getting from the nurses.  Even myself.  The minute I get on the floor they get me a huge cup of ice water and ask me if there is anything I need, just ask.  The nurse got me a pillow to put behind my back today while I was sitting and reading to him.

My neighbors all told me, he was in the best place in the area.  Compared to the care he would have received back in Rochester, I can't imagine a better place in the country.  My mother who was at the U of R CCU a few years ago for a heart attack and quadruple by-pass is impressed by what I'm telling her.  Maybe just a bit envious of the care he's receiving in comparison.

They are bringing up a roto-bed for him today.  It sounds kind of like a space ship.  They will strap him with tons of padding and it tilts in different directions to drain his lungs.  So the fluid isn't just sitting there at his back.  They are turning him on his left side tilted down a bit and he does great like that, but when they put him on his right side it cuts off the right femoral artery where the dialysis catheter is and clots the machine.  So hopefully, this new bed will be able to help him.

I'm now having to look at the long haul.  His nurse said today,  she's going away until next Wednesday and she wouldn't be surprised if he is still there sedated on the ventilator.  That even if a miracle happened over night tonight, it would still several days to weeks to ween him off.  After that he will have to go to a rehab center to rebuild his muscles.

There is no cash public assistance down here.  I will get a partial weeks check this Friday, direct deposit into our account.  I'm going to have to look into finding some sort of job, very soon.  I know I can get help for one months rent and electric from the Catholic Diocese.  It's hard to get help from the state through the Salvation Army.  Both are a one time every twelve months sort of assistance.  Even still, I'm going to have look at needs like personal hygiene, cleaning supplies, pet supplies.  You know all those little things that add up on the grocery bill, that are not food.

I'm hoping he's on the mend before I have to go get a job.  Then I have to hope I can find someone to hire me.  I haven't worked since 2004 and I have been looking off and on.  It seems nobody wants to hire me as they see me as a liability with my medical history.  Everything is just so overwhelming right now.  I'm trying to take one day at a time, while also looking at the long term.

They did have a social worker come talk to me on Friday.  I haven't had much luck with social worker's in my life.  This one was really no help.  She said, I had more information about what was out than she had and she didn't seem to have any.  Basically, all she wanted was to listen.  Excuse me, I do have friends for that.  Even still I could any church and a minister would do that.  What I need is someone to listen to my needs and find out what resources are available to me that I may not already know about.  Tomorrow, I'm going to request to speak with a new one and the first is only there on Fridays.

Today, I took a five hour break at home this afternoon.  I had planned to do laundry, however, I was just so exhausted I took a two hour nap instead.  Started this blog post and A came to take me back up for an evening shift.  So, I'm trying to finish up.  So much runs through my mind during the day that I want to write about, I'm trying to remember it all, get my thoughts straight while not sounding like I'm rambling on.

The hardest part is at night.  We're not a chatty couple.  We are comfortable with the quiet spaces.  When he comes from work, he tells me about his day, and I tell him about mine and the furkids.  Then we have dinner and he goes off to office to do his and I stay in the living room to do mine.  Quite often, I jump up and go in there to tell him this little thing or that.  Make him roll his eyes at me.  The silence, it's so hard.

I turn on the tv, play cd's, talk to the fur and feather kids.  The tv is just a box, the cats meow, the bunnies grunt, the birds tweet, it's just not another human responding.  I'm looking forward to the day, I can go up and talk to him and get some response that he hears me and understands what I'm saying.  That is also the scary part, they are going to need to bring him conscious for awhile while he is on the ventilator.  I know that was what he was afraid of, is being brought back while still on the machine.  How disorienting and confusing it's going to be, he's lost five days of conscious awareness now as it is.

Believe it or not, this is still a fiber crafts blog and I have gotten some knitting done,  during the times I can't be in the room.  I'm using two circulars like straights and tried it on again and decided not to rip it back just yet.  For WIPW, I'll do one of the bad mirror try on pictures that is found on every other blog, and you can all take a look.  We'll decide from there.  The ribbing starts just about 3/4 of an inch below my breast, I'm just not sure if I like it there or want it higher just below where my breast line ends.  (Wonder how many Google hits I'll get for breast. LOL  They are all probably Googling boob or boobs more than breast.  Oooops.)(Grin)

I'm going to run away and get a load of laundry done so I don't have to go up there in smelly clothes.  I need to get some sort of routine going for the long haul.  So, I'll be coming around to reading all your blogs again very soon,  distracting my worries and keeping in touch with the world at large.  Thank you so much for continuing to read and keep in touch, it means the world to me that I have so many good friends that I have never met in person.

