Saturday, September 1, 2012


My services are not required today....what to do, what to do....
Yard. I've had these wall bricks since the 20th. Along with the daiseies I did rescue that same week. It's time to put them in. So here's what I did this morning.

Naked dirt

Tiny wall

With pea gravel (both sides) and backfill

Me after. In reality by then I slipped into the pool clothes and all. I have gone on to poison weeds and salt the pool. However. I should tackle THIS but I don't want to:

Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday medical update

We hit the highlights with knowing that Dad is going to rehab on Monday (I'll have you know every time I say "going to rehab" the Amy Winehouse song starts in my head!).  That being said, there are a few medical updates.

Kidney swelling isn't any worse/better.  They are in a 'watch and see' mode.  I guess that's better than getting into a slice and dice mode.  I'm OK with wait and see, however with the removal of liquids for over 12 hours, I think they have done a number on poor Dad.  Now his urine is very very dark.  (as in darker than tea dark... almost coffee dark.. maybe a weak coffee). 

Yeah, I'm sure everyone in Blog-land is shaking their head.  Believe me, so am I.  I never thought that I would be critiquing my own fathers pee... but here we are.  I guess in reality, as we age, this really should be what we know of and think will become the reality.  Maybe it's because I was so young when my fathers mother was ill and I wasn't exposed as it was child.  Mostly it would seem that it's the daughters who are involved in the care of elderly parents.  It's not a bad thing, it's just the nature of the beast - we tend to be the caregivers later in life.  Hum... wonder if this is why mom and dad moved closer to one of their daughters?  Hum...

OK, I'm waxing poetic as I have a keyboard, a real keyboard to work with.. yeah.  I stole Elizabeth's computer.  Whoop!

So, anyway - kidneys have issues, but not bad ones.  Urine dark, however nurses are not acting too concerned about that fact.  Dad's getting mad because we're pushing and pushing nutrition and drinking of water which is really, really bugging him.  I don't blame him and was trying to nicely tell him that mom is pushing him simply because she wants him stronger and healthier because she wants him to get stronger and well faster so he can come home.  She doesn't want to live alone!

I understand where they are both coming from and I'm sure it's annoying as all get out to be pushed food all the time..  but it has to be for now.  Maybe when he's in rehab and can't have us around to bug him at all meals and have a LOT more and different friendly faces who are having the same or similar issues as him it will be a blessing for both of them. 

The bottom line is that most of the physical issues seems to be behind him, now it's the long road back to getting back to daily life and improving function so that he has mobility.  Right now that's the biggest goal.

Something that I haven't talked about is progression in rehab IN the hospital.  I think this is the third day rehab proper.  He was sitting in the chair for a few times after coming back to the room, however I think the nurses put a stop to that as they aren't that familiar with the tools that are used to get those needing a lot of assistance up and into bed again.  As of yesterday he graduated from stretcher for his return to returning in a wheel chair.  I think this morning they took him down in a wheel chair as well, however, I'm not sure - as Mom and I had bailed out just as they had finally come to get him for rehab.  Anyway - he's still a three person assist in and out of bed.  Two strong men can do it, however, he's not got enough strength back in his leg to really help out enough at the end of a session downstairs, so it's a bit harder for him to assist as much as needed for little nurses (sorry nurses everywhere, but if you're not trained in this, it's HARD - I can see that!). 

Anyway, found out that he took a few steps the other day with a walker and today he took more steps with a hemi walker.  The rehab folks are still trying to determine which walker will be best for him.  I think that the hemi walker seems to be the answer for him with a weakened left arm/hand.  However with time, and strengthening, maybe a full walker would be better for him.  I guess we'll see what the true rehab gets him set up with. 

The following shows someone walking with a hemi walker: 

I'm always amazed when I find out just how much is effected with stroke - bowels, urinary, cognitive and response times.  And I know it's trivial to me, but I'm sure it's mortifying for dad to have to have help.  He's such an independent person.  I did tell him roofs are OFF LIMITS now.  ha - for those of you who know Mom has been saying this for years when he was going to someones house for the church who was having roofing done... and where would you find dad???  ON the roof.  Sigh.  Yep.  at 80 years old, ON the roof.  Goodness.  I'm afraid if he gets mobile enough he'll go back on roofs... I told him they are TRULY off limits now.  :op  yikes!!

Ok, so I'm rambling now.