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Small Glimmer Of Hope

Just a short update with a glimmer of good news.  Apparently with my reading to him yesterday, his heart reverted back to normal sinus rhythm.  The day said it was doing him good but didn't tell me his rate had reverted back.  The night nurse was the one that told me that the day nurse reported that to her.  I had looked up and thought they looked more normal and even but I wasn't sure if I was just seeing things.

When I first arrived yesterday evening, I was speaking the nurse next door, who had been helping his nurse all day.  She said he was doing a little better. I told her that morning I felt like they were sounding like he wouldn't make it through the day.  She said, yes, they didn't expect him to make it through the day and were trying to prepare for the worst.

I called up there the minute my eyes opened this morning.  The night nurse said, he was still doing the same over night.  His heart rate looks good and they were able to lower his blood pressure medicine just a little bit.

We're not out of the woods yet.  I'm told something funky could still happen and to be prepared.  Finally, I'm going up there and not being told yet another thing is going wrong.  Hopefully, this is turn around point for things getting better.

Miss Bootsie jumped on the back of my chair and screamed in my face when I walked in at midnight.  She's really taking this hard, him being away for so long.  Nippit is finally back to going straight to her cage when I tell her to.  She demands to be cuddled and petted for a quite awhile when she gets there.

 Bootsie helped me chorale Dammit and Betty toward their cage yesterday. Normally Dammit chases the cats, except when he's being chased by us, then he avoids the cats.   Bootsie stood in the path they would take to circle back around in the living room and they chose to just head for their room.

The birds are all doing well.  The baby bird must be, I can hear little peeps coming from box.  It really disturbed Ladybird, Saturday when I lifted the lid for a look, so I'm just leaving them be. I figure as long as I can hear it peep on occasion, the short periods I'm home, it must be doing well.

I'm going to get cleaned up and head back up to spend the day.  I read for a total of eight hours yesterday.  My throat was raw hamburger when I went to bed.  I'm prepared to do it again today.  I'll just keep reading until my vocal chords wear out or he lets them turn down the sedation and gives me the look of  "shut up already."

Thank you all for your continued support.  I'm looking forward to the day when I can get caught up on all your blogs.  I'll post again when I come home to have some dinner.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Scary Night, We're Still Holding On

I'm home long enough to get something eat and rest for a little bit.  It was a terrifying evening last night.  Around 6:30 pm the Dr.s showed up outside his room to do rounds.  I got up to go listen.  That's when like a bad episode of Dr. House, his heart rate shot up in a dangerous rhythm.  I quietly slid out to the hall and attempted to turn myself into silent yet terrified wall paper.

D likes to watch House with me sometimes.  He always says it's a bunch of bull that a patient when all of sudden code while the dr.s are standing there.  That's what I thought of for a moment, we were on a bad episode of House.  I really wanted the two of us to be playing different roles, like the extras just walking down the hall.

His nurse saw me and pulled me into her chair at the desk in front of his room's window so I could watch what was going on.  As the crash cart and tons of nurses came storming in, she said, "There's going to be lots of people going in and out, don't be scared. Just sit here."  Don't be scared.  I'm past scared.  Scared happened several seconds ago, I've accelerated it by several thousand.  So, I sat there quiet as a mouse and watched them work.

Different people came up and spoke to me to tell  me what was being done.  Fifteen or twenty people were standing there and only about three or four were actually working.  The rest were watching and discussing.  The Dr. House type guy wanted to put him on ecmo, which he explained was similar to cardiac by-pass they do in surgery.  The other guys were trying to talk him out of it saying it doesn't help with sepsis and there could be complications with the dialysis machine.

The pulmonary guy talked to me.  He wanted to try chest tubes as he thought he had a lot of fluid built up in the pluratic space.  He said, "His prognosis is not good.  Maybe 50 - 70% chance.  We saw 5 cases like this last year and only 2 survived the other 3 died and they were healthy men in their 20's."

Just to show you, how much your comments and support really help.  It was at that moment, Rudee's comment "Don't lose faith. I've seen absolute miracles in the ICU." appeared in my mind and I held on to it for all I am worth.   So you never know when one of your comments will be just what I need at the right moment to remember. They do give me a smile.  Susie, you're pudding is not the ugly right now, if only it were.  

They got him stabilized enough to run him down to cat-scan.  His lungs didn't have as much fluid as the pulmonary guy had thought.  So, they set aside doing the chest tubes. He thinks it's some sort of a virus and they just have to keep him alive for it to run it's course.

 While he was having the scan, I called my friend in Phoenix to make sure she made it back home safely.  She talked to me for 45 minutes and that really, really helped with the waiting. 

The charge nurse put in a long distance call to my mother.  Luckily, she was still awake able to talk to me even though she had just taken her night time medication.  

I was going to spend the night, in case anything happened.  The night nurse kept sending me down the hall to this little room they made up for me.  At midnight, I thought, if they are going to keep me down here, feeling like I'm in the dark, I might as well go home, take 2 Advil pm, get some sleep, and be rested for today.  Yet, I didn't want leave in case something should happen.  

I discussed it with the charge nurse and the night nurse as nicely as I could.  Telling them I wasn't trying to be rude or insulting, this was just how I was feeling.  We all decided I should go home and if I felt anxious I could call.  If the night nurse was busy, she would tell the charge nurse what to tell me.

My friend that takes me shopping, picked me up and took me to the Village Inn to get something to eat.  She picked up the morning and brought me back up.  I did wake up around 5:30 am from a nightmare and called.  The night nurse told me everything was the same, and hoped I could get back to sleep.

This morning his nurse said, they had him on 3 blood pressure drugs and there was nothing more after that. They were really sounding like he might not make it through the day. 

I brought a book up that he said on Wednesday he hadn't read yet and sat there reading it to him.  The nurse thought that really helped being able to hear my voice.  There is only so much I can say to have a conversation with someone who can't respond back.  It was my neighbor that suggested it on Thursday night.  I read until my throat felt like raw hamburger meat.  I'm trying to rest it now.  A is coming to pick me up at 6:30 to take me back and I'll read some more, as long as the night nurse lets me sit there. Until I can't speak anymore. 

He's holding his own right now.  Dr. House guy said today, "It depends, are you a glass half empty or a glass half full type of person."  

I said, "Normally, I'm a glass half empty but in the case I'll have the glass half full, thank you."

He made me his medical power of attorney and I'm doing the best I can to try to make the right decisions.  He has told me he's a glass half full person, so until they tell me there's just no hope left, I'm going to give him every chance there is to recover.

It's finally raining down here. 

I'm telling him about all your comments and that he has people from all over praying, sending positive thoughts, thinking about us and pulling for him.  I told him he has to get well so he can home to read them for himself.  He's a writer with a website full of his stories and music and he just restarted his blog about a week before this all happened.  I told him he'll need to make a guest appearance here when he's well again.  

I'll post again when I have the chance.  If anyone is on FB and wants to friend me, I'm  putting short posts on status when that is all I have time for.  I'm really blessed with all the people that have came into my life to give me support in my time of need. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

My mom always says give me the bad news first.  I'll start with the ugly and work my way up to the bad and good.   My neighbor took me up to the hospital last night.  When I got there they said he's in total acute renal failure and they are waiting for the equipment to start him on continuous dialysis.  The dialysis caused his blood pressure to get even lower and they have him on medicine trying to get that up.  It was really low before the whole renal thing.

During the night, they started having trouble with his oxygen levels again.  They have a second machine brought in to give him nitrous oxide, I think, with the oxygen.  It's supposed to open his vessels in his lungs so they can absorb more oxygen.  His chest x-rays are a little worse today, than yesterday.

The wee bit of good news is, his fever finally broke and he started making some white blood cells.  So they are hoping that his immune system is finally kicking in.

There was a different head Dr. on today and he actually spoke to me during rounds.  The previous guy just let the underling Dr's and the medical student talk to me.  This new guy seems like he could be Dr. House's cousin or something.  My neighbor Di, suggested last night that they call his work and see if someone has been out of the country or is out with something similar.  Because when he became sick on Friday, he couldn't get any time off with half the employees were out sick, as well.  Since it's a call center, and he doesn't have an assigned desk, he has to go to whatever station and phone is open when he gets there.