That day typically denotes huge happy dances... This Friday not so much. This Friday is business as usual. Work, hospital, home.

The question has been asked about if there are plans for release from the hospital.

The answer to that is as if today, yes, the plans are for a move to rehab on Monday.

Why Monday? Reasons number 1 is its a three day weekend. What a crock, eh?
Reason number 2 is the better reason. They need to get his cumadin levels to a therapeutic level and have it stable. So we have two days to accomplish that.

In the meantime mom and I went to check out the rehabilitation. It was very nice. Hope dads there on Monday. I think it would do him a world of good.

Thursday, August 30, 2012


Ultrasound is ordered for kidneys.
When the pain was going in an ultrasound was performed and there was swelling more so than after surgery. So another ultrasound has been ordered by the urologist. And we wait. Which is needed but really the wait is not easy when there has been no liquids since midnight. And it's now 10:30am. No liquid no food.

Come on already.

So far we're on: Low dose lasix, and his normal daily medications, that's it.

Breathing is wonderful and down from 102 +/- to 86 much better. Thinking that a lot of the issues at hand were due to too much fluids for too long.

I think that the lasix is helping quite a bit. Not sure how that reflect for the kidneys.... I know they were pushing liquids in the beginning to flush the kidneys.

Just talked with the doc Gudapadi and found out they went NPO (nil per os - snooty for nothing by mouth) as they were thinking he would need a stent replaced on his right (surgery recipient) kidney today. Then after looking at his levels rethought the need for that. sigh. Nothing like leaving an old man hanging while they make up their minds all the while not asking what HE wants. Really? He's already said NO to most invasive things until he's feeling better

So unless there is something causing major damage right now he's going to "opt out". Good enough for me and well within his rights and we'll step in if we think his decisions are not sound. So far all choices are within reason. The heart patch can wait and is debatable on being the cause and the "be-all" fix so it can wait and/or not be done at all.

AND his nurses pointed his lowered mood to the doc as well and Zoloft is in board. I truly think that just getting OUT of here and improving a bit each day will be good too. Zoloft will just be icing on the cake to help him through. Plus it's a super low dose just to take the edge off.


I just got a GREAT call from mom  - dad moved his toe ON PURPOSE!!!!

Yep, the left one is on the move!



Wednesday, August 29, 2012


PT is doing wonders.
Left side:
Arm lifting to shoulder
Finger grip doing better
Nothing to report on the foot.

Getting stronger in the right as well.

Now he's to help with a lot more. He's to do more and more for himself and figure out how to get it done. So that's the goal.

Appetite is still crappy. However he's eating a few things just not what we think should be eaten. But I guess in reality not moving = less need for calories. Nothing tastes good to him.

We're waiting for the nephrologist now. Kidney that he had the surgery is swollen more than in the past However the pain from last night could have been indicative of a stone or blockage that could have passed or shifted.

And an afternoon of MUCH needed rest by those who need it!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Today's happenings

Today started well but lunch time found us with a huge pain in the side. Literally. Big pain in the right side. To the point he couldn't take a full breathe. So a series of X-rays and ultrasounds to see what is causing issues.
And another set of tests and holding for results :o/

Poor dad.

However on the upside PT is doing wonders for his left hand. He can now do a bit of pinching and lifting his hand about twice as high now. So progress is being made even with a few setbacks.

The foot is being a little more stubborn, however has good sensation so there is confidence that movement will return in time.

The other positive is that the hallucinations have eased and should be completely resolved by now. Now if we can get everything else eased up and well be doing better.


View out the window (from my corner if the couch)

View of the small hall where the last in the yellow dress was yesterday. And dad watching a ball game right now.

Mom at the other end of the couch in the rooms chair.
The kids art work us above her head on the column more facing Dad.

Standing in the hospital hall

I noticed this

Cool picture... Right up my alley. But the noted this

Yes an Autry. What a coincidence, eh?

There are quite a few if her pictures in the halls up here.

Monday, August 27, 2012

More on what's been seen

Someone suggested we document what's been seen today.
So you know that he had visions of walking the halls and being kidnapped by someone last night. He told mom this morning he would point out the SOB...