This Dr. said that was good information and he wanted the numbers right away.  It's an atypical pneumonia or virus. They thought for sure he had to have traveled out of the country.  Nope, I wish we could afford that.

Momma says, I got a fan.

I'm sitting here waiting for my friend that I met on Ravelry and Plurk last year.  She's up in Phoenix.  Last year, when we almost were homeless, she was going to house our pets for us, so we wouldn't have to worry about having to lose them. She wants to meet the infamous Dammit, Led Zeppelin bunny.  People who aren't on Ravelry are really missing out, such a great place.

Over Christmas, Susie was shocked at the lack of Christmas Cheer we had around here.  No Christmas pud, no mince pie, stale fruit cake that nobody eats they just re-gift for decades.  So, she mailed off a package.  After two months traveling, it finally arrived today, looking a little worse for wear.  I messaged her on Ravelry and she said she was just thinking this morning, watch it show up now after sitting in customs for two months. Just when I didn't want or need it.  Actually, I do want it.  I'm just glad to know a customs agent didn't make off with our bit of Christmas Cheer.  I'm going to set it aside for when D gets out of the hospital and we can use it to celebrate.

Dammit says, Man that really stinks.  Christmas has been so lacking every year.  As an English Spot, I was hoping for a proper English Christmas.  Now, I have to wait some more for my pud.  Pop hurry up and get well.

Last night, I was sitting here checking messages and I heard a familiar cricket sounding little peep.  One of the eggs hatched.  She wouldn't let me see it.  Last time we had waited a few days to peek.  It's soooo small, the head is no bigger than the tip of my pinkie. I have very small hands.  It's that small pink thing in the middle of the photo, right near the Mama birds head.

Last night, Di and J had me over for dinner.  She bought alien eggs (Brussel sprouts) as the vegetable just for me.  D hates them, so I hadn't had them in years. J had asked her, "How the hell is Denise eating over there? D does all the cooking."  (He does most of the cooking)

She answered, "She told me that Thursday night she stood if front of the refrigerator and asked it how the hell do you cook for one?"

That's why he does most of the cooking.  He knows how to cook for one or one and half.  I'm the half, as I eat like a bird.  You send me in to cook something and I will come back with huge pots of stuff enough to feed half the neighborhood.  I'm used to cooking for my sons. What can I say.

The other bit of good news, I'm getting quite a work out, walking up and down hallways and stairways.  My sciatica and FM pain has not flared one bit.  (Knock on all the wood.) D was the one walking four to five miles a day from the bus stop to work and back again.  I think I'm about up to that now.  When me moved down here, I said, if I could get walking good again, things will clear up for me.  That's what happened before, years ago,  when I started working at the pizza place.  Until that one bad winter, when I fell on ice and slippery tiles several times.  Of course, they refused to write it up.

Oh well, my friend just called she's been stuck for hours in a traffic jam between here and Phoenix. There was a bad accident from the dust storm.  The winds are terrible today.   So we rescheduled for next week.  Hopefully, she'll get free soon and get back home safely.  I'm going to head back up to the hospital.  If there is  anything new to report, I'll write another post tonight when I get home.

I played with my comment settings so they come to my e-mail, hoping that I could respond to you.  The return address is to   grrrrrr.  That didn't help much.  Anyway, yes, I'm drinking water through out the day with my coffee.  I just make sure to drink a couple cups right away in the morning after going a whole night without fluids.  It's really hard to sleep drink.

I really appreciate you all keeping us in your thoughts and prayers.  I'm sure when D gets home he'll appreciate the support you're giving me, as well.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Paging Dr. House

(excuse the messy bed)

Every morning is like that movie Ground Hog Day only with the bus.  Wednesday morning just as I got to the corner, the bus pulls up and I have to cross 8 lanes to get across the street.  The bus pulls away just as I get across the street and run for it.  Wednesday, I didn't mind because I another one was coming along in ten or fifteen minutes. Yesterday, when it happened, I just wanted to cry.  I didn't feel like waiting for the next one. Today, I got mad and said a few choice words under my breath to the bus as I watched it head down the street. Then I just shrugged and thought this is my new routine it seems.

He's not any better.  In fact, he's worse when I got up there.  His nurse said to me, he's very, very sick.  I said, I know that.  Then she said, he's very critical.  Emphasizing the very and the critical.  I almost yacked on her shoes.  His blood pressure is very low, his kidney's aren't working properly and his blood cell count isn't what it should for a person who is sick.  They doing more tests, waiting on tests and what results they are getting back isn't giving them any answers.  They don't know if all this stuff is related to one cause or separate to each other.  Paging Dr. House.

Needless to say I'm beside myself.  I believe this is the scariest ride I've been on in life.  I haven't had the easiest 44 years, I've been through some stuff.  That old Murphy's Law has beaten up several times and left me for dead.  I keep on fighting, stiff upper lip and all that.  My mom used to always tell me that, chin up, stiff upper lip.  My lip gets any stiffer and I'm going bite right through it, I lift my chin any higher and I won't see where I'm going.  Adversity builds character.  Well, I'm quite a character at this point, just ask my Di, she'll tell you I'm quite a character.  I've got so much character, I don't need any more.  Maybe I can sell some of this character on ebay.

In times of real stress I try to use humor to cope.  I'm thinking of the lyrics on Led Zeppelin's Houses Of The Holy, "Ain't no use in crying, cause it will only drive you mad."  Except I have broke down a few times, when it all gets too much.  Like yesterday, I went around cleaning up, trying to get some things that need done.  Then I sat down and looked at the time on my laptop and thought he's going to be home in a half an hour, I should get the coffee on and start something for dinner.   Then it hit me. Gut punch and knife to the heart.

When I still couldn't get to sleep at 2am, I took a couple Advil PM and forced myself to lye there with my eyes closed.  Finally got a decent night's sleep and woke up at 9:30 am when his supervisor called to let me know they put through a 30 leave of absence for me and not to worry about his job.  I just need to keep them updated every few days on how he's doing.  That's one less worry.

That picture at the top, is Miss Bootsie suckling my bath robe with Tennessee looking on at her.  Bootsie used to do that all the time, but then  she stopped.  D calls it her blanket mama.  She's his cat.  So beside herself she is, I guess she went back to suckling the blanket momma.

D started lurking my blog again, when I told him I had posted that video of Herbie.  He likes to come look at the pet pictures and read my stories about them, even though he was right here and I would tell him when he came home from work.

I'm being optimistic, he's going to get better and come home.  He'll have a lot of blog posts to catch up on and read about all those little things, I miss telling him about.  I tell him when I go up and visit, hoping somewhere in his sub-conscious he can me, but he probably won't remember.  Anyway, I'm documenting here those little things I would tell him about.

Ladybird's eggs haven't hatched yet.  However, she and Huey were trying to create another egg last night when I walked into the room.  Give it a rest already, you too.  I haven't noticed Myrtle laying an egg yet, not for lack of trying.  The Littles have stopped squabling over the one calcium perch, that just fits the four of them today.  Right now, they are hopping around and climbing all over everything.

Betty was super good this morning, she was already sitting in the cage waiting for me when I chased Dammit into the bedroom.  That's Nippit behavior, not Betty behavior.  Betty like to be bad, she's Dammit's girl after all.  Dammit made me chase him around this morning before going home.  I kept saying, "Dammit, Dammit. Stop making me say Dammit outside of your name."  He just jumped in the air with a big binky and ran yet another lap around the living room, like he was laughing at me.  Nippit made me chase her several times last night when it was past time for her to go to bed.  She's just not used to Pop not being here to put her to bed.  I gave her extra snuggles and pets when she did finally go to her cage.

So that's the update for today.  I did drink two big glasses of water with my coffee this morning before I headed up to the hospital.  That just made have to pee when I got off the bus and I almost didn't make the quarter mile hike up to the hospital.  I was wishing I was guy so I could hide behind a cactus and give it a drink.  It's cooler 70F and cloudy today.  Kind of like Rochester in April.  It's supposed to rain tomorrow, so I should document that as it's a bit of an event for here.

I tried catching up on some of my blog reading last night, for a distraction.  I'm just having a hard time concentrating right now.  Thank you all for stopping by and your supportive comments.  Reading them has really been helping me, just to know someone's out there.  When I get down, sometimes I go back and read them again.  I really appreciate all of you.