By the time I got there the nurses came in to bathe him, so we stepped out and he was less on the kidnapping and more on tying to call mom...even though she was right there in the room in front of him. He finally settled into the bed and started batting at things in front of him and insisting there were webs on his tissues. The he was paddling at the ball infringing of him towards the TV.  There was also an episode where I was sitting at his head and he was looking towards the entrance to the room asking if we could see the lady in the yellow dress??  Uh, no.. No one was there.  Then the lady was drawing on the wall with black markers or marks. He asked a few times about her.. But at least she was pleasant and no one he knew that was already dead talking with him...that would have pushed mom over the edge.  Mom and I really thought he was loosing it. 

We talked to his internist who said it could be an infection and the neurologist also said the same thing...all the time the nurses had the knowledge of him having an Ambien and talking smack last night.  Sigh. Lack of communication.  

AFTER we talked to the nurse who finally talked to us about the Ambien and bad he had been to physical therapy and was wore out. So when did the cardiologist choose to show?  Yep then.

He was NOT amiable to the hole fix, he was not amiable to much....and with the insult of that drug was no longer eating either...  Sigh. We finally let it go and he finally drank the ensure before I left.
After all the discoveries of drugs and half lifes of Ambien this could be 49 hours to be out of his system fully. Lesson learned NO Ambien.

Anyway...after the discovery of Ambien the actions of reaching for webs from the ceiling and complaints of lint all over the bed frame were now funny rather than concerning ;). What a difference a little information makes, eh??

Mystery half solved.

Just found out they gave dad an Ambien last night and he was really out if his mind last night. Guess it really can have some weird reactions with folks and had he been mobile he would have be traveling the hallways
Apparently this isn't that uncommon a reaction. Good to know. Scary!!
So he very well could still metabolizing that drug out of his system.
So wonder why the doc didn't know of this? Goodness talk about lack of communication. I thought government was bad. Wow! It's everywhere!!
In the mean time they still had the order in for a chest X-ray. So it's been done (bedside) and a urine test to look for infection there too just in case.
Temps are holding steady he was:
99.6 @7;
98.5 @ 12;
99.4 @ 4
So not really screaming infection but his side with the stone surgery hurts. That's not a good sign.
And were getting complaints of lint all over the bed and webbing from the ceiling like spider webbing. according to dad it's a very dirty room. And I DO have my glasses on and I see NO webs at all.
And just for Linda I stopped the X-ray tech after dads X-ray JUST for this picture ;)

The X-ray machine has a cute face ;)

One step forward two steps back

Came in today and found that dad had some weird hallucination if being kidnapped and taken to other areas of the hospital.
He was also back on his IV fluids.
The nurse had already turned it off and had questioned if he needed them as well as he was doing well on other aspects.
Yesterday had a lot if blood in the urine however today the catheter is out and the blood issue has resolved from what we can see and the tech confirmed that issue was resolving.
So to recount:
Back off of the IV after being back on last night
Off the catheter
Off oxygen
Breathing a bit labored today as well
And still no doctors to talk with yet.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

What was left off of yesterday's post

What we left off yesterday's post was:

Dad has trouble getting IVs from all the scaring on his arms from the grafts for his thumb in the 60's so they've blown more than a few veins. The site he's had for a while was getting quite sore so they tries to get liquids through the neck one he received when he went to ICU. Well it's what they call positional as its easily cut off by, you guessed it, position. So, although it works for meds it wouldn't work for an IV. They tried for another site (twice) and it was a no-go... Then I talked to Damian (MD) and he suggested if dads drinking well we could convince them to loose the IV. Because he's still on the heart monitor they have to have IV access "just in case" so I pointed out the neck works just not for IV so why not just leave it and "see how he does" as his sore site won't be reused anyway and they stuck him twice in the left side without success. They're really no worse off at this point... So quit sticking him an see if he's getting enough liquids by mouth. They agrees and we're off the IV.

Damian also suggested he could be getting too much liquid this way if he's getting it orally and it could be what was causing the labored breathing as well. So one less insult.

In addition to that we mentioned the blood (just specs, don't worry) in his coughing and the doc asked how he was doing in oxygen. He's been at 100%. In addition Damian had said there was no real reason for oxygen at this time and it was low volume as well. I didn't even bring that up to the doc but SHE suggested he get off oxygen and see how he does.

The good thing in that is speech clears right up so I can tell its simple extreme dry mouth/throat causing a lot of that issue.

So less insults to Injury and he's feeling more like a free man. You can see it in his reactions. Treat him like a well man and he becomes a well man.

I'm thinking we're past the worst of this and really feeling that Monday he will be moved to rehab.